Publications by authors named "Dominick A Leone"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Psychological impact of genetic and clinical screening for pulmonary fibrosis on asymptomatic first-degree relatives of affected individuals.

Thorax 2021 06 22;76(6):621-623. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Screening for pulmonary fibrosis may help to identify early stages of the disease. We assessed the psychological impact of screening undiagnosed first-degree relatives of patients with pulmonary fibrosis by administering two validated measures after participants received their results: the Decisional Regret Scale and the Feelings About genomiC Testing Results Questionnaire. More than 90% of relatives reported either no or mild decisional regret. Increased measures of decisional regret and negative feelings were present in those found to have a low diffusion capacity of carbon monoxide or interstitial lung abnormalities. Results of telomere length and genetic testing did not significantly impact regret.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/thoraxjnl-2020-216244DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8238310PMC
June 2021

Interstitial Lung Disease in Relatives of Patients with Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2020 05;201(10):1240-1248

Pulmonary and Critical Care Division.

Although relatives of patients with familial pulmonary fibrosis (FPF) are at an increased risk for interstitial lung disease (ILD), the risk among relatives of sporadic idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is not known. To identify the prevalence of interstitial lung abnormalities (ILA) and ILD among relatives of patients with FPF and sporadic IPF. Undiagnosed first-degree relatives of patients with pulmonary fibrosis (PF) consented to participate in a screening study that included the completion of questionnaires, pulmonary function testing, chest computed tomography, a blood sample collection for immunophenotyping, telomere length assessments, and genetic testing. Of the 105 relatives in the study, 33 (31%) had ILA, whereas 72 (69%) were either indeterminate or had no ILA. Of the 33 relatives with ILA, 19 (58%) had further evidence for ILD (defined by the combination of imaging findings and pulmonary function testing decrements). There was no evidence in multivariable analyses that the prevalence of either ILA or ILD differed between the 46 relatives with FPF and the 59 relatives with sporadic IPF. Relatives with decrements in either total lung or diffusion capacity had a greater than 9-fold increase in their odds of having ILA (odds ratio, 9.6; 95% confidence interval, 3.1-29.8;  < 0.001). An undiagnosed form of ILD may be present in greater than 1 in 6 older first-degree relatives of patients with PF. First-degree relatives of patients with both familial and sporadic IPF appear to be at similar risk. Our findings suggest that screening for PF in relatives might be warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.201908-1571OCDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7233344PMC
May 2020

Concordance of somatic mutation profiles (BRAF,NRAS, and TERT) and tumoral PD-L1 in matched primary cutaneous and metastatic melanoma samples.

Hum Pathol 2018 12 16;82:206-214. Epub 2018 Aug 16.

Dermatopathology Section, VA Integrated Systems Network (VISN1), Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, West Roxbury, MA 02132, USA. Electronic address:

Despite the efficacy of BRAF-targeted and PD-L1-related immune therapies in tackling metastatic melanoma, a significant number of patients exhibit resistance. Given this, the objective of the current study was to ascertain concordance of somatic mutations in BRAF/NRAS/TERT and immunohistochemical PD-L1 and CD8 in matched primary cutaneous and metastatic melanoma. A total of 43 archival paired samples with sufficient material for genetic and immunohistochemical analyses met the criteria for inclusion in the study. Immunohistochemistry was performed for PD-L1 and CD8 and direct-DNA Sanger sequencing for BRAF/NRAS/TERT promoter mutational analyses. Agreement between paired samples was assessed using Cohen κ. Poor concordance among primary and corresponding metastases was noted in BRAF (9/42 cases discordant, κ = 0.49; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.21-0.77; P = .0013), TERT promoter mutations (13/41 cases discordant, κ = 0.33; 95% CI, 0.04-0.62; P = .033), tumoral PD-L1 immunoexpression (9/43 cases discordant, κ = 0.39; 95% CI, 0.07-0.72; P = .0099), and immunoexpression of CD8 T lymphocytes (12/43 cases discordant, κ = 0.44; 95% CI, 0.19-0.69; P = .002). Although NRAS1 and NRAS2 were highly concordant (42/43 and 39/43 cases, respectively), discordant NRAS2 mutational status was associated with a median time to metastasis of 90 versus 455 days for pairs with concordant status (P = .07). Although limited by sample size, our findings suggest that consideration be given to mutational analysis of metastatic tissue rather than the primary to guide BRAF-targeted therapy and question the roles of TERT promoter mutations and PD-L1 as predictive biomarkers in malignant melanoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.humpath.2018.08.002DOI Listing
December 2018

Cervical Abnormalities in South African Women Living With HIV With High Screening and Referral Rates.

