[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MiR-671-5p is encoded by a gene localized at 7q36.1, a region amplified in human glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most malignant brain cancer. To investigate whether expression of miR-671-5p were altered in GBM, we analyzed biopsies from a cohort of forty-five GBM patients and from five GBM cell lines. Our data show significant overexpression of miR-671-5p in both biopsies and cell lines. By exploiting specific miRNA mimics and inhibitors, we demonstrated that miR-671-5p overexpression significantly increases migration and to a less extent proliferation rates of GBM cells. Through a combined in silico and in vitro approach, we identified CDR1-AS, CDR1, VSNL1 as downstream miR-671-5p targets in GBM. Expression of these genes significantly decreased both in GBM biopsies and cell lines and negatively correlated with that of miR-671-5p. Based on our data, we propose that the axis miR-671-5p / CDR1-AS / CDR1 / VSNL1 is functionally altered in GBM cells and is involved in the modification of their biopathological profile.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Object:
The objective of this study was to report the authors' experience with the long-term administration of temozolomide (TMZ; > 6 cycles, up to 101) in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma and to analyze its feasibility and safety as well as its impact on survival. The authors also compared data obtained from the group of patients undergoing long-term TMZ treatment with data from patients treated with a standard TMZ protocol.
A retrospective analysis was conducted of 37 patients who underwent operations for glioblastoma between 2004 and 2012. Volumetric analysis of postoperative Gd-enhanced MR images, obtained within 48 hours, confirmed tumor gross-total resection (GTR) in all but 2 patients. All patients received the first cycle of TMZ at a dosage of 150 mg/m(2) starting on the second or third postsurgical day. Afterward, patients received concomitant radiochemotherapy according to the Stupp protocol. With regard to adjuvant TMZ therapy, the 19 patients in Group A, aged 30-72 years (mean 56.1 years), received 150 mg/m(2) for 5 days every 28 days for more than 6 cycles (range 7-101 cycles). The 18 patients in Group B, aged 46-82 years (mean 64.8 years), received the same dose, but for no more than 6 cycles. O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation status was analyzed for both groups and correlated with overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). The impact of age, sex, Karnofsky Performance Scale score, and Ki 67 staining were also considered.
All patients but 1 in Group A survived at least 18 months (range 18-101 months), and patients in Group B survived no more than 17 months (range 2-17 months). The long-term survivors (Group A), defined as patients who survived at least 12 months after diagnosis, were 51.3% of the total (19/37). Kaplan-Meier curve analysis showed that patients treated with more than 6 TMZ cycles had OS and PFS that was significantly longer than patients receiving standard treatment (median OS 28 months vs 8 months, respectively; p = 0.0001; median PFS 20 months vs 4 months, respectively; p = 0.0002). By univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression analysis, MGMT methylation status and number of TMZ cycles appeared to be survival prognostic factors in patients with glioblastoma. After controlling for MGMT status, highly significant differences related to OS and PFS between patients with standard and long-term TMZ treatment were still detected. Furthermore, in Group A and B, the statistical correlation of MGMT status to the number of TMZ cycles showed a significant difference only in Group A patients, suggesting that MGMT promoter methylation was predictive of response for long-term TMZ treatment. Prolonged therapy did not confer hematological toxicity or opportunistic infections in either patient group.
This study describes the longest experience so far reported with TMZ in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastomas, with as many as 101 cycles, who were treated using GTR. Statistically significant data confirm that median survival correlates with MGMT promoter methylation status as well as with the number of TMZ cycles administered. Long-term TMZ therapy appears feasible and safe.
Preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Neurosurgical FOCUS
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
The assessment of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) gene amplification is essential in order to identify those patients affected by advanced gastric cancer who may benefit from Trastuzumab targeted therapy.
Materials and methods:
With the aim to investigate the concordance rate in HER2 status between primary gastric carcinoma (GC) and synchronous lymphnode metastases, we investigated HER2 status in a cohort of 108 surgical formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens of GC and matched synchronous metastatic lymph nodes collected from three different units of Anatomic Pathology in southern of Italy. Fleiss-Cohen weighted k statistics were used to assess the concordance rate of HER2 status.
