Saber, M. M., H. M. Elzawahry, A. M. Hilal, A. A. Abou-Bakr, A. E. Namour, and M. M. Saber, "Prognostic Value of Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes in Locally Advanced HER2 Enriched Breast Cancer.", Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention : APJCP, vol. 23, issue 2, pp. 553-560, 2022. Abstract

PURPOSE: We aim to study the association between stromal tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) level and disease free survival (DFS) in a group of ER and PR negative, HER2+ locally advanced breast cancer patients who underwent curative intent surgery.

METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study including 66 locally advanced hormone receptor-negative; HER2+ breast cancer patients presented between 2013 and 2015 at NCI-Cairo, Egypt. Enrolled patients had at least clinically T3 and/or node positive disease either clinically or radiologically. Metastatic workup included CT and bone scans or PET-CT. Patients with hormone receptor positive, HER2 negative, inadequate paraffin block and who lost follow up before or immediately after curative surgery were excluded. Patients were followed from breast surgery till relapse date for a minimum of 36 months. TILs and CD8 antigen were assessed on paraffin-embedded blocks using immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS: Patients with a median age of 52 years presented with clinical T3 stage (53%) and N1 stage (61%). Modified radical mastectomy was performed in 79%. Only 41% received neoadjuvant chemotherapy and 56% received trastuzumab. TILs were 50, 17 and 33% for absent, intermediate and extensive groups and CD8+ lymphocytes were present in 80% of cases. At the end of follow-up period, 23 patients (35%) were found to have disease recurrence either loco-regional (22%) or distant (78%). TILs were 14, 4 and 5% for absent, intermediate and extensive respectively; while CD8+ lymphocytes were absent in 6% and present (≥1%) in 17%. Higher DFS was recorded for patients with extensive TILs level only who received trastuzumab.

CONCLUSION: High TILs is good prognosis in HER2 enriched breast cancer provided that patients received HER2 directed therapy. Moreover, CD8+ lymphocytes are highly representative and maybe used as an alternative for TILs. We recommend considering TILs and specifically CD8+ as one of the risk factors that predict prognosis of HER2+ breast cancer.

Saber, M. M., A. M. Al-mahallawi, and B. Stork, "Metformin dampens cisplatin cytotoxicity on leukemia cells after incorporation into cubosomal nanoformulation.", Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie, vol. 143, pp. 112140, 2021. Abstract

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is one of the most common type of leukemia in children. It is caused by abnormal cell division of the lymphoid progenitor cells in the bone marrow. In the past decade, metformin has gained increased attention for its anti-leukemic potential. Moreover, other chemotherapeutic agents were investigated for the possible superior efficacy over the existing treatments in treating ALL. Several studies examined the effect of cisplatin as a potential candidate for therapy. Here, we investigate the anti-leukemic effect of metformin and cisplatin on 697 cells. Both compounds revealed significant cytotoxic effects. Specifically designed lipid-based cubosomal nanoformulations were used as drug carriers to facilitate compound entry in low doses. Our results indicate that the use of the carrier did not affect cytotoxicity significantly. In addition, combining the drugs in different carriers demonstrated an antagonistic effect through damping the efficacy of both drugs. This was evident from experiments investigating cellular viability, annexin V/PI staining, mitochondrial membrane potential and caspase-3 activity. Taken together, it appears that metformin does not represent a suitable option for sensitizing leukemia cells to cisplatin.

Abd-Elsalam, W. H., M. M. Saber, and S. M. Abouelatta, "Trehalosomes: Colon targeting trehalose-based green nanocarriers for the maintenance of remission in inflammatory bowel diseases.", European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics : official journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V, vol. 166, pp. 182-193, 2021. Abstract

The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are contradictory between their beneficial effect in alleviating inflammation, and injurious outcomes in aggravating the symptoms of colitis. The study aimed to formulate trehalosomes (THs); innovative green trehalose-based nanocarriers, to alleviate the inflammation symptoms that might be provoked by NSAIDs in IBDs; as trehalose was proved to lighten the inflammation and the oxidative stress response, besides its resistance to the acidic conditions that rises its potentiality as a means for colon targeting. THs were fabricated using L-α-phosphatidylcholine (PL), trehalose, and transcutol, in a single step circumventing the incorporation of any organic solvent and loaded with Tenoxicam (TXM) as a model anti-inflammatory medication. A full 2 factorial design, using Design-Expert® software, was established to optimize the formulation variables. The optimized formulation composed of trehalose: PL at a weight ratio of 1:1, 377.72 mg transcutol, and sonicated for 4 min, possessed a spherical shape with a size of 268.61 nm and EE% of 97.83% and released 70.22% of its drug content over 24 h. The supreme protective action of TXM loaded THs compared to TXM suspension and drug-free THs was revealed by the suppression of the inflammatory biomarkers and the improved histopathology of the colonic tissue in male New Zealand rabbits. IL-1ß, IL-6, and TNF-alpha levels were notably dampened with TXM loaded THs, and oxidative stress markers, measured as GSH and MDA, were significantly altered. The study indicates the successful role of green THs in colon targeting and its anti-inflammatory characteristics in protecting against possible NSAIDs-driven exacerbation of colitis.

