E Testa

Università degli Studi di Urbino "Carlo Bo", Urbino, The Marches, Italy

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Publications (24)142.25 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: HtrA1 is a member of the HtrA (high-temperature requirement factor A) family of serine proteases. HtrA1 plays a protective role in various malignancies due to its tumour suppressive properties. The aim of this study was to determine HtrA1 expression as a predictor of chemoresponse in patients with advanced gastric cancer. HtrA1 expression was determined by immunohistochemistry on specimens of primary gastric cancer from 80 patients treated consecutively with cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy. Response to chemotherapy was assessed according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours (RECIST) criteria. Our population consisted of males/females [51/29; median age 64 years (range 32-82)]. A complete or partial response was observed in 71.4% [95% confidence interval (CI) 54.7-88.2], 66.7% (95% CI 47.8-85.5) and 28.6% (95 CI 11.8-45.3) of tumours showing high, medium and low HtrA1 expression, respectively. A statistically significant association between HtrA1 expression and the clinical response was observed (P = 0.002). The median overall survival for patients with high/medium expression was 17 months compared to 9.5 months for patients with low HtrA1 expression (P = 0.037). Identification of HtrA1 in gastric cancer prior to chemotherapy indicates that levels of HtrA1 could be used to predict response to platinum-based combination therapies. Further assessment of HtrA1 expression is highly warranted in large, prospective studies.
    Histopathology 03/2011; 58(5):669-78. · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: No established second-line chemotherapy is available for patients with advanced gastric cancer failing to respond or progressing to first-line chemotherapy. However, 20-40% of these patients commonly receive second-line chemotherapy. We evaluated the influence of clinico-pathologic factors on the survival of 175 advanced gastric cancer patients, who received second-line chemotherapy at three oncology departments. Univariate and multivariate analyses found five factors which were independently associated with poor overall survival: performance status 2 (hazard ratio (HR), 1.79; 95% CI, 1.16-2.77; P=0.008), haemoglobin </=11.5 g l(-1) (HR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.06-2.05; P=0.019), CEA level >50 ng ml(-1) (HR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.21-2.88; P=0.004), the presence of greater than or equal to three metastatic sites of disease (HR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.16-2.53; P=0.006), and time-to-progression under first-line chemotherapy </=6 months (HR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.39-2.80; P<0.0001). A prognostic index was constructed dividing patients into low- (no risk factor), intermediate- (one to two risk factors), or high- (three to five risk factors) risk groups, and median survival times for each group were 12.7 months, 7.1 months, and 3.3 months, respectively (P<0.001). In the absence of data deriving from randomised trials, this analysis suggests that some easily available clinical factors may help to select patients with advanced gastric cancer who could derive more benefit from second-line chemotherapy.
    British Journal of Cancer 12/2008; 99(9):1402-7. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The primary end point of the study was the analysis of associations between polymorphisms with putative influence on 5-fluorouracil/irinotecan activity and progression-free survival (PFS) of patients with advanced colorectal cancer treated with first-line FOLFIRI chemotherapy. Peripheral blood samples from 146 prospectively enrolled patients were used for genotyping polymorphisms in thymidylate synthase (TS), methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), excision repair cross-complementation group-1 (ERCC 1) xeroderma pigmentosum group-D (XPD), X-ray cross-complementing-1 (XRCC 1), X-ray cross-complementing-3 (XRCC 3) and uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferases-A1 (UGT1 A1). TS 3'-UTR 6+/6+ and XRCC3-241 C/C genotypes were associated with adverse PFS. Hazard ratio for PFS achieved 2.89 (95% confidence interval=1.56-5.80; P=0.002) in 30 patients (20%) with both risk genotypes. Risk for Grade III-IV neutropenia was significantly associated with UGT1A1*28 7/7 genotype. These promising findings deserve further investigations and their validation in independent prospective studies.
