Elias Skopelitis

Laiko Hospital, Athínai, Attica, Greece

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Publications (17)22.97 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mediterranean Kaposi's sarcoma (MKS), HIV-related KS (HIV-KS) and immunosuppression-associated KS (IS-KS), caused by human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8), share similar histological features. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in epidermal nerve fibers (ENFs) between the three KS types and controls. Skin biopsies from 23 HIV-KS, 16 MKS, 28 IS-KS patients and 18 controls, age-gender matched, were immunostained with PGP 9.5; ENFs in upper epidermal layer (EL) and penetrating the basement membrane were measured. The mean number of nerve fibers penetrating ENFs was significantly lower in HIV-KS (p < 0.001) compared to all other groups. MKS and IS-KS had comparable ENFs but lower than controls (p < 0.00 1). In the upper EL all groups had comparable ENFs and lower than controls. In conclusion, HIV-KS can be distinguished histologically from other types, by counting ENFs. Moreover, KS is associated with decreased ENFs, which may be a histological reflection of nerve damage. This is even more pronounced in HIV-KS patients and could be explained by a neurotoxic action of HHV-8, HIV, and their co-existence.
    Archives for Dermatological Research 05/2013; · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To identify changes in peripheral immune responses in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) treated with irinotecan/5-fluorouracil/leucovorin (IFL) alone or in combination with cetuximab (C-IFL). Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected from healthy donors (n = 20) and patients with mCRC receiving treatment with either IFL (n = 30) or C-IFL (n = 30) were tested for cytokine production upon polyclonal stimulation with anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody, T cell proliferation in the autologous mixed lymphocyte reaction (auto-MLR) and T regulatory cell (Treg) frequency. The respective results were evaluated over two treatment cycles and further assessed in relation to response to treatment. Results: PBMCs prior to treatment exhibited significantly lower production of IL-2, IFN-γ, IL-12 and IL-18 cytokines and lower auto-MLR responses, whereas Treg frequency, IL-4, IL-10 cytokines were increased compared to healthy donors. During treatment, IL-2, IFN-γ, IL-12, IL-18 and auto-MLR responses increased, while Treg frequency and IL-10 secretion decreased significantly compared to the baseline. Responders to treatment exhibited a significantly higher increase in IL-2, IFN-γ, IL-12 and IL-18 production and auto-MLR responses, and higher decrease in IL-4, IL-10 secretion and Treg frequency. Among all patient subgroups analysed, responders to C-IFL demonstrated significantly higher increase in auto-MLR responses, IL-12 and IL-18 secretion and higher decrease in Treg frequency. Conclusion: The disturbed immune parameters observed in patients with mCRC at presentation can be significantly improved during treatment with IFL and this effect can be potentiated by the addition of cetuximab. Monitoring of the peripheral immune system function could be used as surrogate marker in predicting treatment-related outcome.
    Oncology 02/2013; 84(5):273-283. · 2.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To investigate the underlying mechanisms of polyneuropathy induced by HIV infection or antiretroviral drugs. METHODS: We tested 100 HIV patients (59 with AIDS). Ninety-three patients received antiretroviral drugs. Forty-four were treated with neurotoxic compounds (ddI, ddC, d4T). Nerve conduction velocities and the sympathetic skin response (SSR) in palms and soles were measured in all patients. In skin biopsies (ankle and thigh), the intraepidermal nerve fiber density (IENFD) and the number of epidermal fibers without contact to the basal membrane (fragments) were quantified using PGP9.5 staining. RESULTS: Severity of the disease (CD4+count) correlated to conduction velocities of peroneal (p<0.01, Spearmans rank correlation), sural (p<0.01) and median nerves (p<0.05/p<0.001, sensory/motor). In contrast, the duration of neurotoxic treatment did not impair conduction velocities (p>0.3) but correlated to reduced IENFD in the ankle (r=-0.24, p<0.05). Despite their reduced IENFD, patients with long neurotoxic treatment had a high number of fragments irrespective of their CD4+count. CONCLUSIONS: Neurotoxic treatment appears to primarily impair thin fiber conduction, whereas HIV neuropathy is linked to large fiber impairment and reduction of fragments of nerve fibers. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings emphasize the differential pattern of polyneuropathy in HIV patients caused by the infection or induced by antiretroviral treatment.
    Clinical neurophysiology: official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology 07/2012; · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    08/2011; , ISBN: 978-953-307-593-8
  • Neuroscience Letters - NEUROSCI LETT. 01/2011; 500.
