Sara Galluzzo

LIUCBM Libera Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Roma, Latium, Italy

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Publications (53)201.37 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with melting analysis was devised to target bacterial and fungal genes together with the most prevalent antimicrobial resistance genes in 250 positive blood culture broths. This method allowed the blood culture cultivated pathogens to be classified into clinically relevant groups such as Enterobacteriaceae, oxidase-positive bacilli, oxidase-positive coccobacilli, S. aureus and yeast. Enterococci and streptococci could be distinguished from CoNS only by the Gram stain. Gram-positive bacilli were discriminated from Gram-positive cocci by Gram stain. Furthermore, the most important antimicrobial resistant genes such as mecA, vanA, bla TEM , bla SHV and bla CTX-M could be identified. All results were obtained with a turnaround time of three hours from the moment of blood culture positivity compared to 24-72 hours for phenotypic methods. In conclusion, the proposed approach can allow the clinician to implement proper early management of sepsis patients.
    The New Microbiologica: official journal of the Italian Society for Medical Virology (SIVIM) 01/2013; 36(1):65-74. · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inflammation and immune response play an important role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. In this prospective study we tested the hypothesis of whether polymorphic variations in the NOD2/CARD15 gene may influence the risk of developing clinically evident coronary artery disease (CAD). ARG702TRP, GLY908ARG, and Leu1007fsinsC NOD2/CARD15 polymorphisms were analyzed in 109 consecutive patients with angiographically documented CAD and in 109 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. The ARG702TRP, GLY908ARG, and Leu1007fsinsC polymorphisms were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction followed by restriction digestion. The prevalence of the Leu1007fsinsC polymorphism was significantly increased in CAD patients compared with controls (11.9% vs 1.8%; odds ratios (OR) 7.2, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.5-32.9; p = 0.01), especially in those presenting with an acute coronary syndrome (OR 5.7; 95% CI 1.1-39.7; p = 0.034 vs stable angina). In CAD patients the frequency of GLY908ARG polymorphism was significantly lower (1.8% vs 6.4% in controls; OR 0.05, 95% CI 0.01-0.69; p = 0.031, at multivariable analysis) and the prevalence of the ARG702TRP polymorphism was higher compared with controls (10.1% vs 3.7%; OR 2.9, 95% CI 0.91-9.6; p = 0.07). We report in a Caucasian population that NOD2/CARD15 polymorphisms influence the development of clinically evident and angiographically documented coronary artery disease. In particular, the Leu1007fsinsC polymorphism was associated with an increased risk of clinically evident and angiographically documented coronary atherosclerosis and clinical destabilization of coronary plaques, whereas the GLY908ARG polymorphism demonstrated a protective effect on coronary atherogenesis. These correlations were independent of cardiovascular risk factors at multivariable analysis. These findings may contribute to the identification of a novel genetic approach for the stratification of cardiovascular risk profile.
    Human immunology 04/2011; 72(8):636-40. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PML regulates a wide range of pathways involved in tumorigenesis, such as apoptosis, which is also one of the main mechanisms through which oxaliplatin and fluoropyrimidine exert their antineoplastic activity. The present study aims to investigate PML expression as a predictive factor of oxaliplatin/fluoropyrimidine therapy efficacy. Seventy-four metastatic colorectal cancer patients who received oxaliplatin/floropyrimidine-based first line therapy have been included in this retrospective study. PML expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry. PML down-regulation was detected in 39 (52.7%) patients (14 complete and 25 partial PML loss). RR was significantly lower (25.6%) in patients with PML down-regulation than in patients with preserved PML expression (60%) (P = 0.006). Median TTP was 5.5 months when PML was down-regulated versus 11.9 months in case of preserved PML expression (P < 0.0001). A statistical significant difference was also detected in OS (15.6 and 24.5 months, respectively, P = 0.003). The impact of PML down-regulation on TTP and OS was statistically significant also in a multivariate model. This study represents the first evidence of a possible correlation between PML protein expression and outcome of metastatic colorectal cancer patients treated with oxaliplatin/fluoropyrimidine-based first line therapy.
    Journal of Cellular Physiology 04/2011; 227(3):927-33. · 4.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many ErbB2-positive cancers may show intrinsic resistance, and the frequent development of acquired resistance to ErbB-targeted agents represents a substantial clinical problem. The constitutive NF-κB activation in some HER-2/neu positive breast cancer may represent a potential cause of resistance to trastuzumab therapy. Preclinical data revealed that 4-(N-Methyl-N-nitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), the tobacco-specific nitrosamine is able to enhance NF-κB DNA binding activity and theoretically to increase the resistance to trastuzumab. Two hundred and forty-eight women with pathologically confirmed, uni- or bidimensionally measurable, HER-2-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC) treated with trastuzumab-based therapy as first line combination for metastatic disease were considered eligible. For all included patients data on smoking habit were detectable from medical records. We retrospectively analysed the smoking habits of 248 MBC patients and correlated these habits with activity and efficacy of trastuzumab-based therapy. No statistically significant difference in terms of response rate (RR), time to progression (TTP) and overall survival (OS) was identified between smokers (former plus active smokers) and never smokers. Moreover, no statistically significant difference in terms of RR, TTP and OS was identified either comparing active smokers and former smokers. Moreover, we did not observed any significant statistical difference in terms of TTP and OS between smokers ≥10 cigarettes/day and <10 cigarettes/day. This study clearly showed lack of any correlation between cigarette smoking habit and both activity and efficacy of trastuzumab-based first line therapy in metastatic HER2/neu positive breast cancer patients.
    Oncology Reports 03/2011; 25(6):1545-8. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Receptor activator of NFkB (RANK), its ligand (RANKL) and the decoy receptor of RANKL (osteoprotegerin, OPG) play a pivotal role in bone remodeling by regulating osteoclasts formation and activity. RANKL stimulates migration of RANK-expressing tumor cells in vitro, conversely inhibited by OPG. We examined mRNA expression levels of RANKL/RANK/OPG in a publicly available microarray dataset of 295 primary breast cancer patients. We next analyzed RANK expression by immunohistochemistry in an independent series of 93 primary breast cancer specimens and investigated a possible association with clinicopathological parameters, bone recurrence and survival. Microarray analysis showed that lower RANK and high OPG mRNA levels correlate with longer overall survival (P = 0.0078 and 0.0335, respectively) and disease-free survival (P = 0.059 and 0.0402, respectively). Immunohistochemical analysis of RANK showed a positive correlation with the development of bone metastases (P = 0.023) and a shorter skeletal disease-free survival (SDFS, P = 0.037). Specifically, univariate analysis of survival showed that "RANK-negative" and "RANK-positive" patients had a SDFS of 105.7 months (95% CI: 73.9-124.4) and 58.9 months (95% CI: 34.7-68.5), respectively. RANK protein expression was also associated with accelerated bone metastasis formation in a multivariate analysis (P = 0.029). This is the first demonstration of the role of RANK expression in primary tumors as a predictive marker of bone metastasis occurrence and SDFS in a large population of breast cancer patients.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(4):e19234. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    Journal of Clinical Oncology 01/2011; 29(8):e206-7; author reply e208-9. · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The key role of epidermal growth factor receptor(EGFR) in tumorigenesis has been demonstrated in several cancer types, so recent clinical trials have investigated their activity/efficacy in different settings. Two different types of EGFR-targeted agents were developed: monoclonal antibodies such as cetuximab and panitumumab, and tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as gefitinib and erlotinib. In this review, we summarize the preclinical rational of potential activity and the most important clinical trials evaluated anti-EGFR targeted agents in non-colorectal digestive cancer, both in monotherapy and in combination with other chemotherapeutic or targeted agents. Patient selection by use of biologic markers will identify which patients are more likely to respond, contributing to the successful use of these agents.
    Frontiers in bioscience (Scholar edition) 01/2011; 3:16-22.
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    ABSTRACT: KRAS wild-type mutational status is necessary but not sufficient to get benefit from epidermal growth factor receptor inhibition. Predictive markers are currently being evaluated. In this study, we investigated early hypomagnesemia as a predictor of efficacy and outcome in terms of time to progression (TtP) and overall survival (OS) in a cohort of patients affected by advanced colorectal adenocarcinoma KRAS wild-type cetuximab-treated. One hundred and forty-three patients affected by stage IV colorectal adenocarcinoma KRAS wild type receiving cetuximab + irinotecan (CTX+IRI) as third-line anticancer treatment and resistant to oxaliplatin- and irinotecan-based chemotherapy were retrospectively included. Magnesium plasma levels were measured before the first day and 7, 14, 21 and 28 days after CTX+IRI infusion. The median magnesium basal value showed a statistically significant decrease after the start of CTX+IRI treatment (at 28 days, P < 0.0001). Patients with an early decrease of magnesium levels >50% compared with the basal level had a higher tumor response rate (55.8% versus 16.7%, P < 0.0001), a longer TtP (6.3 versus 3.6, P < 0.0001) and a longer median OS (11.0 versus 8.1, P = 0.002). We have shown that early hypomagnesemia could be a predictor of efficacy and outcome in those patients. Magnesium circulating level is an easy and inexpensive biomarker to routinely be detected in patients treated with cetuximab.
    Annals of Oncology 11/2010; 22(5):1141-6. · 7.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bone metastases have a major impact on morbidity and on mortality in cancer patients. Despite its clinical relevance, metastasis remains the most poorly elucidated aspect of carcinogenesis. The biological mechanisms leading to bone metastasis establishment have been referred as "vicious circle," a complex network between cancer cells and the bone microenvironment. This review is aimed to underline the new molecular targets in bone metastases management other than bisphosphonates. Different pathways or molecules such as RANK/RANKL/OPG, cathepsin K, endothelin-1, Wnt/DKK1, Src have recently emerged as potential targets and nowadays preclinical and clinical trials are underway. The results from those in the advanced clinical phases are encouraging and underlined the need to design large randomised clinical trials to validate these results in the next future. Targeting the bone by preventing skeletal related events (SREs) and bone metastases has major clinical impact in improving survival in bone metastatic patients and in preventing disease relapse in adjuvant setting.
    Cancer Treatment Reviews 11/2010; 36 Suppl 3:S6-S10. · 6.02 Impact Factor
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    British Journal of Cancer 10/2010; 103(8):1305; author reply 1306. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cetuximab (IMC-C225, Erbitux ImClone Systems Inc, New York, NY) is a recombinant, human/mouse chimeric monoclonal antibody (MAb) that binds specifically to the extracellular domain of the human epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) on both normal and tumor cells, and competitively inhibits the binding of epidermal growth factor (EGF) as well as other ligands. Cetuximab binding to the EGFR blocks phosphorylation and activation of receptor-associated kinases and their associated downstream signalling (MAPK, PI3K/Akt, Jak/Stat pathways) resulting in inhibition of many cellular processes such as induction of apoptosis, cell growth, decreased Matrix Metallo-Proteinase (MMPs) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production. Cetuximab is also able to display cytotoxic effect through antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). In vitro and in vivo experiments elucidated a wide range of biological properties attributed to cetuximab, these include: direct inhibition of EGFR tyrosine kinase activity, inhibition of cell cycle progression, inhibition of angiogenesis, invasion and metastatization processes, activation of pro-apoptotic molecules and synergic cytotoxicity effect with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Several studies have shown cetuximab is able to inhibit growth of EGFR-expressing tumor cells in vitro as well as in nude mice bearing xenografts of human cancer cell lines. Moreover, numerous clinical trials demonstrated cetuximab efficacy in different tumor types and it is approved by Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) for use in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) as single agent or in combination with chemotherapy, for locally/regionally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) in combination with radiotherapy, and as monotherapy for recurrent/metastatic HNSCC after failing platinum-based chemotherapy. This review will illustrate pre-clinical and clinical data on biological properties of cetuximab focusing on the predictive markers of clinical response to this drug.
    Current cancer drug targets 02/2010; 10(1):80-95. · 5.13 Impact Factor
  • Bone 01/2010; 46. · 3.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This system constituted of the Receptor Activator of nuclear Factor-kB Ligand (RANKL), the Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor-kB (RANK) and by the decoy Receptor Osteoprotegerin (OPG) plays a central role in bone resorption. Denosumab (AMG 162) is an investigational fully human monoclonal antibody with a high affinity and specificity for RANKL.This review will critically describe and discuss the recent results of clinical trial investigating denosumab in different settings of medical oncology. In particular, we will report the recently published data of clinical trials investigating denosumab in prevention of cancer treatment induced bone loss (CTIBL), in prevention of skeletal related events (SREs) in bone metastatic patients and the ongoing studies in prevention of disease recurrence in the adjuvant setting of solid tumours. The clinical data that will be reported in this review represent the first step in a path that will conduct us to explore new horizons in the field of bone health care in cancer patients.
    Current cancer drug targets 11/2009; 9(7):834-42. · 5.13 Impact Factor
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    Annals of Oncology 11/2009; 21(1):185-6. · 7.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the present case-control study we investigated the potential role of CARD15 R702W, G908R, and 1007fs polymorphisms in Italian gastric cancer patients. The study population consisted of 170 gastric cancer patients and 156 controls. Unconditional regression (odds ratios and 95% confidence interval) was used to investigate the association of the studied polymorphisms with gastric cancer. Higher allele frequencies of R702W and 1007fs polymorphisms were observed in patients with gastric cancer compared with controls (8.53 vs 2.3 and 9.4 vs 0.7, respectively). CARD15 R702W and 1007fs polymorphisms were significantly correlated with gastric cancer incidence (p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001, respectively). No correlation was found upon analyzing the G908R single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). Our study reports an increased susceptibility to gastric cancer in Italian populations when R702W and 1007fs polymorphisms in the coding region of CARD15 are present. The interaction between NOD-induced proinflammatory cytokines on gastric mucosa and environmental carcinogens could represent one of the mechanisms by which CARD15 polymorphisms increase the susceptibility to gastric cancer. Meta-analyses of these SNPs and further analyses of additional polymorphisms/haplotypes in NOD genes will help determine their role in carcinogenesis.
    Human immunology 05/2009; 70(9):729-32. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    International Journal of Colorectal Disease 03/2009; 24(10):1247-8. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IntroductionAmino-bisphosphonates are potent activators of human γδ T cells. The aim of our study was to evaluate the immunomodulating properties of a single-dose of zoledronic acid (ZA) on γδ T cells in a select group of disease-free breast cancer patients with osteopenia. Materials and methods Blood samples were obtained, from 23 patients, before and 7, 28, 56, 90 and 180days after a single-dose (4mg) of ZA and analyzed by flow cyometry. ResultsA significant decrease of the different γδ T cell subsets was observed: Naïve (CD3+/Vdelta2+/CD45RA+/CD27+) after 180days (P<0.01); Central Memory (CD3+/Vdelta2+/CD45RA-CD27+) after 28 (P<0.05), 90 (P<0.01) and 180days (P<0.01); and Effector Memory (CD3+/Vdelta2+/CD45RA-/CD27-) after 56 (P<0.01) and 90 (P<0.05) days. Based on the observed γδ T cells kinetics patients could be divided in two groups: “responders” that showed a significant decrease in total numbers of γδ T cells and “non-responders” that showed no significant change. However, in vitro phosphoantigen stimulation of patients cells did not show significant differences in terms of IFN-γ response by Vδ2 T cells. ConclusionWe describe for the first time a long-lasting activation of effector subsets of γδ T cells in disease-free breast cancer patients after a single-dose of ZA. Our results highlight the need to further investigate the clinical significance of the immunomodulating properties of N-BPs.
    Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 01/2009; 58(1):31-38. · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The polymorphisms of interleukin-1beta (IL1beta) genes have been controversially correlated with gastric cancer risk. We examined all the available published studies through a meta-analysis approach. Twenty-one studies assessing the correlation between IL1beta gene polymorphisms and gastric cancer were examined: 15 studies evaluated the role of IL1beta-511T, 12 of IL1beta-31T and 6 investigated both polymorphisms. The IL1beta-511T polymorphism was correlated with an increased risk of developing gastric cancer in the global population (OR of 1.23, 95% CI 1.09-1.37, P=0.0002). The analysis of the population stratified for Caucasian and Asian ethnicities showed that the IL1beta-511T polymorphism was correlated with a statistically significant increased risk of gastric cancer in the Caucasian (OR of 1.56, 95% CI 1.32-1.84, P<0.00001), but not in the Asian population (OR of 1, 95% CI 0.85-1.16, P=0.95). An analysis of patients with the IL1beta-31T genotype did not show an increased risk of developing gastric cancer either on the overall or stratified population. The present data partially agree with the results of the two recently published meta-analyses. Our findings confirm the correlation between the IL1beta-511T allele polymorphism and gastric cancer risk in the overall population. However, this correlation is not statistically significant in the Asian, but is strongly correlated in the Caucasian subgroup. The present analysis considered a more copious sample size of cases after taking into account all the studies published recently by searching the 'PubMed' and 'MEDLINE' databases until July 2007. Hence, the present study contributes to clarify the controversial results on IL1beta polymorphisms and gastric cancer risk correlation evidencing the importance of ethnicity in the generation of the IL1beta polymorphism analysis.
    Oncology Reports 11/2008; 20(5):1213-20. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study we investigated the potential role of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) Asp299Gly and Thr399Ile polymorphisms as risk factors in the development of gastric cancer. TLR-4 Asp299Gly and Thr399Ile polymorphisms were investigated in 171 Italian patients with sporadic gastric cancer and in 151 controls. Unconditional regression (odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals) were used to investigate the association of the studied polymorphisms with gastric cancer. TLR-4 Thr399Ile polymorphism is linked with an increased susceptibility to gastric cancer (P = 0.023 and hazard ratio = 3.62). No significant association for TLR-4 Asp299Gly polymorphism was found. In the subgroup of patients with intestinal-type gastric cancer, a significant risk of gastric cancer was associated with TLR-4 Thr399Ile genotype (P = 0.006). Our results demonstrated that TLR-4 Thr399Ile polymorphism is linked with an increased susceptibility to gastric cancer. An increased risk for intestinal gastric cancer in carriers of the TLR4 Thr399Ile allele was observed. Future epidemiological studies should consider the possible interactions between proinflammatory genotypes (such as TLR and interleukin-1R polymorphisms) and other risk factors for cancer such as dietary habits and/or exposure to environmental carcinogens.
    Clinical & Experimental Immunology 10/2008; 154(3):360-4. · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bone metastases represent an important problem in the elderly. These patients are exposed to a higher risk of developing skeletal-related events (SREs) with a subsequent decrease in quality of life and survival. Bisphosphonates have demonstrated to reduce and delay the appearance of SREs and to improve the quality of life also in elderly bone metastatic patients. Moreover, in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies suggest that bisphosphonates exert direct as well as indirect antitumor effect. Interestingly, recent clinical data confirm these results in bone metastatic cancer patients. However, randomized trials restricted to elderly patients with metastatic bone disease and focused to evaluate survival benefits have not yet been planned even if elderly patients, especially multiple myeloma, prostate and lung cancer patients, have been often included in trials. This review will examine in detail the preclinical rationale for using bisphosphonates as anticancer agents in elderly patients and will critically explore the first retrospective and prospective clinical evidences of an increased survival in patients treated with bisphosphonates. Moreover, we will analyze the safety of bisphosphonates in elderly population and discuss the clinical recommendations expressed by the SIOG Society for the use of bisphosphonates in elderly patients. Randomized clinical trials to assess the role of bisphosphonate therapy in the adjuvant setting are currently in progress and will be described in this review. If the results of these ongoing clinical trials will be positive, the indications for bisphosphonates could increase, including also elderly patients.
    Critical reviews in oncology/hematology 09/2008; 69(1):83-94. · 5.27 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

713 Citations
201.37 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006–2011
    • LIUCBM Libera Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma
      • Unit of Medical Oncology
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2008
    • Università degli Studi di Urbino "Carlo Bo"
      Urbino, The Marches, Italy
  • 2005–2007
    • Columbia University
      • College of Physicians and Surgeons
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2003–2006
    • Sapienza University of Rome
      • Department of Clinical Medicine
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2003–2005
    • Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro
      Bari, Apulia, Italy