    The Pharmacogenomics Journal 09/2008; 8(4):278-88. · 5.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate whether polymorphisms with putative influence on fluorouracil/cisplatin activity are associated with clinical outcomes of patients with advanced gastric cancer (AGC). Peripheral blood samples from 175 prospectively enrolled AGC patients treated with fluorouracil/cisplatin palliative chemotherapy were used for genotyping 13 polymorphisms in nine genes (TS, MTHFR, XPD, ERCC1, XRCC1, XRCC3, GSTPI, GSTTI, GSTMI). Genotypes were correlated to response and survival. The overall response rate was 41%, the median progression-free survival (PFS) was 24 weeks (range, 4 to 50 weeks), and the median overall survival (OS) was 39 weeks (range, 8 to 72+ weeks). Chemoresistance and poor survival were significantly associated with TS 5'-UTR 3G-genotype (2R/3G, 3C/3G, 3G/3G) and GSTP1 105 A/A homozygous genotype. Sixty-one patients (35%) did not show any of these risk genotypes (group 0), 57 patients (32.5%) showed one of the two risk genotypes (group 1), and 57 patients (32.5%) showed both risk genotypes (group 2). Median PFS and OS in group 0 patients were 32 weeks (range, 8 to 50 weeks) and 49 weeks (range, 18 to 72+ weeks), respectively. Group 1 and group 2 patients showed significantly worse PFS (median, 26 weeks [range, 6 to 44 weeks] and 14 weeks [range, 4 to 38 weeks], respectively) and worse OS (median, 39 weeks [range, 10 to 58 weeks] and 28 weeks [range, 8 to 56 weeks]), respectively, than group 0 patients. This adverse effect was retained in multivariate analysis. Specific polymorphisms may influence clinical outcomes of AGC patients. Selecting palliative chemotherapy on the basis of pretreatment genotyping may represent an innovative strategy that warrants prospective studies.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 05/2006; 24(12):1883-91. · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Elderly patients have been often excluded from or underrepresented in the study populations of combination chemotherapy trials. The primary end point of this study was to determine the response rate and the toxicity of the weekly oxaliplatin, 5-fluorouracil and folinic acid (OXALF) regimen in elderly patients with advanced gastric cancer. The secondary objective was to measure the time to disease progression and the survival time. Chemotherapy-naive patients with advanced gastric cancer aged 70 or older were considered eligible for study entry. Patients received weekly oxaliplatin 40 mg/m2, fluorouracil 500 mg/m2 and folinic acid 250 mg/m2. All drugs were given intravenously on a day-1 schedule. A total of 42 elderly patients were enrolled. Median age was 73 years and all patients had metastatic disease. The response rate according to RECIST criteria was 45.2% (95% CIs: 30%-56%) with two complete responses, 17 partial responses, 13 stable diseases and 10 progressions, for an overall tumor rate control of 76.2% (32 patients). Toxicity was generally mild and only three patients discontinued treatment because of treatment related adverse events. The most common treatment-related grade 3/4 adverse events were fatigue (7.1%), diarrhoea (4.8%), mucositis (2.4%), neurotoxicity (2.4%) and neutropenia (4.8%). The median response duration was 5.3 months (95% CIs: 2.13 - 7.34), the median time to disease progression was 5.0 months (95% CIs: 3.75 - 6.25) and the median survival time was 9.0 months (95% CIs: 6.18 - 11.82). OXALF represents an active and well-tolerated treatment modality for elderly patients with locally advanced and metastatic gastric cancer.
    BMC Cancer 02/2006; 6:125. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polymorphisms in the interleukin 1beta gene (IL-1B-31T/C and IL-1B-511C/T single nucleotide changes) and in the interleukin 1 receptor anatagonist gene (IL-1RN2 variable number of tandem repeats) have been studied with respect to gastric cancer susceptibility. Available data support an aetiologic role of these genetic variants in the presence of concomitant Helicobacter pylori infection. Their contribution without H. pylori infection is still an open field of investigation. IL-1B and IL-1RN polymorphisms were investigated in 138 H. pylori-negative Italian patients with sporadic gastric cancer and 100 H. pylori-negative controls. Unconditional regression with odd ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI), haplotype and linkage disequilibrium analyses were used to investigate the association of the polymorphisms with disease. In all gastric cancer cases, carriers of the homozygous IL-1B-511T/T genotype showed a significant risk for the development of the disease (OR 3.2 with 95% CI 1.27-8.05). In cases with intestinal-type gastric cancer, however, both IL-1B-511T and IL-1RN2 alleles were associated with disease. In this subgroup, the odds ratio for carriers of both IL-1B-511T and IL-1RN2 was 6.49 (95% CI 2.07-20.4). Haplotype analysis supported the aetiologic contribution of these alleles in gastric cancer of the intestinal histotype. In conclusion, IL-1B-511T and IL-1RN2 may contribute to intestinal gastric cancer risk in the absence of concomitant H. pylori infection. In this setting, future epidemiologic studies should consider dietary habits and exposure to carcinogens interacting with pro-inflammatory host genotypes.
