Publications by authors named "Flavia Loreni"

6 Publications

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Baseline CD44v6-positive circulating tumor cells to predict first-line treatment failure in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

Oncotarget 2020 Nov 10;11(45):4115-4122. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Department of Molecular Medicine, Liquid Biopsy Unit, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

CD44v6, the CD44 isoform mostly involved in cancer cell migration and invasion, has been identified as a functional biomarker and therapeutic target in colon cancer stem cells. We here provide evidence that baseline CD44v6-positive CTC predict treatment failure in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer undergoing first-line chemotherapy. We suggest that CD44v6-positive CTC can be used to early detect intrinsic drug resistance in this cancer type.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.27794DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7665234PMC
November 2020

EpCAM Circulating Tumor Cells: Gold in the Waste.

Dis Markers 2019 17;2019:1718920. Epub 2019 Sep 17.

Department of Molecular Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy.

The CellSearch® system which is still considered the gold standard for the enumeration of circulating tumor cells (CTC) utilizes antibodies against the epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) for CTC enrichment. Recently, CTC discarded by the CellSearch® system due to their low EpCAM expression have been isolated and analyzed. We here sought to discuss technical and biological issues concerning the isolation and characterization of EpCAM CTC, highlighting the enormous potential of this subpopulation discarded by CellSearch®, which might instead reveal an unexpected clinical significance in tumor types where CTC enumeration has never been validated for prognostic and predictive purpose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2019/1718920DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6766153PMC
April 2020

Circulating Tumor Cells in Right- and Left-Sided Colorectal Cancer.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 Jul 24;11(8). Epub 2019 Jul 24.

Department of Molecular Medicine, Circulating tumor cells Unit, Sapienza University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Molecular alterations are not randomly distributed in colorectal cancer (CRC), but rather clustered on the basis of primary tumor location underlying the importance of colorectal cancer sidedness. We aimed to investigate whether circulating tumor cells (CTC) characterization might help clarify how different the patterns of dissemination might be relative to the behavior of left- (LCC) compared to right-sided (RCC) cancers. We retrospectively analyzed patients with metastatic CRC who had undergone standard baseline CTC evaluation before starting any first-line systemic treatment. Enumeration of CTC in left- and right-sided tumors were compared. The highest prognostic impact was exerted by CTC in left-sided primary cancer patients, even though the lowest median number of cells was detected in this subgroup of patients. CTC exhibit phenotypic heterogeneity, with a predominant mesenchymal phenotype found in CTC from distal compared to proximal primary tumors. Most CTC in RCC patients exhibited an apoptotic pattern. CTC in left-sided colon cancer patients exhibit a predominant mesenchymal phenotype. This might imply a substantial difference in the biology of proximal and distal cancers, associated with different patterns of tumor cells dissemination. The poor prognosis of right-sided CRC is not determined by the hematogenous dissemination of tumor cells, which appears to be predominantly a passive shedding of non-viable cells. Conversely, the subgroup of poor-prognosis left-sided CRC is reliably identified by the presence of mesenchymal CTC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11081042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6721440PMC
July 2019

Circulating Tumor Cells Identify Patients with Super-High-Risk Non-Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer: Updated Outcome Analysis of a Prospective Single-Center Trial.

Oncologist 2019 05 3;24(5):612-616. Epub 2019 Apr 3.

Dipartimento Scienze Radiologiche, Oncologiche e Patologiche, Sapienza Università di Roma, Rome, Italy

Background: Clinical behavior of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) is largely unpredictable, and even patients treated according to European Association of Urology recommendations have a heterogeneous prognosis. High-grade T1 (HGT1) bladder cancer is the highest-risk subtype of NMIBC, with an almost 40% rate of recurrence and 20% of progression at 5 years. Nomograms predicting risk of recurrence, progression, and cancer-specific survival (CSS) are not available specifically within HGT1 bladder cancer, and the identification of robust prognostic biomarkers to better guide therapeutic strategies in this subgroup of patients is of paramount importance. Strategies to identify putative biomarkers in liquid biopsies from blood and urine collected from patients with bladder cancer have been intensively studied in the last few years.

Subjects, Materials, And Methods: We here report the final analysis of a single-center prospective study aimed to investigate the impact of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) on CSS and overall survival (OS) in 102 patients with HGT1 bladder cancer, in a median follow-up of 63 months.

Results: We here demonstrate that the presence of even a single CTC is predictive of shorter CSS and OS, as compared with the standard predictive variables. Points of attention in this multivariable analysis are the long-term follow-up and the adequate number of outcome events.

Conclusion: The accurate risk stratification provided by CTCs might be essential for determining the best surveillance strategy for patients after diagnosis. A closer follow-up, an early radical surgery, or even a systemic treatment might be recommended in patients with super-high-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

Implications For Practice: Circulating tumor cells identify patients with super-high-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer who require closer monitoring for local recurrence and/or progression of disease. This super-high-risk subgroup of patients might also require more aggressive treatment interventions, which should be evaluated in large prospective cohorts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2018-0784DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6516110PMC
May 2019

Transient Disappearance of RAS Mutant Clones in Plasma: A Counterintuitive Clinical Use of EGFR Inhibitors in RAS Mutant Metastatic Colorectal Cancer.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 Jan 4;11(1). Epub 2019 Jan 4.

Department of Molecular Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, V.le Regina Elena 324, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Genomic studies performed through liquid biopsies widely elucidated the evolutionary trajectory of RAS mutant clones under the selective pressure of EGFR inhibitors in patients with wild type RAS primary colorectal tumors. Similarly, the disappearance of RAS mutant clones in plasma has been more recently reported in some patients with primary RAS mutant cancers, supporting for the first time an unexpected negative selection of RAS mutations during the clonal evolution of mCRC. To date, the extent of conversion to RAS wild type disease at the time of progression has not been clarified yet. As a proof of concept, we prospectively enrolled mCRC patients progressing under anti-VEGF based treatments. Idylla™ system was used to screen RAS mutations in plasma and the wild type status of RAS was further confirmed through IT-PGM (Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine) sequencing. RAS was found mutant in 55% of cases, retaining the same plasma mutation as in the primary tumor at diagnosis, while it was found wild-type in 45%. Four patients testing negative for RAS mutations in plasma at the time of progression of disease (PD) were considered eligible for treatment with EGFR inhibitors and treated accordingly, achieving a clinical benefit. We here propose a hypothetical algorithm that accounts for the transient disappearance of RAS mutant clones over time, which might extend the continuum of care of mutant RAS colorectal cancer patients through the delivery of a further line of therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11010042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6357143PMC
January 2019