M Ponzoni

San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milano, Lombardy, Italy

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Publications (57)276.34 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The World Health Organization classification of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) is based on morphological evaluation of marrow dysplasia. We performed a systematic review of cytological and histological data from 1150 patients with peripheral blood cytopenia. We analyzed the frequency and discriminant power of single morphological abnormalities. A score to define minimal morphological criteria associated to the presence of marrow dysplasia was developed. This score showed high sensitivity/specificity (>90%), acceptable reproducibility and was independently validated. The severity of granulocytic and megakaryocytic dysplasia significantly affected survival. A close association was found between ring sideroblasts and SF3B1 mutations, and between severe granulocytic dysplasia and mutation of ASXL1, RUNX1, TP53 and SRSF2 genes. In myeloid neoplasms with fibrosis, multilineage dysplasia, hypolobulated/multinucleated megakaryocytes and increased CD34+ progenitors in the absence of JAK2, MPL and CALR gene mutations were significantly associated with a myelodysplastic phenotype. In myeloid disorders with marrow hypoplasia, granulocytic and/or megakaryocytic dysplasia, increased CD34+ progenitors and chromosomal abnormalities are consistent with a diagnosis of MDS. The proposed morphological score may be useful to evaluate the presence of dysplasia in cases without a clearly objective myelodysplastic phenotype. The integration of cytological and histological parameters improves the identification of MDS cases among myeloid disorders with fibrosis and hypocellularity.Leukemia advance online publication, 17 June 2014; doi:10.1038/leu.2014.161.
    Leukemia. 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: High levels of cyclin E (CCNE) are accompanied by shorter survival in cyclophosphamide, hydroxydaunorubicin, oncovin and prednisone (CHOP)-treated diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL), independent of the international prognostic index (IPI). Data on the prognostic role of CCNE in the 'rituximab (R)-era' are lacking. METHODS: To test reproducibility and applicability of observations from the 'pre-R era' to the 'R era', we examined the prognostic role of CCNE expression by immunohistochemistry in 1579 DLBCL on tissue microarrays (TMA); 339 patients were treated by CHOP and 635 by R-CHOP. RESULTS: 1209 samples (77%) were evaluable; failures were due to missing TMA punches and fixation artefacts. Mean expression of CCNE was 13% (0-85%); applying a cut-off of >16%, 382 DLBCL (31%) were positive. CCNE did not correlate with any of the known variables (IPI, primary site, cell of origin, proliferation, and BCL2- or C-MYC rearrangements). We were able to reproduce data suggesting an IPI- and response to therapy independent, negative prognostic impact of CCNE in CHOP-treated DLBCL patients: CCNE-positive cases had a median survival of 16 months compared with 57 months in negative ones (p=0.012). In R-CHOP-treated patients the prognostic impact of CCNE was abrogated and only IPI, cell of origin and response to therapy had a prognostic significance. CONCLUSIONS: Addition of R to CHOP overcomes the negative prognostic impact of CCNE in DLBCL. Thus, R not only prolongs survival in DLBCL but also serves a cautionary note that prognostic factors should not be transferred into the 'R era' without proper scientific studies.