    Annals of Oncology 07/2005; 16(6):887-92. · 7.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A high interleukin-1beta (IL-1B) and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-RN) ratio underlies an unfavorable proinflammatory status. Also, it seems to be involved in the mechanisms of cancer cachexia and tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms in IL-1B gene (IL-1B-511C/T,IL-1B-31T/C) and a variable number of tandem repeat polymorphisms in IL-RN gene (IL-1RNlong/2) enhance the circulating levels of the two cytokines. The prognostic role of IL-1B/IL-1RN genotypes was investigated in patients with relapsed and metastatic gastric cancer treated with palliative chemotherapy. Before starting palliative chemotherapy, 123 prospectively enrolled patients supplied peripheral-blood samples for DNA extraction. Survival data were analyzed according to IL-1RN/IL-1B genotypes. Forty-two patients showed wild-type genotypes (IL-1RNlong/long, IL-1B-511C/C, and IL-1B-31T/T; group A). Forty-five patients showed the IL-1RN2 polymorphism, with wild-type IL-1B genotypes in seven patients and with IL-1B-511C/T and/or IL-1B-31T/C polymorphisms in 38 patients (group B). The remaining 36 patients demonstrated wild-type IL-1RN, with IL-1B-511C/T and/or IL-1B-31T/C polymorphisms (group C). In group A and B patients, the median progression-free survival (PFS) was 25 and 26 weeks, respectively, and median overall survival (OS) was 42 and 43 weeks, respectively. Group C patients showed worse PFS (median, 16 weeks) and OS (median, 28 weeks) than group A (P = .006 for PFS; P = .0001 for OS) and group B patients (P = .01 for PFS; P = .0001 for OS). The long/T/C haplotype was overrepresented in patients with shortened PFS (P = .001) and OS (P = .0005). In patients with advanced gastric cancer, IL-1B polymorphisms showed adverse prognostic influence when coupled with wild-type IL-1RN genotype. These findings deserve further investigation for potential anticancer activity of recombinant IL-RN.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 05/2005; 23(10):2339-45. · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of our analysis was to assess retrospectively the effect on local relapse, overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) of a limited or an extended lymphadenectomy in radically resected gastric cancer patients. This study was performed in order to identify a subgroup of patients possibly not benefiting from a therapeutic approach such as chemoradiation therapy. We divided our patients into two groups according to lymphadenectomy type: group A for limited (<25 resected lymph nodes) and group B for extended (>25 resected lymph nodes) lymph nodes resection. A total of 418 patients were analysed: tumour stage at diagnosis was pT2-3 pN1-3 M0 in 339 patients and pT3 N0 M0 in 79 patients. Median age at diagnosis was 68 years (range 30-92 years). A total of 306 patients (73.2%) were in group A and 112 (26.8%) in group B. The median survival time (OS) for patients in groups A and B was 58.8 and 84.8 months, respectively (P=0.0371); median DFS was 28.8 months in group A and 59.9 months in group B (P=0.0027). At multivariate analysis, extension within the gastric wall, nodal involvement and the number of resected lymph nodes appeared to affect both OS and DFS. An inadequate lymph nodes resection can affect survival and result in a higher incidence of local relapse, making the latter group of patients optimal candidates for adjuvant chemoradiation.
