Nicoletta Pella

Azienda Ospedaliera Santa Maria della Misericordia, Udine, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy

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Publications (8)33.77 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Pre-therapeutic DPYD pharmacogenetic test to prevent fluoropyrimidines-related toxicities is not yet common practice in medical oncology. We aimed at investigating the clinical validity of DPYD genetic analysis in a large series of oncological patients. 603 cancer patients, treated with fluoropyrimidines, have been retrospectively tested for eight DPYD polymorphisms (DPYD-rs3918290,DPYD-rs55886062, DPYD-rs67376798, DPYD-rs2297595, DPYD-rs1801160, DPYD-rs1801158, DPYD-rs1801159, DPYD-rs17376848) for association with grade ≥3 toxicity, developed within the first three cycles of therapy. DPYD-rs3918290 and DPYD-rs67376798 were associated to grade ≥3 toxicity after bootstrap validation and Bonferroni correction (P=0.003,P=0.048). DPYD-rs55886062 was not significant likely due to its low allelic frequency, nonetheless one out of two heterozygous patients (compound heterozygous with DPYD-rs3918290) died from toxicity after one cycle. Test specificity for the analysis of DPYD-rs3918290, DPYD-rs55886062, and DPYD-rs67376798 was assessed to 99%. Among the seven patients carrying one variant DPYD-rs3918290, DPYD-rs55886062, or DPYD-rs67376798 allele, not developing grade ≥3 toxicity, 57% needed a fluoropyrimidines dose or schedule modification for moderate chronic toxicity. No other DPYD polymorphism was associated with grade ≥3 toxicity. Our data demonstrate the clinical validity and specificity of the DPYD-rs3918290, DPYD-rs55886062, DPYD-rs67376798 genotyping test to prevent fluoropyrimidines-related grade ≥3 toxicity and to preserve treatment compliance, and support its introduction in the clinical practice. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 UICC.
    International Journal of Cancer 06/2015; DOI:10.1002/ijc.29654 · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Advanced gastric cancer ranks second as the global leading cause of cancer-related death and improvements in systemic chemotherapy have reached a plateau. Advanced molecular sequencing techniques help identifying patients more likely to respond to targeted agents; nevertheless we are still far from major breakthroughs. Although antiangiogenic drugs have produced notable advances, redundant pathways or mechanisms of resistance may limit their efficacy. Novel compounds have been recently developed to specifically target VEGF receptors, PlGF, FGF, MET, and angiopoietin. Ramucirumab, a monoclonal antibody specifically directed against the VEGFR-2, has emerged as a novel therapeutic opportunity. REGARD and RAINBOW were the first phase III studies to report the value of this strategy in gastric cancer patients, and other ongoing trials are testing novel antiangiogenic compounds. The aim of our review is to present the state-of-the-art of novel antiangiogenic compounds in advanced gastric cancer, underlying the biology, their mechanism of action, and their clinical results. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Critical reviews in oncology/hematology 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.critrevonc.2015.02.009 · 4.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Aim: To explore the prognostic value of extended mutational profiling for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Materials & methods: We retrospectively reviewed survival results of 194 mCRC patients that were assigned to four molecular subgroups: BRAF mutated; KRAS mutated codons 12-13 only; any of KRAS codons 61-146, PIK3CA or NRAS mutations and all wild-type. Point mutations were investigated by pyrosequencing. Results: BRAF (5.2%) and KRAS 12-13 (31.9%) mutations were associated with poorer survival (HR 2.8 and 1.76, respectively). Presenting with right-sided colon cancer, not resected primary tumor, WBC >10 × 10(9)/l, receiving less chemotherapy or no bevacizumab were all associated with inferior outcome. The all-wild-type subgroup (39.2%) reported the longest survival. Conclusion: Extended mutational profile combined with clinical factors may impact on survival in mCRC.
    Future Oncology 02/2015; 11(4):629-640. DOI:10.2217/fon.14.279 · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated 17 polymorphisms in 11 genes (TS, MTHFR, ERCC1, XRCC1, XRCC3, XPD, GSTT1, GSTP1, GSTM1, ABCC1, ABCC2) for their association with the toxicity of fluoropyrimidines and oxaliplatin in colorectal cancer patients enrolled in a prospective randomized trial of adjuvant chemotherapy. The TOSCA Italian adjuvant trial was conducted in high-risk stage II-III colorectal cancer patients treated with 6 or 3 months of either FOLFOX-4 or XELOX adjuvant chemotherapy. In the concomitant ancillary pharmacogenetic study, the primary endpoint was the association of polymorphisms with grade 3-4 CTCAE toxicity events (grade 2-4 for neurotoxicity). In 517 analyzed patients, grade ≥ 3 neutropenia and grade ≥ 2 neurotoxicity events occurred in 150 (29%) and in 132 patients (24.8%), respectively. Diarrhea grade ≥ 3 events occurred in 34 (6.5%) patients. None of the studied polymorphisms showed clinically relevant association with toxicity. Hopefully, genome-wide association studies will identify new and more promising genetic variants to be tested in future studies.
