Paolo Fava

Università degli Studi di Torino, Torino, Piedmont, Italy

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Publications (20)38.33 Total impact

  • European journal of dermatology : EJD. 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Aim: Objective of the study was to determine the most common cutaneous lesions in patients with haematologic malignancies observed at dermatologic consultation and to identify the impact parameters related to the haematologic condition, like disease type/duration, remission, chemotherapy and transplantation, have on skin manifestations. Methods: A total of 101 consecutive patients with onco-haematological malignancies referred for dermatological consultation over a two-year period were included in this prospective single-centre observational cohort study. Results: The most common finding was infection (19.8%), followed by drug adverse reactions (16.8%) and malignant neoplasia (11.9%). Elderly patients and those with a longer disease duration had a higher frequency of cutaneous neoplasia. Squamous cell carcinoma was the most frequent cutaneous neoplasia; three cases of melanoma were diagnosed and had a high Breslow thickness. Cutaneous involvement due to the haematological malignancies was observed in 5 patients. Common chronic dermatoses (psoriasis and eczema) were found in 10% of patients. Transplant had no effect on the percentage of infections or tumours. Conclusion: Patients with haematological malignancies have a higher incidence of adverse drug reactions with peculiar morphologic features and a lower incidence of common chronic dermatoses than patients referred for dermatological consultation by their general practitioner or other hospital services. Infectious dermatoses were less frequent than in solid organ transplanted patients. The complex variety of cutaneous lesions, the differential diagnostic pitfalls and the prognostic relevance of early skin tumour diagnosis, evidence the importance of a correct dermatological approach.
    Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 10/2013; 148(5):453-63. · 0.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) is a therapeutic procedure in which leukapheresed peripheral blood mononuclear cells are exposed to ultraviolet A in the presence of the photosensitizer 8-methoxypsoralen and then reinfused. Several guidelines recommend ECP as a treatment of choice in erythrodermic primary cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (E-CTCL). However, the level of evidence is low due to the rarity of this disease and the lack of randomized controlled trials. We performed a review of the English literature, restricting our analysis to studies including erythrodermic patients and more than 10 cases. Based on these criteria, we identified 28 studies, with a total of 407 patients. The median response rate in erythrodermic patients was 63% (range 31-86%), with a complete response rate ranging between 0 and 62% (median 20%). In our experience, we treated 51 patients with E-CTCL since 1992. A clinical response was obtained in 32 of 51 patients (63%), with a 16% complete response rate. The median time for response induction was eight months (range: 1-23). The median response duration was 22.4 months (range six months to 11 years). The treatment was generally well tolerated without systemic toxicities grade III-IV. The pretreatment parameters significantly associated with a higher likelihood to obtain a clinical response were the B-score in the peripheral blood, CD4/CD8 ratio, and amount of circulating CD3+CD8+ cells. Literature data together with our personal experience clearly support the clinical activity and tolerability of ECP in patients with E-CTCL. Prospective controlled clinical trials are strongly recommended to better document the evidence.
    International journal of dermatology 06/2013; · 1.18 Impact Factor
  • International journal of dermatology 06/2013; · 1.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Regulatory T cells (Tregs) play a crucial role by maintaining the peripheral tolerance and inhibiting autoimmunity. In recent years, numerous autoimmune and immune-mediated diseases have been shown to present significant number depletion and/or function impairment of this subset. In the present study, we present a brief overview of the results obtained by our group in association with the centers belonging to the Italian Immunopathology Group, as to the expression levels and biological significance of circulating regulatory CD4+CD25+brightFOXP3+ T cells in a variety of immune-mediated skin diseases (such as psoriasis, scleroderma, bullous pemphigoid and GvHD), together with preliminary results achieved in patients with inflammatory bowel disease-related dermatoses. This review shows that this series of different cutaneous diseases characterised by an immune-mediated pathogenesis, share a significant down-regulation of circulating FOXP3+ Treg cells, whilst the treatment and the achievement of clinical response are generally associated with an opposite phenomenon with up-regulation of Treg cells. Future studies are mandatory to identify the effective role of these modifications in the disease pathogenesis as well as its relationship with the clinical response.
    Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 04/2013; 148(2):197-201. · 0.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mycosis fungoides (MF), which represents the most common subtype of primary cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), is an epidermotropic lymphoma included as an indolent form in the recent WHO/EORTC classification. From a clinical point of view, the classic disease progression usually is slow and takes over years or even decades, and characterized by the evolution from patches to more infiltrated plaques and eventually to tumours or erythroderma. However, the analysis of the MF disease course has been greatly impaired by the rarity of the disease, thus data about the time course of disease progression and pattern of relapse during time are not well known. In this review, a summary of published data on MF large patients cohorts will be presented, together with the results obtained by a retrospective analysis of clinical features and follow-up data of 1,422 MF patients diagnosed and followed-up from 1975 to 2010 in 27 Italian Centres (Italian Study Group for Cutaneous Lymphoma). From a clinical perspective, the amount of data support the relevance of a stage-tailored, differentiated follow-up strategy, in as much as the TNMB staging appears not only to be associated with different progression rates, but also shows as a new finding a relationship with different patterns of disease progression. From a biological point of view, there is the need to understand the molecular basis of the different clinical pathways of disease progression, to be able to potentially identify at an earlier phase of disease evolution, the patients who are more likely to develop erythroderma or tumour-stage progression. In conclusion, if MF is indeed a true "lion queen", as dermatologists we need to be expert and wise tamers to keep it under control.
    Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 12/2012; 147(6):523-531. · 0.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) is an uncommon ulcerative, non infective chronic inflammatory skin disorder of unknown etiology. Systemic therapies are necessary to control the associated medical diseases and, due to the inflammatory nature of PG, topical or systemic immunosuppressant agents are effective, but wound healing is usually slow. Negative wound pressure therapy (NPWT) has become an important tool for the management of complex skin ulcers and usage in PG has been recently described in literature: we present four cases of classic PG in which NPWT in association with systemic therapy achieved wound healing and a drastic pain reduction.
    International Wound Journal 08/2012; · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Mycosis fungoides (MF) is an indolent primary cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. To the authors' knowledge, no data currently are available regarding the evolution over time of the risk of developing specific pathways of disease progression. METHODS: This retrospective study analyzed 1422 patients with MF who were diagnosed and followed from 1975 through 2010 in 27 Italian Study Group for Cutaneous Lymphoma centers. The primary objectives were to ascertain the time course, pathways, and hazards risk trends of cutaneous/extracutaneous disease progression; to evaluate whether different tumor-lymph node-metastasis-blood (TNMB) stages have different pathways of disease progression; and to analyze differences between tumor-stage and erythrodermic MF with regard to clinical onset, disease evolution, and prognosis. The secondary objective was to provide a further validation for the revised International Society for Cutaneous Lymphomas and the Cutaneous Lymphoma Task Force of the European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer (ISCL/EORTC) classification. RESULTS: The median follow-up was 14.5 years; stage progression occurred in 29.7% of patients and blood involvement was the most frequent extracutaneous site of disease progression. Patients with stage IA to stage IB disease demonstrated a steady low annual incidence of disease progression to tumor-stage (1%-2%); patients with stage IIA disease had a higher risk within the first years (up to 9.4%). Erythroderma evolved with a significantly higher frequency from patches/plaques (13.9%/28.2%) than tumors (P = .028 and P = .013, respectively). Hazards rates of extracutaneous involvement were low (< 1%). The T-score was found to be associated with extracutaneous involvement site, tumor-stage disease with lymph node/visceral lesions, and erythroderma with blood involvement. TNMB classification and stage progression resulted as independent prognostic variables being detected on multivariate analysis; the type of extracutaneous involvement was found to affect survival . CONCLUSIONS: The data from the current study support the need for a stage-tailored follow-up, suggest that the classification of tumor-stage disease at a stage below erythroderma could be modified, and offer a further validation for the revised TNMB classification. Cancer 2012. © 2012 American Cancer Society.
    Cancer 06/2012; · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    10/2011; , ISBN: 978-953-307-574-7
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    ABSTRACT: Sentinel lymph node (SLN) status is the most important prognostic factor for subjects with primary melanoma thicker than 1 mm. We focused our study on patients with disease progression after negative SLN biopsy (SLNB), with the aim of elucidating their clinical and histopathological characteristics, outcome and real incidence of false negative. A total of 688 melanoma patients who underwent SLNB (1 May 1998-31 December 2008) were analysed; all patients had Breslow >1 mm or Breslow <1 mm and at least one of the following features: regression, ulceration and/or Clark level IV-V. Progression developed in 114 of 503 negative SLN patients (22.7%); the first metastatic site was regional in 64% and distant in 36% of these cases. Thirty-nine patients had nodal metastases in the SLN basin as first site of progression. High-risk melanomas (P = 0.001) and elderly patients (P = 0.0005) had an increased probability of progression. Women with a higher median age and lower limbs primary melanoma developed mainly regional skin metastases, while an increased probability of distant metastases was demonstrated in patients with primary on the trunk and axillary SLN (P = 0.003, P = 0.001 respectively). Age at diagnosis, Breslow thickness and regression showed a prognostic relevance in univariate and multivariate analyses on disease-free survival and overall survival. Even if SLN status remains the most important prognostic factor for melanoma patients, progressive disease after a negative SLNB is a relatively frequent event. However, in our opinion, only a part of negative SLNB patients with metastatic spreading should be considered as false negative (7.75%).
    Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 04/2011; 26(2):242-8. · 2.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: GeneScan (GS) analysis is a highly sensitive method for the early detection of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) and allows the identification of clonal heterogeneity, defined as the coexistence of two or more different T-cell clones in multiple samples from the same patient. We analyzed by GS the incidence and the significance of long-lived oligoclonal expansions in multiple skin and blood samples from 24 Sézary syndrome (SS) patients, and tried to correlate them with the clinical outcome. A skin clonal heterogeneity with additional reproducible TCRgamma-gene rearrangements (TCRgamma-GRs) was detected at diagnosis in 19/24 patients, 13 of whom had a constant prevalence of pathological TCRgamma-GRs in both skin and blood (dominant clonal pattern). During follow-up, an increase in oligoclones that were present at diagnosis or the appearance of new oligoclones was observed in 10 patients; all of them achieved a clinical response to treatment with extracorporeal photochemotherapy (ECP). The TCRgamma pattern (homogeneity or heterogeneity) in the skin at diagnosis showed a relevant prognostic value, and patients with an oligoclonal pattern had a significantly longer survival than those with a homogeneous pattern. In conclusion, multiple-sample approach GS analysis allows the identification of clonal heterogeneity and could also help in identifying SS patients with a potential higher response to therapy.
    Journal of Investigative Dermatology 09/2010; 130(9):2312-9. · 6.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Unknown melanoma occurs as metastasis to skin, nodes or viscera, without a detectable cutaneous primary tumour. We reviewed our database of 4881 melanoma patients, diagnosed and followed up prospectively for a 33-year period. We identified 93 cases of metastatic melanoma without evidence of primary; however, five of these patients had a history of a previous excision of a presumed benign lesion without histological examination and were excluded from analyses. At diagnosis, metastases were cutaneous in 35.3% of cases, nodal in 43.2% and visceral in 17% of cases; in 4.5% of patients, both skin and nodes were involved. In all cases, clinical inspection and staging procedures performed at diagnosis of metastatic disease failed to identify a primary melanoma. In 11 cases (11.8%), extensively regressed pigmented lesions (without evidence of melanoma cells at the histological examination) were documented; moreover, we identified in our series five patients with unknown primary affected by vitiligo. The 5-year and 10-year overall survival rates were 49.6 and 41.4%, respectively, with a median of 4.9 years. The 5-year and 10-year time to progression rates were 39.4 and 32.3%, respectively, with a median of 2.3 years. Survival was longer in females and showed significant differences among patients with skin, lymph node or visceral involvement at diagnosis. In melanoma patients, unknown primary represents a not so rare event, with an uncertain origin. We confirmed the relatively good prognosis of unknown primary melanoma patients, a fact that has to be taken into consideration for their management.
    Melanoma research 06/2010; 20(3):227-32. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vandetanib is an inhibitor of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 tyrosine kinase and the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase, recently used in the treatment of different tumors. We describe a case of a photo-allergic reaction to vandetanib in an 80-year-old Caucasian woman affected by metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. Phototoxic reactions to vandetanib have been rarely reported in the literature. Dermatologists should be aware of this cutaneous side effect of vandetanib treatment and affected patients should be counseled to use adequate sun protection.
    Dermatologic Therapy 01/2010; 23(5):553-5. · 1.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Febrile ulcero-necrotic Mucha-Habermann disease (FUMHD) is a rare subtype of pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta (only 41 cases described to date), characterized by an acute onset of ulcero-necrotic papules accompanied by high fever and severe constitutional symptoms. We report a case of a 23-year-old man with a steroid-resistant FUMHD treated by intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) combined with methotrexate. Only one case of FUMHD treated by IVIG has been reported to date in literature. Also in our case, IVIG proved to be effective in inducing a dramatic improvement of ulceration and in arresting the appearance of new lesions. Moreover, in our experience we decided to perform a maintenance treatment with extracorporeal photochemotherapy (ECP), to the best of our knowledge not previously used in the treatment of pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta. ECP, which involves extracorporeal exposure of peripheral blood mononuclear cells to photo-activated 8-methoxypsoralen, induces an immunological reaction against auto-reactive T cell clones, without immune-depression and thus could potentially be useful particularly in FUMHD avoiding the risk of an infective reactivation.
