I Venturo

Istituto Regina Elena - Istituti Fisioterapici Ospitalieri, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (48)188.46 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: This report describe the case of a patient presenting with pulmonary metastases from a penile cancer, where the presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 DNA both in the primary tumor and in the distant metastases confirmed the spreading of the disease, ruling out a possible primary lung squamous cell carcinoma. Indeed, according to the findings, the HPV genotyping test might help in the identification of metastatic disease from anogenital malignancies or other HPV-related cancers.
    International Journal of Surgical Pathology 06/2012; · 0.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) after BC and the additional risk factor of tamoxifen exposure were investigated by several studies with conflicting results. We performed a case-control study aimed at investigating if a past history of breast cancer is a risk factor of developing adenomas or CRC and establishing whether tamoxifen exposure is an additional risk factor. We enrolled 175 asymptomatic women with a past history of BC and invited them to undergo a screening colonoscopy. In the same period, we enrolled 201 healthy asymptomatic women (HG) with no family history of CRC which were referred to our Unit for a colonoscopy. Mean age at colonoscopy was 56.9 years for BC patients vs. 56.3 years for HG (p=0.58). In 32/175 (18.3%) BC patients, 38 lesions and in 17/201 (8.4%) controls, 20 lesions (p=0.029) were diagnosed. BC patients had 5/32 CRC vs. no CRC in the HG. Multivariate analysis of age, family history of CRC, timing from BC diagnosis and first colonoscopy, tamoxifen treatment revealed that none of the variables were predictive of the presence or absence of adenomas or CRC in the BC group. In the present study BC group had a significant higher prevalence of adenoma or CRC than controls. Tamoxifen exposure did not increase the risk of adenoma or CRC. Our data support the hypothesis that BC is a risk condition for adenomas or CRC. The risk is small but present and a screening colonoscopy should be offered to these patients.
    Cancer epidemiology. 10/2010; 35(1):44-7.
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    ABSTRACT: Estrogen receptor-alpha (ER-alpha) and progesterone receptor (PgR) are consolidated predictors of response to hormonal therapy (HT). In contrast, little information regarding the role of estrogen receptor-beta (ER-beta) in various breast cancer risk groups treated with different therapeutic regimens is available. In particular, there are no data concerning ER-beta distribution within the novel molecular breast cancer subtypes luminal A (LA) and luminal B (LB), HER2 (HS), and triple-negative (TN). We conducted an observational prospective study using immunohistochemistry to evaluate ER-beta expression in 936 breast carcinomas. Associations with conventional biopathological factors and with molecular subtypes were analyzed by multiple correspondence analysis (MCA), while univariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis and classification and regression tree analysis were applied to determine the impact of ER-beta on disease-free survival in the 728 patients with complete follow-up data. ER-beta evenly distributes (55.5%) across the four molecular breast cancer subtypes, confirming the lack of correlation between ER-beta and classical prognosticators. However, the relationships among the biopathological factors, analyzed by MCA, showed that ER-beta positivity is located in the quadrant containing more aggressive phenotypes such as HER2 and TN or ER-alpha/PgR/Bcl2- tumors. Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox regression analysis identified ER-beta as a significant discriminating factor for disease-free survival both in the node-negative LA (P = 0.02) subgroup, where it is predictive of response to HT, and in the node-positive LB (P = 0.04) group, where, in association with PgR negativity, it conveys a higher risk of relapse. Our data indicated that, in contrast to node-negative patients, in node-positive breast cancer patients, ER-beta positivity appears to be a biomarker related to a more aggressive clinical course. In this context, further investigations are necessary to better assess the role of the different ER-beta isoforms.