El-Demiry, S. M., M. El-Yamany, S. M. El-Gendy, H. A. Salem, and M. M. Saber, "Necroptosis modulation by cisplatin and sunitinib in hepatocellular carcinoma cell line.", Life sciences, vol. 301, pp. 120594, 2022. Abstract

Aim Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide. Systemic chemotherapy such as cisplatin and multi-targeted receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors, including sunitinib, has marginal activity and frequent toxicity. Recently, necroptosis has been investigated as a potential target in treating cancer. Our aim is to evaluate the influence of cisplatin-sunitinib combination on HepG2 cells regarding their cytotoxicity and implicated intracellular pathways.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC) values of cisplatin, sunitinib, and their combination were determined by Sulforhodamine-B assay. Bcl-2 and Bax protein levels were assayed using western blot. ELISA technique was used to measure pRIPK3/RIPK3, pERK/ERK, caspase-9, caspase-8, malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione (GSH), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx).

KEY FINDINGS: Cisplatin-sunitinib combination exhibited a superior cytotoxic effect on HepG2 cells. Low concentrations of 4 μg/ml cisplatin and 2.8 μg/ml sunitinib showed significant Bcl-2 down-regulation and Bax up-regulation. The combined treatment also lowered pRIPK3/RIPK3 by 74% (p < 0.05) compared to the control. Significant increase in pERK/ERK by 3.9 folds over the normal control was also demonstrated. Moreover, combined treatment produced a significant 4 and 4.6 folds increase in caspase-9 and -8 levels. An increase in MDA level by 1.3 folds, a decrease in the intracellular GSH level by 63%, and an increase in GPx level by 1.17 folds were demonstrated.

SIGNIFICANCE: Sunitinib modulated cisplatin effect on cytotoxicity, oxidative stress, apoptosis, necroptosis and MAPK pathways. Sunitinib enhanced cisplatin-induced apoptosis and increased oxidative stress, but decreased necroptosis. Combined cisplatin and sunitinib might be promising for treating advanced HCC.

Saber, M. M., A. M. Al-mahallawi, N. N. Nassar, B. Stork, and S. A. Shouman, "Targeting colorectal cancer cell metabolism through development of cisplatin and metformin nano-cubosomes.", BMC cancer, vol. 18, issue 1, pp. 822, 2018 Aug 15. Abstract

BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) remains a leading cause of death worldwide. Utilizing cisplatin in CRC is correlated with severe adverse effects and drug-resistance. Combined anticancer drug-treatment, along with, their enhanced delivery, can effectively kill cancer through multiple pathways. Nano-cubosomes are emerging as nanocarriers for anticancer therapies, hence, we constructed nano-cubosomes bearing cisplatin and cisplatin-metformin combination for investigation on HCT-116 cells.

METHODS: Nano-cubosomes bearing either cisplatin alone or cisplatin-metformin combination were formulated using emulsification technique. The loaded nano-cubosomes were characterized in vitro and the optimized formulation was selected. Their cytotoxic effects were investigated by Sulphorhodamine-B (SRB) assay. The AMPK/mTOR metabolic pathway as well as the Akt/mTOR pathway were analyzed using ELISA technique. Colorimetry was used in NADPH oxidase, LDH and caspase-3 activity determination.

RESULTS: nano-cubosomal formulations exhibited superior cytotoxic effect compared to unformulated cisplatin. This cytotoxic effect was profound upon incorporation of metformin, an indirect mTOR inhibitor, in cisplatin nano-cubosomes. The induced CRC cell apoptosis was through inhibition of several metabolic pathways, namely, AMPK/mTOR and Akt/mTOR. Drug-loaded nano-cubosomes ensued depletion in glucose and energy levels that led to AMPK activation and thus mTOR inhibition. mTOR was additionally inhibited via suppression of p-Akt (Ser473) levels after nano-cubosomal treatment. Moreover, drug-loaded nano-cubosomes produced a notable escalation in ROS levels, evident as an increase in NADPH oxidase, inhibition of LDH and a consequential upsurge in caspase-3.

CONCLUSION: These results demonstrated the influence exerted by cisplatin-loaded nano-cubosomes on CRC cell survival and enhancement of their cytotoxicity upon metformin addition.