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    ABSTRACT: Most patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma are diagnosed with locally advanced (unresectable) or metastatic disease. The aim of this study was to investigate possible prognostic factors of survival in such patients. Two hundred and fifteen patients were studied retrospectively. Twenty-four potential prognostic variables (demographics, clinical parameters, biochemical markers, treatment modality) were examined. Mean survival was 29.0 weeks. 21.9% survived more than 36 weeks. On multivariate analysis, 10 factors had an independent effect on survival: tumour localisation, metastasis, performance status, jaundice, weight loss, C reactive protein, CEA, CA 19-9, palliative surgery and chemotherapy. Patients managed only with palliative care had a hazard ratio of 8.94 versus those offered a combination of palliative surgery and chemotherapy. Many factors could be used as predictors of survival in patients with advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer. Chemotherapy and palliative surgery are associated with increased survival, and should be offered to all eligible patients.
    Anticancer research 01/2008; 28(1B):543-9. · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The linear intraepidermal nerve fibre density (IENFD) and secondary branching were evaluated from skin biopsy of both the distal calf and the proximal thigh after staining with protein gene product 9.5 in 94 individuals of an HIV outpatient cohort. Possible correlations with clinical and electrophysiological evidence of distal sensory polyneuropathy (DSP), patients' demographics, antiretroviral history and HIV surrogate markers were analysed. Reduced IENFD was recognized in the majority of this population (mean +/- standard deviation [SD] IENFD in the calf and the thigh was 3.19 +/- 1.91 and 7.07 +/- 3.5 fibres/mm, respectively). One-third of the patients with low IENFD had no clinical or electrophysiological evidence of DSP. The level of prior immunosuppression as expressed by lower nadir CD4 count, more advanced HIV stage and prior exposure to combinations of neurotoxic antiretrovirals was associated with more decreased IENFD. Increased SB was associated with symptomatic DSP.
    International Journal of STD & AIDS 01/2008; 18(12):856-60. · 1.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Given the prevalence of leishmaniasis and cancer, the co-existence of these two diseases may be merely coincidental. However, a number of epidemiological, experimental and laboratory studies suggest that an association between these two entities does exist. The aim of this review is to summarise the occurrence of leishmaniasis as an opportunistic infection associated with malignant disorders and to present the available literature potentially linking this infection with the development of cancerous lesions. We searched electronic databases and evaluated 37 studies involving 44 patients. Four different types of association between leishmaniasis and cancer were established: leishmaniasis mimicking a malignant disorder, such as lymphoma; leishmaniasis arising as a difficult to diagnose and treat infection among patients receiving chemotherapy for various malignant disorders; simultaneous diagnosis of leishmaniasis and a neoplastic disorder in the same tissue samples of immunocompromised patients; and direct involvement of Leishmania spp. in the pathogenesis/occurrence of malignant lesions, especially of the skin and mucous membranes. The main conclusion of this review is that leishmaniasis can directly or indirectly affect the presentation, diagnosis and course of various malignant disorders and it should be considered in the differential diagnosis of malignancies in geographic areas where it is endemic and/or in patients with travel history to these areas.
    Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 01/2008; 101(12):1181-9. · 1.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The study assessed HIV-related and anti-retroviral therapy-induced neuropathy in myelinated and unmyelinated nerve fibers. One hundred consecutive HIV patients were examined clinically and standard nerve conduction velocities were measured. In addition, electrically induced sympathetic skin response (SSR) was assessed in the palms and soles. The difference in delay of SSR in palms and soles (DeltaSSR) was calculated as an indirect measure of C-fiber conduction velocity. Thick fiber conduction velocities significantly decreased with age and increasing stage of the disease, whereas no effect of stage was found for DeltaSSR (p=0.6). In contrast, medication of at least one of the most known neurotoxic drugs zalcitabine, stavudine, or didanosine did not result in significantly lower conduction velocities in thick fibers (51.29+/-3.4 m/s vs. 50.86+/-3.5 m/s), but was related to an increased DeltaSSR. DeltaSSR allows an indirect measurement of C-fiber conduction velocity. In HIV this measure of unmyelinated sympathetic fibers was most sensitive to anti-viral treatment whereas conduction velocity of myelinated somatic fibers was more sensitive to disease-related neuropathy. The results suggest that HIV neuropathy preferably affects myelinated and anti-retroviral therapy unmyelinated fibers.
