Publications by authors named "Enrico Carminati"

14 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Fludarabine, High-Dose Cytarabine and Idarubicin-Based Induction May Overcome the Negative Prognostic Impact of -ITD in Mutated AML, Irrespectively of -ITD Allelic Burden.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Dec 24;13(1). Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Clinic of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine (DiMI), University of Genoa, 16132 Genova, Italy.

The mutations of and -ITD represent the most frequent genetic aberration in acute myeloid leukemia. Indeed, the presence of an mutation reduces the negative prognostic impact of -ITD in patients treated with conventional "3+7" induction. However, little information is available on their prognostic role with intensified regimens. Here, we investigated the efficacy of a fludarabine, high-dose cytarabine and idarubicin induction (FLAI) in 149 consecutive fit AML patients (median age 52) carrying the and/or -ITD mutation, treated from 2008 to 2018. One-hundred-and-twenty-nine patients achieved CR (86.6%). After a median follow up of 68 months, 3-year overall survival was 58.6%. Multivariate analysis disclosed that both mut ( < 0.05) and ELN 2017 risk score ( < 0.05) were significant predictors of survival. -mutated patients had a favorable outcome, with no significant differences between patients with or without concomitant -ITD ( = 0.372), irrespective of -ITD allelic burden. Moreover, in landmark analysis, performing allogeneic transplantation (HSCT) in first CR proved to be beneficial only in ELN 2017 high-risk patients. Our data indicate that FLAI exerts a strong anti-leukemic effect in younger AML patients with mut and question the role of HSCT in 1st CR in mut patients with concomitant -ITD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13010034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7796342PMC
December 2020

Prognostic relevance of a blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm-like immunophenotype in cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia patients.

Leuk Lymphoma 2020 07 18;61(7):1695-1701. Epub 2020 Mar 18.

Department of Oncology and Hematology, Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genoa, Italy.

Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) is a poor prognosis myeloid malignancy characterized by an atypical phenotype (CD123+, CD56+, and CD4+). We reported that BPDCN-like phenotype (CD123+ and either CD56+ or CD4+ or both) confers poor prognosis to acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) patients with mutated NPM1. Here, we evaluated the incidence and the prognostic relevance of BPDCN-like phenotype in cytogenetically normal AML (CN-AML) patients. From 2006 to 2016, 83 young (age <60 yrs), consecutive, CN-AML patients underwent intensive treatment. Fifteen patients (18%) showed a BPDCN-like phenotype with no difference between -mutated (mut) and -wt patients. It did not significantly affect survival neither in the whole cohort, nor in -wt patients. However, as reported, it conferred a dismal prognosis in -mut AML ( < 0.001), irrespectively of the mutational status for FLT3-ITD. In conclusion we show that BPDCN-like phenotype displays a negative prognostic relevance only in -mutated AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2020.1737685DOI Listing
July 2020

A simple cytofluorimetric score may optimize testing for biallelic CEBPA mutations in patients with acute myeloid leukemia.

Leuk Res 2019 11 6;86:106223. Epub 2019 Sep 6.

Clinic of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine (DiMI), University of Genoa, Italy; S. Martino Hospital IRCCS, Genoa, Italy.

Acute myeloid leukemia with biallelic mutation of CEBPA (CEBPA-dm AML) is a distinct good prognosis entity recognized by WHO 2016 classification. However, testing for CEBPA mutation is challenging, due to the intrinsic characteristics of the mutation itself. Indeed, molecular analysis cannot be performed with NGS technique and requires Sanger sequencing. The association of recurrent mutations or translocations with specific immunophenotypic patterns has been already reported in other AML subtypes. The aim of this study was the development of a specific cytofluorimetric score (CEBPA-dm score), in order to distinguish patients who are unlikely to harbor the mutation. To this end, the correlation of CEBPA-dm score with the presence of the mutation was analyzed in 50 consecutive AML patients with normal karyotype and without NPM1 mutation (that is mutually exclusive with CEBPA mutation). One point each was assigned for expression of HLA DR, CD7, CD13, CD15, CD33, CD34 and one point for lack of expression of CD14. OS was not influenced by sex, age and CEBPA-dm score. Multivariate OS analysis showed that CEBPA-dm (p < 0.02) and FLT3-ITD (p < 0.01) were the strongest independent predictors of OS. With a high negative predictive value (100%), CEBPA-dm score < 6 was able to identify patients who are unlikely to have the mutation. Therefore, the application of this simple score might optimize the use of expensive and time-consuming diagnostic and prognostic assessment in the baseline work up of AML patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2019.106223DOI Listing
November 2019

Clinico-pathological associations and concomitant mutations of the RAS/RAF pathway in metastatic colorectal cancer.

