[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and obesity are increasingly prevalent worldwide. Both promote endothelial dysfunction contributing to systemic and pulmonary hypertension over time. Endothelin-1 (ET-1) plays a pivotal role in the development of pulmonary hypertension (PH). The aim of the present study was to assess the association between plasma ET-1 and echocardiographic findings in obese individuals with and without OSA, as well as in non-obese patients with OSA.
Ninety-seven subjects (56 males) were enrolled in the study. All subjects underwent the following tests: venous endothelin-1 levels, pulmonary function testing, and arterial blood gas analysis. All patients except controls underwent transthoracic echocardiography and portable testing for sleep-disordered breathing.
Plasma ET-1 levels were significantly higher in obese patients, both with and without OSA (respectively, n = 30 (mean value, 268.06 ± 49.56 pg/ml) and n = 32 (mean value, 263.12 ± 65.26 pg/ml)), compared with non-obese patients with OSA or to healthy controls (respectively, n = 20 (mean value, 149.8 ± 23.09 pg/ml) and n = 15 (mean value, 152.3 ± 27.64 pg/ml); p < 0.0001). Pulmonary artery pressure (PAPs) in obese patients with OSA were significantly higher than in obese patients without OSA (p < 0.0001), while there was no statistical difference between PAPs of obese patients without OSA, compared with the group of non-obese OSA patients. Plasma ET-1 levels significantly correlated with systolic PAPs in obese patients both with and without OSA (respectively, n = 30, r = 0.385, p = 0.03567; n = 32, r = 0.3497, p = 0.0497).
Our study suggests that endothelin levels are more strongly associated with weight than the presence of sleep-disordered breathing, but pulmonary artery hypertension is associated with both weight and OSA.
Sleep And Breathing 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s11325-015-1260-5 · 2.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AIM: To evaluate vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and tryptase in hepatocellular cancer (HCC) before and after trans-arterial chemoembolization (TACE). METHODS: VEGF and tryptase serum concentrations were assessed from 71 unresectable HCC patients before and after hepatic TACE performed by binding ®
DC-Beads to doxorubicin. VEGF levels were examined for each serum sample using the Quantikine Human VEGF-enzyme-linked immuno-absorbent assay (ELISA), whereas tryptase serum concentrations were assessed for each serum sample by means of fluoro-enzyme immunoassay (FEIA) using the Uni-CAP100 tool. Differences between serum VEGF and tryptase values before and after TACE were evaluated using Student t test. Person's correlation was used to assess the degree of association between the two variables. RESULTS: VEGF levels and serum tryptase in HCC patients before TACE had a mean value and standard deviation (SD) of 114.31 ± 79.58 pg/mL and 8.13 ± 3.61 μg/L, respectively. The mean levels and SD of VEGF levels and serum tryptase in HCC patients after TACE were 238.14 ± 109.41 pg/mL and 4.02 ± 3.03 μg/L. The changes between the mean values of concentration of VEGF and tryptase before treatment and after treatment was statistically significant (P < 0.000231 and P < 0.00124, by Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney respectively). A significant correlation between VEGF levels before and after TACE and between tryptase levels before and after TACE was demonstrated (r = 0.68, P = 0.003; r = 0.84, P = 0.000 respectively). CONCLUSION: Our pilot results suggest that the higher serum VEGF levels and the lower tryptase levels following TACE may be potential biomarkers changing in response to therapy.
World Journal of Gastroenterology 05/2015; 21(19):6018-6025. DOI:10.3748/wjg.v21.i19.6018 · 2.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While multiple myeloma (MM) is almost invariably preceded by asymptomatic monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and/or smoldering MM (SMM), the alterations of the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment that establish progression to symptomatic disease are circumstantial. Here we show that in Vk*MYC mice harboring oncogene-driven plasma cell proliferative disorder, disease appearance associated with substantial modifications of the BM microenvironment, including a progressive accumulation of both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells with a dominant T helper type 1 (Th1) response. Progression from asymptomatic to symptomatic MM was characterized by further BM accrual of T cells with reduced Th1 and persistently increased Th2 cytokine production, which associated with accumulation of CD206+Tie2+ macrophages, and increased pro-angiogenic cytokines and microvessel density (MVD). Notably, MVD was also increased at diagnosis in the BM of MGUS and SMM patients that subsequently progressed to MM when compared with MGUS and SMM that remained quiescent. These findings suggest a multistep pathogenic process in MM, in which the immune system may contribute to angiogenesis and disease progression. They also suggest initiating a large multicenter study to investigate MVD in asymptomatic patients as prognostic factor for the progression and outcome of this disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allergic reactions to mannitol have been reported rarely, despite its widespread use as a drug and as a food excipient. This is the first case report in which oral mannitol induces an immediate type hypersensitivity as a drug excipient, in a 42 year old man affected by rhinitis to olive tree pollen. Unusual and undervalued risk factors for mannitol hypersensitivity are examined.
European annals of allergy and clinical immunology 05/2015; 47(3):99-102.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple myeloma (MM) is a hematologic malignancy of
monoclonal plasma cells which remains incurable despite
recent advances in therapies. The presence of cancer
stem cells (CSCs) has been demonstrated in many solid
and hematologic tumors, so the idea of CSCs has been
proposed for MM, even if MM CSCs have not been define
yet. The existence of myeloma CSCs with clonotypic
B and clonotypic non B cells was postulated by many
groups. This review aims to focus on these distinct
clonotypic subpopulations and on their ability to develop
and sustain MM. The bone marrow microenvironment
provides to MM CSCs self-renewal, survival and drug
resistance thanks to the presence of normal and cancer
stem cell niches. The niches and CSCs interact each other
through adhesion molecules and the interplay between
ligands and receptors activates stemness signaling
(Hedgehog, Wnt and Notch pathways). MM CSCs are
also supposed to be responsible for drug resistance
that happens in three steps from the initial cancer cell
homing microenvironment-mediated to development of
microenvironment-independent drug resistance. In this
review, we will underline all these aspects of MM CSCs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metronomic chemotherapy (MC) refers to the close administration of a chemotherapeutic drug for a long time with no extended drug-free breaks. It was developed to overcome drug resistance, partly by shifting the therapeutic target from tumor cells to the tumor vasculature, with less toxicity. Because of this peculiar way of administration, MC can be viewed as a form of long-term ‘maintenance’ treatment, and can be integrated with standard and conventional chemotherapy in a “chemo-switching” strategy. Additional mechanisms are involved in its antitumor activity, such as activation of immunity, induction of tumor dormancy, chemotherapy-driven dependency of cancer cells, and the ‘4D effect’. In this paper we report the most important studies that have analysed these processes. In fact, a number of preclinical and clinical studies in solid tumors as well as in multiple myeloma, have been reported regarding several chemotherapy drugs which have been proposed with a metronomic schedule: vinorelbine, cyclophosphamide, capecitabine, methotrexate, bevacizumab, etoposide, gemcitabine, sorafenib, everolimus and temozolomide. The results of these studies have been sometimes conflicting, highlighting the need to develop reliable tools for patient selection and stratification. However, a more precise evaluation of MC strategies with the ongoing randomized phase II/III clinical is fundamental, because of the strict correlation of this approach with translational research and target therapy. Moreover, because of the low toxicity of MC, these studies will also help to better evaluate the clinical benefit of this treatment, with a special focus on elderly and low performance status patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This current retrospective multicenter analysis represents, to our knowledge, the first Italian study evaluating the efficacy and toxicity profile of “lenalidomide plus dexamethasone” as salvage therapy in patients with recurrent-refractory MM in the real life contest. Our study included patients who are usually excluded from clinical trials because of unfavourable baseline characteristics. Median OS was significantly longer in patients receiving “lenalidomide plus dexamethasone” for more than 12 months compared with those who had received “lenalidomide plus dexamethasone” for a shorter interval (P < 0.0001). Median OS was not affected by best response achieved (P 0.4) and age (P 0.3). Quality of response did not correlate with number of previous lines of therapy (P 0.77) and age. Higher ORRs were recorded in the patients group with relapsed MM compared to those with refractory disease, but this difference was not statistically significant (P 0.38).
Leukemia Research 12/2014; 39(3). DOI:10.1016/j.leukres.2014.12.007 · 2.35 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor microenvironment plays an important role in cancer initiation and progression. In hematological malignancies, the bone marrow represents the paradigmatic anatomical site in which tumor microenvironment expresses its morphofunctional features. Among the cells participating in the composition of this microenvironment, cancer associated fibrobasts (CAFs) have received less attention in hematopoietic tumors compared to solid cancers. In this review article, we discuss the involvement of CAFs in progression of hematological malignancies and the potential targeting of CAFs in a therapeutic perspective.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are essential for maintenance of self-tolerance, however tumor cells can exploit the tolerance to escape the immune system. We investigated the Tregs frequency in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) and in those with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), and found that CD4+FoxP3+ and CD8+FoxP3+ Tregs were significantly increased in MM patients and correlated with the active phase. Both Tregs subsets were expanded in cocultures of CD3+ lymphocytes and fresh CD138+ MM plasma cells or RPMI8226 and U266 cell lines, and functioned as natural (n) and inducible (i) Tregs insofar as they inhibited the proliferation of stimulated CD3 lymphocytes via contact-dependent and -independent pathways. Induction of Tregs by MM plasma cells required a contact-dependent pathway, implying antigen recognition by T cells. MM plasma cells acted as immature and tolerogenic antigen-presenting cells (APCs), in that they displayed low CD80/CD86 expression associated with a phagocytic activity. By acting as immature APCs, MM plasma cells plausibly expand (n)Tregs and (i)Tregs both through conversion of CD3+FoxP3- into CD3+FoxP3+ T cells and proliferation of CD3+FoxP3+ T cells, which may suppress the anti-MM immune response.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
European Journal Of Haematology 11/2014; 95(1). DOI:10.1111/ejh.12481 · 2.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bcl-6 translocation is a genetic alteration that is commonly detected in Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma. The role of this protein in cerebral tumors is unclear. In this study we investigated Bcl-6 translocation and its transcriptional and translational levels in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded cerebral tissue sections from Glioblastoma (GBM), low-grade glioma (Astrocytoma grade II and III), and meningioma patients, and correlated them with apoptotic processes and p53 and caspase-3 expression. The results showed a frequency of 36.6% of Bcl-6 translocation in GBM patients and a decreased expression in low-grade glioma patients, correlated with the severity of the disease. Bcl-6 translocation induced an overexpression of both Bcl-6 protein and messenger in GBM, inhibiting apoptotic processes and caspases 3 expression. On the contrary, in low-grade gliomas and meningiomas Bcl-6 expression was reduced, resulting in an increase of apoptotic processes. Finally, p53 expression levels in brain tumors were comparable to Bcl-6 levels. Overall, these data demonstrate, for the first time, that the Bcl-6 gene translocates in GBM patients and that its translocation and expression are correlated with apoptosis inhibition, indicating a key role for this gene in the control of cellular proliferation. This study offers further insights into Glioblastoma biology, and supports Bcl-6 as a new diagnostic marker to evaluate the disease severity.
Cancer Letters 10/2014; 353(1):41. DOI:10.1016/j.canlet.2014.06.017 · 5.62 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 61-year old man with coeliac disease and chronic lack of appetite, malabsorption and weight loss, despite the gluten-free diet, was operated because of a sub-diaphragmatic free air due to a small-bowel pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis (PCI). The jejunum showed granulomatous lesions with a honeycombed appearance of air cysts in the submucosa/subserosa. We found overexpression of peptide YY (PYY) into only the jejunum with PCI, while the expression was very weak or absent in the tissue without cysts. One year after surgery, he had no abdominal pain or PCI recurrence. The above chronic symptoms were plausibly attributable to the PYY.
Clinical and Experimental Medicine 10/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10238-014-0314-5 · 2.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conventional radiographic skeletal survey has been for many years the gold standard to detect the occurrence of osteolytic lesions in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). However, the introduction of more sensitive imaging procedures has resulted in an updated anatomic and functional Durie and Salmon "plus" staging system and has remarkably changed the diagnostic and prognostic approach to this tumor. It is now established that (18)fluorine-fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) positron-emission tomography (PET) combined with low-dose computed tomography (CT), shortly designated PET/CT, exhibits a higher screening and diagnostic sensitivity and specificity over the skeleton X-ray. In patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and in those with smoldering MM, PET/CT is consistently unable to detect focal and/or diffuse marrow abnormalities. Conversely, based on a systematic review of 18 studies comprising almost 800 MM patients, PET/CT was able to detect MM osteolytic lesions with a sensitivity of approximately 80-90 % and a specificity of 80-100 %. Importantly, a poor degree of concordance has also been emphasized between PET/CT and whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (WB-MRI) in that when both techniques were applied to the same patients, double-positive results were recorded in approximately 30 % of the cases, but in the majority of them, a higher number of lesions were revealed with PET/CT than with MRI. Double-negative results, on the other hand, were found in about 22 % of the patients. Because PET/CT is able to identify tumor foci throughout the body, it can be usefully applied to the study of solitary bone plasmacytoma and extra-medullary plasmacytoma: In both conditions, the detection of additional, previously overlooked sites of skeletal involvement would falsify the diagnosis of single-district disease, upstage the tumor, and therefore require a different therapeutic approach. In addition, although PET/CT is poorly sensitive to diffuse bone marrow infiltration, it can anticipate a site of impending fracture throughout the body and can discriminate old from new pathologic fractures. MRI should, however, be preferred when vertebral bodies are suspected to be involved and the risk of vertebral fracture is to be assessed. PET/CT is a sensitive and reliable procedure to evaluate the response to chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, which is shown by a remarkable reduction and sometimes total disappearance of FDG accumulation in the involved bony structures, although these structures remain morphologically abnormal. Conversely, an increased focal uptake of FDG in apparent remission patients often precedes clinically overt relapse. PET/CT should be preferred to other imaging techniques to assess the remission status after autologous stem cell transplantation. In patients with primary and remission-induced non-secretory MM, the use of PET/CT may help to early detect single or multiple districts of focal non-secretory relapse. Osteonecrosis of the jaw, its location, and extent in MM patients receiving bis-phosphonates are better defined by both PET/CT and contrast-enhanced MRI compared with dental panoramic views derived from cone beam CT imaging. Little is known as to the possible role of PET/CT in the assessment of disease extension, tumor load, and response to therapy in patients with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM). In a study conducted on 35 WM patients, comparative PET/CT before and after therapy was able to detect positive findings in 83 % of the patients, in contrast with the previous results achieved with conventional imaging that reported visceral involvement in much lower percentages. Similarly scanty are the data on the use of PET/CT in localized and systemic amyloidosis, given the small number of patients studied so far. A retrospective study has shown that, at variance from (123)Iodine-serum amyloid P component ((123)I-SAP) scintigraphy, which was found to be positive in about one-third of the patients with localized amyloidosis, an increased FDG uptake was detected at the amyloid site in virtually all of them. On the contrary, none of the patients with systemic amyloidosis showed an increased FDG uptake in sites of known deposition, whereas (123)I-SAP scintigraphy tested positive in the large majority of them. In another study, however, no such remarkable difference of positive PET/CT scans between localized and systemic amyloidosis was reported. Finally, false-positive and false-negative PET/CT findings can occur in different conditions that should be kept in mind to avoid wrong or omitted diagnoses.
Clinical and Experimental Medicine 09/2014; 15(1). DOI:10.1007/s10238-014-0308-3 · 2.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
The aim of this study was to investigate the angiogenic role of the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/cMET pathway and its inhibition in bone marrow endothelial cells (EC) from patients with multiple myeloma versus from patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) or benign anemia (control group).
The HGF/cMET pathway was evaluated in ECs from patients with multiple myeloma (multiple myeloma ECs) at diagnosis, at relapse after bortezomib- or lenalidomide-based therapies, or on refractory phase to these drugs; in ECs from patients with MGUS (MGECs); and in those patients from the control group. The effects of a selective cMET tyrosine kinase inhibitor (SU11274) on multiple myeloma ECs' angiogenic activities were studied in vitro and in vivo.
Multiple myeloma ECs express more HGF, cMET, and activated cMET (phospho (p)-cMET) at both RNA and protein levels versus MGECs and control ECs. Multiple myeloma ECs are able to maintain the HGF/cMET pathway activation in absence of external stimulation, whereas treatment with anti-HGF and anti-cMET neutralizing antibodies (Ab) is able to inhibit cMET activation. The cMET pathway regulates several multiple myeloma EC activities, including chemotaxis, motility, adhesion, spreading, and whole angiogenesis. Its inhibition by SU11274 impairs these activities in a statistically significant fashion when combined with bortezomib or lenalidomide, both in vitro and in vivo.
An autocrine HGF/cMET loop sustains multiple myeloma angiogenesis and represents an appealing new target to potentiate the antiangiogenic management of patients with multiple myeloma.
Clinical Cancer Research 09/2014; 20(22). DOI:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-14-0847 · 8.72 Impact Factor