    Autonomic Neuroscience 11/2007; 136(1-2):90-5. · 1.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this investigation was to assess retrospectively the safety and the efficacy of oral ciprofloxacin plus cefuroxime axetil compared to the combination of oral ciprofloxacin plus amoxicillin/clavulanate, as initial outpatient treatment, in low-risk cancer patients with fever and neutropenia. We analysed retrospectively 120 episodes of febrile neutropenia, treated on an outpatient basis at 2 different oncology units; 63 episodes were treated with the oral regimen of ciprofloxacin plus amoxicillin/clavulanate and 57 were treated with the combination of oral ciprofloxacin plus cefuroxime. 20 treatment failures were recorded-2 of them among patients receiving ciprofloxacin plus amoxicillin/clavulanate and 18 in the ciprofloxacin plus cefuroxime group. Univariate analysis showed that the administration of ciprofloxacin plus cefuroxime was associated with a worse outcome compared to the regimen ciprofloxacin plus amoxicillin/clavulanate (OR 11, CI 2.42-49.9, p =0.002). In the multivariate model, after adjusting for the absolute number of neutrophils and the duration of neutropenia, the effect of the antibiotic regimen on the outcome disappeared, and no significant differences between the 2 regimens were noted, although the regimen of ciprofloxacin plus cefuroxime was associated with a trend to a worse outcome (OR 4.74, CI 0.72-31.1, p =0.10). In conclusion, the 2 regimens appeared equally safe and effective but prospective studies are needed to confirm these results.
    Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases 02/2007; 39(9):786-91. · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of distal sensory polyneuropathy (DSP) in our HIV-positive patients under highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and to investigate correlations with clinical, laboratory and demographic factors. One hundred consecutive HIV-positive patients underwent clinical and electrophysiological evaluation for DSP. Correlations with HIV stage, CD4 count, nadir CD4 count, viral load (VL), disease duration, age, sex and type of antiretrovirals were examined. Thirty-six percent of the patients had DSP (13% clinical, 23% subclinical diagnosed by electrophysiology). The prevalence of DSP was affected in a statistically significant manner by the diagnosis of AIDS (P = 0.00033), age (P = 0.0102), nadir CD4 count (P = 0.0087) and exposure to two neurotoxic antiretrovirals (P = 0.0189). Advanced HIV stage, sex, time from diagnosis, current CD4 count and VL did not seem to affect the prevalence of DSP. Clinical examination plus electrophysiology reveals that DSP affects 36% of patients under HAART, although subclinical in 2/3 of cases. Age, severe prior immunosuppression and the combined use of zalcitabine (ddC), stavudine (d4T) and didanosine (ddI) are important risk factors.
    International Journal of STD & AIDS 08/2006; 17(7):467-72. · 1.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiotoxicity associated with 5-fluorouracil (5FU) administration is infrequently reported in the literature, albeit case reports of acute coronary syndromes have been published. In the present study, patients undergoing 5FU chemotherapy were tested for the development of cardiac-related symptoms during its administration. Five hundred twenty-two patients entered the study. Those experiencing any cardiac-related symptoms during 5FU infusion were subjected to electrocardiogram (ECG) and serum cardiac enzymes determination. If cardiotoxicity was confirmed, 5FU infusion was interrupted, sublingual nitrates administered and cardiac monitoring initiated, while patients with >2-fold enzyme elevation were admitted into a coronary care unit for at least 72 hours. Cases with acute myocardial infarction had to discontinue 5FU treatment. Overall 20 (3.8%) patients developed symptoms and/or ECG abnormalities due to 5FU. Patients with continuous 5FU infusion had a trend for higher incidence of cardiotoxicity (13/205, 6.3%) than the remaining (7/317, 2.2%; p=0.067). More specifically, increased toxicity was encountered in patients with continuous 24 h 5FU+ leucovorin (LV) infusion for 5 days compared to patients with the same schedule without LV (p <0.027) and patients with short 5FU+LV administration as well (p=0.024). Seven out of the 20 patients suffered acute myocardial infarction, 6 developed only ischemia, while ECG findings consistent with coronary vasospasm were detected in 4 patients and conduction disturbances in 3 patients (one subsequently died). The present study indicates a toxic effect of 5FU on myocardium, which is largely schedule-dependent. High level of alert is required when using this drug, while its toxic effect on the coronary endothelium and myocardium merits further investigation.
    Journal of B.U.ON.: official journal of the Balkan Union of Oncology 01/2005; 10(2):205-11. · 0.76 Impact Factor
  • Journal of chemotherapy (Florence, Italy) 03/2003; 15(1):97-8. · 0.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of the weekly combination of etoposide, leucovorin (LV) and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) when administered as second-line chemotherapy in patients with relapsed/refractory advanced colorectal cancer (ACC), previously treated with weekly LV+5-FU. Etoposide was administered at 3 different dose levels (DLs), in 3 groups of 20 patients each (total: 60); DL-I: etoposide 80 mg/m2, DL-II: etoposide 120 mg/m2, and DL-III: etoposide 180 mg/m2, in 45 min i.v. infusion, and followed in all levels by LV 100 mg/m2 i.v. over 1 hour and 5-FU 500 mg/m2 i.v. bolus. Treatment was administered weekly until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. No patients at DL-I responded, while 2 patients at DL-II and 3 at DL-III had a partial response (PR). Stable disease (SD) rates were as follows; at DL-I: 2, DL-II: 8 and DL-III: 9. More patients in DL-I progressed (n = 19) compared to DL-II (n=10) and DL-II (n = 8) (p < 0.0007). Time to progression was for DL-I, -II, -III: 17, 15, and 14 weeks, respectively. Median survival was DL-I, -II, -III: 30, 30, and 32.5 weeks, respectively. Toxicity consisted mainly of neutropenia, diarrhea and mucositis at all DLs, and was significantly more severe in DL-III. No difference was noted in responses between DL-II and DL-III. The authors conclude that the combination of etoposide with LV+5-FU has limited activity when administered after failure of weekly LV+5-FU in patients with ACC and should not be recommended for further evaluation.