J Transl Med 2019 04 29;17(1):137. Epub 2019 Apr 29.

Department of Internal Medicine (Di.M.I.), University of Genoa, Viale Benedetto XV, 6, 16132, Genoa, Italy.

Background: Over the past few years, next-generation sequencing (NGS) has become reliable and cost-effective, and its use in clinical practice has become a reality. A relevant role for NGS is the prediction of response to anti-EGFR agents in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), where multiple exons from KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF must be sequenced simultaneously.

Methods: We optimized a 14-amplicon NGS panel to assess, in a consecutive cohort of 219 patients affected by mCRC, the presence and clinico-pathological associations of mutations in the KRAS, NRAS, BRAF, and PIK3CA genes from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens collected for diagnostics and research at the time of diagnosis.

Results: We observed a statistically significant association of RAS mutations with sex, young age, and tumor site. We demonstrated that concomitant mutations in the RAS/RAF pathway are not infrequent in mCRC, and as anticipated by whole-genome studies, RAS and PIK3CA tend to be concurrently mutated. We corroborated the association of BRAF mutations in right mCRC tumors with microsatellite instability. We established tumor side as prognostic parameter independently of mutational status.

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first monocentric, consecutively accrued clinical mCRC cancer cohort tested by NGS in a real-world context for KRAS, NRAS, BRAF, and PIK3CA. Our study has highlighted in clinical practice findings such as the concomitance of mutations in the RAS/RAF pathway, the presence of multiple mutations in single gene, the co-occurrence of RAS and PIK3CA mutations, the prognostic value of tumor side and possible associations of sex with specific mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-019-1879-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6489172PMC
April 2019

A blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm-like phenotype identifies a subgroup of npm1-mutated acute myeloid leukemia patients with worse prognosis.

Am J Hematol 2018 Feb 17;93(2):E33-E35. Epub 2017 Nov 17.

Clinic of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine (DiMI), University of Genoa, Policlinico San Martino, IRCCS per l'Oncologia, Genoa, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.24956DOI Listing
February 2018

Depletion of SIRT6 enzymatic activity increases acute myeloid leukemia cells' vulnerability to DNA-damaging agents.

Haematologica 2018 01 12;103(1):80-90. Epub 2017 Oct 12.

Chair of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine (DiMI), University of Genova, Italy

Genomic instability plays a pathological role in various malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and thus represents a potential therapeutic target. Recent studies demonstrate that SIRT6, a NAD-dependent nuclear deacetylase, functions as genome-guardian by preserving DNA integrity in different tumor cells. Here, we demonstrate that also CD34 blasts from AML patients show ongoing DNA damage and SIRT6 overexpression. Indeed, we identified a poor-prognostic subset of patients, with widespread instability, which relies on SIRT6 to compensate for DNA-replication stress. As a result, SIRT6 depletion compromises the ability of leukemia cells to repair DNA double-strand breaks that, in turn, increases their sensitivity to daunorubicin and Ara-C, both and In contrast, low SIRT6 levels observed in normal CD34 hematopoietic progenitors explain their weaker sensitivity to genotoxic stress. Intriguingly, we have identified DNA-PKcs and CtIP deacetylation as crucial for SIRT6-mediated DNA repair. Together, our data suggest that inactivation of SIRT6 in leukemia cells leads to disruption of DNA-repair mechanisms, genomic instability and aggressive AML. This synthetic lethal approach, enhancing DNA damage while concomitantly blocking repair responses, provides the rationale for the clinical evaluation of SIRT6 modulators in the treatment of leukemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2017.176248DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5777193PMC
January 2018

Her2 assessment using quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction reliably identifies Her2 overexpression without amplification in breast cancer cases.

