Marina Frontani

Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (12)62.55 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Sézary syndrome (SS) is an incurable leukemic variant of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and its pathogenesis is still unknown. Diagnosis/prognosis may strongly ameliorate the management of SS individuals. Here, we profiled the expression of 470 microRNAs (miRNAs) in a cohort of 22 SS patients, and we identified 45 miRNAs differentially expressed between SS and controls. Using predictive analysis, a list of 19 miRNAs, including miR-21, miR-214, miR-486, miR-18a, miR-342, miR-31 and let-7 members were also found. Moreover, we defined a signature of 14 miRNAs including again miR-21, potentially able to discriminate patients with unfavorable and favorable outcome. We validated our data for miR-21, miR-214 and miR-486 by qRT-PCR, including an additional set of array-independent SS cases. In addition, we also provide an in vitro evidence for a contribution of miR-214, miR-486 and miR-21 to apoptotic resistance of CTCL cell line.
    Cell Death & Disease 04/2011; 2:e151. DOI:10.1038/cddis.2011.32 · 5.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Indolent primary cutaneous B cell lymphomas (PCBCL) generally have a good prognosis, but they often relapse leading in some cases to extracutaneous disease and therefore, to poor survival. We developed a prognostic model to improve the therapeutic approach to these lymphomas. Two hundred and seventeen patients with diagnosis of indolent PCBCL stage IE or IIE were assessed retrospectively. The prognostic model was built to fit a Cox proportional hazard model using all the covariates affecting progression-free survival (PFS) at p<0.1 in the univariate analysis, and the final model was selected based on the Bayes Information Criteria. Elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase, morphology of the lesion (nodule vs. other), and >2 lesions were independent predictors for PFS. To each prognostic factor was assigned a value of 1. Patients were then stratified to three risk groups: score 0 (28%), low risk; score 1 (55%), intermediate risk; score 2 and 3 (17%), high risk with a 5-year PFS of 91%, 64%, and 48%, respectively (p<0.001). The CLIPI is an easily applicable prognostic index and represents a promising tool for risk-adapted treatment strategies. However, it needs to be addressed in prospective clinical studies.
    Annals of Hematology 04/2011; 90(4):401-8. DOI:10.1007/s00277-010-1083-1 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sézary syndrome is a rare and very aggressive leukemic variant of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma characterized by extensive skin involvement and a malignant circulating CD4(+) T-cell clone which homes to the skin, over-expresses CD60, and lacks CD7, CD26 and CD49d. So far prognostic markers in this disease are limited to treatment with systemic steroids, age, serum lactate dehydrogenase, and a white blood cell count of 20×10(9)/L or higher: no other biological marker with prognostic value, especially related to malignant cells, has been described. We used flow activated cell sorting analysis to compare the distribution of the T-cell receptor-Vβ repertoire and several surface molecules (CD7, CD26, CD49d and CD60) within the circulating CD4(+) T-cell population in 62 patients with Sézary syndrome, 180 with mycosis fungoides, 6 with B-cell lymphomas, and 19 with chronic eczema. We calculated the 5-year overall survival of patients with Sézary syndrome after first hospital admission using Kaplan-Meier product-limit estimates and hazard ratios from the Cox proportional hazards model. We found that both higher number of CD60(+) and lower number of CD49d(+) cells within circulating CD4(+) T cells at disease presentation were significantly associated with a lower probability of survival. An exceedingly high risk of death was observed for patients with a combination of a high proportion of CD4(+)CD60(+) cells (≥ 0.5×10(9)/L) and low proportion of CD4(+)CD49d(+) cells (<0.5×10(9)/L) (hazard ratio = 12.303, 95% confidence interval 1.5-95.9; P<0.02). In addition, a skewed usage of T-cell receptor-Vβ subfamilies was observed in the circulating T-cell clone for 61.9% of all patients with Sézary syndrome, T-cell receptor-Vβ 2 and 5.1 subfamilies being the most frequently represented (42.8%), followed by T-cell receptor-Vβ 12 and 13.1. In this study we showed that up-regulation of CD60 and down-regulation of CD49d on circulating CD4(+) T cells are two useful markers for predicting a very poor outcome in patients with Sézary syndrome.