    Journal of chemotherapy (Florence, Italy) 09/2002; 14(4):406-11. · 0.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report an unusual case of brucellar spondylitis, involving both the cervical and lumbar spine. Diagnosis was established using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An initial plain radiograph of the lumbar spine, showing mild degenerative lesions, was misleading. Therefore, institution of a proper treatment was delayed.
    Clinical Imaging 01/2000; 24(5):273-5. · 0.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the overall survival (OS) of patients developing breast cancer (BC) after curative chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and to evaluate the possible effect on the patients' outcome of the expression of drug resistance-related proteins (P-glycoprotein-Pgp, multidrug resistance-associated protein-MRP, and multidrug resistance-related vault lung resistance protein-LRP) in BC issue. Study group: 25 female patients (median age 60 years, range 37-70) who developed BC after chemotherapy for high/intermediate grade B-cell NHL, treated with CHOP and achieving complete remission (CR). This group was further subdivided in subgroups A and B, according to the time interval between NHL and BC development (</=24 and > 24 months, respectively). A matched-pair group of de novo BC patients formed the control group. BC tissue was immuno-histochemically stained for Pgp, MRP and LRP. The median interval between NHL diagnosis and BC development was 26 months (range 9-49). In both groups 14 patients had tumor grade II; 16 were negative for steroid receptors; 17 overexpressed c-erbB-2; 14 were stage IIIA/B, and 11 stage IV. CMF or CNF (mitoxantrone instead of doxorubicin) were given for BC. Early progression was noticed in all study group patients for which second-line chemotherapy was instituted. There was a better response for stage IV patients in the control versus the study group (p=0.07). More prolonged OS was demonstrate for patients with stage III in the control group (median 51 months) and in subgroup B (median 47 months) than in subgroup A (median 16 months; p=0.00012), as well as for patients with advanced disease (p=0.0045). Development of BC < 24 months after NHL resulted in reduced OS (p=0.017). No difference was noticed in the expression of drug resistance proteins between the study and control group or between subgroups A and B. BC developing shortly after a CR to NHL is an aggressive disease variant with minimal potential for response to conventional chemotherapy. Analysis of Pgp, MRP and LRP failed to demonstrate significant difference between the study and control group, although indications exist that drug resistance mechanisms might be part of the aggressive disease phenotype, contributing to the poor outcome.
    Journal of B.U.ON.: official journal of the Balkan Union of Oncology 10(1):71-6. · 0.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The efficacy of the docetaxel-carboplatin combination chemotherapy was studied in various phase II studies. Based on these data we aimed to test the regimen in previously untreated patients with advanced advanced non-smoking lung cancer (NSCLC) with docetaxel 80 mg/m2 a standard dose of carboplatin at AUC = 5, in an attempt to define the efficacy and tolerability of the combination in an open-label phase II study. Patients with histologically confirmed advanced NSCLC stage IIIB and IV were candidates for the present study. Docetaxel was administered at 80 mg/m2 over 1 h by intravenous (IV) infusion followed by carboplatin AUC = 5 in 30 min IV infusion, both on day 1, and recycled every 21 days. Sixty patients received 263 courses of therapy in total; 231/263 (88%) were administered according to the planned doses, and 48/60 (80%) patients received chemotherapy without decrement of the dose; 32/263 (12%) of the courses were administered with a 10%-30% dose reduction. Complete responses (CR) were seen in 5 patients (8.3%) and partial responses (PR) in 16 patients (26.7%) for an overall response rate of 35%. Median duration of response was 7.5 months [95% confidence interval (CI)-7.1-7.9], time to progression (TIP) 11.5 months (95% CI-8.2-14.8), median overall survival (OS) 15.0 months (95% CI-10.8-19.2). One-year survival was 61.7%. Toxicity was acceptable; it was calculated according to the administered cycles and was mainly neutropenia: grade 3, 9% and grade 4, 2%; anemia: grade 3, 8%; nausea and vomiting: grade 3, 8%. The outpatient regimen of docetaxel-carboplatin is effective with acceptable toxicity in patients with advanced NSCLC.
    Beiträge zur Klinik der Tuberkulose 183(6):405-16. · 2.06 Impact Factor