    British Journal of Cancer 04/2005; 92(6):1051-4. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated in a case-control study a possible role of thymidylate synthase gene (TS) polymorphisms for gastric cancer susceptibility. Lymphocyte genomic DNA from 134 Italian gastric cancer patients and 139 controls was used for genotyping two polymorphisms in the TS 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR); a double (2R) or triple (3R) 28-bp repeat and a G/C polymorphism within the triple repeats allele (3G allele). Samples were also genotyped at a 6-bp deletion/insertion (del6 or ins6) polymorphism at position 1494 in the TS 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR). Unconditional regression with odd ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI), haplotype and linkage disequilibrium analyses were used to investigate the association of the polymorphisms with the disease. The global allelic distribution was in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Genotypes with the 3G allele (2R/3G, 3C/3G, 3G/3G) were significantly more frequent in patients than controls and were associated with gastric cancer risk (OR = 2.06; 95% CI = 1.26-3.35). A significant risk was also observed for carriers of the del6 allele in the 3'-UTR. Odds ratios for combined 3G-del6/ins6 and 3G-del6/del6 genotypes were 2.59 (95% CI = 1.36-4.94) and 2.81 (95% CI = 1.22-6.64), respectively. The 3G-del6 haplotype showed a significant association with the disease (p = 0.01). Polymorphisms in the TS gene may contribute to gastric cancer susceptibility and this finding deserve further investigation in the context of novel strategies for gastric cancer prevention. In vitro, 3G genotypes have been related to high TS mRNA expression, which may underlie one of the possible etiologic mechanisms.
    International Journal of Cancer 01/2005; 112(6):1010-4. · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent investigations have demonstrated that hypermethylation is a frequent mechanism for silencing tumor suppressor genes. This is a potentially reversible epigenetic change, and it is the target of a novel class of anticancer compounds with demethylating activity. Better understanding of the clinical implications of hypermethylation will allow the optimal planning of future trials with demethylating drugs. In this perspective, we investigated whether hypermethylation in the CDH1 promoter region is correlated with poor prognosis of patients with surgically resected, node-positive, diffuse gastric cancer. Consecutive cases of diffuse gastric cancer were considered eligible for study entry. Additional inclusion criteria were radical surgery with a minimum of D1 lymphadenectomy, complete follow-up information, and availability of tumor specimens for methylation-specific PCR and immunohistochemistry analyses. CDH1 promoter hypermethylation was found in 40 of 73 cases (54%), and it was significantly associated with worse prognosis. In patients with and without hypermethylation, the 5-year event-free survival rate was 30% and 62%, respectively, and the 5-year overall survival rate was 35% and 67%, respectively. CDH1 promoter hypermethylation retained its prognostic role for disease-free survival (P < 0.001) and overall survival (P < 0.001) in multivariate analysis. Immunohistochemistry showed a significant association between CDH1 methylation and E-cadherin expression (P < 0.001). This study shows adverse prognostic effect of CDH1 promoter hypermethylation in patients with diffuse gastric cancer. This form of cancer, and other types with frequent hypermethylation and silencing of critical tumor suppressor genes, would make appropriate targets for the testing of novel compounds with demethylating activity.
    Clinical Cancer Research 05/2004; 10(8):2784-9. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hypermethylation is studied as a new, relevant mechanism for silencing tumor suppressor genes. It is a potentially reversible epigenetic change and it is the target of novel anticancer compounds with demethylating activity. In this perspective, we investigated E-cadherin gene (CDH1) promoter hypermethylation in gastric carcinomas and its correlation with E-cadherin protein expression. Consecutive cases of gastric carcinoma with assessable paraffin-embedded tumor blocks and paired normal mucosa were considered eligible for study entry. CDH1 promoter hypermethylation and E-cadherin protein expression were determined by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry, respectively. CDH1 promoter hypermethylation was found in 20 out of 70 gastric carcinomas and the epigenetic change occurred in the early, as well as in the locally advanced disease. In five cases, hypermethylation was also detected in the normal mucosa. Eighteen out of 20 hypermethylated tumors were of the diffuse histotype (P=0.0001). Of 24 tumors with reduced or negative E-cadherin expression, 19 were hypermethylated and 5 were unmethylated (P=0.0001). CDH1 promoter hypermethylation frequently occurs in gastric carcinomas of the diffuse histotype and it is significantly associated with downregulated E-cadherin expression. The knowledge on the hypermethylation status of tumor suppressor genes may be relevant to the development of demethylating drugs and novel chemopreventive strategies in solid tumors.
