[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HtrA1 appears to be involved in several physiological processes as well as in the pathogenesis of conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and osteoarthritis. It has also been hypothesized to play a role as a tumor suppressor. This manuscript reviews the current cancer-related HtrA1 research from the methodological and clinical standpoints including studies regarding its potential role as a tumor marker and/or prognostic factor. PRISMA method was used for study selection. The articles thus collected were examined and selected by two independent reviewers; any disagreement was resolved by a methodologist. A laboratory researcher reviewed the methods and laboratory techniques. Fifteen studies met the inclusion criteria and concerned the following cancer sites: the nervous system, bladder, breast, esophagus, stomach, liver, endometrium, thyroid, ovaries, pleura, lung and skin. Most articles described in vivo studies using a morphological approach and immunohistochemistry, whereas protein expression was quantified as staining intensity scored by two raters. Often the results were not comparable due to the different rating scales and study design. Current research on HtrA1 does not conclusively support its role as a tumor suppressor.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cervical cancer (CC) is defined as a disease of disparity. This is due to marked differences in CC incidence and mortality between developed and developing countries. As a continent, Europe is no exception. This study examines the state of activation of CC screening in the European Union as of March 2014, reviews CC incidence and mortality data, and highlights the initiatives adopted to extend program coverage to nonresponders.
The present study is based on the most recent data available from PubMed-indexed journals, the Web sites of the health ministries of each member state, and the Web sites of national cancer observatories; failing these sources, information was sought in scientific journals published in the local language.
In 2003, the European Council recommended that priority be given to organized screening program activation. Nonetheless, a number of European Union member states still lack population-based organized screening programs, and few have implemented programs directed at disadvantaged populations.
Several investigations have demonstrated that the women at higher CC risk are unscreened and underscreened ones. Since then, several member states have made significant efforts to set up effective prevention programs by adopting international quality standards and centralizing screening organization and result evaluation. Several developed countries and some new central-eastern European member states have poorly organized prevention programs that result in poor women's health. Diagnosis of CC is emotionally traumatic, but it is highly preventable. When CC is found early, it is highly treatable and associated with long survival and good quality of life.
International Journal of Gynecological Cancer 03/2015; 25(3):474-83. DOI:10.1097/IGC.0000000000000374 · 1.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
We performed a multicentre randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effect on participation in organised screening programmes of a self-sampling device mailed home or picked up at a pharmacy compared with the standard recall letter.
Women aged 30-64 non-responding to screening invitation were eligible. Response rate to first invitation ranged from 30% to 60% between centres. The control was the standard reminder letter to undergo the test used by the programme (Pap test in three centres and HPV DNA test in three other centres). Home mailing of the self-sampler was preceded by a letter with a leaflet about HPV. The analysis was intention-to-treat.
In all, 14 041 women were randomised and recruited: 5012 in the control arm, 4516 to receive the self-sampler at home, and 4513 to pick up the self-sampler at a pharmacy. Participation was 11.9% in the control, 21.6% (relative participation: 1.75; 95% CI 1.60-1.93) in home, and 12.0% (relative participation: 0.96; 95% CI 0.86-1.07) in the pharmacy arms, respectively. The heterogeneity between centres was high (excess heterogeneity of that expected due to chance, i.e., I(2), 94.9% and 94.1% for home and pharmacy arm, respectively). The estimated impact on the overall coverage was +4.3% for home mail self-sampling compared with +2.2% for standard reminder.
Home mailing of self-sampler proved to be an effective way to increase participation in screening programmes, even in those with HPV as primary testing. Picking up at pharmacies showed effects varying from centre to centre.
British Journal of Cancer 01/2015; 112(4). DOI:10.1038/bjc.2015.11 · 4.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent epidemiological studies have demonstrated that coeliac disease (CD) prevalence is still underestimated both in Europe and in Mediterranean regions. Here we review the latest data on CD prevalence and incidence in the European Union (EU) as of September 2014.
The current epidemiological scenario of CD prevalence and incidence was investigated by searching PubMed for papers in English using the following key words: "celiac disease", "celiac disease plus prevalence" (limits: 1990-2014), "incidence" (limits: 1970-2014), and "frequency", plus "in Europe". Another search was performed with the same key words plus the name of each European country. Only prevalence data obtained by serology using anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA), EMA test, tTG test, and/or duodenal biopsy were included. The study designs considered were retrospective and prospective studies: population-based (PB), cross-sectional, case-control and cohort studies.
