Iris Ahronowitz

University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States

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Publications (8)16.84 Total impact

  • Iris Ahronowitz, Lindy Fox
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    ABSTRACT: A variety of common dermatoses are known to have drug-induced variants. This article discusses the clinical presentation, time frames, reported culprit medications, pathophysiology and management of drug-induced lupus, cutaneous vasculitis, pemphigus, pemphigoid, linear IgA bullous dermatosis, Sweet's syndrome, erythema nodosum, pyoderma gangrenosum, pseudolymphoma, lichen planus, and psoriasis.
    Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery 03/2014; 33(1):49-58. · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is among the deadliest of cutaneous malignancies. A lack of consensus evaluation and treatment guidelines has hindered management of this disease. The utility of simultaneous positron emission tomography and computed tomography (PET/CT) has been demonstrated for a variety of tumors yet remains underinvestigated for MCC. OBJECTIVES: To report the value of fluorodeoxyglucose PET/CT imaging in the initial staging and ongoing management of individuals with MCC and to determine whether any patient or tumor characteristics may predict when PET/CT is more likely to have greater influence on medical decision-making. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A single-institution retrospective chart review was conducted of all patients diagnosed with MCC who underwent FDG-PET/CT scanning from 2007 to 2010. The outcome of each of these studies was evaluated as to the influence on patient staging and management. Patient clinical information and information on gross and microscopic tumor characteristics were collected and analyzed. RESULTS: Twenty patients underwent 39 PET/CT scans. Results of PET/CT imaging revealed previously unknown information related to MCC in four (20%) patients, leading to changes in management in three of these four cases. Three previously unknown neoplasms were detected. CONCLUSION: Fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography and computed tomography is a valuable tool for initial staging and to assess response to therapy of patients diagnosed with MCC. Larger prospective studies would be required to establish the optimal timing for this imaging modality.
    Dermatologic Surgery 06/2013; · 1.87 Impact Factor
  • Iris Ahronowitz, Joanna Harp, Kanade Shinkai
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    ABSTRACT: Pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) is a rare neutrophilic dermatosis characterized by painful, necrotic ulceration. It typically affects patients in the third to sixth decades of life, with almost equal incidence in men and women. PG occurs most frequently on the lower extremities. Five clinical variants are currently recognized: classic, bullous, pustular, vegetative, and peristomal types. Half of PG cases are seen in association with systemic disease. Mimickers include infection, vascular insufficiency ulcers, systemic vasculitides, autoimmune disease, cancer, and exogenous tissue injury, among others. PG is often a diagnosis of exclusion, as there are no specific laboratory or histopathologic findings to confirm the diagnosis. PG thus presents many clinical challenges: it is difficult to diagnose, is frequently misdiagnosed, and often requires a work-up for underlying systemic disease. Successful management of PG typically requires multiple modalities to reduce inflammation and optimize wound healing, in addition to treatment of any underlying diseases. Prednisone and cyclosporine have been mainstays of systemic treatment for PG, although increasing evidence supports the use of biologic therapies, such as tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitors, for refractory cases of PG. Here, we review the clinical presentation and pathophysiology of PG, as well as its associated conditions, diagnostic work-up, and management.
    American Journal of Clinical Dermatology 02/2012; 13(3):191-211. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    Iris Ahronowitz, Paul Nghiem, Siegrid Yu
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract is missing (Letter).
    Acta Dermato-Venereologica 02/2012; 92(6):633-634.
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    ABSTRACT: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin. Disease progression usually occurs via lymphatic spread to regional lymphatic draining basins, followed by distant metastasis. We report the clinical course, histopathology and genetic analysis of a 69-year-old woman with likely hematogenous spread of cutaneous neuroendocrine carcinoma manifesting as a single metastatic lesion to a distant cutaneous site. Although the possibility of two cutaneous primary MCCs was considered, array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) identified identical distal amplification of a region of chromosome 12p, and synchronous loss of chromosomes 8p and 17p, effectively ruling out the possibility of independent primaries. We propose that this represents a primary cheek MCC with rapid, isolated cutaneous metastasis to the contralateral ankle via hematogenous spread. The distinction between a second primary MCC and a distant cutaneous metastasis clearly has important implications with regard to staging, treatment and prognosis. To our knowledge, this represents the first report of the use of aCGH to clarify the relationship of multiple synchronous cutaneous MCCs and the first report of a single distant cutaneous focus of hematogenous spread. Our data calls into question prior reports alleging multiple cutaneous primaries of this very rare tumor.
    Journal of Cutaneous Pathology 10/2011; 38(10):801-7. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The neurofibromatosis 2 locus (NF2) is inactivated through mutation and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in 40-65% of all sporadic meningiomas, while the role of the p53 tumor suppression pathway in meningioma initiation and progression is still unclear. This study aims to determine if a p53 codon 72 arginine-to-proline polymorphism, found to be correlated with cancer development and cancer patient survival in other tumors, is associated with sporadic meningioma initiation or progression. We investigated Pro72 incidence in a cohort of 92 sporadic meningiomas and analyzed its association with histological grade (WHO classification) and with NF2 LOH (determined using polymorphic microsatellite markers on 22q). The Pro72 allele was not found to be selected for in the cohort. However, in the subgroup of meningiomas with NF2 LOH and carrying Pro72, 50.0% had high grade tumors (WHO grades II and III) compared to only 14.3% of those without NF2 LOH (OR = 6.0, CI = 1.56-23.11, P = 0.012). The significant association occurred only when considering subgroups of meningiomas with or without NF2 LOH, suggesting that not including NF2 status when analyzing study cohorts may explain the variability seen in the literature where all meningiomas were grouped together. Our data suggests a role for the p53 pathway in the progression of meningiomas in which NF2 is inactivated, and highlights the importance of accounting for NF2 LOH in future studies of meningiomas and the p53 pathway.
    Journal of Neuro-Oncology 12/2008; 91(3):265-70. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The NF2 tumor suppressor gene on chromosome 22 is a member of the protein 4.1 family of cytoskeletal elements. A number of single- and multiple-tumor phenotypes have been linked to alterations of NF2 since its characterization in 1993. We present a meta-analysis of 967 constitutional and somatic NF2 alterations from 93 published reports, along with 59 additional unpublished events identified in our laboratory and 115 alterations identified in clinical samples submitted to the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Neurogenetics DNA Diagnostic Laboratory. In total, these sources defined 1,070 small genetic changes detected primarily by exon scanning, 42 intragenic changes of one whole exon or larger, and 29 whole gene deletions and gross chromosomal rearrangements. Constitutional single-exon events (N=422) were significantly more likely to be nonsense or splice site changes than somatic events (N=533), which favored frameshift changes (chi(2) test; P<0.001). Somatic events also differed markedly between tumors of different pathology, most significantly in the tendency of somatic events in meningiomas to lie within the 5' FERM domain of the transcript (Fisher's exact test; P<0.01 in comparison to schwannomas) with a complete absence of mutations in exons 14 and 15. There was no statistically significant difference in mutation type or exon distribution between published constitutional events and those found by the clinical laboratory. Less than 10% of all published and unpublished small alterations are nontruncating (N=63) and these changes are clustered in exons 2 and 3, suggesting that this region may be especially crucial to tumor suppressor activity in the protein.
    Human Mutation 02/2007; 28(1):1-12. · 5.21 Impact Factor
  • Iris Zippora. Ahronowitz
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    ABSTRACT: Thesis (A.B., Honors in Social Studies)--Harvard University, 2003. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 131-136).