    Annals of Oncology 04/2004; 15(3):489-92. · 7.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The doxorubicin-docetaxel combination is active in breast cancer; the aim of the present study was to evaluate the complete response rate and safety profile of the doxorubicin and docetaxel regimen as first-line chemotherapy in metastatic breast cancer patients. Forty-three patients entered the study. Treatment plan was: doxorubicin (50 mg/m2, i.v. bolus) followed 1 hour later by docetaxel (75 mg/m2 i.v. infusion over 1 hour), q 3 weeks, for up to six courses. The patients achieving a response or a stabilisation of disease after 6 courses were allowed to intensify the treatment with docetaxel (100 mg/m2, q 3 weeks) for up to 2 courses. G-CSF (or GM-CSF) was administered if clinically indicated. Patients' median age was 57years (range 32-75) and 72% of them had visceral disease. A total of 217 doxorubicin-docetaxel courses were delivered, with 70% of patients receiving all the 6 planned cycles. Among the 40 patients assessable for response (WHO criteria), 7 (16%) achieved a complete remission and 22 (51%) a partial remission, for an overall response rate (intent-to-treat) of 67% (95% C.I. =53% to 81%). In 19 patients, the treatment was intensified with two more single-agent docetaxel cycles, without ameliorating the response. Twenty-seven patients with oestrogen receptor-positive received hormonal therapy as 'maintenance' after completing chemotherapy treatment. NCIC G3-G4 neutropenia was recorded in 58% of patients, with G/GM-CSF used in 23 (53%) patients and 91 (38%) cycles. No patients experienced severe cardiac or neurological toxicity. No toxic death occurred. With a median follow-up of 41 months among alive patients, we observed in responder patients an overall median time to progression and survival of 18 and 33 months respectively, with ten long-survivors still alive. This study confirmed the combination doxorubicin-docetaxel as a very active regimen for metastatic breast cancer. Remarkably long survival times were observed not only in complete responders, but also in those patients who responded partially. This might be equally attributed to first-line treatment and sequential maintenance hormonal therapy.
    Anticancer research 01/2004; 24(5B):3257-61. · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Loss of E-cadherin expression has been related with an adverse outcome in patients with resected gastric cancer. More recently, experimental models with cancer cell lines showed that chemosensitivity may be affected by the E-cadherin expression status. We investigated whether E-cadherin expression is correlated with the response to chemotherapy and the survival of patients with advanced gastric cancer. Consecutive patients with advanced gastric cancer who underwent palliative chemotherapy were considered eligible for study entry. Measurable disease, complete follow-up information and availability of tumor specimens for immunohistochemistry were mandatory inclusion criteria. In 70 assessable patients, 30 patients had locoregional disease and 40 patients had visceral metastases. Chemotherapy consisted of cisplatin/fluorouracil/folinic acid in 33 patients and cisplatin/fluorouracil/epirubicin/folinic acid in 37 patients. There were 13 patients with complete response, 20 with partial response, 20 with stable disease and 17 patients progressed. Thirty-eight patients had > 80% E-cadherin-positive cancer cells (positive E-cadherin expression); 15 cases showed 25-70% (reduced E-cadherin expression), and in the remaining 17 cases E-cadherin expression was < 10% (negative E-cadherin expression). The response to chemotherapy was unrelated to the E-cadherin expression status. Conversely, survival in the 32 patients with reduced/negative E-cadherin expression (25 weeks) was significantly worse than that observed in the 38 patients with preserved E-cadherin expression (36 weeks) (p < 0.01). E-cadherin expression retained its independent prognostic role in the multivariate analysis. E-cadherin expression may give prognostic information in patients with advanced gastric cancer, but it does not seem to possess a predictive role in vivo. Some of the mechanisms inducing E-cadherin downregulation, like hypermethylation, may be potentially reversible, and they deserve further investigation as the target of novel therapeutic strategies.
    Tumor Biology 01/2004; 25(3):106-10. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The incidence of gastric cancer (GC) increases significantly after the fifth decade and palliative chemotherapy is the ultimate treatment in the majority of patients. We investigated safety and efficacy of a weekly regimen with cisplatin, fluorouracil and leucovorin as first-line chemotherapy for elderly patients with advanced GC. Chemotherapy-naive patients older than 65 years were considered eligible for study entry. Frail elderly patients were identified and excluded according to the following criteria: age >85 years, dependence in one or more activities of daily living (activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living scales), three or more comorbid conditions, one or more geriatric syndromes. Chemotherapy consisted of 1-day per week administration of intravenous cisplatin 35 mg m(-2), 6S-stereoisomer leucovorin 250 mg m(-2) and fluorouracil 500 mg m(-2) (PLF). Patients were re-evaluated after eight weekly cycles and six additional weekly administrations were planned for patients without disease progression. A 5-day subcutaneous filgrastim (5 mug Kg(-1) day(-1), days +1-+5) was used after the first treatment delay for neutropenia and maintained thereafter. In the whole group, the best intention-to-treat overall response rate was 43% (95% CI: 30-56%). The time to disease progression and the median survival time were 5.3 and 8.6 months, respectively. Fatigue was the commonest nonhaematologic toxicity (71% of the patients). Filgrastim was used in 30 patients who showed grade II (20 patients) or grade III (10 patients) neutropenia. Neither grade IV toxicity nor toxic deaths were observed. The weekly PLF regimen resulted safe and effective in elderly patients with advanced GC. This outpatient regimen is based on old and low-cost drugs and it may represent an alternative to new and more expensive combinations.
