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    Role of CD14 in human disease
    (Wiley, 2023) Sharygin, Daniel; Koniaris, Leonidas G.; Wells, Clark; Zimmers, Teresa A.; Hamidi, Tewfik; Surgery, School of Medicine
    The cell surface antigen CD14 is primarily understood to act as a co-receptor for toll-like receptors (TLRs) to activate innate immunity responses to pathogens and tissue injury in macrophages and monocytes. However, roles for CD14 are increasingly being uncovered in disease responses in epithelial and endothelial cells. Consistent with these broader functions, CD14 expression is altered in a variety of non-immune cell types in response to a several of disease states. Moreover, soluble CD14 activated by factors from both pathogens and tissue damage may initiate signalling in a variety of non-immune cells. This review examined the current understanding CD14 in innate immunity as well as its potential functions in nonimmune cells and associated human diseases.
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    Targeting KRAS for the potential treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: Recent advancements provide hope (Review)
    (Spandidos Publications, 2023) Zhang, Joshua; Darman, Lily; Hassan, Md Sazzad; Von Holzen, Urs; Awasthi, Niranjan; Surgery, School of Medicine
    Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) is one of the most frequently mutated oncogenes in solid tumors. More than 90% of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) are driven by mutations in the KRAS gene, suggesting the importance of targeting this oncogene in PDAC. Initial efforts to target KRAS have been unsuccessful due to its small size, high affinity for guanosine triphosphate/guanosine diphosphate, and lack of distinct drug‑binding pockets. Therefore, much of the focus has been directed at inhibiting the activation of major signaling pathways downstream of KRAS, most notably the PI3K/AKT and RAF/MAPK pathways, using tyrosine kinase inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies. While preclinical studies showed promising results, clinical data using the inhibitors alone and in combination with other standard therapies have shown limited practicality, largely due to the lack of efficacy and dose‑limiting toxicities. Recent therapeutic approaches for KRAS‑driven tumors focus on mutation‑specific drugs such as selective KRASG12C inhibitors and son of sevenless 1 pan‑KRAS inhibitors. While KRASG12C inhibitors showed great promise against patients with non‑small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring KRASG12C mutations, they were not efficacious in PDAC largely because the major KRAS mutant isoforms in PDAC are G12D, G12V, and G12R. As a result, KRASG12D and pan‑KRAS inhibitors are currently under investigation as potential therapeutic options for PDAC. The present review summarized the importance of KRAS oncogenic signaling, challenges in its targeting, and preclinical and clinical targeted agents including recent direct KRAS inhibitors for blocking KRAS signaling in PDAC.
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    Prophylactic Absorbable Antibiotic Beads for High-risk, Implant-based Prepectoral Reconstruction
    (Wolters Kluwer, 2023-10-16) Ahmed, Shahnur; Lee, Jason T. C.; Roth, Dylan; Sinha, Mithun; Fisher, Carla; Fan, Betty; Imeokparia, Folasade; Ludwig, Kandice; Lester, Mary E.; Hassanein, Aladdin H.; Surgery, School of Medicine
    Infections are problematic in postmastectomy implant-based reconstruction with infection rates as high as 30%. Strategies to reduce the risk of infection have demonstrated various efficacies. A prolonged course of systemic, oral antibiotics has not shown evidence-based benefit. Although absorbable antibiotic beads have been described for orthopedic procedures and pressure wounds, their use has not been well studied during breast reconstruction, particularly for prepectoral implant placement. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the selective use of prophylactic absorbable calcium sulfate antibiotic beads during high-risk implant-based, prepectoral breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Patients who underwent implant-based, prepectoral breast reconstruction between 2019 and 2022 were reviewed. Groups were divided into those who received antibiotic beads and those who did not. Outcome variables included postoperative infection at 90 days. A total of 148 patients (256 implants) were included: 15 patients (31 implants) who received biodegradable antibiotic beads and 133 patients (225 implants) in the control group. Patients who received antibiotic beads were more likely to have a history of infection (66.7%) compared with the control group (0%) (P < 0.01). Surgical site infection occurred in 3.2% of implants in the antibiotic bead group compared with 7.6%, but this did not reach statistical significance. The incidence of infection in high-risk patients who have absorbable antibiotic beads placed during the time of reconstruction seems to be normalized to the control group in this pilot study. We present a novel use of prophylactic absorbable antibiotic beads in prepectoral breast implant reconstruction.
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    Dynamic Alterations to Hepatic MicroRNA-29a in Response to Long-Term High-Fat Diet and EtOH Feeding
    (MDPI, 2023-09-26) Liang, Tiebing; Kota, Janaiah; Williams, Kent E.; Saxena, Romil; Gawrieh, Samer; Zhong, Xiaoling; Zimmers, Teresa A.; Chalasani, Naga; Surgery, School of Medicine
    MicroRNA-29a (miR-29a) is a well characterized fibro-inflammatory molecule and its aberrant expression is linked to a variety of pathological liver conditions. The long-term effects of a high-fat diet (HFD) in combination with different levels of EtOH consumption on miR-29a expression and liver pathobiology are unknown. Mice at 8 weeks of age were divided into five groups (calorie-matched diet plus water (CMD) as a control group, HFD plus water (HFD) as a liver disease group, HFD plus 2% EtOH (HFD + 2% E), HFD + 10% E, and HFD + 20% E as intervention groups) and fed for 4, 13, 26, or 39 weeks. At each time point, analyses were performed for liver weight/body weight (BW) ratio, AST/ALT ratio, as well as liver histology assessments, which included inflammation, estimated fat deposition, lipid area, and fibrosis. Hepatic miR-29a was measured and correlations with phenotypic traits were determined. Four-week feeding produced no differences between the groups on all collected phenotypic traits or miR-29a expression, while significant effects were observed after 13 weeks, with EtOH concentration-specific induction of miR-29a. A turning point for most of the collected traits was apparent at 26 weeks, and miR-29a was significantly down-regulated with increasing liver injury. Overall, miR-29a up-regulation was associated with a lower liver/BW ratio, fat deposition, inflammation, and fibrosis, suggesting a protective role of miR-29a against liver disease progression. A HFD plus increasing concentrations of EtOH produces progressive adverse effects on the liver, with no evidence of beneficial effects of low-dose EtOH consumption. Moreover, miR-29a up-regulation is associated with less severe liver injury.
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    CD30 Lateral Flow and Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays for Detection of BIA-ALCL: A Pilot Study
    (MDPI, 2023-10-25) Zeyl, Victoria G.; Xu, Haiying; Khan, Imran; Machan, Jason T.; Clemens, Mark W.; Hu, Honghua; Deva, Anand; Glicksman, Caroline; McGuire, Patricia; Adams, William P., Jr.; Sieber, David; Sinha, Mithun; Kadin, Marshall E.; Surgery, School of Medicine
    Introduction: Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) commonly presents as a peri-implant effusion (seroma). CD30 (TNFRSF8) is a consistent marker of tumor cells but also can be expressed by activated lymphocytes in benign seromas. Diagnosis of BIA-ALCL currently includes cytology and detection of CD30 by immunohistochemistry or flow cytometry, but these studies require specialized equipment and pathologists' interpretation. We hypothesized that a CD30 lateral flow assay (LFA) could provide a less costly rapid test for soluble CD30 that eventually could be used by non-specialized personnel for point-of-care diagnosis of BIA-ALCL. Methods: We performed LFA for CD30 and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for 15 patients with pathologically confirmed BIA-ALCL and 10 patients with benign seromas. To determine the dynamic range of CD30 detection by LFA, we added recombinant CD30 protein to universal buffer at seven different concentrations ranging from 125 pg/mL to 10,000 pg/mL. We then performed LFA for CD30 on cryopreserved seromas of 10 patients with pathologically confirmed BIA-ALCL and 10 patients with benign seromas. Results: Recombinant CD30 protein added to universal buffer produced a distinct test line at concentrations higher than 1000 pg/mL and faint test lines at 250-500 pg/mL. LFA produced a positive test line for all BIA-ALCL seromas undiluted and for 8 of 10 malignant seromas at 1:10 dilution, whereas 3 of 10 benign seromas were positive undiluted but all were negative at 1:10 dilution. Undiluted CD30 LFA had a sensitivity of 100.00%, specificity of 70.00%, positive predictive value of 76.92%, and negative predictive value of 100.00% for BIA-ALCL. When specimens were diluted 1:10, sensitivity was reduced to 80.00% but specificity and positive predictive values increased to 100.00%, while negative predictive value was reduced to 88.33%. When measured by ELISA, CD30 was below 1200 pg/mL in each of six benign seromas, whereas seven BIA-ALCL seromas contained CD30 levels > 2300 pg/mL, in all but one case calculated from dilutions of 1:10 or 1:50. Conclusions: BIA-ALCL seromas can be distinguished from benign seromas by CD30 ELISA and LFA, but LFA requires less time (<20 min) and can be performed without special equipment by non-specialized personnel, suggesting future point-of-care testing for BIA-ALCL may be feasible.