HER2 amplification was observed in 17% of primary GCs and the overall concordance rate with corresponding nodal metastases was 90.74%. Changes in HER2 status between primary GC and matched synchronous metastases were evidenced in 10 (9.26%) cases. Of these, 6 cases were HER2 amplified in the primary GC and not amplified in the metastases, while 4 were HER2 not amplified in the primary tumour and amplified in the lymph node metastases.
Although at present the simultaneous determination of HER2 in advanced gastric cancer and corresponding metastatic lymph nodes is not mandatory, the possibility that the synchronous metastases of GC have a different HER2 status from that of the primary tumour is of remarkable significance; Indeed this may have influence on the therapeutic management and prognosis of the patients.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · International Journal of Molecular Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal neoplasm of the gastrointestinal tract, while osseous metaplasia of this tumour is an unexpected event. To date, no cases have been reported in the literature. Herein, we report a case of a 60-year-old man affected by a GIST with benign osseous metaplasia and mature bone formation. We also discuss the pathogenesis of intratumoural ossification and review the relevant literature. The prognostic significance of ossification in GIST remains unclear because of the limited cases reported.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is considered to be a therapeutic and prognostic marker in the management of breast carcinoma (BC), although discordance rates between primary and metastatic or locally recurrent lesions have been reported.
One hundred and forty-eight paraffin-embedded BC tissues from patients of mean age 59.27 (33–96) years and corresponding synchronous lymph node metastases were collected and retrospectively studied using immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization to evaluate HER2 status. Fleiss-Cohen weighted k statistics were used to assess the concordance rate between HER2 status of the primary BC and the synchronous metastatic lesions.
The overall concordance rate for HER2 was 95.28%. Eighty-nine cases were concordantly HER2-negative in primary BC and nodal metastases, and 52 cases were HER2-positive in both primary and metastatic tumors. Changes in HER2 status between primary BC and corresponding synchronous metastases were observed in seven (4.72%) cases. Three of the discordant cases were HER2-negative in the primary tumor and HER2-positive in the metastases, while four cases were HER2-positive in the primary BC and HER2-negative in the metastases. No significant correlations were identified between HER2 status and expression of hormone receptors, growth fraction (Ki-67), or other histopathological parameters (pT, pN, grade).
Simultaneous determination of HER2 in BC and corresponding metastatic lymph nodes is not mandatory, but may strongly influence the therapeutic management. It was demonstrated that loss of HER2 amplification results in worse post-relapse survival and overall survival in BC patients and, on the other hand, a gain in HER2 expression in metastatic lymph nodes of BC may allow the possibility of a targeted treatment. Thus, our opinion is that significant prognostic information may be obtained by simultaneous assessment of HER2 status in both primary and synchronous metastatic BC.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · OncoTargets and Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite ongoing clinical trials, the efficacy of anti-angiogenic drugs for the treatment of brain metastases (BM) is still questionable. The lower response rate to anti-angiogenic therapy in the presence of BM than in metastatic disease involving other sites suggests that BM may be insensitive to these drugs, although the biological reasons underlining this phenomenon are still to be clarified. With the aim of assessing whether the targets of anti-angiogenic therapies are actually present in BM, in the present study, we analyzed the microvessel density (MVD), a measure of neo-angiogenesis, and the vascular phenotype (mature vs. immature) in the tumor tissue of a series of BM derived from different primary tumors. By using immunohistochemistry against endoglin, a specific marker for newly formed vessels, we found that neo-angiogenesis widely varies in BM depending on the site of the primary tumor, as well as on its histotype. According to our results, BM from lung cancer displayed the highest MVD counts, while those from renal carcinoma had the lowest. Then, among BM from lung cancer, those from large cell and adenocarcinoma histotypes had significantly higher MVD counts than those originating from squamous cell carcinoma (p = 0.0043; p = 0.0063). Of note, MVD counts were inversely correlated with the maturation index of the endoglin-stained vessels, reflected by the coverage of smooth muscle actin (SMA) positive pericytes (r = -0.693; p < 0.0001). Accordingly, all the endoglin-positive vessels in BM from pulmonary squamous cell carcinoma and renal carcinoma, displayed a mature phenotype, while vessels with an immature phenotype were found in highly vascularized BM from pulmonary large cell and adenocarcinoma. The low MVD and mature phenotype observed in BM from some primary tumors may account for their low sensitivity to anti-angiogenic therapies. Although our findings need to be validated in correlative studies with a clinical response, this should be taken into account in therapeutic protocols in order to avoid the adverse effects of useless therapies.