J Transl Med 2017 05 1;15(1):91. Epub 2017 May 1.

Department of Internal Medicine (Di.M.I.), University of Genoa and IRCCS AOU San Martino-IST, Viale Benedetto XV, 6, 16132, Genoa, Italy.

Background: Immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescent-in situ hybridization (FISH) are standard methods to assess human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status in breast cancer (BC) patients. Real-time quantitative polymerase-chain-reaction (qRT-PCR) is able to detect HER2 overexpression. Here we compared FISH, IHC, quantitative PCR (qPCR), and qRT-PCR to determine the concordance rates and evaluate their relative roles in HER2 determination.

Patients And Methods: We determined HER2 status in 153 BC patients, using IHC, FISH, Q-PCR and qRT-PCR. In discordant cases, we directly measured HER2 protein levels using Western blotting.

Results: The overall agreement (OA) between FISH and Q-PCR was 94.1, with a k value of 0.87. Assuming FISH as the standard reference, Q-PCR showed an 86.1% sensitivity and a 99.0% specificity with a global accuracy of 91.6%. OA between FISH and qRT-PCR was 90.8% with a k value of 0.81. Of interest, the disagreement between FISH and qRT-PCR was mostly restricted to equivocal cases. HER2 protein analysis suggested that qRT-PCR correlates better than FISH with HER2 protein levels, particularly where FISH fails to provide conclusive results.

Significance: qRT-PCR may outperform FISH in identifying patients overexpressing HER2 protein. Q-PCR cannot be used for HER2 status assessment, due to its suboptimal level of agreement with FISH. Both FISH and Q-PCR may be less accurate than qRT-PCR as surrogates of HER2 protein determination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-017-1195-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5412048PMC
May 2017

Human mesenchymal stem cells target adhesion molecules and receptors involved in T cell extravasation.

Stem Cell Res Ther 2015 Dec 10;6:245. Epub 2015 Dec 10.

Department of Earth, Environment and Life Sciences (DISTAV), University of Genoa, Corso Europa 26, 16132, Genova, Italy.

Introduction: Systemic delivery of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) seems to be of benefit in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS) sustained by migration of T cells across the brain blood barrier (BBB) and subsequent induction of inflammatory lesions into CNS. MSC have been found to modulate several effector functions of T cells. In this study, we investigated the effects of MSC on adhesion molecules and receptors on T cell surface that sustain their transendothelial migration.

Methods: We used different co-culture methods combined with real-time PCR and flow cytometry to evaluate the expression both at the mRNA and at the plasma-membrane level of α4 integrin, β2 integrin, ICAM-1 and CXCR3. In parallel, we assessed if MSC are able to modulate expression of adhesion molecules on the endothelial cells that interact with T cells during their transendothelial migration.

Results: Our in vitro analyses revealed that MSC: (i) inhibit proliferation and activation of both peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and CD3(+)-selected lymphocytes through the release of soluble factors; (ii) exert suppressive effects on those surface molecules highly expressed by activated lymphocytes and involved in transendothelial migration; (iii) inhibit CXCL10-driven chemotaxis of CD3(+) cells; (iv) down-regulated expression of adhesion molecules on endothelial cells.

Conclusions: Taken together, these data demonstrate that the immunosuppressive effect of MSC does not exclusively depends on their anti-proliferative activity on T cells, but also on the impairment of leukocyte migratory potential through the inhibition of the adhesion molecules and receptors that are responsible for T cell trafficking across BBB. This could suggest a new mechanism through which MSC modulate T cell responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13287-015-0222-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4676115PMC
December 2015

Uncovering the genomic heterogeneity of multifocal breast cancer.

J Pathol 2015 Aug 7;236(4):457-66. Epub 2015 May 7.

Breast Cancer Translational Research Laboratory, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Institut Jules Bordet, Boulevard de Waterloo 121, Brussels, Belgium.