Extensive research based on serological screening has demonstrated that 0.5-1% of the EU population suffers from undiagnosed CD, whereas the highest estimate reported in PB studies is approximately 1%. Considering data from different periods, incidence seems to range from 0.1 to 3.7/1000 live births in the child population and from 1.3 to 39/100,000/year in the adult population.
The present data disclose marked geographical variation in CD incidence and prevalence in different European countries. Here we document rising CD occurrence in recent decades in European countries due partly to the advent of improved serological testing (tTG + EMA) and partly to increased awareness of its clinical presentation.
Annali di igiene: medicina preventiva e di comunità 11/2014; 26(6):485-498. DOI:10.7416/ai.2014.2007
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prader-Willi syndrome is a multisystemic genetic disorder that can be associated with epilepsy. There is insufficient information concerning the clinical and electroencephalographic characteristics of epilepsy and the long-term outcome of these patients. The aim of this study is to describe seizure types, electroencephalographic patterns and long-term seizure outcome in Prader-Willi syndrome patients suffering from epilepsy. We retrospectively studied 38 patients with Prader-Willi syndrome and seizures. Results of neuroimaging studies were obtained for 35 individuals. We subdivided these patients into two groups: group A, 24 patients, without brain lesions; and group B, 11 patients, with brain abnormalities. All patients were re-evaluated after a period of at least 10 years. Twenty-one patients (55.2 %) were affected by generalized epilepsy and 17 patients (44.8 %) presented focal epilepsy. The most common seizure type was generalized tonic-clonic seizure. The mean age at seizure onset was 4.5 years (ranged from 1 month to 14 years). In the follow-up period, seizure freedom was achieved in 32 patients (84.2 %). Seizure freedom was associated with electroencephalographic normalization, while the six children presenting drug-resistant epilepsy showed persistence of electroencephalographic abnormalities. Group B patients showed a higher prevalence of drug-resistant epilepsy. Patients with Prader-Willi syndrome were frequently affected by generalized seizures. Most of the patients had a favorable evolution, although, patients with brain abnormalities presented a worse outcome, suggesting that the presence of these lesions can influence the response to antiepileptic therapy.
Journal of Neurology 10/2014; 262(1). DOI:10.1007/s00415-014-7542-1 · 3.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast cancer, a major cause of female morbidity and mortality, is a global health problem; 2008 data show an incidence of ~450,000 new cases and 140,000 deaths (mean incidence rate 70.7 and mortality rate 16.7, world age-standardized rate per 100,000 women) in European Union Member States. Incidence rates in Western Europe are among the highest in the world. We review the situation of BC screening programmes in European Union. Up to date information on active BC screening programmes was obtained by reviewing the literature and searching national health ministries and cancer service websites. Although BC screening programmes are in place in nearly all European Union countries there are still considerable differences in target population coverage and age and in the techniques deployed. Screening is a mainstay of early BC detection whose main weakness is the rate of participation of the target population. National policies and healthcare planning should aim at maximizing participation in controlled organized screening programmes by identifying and lowering any barriers to adhesion, also with a view to reducing healthcare costs.
International Journal of Oncology 09/2014; 45(5). DOI:10.3892/ijo.2014.2632 · 3.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We evaluated efficacy of natalizumab in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients in a clinical practice setting. We report data on the first consecutive 343 patients receiving natalizumab in 12 multiple sclerosis (MS) Italian centers enrolled between April 2007 and November 2010. The main efficacy endpoints were the proportion of patients free from relapses, disease progression, combined clinical activity, defined as presence of relapse or disease progression, from MRI activity, and from any disease activity defined as the absence of any single or combined activity. At the end of follow-up, the cumulative proportion of patients free from relapses was 68%; the proportion of patients free from Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) progression was 93%; the proportion of patients free from combined clinical activity was 65%; the proportion of patients free from MRI activity was 77%; and the proportion of patients free from any disease activity was 53%. Natalizumab was effective in reducing clinical and neuroradiological disease activity. Its effectiveness in clinical practice is higher than that reported in pivotal trials and was maintained over time.