    Breast cancer research: BCR 10/2008; 10(5):R74. · 5.87 Impact Factor
  • Archives of Dermatology 11/2007; 143(10):1342-3. · 4.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We aimed at developing a more detailed understanding of cyclin D1 in early stage human breast cancer and defining the biologic profiles with different prognostic value correlating cyclin D1 gene amplification and chromosome 11 aneusomy with bio-pathologic variables of known clinical importance. Cyclin D1 gene amplification and chromosome 11 aneusomy were investigated using fluorescence in situ hybridization whereas cyclin D1, PgR, HER-2, Bcl2, p53, and Ki-67 expressions were analyzed by immunohistochemistry in 121 stage I or II breast cancer patients uniformly treated with cyclophosphamide/metotrexate/5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy. Cyclin D1 was amplified in 6.6% and overexpressed in 32.2% of cases. Amplification was not associated with any selected bio-pathologic variables, whereas the chromosome 11 aneusomy level significantly increased in tumors with higher histologic grade (P < 0.01), higher tumor size (P < 0.003), p53 nuclear accumulation (P < 0.04), and ERalpha negativity (P < 0.049). Multiple correspondence analysis showed 4 different biologic tumor profiles. The first, characterized by high Ki-67 score, p53+, cyclin D1+, HER-2+, aneusomy level > 30%, ratio (cyclin D1 gene/CEP11) > 2, was associated with tumor relapse defining the most unfavorable biologic profile. Kaplan-Meier's method showed significantly shorter disease-free survival in patients with at least 3 variables positive out of the 6 detected by multiple correspondence analysis. In multivariate analysis, the identified biologic profile emerged as the only significant prognostic indicator. Our findings are of particular clinical interest for early stage breast cancer patients, because the assessment of biologic factors predictive of tumor aggressiveness may influence postoperative therapeutic strategies.
    American Journal of Surgical Pathology 02/2007; 31(2):247-54. · 4.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human homolog of the rat neu oncogene, HER2 (also termed c-erbB2) has been demonstrated in amplified form in human breast tumors with poor prognosis. Although amplification of the gene correlates with expression of a 185-kDa transmembrane glycoprotein, no extensive information is available regarding the extent of tissue and tumor specificity of this gene product. We have addressed this issue by immunohistochemically evaluating the expression of p185 HER2 in normal tissue and various tumors using monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to distinct epitopes of its extracellular domain. No detectable levels of p185 HER2 were found in fetal tissues analyzed, with the exception of renal tubules in 2 out of 3 specimens tested and in intestinal epithelium. In adult tissues, detectable levels of this glycoprotein were found in a restricted number of cell types, the expression being heterogeneous among individuals and cell histotypes. Among the neoplasms assayed p185 HER2 was expressed in 46% of primary breast cancers, in 28% of ovarian tumors and in 30% of colon rectum malignancies. No male breast adenocarcinomas were p185-positive. A large number of other tumors tested revealed only a low incidence of expression of the p185. In metastatic breast tumors p185 HER2 was demonstrated homogeneously among multiple autologous lesions and almost invariably (80%) the expression of p185 in the primary lesion correlated with that of the deriving metastases. Our findings indicate that the expression of the p185 HER2 represents a tumor marker of clinical relevance in breast cancer. Whether this holds true for other malignancies remains to be explored.
    International Journal of Cancer 07/2006; 45(3):457 - 461. · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: hMena (ENAH), a cytoskeleton regulatory protein involved in the regulation of cell motility and adhesion, is overexpressed in breast cancer. The aim of this study was to define at what stage of breast carcinogenesis hMena is overexpressed and to correlate hMena overexpression with established prognostic factors in breast cancer, focusing on human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2). hMena expression was assessed immunohistochemically in a prospective cohort of cases (n = 360) encompassing a highly representative spectrum of benign breast diseases associated with different risk of transformation, in situ, invasive, and metastatic tumors. Correlations with conventional pathologic and prognostic variables, such as proliferation index, hormonal receptor status, and HER-2 overexpression, were also evaluated. In vitro experiments were done to study the effect of neuregulin-1 and Herceptin treatments on hMena expression. hMena protein is undetectable in normal breast and is weakly expressed in a small percentage of low-risk benign diseases (9%), but displays a progressive and significant increase of positivity in benign lesions at higher risk of transformation (slightly increased risk 43%; moderate increased risk 67%), in in situ (72%), invasive (93%), and metastatic breast cancer (91%). A significant direct correlation with tumor size (P = 0.04), proliferation index (P < 0.0001), and HER-2 overexpression (P < 0.0001) and an inverse relationship with estrogen (P = 0.036) and progesterone receptors (P = 0.001) are found in invasive carcinomas. In vitro experiments show that neuregulin-1 up-regulates, whereas Herceptin down-regulates, hMena expression. Our data provide new insights into the relevance of actin-binding proteins in human breast carcinogenesis and indicate hMena overexpression as a surrogate indicator in breast disease management.