    Dermatologic Therapy 01/2010; 23(4):419-22. · 1.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Among primary cutaneous B-cell lymphomas, follicle center lymphomas represent, according to the World Health Organization-European Organisation For Research and Treatment of Cancer classification, a subgroup with a favorable prognosis. We describe the case of a 45-year-old man who presented with large infiltrated tumors and nodules coalescing into a wide ulcerated plaque of the scalp, extending from the frontal to the occipital region. At the vertex, 2 large ulcerations were present, reaching the subcutaneous tissues and the underlying bone structures with osseus infiltration and erosion and consequent meningeal exposure. A left retroauricular lymphadenopathy was also present. Histology and immunohystochemistry diagnosed a relapse of primary cutaneous follicle center lymphoma with multilobated histomorphology and lymph node involvement. The histological picture was unchanged from the first sample of 1989. Due to a refusal to treatment, the lesion progressively grew until now. After 6 courses of chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, liposomal doxorubicin, prednisone-Rituximab), the tumor displayed an impressive complete regression with the persistence of a 4-cm occipital ulceration and underlying bone erosion. The adenopathy disappeared as well. This case gave us the opportunity to observe the natural development of the disease, leading to local mutilating and destroying lesions but with low tendency to systemic spread and an impressive response to chemotherapy.
    The American Journal of dermatopathology 11/2009; 32(1):91-4. · 1.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Skin metastases are a frequent event in the natural history of malignant melanoma, both in the early and late phases of disease progression. In this study, we reviewed our database of 4865 melanoma patients, who were diagnosed and followed up prospectively over a 30-year period at our institution. Statistical analyses were focused on patients with secondary involvement of the skin. Seven hundred and thirty-three of the 4030 patients that met the inclusion criteria (18.2%) developed cutaneous metastases; the skin was involved as first site in 413 patients (56.3%) and after regional lymph node spreading in 208 (28.4%) patients. In a lower number of patients, cutaneous metastases developed only in advanced stages of the disease. Skin metastases were mainly locoregional, when arising as the first site of relapse (89.3%) and/or in patients with a primary melanoma of the lower limbs; in contrast, disseminated metastases are more often observed after a visceral involvement and for primary melanomas of the trunk. Moreover, despite a lower disease-free survival rate (1.3 vs. 2.9 years), we showed a significantly longer time to progression to visceral involvement for the group of patients with cutaneous locoregional metastases (62.5 vs. 17.8 months). The site of primary melanoma is strictly related to the pattern of cutaneous recurrence. The disparity in clinical outcome between patients with locoregional or disseminated skin metastases should therefore be taken into consideration in their management.
    Melanoma Research 09/2009; 19(5):321-326. · 2.52 Impact Factor
  • Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 09/2009; 24(2):244-5. · 2.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite frequent skin involvement with solid tumors, zosteriform metastases are a rare, not well-defined entity, with only few cases published in literature. The unifying characteristic is merely topographic: cutaneous lesions were distributed along dermatomes, despite the variety of clinical features, including vesicobullous, papular, and nodular lesions. Several theories have been proposed to explain the pathogenetic mechanism of zosteriform dissemination, even if none was adequately proved. In this article, we report three new cases of patients with melanoma with skin zosteriform metastases and present a meta-analysis of literature data. We collected all Entrez-PubMed articles about zosteriform skin metastasis since 1970 and reviewed 56 cases, including our own taken from a 4,774-patient series. The histotypes mainly implicated were melanoma (18%); lymphoma (14%); breast cancer (12%); squamous cell carcinoma (12%); and digestive (10.7%), respiratory (10.7%), and urinary tumors (7%), with other histotypes accounting for 14%. In only one case in our series did we describe a typical herpetiform pattern, whereas in the others we found papulonodular lesions with a dermatomeric distribution. Cutaneous metastases with zosteriform pattern are rare and show a wide clinicopathologic spectrum that could affect the disease course. The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.
    Dermatologic Surgery 07/2009; 35(9):1355-63. · 1.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.
    Dermatologic Surgery 06/2009; 35(8):1282-5. · 1.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic dermatoses, as well as Sézary syndrome (SS), the erythrodermic and leukaemic cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, display a T-cell memory pattern. Recent findings suggest that different memory T-cell subsets can be recognized based on CD27 and CD45RO/RA expression. No data are reported as to CD27 expression in SS. To evaluate different memory T-cell subsets, i.e. central memory (TCM), effector memory (TEM) and terminally differentiated cells in SS and inflammatory erythroderma (IE). Forty SS and 137 IE patients were included. CD27 and CD45RO/CD45RA expression was analysed by flow cytometry on peripheral blood lymphocytes and immunohistochemistry. A significantly higher expression of the CD4+CD27+CD45RA- TCM subset was observed in SS whilst IE patients were characterized by increased CD4+CD27-CD45RA- TEM levels. The Vbeta-restricted population was homogeneously CD4+CD26-CD27+ in the SS subjects. SS and IE are characterized by a different memory T-cell subset expression; CD27 expression could be used as an additional diagnostic tool in the differential diagnosis.
    Dermatology 02/2008; 216(3):213-21. · 2.02 Impact Factor