International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 06/2014; 27(2):147-154. · 1.62 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Colorectal cancer is a major public health challenge worldwide. In Europe it is the first malignancy in terms of incidence and the second in terms of mortality in both genders.
Despite evidence indicating that removal of premalignant and early-stage cancer lesion scan greatly reduce mortality, remarkable differences are still found among countries both in terms of organized screening programs and of the tests used.
In 2003 the European Council recommended that priority be given to activation of organized cancer screening programs, and various States have been making significant efforts to adopt effective prevention programs with international quality standards and centralizing screening organization and result evaluation.
After a 2008 EU report on the state of screening program activation highlighted that little more than 50% (12/22) of Member States had colorectal cancer screening programs, screening programs have been adopted or earlier pilot projects have been extended nationwide.
This paper examines the state of activation and the screening strategies of colorectal cancer screening programs in EU States as of July 2013.
Preventive Medicine 05/2014; 62. DOI:10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.02.010 · 3.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Celiac Disease (CD) is an increasingly common autoimmune disorder. It requires a strict lifelong adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD) which can influence health-related quality of life (HRQOL). This study assesses HRQOL in children and adolescents with CD and explores how several demographic and clinical characteristics and GFD adherence affect their perceived health status.
We recruited 140 consecutive children and adolescents with CD confirmed by small bowel biopsy. HRQOL was assessed using the SF-12 questionnaire plus some CD-specific questions exploring wellbeing and lifestyle. Patients, aged 10 to 18 years, were identified by pediatric gastroenterologists and guided in filling out the questionnaire by trained psychologists. Parametric or non-parametric tests were applied to analyze continuous variables and frequencies as appropriate.
The SF-12 mean mental component summary score (MCS12) was lower than in the general Italian population (p < 0.001), whereas differences in terms of physical health were not significant (p = 0.220). More than one third of those interviewed reported feeling angry "always" or "most of the time" about having to follow the GFD, and nearly 20% reported feeling different from others and misunderstood because of CD "always" or "most of the time".
Our findings highlight the need for health professionals to identify adolescents with major disease-related problems. The food industry should improve its range of gluten-free food products and public bodies and institutions should promote informative campaigns and help promote the overall quality of life of children and adolescents with CD.
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 12/2013; 11(1):204. DOI:10.1186/1477-7525-11-204 · 2.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several studies have suggested an association between migraine and insulin resistance (IR) without adequately addressing the issue according to migraine type. We assessed IR in subjects with migraine with aura (MwA) and migraine without aura (MwoA) to estimate the consistency of the possible association.
In a case-control study we included case subjects with MwA and MwoA, who were consecutively selected from those referred to our Regional Headache Center from September 2011 to February 2013, and age-matched control subjects selected using general practitioners' databases. IR was calculated by means of the homeostatic model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR), β-cell function (HOMA-B), and the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI) measuring glucose and insulin values in a blood sample collected in the morning after overnight fasting. Data regarding anthropometric measures, comorbidity risk factors, and migraine characteristics were also recorded.
We recruited 50 case subjects with MwA (38 women) and 50 with MwoA (40 women) and 50 control subjects (40 women). Proportions of arterial hypertension, cigarette smoking, hypercholesterolemia, use of oral contraceptives, and mean values of the body mass index (BMI) were similar in the three groups. We found significantly different glucose values among and within groups considering case subjects with MwA and MwoA and control subjects (4.9 ± 0.6 vs 4.7 ± 0.5 vs 4.6 ± 0.5 mmol/l; P = 0.018) in the absence of any difference in insulin (53.1 ± 24.0 vs 56.7 ± 34.4 vs 53.8 ± 24.4 pmol/l; P = 0.811), HOMA-IR (1.6 ± 0.8 vs 1.7 ± 1.0 vs 1.6 ± 0.7; P = 0.765), HOMA-B (121.4 ± 71.1 vs 149.2 ± 93.8 vs 162.8 ± 109.7; P = 0.107), and QUICKI (0.36 ± 0.03 vs 0.37 ± 0.03 vs 0.37 ± 0.03; P = 0.877) values. The logistic regression model showed increased odds of MwA in subjects exposed to the highest tertile of glucose values. This association was confirmed in the adjusted model, in which case subjects with MwA were compared with those with MwoA but not with control subjects.