    Journal of clinical pathology 06/2013; · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The tyrosine kinase c-Abl (or Abl) and the prolyl-isomerase Pin1 cooperatively activate the transcription factor p73 by enhancing recruitment of the acetyltransferase p300. As the transcription factor c-Myc (or Myc) is a known target of Pin1 and p300, we hypothesized that it might be regulated in a similar manner. Consistent with this hypothesis, overexpression of Pin1 augmented the interaction of Myc with p300 and transcriptional activity. The action of Abl, however, was more complex than predicted. On one hand, Abl indirectly enhanced phosphorylation of Myc on Ser 62 and Thr 58, its association with Pin1 and p300 and its acetylation by p300. These effects of Abl were exerted through phosphorylation of substrate(s) other than Myc itself. On the other hand, Abl interacted with the C-terminal domain of Myc and phosphorylated up to five tyrosine residues in its N-terminus, the principal of which was Y74. Indirect immunofluorescence or immunohistochemical staining suggested that the Y74-phosphorylated form of Myc (Myc-pY74) localized to the cytoplasm and coexisted either with active Abl in a subset of mammary carcinomas or with Bcr-Abl in chronic myeloid leukemia. In all instances, Myc-pY74 constituted a minor fraction of the cellular Myc protein. Thus, our data unravel two potential effects of Abl on Myc: first, Abl signaling can indirectly augment acetylation of Myc by p300, and most likely also its transcriptional activity in the nucleus; second, Abl can directly phosphorylate Myc on tyrosine: the resulting form of Myc appears to be cytoplasmic, and its presence correlates with Abl activation in cancer.Oncogene advance online publication, 14 January 2013; doi:10.1038/onc.2012.621.
    Oncogene 01/2013; · 8.56 Impact Factor
  • Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 06/2012; · 10.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gene expression profiling (GEP) has stratified diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) into molecular subgroups that correspond to different stages of lymphocyte development-namely germinal center B-cell like and activated B-cell like. This classification has prognostic significance, but GEP is expensive and not readily applicable into daily practice, which has lead to immunohistochemical algorithms proposed as a surrogate for GEP analysis. We assembled tissue microarrays from 475 de novo DLBCL patients who were treated with rituximab-CHOP chemotherapy. All cases were successfully profiled by GEP on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples. Sections were stained with antibodies reactive with CD10, GCET1, FOXP1, MUM1 and BCL6 and cases were classified following a rationale of sequential steps of differentiation of B cells. Cutoffs for each marker were obtained using receiver-operating characteristic curves, obviating the need for any arbitrary method. An algorithm based on the expression of CD10, FOXP1 and BCL6 was developed that had a simpler structure than other recently proposed algorithms and 92.6% concordance with GEP. In multivariate analysis, both the International Prognostic Index and our proposed algorithm were significant independent predictors of progression-free and overall survival. In conclusion, this algorithm effectively predicts prognosis of DLBCL patients matching GEP subgroups in the era of rituximab therapy.
    Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 03/2012; 26(9):2103-13. · 10.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ocular adnexal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma (OAMZL) has been associated with Chlamydophila psittaci, an infection that may be transmitted by carrier animals. However, it is still unclear whether exposure to animals affects the risk of OAMZL in comparison with other lymphoma histotypes. We therefore investigated the role of professional and/or domestic exposures to animals in the occurrence of OAMZL, as compared with other types of lymphoma. A hospital-based case-control study was carried out on 43 consecutive OAMZL patients (cases) and 87 consecutive patients with nodal non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs; controls). Multiple logistic regression (MLR) odds ratios (ORs), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to estimate the association between exposures to animals and OAMZL risk. A higher proportion of cases reported a lifetime exposure to household animals (79.1% vs 64.4% among controls), with a non-statistical significant MLR-OR of 2.18 (95% CI: 0.85-5.62). The OAMZL cases more frequently reported a history of occupation in breeding and/or slaughtering than controls (34.9% vs 6.9%), with an overall increased risk of 7.69 (95%CI: 2.65-22.34). These results indicate that, compared with nodal NHLs, the risk of OAMZL is markedly increased by contact with animals, particularly by occupational exposures.