    Haematologica 11/2010; 95(11):1905-12. DOI:10.3324/haematol.2010.026260 · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Accurate assessment of the somatic mutational status of clonal immunoglobulin variable region (IgV) genes is relevant in elucidating tumour cell origin in B-cell lymphoma; virgin B cells bear unmutated IgV genes, while germinal centre and postfollicular B cells carry mutated IgV genes. Furthermore, biases in the IgV repertoire and distribution pattern of somatic mutations indicate a possible antigen role in the pathogenesis of B-cell malignancies. This work investigates the cellular origin and antigenic selection in primary cutaneous B-cell lymphoma (PCBCL). We analysed the nucleotide sequence of clonal IgV heavy-chain gene (IgVH) rearrangements in 51 cases of PCBCL (25 follicle centre, 19 marginal zone and seven diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, leg-type) and compared IgVH sequences with their closest germline segment in the GenBank database. Molecular data were then correlated with histopathological features. We showed that all but one of the 51 IgVH sequences analysed exhibited extensive somatic hypermutations. The detected mutation rate ranged from 1.6% to 21%, with a median rate of 9.8% and was independent of PCBCL histotype. Calculation of antigen-selection pressure showed that 39% of the mutated IgVH genes displayed a number of replacement mutations and silent mutations in a pattern consistent with antigenic selection. Furthermore, two segments, VH1-69 (12%) and VH4-59 (14%), were preferentially used in our case series. Data indicate that neoplastic B cells of PBCBL have experienced germinal centre reaction and also suggest that the involvement of IgVH genes is not entirely random in PCBCL and that common antigen epitopes could be pathologically relevant in cutaneous lymphomagenesis.
    British Journal of Dermatology 11/2009; 162(3):611-8. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2009.09576.x · 3.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we used single nucleotide polymorphism and comparative genomic hybridization array to study DNA copy number changes and loss of heterozygosity for 28 patients affected by Sézary syndrome (SS), a rare form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). Our data identified, further confirming previous studies, recurrent losses of 17p13.2-p11.2 and 10p12.1-q26.3 occurring in 71% and 68% of cases, respectively; common gains were detected for 17p11.2-q25.3 (64%) and chromosome 8/8q (50%). Moreover, we identified novel genomic lesions recurring in >30% of tumors: loss of 9q13-q21.33 and gain of 10p15.3-10p12.2. Individual chromosomal aberrations did not show a significant correlation with prognosis; however, when more than three recurrent chromosomal alterations (gain or loss) were considered, a statistical association was observed using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. Integrating mapping and transcriptional data, we were able to identify a total of 113 deregulated transcripts in aberrant chromosomal regions that included cancer-related genes such as members of the NF-kappaB pathway (BAG4, BTRC, NKIRAS2, PSMD3, and TRAF2) that might explain its constitutive activation in CTCL. Matching this list of genes with those discriminating patients with different survival times, we identify several common candidates that might exert critical roles in SS, such as BUB3 and PIP5K1B. Altogether, our study confirms and maps more precisely the regions of gain and loss and, combined to transcriptional profiles, suggests a novel set of genes of potential interest in SS.
    Cancer Research 11/2009; 69(21):8438-46. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-2367 · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cutaneous lymphomas may have a profound impact on patients' health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and psychological well-being. To evaluate HRQoL and psychological distress in patients with cutaneous lymphoma, and to evaluate them in relation to personal and clinical characteristics. Patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma or cutaneous B-cell lymphoma (CBCL) were consecutively recruited in a dermatological hospital. Data on HRQoL were collected using a dermatology-specific questionnaire, the Skindex-29, and an oncology-specific questionnaire, the EORTC QLQ-C30. Of 95 patients, there were 24 with CBCL, 59 with mycosis fungoides (MF) and 12 with Sézary syndrome (SS). The most frequent items reported in Skindex-29 were itching and sensitive skin, being annoyed by the disease, worry that it could get worse, affected interactions, and impairment in sexual life. The most frequent problems appearing from the EORTC QLQ-C30 analysis were fatigue, pain and insomnia. A worse HRQoL was observed for all the scales in patients with SS, followed by MF, and CBCL. HRQoL impairment in all histotypes was higher in women than in men, in patients with probable anxiety or depression, and when the disease worsened. The highest prevalence of probable anxiety or depression was observed in patients treated with systemic steroids (60%) and interferon (50%). The detailed evaluation of HRQoL and psychological problems in patients with cutaneous lymphomas, and their relationship with clinical variables, may give important information on the burden of the disease for patients, and thus improve communication and satisfaction with care.