In contrast to what has been shown by the majority of the available studies, the results of our study do not support the association of migraine with IR. As our study was not population-based and several patients had low disease activity, these findings need further confirmation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have analysed concentrations of the p53 protein in advanced oral carcinomas immunohistochemically and genetically to detect the percentage of overexpression of this antioncogene that indicates a high probability of mutation. This would point to it being a useful prognostic factor, if we consider the importance of the relation between genetic alterations of p53 and poor overall survival. Seventy-five non-consecutive patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma and metastatic nodes were enrolled if there was homogeneity in histopathological grading (G2) of their tumours, and they were treated according to a multidisciplinary treatment plan. Monoclonal antibodies, extraction of DNA, and amplification of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were used for the immunohistochemical and genetic analyses. There was a significant inverse correlation between p53 overexpression and response to chemotherapy and a stronger association between high P53 overexpression (%) and a genetic mutation of p53 (p=0.0001). More than 50% overexpression indicated a strong probability of genetic mutation. There was no association between response to chemotherapy and age-groups or TNM classification (p=0.2), but there was a significant one between sex and site of tumour (p<0.001). Three prognostic factors were significantly related to prognosis: site of tumour (p=0.01), response to chemotherapy (p=0.002), and immuno p53 (p=0.0001). A tumour that is characterised by p53 overexpression of more than 50% indicates a poor prognosis.
British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 06/2013; 51(8). DOI:10.1016/j.bjoms.2013.05.150 · 1.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We evaluated the presence of HtrA1 in maternal plasma of normal pregnancies and of pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia (PE) without and with Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR). We demonstrate that HtrA1 maternal plasma levels show significant different concentrations in first, second and third trimester of gestation and that HtrA1 concentration increases in maternal plasma of gestations complicated by PE with IUGR compared with control maternal plasma matched for gestational age. Based on these data high maternal plasma levels of HtrA1 could be considered as a possible marker of an occurring IUGR in preeclamptic women.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the incidence and describe the characteristics of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) in the pediatric population in a community-based healthcare delivery system of the central Italy region of Abruzzo during 2000-2009.
A retrospective study was conducted in Abruzzo to identify patients aged <18 years with a diagnosis of ARF between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2009. Each patient's age, sex, date of diagnosis, age at disease presentation, and fulfilled Jones criteria were recorded.
A total of 88 patients meeting the Jones criteria for the diagnosis of ARF were identified, with arthritis in 59.1% of the patients, carditis in 48.9%, erythema marginatum in 11.4%, 5.7% with chorea, and 4.6% with subcutaneous nodules. Residual chronic rheumatic heart disease was present in 44.3% of the children. Age at diagnosis ranged from 2.5 to 17 years (average, 8.7 ± 4.0 years). Twelve children (13.6%) were under age 5 years. The overall incidence rate of ARF was 4.1/100 000. The lowest incidence rate was documented in the year 2000 (2.26/100 000), and the highest in 2006 (5.58/100 000).
Our data indicate that ARF has not disappeared in industrialized countries and still causes significant residual rheumatic heart disease. Pediatricians should routinely consider the diagnoses of streptococcal pharyngitis and ARF to reduce long-term morbidity and mortality.
The Journal of pediatrics 11/2011; 160(5):832-6.e1. DOI:10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.10.009 · 3.79 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patient adherence is a key element for therapeutic success and represents a major concern for all healthcare professionals.
Aim of our study was to assess the frequency of use of treatments currently available for psoriasis and its association with specific socio-demographical and clinical variables.
The study population consisted of 1689 patients, aged 12-85 years. Information concerning socio-demographical variables, clinical features and the type of current treatment was collected. Items on patients' satisfaction of current treatments and of dermatologist-patient relationship were also included. The chi-squared test was used to estimate the association between the categorical variables, whereas Wilcoxon and Kruskal-Wallis tests were applied to the interval and ordinal variables. The Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel chi-squared trend test was used to evaluate the degree of satisfaction related to dermatologist-patient relationship.
Of the 1689 psoriatic patients, 54.1% did not use any treatments and 45.9% used at least one treatment. The use of drugs was significantly associated exclusively to severity of disease and affected body surface area. Systemic therapies, both traditional treatments and biological agents, were mainly used in patients with disease duration >10 years and disease severity. Treatment adherence was significantly associated to the degree of patient's satisfaction of his/her relationship with the dermatologist. Alternative treatment such as over the counter medications and acupuncture were used by 33% of patients.