Multifocal breast cancer (MFBC), defined as multiple synchronous unilateral lesions of invasive breast cancer, is relatively frequent and has been associated with more aggressive features than unifocal cancer. Here, we aimed to investigate the genomic heterogeneity between MFBC lesions sharing similar histopathological parameters. Characterization of different lesions from 36 patients with ductal MFBC involved the identification of non-silent coding mutations in 360 protein-coding genes (171 tumour and 36 matched normal samples). We selected only patients with lesions presenting the same grade, ER, and HER2 status. Mutations were classified as 'oncogenic' in the case of recurrent substitutions reported in COSMIC or truncating mutations affecting tumour suppressor genes. All mutations identified in a given patient were further interrogated in all samples from that patient through deep resequencing using an orthogonal platform. Whole-genome rearrangement screen was further conducted in 8/36 patients. Twenty-four patients (67%) had substitutions/indels shared by all their lesions, of which 11 carried the same mutations in all lesions, and 13 had lesions with both common and private mutations. Three-quarters of those 24 patients shared oncogenic variants. The remaining 12 patients (33%) did not share any substitution/indels, with inter-lesion heterogeneity observed for oncogenic mutation(s) in genes such as PIK3CA, TP53, GATA3, and PTEN. Genomically heterogeneous lesions tended to be further apart in the mammary gland than homogeneous lesions. Genome-wide analyses of a limited number of patients identified a common somatic background in all studied MFBCs, including those with no mutation in common between the lesions. To conclude, as the number of molecular targeted therapies increases and trials driven by genomic screening are ongoing, our findings highlight the presence of genomic inter-lesion heterogeneity in one-third, despite similar pathological features. This implies that deeper molecular characterization of all MFBC lesions is warranted for the adequate management of those cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.4540DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4691324PMC
August 2015

Afatinib resistance in non-small cell lung cancer involves the PI3K/AKT and MAPK/ERK signalling pathways and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition.

Target Oncol 2015 Sep 25;10(3):393-404. Epub 2014 Oct 25.

Lung Cancer Unit, IRCCS AOU San Martino-IST, L.go R. Benzi 10, 16132, Genoa, Italy,

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling is one of the most deregulated pathways in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Recently, the development of novel irreversible tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI), such as afatinib, has significantly improved the survival of advanced NSCLC patients harbouring activated EGFR mutations. However, treatment with TKI is not always curative due to the development of resistance. In the present study, we investigated the sensitivity to afatinib in two NSCLC EGFR mutated cell lines (NCI-H1650 and NCI-H1975) by expression profile analysis of 92 genes involved in the EGF pathway. Thereafter, the established afatinib resistant clones were evaluated at different biological levels: genomic, by array comparative genomic hybridisation (aCGH) and deep sequencing; transcriptomic, by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and proteomic, by Western blot and immunofluorescence. The baseline gene expression of the two cell lines revealed that NCI-H1650, the less afatinib-responsive cell, showed activation of two main EGFR downstream pathways such as PI3K/AKT and PLCγ/PKC axes. Analysis of the afatinib-resistant cells showed PI3K/AKT and MAPK/ERK pathways activation together with a biological switch from an epithelial-to-mesenchymal phenotype might confer afatinib-resistant properties to this cell line. Our data suggest that the activation of EGFR-dependent downstream pathways might be involved in the occurrence of resistance to afatinib assuming that the EGFR mutational status should not be exclusively considered when selecting TKI treatments. In particular, the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition might provide a new basis for understanding afatinib resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11523-014-0344-7DOI Listing
September 2015

Monomeric Aβ1-42 and RAGE: key players in neuronal differentiation.

Neurobiol Aging 2014 Jun 10;35(6):1301-8. Epub 2014 Jan 10.

Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy. Electronic address:

The aggregation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides plays a crucial role in the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease. Monomeric form of Aβ, indeed, could exert a physiological role. Considering the anti-oligomerization property of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), the involvement of monomeric Aβ1-42 in ATRA-induced neuronal differentiation has been investigated. Four-day ATRA treatment increases β-secretase 1 (BACE1) level, Aβ1-42 production, and receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) expression. RAGE is a well-recognized receptor for Aβ, and the block of both RAGE and Aβ1-42 with specific antibodies strongly impairs neurite formation in ATRA-treated cells. The involvement of Aβ1-42 and RAGE in ATRA-induced morphologic changes has been confirmed treating undifferentiated cells with different molecular assemblies of peptide: 1 μM monomeric, but not oligomeric, Aβ1-42 increases RAGE expression and favors neurite elongation. The block of RAGE completely prevents this effect. Furthermore, our data underline the involvement of the RAGE-dependent adhesion molecule amphoterin-induced gene and open reading frame-1 as downstream effector of both ATRA and Aβ1-42. In conclusion, our findings identify a novel physiological role for monomeric Aβ1-42 and RAGE in neuronal differentiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.01.002DOI Listing
June 2014

Knocking down metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 improves survival and disease progression in the SOD1(G93A) mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Neurobiol Dis 2014 Apr 19;64:48-59. Epub 2013 Dec 19.