    Clinical Cancer Research 04/2006; 12(5):1470-8. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether phenotypic field changes occur in tissues adjacent to carcinoma, we assayed, by immunohistochemistry, the expression of HER-2, p53, Fas, and FasL in 72 breast cancers (BC) and multiple autologous peritumoral tissues (PTTs) sampled up to 5 cm distance and in 44 benign breast tumors (BBTs). About 5% and 3% of the PTTs and 4.5% and 6.8% of BBTs showed alterations in HER2 and p53 expression, respectively. Of interest, gene amplification was observed in 50% of HER2 positive PTTs, but not in any HER2 positive BBTs. Fas, highly expressed in BBTs and downregulated in BC, maintained its expression in PTTs, whereas FasL, usually negative in BBTs, was upregulated in BC as well as in the PTTs closest (1 cm) to the invasive lesion. Our data suggest that FasL could be a potential novel biomarker of transformation, which may identify, along with HER2 and p53, precursor lesions in a genetically altered breast tissue.
    Journal of Cellular Physiology 08/2005; 204(1):106-12. · 4.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Screening of a cDNA expression library from a primary breast tumor with the autologous patient serum led to the isolation of 6 cDNA clones corresponding to 3 different genes, including a novel gene that maps to chromosome 1 and encodes the human homologue of mouse Mena (hMena, cDNA clone RMNY-BR-55), a protein of the Ena/VASP family involved in the regulation of cell motility and adhesion. A cancer-restricted antibody response against hMena was demonstrated, since 18/93 cancer patient sera, the majority (10/52) from breast cancer, showed anti-hMena-specific IgG, while no antibodies were present in healthy donors. When hMena protein expression was analyzed by Western blot and immunohistochemistry, the antigen was overexpressed in the majority of breast cancer cell lines and in 75% of primary breast tumor lesions evaluated. Furthermore, when HLA-A2-restricted peptides from the hMena sequence were used to stimulate CD8+ T cells, an hMena-specific response was found in 9 out of 12 HLA-A2+ breast cancer patients. In 4 patients, this cell-mediated immune response was concomitant with antibody response to hMena. Furthermore, an hMena-specific T-cell line was established from an HLA-A2+ breast cancer patient whose primary tumor lesion overexpressed the hMena protein. The present findings highlight the emerging role that overexpression of cytoskeleton regulatory components may have in the induction of a specific antitumor immune response.
    International Journal of Cancer 06/2004; 109(6):909-18. · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We measured the serum levels of p53 mutant protein (p53M-ELISA) in 65 patients with plasma cell dyscrasia (PCD) and compared them with some conventional laboratory variables. Our aim was to assess, for the first time, the potential of this parameter as a new marker for laboratory management of PCD. Twenthy-tree out of 65 patients had monoclonal gammapathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and 42 suffered from multiple myeloma (MM). MM patients, with no prior chemotherapy consecutively entered this study. They were treated with standard regimens of Melphalan and Prednisone (MP) and were analyzed for serum p53M level from the time of diagnosis to response to therapy or death. A subgroup of nine patients was regularly monitored for changes occurring in p53M levels during MP therapy. Serum levels of p53M were elevated in MM patients compared with MGUS and healthy controls (p = 0.002). Significantly higher p53M levels were shown by MM patients refractory to chemotherapy than by responding patients (0.38 ng/ml vs 0.22 ng/ml, p = 0.05). The measurement of serum p53M in the nine patients during the course of chemotherapy correlated with disease progression or response to therapy. If confirmed on a larger series of patients, these results suggest a potential role of serum p53 mutant levels in laboratory management of PCD patients.
