The Hyogo Ion Beam Medical Center was constructed in 2001 as the world's first charged particle radiotherapy center where both proton and carbon-ion radiotherapy can be performed. From April 2001 to February 2007, more than 1,400 patients with a variety of cancers were treated. Most of the tumors except for prostate cancer were considered hard to cure with standard treatments such as surgery or conventional x-ray radiotherapy. The clinical results obtained so far are very encouraging, mainly due to the excellent dose localization to the tumor and strong cell killing effects of protons and carbon-ions. The good indications are localized tumors including skull base tumors, head and neck tumors, cancers of the lung, the liver, and the prostate, and bone and soft tissue sarcomas. Charged particle radiotherapy will significantly improve the quality of life of cancer patients and promote their speedy return to normal lives or work if it is used for early stage cancer.
Mast cells are progeny of the multipotential hematopoietic stem cell (MHSC). Mast cell-committed progenitors (MCPs) leave hematopoietic tissues, migrate in peripheral blood, invade to connective or mucosal tissue, proliferate and differentiate to morphologically identifiable mast cells. Phenotype of mast cells (connective tissue-type or mucosal type) is determined by the site of lodgment of MCPs. Most progeny of the multipotential hematopoietic stem cell lose proliferation potential after maturation, but connective tissue-type mast cells (CTMCs) possess appreciable proliferation potential after maturation. Even after functioning by degranulation, CTMCs proliferate and restore the original morphology. The most important cytokine for development and survival of mast cells is KIT ligand, and the KIT receptor tyrosine kinase is expressed through the whole developmental process of mast cells from MHSC to mature mast cells. The loss-of-function mutation of KIT gene results in depletion of mast cells, whereas its gain-of-function mutation causes mast cell tumors. Since mast cells are involved in various disease processes, intervention in development of mast cells might be beneficial to the treatment.
Crude extracts from larvae, pupae and adults of cabbage white butterflies, Pieris rapae and Pieris brassicae, and green-veined butterfly, Pieris napi, have an ability to induce apoptosis in the human cancer cell lines. As apoptosis inducing protein, pierisin-1 and -2 have been isolated from pupae of P. rapae and P. brassicae, respectively, and shown to exhibit DNA ADP-ribosylating activity. Although the highest activity was detected in the late phase of larvae and early phase of pupae, certain activity was found in adult butterflies. In order to investigate distribution of substances having pierisin-like activities in butterflies, many species need to be analyzed. However, fresh samples of larvae and pupae are hard to obtain, especially if samples are of scarce species or from overseas. The usage of adult butterflies is practical to examine the distribution of pierisin-like activity in many species. In this study, we examined the cytotoxicity of crude extracts from adults of P. rapae against HeLa cells and DNA ADP-ribosylation ability during storage for 1, 2 and 8 weeks at room temperature after killing adult butterflies after eclosion. Body weights decreased to 18% for 8 weeks through dehydration. Cytotoxicity of samples from butterfly kept for 1, 2 and 8 weeks decreased to 47, 39 and 22%, respectively, of the control value. DNA ADP-ribosylating activity of the samples also decreased to 30, 27 and 23%. Similar reduction was observed on western blot analysis with anti-pierisin-1 antibody. Fortunately, these results suggest that cytotoxic and DNA ADP-ribosylating activity persists to some extent in the body after killing, at least for 8 weeks. Thus, butterfly adult samples kept for two months at room temperature can still be useful for examination of the presence of substance having pierisin-like activity.