    British Journal of Dermatology 04/2009; 160(4):815-22. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2008.08992.x · 3.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chemokine and chemokine receptors expressed by normal and neoplastic lymphocytes play a key role in cell recruitment into skin and lymph nodes. The aim of this study was to get further insights into the role of chemokines in pathogenesis and progression of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) with particular regard to Sézary Syndrome (SS), a CTCL variant with blood involvement. Here, we show that functional CXCL13 homeostatic chemokine is strongly up-regulated in SS cells, well-detectable in skin lesions and lymph nodes, and measurable at high concentration in plasma of SS patients, at different levels during disease progression. Furthermore, we show that the addition of CXCL13 to CCL19 or to CCL21, the selective CCR7 agonists responsible for lymph node homing, strongly enhances the migration of CCR7+ SS cells. We also show that neutralization of the CCR7 receptor strongly impairs CCL19/21-induced chemotaxis of SS cells both in the absence or presence of CXCL13. Additional experiments performed to investigate the survival, adhesion, and metalloproteases secretion indicate that CXCL13 combined with CCL19 and CCL21 mainly affects the chemotaxis of SS cells. Our findings suggest that this newly described CXCL13 expression in SS represents a new pathogenetic mechanism of diagnostic significance.
    Cancer Research 10/2008; 68(17):7137-46. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-0602 · 9.28 Impact Factor
  • Value in Health 05/2008; 11(3). DOI:10.1016/S1098-3015(10)70927-X · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HTLV-1/2, human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1/type 2; MF, mycosis fungoides; SS, Sézary syndrome
    Journal of Investigative Dermatology 03/2008; 128(2):489-92. DOI:10.1038/sj.jid.5701034 · 6.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sézary syndrome (SS) is a rare form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) characterized by a distinct metastatic pattern mainly involving blood and skin. Chemokines and their receptors play a critical role in cellular recruitment and homing to tissues and in the metastatic process of several tumors including non-Hodgkin T-cell lymphomas (NHLs). Here we report that SS cells express a functionally active CXCR4 and that its ligand SDF-1 is abundantly produced in the skin, which represents the main destination of SS cell spreading. SDF-1 is normally inactivated by proteolytic cleavage by the CD26/dipeptidylpeptidase IV (DPPIV). The lack of CD26 from the cell surface is a hallmark of circulating SS cells. We also show that the CD26(-) phenotype is maintained also in skin-infiltrating neoplastic T lymphocytes and that SS-affected individuals exhibit a reduced activity of plasma soluble CD26. Finally, we observe that the addition of soluble CD26 reduces the migratory response of SS cells to SDF-1 whereas the inhibition of the CD26 peptidase activity in Hut78, a CD26(+) CTCL cell line, enhances the SDF-1-induced migration of these cells. Our findings suggest that the SDF-1-CXCR4 axis could play an important role in skin homing of SS through the regulatory activity of CD26.
    Blood 03/2006; 107(3):1108-15. DOI:10.1182/blood-2005-04-1492 · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is a need for reliable, easily measurable laboratory markers that may help dermatologists to predict the course of mycosis fungoides (MF) when they first evaluate their patients. Our objective was to identify clinical, haematological or immunological parameters as predictors of mortality in patients with MF. We conducted a retrospective study on a prevalent cohort of 124 patients with MF hospitalized at IDI-IRCCS, Rome, Italy, from 1983 to 2001. We calculated the proportion of patients surviving (Kaplan-Meier product-limit estimates) 5 and 10 years after first hospital admission, and hazard ratios (HR) from the Cox proportional hazards model. Patients' survival was linked to age and staging (lower survival in older patients and in patients with staging IIB-IV). Higher numbers of white blood cells (WBC) and neutrophils, lower numbers of CD8+ lymphocytes, low haematocrit and lower levels of albumin were significantly associated with a lower survival probability. When simultaneously accounting for age and staging, CD8+ [HR = 3.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-9.07 for CD8+ < 250 vs. > or = 600 cells microL(-1)] and WBC (HR = 2.59, 95% CI 0.96-6.96 for WBC > or = 9000 vs. < 6000 cells microL(-1)) were associated with survival. In addition, we observed an exceedingly high risk of death (HR = 12.40, 95% CI 3.11-49.43) for patients with a combination of WBC > or = 9000 and CD8+ < 600 cells microL(-1) vs. WBC < 9000 and CD8+ > or = 600 cells microL(-1)). The measurement of CD8+ cells and WBC in MF seems to be a promising criterion to predict survival, and possibly to support treatment decisions and inclusion of patients in randomized controlled trials.
    British Journal of Dermatology 08/2005; 153(2):324-30. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2005.06755.x · 4.10 Impact Factor
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Publication Stats

199 Citations
62.55 Total Impact Points


  • 2005–2011
    • Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2009
    • Istituto di Cura e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Basilicata
      Rionero in Vulture, Basilicate, Italy
  • 2006
    • University of Ferrara
      Ferrare, Emilia-Romagna, Italy