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    TONSL is an immortalizing oncogene and a therapeutic target in breast cancer
    (American Association for Cancer Research, 2023) Khatpe, Aditi S.; Dirks, Rebecca; Bhat-Nakshatri, Poornima; Mang, Henry; Batic, Katie; Swiezy, Sarah; Olson, Jacob; Rao, Xi; Wang, Yue; Tanaka, Hiromi; Liu, Sheng; Wan, Jun; Chen, Duojiao; Liu, Yunlong; Fang, Fang; Althouse, Sandra; Hulsey, Emily; Granatir, Maggie M.; Addison, Rebekah; Temm, Constance J.; Sandusky, George; Lee-Gosselin, Audrey; Nephew, Kenneth; Miller, Kathy D.; Nakshatri, Harikrishna; Surgery, School of Medicine
    Study of genomic aberrations leading to immortalization of epithelial cells has been technically challenging due to the lack of isogenic models. To address this, we utilized healthy primary breast luminal epithelial cells of different genetic ancestry and their hTERT-immortalized counterparts to identify transcriptomic changes associated with immortalization. Elevated expression of TONSL (Tonsoku Like, DNA Repair Protein) was identified as one of the earliest events during immortalization. TONSL, which is located on chromosome 8q24.3, was found to be amplified in ~20% of breast cancers. TONSL alone immortalized primary breast epithelial cells and increased telomerase activity, but overexpression was insufficient for neoplastic transformation. However, TONSL-immortalized primary cells overexpressing defined oncogenes generated estrogen receptor-positive adenocarcinomas in mice. Analysis of a breast tumor microarray with ~600 tumors revealed poor overall and progression free survival of patients with TONSL overexpressing tumors. TONSL increased chromatin accessibility to pro-oncogenic transcription factors including NF-κB and limited access to the tumor suppressor p53. TONSL overexpression resulted in significant changes in the expression of genes associated with DNA repair hubs, including upregulation of several genes in the homologous recombination (HR) and Fanconi Anemia pathways. Consistent with these results, TONSL overexpressing primary cells exhibited upregulated DNA repair via HR. Moreover, TONSL was essential for growth of TONSL-amplified breast cancer cell lines in vivo, and these cells were sensitive to TONSL-FACT complex inhibitor CBL0137. Together, these findings identify TONSL as a regulator of epithelial cell immortalization to facilitate cancer initiation and as a target for breast cancer therapy.
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    Utility of frozen section in pediatric and adolescent malignant ovarian nonseminomatous germ cell tumors: A report from the children's oncology group
    (Elsevier, 2022) Dicken, B. J.; Billmire, D. F.; Rich, B.; Hazard, F. K.; Nuño, M.; Krailo, M.; Fallahazad, N.; Pashankar, F.; Shaikh, F.; Frazier, A. L.; Surgery, School of Medicine
    Purpose: In adult women, most malignant ovarian tumors are epithelial in origin. The use of intra-operative frozen section to distinguish between benign and malignant histology is reliable in guiding operative decision-making to determine the extent of surgical staging required. Pediatric and adolescent patients with ovarian masses have a much different spectrum of pathology with most tumors arising from germ cell precursors. This review was undertaken to assess the concordance between the intra-operative frozen section and the final diagnosis as an aid to guide extent of surgical staging in a group of pediatric and adolescent patients with malignant ovarian germ cell tumors. Methods: Records of patients aged 0 to 20 years with malignant ovarian germ cell tumors enrolled on Children's Oncology Group study AGCT0132 were reviewed. Pathology reports from patients who had both intra-operative frozen section diagnosis and final paraffin section diagnosis were compared using descriptive statistics. By inclusion criteria for the study, all patients had a final diagnosis of malignancy with required yolk sac tumor, choriocarcinoma or embryonal carcinoma histology. Available central review of pathology final paraffin section slides were compared with final institution pathology reports. Results: Of 131 eligible patients with ovarian germ cell tumors, 60 (45.8%) had both intra-operative frozen section and final paraffin section diagnoses available. Intra-operative frozen section diagnoses were classified as: incorrect diagnosis of benign tumor (13.3%), confirmation of malignancy (61.7%), immature teratoma (16.7%), germ cell tumor not otherwise specified (5%) and no diagnosis provided (3.3%). Intra-operative frozen section was incorrect in 23 of 60 (38.3%) patients evaluated. Central pathology review was concordant with the final institution pathology diagnosis in 76.3% of patients. Central pathology review identified additional germ cell tumor components in 23.7% of patients. Conclusions: In pediatric and adolescent patients with a confirmed final diagnosis of ovarian germ cell malignancy, intra-operative frozen section diagnosis is not reliable to inform the extent of surgical staging required. Central review by an expert germ cell tumor pathologist provides important additional information to guide therapy.