    British Journal of Cancer 10/2003; 89(8):1428-32. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Current studies are investigating new E-cadherin gene (CDH1) mutations that may be responsible for diffuse gastric cancer susceptibility. Recently, a novel CDH1 germline variant presenting a G/A nucleotide change at cDNA position 2494 has been found in Japanese patients with familial diffuse gastric cancer. The consequent amino acid variation (Val/Met) may alter the binding activity to beta-catenin and the adhesive function of the E-cadherin protein. We have investigated its frequency in Italian cases of sporadic diffuse gastric cancer a well as in healthy controls. Peripheral blood samples were collected from consecutive patients with sporadic, diffuse gastric cancer and from healthy controls in the District of Urbino, Marche Region, Central Italy. After DNA extraction, standard techniques for molecular analyses were used to investigate the 2494 G/A germline nucleotide change in CDH1 cDNA. None of the 48 patients and 48 controls showed the G/A 2494 nucleotide change. Assuming a binomial distribution of the mutation among individuals and the absence of mutations in the 48 patients, the 95% upper bound for the underlying mutation frequency was 7.4%. The novel CDH1 nucleotide change is uncommon in Italian patients with sporadic diffuse gastric cancer. Given these results, further analyses in large population-based studies are not advisable.
    Tumor Biology 05/2003; 24(3):147-50. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In gastric juice, high levels of the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and the carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) have been found to correlate with precancerous lesions and gastric cancer. So far, sampling of gastric juice has required upper endoscopy. In place of this invasive procedure, we investigated a new tool for the quantitation of tumor markers in gastric juice. The study population consisted of healthy controls and consecutive subjects with suspected gastric cancer or dyspepsia/epigastric distress. Patients were asked to swallow a small gelatine capsule (14 mm in length and 5 mm in diameter) containing a pierced plastic cover and surrounding a piece of absorbent paper. The capsule was left in the gastric cavity for 60 min to allow saturation of the absorbent paper with gastric juice. A 45-50 cm length of nylon thread connected to the inner capsule was used to remove the device from the gastric cavity. After processing the absorbent paper for radioimmunoassay, CEA and CA 19-9 levels were correlated to the findings of upper endoscopy and biopsies of gastric mucosa or suspected lesions. The endogastric capsule did not cause any side-effects and 62 participants were fully compliant to the procedure. Assessable gastric juice samples were taken from 23 patients with gastric cancer, 15 patients with intestinal metaplasia or dysplasia, 12 patients with gastritis and 12 controls without gastric diseases. In the 12 samples of gastric juice from control patients, mean values of CEA and CA 19-9 were 1.1 +/- 0.9 ng/ml and 16 +/- 7.5 ng/ml, respectively. The mean levels of both markers were found to increase according to the severity of gastric lesions and in patients with cancer, mean CEA and CA 19-9 levels were 513 +/- 627 ng/ml and 545 +/- 510 ng/ml, respectively. Patients with precancerous lesions and cancer showed higher levels of CEA and CA 19-9 than patients with normal findings or gastritis (P <0.001). The endogastric capsule is a simple, non-invasive tool for the measurement of CEA and CA 19-9 levels in gastric juice. These values may discriminate between normal or minor pathologic changes and precancerous lesions or carcinomas. Further investigations are warranted, since this may represent a new method for gastric cancer screening.
    Annals of Oncology 02/2003; 14(1):105-9. · 7.38 Impact Factor
  • Ejc Supplements - EJC SUPPL. 01/2003; 1(5).