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · International Journal of Molecular Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: According to the ToGA trial, HER2 has been shown to be predictive for the success of treatment with trastuzumab in advanced gastric cancer (AGC). A number of studies have analyzed HER-2/neu overexpression in gastric carcinoma and identified the rate of HER2 positivity to be markedly varied. To date, the prevalence of HER2 overexpression in Sicilian people with AGC is unknown. Therefore, in the present study, a retrospective immunohistochemical analysis of HER2 was performed in a cohort of 304 AGC samples that were obtained from the archives of 10 Sicilian anatomopathological diagnostic units in order to verify the positive rate of HER2-positive cases. Furthermore, the characteristics of histotype, grade, stage and Ki-67 expression were also analyzed. HER2 overexpression was encountered in 17.43% of all the gastric adenocarcinomas, which was consistent with the results that have been reported elsewhere in the literature. A progressive increase in HER2 overexpression was observed, from the poorly cohesive histotype to the tubular adenocarcinomas and gastric hepatoid adenocarcinomas. HER2 overexpression was significantly associated with a high grade, advanced stage and high Ki-67 labeling index. Further investigations performed jointly by pathologists and oncologists within the geographical area of the present study should confirm that the association of trastuzumab with chemotherapy results in an improvement of survival in patients with AGC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sclerosing angiomatoid nodular transformation of the spleen is a rare benign vascular lesion with extensive sclerosis and unknown aetiology. Although its pathogenesis is not clear, it has been postulated that it may represent a peculiar hamartomatous transformation of red pulp in response to an exaggerated non-neoplastic stromal proliferation. However, it is unclear whether SANT is the end stage of a variety of benign splenic conditions including inflammatory pseudotumour, hamartoma or hematoma. Considering that the lesion is benign, splenectomy is curative. We report a new case of SANT, discussing differential diagnosis, immunohistochemical profile and pathogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Familial spinal neurofibromatosis is a form of neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1), consisting of extensive, symmetrical, histologically proven, multiple neurofibromas of the spinal roots at every level and of all major peripheral nerves sometimes associated with typical NF1 stigmata; most cases underlie NF1 gene mutations.
The objectives of this study are (1) to report the findings in a set of 16-year-old monozygotic twin girls and a 14-year-old boy and (2) to review the existing literature.
Methods and results:
In this article, we report the cases of three children who (1) had manifested mildly different symptomatic neuropathy (twins, aged 4 years; and a boy, aged 9 years) associated with massive, symmetrical neurofibromas; (2) had few café-au-lait spots with irregular margins and pale brown pigmentation; (3) were presented with, at brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), bilateral, NF1-like high-signal abnormalities in the basal ganglia; (4) yielded missense NF1 gene mutations in exon 39; and (5) had unaffected parents with negative NF1 genetic testing as well as discuss 12 families and 20 sporadic and 5 additional cases that presented spinal neurofibromatosis within classical NF1 families (53 cases) that were reported in the literature.
This article presents the first report on (1) spinal neurofibromatosis in a set of affected monozygotic twins; (2) the earliest onset of the disease; and (3) the occurrence of high signal lesions in the brain at MRI.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe a case of isolated primary laryngeal leishmaniasis in an immunocompetent Italian patient with a previous medical history negative for visceral or cutaneous leishmaniasis, presenting with hoarseness. We also summarize the epidemiological, clinical, and diagnostic features and the therapeutic management of other cases of laryngeal leishmaniasis in immunocompetent subjects, described in the literature. Considering the insidious and nonspecific clinical presentation, the increasing number of different forms of mild or underestimated immunosuppressive conditions, and the number of people travelling in endemic zones, along with the ability of Leishmania amastigotes to survive for a long period in the body, we believe it is important for pathologists and clinicians to be aware of this unusual form of leishmaniasis in order to avoid delayed recognition and treatment. The rarity of the presentation and the lack of guidelines on mucosal leishmaniasis may contribute to the potential undiagnosed cases or delayed diagnosis, the possible relapses, as well as the correct pharmacological and/or surgical therapeutic approach.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aim:
The aim of this study was to assess both the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) protein expression by immunohistochemistry and the EGFR gene amplification by fluorescence in situ hybridization in meningiomas of different grade, in order to evaluate their possible role in the development of the disease. EGFR protein belongs to the family of tyrosine kinase growth factor receptors, which also includes HER2, HER3 and HER4. Elevated expression or activity of EGFR has been reported in several cancers, including brain tumours. EGFR activation can enhance the malignant potential of epithelial tissues.
