[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glioneuronal tumours are a group of primary brain neoplasms of relatively recent acquisition in the World Health Organization (WHO) Classification of the Central Nervous System tumours. In diagnostic practice it is still possible to encounter glioneuronal tumours that cannot be placed into any of the well-defined WHO categories despite a growing list of entities. We have recently published four paediatric cases of diffuse leptomeningeal tumours that cannot be easily classified in the currently used CNS WHO classification, but which have histological and immunohistochemical criteria to be considered as glioneuronal tumours. The clinical, neuroradiological and pathological long-term follow-up of an unusual diffuse leptomeningeal glioneuronal tumour is presented herein.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gorlin syndrome (GS) is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern with high-penetrance and is characterized by a range of developmental anomalies and increased risk of developing basal cell carcinoma and medulloblastoma. Between 50% and 85% of patients with GS harbor germ line mutations in the only susceptibility gene identified to date, PTCH1, a key component in the Sonic Hedgehog signaling pathway. Another component in this pathway, SUFU, is known to be involved in susceptibility to medulloblastoma but has never been reported in GS patients to date. We have identified the known c.1022 + 1G>A SUFU germ line splicing mutation in a family that was PTCH1-negative and who had signs and symptoms of GS, including medulloblastoma. This is the first report of a germ line SUFU mutation associated with GS.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 07/2009; 149A(7):1539-43. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herein we report on the successful isolation and establishment of a novel, long-term, primary, neurosphere-like cell line called 1603-MED from a 5-year-old boy affected by a highly aggressive anaplastic medulloblastoma.
Elaboration of the new protocol for neurosphere assay is extensively discussed, together with a complete immuno-histochemical and cytogenetic characterization of 1603-MED.
Clinical course and histopathology are briefly discussed. The 1603-MED possesses a high capacity for proliferation, CD133 expression, self-renewal and differentiation, thus indicating that anaplastic medulloblastoma contains a subpopulation of cancer stem cells as observed in classic medulloblastoma.
1603-MED provides us with the first in vitro model of anaplastic medulloblastoma that may be suitable for studying both tumour progression and the genetic mechanisms related to therapy resistance, and may lead to the development and testing of chemosensitivity and new therapeutic targets.
Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology 07/2008; 34(3):306-15. · 4.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic syndromes associated with ependymoma are uncommon, with the exception of NF2. We describe two cases of ependymoma presenting with Klinefelter's Syndrome (KS) as co-morbid condition.
The first patient was diagnosed for KS during pregnancy; he also presented a thyroid agenesis and a deficit of methyltetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR); at 30 months of age he was operated on for a grade II ependymoma of IV ventricle; after a multiple-stage surgery, he underwent oral chemotherapy and stereotactic radiotherapy, but after 15 months he presented a local recurrence and died. The second patient was diagnosed for KS at the age of 16 months; at 10 years of age, due to back pain, he underwent an MRI, which showed a cauda equine tumor. He underwent surgery and radiotherapy. Histology was of mixopapillary ependymoma.
In a review of literature, various neoplasms have been described in association with KS. To our knowledge, these are the first two cases reported of ependymoma associated to KS. A retrospective study of 44 monoinstitutional ependymoma cases demonstrated association with genetic syndromes in 22%.
Child s Nervous System 03/2007; 23(2):219-23. · 1.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary brain tumours, a heterogeneous group of cancer that constitute the second most common cancer in childhood, were historically treated with neurosurgical resection and radiation therapy. Chemotherapy has proven to be beneficial for some histological types, which has since led to exploration of the role of high-dose chemotherapy and haematopoietic stem cell rescue. Patients with high-grade glial tumours, primitive neuroectodermal tumours and high-risk medulloblastoma usually fare poorly. The indicators of bad prognosis are metastatic status, extent of resection and age. Children <3 years at diagnosis carry worse prognosis. Rare cancers such as ependymoblastoma, atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumour and choroid plexus carcinoma have a dismal prognosis regardless of the above-mentioned indicators. The use of myeloablative therapy (MAT) has been investigated to improve the rate of long-term DFS, as well as to reduce and delay in the youngest children the use of the craniospinal irradiation associated with unacceptable late effects. We will overview the literature regarding patients with 'good and uncertain indications' to MAT. Ependymoma and brain stem tumours, for which the available data discourage the use of MAT, are excluded. Finally, we will summarize a single Institution experience (Giannina Gaslini Children's Hospital, Genoa) with MAT in the period 1997-2003.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Some medulloblastomas (MBs) are characterized by extreme nodularity and intranodular nuclear uniformity in a fine fibrillary background. These lesions have also been designated as "cerebellar neuroblastoma." Although numerous reports have been published in which their morphological features have been investigated, only a few studies have been focused on their neuroradiological appearance, biological behavior, and response to therapy. The goal of this study was to gather more information about these lesions.