    Scientific Reports 11/2014; 4:6828. DOI:10.1038/srep06828 · 5.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adjuvant treatment based on fluoropyrimidines (FL) improves the prognosis of stage II/III colorectal cancer (CRC). Validated predictive/prognostic biomarkers would spare therapy-related morbidity in patients with a good prognosis. We compared the impact of a set of 22 FL-related polymorphisms with the prognosis of two cohorts of CRC patients treated with adjuvant FL with or without OXA, including a total of 262 cases. 5,10-Methylentetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) MTHFR-1298 A>C (rs1801131) polymorphism had a concordant effect: MTHFR-rs1801131-1298CC genotype carriers had a worse disease free survival (DFS) in both the cohorts. In the pooled population MTHFR-rs1801131-1298CC carriers had also a worse overall survival. We computed a clinical score related to DFS including MTHFR-rs1801131, tumor stage, sex and tumor location, where rs1801131 is the most detrimental factor (hazard ratio=5.3, 95% confidence interval=2.2-12.9; P-value=0.0006). MTHFR-rs1801131 is a prognostic factor that could be used as an additional criteria for the choice of the proper adjuvant regimen in stage II/III colorectal cancer patients.The Pharmacogenomics Journal advance online publication, 21 October 2014; doi:10.1038/tpj.2014.64.
    The Pharmacogenomics Journal 10/2014; 15(3). DOI:10.1038/tpj.2014.64 · 5.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to evaluate the impact of chemotherapy on the risk of unplanned visit in a cohort of colorectal cancer outpatients. Chief complaints for unplanned visits and risk factors for hospital admission were also analyzed. Clinical data of 229 consecutive colorectal cancer patients who were unexpectedly presented to our acute oncology clinic between 2006 and 2009 were reviewed. A case-crossover statistical analysis was applied to study the association between exposure to chemotherapy (trigger event) and the occurrence of unplanned visit (acute outcome) in three time windows (7, 15, and 21 days from the closest previous chemotherapy treatment). Cox model was used to assess the risk factors for hospitalization. There were 469 unplanned visits registered. Most of the patients had Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG PS) 0-1 (80 %) and advanced cancer stage (78 %). The majority of unplanned visits (72 %) occurred within 30 days since last chemotherapy. The most frequent presenting complaints were pain, fatigue, and anorexia. The two time windows associated with higher risk of visit were 15 and 21 days from last treatment, both for early (odds ratio [OR] 3.8, CI 1.4-10.2 and OR 3.8, CI 1.4-10.2) and advanced disease stage (OR 1.71, CI 1-2.9 and OR 3, CI 1.5-5.9). Of the unplanned visits, 10 % resulted in hospital admission. Presenting with multiple symptoms and with deteriorated PS were both predictors for hospitalization. Chemotherapy exposition triggers the need for unplanned visits over the second and third week after treatment. The prompt and effective management of unexpected events may be cost- and time-saving and reduce pressure on oncology services.
    Supportive Care in Cancer 04/2014; 22(9). DOI:10.1007/s00520-014-2234-z · 2.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The discovery of pharmacogenomic markers in colorectal cancer (CRC) could be setting-specific. FOLFOX4 is employed in the adjuvant and metastatic setting in CRC. This prospective study is aimed to validate in the adjuvant setting the pharmacogenomic markers of toxicity reported in the metastatic setting (that is, GSTP1-rs947894, and -rs1138272; GSTM1-null genotype; AGXT-rs4426527, -rs34116584 and del-74 bp), and to discover additional markers. CRC patients (n=144) treated with adjuvant FOLFOX4 were genotyped for 57 polymorphisms in 29 genes. Grade 2 neurotoxicity was associated (false discovery rate-adjusted q-value <0.1) with single-nucleotide polymorphisms in ABCC1 (rs2074087: odds ratio=0.43(0.22-0.86)), and ABCC2 (rs3740066: 2.99(1.16-7.70); rs1885301: 3.06(1.35-6.92); rs4148396: 4.69(1.60-13.74); rs717620: 14.39(1.63-127.02)). hMSH6-rs3136228 was associated with grade 3-4 neutropenia (3.23(1.38-7.57), q-value=0.0937). XRCC3-rs1799794 was associated with grade 3-4 non-hematological toxicity (8.90(2.48-31.97), q-value=0.0150). The markers previously identified in metastatic CRC were not validated. We have identified new markers of toxicity in genes of transport and DNA repair. If validated in other studies, they could help to identify patients at risk of toxicity.The Pharmacogenomics Journal advance online publication, 7 August 2012; doi:10.1038/tpj.2012.31.
    The Pharmacogenomics Journal 08/2012; 13(5). DOI:10.1038/tpj.2012.31 · 5.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: New systemic treatments for advanced colorectal cancer have conferred a survival advantage, allowing patients to reach a median survival of almost 2 years. Due to this remarkable life extension, the incidence of brain metastases, though still low, is progressively increasing over time. There is little reported data on the optimal strategy to manage brain lesions from colorectal cancer. To explore the role of an aggressive approach to colorectal cancer brain metastases, we retrospectively collected and analyzed data from 30 patients who underwent neurosurgical resection + whole-brain radiotherapy between March 1998 and December 2006. Univariate (logrank) and multivariate (Cox's model) analyses were used to identify prognostic factors. Median age at the time of surgery was 66 years, median ECOG PS was 1, most patients (87%) had concomitant lung and/or liver metastases. Median number of previous chemotherapies was two, with half of the patients being exposed both to oxaliplatin and irinotecan. A median of 27 Gy of radiotherapy were administered to 16 patients after resection. At the time of the analysis, 29 out of 30 patients had died, with a median survival time after brain metastasectomy of 167 days (8-682). Only one patient died within a month from surgery. Median survival was significantly longer in patients who received postsurgical radiotherapy (7.6 vs. 4.7 months, P = 0.014). Neurosurgical management of symptomatic brain metastases from colorectal cancer is feasible, relatively safe, and offers a chance of prolonged survival. Patients who received radiotherapy after resection experienced a better outcome.
    Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology 10/2008; 135(3):451-7. DOI:10.1007/s00432-008-0468-1 · 3.01 Impact Factor