Department of Pharmacy, Unit of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Center of Excellence for Biomedical Research, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy. Electronic address:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a late-onset fatal neurodegenerative disease reflecting degeneration of upper and lower motoneurons (MNs). The cause of ALS and the mechanisms of neuronal death are still largely obscure, thus impairing the establishment of efficacious therapies. Glutamate (Glu)-mediated excitotoxicity plays a major role in MN degeneration in ALS. We recently demonstrated that the activation of Group I metabotropic Glu autoreceptors, belonging to both type 1 and type 5 receptors (mGluR1 and mGluR5), at glutamatergic spinal cord nerve terminals, produces excessive Glu release in mice over-expressing human superoxide-dismutase carrying the G93A point mutation (SOD1(G93A)), a widely used animal model of human ALS. To establish whether these receptors are implicated in ALS, we generated mice expressing half dosage of mGluR1 in the SOD1(G93A) background (SOD1(G93A)Grm1(crv4/+)), by crossing the SOD1(G93A) mutant mouse with the Grm1(crv4/+) mouse, lacking mGluR1 because of a spontaneous recessive mutation. SOD1(G93A)Grm1(crv4/+) mice showed prolonged survival probability, delayed pathology onset, slower disease progression and improved motor performances compared to SOD1(G93A) mice. These effects were associated to reduction of mGluR5 expression, enhanced number of MNs, decreased astrocyte and microglia activation, normalization of metallothionein and catalase mRNA expression, reduced mitochondrial damage, and decrease of abnormal Glu release in spinal cord of SOD1(G93A)Grm1(crv4/+)compared to SOD1(G93A) mice. These results demonstrate that a lower constitutive level of mGluR1 has a significant positive impact on mice with experimental ALS, thus providing the rationale for future pharmacological approaches to ALS by selectively blocking Group I metabotropic Glu receptors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2013.11.006DOI Listing
April 2014

Intravenous mesenchymal stem cells improve survival and motor function in experimental amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Mol Med 2012 Jul 18;18:794-804. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

Department of Neurosciences Ophthalmology and Genetics, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.

Despite some advances in the understanding of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) pathogenesis, significant achievements in treating this disease are still lacking. Mesenchymal stromal (stem) cells (MSCs) have been shown to be effective in several models of neurological disease. To determine the effects of the intravenous injection of MSCs in an ALS mouse model during the symptomatic stage of disease, MSCs (1 × 10⁶) were intravenously injected in mice expressing human superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) carrying the G93A mutation (SOD1/G93A) presenting with experimental ALS. Survival, motor abilities, histology, oxidative stress markers and [³H]D-aspartate release in the spinal cord were investigated. MSC injection in SOD1/G93A mice improved survival and motor functions compared with saline-injected controls. Injected MSCs scantly home to the central nervous system and poorly engraft. We observed a reduced accumulation of ubiquitin agglomerates and of activated astrocytes and microglia in the spinal cord of MSC-treated SOD1/G93A mice, with no changes in the number of choline acetyltransferase- and glutamate transporter type 1-positive cells. MSC administration turned around the upregulation of metallothionein mRNA expression and of the activity of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione S-transferase, both associated with disease progression. Last, we observed that MSCs reverted both spontaneous and stimulus-evoked neuronal release of [³H]D-aspartate, a marker of endogenous glutamate, which is upregulated in SOD1/G93A mice. These findings suggest that intravenous administration of MSCs significantly improves the clinical outcome and pathological scores of mutant SOD1/G93A mice, thus providing the rationale for their exploitation for the treatment of ALS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2119/molmed.2011.00498DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3409288PMC
July 2012