The authors present 11 cases of MB with extensive nodularity. Five patients were boys and six were girls; all but one were 24 months of age or younger at diagnosis. Magnetic resonance imaging disclosed a peculiar grapelike architecture in eight cases. Surgical tumor removal was complete in nine cases and partial in one. In the other case a biopsy sample of the tumor was obtained after a preoperative course of chemotherapy. After surgery, two children were treated with radiotherapy alone and one with craniospinal irradiation followed by systemic chemotherapy. Eight patients were treated with chemotherapy only. All the patients in the study are presently alive with a median follow up of 66 months. Eight patients (73%) are in complete remission at 35 to 156 months. Three patients treated with chemotherapy alone postsurgery relapsed; however, all underwent successful retreatment (two with craniospinal irradiation and one with further surgery plus high-dose chemotherapy) and are in complete remission. A review of the literature revealed that patients in 11 of 12 reported cases were younger than 3 years of age and that seven of eight in whom follow-up information was available were alive and well, with survival times ranging from 6 to 84 months.
Medulloblastomas with extensive nodularity represent a variant that is characterized by: 1) occurrence in very young children; 2) a peculiar grapelike appearance on neuroimaging; and 3) an apparently favorable outcome.
Journal of Neurosurgery 01/2000; 91(6):971-7. · 3.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a child aged 2 years presenting with delayed motor development. A thoracolumbar subcutaneous mass was noticed in the first months of life. MRI showed a low conus medullaris, confirmed the presence of the mass and detected a second solid lesion in the intradural space. Surgery confirmed that the two lesions were distinct, as on MRI. The histopathological features were in common with fibrous hamartoma of infancy, giant cell angioblastoma and the "diffuse type" of infantile fibromatosis. The presence of a low conus medullaris associated with a congenital clinical presentation suggested a disontogenetic aetiology.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intracranial immature teratomas (IT) are very rare germ cell tumors (GCT). The value of chemotherapy in their treatment has not been defined.
A child was referred to our hospital for consultation regarding the need for adjuvant treatment after being operated upon twice (at the age of 7 months and 11 months) for a large supratentorial intracerebral mass. The patient was staged and the tumor specimens reviewed. Histology was that of an IT with no other type of malignant GCT.
Considering the age, lack of any sign of residual tumor by computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, absence of tumor cells in the spinal fluid or elevation of tumor markers, and based on the reported poor response of such tumors to chemotherapy, a policy of "wait and see" was adopted. One month later, the child presented with a rapidly growing intracranial mass invading the cranial bones on the left side. Chemotherapy consisting of 4 cycles of carboplatin, etoposide, and bleomycin followed by another 4 cycles of ifosfamide, vincristine, and dactinomycin alternating with carboplatin and etoposide, achieved complete remission, and 24 months after discontinuation of treatment, the patient continued free of disease.
This report indicates that chemotherapy may be effective therapy for intracranial IT. In our patient, chemotherapy modified the natural aggressive behavior of this disease and achieved a persistent, complete remission. Given the minimal information available in the literature concerning the response of IT to chemotherapy, this case addresses the issue of whether chemotherapy alone is adequate to treat intracranial germ cell tumors.
Cancer 04/1996; 77(5):977-82. · 5.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the molecular mechanisms of tuberous sclerosis (TSC) histopathologic lesions, we have tested for loss of heterozygosity the two TSC loci (TSC1 and TSC2) and seven tumor suppressor gene-containing regions (TP53, NF1, NF2, BRCA1, APC, VHL, and MLM) in 20 hamartomas from 18 TSC patients. Overall, eight angiomyolipomas, eight giant cell astrocytomas, one cortical tuber, and three rhabdomyomas were analyzed. Loss of heterozygosity at either TSC locus was found in a large fraction of the informative patients, both sporadic (7/14) and familial (1/4). Interestingly, a statistically significant preponderance of loss of heterozygosity at TSC2 was observed in the sporadic group (P < 0.01). Among the possible explanations considered, the bias in the selection for TSC patients with the most severe organ impairment seems particularly appealing. According to this view, a TSC2 defect might confer a greater risk for early kidney failure or, possibly, a more rapid growth of a giant cell astrocytoma. None of the seven antioncogenes tested showed loss of heterozygosity, indicating that the loss of either TSC gene product may be sufficient to promote hamartomatous cell growth. Finally, the observation of loss of heterozygosity at different markers in an astrocytoma and in an angiomyolipoma from the same patient might suggest the multifocal origin of the second-hit mutation.