    British Journal of Cancer 02/2012; 106(5):966-9. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We performed an immunogenetic analysis of 345 IGHV-IGHD-IGHJ rearrangements from 337 cases with primary splenic small B-cell lymphomas of marginal-zone origin. Three immunoglobulin (IG) heavy variable (IGHV) genes accounted for 45.8% of the cases (IGHV1-2, 24.9%; IGHV4-34, 12.8%; IGHV3-23, 8.1%). Particularly for the IGHV1-2 gene, strong biases were evident regarding utilization of different alleles, with 79/86 rearrangements (92%) using allele (*)04. Among cases more stringently classified as splenic marginal-zone lymphoma (SMZL) thanks to the availability of splenic histopathological specimens, the frequency of IGHV1-2(*)04 peaked at 31%. The IGHV1-2(*)04 rearrangements carried significantly longer complementarity-determining region-3 (CDR3) than all other cases and showed biased IGHD gene usage, leading to CDR3s with common motifs. The great majority of analyzed rearrangements (299/345, 86.7%) carried IGHV genes with some impact of somatic hypermutation, from minimal to pronounced. Noticeably, 75/79 (95%) IGHV1-2(*)04 rearrangements were mutated; however, they mostly (56/75 cases; 74.6%) carried few mutations (97-99.9% germline identity) of conservative nature and restricted distribution. These distinctive features of the IG receptors indicate selection by (super)antigenic element(s) in the pathogenesis of SMZL. Furthermore, they raise the possibility that certain SMZL subtypes could derive from progenitor populations adapted to particular antigenic challenges through selection of VH domain specificities, in particular the IGHV1-2(*)04 allele.
    Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 01/2012; 26(7):1638-46. · 10.16 Impact Factor
  • Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 11/2011; 26(5):1127-31. · 10.16 Impact Factor
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    Autoimmune Disorders - Pathogenetic Aspects, 10/2011; , ISBN: 978-953-307-643-0
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence from certain geographical areas links lymphomas of the ocular adnexa marginal zone B-cell lymphomas (OAMZL) with Chlamydophila psittaci (Cp) infection, suggesting that lymphoma development is dependent upon chronic stimulation by persistent infections. Notwithstanding that, the actual immunopathogenetical mechanisms have not yet been elucidated. As in other B-cell lymphomas, insight into this issue, especially with regard to potential selecting ligands, could be provided by analysis of the immunoglobulin (IG) receptors of the malignant clones. To this end, we studied the molecular features of IGs in 44 patients with OAMZL (40% Cp-positive), identifying features suggestive of a pathogenic mechanism of autoreactivity. Herein, we show that lymphoma cells express a distinctive IG repertoire, with electropositive antigen (Ag)-binding sites, reminiscent of autoantibodies (auto-Abs) recognizing DNA. Additionally, five (11%) cases of OAMZL expressed IGs homologous with autoreactive Abs or IGs of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a disease known for the expression of autoreactive IGs by neoplastic cells. In contrast, no similarity with known anti-Chlamydophila Abs was found. Taken together, these results strongly indicate that OAMZL may originate from B cells selected for their capability to bind Ags and, in particular, auto-Ags. In OAMZL associated with Cp infection, the pathogen likely acts indirectly on the malignant B cells, promoting the development of an inflammatory milieu, where auto-Ags could be exposed and presented, driving proliferation and expansion of self-reactive B cells.
    Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 10/2011; 26(4):814-21. · 10.16 Impact Factor
  • British Journal of Dermatology 10/2011; 166(5):1121-3. · 3.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Deletions at 13q14.3 are common in chronic lymphocytic leukemia and are also present in diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) but never in immunodeficiency-related DLBCL. To characterize DLBCL with 13q14.3 deletions, we combined genome-wide DNA profiling, gene expression and clinical data in a large DLBCL series treated with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicine, vincristine and prednisone repeated every 21 days (R-CHOP21). Affymetrix GeneChip Human Mapping 250K NspI and U133 plus 2.0 gene were used. MicroRNA (miRNA) expression was studied were by real-time PCR. Median follow-up of patients was 4.9 years. Deletions at 13q14.3, comprising DLEU2/MIR15A/MIR16, occurred in 22/166 (13%) cases. The deletion was wider, including also RB1, in 19/22 cases. Samples with del(13q14.3) had concomitant specific aberrations. No reduced MIR15A/MIR16 expression was observed, but 172 transcripts were significantly differential expressed. Among the deregulated genes, there were RB1 and FAS, both commonly deleted at genomic level. No differences in outcome were observed in patients treated with R-CHOP21. Cases with 13q14.3 deletions appear as group of DLBCL characterized by common genetic and biologic features. Deletions at 13q14.3 might contribute to DLBCL pathogenesis by two mechanisms: deregulating the cell cycle control mainly due RB1 loss and contributing to immune escape, due to FAS down-regulation.
