Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Hypoxia regulated pathways in urological malignancies
Author: Charlesworth, Philip J. S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2689 9528
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2009
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Introduction: Kidney Cancer accounts for approximately 2% of all new cancer diagnoses in the UK each year. Patient survival has improved over the past few decades; however the mechanisms of this are yet to be fully elucidated. Hypoxia inducible factor isoforms, HIF-1 and HIF-2, are constitutively expressed in many clear-cell RCCs due to loss of pVHL tumour suppressor function within the tumour. In vitro, HIF-1 and HIF-2 regulate a differential set of target genes, although their expression in primary ccRCC clinical samples and their effects on patient prognosis has yet to be fully understood. Methods: In this thesis analysis has been performed on all Nephrectomies performed at Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals for Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) from 1983 to 2007. Data extracted from Charlesworth Research Uro-Oncology Database, CRUD©, provided long-term survival data, maximal tumour diameter, Fuhrman grade, T-Staging and patient age. A subset of RCCs from this series (170 consecutive clear cell renal tumours from 1983 to 1999) were analysed within a tissue microarray and expression of HIF-1 and HIF-2, together with seven primary target genes (BNIP3, CAIX, CyclinD1, GLUT1, LDH5, Oct-4 and VEGF) was assessed. Comparison was made with tumour angiogenesis (CD31), tumour stage, Fuhrman grade, maximum tumour diameter and patient survival. Further work in this thesis analysed a series of paired VHL (functional and non-functional) ccRCC cell lines, assessing for hypoxic differential MicroRNA expression. Results: Analysis of 664 RCCs demonstrated a clear change in kidney cancer specific survival over the past 24 years, with 5-year survival improving from 42% (1983-1986) to 73% (1999- 2002). The incidence of RCC has increased 10 fold and has a significant association with 4-year survival. There was no significant change in operative mortality, patient age, Fuhrman grade, Pathological T-Stage or mean tumour size. However, there was a 5-fold increase in tumours <6cm, corresponding to an equal fold decrease in tumours 6-8cm, and no change in tumours >8cm. Tumour size >8cm was a significant prognostic marker. HIF-1 and HIF-2 showed no correlation and individually, neither HIF-1 nor HIF-2 expression had any prognostic utility; however a significant time-dependent deterioration of HIF-1 and HIF-2 antigenicity within paraffin blocks was identified. Angiogenesis (VVI CD31) had a strong negative correlation with Fuhrman grade and maximal tumour diameter and had prognostic significance, with high levels associated with good overall survival. Results from microRNA expression arrays found a specific microRNA (MiR-23a) that was differentially expressed depending upon VHL functionality and hypoxic conditions. Furthermore microRNA-23a was up-regulated in cells that expressed both HIF isoforms, and down-regulated in cells that only expressed HIF-2. Conclusions: Outcome following Nephrectomy for Renal Cell Carcinoma has dramatically improved over the past 24 years. Increasing incidence and decreasing tumour size at operation combined with the lack of statistical variation in Fuhrman grade, suggests that earlier detection of tumours offers subsequent curative treatment by Nephrectomy. Furthermore, stable incidence rates of tumours >8cm potentially represent alternative tumour biology, which grow rapidly, avoiding early detection and curative treatment. Although neither HIF isoform nor the seven HIF target genes was found to influence disease prognosis, the discovery of HIF antigenicity deterioration with time, is a very important finding and casts into doubt previous literature about HIF-1 immunostaining in human cancers. The prognostic significance of CD31+ angiogenesis appears initially counterintuitive, however, CD31+ endothelial cells may represent functional vessels which protect the tumour from sustained periods of ischaemia, unlike the low VVI group, from which hypoxia death-resistant clones could arise facilitating tumour metastasis. This could be very important when considering the effects of biologically targeted antiangiogenic therapies. Furthermore, the negative correlation with angiogenesis (CD31+) and Fuhrman grade suggests that vessel functionality and tumour aggressiveness may change with tumour size. The finding of a specific microRNA that appears to have VHL and HIF dependent expression extends our understanding of the hypoxic pathway and opens the possibility of further development of novel targeted therapies.
Supervisor: Johnson, Peter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QH301 Biology ; RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer) ; RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology