Maria Fragoso

Instituto Português de Oncologia, Oporto, Porto, Portugal

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Publications (22)72.98 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The improvement in breast cancer survival rates, along with the expected overdiagnosis and overtreatment associated with breast cancer screening, requires a comprehensive assessment of its burden. Neurological complications can have a devastating impact on these patients; neuropathic pain and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy are among the most frequently reported. This project aims to understand the burden of neurological complications of breast cancer treatment in Northern Portugal, and their role as mediator of the impact of the treatment in different dimensions of the patients' quality of life.
    BMJ Open 10/2014; 4(10):e006301. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Guidelines for diagnostic and treatment of gastric adenocarcinoma ( Portuguese Digestive Cancer Research Group) O Grupo de Investigação de Cancro Digestivo (GICD), com o objetivo de sistematizar e harmonizar o conhecimento e atuação dos seus membros no que concerne à patologia oncológica digestiva, decidiu realizar recomendações recorrendo a especialistas nas áreas abordadas e a um painel de peritos
    Revista Portuguesa de Cirurgia. 03/2014; II serie(nº 28):45.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: KRAS is an EGFR effector in the RAS/RAF/ERK cascade that is mutated in about 40% of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Activating mutations in codons 12 and 13 of the KRAS gene are the only established negative predictors of response to anti-EGFR therapy and patients whose tumors harbor such mutations are not candidates for therapy. However, 40 to 60% of wild-type cases do not respond to anti-EGFR therapy, suggesting the involvement of other genes that act downstream of EGFR in the RAS-RAF-MAPK and PI3K-AKT pathways or activating KRAS mutations at other locations of the gene. METHODS: DNA was obtained from a consecutive series of 201 mCRC cases (FFPE tissue), wild-type for KRAS exon 2 (codons 12 and 13). Mutational analysis of KRAS (exons 3 and 4), BRAF (exons 11 and 15), and PIK3CA (exons 9 and 20) was performed by high resolution melting (HRM) and positive cases were then sequenced. RESULTS: One mutation was present in 23.4% (47/201) of the cases and 3.0% additional cases (6/201) had two concomitant mutations. A total of 53 cases showed 59 mutations, with the following distribution: 44.1% (26/59) in KRAS (13 in exon 3 and 13 in exon 4), 18.6% (11/59) in BRAF (two in exon 11 and nine in exon 15) and 37.3% (22/59) in PIK3CA (16 in exon 9 and six in exon 20). In total, 26.4% (53/201) of the cases had at least one mutation and the remaining 73.6% (148/201) were wild-type for all regions studied. Five of the mutations we report, four in KRAS and one in BRAF, have not previously been described in CRC. BRAF and PIK3CA mutations were more frequent in the colon than in the sigmoid or rectum: 20.8% vs. 1.6% vs. 0.0% (P=0.000) for BRAF and 23.4% vs. 12.1% vs. 5.4% (P=0.011) for PIK3CA mutations. CONCLUSIONS: About one fourth of mCRC cases wild-type for KRAS codons 12 and 13 present other mutations either in KRAS, BRAF, or PIK3CA, many of which may explain the lack of response to anti-EGFR therapy observed in a significant proportion of these patients.
    BMC Cancer 04/2013; 13(1):169. · 3.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The MSH2 c.388_389del mutation has occasionally been described in Lynch families worldwide. At the Portuguese Oncology Institute in Porto, Portugal, we have identified 16 seemingly unrelated families with this germline mutation. In order to evaluate if this alteration is a founder or a recurrent mutation we performed haplotype analysis in the 16 Portuguese index cases and 55 relatives, as well as in four index cases and 13 relatives reported from Germany, Scotland, England, and Argentina. In the Portuguese families we observed a shared haplotype of ~10 Mb and all were originated from the north of Portugal. These results suggest that this alteration is a founder mutation in Portugal with a relatively recent origin. In the reported families outside Portugal with this mutation different haplotypic backgrounds were observed, supporting the hypothesis that it occurred de novo on multiple occasions. We also conclude that the high proportion of families with the MSH2 c.388_389del mutation indicates that screening for this alteration as a first step may be cost-effective in the genetic testing of Lynch syndrome suspects of Portuguese ancestry, especially those originating from the north of Portugal.
    Clinical Genetics 11/2012; · 3.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cetuximab and panitumumab are two monoclonal antibodies targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor that have been approved for treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. Recent clinical trials found an association between KRAS mutation status and resistance to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor therapy, leading to the recommendation to perform KRAS mutation analysis before cetuximab or panitumumab treatment. This study was designed to compare and evaluate the efficacy of four different methodologies--high resolution melting, Sanger sequencing, DxS kit, and SNaPshot--for KRAS mutation detection in a clinical setting. In total, 372 samples from patients with metastatic colorectal cancer were analyzed by high resolution melting and SNaPshot, with 184 of those being further analyzed by Sanger sequencing and 188 with the DxS kit. Sensitivities were compared after consensus findings were determined by the presence of the same result in two of the three methodologies used in each case. The frequency of KRAS codon 12 and 13 mutations in our population was 43.5%, and a discordant finding was observed in 22 samples. Comparing to Sanger sequencing, significantly more consensus mutations were detected by the DxS kit (P=0.0139), high resolution melting (P=0.0004), and SNaPshot (P=0.00001), but no statistically significant differences were found among the three methodologies with higher sensitivity.
    Cancer Genetics 08/2011; 204(8):439-46. · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although Lynch syndrome is characterized by marked genetic heterogeneity, some specific mutations are observed at high frequency in well-defined populations or ethnic groups due to founder effects. Genomic breakpoint identification, haplotype analysis, and mutation age determination were performed in 14 unrelated patients and 95 family members presenting the same MLH1 exonic rearrangement, among a series of 84 Lynch syndrome families with germline mutations in MLH1, MSH2, or MSH6. All 14 probands harbored an identical deletion, comprising exons 17-19 of the MLH1 gene and exons 26-29 of the LRRFIP2 gene, corresponding to the MLH1 mutation c.1896 + 280_oLRRFIP2:c.1750-678del. This mutation represents 17% of all deleterious mismatch repair mutations in our series. Haplotype analysis showed a conserved region of approximately 1 Mb, and the mutation age was estimated to be 283 ± 78 years. All 14 families are originated from the Porto district countryside. We have identified a novel MLH1 exonic rearrangement that is a common founder mutation in Lynch syndrome families, indicating that screening for this rearrangement as a first step may be cost-effective during genetic testing of Lynch syndrome suspects of Portuguese ancestry, especially those originating from the Porto district.
    Genetics in medicine: official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics 07/2011; 13(10):895-902. · 3.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the association between epidermal growth factor (EGF) +61A/G polymorphism and susceptibility to gastric cancer, through a cross-sectional study. Polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses were used to genotype EGF +61 in 207 patients with gastric lesions (162 patients with gastric adenocarcinomas, 45 with atrophy or intestinal metaplasia) and 984 controls. All subjects were Caucasian. Genotype distribution was 23.5% for GG and 76.5% for GA/AA in the control group, 18.4% for GG and 68.6% for GA/AA in the entire group with gastric lesions and 17.9% for GG and 82.1% for GA/AA in the group with gastric adenocarcinoma. No statistically significant associations were found between EGF +61 variants and risk for developing gastric cancer [odds ratios (OR) = 1.41, 95% confidence intervals (CI): 0.90-2.21, P = 0.116]. However, the stratification of individuals by gender revealed that males carrying A alleles (EGF +61A/G or AA) had an increased risk for developing gastric cancer as compared to GG homozygous males (OR = 1.55, 95% CI: 1.05-2.28, P = 0.021). In summary, we found that males who were A carriers for EGF +61 had an increased risk for developing gastric cancer. This result may be explained by the suggestion that women secrete less gastric acid than men.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 01/2011; 17(4):488-92. · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Only a few studies have addressed the molecular pathways specifically involved in carcinogenesis of the distal colon and rectum. We aimed to identify potential differences among genetic alterations in distal colon and rectal carcinomas as compared to cancers arising elsewhere in the large bowel. Constitutional and tumor DNA from a test series of 37 patients with rectal and 25 patients with sigmoid carcinomas, previously analyzed for microsatellite instability (MSI), was studied for BAX, IGF2R, TGFBR2, MSH3, and MSH6 microsatellite sequence alterations, BRAF and KRAS mutations, and MLH1 promoter methylation. The findings were then compared with those of an independent validation series consisting of 36 MSI-H carcinomas with origin from each of the large bowel regions. Immunohistochemical and germline mutation analyses of the mismatch repair system were performed when appropriate. In the test series, IGFR2 and BAX mutations were present in one and two out of the six distal MSI-H carcinomas, respectively, and no mutations were detected in TGFBR2, MSH3, and MSH6. We confirmed these findings in the validation series, with TGFBR2 and MSH3 microsatellite mutations occurring less frequently in MSI-H rectal and sigmoid carcinomas than in MSI-H colon carcinomas elsewhere (P = 0.00005 and P = 0.0000005, respectively, when considering all MSI-carcinomas of both series). No MLH1 promoter methylation was observed in the MSI-H rectal and sigmoid carcinomas of both series, as compared to 53% found in MSI-H carcinomas from other locations (P = 0.004). KRAS and BRAF mutational frequencies were 19% and 43% in proximal carcinomas and 25% and 17% in rectal/sigmoid carcinomas, respectively. The mechanism and the pattern of genetic changes driving MSI-H carcinogenesis in distal colon and rectum appears to differ from that occurring elsewhere in the colon and further investigation is warranted both in patients with sporadic or hereditary disease.
    BMC Cancer 10/2010; 10:587. · 3.32 Impact Factor
  • EJC Supplements 06/2010; 8(5):28-29. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The scarce studies on the molecular pathways involved in the pathogenesis of rectal cancer indicate that these may vary, at least in part, from those relevant for colon cancer. Mitochondrial DNA alterations have been described in several human cancers. We aimed to study D310, ND1 and ND5 microsatellite sequence alterations and nuclear microsatellite instability in a series of 38 rectal carcinomas as compared to a series of 25 sigmoid carcinomas. D310 sequence alterations were observed in 34.3% and 37.5% of rectal and sigmoid carcinomas, respectively, whereas ND1 mutations were present in 2.6% in RC and ND5 mutations were detected in 5.3% and 8% of rectal and sigmoid carcinomas, respectively. A trend toward an association between nuclear and mitochondrial microsatellite instability was observed in sigmoid but not in rectal cancers. In conclusion, mitochondrial genome alterations are common in both rectal and sigmoid carcinomas and may contribute to their pathogenesis.
    Cancer letters 04/2009; 280(1):38-43. · 5.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The clinical significance of ERBB2 amplification/overexpression in gastric cancer remains unclear. In this study, we evaluated the ERBB2 status in 463 gastric carcinomas using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH), and compared the findings with histopathological characteristics and with disease-specific survival. ERBB2 overexpression (2+ and 3+) and amplification (ratio ERBB2/CEP17 >or= 2) were found in 43 (9.3%) and 38 (8.2%) gastric carcinomas, respectively. Perfect IHC/FISH correlation was found for the 19 cases scored as 0 (all negative by FISH), and also for the 25 cases scored as 3+ (all positive by FISH). One out of six carcinomas scored as 1+ and 12 out of 18 carcinomas scored as 2+ were positive by FISH. ERBB2 amplification was associated with gastric carcinomas of intestinal type (P=0.007) and with an expansive growth pattern (P=0.021). ERBB2 amplification was detected in both histological components of two mixed carcinomas, indicating a common clonal origin. A statistically significant association was found between ERBB2 amplification and worse survival in patients with expansive gastric carcinomas (P=0.011). We conclude that ERBB2 status may have clinical significance in subsets of gastric cancer patients, and that further studies are warranted to evaluate whether patients whose gastric carcinomas present ERBB2 amplification/overexpression may benefit from therapy targeting this surface receptor.
    British Journal of Cancer 01/2009; 100(3):487-93. · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • EJC Supplements 09/2007; 5(4):64-64. · 2.71 Impact Factor
  • EJC Supplements 09/2007; 5(4):68-68. · 2.71 Impact Factor
  • European Journal of Surgical Oncology 11/2006; 32. · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Germline MLH1 and MSH2 mutations are scarce in young colorectal cancer patients with negative family history of the disease. To evaluate the contribution of germline MSH6 mutations to early-onset colorectal cancer, we have analysed peripheral blood of 38 patients diagnosed with this disease before 45 years of age and who presented no family history of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer-related cancers. Blood samples from 108 healthy volunteers were analysed for those genetic alterations suspected to affect the function of MSH6. Of the seven (18.4%) MSH6 alterations found, we have identified three novel germline mutations, one 8 bp deletion leading to a truncated protein and two missense mutations resulting in the substitution of amino acids belonging to different polarity groups. High-frequency microsatellite instability was found in the patient with the MSH6 deletion, but not in the other 27 carcinomas analysed. No MLH1 promoter methylation was detected in tumour tissue. Our findings suggest that germline MSH6 mutations contribute to a subset of early-onset colorectal cancer. Further studies are warranted to understand the genetic and environmental factors responsible for the variable penetration of MSH6 germline mutations, as well as to identify other causes of early-onset colorectal cancer.
    British Journal of Cancer 10/2006; 95(6):752-6. · 4.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the relationship between the -765G > C COX-2 polymorphism and the development of different gastric lesions: atrophy or intestinal metaplasia and gastric adenocarcinoma. A cross-sectional study was performed involving 320 Portuguese individuals (210 without evidence of neoplastic disease, 73 patients with gastric adenocarcinomas and 37 with atrophy or intestinal metaplasia) using a PCR-RFLP method. -765C allele was overrepresented in the patients with gastric adenocarcinoma (51%) when compared either with the control group (38%) or patients with atrophy or intestinal metaplasia (27%). Callele was found to be very common in our population (0.22), and a multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed nearly 3-fold increased risk for the progression to gastric adenocarcinoma in patients with atrophy or intestinal metaplasia carrying the -765C allele (OR = 2.67, 95% CI = 1.03-6.93; P = 0.04). -765C carrier status should be considered as another susceptibility marker for gastric adenocarcinoma development in patients with atrophy or intestinal metaplasia.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 09/2006; 12(34):5473-8. · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study the role of an insertion/deletion polymorphism in the pepsinogen C (PGC) gene, an effective marker for terminal differentiation of the stomach mucosa, in the susceptibility to the development of gastric lesions. The study was performed with 99 samples of known gastric lesions and 127 samples without evidence of neoplastic disease. PCR was employed and the 6 polymorphic alleles were amplified: Allele 1 (510 bp), Allele 2 (480 bp), Allele 3/4 (450/460 bp), Allele 5 (400 bp) and Allele 6 (310 bp). Our results revealed that Allele 6 carriers seemed to have protection against the development of any gastric lesion (OR = 0.34; P<0.001), non-dysplastic lesions associated with gastric adenocarcinoma such as atrophy or intestinal metaplasia (OR = 0.28; P<0.001) or invasive GC (OR = 0.39; P = 0.004). Our study reveals that the Allele 6 carrier status has a protective role in the development of gastric lesions, probably due to its association with higher expression of PGC. Moreover, the frequency of Allele 6 carriers in the control group is far higher than that obtained in Asian populations, which might represent a genetic gap between Caucasian and Asian populations.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 09/2006; 12(31):5033-6. · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Approximately 30% of all hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC) families carry CDH1 germline mutations. The other two thirds remain genetically unexplained and are probably caused by alterations in other genes. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR)/single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP)/sequencing, we screened 32 Portuguese families with a history of gastric cancer and 23 patients with early onset gastric cancer for CDH1 germline mutations. In probands negative for CDH1 mutations, we screened genes involved in hereditary cancer syndromes in which gastric cancer may be one of the component tumours, namely p53 (Li-Fraumeni Syndrome) and hMLH1 and hMSH2 (HNPCC). We also screened in these patients for mutations in Caspase-10, a gene inactivated in sporadic gastric cancer, and SMAD4, a gene whose inactivation in mice is associated with signet-ring cell carcinoma of the stomach. One of the families fulfilling the HDGC criteria harboured a CDH1 germline mutation, and one of the families with incomplete criteria harboured a p53 germline mutation. No mutations were identified in hMLH1 and hMSH2, and only sequence variants were found in SMAD4 and Caspase-10. The present work reports for the first time CDH1 germline mutations in Portuguese gastric cancer families, and highlights the need for p53 mutation screening in families lacking CDH1 germline mutations, in a country with one of the highest incidences of gastric cancer in the world. No evidence was found for a role of germline mutations in SMAD4 and Caspase-10 in families lacking CDH1 mutations.
    European Journal of Cancer 09/2004; 40(12):1897-903. · 4.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase is a critical enzyme in the catabolism of 5-Fluorouracil, a drug frequently used in cancer therapy. Patients with deficient dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase activity are at risk of developing severe 5-Fluorouracil-associated toxicity. Genetic analysis of the gene coding for dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase has shown that mutations in exon 14, especially the splice-site mutation IVS14+1G-->A, were associated with dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase enzymatic deficiency. We evaluated the frequency of mutations in exon 14 of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPYD) gene in 73 unselected colorectal cancer patients treated with 5-Fluorouracil after surgery at a Portuguese Cancer Institute. Sequencing the entire exon 14 allowed the detection of mutations in two of the 73 patients (2.7%), namely two of the eight (25%) patients who presented grade 3-4 toxicity after 5-Fluorouracil chemotherapy. One patient was heterozygous for the splice-site mutation IVS14+1G-->A, whereas the second patient was heterozygous for a novel missense mutation 1845G-->T (E615D) in exon 14 of DPYD gene. We conclude that mutations in exon 14 of DPYD gene are responsible for a significant proportion of life-threatening toxicity to 5-Fluorouracil, and should therefore be excluded before its administration to cancer patients.
    Genetics in Medicine 04/2004; 6(2):102-7. · 6.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Les polypes géants pédiculés de l’œsophage sont très rares. Néanmoins, ils peuvent être dangereux, provoquant parfois l’asphyxie du patient. Le diagnostic est difficile par œsophagographie, œsophagoscopie et écho-endoscopie. Les auteurs présentent une analyse rétrospective d’une patiente ayant un polype de l’œsophage de 20 cm de long, lequel a été retiré par œsophagotomie. L’examen histologique a révélé un polype inflammatoire pédiculé, avec présence de nombreux éléments myxoïdes et vasculaires. Les méthodes diagnostiques et thérapeutiques de cette pathologie rare sont également décrits. Les auteurs soulignent l’importance des ganglions lymphatiques inflammatoires, détectés par écho-endoscopie, pour le diagnostic de ce type de polype. Giant pedunculated esophageal polyps are very rare. However, they can be dangerous and have been known to sometimes lead to asphyxia. The diagnosis of the disease is difficult to obtain by esophagography, esophagoscopy and endoscopic ultrasonography. The authors present a clinical report of a patient with a 20 cm long esophageal polyp removed by esophagotomy. Histologic examinations showed a pedicled inflammatory polyp with a remarkable presence of myxoid and vascular components. The diagnostic and therapeutic methods to manage this rare disease were also described. The authors point out the importance of the inflammatory lymph nodes detected by endoscopic ultrasonography in the diagnosis of this entity.
    Acta Endoscopica 07/2001; 31(4):533-540. · 0.16 Impact Factor