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    Technical optimization of spatially resolved single-cell transcriptomic datasets to study clinical liver disease
    (Springer Nature, 2024-02-13) Rocque, Brittany; Guion, Kate; Singh, Pranay; Bangerth, Sarah; Pickard, Lauren; Bhattacharjee, Jashdeep; Eguizabal, Sofia; Weaver, Carly; Chopra, Shefali; Zhou, Shengmei; Kohli, Rohit; Sher, Linda; Akbari, Omid; Ekser, Burcin; Emamaullee, Juliet A.; Surgery, School of Medicine
    Single cell and spatially resolved ‘omic’ techniques have enabled deep characterization of clinical pathologies that remain poorly understood, providing unprecedented insights into molecular mechanisms of disease. However, transcriptomic platforms are costly, limiting sample size, which increases the possibility of pre-analytical variables such as tissue processing and storage procedures impacting RNA quality and downstream analyses. Furthermore, spatial transcriptomics have not yet reached single cell resolution, leading to the development of multiple deconvolution methods to predict individual cell types within each transcriptome ‘spot’ on tissue sections. In this study, we performed spatial transcriptomics and single nucleus RNA sequencing (snRNAseq) on matched specimens from patients with either histologically normal or advanced fibrosis to establish important aspects of tissue handling, data processing, and downstream analyses of biobanked liver samples. We observed that tissue preservation technique impacts transcriptomic data, especially in fibrotic liver. Single cell mapping of the spatial transcriptome using paired snRNAseq data generated a spatially resolved, single cell dataset with 24 unique liver cell phenotypes. We determined that cell–cell interactions predicted using ligand–receptor analysis of snRNAseq data poorly correlated with cellular relationships identified using spatial transcriptomics. Our study provides a framework for generating spatially resolved, single cell datasets to study gene expression and cell–cell interactions in biobanked clinical samples with advanced liver disease.
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    Acute effects of leg heat therapy on walking performance and cardiovascular and inflammatory responses to exercise in patients with peripheral artery disease
    (Wiley, 2021) Monroe, Jacob C.; Song, Qifan; Emery, Michael S.; Hirai, Daniel M.; Motaganahalli, Raghu L.; Roseguini, Bruno T.; Surgery, School of Medicine
    Lower-extremity peripheral artery disease (PAD) is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events and impaired exercise tolerance. We have previously reported that leg heat therapy (HT) applied using liquid-circulating trousers perfused with warm water increases leg blood flow and reduces blood pressure (BP) and the circulating levels of endothelin-1 (ET-1) in patients with symptomatic PAD. In this sham-controlled, randomized, crossover study, sixteen patients with symptomatic PAD (age 65 ± 5.7 years and ankle-brachial index: 0.69 ± 0.1) underwent a single 90-min session of HT or a sham treatment prior to a symptom-limited, graded cardiopulmonary exercise test on the treadmill. The primary outcome was the peak walking time (PWT) during the exercise test. Secondary outcomes included the claudication onset time (COT), resting and exercise BP, calf muscle oxygenation, pulmonary oxygen uptake (V̇O2 ), and plasma levels of ET-1, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). Systolic, but not diastolic BP, was significantly lower (~7 mmHg, p < .05) during HT when compared to the sham treatment. There was also a trend for lower SBP throughout the exercise and the recovery period following HT (p = .057). While COT did not differ between treatments (p = .77), PWT tended to increase following HT (CON: 911 ± 69 s, HT: 954 ± 77 s, p = .059). Post-exercise plasma levels of ET-1 were also lower in the HT session (CON: 2.0 ± 0.1, HT: 1.7 ± 0.1, p = .02). Calf muscle oxygenation, V̇O2 , COT, IL-6, and TNF-α did not differ between treatments. A single session of leg HT lowers BP and post-exercise circulating levels of ET-1 and may enhance treadmill walking performance in symptomatic PAD patients.
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    Splenic marginal zone B-cell lymphoma associated with ruptured breast implants: case report and review of the literature
    (Taylor & Francis, 2021-04-05) Evans, Mark G.; Mueller, Melissa A.; Chen, Frederik; Nichter, Larry S.; Surgery, School of Medicine
    We describe splenomegaly and bilateral grade 2 Baker breast capsular contracture in a woman who had undergone augmentation mammoplasty. This case represents the first documented instance of splenic marginal zone lymphoma, and is among the rare reports of B-cell lymphoma, arising in a patient with breast implants.