Fabio Bassi

CRO Centro di Riferimento Oncologico di Aviano, Aviano, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy

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Publications (21)87.22 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The 2013 St-Gallen International Expert Panel recognized substantial progress in the pathological characterization of breast cancer subtypes. Useful surrogate definition of Luminal A-like as distinct from Luminal B-like disease could be made using a combination of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PgR) and Ki-67, without requiring molecular diagnostics. Differences depend upon the choice of the threshold value for Ki-67 and the requirement for substantial PgR positivity. We aimed to verify the suitability of the new surrogate definition of luminal subtypes in terms of distant disease control in a large series of patients.
    Breast cancer research: BCR 06/2014; 16(3):R65. · 5.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We previously demonstrated that 1 or 5 mg per day of tamoxifen (T) given for 4 weeks before surgery reduces Ki-67 in breast cancer (BC) patients to the same extent as the standard 20 mg/d. Given the long half-life of T, a weekly dose (10mg/w) may be worth testing. Also, raloxifene (R) has shown Ki-67 reduction in post menopausal patients in a preoperative setting, but data in premenopausal women are limited. We conducted a randomized trial testing T 10mg per week (w), vs R 60 mg/d vs placebo in a pre-surgical model. Out of 204 screened subjects, 57 were not eligible, 22 refused to participate and 125 were included in the study. The participants were all premenopausal women with estrogen receptor-positive BC. They were randomly assigned to either T 10mg/w or R 60 mg/d or placebo for 6 weeks before surgery. The primary endpoint was tissue change of Ki67. Secondary endpoints were modulation of estrogen and progesterone receptors and several other circulating biomarkers. Ki-67 was not significantly modulated by either treatment. In contrast, both selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) significantly modulated circulating IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratio, cholesterol, fibrinogen and anti-thrombin III. Estradiol was increased with both SERMs. Within the tamoxifen arm, CYP2D6 polymorphism analysis showed a higher concentration of N-desTamoxifen, one of the tamoxifen metabolites, in subjects with reduced CYP2D6 activity. Moreover, a reduction of Ki67 and a marked increase of sex hormone banding protein (SHBP) were observed in the active phenotype. A weekly dose of tamoxifen and a standard dose of raloxifene did not inhibit tumor cell proliferation, measured as Ki67 expression, in premenopausal BC patients. However in the tamoxifen arm women with an extensive phenotype for CYP2D6 reached a significant Ki67 modulation.
    Breast cancer research: BCR 06/2013; 15(3):R47. · 5.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:The post-surgical management of ductal intraepithelial neoplasia (DIN) of the breast is still a dilemma. Ki-67 labelling index (LI) has been proposed as an independent predictive and prognostic factor in early breast cancer.Methods:The prognostic and predictive roles of Ki-67 LI were evaluated with a multivariable Cox regression model in a cohort of 1171 consecutive patients operated for DIN in a single institution from 1997 to 2007.Results:Radiotherapy (RT) was protective in subjects with DIN with Ki-67 LI ≥14%, whereas no evidence of benefit was seen for Ki-67 LI <14%, irrespective of nuclear grade and presence of necrosis. Notably, the higher the Ki-67 LI, the stronger the effect of RT (P-interaction <0.01). Hormonal therapy (HT) was effective in both Luminal A (adjusted hazard ratio (HR)=0.56 (95% CI, 0.33-0.97)) and Luminal B/Her2neg DIN (HR 0.51 (95% CI, 0.27-0.95)).Conclusion:Our data suggest that Ki-67 LI may be a useful prognostic and predictive adjunct in DIN patients. The Ki-67 LI of 14% could be a potential cutoff for better categorising this population of women at increased risk for breast cancer and in which adjuvant treatment (RT, HT) should be differently addressed, independent of histological grade and presence of necrosis.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 11 April 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.147 www.bjcancer.com.
    British Journal of Cancer 04/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Metformin is associated with reduced breast cancer risk in observational studies in patients with diabetes, but clinical evidence for antitumor activity is unclear. The change in Ki-67 between pretreatment biopsy and post-treatment surgical specimen has prognostic value and may predict antitumor activity in breast cancer. After tumor biopsy, we randomly allocated 200 nondiabetic women with operable breast cancer to either metformin 850 mg/twice per day (n = 100) or placebo (n = 100). The primary outcome measure was the difference between arms in Ki-67 after 4 weeks adjusted for baseline values. Overall, the metformin effect on Ki-67 change relative to placebo was not statistically significant, with a mean proportional increase of 4.0% (95% CI, -5.6% to 14.4%) 4 weeks apart. However, there was a different drug effect depending on insulin resistance (homeostasis model assessment [HOMA] index > 2.8, fasting glucose [mmol/L] × insulin [mU/L]/22.5; P(interaction) = .045), with a nonsignificant mean proportional decrease in Ki-67 of 10.5% (95% CI, -26.1% to 8.4%) in women with HOMA more than 2.8 and a nonsignificant increase of 11.1% (95% CI, -0.6% to 24.2%) with HOMA less than or equal to 2.8. A different effect of metformin according to HOMA index was noted also in luminal B tumors (P(interaction) = .05). Similar trends to drug effect modifications were observed according to body mass index (P = .143), waist/hip girth-ratio (P = .058), moderate alcohol consumption (P = .005), and C-reactive protein (P = .080). Metformin before surgery did not significantly affect Ki-67 overall, but showed significantly different effects according to insulin resistance, particularly in luminal B tumors. Our findings warrant further studies of metformin in breast cancer with careful consideration to the metabolic characteristics of the study population.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 05/2012; 30(21):2593-600. · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate late toxicity and cosmetic outcome after intraoperative radiotherapy using electrons (ELIOT) as sole treatment modality in early breast cancer patients. A total of 119 patients selected randomly among 1200 cases was analyzed. Late toxicities were documented using the LENT-SOMA scoring system, cosmesis was evaluated with the Harvard scale, and a numeric rating scale was used to assess symptoms. After a median follow-up of 71 months, grade II fibrosis was observed in 38 patients (31.9%) and grade III fibrosis in 7 patients (5.9%). Postoperative complications (12.6%) did not correlate with late toxicity. Physicians and patients scored cosmesis as excellent or good in 84% and 77.3% of the cases, respectively. Patient satisfaction was higher than 90%. In the study, ELIOT gives low and acceptable long-term toxicity. A longer follow-up and a larger number of patients are needed to confirm these promising results.
    Tumori. 05/2012; 98(3):324-30.
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    ABSTRACT: We analyzed 382 patients with pure lobular carcinoma treated up to 2002 with sufficient follow-up to draw prognostic conclusions, all treated by conservative surgery. Our aim was to evaluate the influence of margin status on outcomes with a view assessing the appropriateness of conservative surgery in this breast cancer subtype. We assessed locoregional relapse, distant metastasis, contralateral breast cancer, breast cancer-related event free survival, disease-free survival and overall survival according to margin status categorized as at least 10 mm versus less than 10 mm (usually considered negative). The proportions of patients with less than 10 mm margins varied significantly with age (P = 0.02), menopausal status (P = 0.006), and tumor size (P = 0.02) but no other characteristic was significantly related to margin status. As regards unfavorable events during follow-up, none differed significantly between at least 10 mm and less than 10 mm margin groups. In particular, there were 11 (3.7%) local relapses in the same quadrant in at least 10 mm margin group compared to 4 (4.6%) in the less than 10 mm margin group, and 7 (2.4%) ipsilateral breast cancers in the 10 mm or more margin group but none in the less than 10 mm group. These findings indicate that minimal residual disease as evidenced by margins less than 10 mm is eradicated by radiotherapy (backed up in selected cases by reexcision, which in this series was always conservative). The rate of contralateral breast cancer was low at 2.9% indicating that prophylactic contralateral mastectomy is not justified. We conclude that the surgical approach and criteria for adjuvant hormonal and systemic treatment in lobular carcinoma should be the same as for ductal carcinoma, provided that adequate preoperative investigations exclude extensive multifocal and contralateral disease.
    Annals of surgery 03/2011; 253(3):580-4. · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Primary treatment is surgery, with mastectomy as the main treatment for most of the twentieth century. However, over that time, the extent of the procedure varied, and less extensive mastectomies are employed today compared to those used in the past, as excessively mutilating procedures did not improve survival. Today, many women receive breast-conserving surgery, usually with radiotherapy to the residual breast, instead of mastectomy, as it has been shown to be as effective as mastectomy in early disease. The relatively new skin-sparing mastectomy, often with immediate breast reconstruction, improves aesthetic outcomes and is oncologically safe. Nipple-sparing mastectomy is newer and used increasingly, with better acceptance by patients, and again appears to be oncologically safe. Breast reconstruction is an important adjunct to mastectomy, as it has a positive psychological impact on the patient, contributing to improved quality of life.
    International journal of surgical oncology. 01/2011; 2011:980158.
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    ABSTRACT: Few data exist on the potential role of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in patients with operable breast cancer. If the presence of CTCs in early breast cancer could predict an increased risk for relapse, it might be an early marker for treatment efficacy and could help in deciding treatment continuation. Thirty milliliters of peripheral blood was taken from 56 breast cancer patients before surgery and again 5 days after surgery, and the presence of CTCs was evaluated. In case of positivity of one of the perioperative samples, another sample was taken after 30 days. The presence of CTCs was assessed with the CellSearch System (Veridex, Warren, NJ). One to three CTCs were found in 16 (29%) of 56 patients before surgery, in 14 (30%) of 47 patients at day 5, and in 8 (30%) of 27 at day 30. No association with pathological characteristics was found, apart a borderline significant association between presence of CTCs at baseline and vascular invasion (P = 0.07). When we looked at concordance between CTCs at baseline and after day 5 (47 patients), we found 40% discordant samples (10 negative at baseline and positive at day 5, and 9 vice versa). This study provides evidence of the presence of CTCs in approximately 30% of patients with localized breast cancer both before and after surgery, with change from positive to negative and vice versa in 40% of cases. No association with the pathological variables was found, except for vascular invasion and presence of preoperative CTCs. Long-term follow-up will be required to understand the significance of these data.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 02/2010; 17(6):1539-45. · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In recent decades, a steady improvement in imaging diagnostics has been observed together with a rising adherence to regular clinical breast examinations. As a result, the detection of small clinically occult (nonpalpable) lesions has progressively increased. At present in our institution some 20% of the cases are treated when nonpalpable. The aim of the present study is to analyze the characteristics and prognosis of such tumors treated in a single institution. The analysis focused on 1,258 women who presented at the European Institute of Oncology with a primary clinically occult carcinoma between 2000 and 2006. All patients underwent radioguided occult lesion localization (ROLL), axillary dissection when appropriate, whole breast radiotherapy, or partial breast intraoperative irradiation and received tailored adjuvant systemic treatment. Median age was 56 years. Imaging showed a breast nodule in half of the cases and a breast nodule accompanied by microcalcifications in 9%. Microcalcifications alone were present in 17.1% of the cases, whereas suspicious opacity, distortion, or thickening represented the remaining 24.6%. Most tumors were characterized by low proliferative rates (68.9%), positive estrogen receptors (92.3%), and non-overexpressed Her2/neu (91.3%). After a median follow-up of 60 months, we observed 19 local events (1.5%), 12 regional events (1%), and 20 distant metastases (1.6%). Five-year overall survival was 98.6%. Clinically occult (nonpalpable) carcinomas show very favorable prognostic features and high survival rates, showing the important role of modern imaging techniques.
    The Oncologist 01/2010; 15(12):1248-52. · 4.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tamoxifen's cost-benefit ratio for breast ductal intraepithelial neoplasia (DIN) is unclear. Since low-dose tamoxifen showed a favorable modulation of breast cancer biomarkers in phase II trials, a monoinstitutional cohort of women with DIN treated with low-dose tamoxifen or no systemic treatment was analyzed. A total of 309 patients with DIN received low-dose tamoxifen as part of institutional guidelines and were compared with 371 patients with DIN who received no systemic treatment after surgery. Women with estrogen receptor (ER)/progesterone receptor (PgR) >50% DIN who were not treated had a higher incidence of breast events than women on tamoxifen [hazard ratio (HR) 1.76; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00-3.12] or women with ER/PgR <50% DIN (HR 1.72; 95% CI 1.14-2.58). Among untreated patients with ER >50% DIN, recurrence was higher in PgR > or =50% DIN than in PgR <50% DIN, whereas it was similar among low PgR (<50%) DIN against which tamoxifen had no effect. No difference in endometrial cancer incidence was noted. High ER and especially high PgR expression is a significant adverse prognostic indicator of DIN, and low-dose tamoxifen appears to be an active treatment. Women with low-expression ER or PgR DIN do not seem to benefit from tamoxifen. A definitive clinical trial is warranted.
    Annals of Oncology 10/2009; 21(5):949-54. · 7.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Idiopathic granulomatous mastitis clinically and histologically mimics an inflammatory carcinoma. A correct approach including ultrasound, clinical and histological analysis can safely identify a patient with this pathology, orienting to adequate therapy with anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drugs and leaving the surgical approach only for case unresponsive to medical therapy.
    Journal of Cutaneous Pathology 03/2009; 36(6):689-91. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diagnosis of breast ductal intraepithelial neoplasia (DIN) has increased over the last decades, but proper postsurgical treatment remains controversial. We analyzed risk factors and treatment outcome in a large series of women treated at one institution. Women undergoing surgery for DIN at the European Institute of Oncology between 1996 and 2005, with follow-up until December 2006, were included. We evaluated the postsurgical treatment outcome of 974 and 293 patients who underwent breast-conserving surgery (BCS) or mastectomy, respectively. The 5-year cumulative incidence of breast cancer (BC) events was 11.8%, with a significant trend according to age (from 43% in women <36 years to 8% in women >65 years). Among the 727 BCS patients with DIN2-DIN3 histology, 414 (57%) received radiotherapy (RT), and they were both younger and with worse prognostic factors than the 313 patients who did not receive it. In these groups, the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for RT versus non-RT was 0.40 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.26-0.63). Among the 691 BCS patients with estrogen receptor (ER)(+) disease, 329 (48%) received low-dose tamoxifen (either 5 mg/day or 20 mg once a week) and they were younger than the 362 who did not receive it. In these groups, the adjusted HR for tamoxifen versus no tamoxifen was 0.68 (95% CI, 0.43-1.07), and the HR was 0.55 (95% CI, 0.32-0.97) after excluding human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER)2/neu-overexpressing DIN. BC events were more frequent in young patients. RT was associated with a lower incidence of BC events. Low-dose tamoxifen was associated with a lower incidence of BC events in patients with ER(+) disease when HER-2 was not overexpressed. Further prospective studies should confirm our observations.
    The Oncologist 03/2009; 14(3):201-12. · 4.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Conservative surgery represents the standard care for patients with early breast cancer. The aim of this review was to discuss the extension of conservative surgery in controversial fields such as after primary chemotherapy for large tumours or the possibility to repeat conservative surgery for a local reappearance. The project of a conservative approach to breast cancers continues with sentinel node biopsy which is worldwide performed more and more frequently. In our institute sentinel node biopsy is the standard procedure in the axillary staging of breast cancer even in those clinical scenarios which were previously considered either controversial or a contraindication such as in multicentric breast cancer, during pregnancy, in intra-ductal neoplasias, after primary chemotherapy, and male breast cancer. This conservative approach is completed by the possibility to deliver a partial breast irradiation and to provide patients with more personalized adjuvant treatments tailored on the biological features of the tumour.
    Minerva chirurgica 01/2008; 62(6):447-58. · 0.39 Impact Factor
  • International Journal of Surgery (London, England) 04/2007; 6(6):e67-9. · 1.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We evaluated the risks and benefits of nipple-sparing mastectomy in a multiinstitutional experience in the settings of risk-reducing surgery and breast cancer treatment. We analyzed data on 123 patients who had undergone nipple-sparing mastectomy with breast reconstruction for prophylaxis (n=55), treatment of breast cancer (n=41), or both (n=27) at four large centers. Median patient age was 45 years (range 22 to 70 years). There were 192 procedures (69 bilateral, 54 unilateral). Forty-four patients had invasive cancer; 20 had ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS); 4 had phyllodes tumor. In all of these patients, the nipple tissue was cancer free on pathologic review. Median followup was 24.6 months (range 2.0 to 570.4 months). Local recurrence developed in two patients: one had DCIS in the upper-outer quadrant, with 71.8 months of followup; the other's cancer was invasive, in the upper-outer quadrant, with 6 months of followup. Distant metastasis developed in a third patient, who died 50 months after the procedure. Breast cancer developed in two patients after prophylactic mastectomy: one in the upper-outer quadrant at 61.8 months; one in the axillary tail at 24.4 months. No patients had recurrences in the nipple-areolar complex. Necrosis of the nipple was reported in 22 of 192 patients (11%) and it was judged minimal (less than one-third total skin of nipple) in 13 of 22 patients (59%). Overall cosmesis was judged by the patient and surgeon as good to excellent in the majority of patients. Level of satisfaction with cosmetic results was similar between prophylactic and treatment patients. The risk of local relapse was very low in our series of nipple-sparing mastectomies performed for DCIS or invasive cancer. Nipple-sparing mastectomy in the risk-reducing and breast cancer-treatment settings may be feasible in selected patients and should be the subject of additional prospective clinical trials.
    Journal of the American College of Surgeons 12/2006; 203(5):704-14. · 4.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although postoperative fractionated radiotherapy (PFR) remains the standard method for conservative treatment of breast carcinomas, widespread experience in the use of full-dose intraoperative radiotherapy with electrons (ELIOT) merits its application in novel clinical situations, although long-term results of ongoing clinical trials have not been fully reported. Retrospective case series. Division of breast surgery in a comprehensive cancer center. From June 1999 to September 2003 ELIOT was used as the sole radiotherapy in 355 patients with unifocal invasive carcinoma who were candidates for breast-conserving surgery and most of whom were participating in an ongoing institutional trial. In a group of patients in whom PFR was not considered safe or feasible (because of previous mantle field irradiation for Hodgkin disease, cosmetic breast augmentation, severe cardiopathy, large hypertrophic scarring from skin burns, vitiligo, and geographic or social obstacles), ELIOT was performed outside of the ongoing trial. No particular adverse effects, unusual acute reactions, late sequelae, and local or systemic events were noted in these patients after a mean follow-up of 27.3 months. In appropriated selected patients, when it is critical to perform PFR after breast-conserving therapy, a single dose of ELIOT may be considered to avoid mastectomy, reduce potential treatment toxicity, improve quality of life, and resolve logistic problems. The long-term results of ongoing clinical trials will further delineate patients in whom ELIOT may replace PFR.
    Archives of Surgery 11/2005; 140(10):936-9. · 4.10 Impact Factor
  • The Breast Journal 01/2005; 11(4):297-300. · 1.83 Impact Factor
  • The Breast 01/2005; 13(6):533-5. · 2.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sentinel node (SN) biopsy has become accepted as a reliable method of predicting the state of the axilla in breast cancer. The key issue, however, is the accuracy of the pathological evaluation of the biopsied node, which should be done intraoperatively whenever possible. In our initial experience on 192 patients using a conventional intraoperative frozen section method, the false-negative rate was 6.3%, and the negative predictive value was 93.7%. We devised a new and exhaustive intraoperative method, requiring about 40 minutes, in which pairs of sections are taken every 50 microm for the first 15 sections and every 100 microm thereafter, sampling the entire node. Sentinel node metastases were found in 143 of the 376 T1N0 cases examined (38%). Metastases were always identified on hematoxylin and eosin sections, although in 4% of cases, cytokeratin immunostaining on adjacent sections was useful for confirming malignancy. In 233 patients the SNs were disease-free; of these patients, 222 had metastasis-free axillary nodes, and 11 (4.7%) had another metastatic node. Extensive intraoperative examination of frozen sentinel nodes correctly predicts an uninvolved axilla in 95.3% of cases (negative predictive value). This method is, therefore, suitable for identifying patients in whom axillary dissection can be avoided.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 01/2002; 8(10):817-20. · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Sentinel node SN biopsy has become accepted as a reliable method of predicting the state of the axilla in breast cancer. The key issue, however, is the accuracy of the pathological evaluation of the biopsied node, which should be done intraoperatively whenever possible.Methods: In our initial experience on 192 patients using a conventional intraoperative frozen section method, the false-negative rate was 6.3%, and the negative predictive value was 93.7%. We devised a new and exhaustive intraoperative method, requiring about 40 minutes, in which pairs of sections are taken every 50 for the first 15 sections and every 100 thereafter, sampling the entire node. Sentinel node metastases were found in 143 of the 376 T1N0 cases examined 38%.Results: Metastases were always identified on hematoxylin and eosin sections, although in 4% of cases, cytokeratin immunostaining on adjacent sections was useful for confirming malignancy. In 233 patients the SNs were disease-free; of these patients, 222 had metastasis-free axillary nodes, and 11 4.7% had another metastatic node.Conclusion: Extensive intraoperative examination of frozen sentinel nodes correctly predicts an uninvolved axilla in 95.3% of cases negative predictive value. This method is, therefore, suitable for identifying patients in whom axillary dissection can be avoided.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 11/2001; 8(10):817-820. · 4.12 Impact Factor