We investigated whether there was a difference in the EGFR protein expression and the EGFR gene amplification between the so called de novo malignant meningiomas and recurrent meningiomas with or without malignant progression from a previously lower grade tumor. Our goal was to evaluate if EGFR expression was a useful marker to select patients affected by meningioma with a major risk of recurrences. We also assessed the prognostic value of the EGFR expression on overall survival.
Progression from benign meningiomas to atypical or anaplastic meningiomas correlated with an increase in the expression of EGFR protein. Our study shows that EGFR immunostaining in meningiomas directly correlates to the tumor's grade. The EGFR expression did not correlate with the overall survival and the recurrence-free survival of the patients affected by meningioma (de novo, recurrent and progressed).
We submit that the EGFR expression is not a useful prognostic element to identify patients with a major risk of meningioma recurrence.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Journal of neurosurgical sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteoblastoma is a solitary, benign bone tumor that is rarely localized in the frontal sinus. It consists of hypocellular mineralized tissue that may form large masses or irregular trabeculae. A 31 year old man came to our attention with a 7 month history of diplopia, photophobia, frontal headhaches and progressive exophthalmos with proptosis of the left eye. The patient was submitted to computed tomography (CT) which allowed to appraise the extension of the lesion. The mass expanded inside the left frontal sinus and the upper ethmoidal cells invading the left orbital roof. Considering the extension of the tumor, the site and the connections with contiguous structures, a combination of endoscopic endonasal technique with intraorbital approach was performed. At histological examination typical features of benign osteoblastoma were observed. The sites of predilection for the tumor are the long bones, vertebral column, and small bones of hands and feet. Its occurrence in the skull and jaw bones is relatively rare and represents only 15% of all osteoblastomas. To our knowledge, only 5 cases of osteoblastoma of the frontal sinus have been previously reported in the English-language literature. This report describes a case of benign osteoblastoma in a rare site, namely, the frontal sinus with particular attention about the differential diagnosis and the treatment.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · European review for medical and pharmacological sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
This study was undertaken to prospectively determine the diagnostic capabilities of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in detecting myometrial and cervical invasion and lymph node involvement in endometrial carcinoma and to identify the causes of errors in staging endometrial carcinoma.
Materials and methods:
Twenty consecutive patients with a histological diagnosis of endometrial carcinoma underwent preoperative MR imaging. MR findings were compared with surgical staging, considered as the standard of reference.
In assessing myometrial invasion, MR imaging showed 70% accuracy, 80% sensitivity, 40% specificity, 80% positive predictive value (PPV), and 40% negative predictive value (NPV). In detecting cervical invasion, MR imaging had 95% accuracy, 100% sensitivity, 94.4% specificity, 66.7% PPV, and 100% NPV. In evaluating lymph node involvement, MR imaging showed 100% accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV. Errors in evaluating myometrial invasion were caused by polypoid tumour, adenomyosis and leiomyomas, whereas those in evaluating cervical invasion were caused by dilatation and curettage.
MR imaging is a reliable technique for preoperative evaluation of endometrial carcinoma. Its main limitation is differentiating between stage IA and IB carcinomas, which is not highly important for surgical planning. Cooperation between the gynaecologist and radiologist is mandatory to avoid staging errors.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · La radiologia medica
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little information from clinical trials is available regarding the efficacy of trastuzumab treatment in subcentimetric breast carcinomas (BCs). The aim of this study was to verify the existence of correlations between HER2 and hormone receptor status, Ki67 values, grade, histotype and node involvement in a cohort of pT1a,b BCs from an area not widely covered by screening campaigns. A total of 410 pT1a,b BC formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples collected from eight Sicilian Anatomo-Pathological Units (APUs) were classified according to the WHO classification and tumour grading was established. Estrogen and progesterone receptor status, Ki67 labelling index and HER2 status were available. Relationships between immunohistochemical data and clinicopathological characteristics were investigated using the Chi-square test; the cohort was analysed with respect to pT1a and pT1b BC as well as to node status. Ductal infiltrating carcinoma was the prevalent histotype in the pT1a and pT1b stages; G2 was a more common tumour grade, with a range between 64.6% and 70% of pT1a and pT1b, respectively. Taking into consideration the lymph node involvement of pT1a,b BC, only 17.1% cases were node-positive without a relevant difference between pT1a and pT1b. No significant differences between pT1a and pT1b BC cases emerged in relation to Ki67 LI, hormone receptors and HER2 status. T1a,b BC cases were stratified by node involvement and a significant relationship was observed with grade as well as with HER2 status. A significant relationship for pT1a cases emerged only for tumour grade, while pT1b cases showed a significant correlation exclusively with HER2 status. Our data clearly support the operative guidelines of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Therefore, the combined treatment with trastuzumab plus chemotherapy should be administered only to patients with pT1b or larger BCs. In small HER2-positive pT1a or microinvasive BC, this therapy should be considered on a case-by-case basis, considering tumour grade as the first characteristic.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway has a master control role in various cancer-related biological processes as cell growth, proliferation, differentiation, migration, and apoptosis. It also regulates many transcription factors that control microRNAs (miRNAs) and their biosynthetic machinery. To investigate on the still poorly characterised global involvement of miRNAs within the pathway, we profiled the expression of 745 miRNAs in three colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines after blocking the pathway with three different inhibitors. This allowed the identification of two classes of post-treatment differentially expressed (DE) miRNAs: (1) common DE miRNAs in all CRC lines after treatment with a specific inhibitor (class A); (2) DE miRNAs in a single CRC line after treatment with all three inhibitors (class B). By determining the molecular targets, biological roles, network position of chosen miRNAs from class A (miR-372, miR-663b, miR-1226*) and class B (miR-92a-1*, miR-135b*, miR-720), we experimentally demonstrated that they are involved in cell proliferation, migration, apoptosis, and globally affect the regulation circuits centred on MAPK/ERK signaling. Interestingly, the levels of miR-92a-1*, miR-135b*, miR-372, miR-720 are significantly higher in biopsies from CRC patients than in normal controls; they also are significantly higher in CRC patients with mutated KRAS than in those with wild-type genotypes (Wilcoxon test, p < 0.05): the latter could be a downstream effect of ERK pathway overactivation, triggered by KRAS mutations. Finally, our functional data strongly suggest the following miRNA/target pairs: miR-92a-1*/PTEN-SOCS5; miR-135b*/LATS2; miR-372/TXNIP; miR-663b/CCND2. Altogether, these results contribute to deepen current knowledge on still uncharacterized features of MAPK/ERK pathway, pinpointing new oncomiRs in CRC and allowing their translation into clinical practice and CRC therapy.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Journal of Molecular Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lymphoma is the most common malignant orbital tumor. We describe the imaging features of diffuse orbital follicular lymphoma with extension into the pterygopalatine fossa and infratemporal fossa without bony infiltration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Differential diagnosis between vascular parkinsonism (VP) and Parkinson's Disease (PD) is often difficult, due to the overlap in clinical presentation and the lack of specificity at neuroimaging. Aim of the study was to identify a possible reliable marker at SPECT imaging useful to distinguish the two conditions.
We studied 20 PD, 20 VP and 20 essential tremor (ET) patients as control group, who had undergone a cerebral [(123) I] FP-CIT SPECT. A semiquantitative analysis was performed on DaTSCAN SPECT imaging and to establish the degree of asymmetry of the ligand uptake the Striatal Asymmetry Index (SAI) was used.
The binding of the ligand in the most affected side resulted significantly lower in VP than in ET patients but higher compared to PD patients. SAI was significantly higher in PD compared to VP (P < 0.001) and ET (P < 0.001) groups. We found that a cut-off of SAI greater than 14.08 could differentiate PD from VP with a 100% specificity and a 50% sensitivity.
SAI detected using [(123) I]FP-CIT SPECT can be used to differentiate VP and PD with a good degree of certainty.