    Journal of experimental & clinical cancer research: CR 01/2004; 22(4):607-12. · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ultimate outcome of an immune response (escape or surveillance) depends on a delicate balance of opposing signals delivered by activating and inhibitory immune receptors expressed by cytotoxic T lymphocytes and natural killer cells. In this light, loss and down-regulation of human leukocyte antigens (HLA) class I molecules, while important for keeping tumors below the T-cell detection levels, may incite recognition of missing self. Conversely, the maintenance of normal levels of expression (or even up-regulation) may be favorable to tumors, at least in certain cases. In this study, we took advantage of a previously characterized panel of 15 early passage tumor cell lines (mainly from melanoma and lung carcinoma lesions) enriched with class I-low phenotypes. These cells were systematically characterized by Northern and/or Western blotting (e.g., mini-transcriptome/mini-proteome analysis) for the expression of HLA-A, -B, -C, beta(2)-microglobulin, and the members of the "antigen processing machinery" of class I molecules (LMP2, LMP7, TAP1, TAP2, tapasin, calreticulin, calnexin, and ERp57). In addition, we established four pairs of cultures, each comprising melanoma cells and normal melanocytes from the same patient. We found that approximately 97% of the 185 tested gene products are expressed (although often weakly), and in many cases coordinately regulated in 18 of 19 tumor cell lines. Linked expression patterns could be hierarchically arranged by statistical methods and graphically described as a class I HLA "coordinome." Deviations (both down- and up-regulation) from the coordinome expression pattern inherited from the normal, paired melanocyte counterpart, were allowed but limited in magnitude, as if melanoma cells were trying to keep a "low profile" HLA phenotype. We conclude that irreversible HLA loss is a rare event, and class I expression in tumor cells almost invariably results from reversible gene regulatory (rather than gene disruption) events.
    Cancer Research 08/2003; 63(14):4119-27. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is still a widely used test for monitoring breast cancer, although recent reports discourage its routine use because of low sensitivity. This is a prospective study evaluating the efficacy of CEA and CA 15.3 in monitoring breast cancer. Serum CEA and CA 15.3 were measured in 2191 patients with either benign (n = 738) or malignant (n = 1453) breast diseases. Five hundred and forty-nine patients were monitored during postsurgical follow-up for either a minimum of 5 years or until time of recurrence. Fifty-three patients with metastases were also monitored during chemotherapy. Elevated CEA and CA 15.3 levels were found in 16.7% and 33.0% of patients, respectively. CEA sensitivity rose to 41.3% and CA 15.3 sensitivity rose to 80.8% in metastatic patients. The adjunct of CEA increased the CA 15.3 sensitivity by 6% in the overall population and by only 2.1% for patients with metastases. During postsurgical follow-up, CEA was elevated in 38.0% and CA 15.3 in 70.2% of patients with recurrence. The combination of CEA and CA 15.3 increased the overall sensitivity by only 1.4%. Longitudinal monitoring of 53 metastatic patients undergoing chemotherapy demonstrated that, when positive, both CEA and CA 15.3 paralleled response to treatment, although CA 15.3 was a significantly more powerful marker for determining response to treatment. The cost effectiveness ratio of CEA was clearly less favorable than that of CA 15.3. CEA monitoring should be considered an expensive and inefficient method of follow-up evaluation for breast cancer patients, and it provides no additional value when used in combination with CA 15.3.