    Annals of Oncology 06/2011; 23(3):729-35. · 7.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Prep1 homeodomain transcription factor is essential for embryonic development. 25% of hypomorphic Prep1(i/i) embryos, expressing the gene at 2% of the normal levels, survive pregnancy and live a normal-length life. Later in life, however, these mice develop spontaneous pre-tumoral lesions or solid tumors (lymphomas and carcinomas). In addition, transplantation of E14.5 fetal liver (FL) Prep1(i/i) cells into lethally irradiated mice induces lymphomas. In agreement with the above data, haploinsufficiency of a different Prep1-deficient (null) allele accelerates EmuMyc lymphoma growth. Therefore Prep1 has a tumor suppressor function in mice. Immunohistochemistry on tissue micrroarrays (TMA) generated from three distinct human cohorts comprising a total of some 1000 human tumors revealed that 70% of the tumors express no or extremely low levels of Prep1, unlike normal tissues. Our data in mice are thus potentially relevant to human cancer.
    Molecular oncology 04/2010; 4(2):126-34. · 6.70 Impact Factor
  • Ejc Supplements - EJC SUPPL. 01/2010; 8(4):26-26.
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    ABSTRACT: The role of 18FDG-PET/CT during follow-up of patients affected by Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) in complete remission after treatment is not fully elucidated, since a wide use of 18F fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18FDG-PET/CT) in this setting could be limited by a relative high rate of false-positive results. Herein, we summarize a retrospective analysis of 27 patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma in complete remission after the first-line (n = 20) or salvage (n = 7) therapy receiving serial 18FDG-PET/CT scans during follow-up. Out of 165 scans, 13 were suspected for relapse, which was confirmed in seven patients. All relapses were correctly identified by 18FDG-PET/CT positivity, with a 100% sensitivity; false-positive rate was 46% and negative predictive value was 100%. True-positive findings were mostly associated with multiple sites, subdiaphragmatic involvement, and/or previous sites of disease. According to our results, we conclude that performing routine PET/CT scan during follow-up of those patients who are at high risk of relapse would be advisable, although caution must be adopted when interpreting PET/CT results due to the relatively high rate of false-positive findings. If FDG abnormal uptake is present at multiple nodal sites, subdiaphragmatic lymph nodes, or previous sites of disease, histological verification of PET abnormal findings is warranted.
    Annals of Hematology 06/2009; 88(12):1229-36. · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Although it is a curable disease, fewer than half of patients are cured with conventional chemotherapy. The highly variable outcome reflects a heterogeneous group of tumors, with different genetic abnormalities and responses to therapy. We analyzed 74 cases of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma using interphase fluorescent in situ hybridization with commercially available probes for split-signal targeting BCL-2, BCL-6, MYC, BCL-10, and MALT-1. Gene rearrangements were identified in 48 (65%) of 74 cases. BCL-6 was the most rearranged gene (45%), followed by BCL-2 (21%), BCL-10 (18%), and MYC (16%). No MALT-1 rearrangements were found. When diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cases were subdivided into germinal-center B-cell-like and activated B-cell-like groups, an inverse pattern of BCL-2 and BCL-6 rearrangements was observed. Of interest, the presence of chromosome rearrangements was associated with a worse prognosis. The pattern of cytogenetic abnormalities highlighted the fact not only that diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is a heterogeneous entity but also that even individual cases may contain subclones bearing different chromosomal rearrangements. The relevance and the clinical implication of minor clones showing gene rearrangements are poorly understood; however, this first observation suggests that different rearrangements may be involved in the progression of the disease. The fluorescent in situ hybridization analysis with the panel used in this study is useful to detect the heterogeneity of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas and identify alterations with prognostic implications.