Genes Chromosomes and Cancer 02/1996; 15(1):18-25. · 3.55 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We studied nine children with posterior cranial fossa ependymomas to identify specific neuroradiological features. Patients were studied preoperatively with CT and MRI; T1-, T2- and proton-density (PD)-weighted images were obtained. All children underwent surgery and a definite histopathological diagnosis was made. All the tumours grew into the fourth ventricle and caused dilatation of its upper part, which resembled a cap. All but one were separated from the vermis by a cleavage plane. In eight cases there was desmoplastic development through the foramina of the fourth ventricle, and five were heterogeneous due to necrosis and cystic change; one had a haemorrhagic area. In most cases the solid portion was isointense with grey matter on T1-weighted images, hyperintense on PD weighting, and isointense on T2-weighted images. On CT the tumour was isodense in six cases and calcification was detected in four. The presence of both desmoplastic development and a tumour/vermis cleavage plane in a posterior cranial fossa tumour isodense on CT is highly suggestive of ependymoma.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the incidence of second malignant tumors in a cohort of subjects previously treated for childhood cancer, we analyzed data from the Off-Therapy Registry (OTR) of the Italian Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, which collects information on children treated for Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Wilms' tumor, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute non-lymphatic leukemia and who had been removed from treatment in the absence of clinical signs of disease, i.e. the off-therapy stage. Second malignant tumors (SMT), diagnosed before December 31, 1988, were identified through a special enquiry to the 36 institutions cooperating in the registry. Observed cases were compared to expected numbers estimated from age- and sex-specific incidence rates derived from the Cancer Registry of the Province of Varese. In a total of 3,310 study subjects, 27 SMTs have been registered. The Cumulative Risk (CR) of SMT was 2.9% 15 years after the end of treatment and the Standard Incidence Ratio (SIR) was 10.8. The ALL sub-cohort had the highest risk of SMT (SIR 13.6) and 9 cases of CNS tumor occurred in this group (SIR 58.9). All 9 had received prophylactic cranial radiotherapy (CRT) and 5 had been treated on one protocol, characterized by low-dose intrathecal methotrexate (IT MTX) given monthly for 2 years after CRT. The Off-Therapy Registry has unique criteria for inclusion; direct comparisons with similar studies are therefore somewhat problematic. However, our data suggest that the risk of SMT in childhood ALL cancer survivors may be greater than previously reported, and that CNS tumors are the most common SMT in this group. The administration schedule of IT MTX may be an important risk factor.
International Journal of Cancer 12/1994; 59(4):451-6. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aims at defining the frequency and severity of late effects in a series of 288 long-term survivors of childhood cancer treated from 1962 to 1982 at the Giannina Gaslini Children's Research Hospital of Genoa, Italy.
All cases with a diagnosis of malignancy in childhood and a minimum of 2.5 years from discontinuation of treatment were considered eligible. For all cases the study included physical, endocrinological, and psychological examination. Groups of patients selected according to treatment underwent cardiac, pulmonary, orthopedic, and ophthalmologic evaluation. The sequelae observed were scored according to a grading system in which asymptomatic subclinical defects are distinguished from those that are sufficiently symptomatic to require some type of corrective measure.
Overall, 200 of 288 cases (69.4%) presented with some kind of abnormality. Symptomatic changes were present in 92 cases (42%); in these, severe and life-threatening late toxicity was reported in 61 (21.2%) and 12 cases (4.2%), respectively. The major risk factors appeared to be irradiation, type of tumor, and whether the patient had received therapy before 1974.
In our experience, this study demonstrates that there was a true excess of morbidity caused by the disease and its treatment in long-term survivors from almost any kind of childhood cancer. It also sheds light on how to prevent, diagnose, and adequately treat these patients and proposes specific criteria for the evaluation of the severity of delayed toxicity in long-term survivors of cancer in childhood.
The American journal of pediatric hematology/oncology 06/1994; 16(2):143-52.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Congenital leukemia is a rare disease accounting for about 1% of all leukemias in childhood. While cases associated with Down's syndrome not infrequently show a spontaneous regression, such an event is very rare in non-Down cases and exceptional in those (among the latter) which present clonal cytogenetic alterations in the neoplastic cells. We present the case of a patient with congenital leukemia and an abnormal karyotype (limited to the neoplastic clone), in which an apparently spontaneous and prolonged remission occurred after a relapse.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 119 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at onset underwent radiography of the whole body in order to determine whether initial radiological bone lesions were correlated with subsequent clinical course. Radiological findings were divided into three groups: 101 children (84.8%) had no bone involvement (group 0); 10 had bone changes compatible with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, such as slight metaphyseal transverse lucent bands with or without diffuse demineralization (group 1); 8 had bone changes, such as periosteal reaction with or without intramedullary osteolytic mottling. Bone involvement was not correlated with prognostic factors. Furthermore there was no significant correlation between bone changes and complete remission or survival.
La radiologia medica 10/1983; 69(9):644-9. · 1.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whereas children with Acute Leukemia are highly susceptible to infectious complications, the occurrence of acute osteomyelitis is extremely rare in these patients. The authors describe two such cases in children at onset of an acute lymphoblastic and of a myelomonocytic leukemia, respectively. In the former case, the clinical course has been characterized by the progressive involvement of several joints and bones. A citrobacter Freundii was isolated in the synovial fluid of an involved knee. This complication was successfully treated with proper antimicrobic agents and surgical toilet, while the patient was vigorously treated for her leukemia, achieving a complete remission. The latter case developed a right humerus osteomyelitis from an Enterobacter. The patient failed to respond to antibiotics, and his leukemia also turned refractory to antiblastic therapy. The difficulty in the differential diagnosis among the X-graphic aspects of leukemic, inflammatory and degenerative disease of bones are discussed by the authors. Some pathogenetic hypothesis of leukemic osteomyelitis are also presented.
La Pediatria medica e chirurgica: Medical and surgical pediatrics 5(4):205-9.