    Clinical Cancer Research 09/2001; 7(8):2357-62. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Overexpression of gp185(erbB-2) has been associated with reduced survival in breast-cancer patients. Our earlier results, now confirmed in a larger cohort of patients (798), evidenced that the HLA-A2 allele may participate in the modulation of the erbB-2 tumor phenotype in vivo. In the present study, we evaluated other clinico-biopathologic parameters possibly involved in the host immune response against erbB-2. Localization of the CD3(+) T-cell infiltrate was taken into consideration in 705 primary breast tumors, and expression of HLA-class-I and HLA-A2 antigens was evaluated in a subgroup of 170 frozen primary tumors of HLA-A2-positive patients. The presence or the absence of HLA-class-I and HLA-A2 antigens in primary tumors did not correlate with erbB-2 expression. However, HLA-A2-positive tumors preferentially showed intratumoral lymphocyte localization, whereas the lesions displaying undetectable HLA-class-I expression showed peritumoral CD3(+) T-cell localization. Taking into account erbB-2 immunoreactivity, we found that the relationship between HLA-A2 expression and intratumoral CD3(+) T-lymphocyte localization is significant only in the erbB-2 negative subset, whereas the relationship between lack of HLA-class-I expression and peritumoral CD3(+) T-lymphocyte localization is significant only in the erbB-2-positive subset. These data provide novel in vivo evidence of the possible contribution of the host immune system to control of erbB-2 oncogene overexpression in breast cancer. Int. J. Cancer (Pred. Oncol.) 84:598-603, 1999.
    International Journal of Cancer 01/2000; 84(6):598-603. · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: As at present only a long-term follow-up can fully determine whether monoclonal gammapathies of undetermined significance (MGUS) will evolve into multiple myeloma (MM), this study attempted to identify other variables connected with the amount of monoclonal component (MC), generally considered as the most reliable marker of malignant evolution. Thirty-four MGUS subjects showing a high MC (> or = 15.0 g/l) but without clinical evidence of MM (MGUS group b), were characterized for their phenotypic and genotypic profile by comparing them either with 40 MM patients or with 24 subjects affected by a benign form of monoclonal gammapathy (MGUS group a) according to the standard criteria. In addition to the usual laboratory markers, the levels of expression of a panel of CD membrane subsets were measured on B and T lymphocytes. Also, the serum level of the p53 mutant protein and the structural alterations of the c-myc oncogene were evaluated. The results show that for MGUS group b patients, an increased M-protein was accompanied by significantly increased levels of peripheral blood CD3+ T cells and oncogenetic aberrations in c-myc. Since a high serum MC level seems to indicate a greater likelihood of malignant transformation for MGUS patients, these findings suggest that this relationship may be a result of the concomitant alterations observed at a phenotypic and genotypic level. Such alterations may be potentially useful as surrogate markers for the transition of benign to malignant (MM) plasma cell dyscrasia.
    Cell Proliferation 08/1999; 32(4):231-8. · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The down-regulation of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules, especially the selective down-regulation of certain allelic products, is believed to represent a major mechanism of tumor escape from immune surveillance. In the present report, an original approach is described to precisely evaluate and classify HLA class I epitope losses in 30 cancer patients with malignant melanoma and lung, breast, endometrium, ovary, and colon carcinoma tumors. Early-passage tumor cell lines were established in culture from the corresponding metastatic tumor lesions obtained in each patient. Both the cell lines and the tumor lesions were compared, in their HLA-A and -B expression, to the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained from the same patient (autologous PBMCs). On the basis of HLA-genotyping data, the appropriate monoclonal antibodies identifying mono- and poly-morphic HLA-A and HLA-B epitopes were selected from a panel of 34 antibodies for a total of 24 testable alleles. The selected antibodies were used not only in immunohistochemical assays on cryostatic tumor sections and cytospins of PBMCs but also in quantitative, sensitive flow cytometry assays on early-passage tumor cells and PBMC suspensions. With this latter method, a low overall HLA expression was detected in 26 tumor cell explants and a complete, generalized HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-C loss in the remaining 4 cases. However, no complete, selective loss of any of the 45 tested HLA-A and HLA-B allomorphs was observed. Sequences from all of the HLA class I alleles could be detected at the genomic DNA level in tumor cells and tissues. At variance from the literature and the results of immunohistochemical experiments performed in parallel on the corresponding tumor lesions, the relative proportions of the various HLA epitopes were relatively preserved in each early-passage cell line/PBMC pair, and selective increases, rather than decreases, in the expression of polymorphic HLA epitopes had the highest prevalence and greatest magnitude. Our data suggest an alternative tumor stealth strategy in which up- and down-regulation are equally important. This alternative model of tumor-host interaction better fits the available models of tumor cell recognition by CTLs and natural killer cells bearing activatory and inhibitory receptors for HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-C molecules.