    Human pathology 02/2009; 40(5):645-52. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    British Journal of Haematology 08/2008; 142(1):141-3. · 4.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The homeostatic chemokine CXCL13 is preferentially produced in B-follicles and is crucial in the lymphoid organ development by attracting B-lymphocytes that express its selective receptor CXCR5. Follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) have been identified as the main cellular source of this chemokine in lymphoid organs. Recently, genome-wide approaches have suggested follicular CD4 T-helper cells (T(H)F) as additional CXCL13 producers in the germinal centre and the neoplastic counterpart of T(H)F (CD4+ tumour T-cells in angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma) retains the capability of producing this chemokine. In contrast, no data are available on CXCL13 expression on FDC sarcoma (FDC-S) cells. By using multiple approaches, we investigated the expression of CXCL13 at mRNA and protein level in reactive and neoplastic FDCs. In reactive lymph nodes and tonsils, CXCL13 protein is mainly expressed by a subset of FDCs in B-cell follicles. CXCL13 is maintained during FDC transformation, since both dysplastic FDCs from 13 cases of Castleman's disease and neoplastic FDCs from ten cases of FDC-S strongly and diffusely express this chemokine. This observation was confirmed at mRNA level by using RT-PCR and in situ hybridization. Of note, no CXCL13 reactivity was observed in a cohort of epithelial and mesenchymal neoplasms potentially mimicking FDC-S. FDC-S are commonly associated with a dense intratumoural inflammatory infiltrate and immunohistochemistry showed that these lymphocytes express the CXCL13 receptor CXCR5 and are mainly of mantle zone B-cell derivation (IgD+ and TCL1+). In conclusion, this study demonstrates that CXCL13 is produced by dysplastic and neoplastic FDCs and can be instrumental in recruiting intratumoural CXCR5+ lymphocytes. In addition to the potential biological relevance of this expression, the use of reagents directed against CXCL13 can be useful to properly identify the origin of spindle cell and epithelioid neoplasms.
    The Journal of Pathology 08/2008; 216(3):356-64. · 7.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas constitute one half of malignancies arising in the orbit and the ocular adnexae. Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT)-type lymphoma is the most common histological category in this anatomic region. The incidence of ocular adnexal lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue-type (OAML) is increasing and recent studies offered new relevant insights in molecular, pathogenetic and therapeutic issues on these neoplasms. A pathogenetic model of antigen-driven lymphoproliferation similar to that reported for Helicobacter pylori-related gastric MALT lymphomas has been hypothesized for OAML. This notion is supported by the association between OAML and Chlamydophila psittaci infection, an association that is of likely pathogenetic relevance and may influence both the biological behavior and the therapeutic management of these neoplasms. However, this association displays evident geographical variability indicating that other etiopathogenic agents could be involved. These recent acquisitions coupled with the occurrence of chromosomal translocations and other genetic alterations, as well as additional risk factors like autoimmune disorders have contributed to render OAML an exciting challenge for a broad group of physicians and scientists. OAML is an indolent and rarely lethal malignancy that, in selected patients, can be managed with observation alone. Lymphomatous lesions are frequently responsible for symptoms affecting patient's quality of life, requiring, therefore, immediate treatment. Several therapeutic strategies are available, often associated with relevant side-effects. However, the therapeutic choice in OAML is not supported by consolidated evidence due to the lack of prospective trials. In this review, we analyze the most relevant biological, molecular, pathological and clinical features of OAML and propose some therapeutic guidelines for patients affected by this malignancy.
    Annals of Oncology 06/2008; 19(5):835-46. · 7.38 Impact Factor
  • Annals of Oncology 02/2008; 19(1):194-5. · 7.38 Impact Factor