The majority of psoriatic patients do not use any treatments. However, treatment adherence significantly increases when dermatologists clarify the treatment schedule, inform patients and meet the patients' needs.
Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 08/2011; 26(8):976-82. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-3083.2011.04196.x · 2.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dermoscopy has been proved to increase the diagnostic accuracy of basal cell carcinoma (BCC).
To characterize the type and frequency of vascular patterns in superficial and nodular BCCs.
We retrospectively analysed the dermoscopic images of 504 histopathologically proven BCCs.
The most common vascular pattern was represented by arborizing vessels (306/504; 60.7%), which were significantly more frequent in nodular BCCs (nBCCs) compared with superficial BCCs (sBCCs), and in pigmented sBCCs vs. non-pigmented sBCCs (P<0.0001). Short fine telangectasias (SFTs) were found in 33.1% (167/504) of cases and were significantly more frequent in sBCCs compared with nBCCs (P<0.0001). Hairpin vessels were detected in 52/504 (10.3%) BCCs. Minor vascular patterns included glomerular vessels (41/504; 8.1%), dotted (21/504; 4.2%), comma vessels (5/504; 1.0%) and polymorphous pattern (9/504; 1.8%).
Arborizing vessels are prototypic of nBCCs, whereas SFTs are characteristics of sBCCs. Differential diagnosis with squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma is mandatory when a polymorphous pattern is detected.
Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 03/2011; 25(3):358-61. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-3083.2010.03734.x · 2.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To validate the Italian version of the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R).
Two observers applied the Italian version of the CRS-R to selected patients. On day 1, observer A and B independently scored each patient; the comparison of their observations was used to evaluate inter-observer agreement. On day 2, observer A completed a second evaluation and the comparison of this observation with that obtained on day 1 by the same observer was used to evaluate test-re-test agreement. For each evaluation, also diagnostic impression (vegetative state/minimally conscious state) was reported.
Thirty-eight patients were evaluated (mean age ± SD, 58.9 ± 13.8 years). Inter-observer (ρ = 0.81; p < 0.001) as well as test-re-test agreement (ρ = 0.97; p < 0.001) for the total score was high. Inter-observer agreement was excellent for the communication sub-scale, good for the auditory, visual and motor sub-scales and moderate for the oromotor/verbal and arousal sub-scales. Test-re-test agreement was excellent for the visual, motor, oromotor/verbal and communication sub-scales, good for the auditory sub-scale and moderate for the arousal sub-scale. When considering the diagnostic impression, inter-observer agreement was good (κ = 0.75; p < 0.001) and test-re-test agreement was excellent (κ = 0.92; p < 0.001).
The Italian version of the CRS-R can be administered reliably and can be also employed to discriminate patients in vegetative and in minimally conscious state.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypoglycemia remains a central problem in the management of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and limits the achievement of good or normal glycemic control. The Diabetes Control and Complication Trial showed that intensive treatment of T1DM increased the risk of severe hypoglycemia (SH) when compared to conventional therapy. The aim of our study was to determine the incidence of SH and associated variables in a population of children and adolescents with T1DM.
We performed a 7.5-yr prospective study enrolling 195 patients aged 13.9 ± 6.6 yr. The study was carried out by referring to the T1DM population-based register in the Abruzzo region of Italy. The incidence of SH, defined as blood glucose levels <50 mg/dL (<2.77 mmol/L) associated with altered states of consciousness (including confusional state, seizures, and coma) was recorded. Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) percentage, insulin dose, insulin regimen, time since diagnosis, and age at onset were also recorded.
One hundred and thirty-three severe hypoglycemic events occurred during the study period; the overall incidence was 9.4 episodes per 100 patient-years. Significant predictors of hypoglycemia were diabetes duration >10 yr (p = 0.01), basal/bolus insulin ratio (ratio of daily basal insulin units to daily bolus insulin units) >0.8 (p = 0.01). No relationship was found between hypoglycemic episodes and HbA1c levels, daily insulin requirements, or insulin regimen.
In these patients, a relatively low incidence of SH was recorded, without pronounced association with lower HbA1c or multiple daily injection insulin therapy. SH seems to be mainly related to management of diabetes. We believe that the main path to SH prevention is through patient and family education in the management of T1DM.