    Cancer Research 07/1999; 59(11):2657-67. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the role of serum levels of IL-6 and p53 mutant protein as well as of c-myc proto-oncogene alterations: a) in discriminating between benign (MGUS) and malignant Plasma cell dyscrasias (Multiple and Microsecreting Myeloma, Plasmocytoma); b) in monitoring the clinical course of malignant forms of this disease. Eighty-eight patients affected by Plasma cell dyscrasias (58 MGUS, 24 MM and 6 PLC) entered this study. Using commercially available ELISA kits, serum levels of IL-6 and p53 have been determined in all the patients. In addition, a selected group of patients (n = 30) was also analyzed for structural c-myc gene alterations by Southern blot technique. The results show that, conversely from p53 protein, IL-6 and c-myc gene may represent useful diagnostic markers for discriminating benign from malignant forms of Plasma cell dyscrasia. On the contrary, preliminary findings of the same work indicate a potential role for the mutant p53 protein in monitoring the response to chemotherapy of patients affected by MM or PLM. Overall, these data suggest that the combined use of IL-6, p53 and c-myc may provide a new approach for a more rational management of Plasma cell dyscrasia patients.
    La Clinica terapeutica 01/1999; 150(3):197-202. · 0.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of a sequential low-dose methotrexate (MTX) and 5-fluorouracil (5FU) regimen in the palliative treatment of patients with advanced colorectal cancer. Enrolled in the study were patients with advanced colorectal cancer, refractory to 5FU + FA. Patients were treated with MTX 40 mg/m2 i.v. bolus d 1 and 8, 5FU 700 mg/m2 i.v. bolus d 2 and 9 (24 hours after MTX bolus). The cycle was repeated every 4 weeks. 48 patients entered the study, and 45 are evaluable. The overall response rate was 15% with 1 complete response and 6 partial responses. Eight patients obtained disease stabilization. Median time to progression was 9 months. Toxicity was mild. Grade 3 stomatitis was observed in 7 (15%) patients. Sequential MTX/5FU is a well tolerated regimen with mild antitumor activity in refractory advanced colorectal patients.
    La Clinica terapeutica 01/1998; 149(2):105-8. · 0.33 Impact Factor
  • JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute 03/1997; 89(4):319-21. · 14.34 Impact Factor
  • European journal of histochemistry: EJH 02/1997; 41 Suppl 2:157-8. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The longer survival of neoplastic patients achieved through improvements of therapeutic regimens has increased the relative risk of developing a second primary tumour (SPT). In this context, conventional cytopathology can define tumour histotype only in a small fraction of cases. In this study, we have evaluated whether selected combinations of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to tumour-associated antigens (TAAs) can increase the accuracy of conventional morphology in detecting second primary tumours (SPTs) in two particularly difficult areas of cytodiagnosis, namely that of effusions and pulmonary fine-needle aspirates (FNAs). The immunocytochemical (ICC) analysis of 334 cytological specimens demonstrated that the use of our selected panel of MAbs could allow a more efficient identification of SPTs in comparison with conventional morphology. This diagnostic improvement was statistically significant (P < 0.0001). The present findings show that the immunophenotyping of effusions and FNAs, providing a more accurate and objective identification of SPTs, may have significant therapeutic and epidemiological relevance.
    British Journal of Cancer 01/1997; 75(4):572-8. · 5.08 Impact Factor