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    ABSTRACT: Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer is a recently defined cancer syndrome caused by inactivating, heterozygous germline mutations in the E-cadherin gene (CDH1). To date, 16 truncating germline CDH1 mutations have been described in hereditary diffuse gastric cancer families in different ethnic groups, but so far, no investigation has been addressed to Italian patients. In the District of Urbino, Region Marche, Central Italy, gastric cancer is the most common tumor in men and it is the second in women after breast cancer. In this area, we investigated CDH1 mutations in patients who fulfilled the hereditary diffuse gastric cancer criteria. Consecutive patients with diffuse gastric cancer were considered eligible for the study. After pedigree analysis, patients who met the International Gastric Cancer Linkage Consortium criteria were studied for CDH1 mutations. After blood samples collection and DNA extraction, standard polymerase chain reaction and sequencing techniques were used for CDH1 analysis. In a study population of 98 patients with diffuse gastric cancer, 11 patients (11%) showed familial clustering and 3 of them met the International Gastric Cancer Linkage Consortium criteria for hereditary diffuse gastric cancer. None of the 3 patients showed inactivating germline mutation in CDH1. According to recent studies, the frequency of CDH1 inactivating germline mutations in patients who fulfil the hereditary diffuse gastric cancer criteria may be lower than that reported in early investigations. The results of the present study in a population of Italian patients seem to confirm these data. It is likely that unidentified mutations in CDH1 or other involved genes contribute to diffuse gastric cancer susceptibility.
    Tumori 01/2003; 89(3):255-8. · 0.92 Impact Factor
  • Ejc Supplements - EJC SUPPL. 01/2003; 1(5).
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    ABSTRACT: Anthracyclines combined with paclitaxel are one of the most active schedules in patients with advanced breast cancer: response rates range from 40 to 80%, considering all metastatic sites (visceral and soft tissues). We performed a non-randomized phase II trial with anthracyclines/paclitaxel combination to evaluate response and toxicity only in patients with visceral metastases. Twenty-seven patients (median age 50 years; range 30-72) with visceral metastases of breast cancer were enrolled in this study. Overall, 11 patients had lung metastases (41%), 10 liver (37%), 4 liver-lung metastases (15%) and 2 peritoneal carcinosis (7%). 7 patients had received adjuvant anthracycline-based chemotherapy (26%) and 10 patients adjuvant CMF combination chemotherapy (37%); 10 patients (37%) received hormonal therapy for advanced disease. Treatment schedules were: group A) 17 patients, Adriamicyn 50 mg/m2 on day 1 i.v. bolus and Paclitaxel 175 mg/m2 on day 2 i.v. 3 hours infusion, every 3 weeks; group B) 10 patients, epirubicin 90 mg/m2 on day 1 i.v. bolus and paclitaxel 200 mg/m2 on day 2 i.v., 3 hours infusion, every 3 weeks. The number of cycles administered was 141 with a median of 5 (range 3-9). All patients were evaluable for response and toxicity. The objective response rate was 59% - 16 patients - (15% complete and 44% partial remission), 95% C.I. 40.7-77%; 10/17 in group A and 7/10 in group B. Stable disease 30% (8 patients) and progressive disease 11% (3 patients). The median duration of response was 5 months (range 1-16); median time to progression 13 months (range 3-18) and median survival 17 months (range 4-24). The main toxicity was neutropenia, occurred in 16 patients (59%; grade IV in 7 patients, of whom 2 febrile neutropenia, and grade III in 9 patients); grade III gastrointestinal toxicity in 2 patients; grade III neurological toxicity in 1 patient; grade III stomatitis in 2 patients. No congestive hearth failure or treatment death related was observed. These schedules of anthracyclines and paclitaxel confirmed their efficacy in metastatic breast cancer even in patients with visceral disease. Neutropenia was the main toxicity; grade IV neutropenia was more frequently observed in epirubicin/paclitaxel arm.
    Minerva medica 09/2002; 93(4):303-7. · 0.77 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

524 Citations
142.25 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003–2008
    • Università degli Studi di Urbino "Carlo Bo"
      • Department of Biomolecular Science
      Urbino, The Marches, Italy
  • 2006
    • Spedali Civili di Brescia
      Brescia, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2005
    • Università Politecnica delle Marche
      • Chair of Medical Oncology
      Ancona, The Marches, Italy