J Glob Oncol 2016 Dec 4;2(6):375-380. Epub 2016 May 4.

and , Brigham and Women's Hospital; , , and , Harvard Medical School; , Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health; , Boston Children's Hospital; , Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; , Boston University, Boston, MA; , University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban; , Western Cape Province Department of Health, Cape Town; , R.K. Khan Hospital, Chatsworth, South Africa; and , Canadian Red Cross, Ontario, Canada.

Purpose: To determine the prevalence of screening, cervical dysplasia, and malignancy on the basis of histologic diagnoses from colposcopy and large loop excision of the transformation zone among women living with HIV (WLWH) who attended an urban antiretroviral treatment (ART) clinic in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Materials And Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study to examine a random sample of 462 WLWH during a 5-year period from 2004 to 2009. Women on ART for < 3 months were excluded. Data were abstracted from electronic records and paper charts to assess rates of cervical abnormalities detected on Pap smears as well as time to colposcopy.

Results: During the study period, 432 women (93.5%) had at least one evaluable Papanicolau test. At baseline, 237 women (54.9%) had an abnormal Papanicolau test, and of these patients, 181 (76.3%) had a Papanicolau test that qualified for further colposcopic evaluation. In addition, 115 women (63.5%) received colposcopy within a median of 39 days from referral. This yielded 74 evaluable histologic samples (64.3%), of which 21.6%, 27.0%, 27.0%, and 1.4% had cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 1, CIN2, CIN3, and invasive cervical cancer, respectively.

Conclusion: In a large sample of WLWH who received ART in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, where Papanicolau test coverage and rates of referral for colposcopy and large loop excision of the transformation zone were high, > 75% of women with evaluable histologic samples had evidence of cervical dysplasia or malignancy. These findings underscore the importance of routine cervical screening upon entry into HIV care to optimize survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JGO.2015.002469DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5493244PMC
December 2016

Neurofibromin protein loss in desmoplastic melanoma subtypes: implicating NF1 allelic loss as a distinct genetic driver?

Hum Pathol 2016 07 9;53:82-90. Epub 2016 Mar 9.

Dermatopathology Section, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, VA Consolidated Laboratories, West Roxbury, MA 02132. Electronic address:

Loss of the NF1 allele, coding for the protein neurofibromin, and polymorphism in the proto-oncogene RET (RETp) are purportedly common in desmoplastic melanoma (DM). DM is categorized into pure (PDM) and mixed (MDM) subtypes, which differ in prognosis. Most NF1 mutations result in a truncated/absent protein, making immunohistochemical screening for neurofibromin an ideal surrogate for NF1 allelic loss. Using antineurofibromin, our aims were to ascertain the incidence of neurofibromin loss in DM subtypes and to evaluate the relationship with RET, perineural invasion (PNI) and established histopathologic prognosticators. A total of 78 archival samples of DM met criteria for inclusion (54 cases of non-DM serving as controls). Immunohistochemistry was performed for neurofibromin, whereas direct DNA sequencing was used for RETp and BRAF mutation status. Statistical analyses included χ(2) test as well as Fisher exact test. Neurofibromin loss was more common in DM than non-DM (69% versus 54%; P=.02). In DM, significant differences in neurofibromin loss were noted in the following: non-head and neck versus head and neck biopsy site (88% versus 55%) and PDM versus MDM variants (80% versus 56%). No significant associations were noted with sex, presence of a junctional component, Breslow depth, ulceration, mitoses, host response, RETp, BRAF status, or PNI. RETp was marginally associated with PNI-positive DM versus PNI-negative DM (36 versus 18%; P=.08). Our findings, the largest to date investigating neurofibromin in DM, validate the incidence of NF1 mutations/allelic loss in DM and suggest that the DM subtypes have distinct genetic drivers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.humpath.2016.02.012DOI Listing
July 2016

BRAF and epithelial-mesenchymal transition in primary cutaneous melanoma: a role for Snail and E-cadherin?

Hum Pathol 2016 06 1;52:19-27. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

Dermatopathology Section, VA Consolidated Laboratories, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (113), West Roxbury, MA 02132. Electronic address:

In vitro studies in melanoma indicate that up-regulation of the transcriptional repressor Snail occurs with a concomitant decrease of its target E-cadherin, both hallmarks of epithelial-mesenchymal transition-an association not established in vivo. We sought to elucidate the relationship between BRAF, Snail, E-cadherin, and established histopathologic prognosticators in primary cutaneous melanoma. Archived annotated samples with a diagnosis of primary cutaneous melanoma were retrieved (n = 68 cases; 34 BRAF mutant and 34 BRAF wild type) and immunohistochemically stained for Snail and E-cadherin protein expression. A semiquantitative scoring system was used. Multivariate logistic analysis was used to control confounders of BRAF. Snail expression was significantly associated only with ulceration (42% versus 13%; P = .02). E-cadherin expression was present in 26% of BRAF mutant and 71% of BRAF wild-type cases (P = .0003). Loss of E-cadherin expression was associated with female sex (60% versus 34%; P = .05), BRAF mutation (74% versus 29%; P = .0003), thickness greater than or equal to 1 mm (68% versus 32%; P = .004), mitosis (63% versus 25%; P = .007), and ulceration (75% versus 44%; P = .05). BRAF mutation was associated with male sex (60% versus 30%; P = .02), Breslow thickness (P = .007), thickness greater than or equal to 1 mm (68% versus 29%; P = .002), and ulceration (75% versus 42%; P = .02). Snail expression did not correlate with loss of E-cadherin expression (47% versus 53%; P = .79). After controlling for potential confounding, BRAF mutation was associated with loss of E-cadherin (adjusted odds ratio, 8.332; 95% confidence interval, 2.257-30.757; P = .0015) and Breslow thickness greater than 1 mm (adjusted odds ratio, 7.360; 95% confidence interval, 1.534-35.318; P = .0126). Our findings, indicating that mutant BRAF represses E-cadherin expression, implicating a catalytic role for BRAF in epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.humpath.2015.12.030DOI Listing
June 2016

Perineural invasion in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma: role of immunohistochemistry, anatomical site, and the high-affinity nerve growth factor receptor TrkA.

Hum Pathol 2015 Aug 22;46(8):1209-16. Epub 2015 May 22.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (113), VA Medical Center, 1400 VFW PKWY, MA 02132 USA, USA. Electronic address:

Perineural invasion (PNI) has been recently added to the American Joint Committee on Cancer cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) staging criteria as a high-risk tumor characteristic and is purportedly more common in cSCCs of the head and neck (H&N). Expression of the high-affinity nerve growth factor receptor TrkA has been shown to be associated with PNI in noncutaneous neoplasms. Given this, we sought to ascertain the incidence of PNI in cSCCs using double immunostaining (DIS) and to investigate PNI's relationship with TrkA and established histopathologic prognosticators. Fifty-seven cSCCs from the H&N and 53 from non-H&N areas were immunohistochemically analyzed for PNI (DIS with S-100 and p63) and TrkA expression. Comparing H&N versus non-H&N areas, using hematoxylin and eosin, PNI was detected in 11% versus 6% cases, respectively, and, using DIS, in 23% versus 15%, respectively, with significant disagreement between both methods (κ = 0.47; P = .002). There was a 2.33-fold increase in PNI detection with DIS compared to hematoxylin and eosin (95% confidence interval, 1.12-4.87; P = .02). TrkA expression was 1.96 times more frequently observed in cSCCs from the H&N compared to those from non-H&N areas (P = .01). Regardless of site, TrkA expression was associated with decreased degree of differentiation (odds ratio, 6.46; P = .0006) and high-risk morphologic variants (odds ratio, 6.53; P = .002) but not significantly associated with PNI (P = .33). Increased PNI detection with DIS underscores the adjunctive utility of immunohistochemistry in microstaging. Significantly more common TrkA expression in cSCCs of the H&N argues in favor of heterogeneity among SCCs from different anatomical sites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.humpath.2015.05.003DOI Listing
August 2015

Neurotrophin receptors and perineural invasion in desmoplastic melanoma.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2015 May 7;72(5):851-8. Epub 2015 Mar 7.

Dermatopathology, Section, Department of Dermatology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address:

Background: Perineural invasion (PNI) in desmoplastic melanoma is associated with increased local recurrence and reduced disease-free survival. The biological mechanisms underlying PNI remain unclear although several lines of evidence implicate neurotrophins and their receptors.

Objectives: We investigated the expression of p75NGFR and TrkA, and the presence of functional RET polymorphism (RETp) as they relate to PNI in desmoplastic melanoma.

Methods: In all, 43 cases of desmoplastic melanoma were immunohistochemically evaluated for TrkA and p75NGFR expression and RETp was detected by direct DNA sequencing.

Results: PNI was present in 67% of cases. On univariate analysis, p75NGFR was associated with PNI (expression detected in 79% of PNI-positive cases compared with 36% of PNI-negative cases, P = .005), increased Breslow depth (P = .007), and greater Clark level (P = .01). RETp was noted in 28% of cases but was not significantly associated with PNI (P = .27) or other histopathologic variables. TrkA expression was absent in all cases. PNI was associated with increased Breslow depth and Clark level (P = .01 and P = .009, respectively). Controlling for the association between p75NGFR and depth, p75NGFR remained associated with an increased propensity for PNI (odds ratio 4.68, P = .04).

Limitations: The sample size was limited.

Conclusion: In desmoplastic melanoma, p75NGFR expression is significantly associated with PNI and a more locally aggressive phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2015.01.026DOI Listing
May 2015
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