Publications by authors named "Luca Fuso"

36 Publications

Could a 2D/3D US based model be helpful in the assessment of myometrial invasion at time of intraoperative frozen section? A pilot study.

Minerva Obstet Gynecol 2021 Jun;73(3):362-368

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mauriziano Hospital, Turin, Italy.

Background: The assessment of myometrial invasion is a pivotal step in the preoperative staging of endometrial cancer. Intraoperative frozen section (FS) represents a reliable tool in directing surgeon's choices. Preoperative transvaginal ultrasound (US) showed high accuracy in evaluating myometrial invasion. This study aimed to understand if the application of a standardized ultrasonographic protocol for the pre-operative evaluation of myometrial invasion can help pathologists in improving the accuracy of FS. Furthermore, the agreement between US and FS in the assessment of myometrial invasion was assessed.

Methods: Sixty-six patients who underwent surgery for endometrial cancer were analyzed. Preoperative 2D/3D ultrasound was performed in all the patients. Myometrial invasion was estimated by subjective assessment and objective measurement techniques. Data from US were reported to pathologists through a prefilled form with depth and site of the maximum myometrial invasion. Diagnostic performance of US and FS were compared having the definitive histological examination as the gold standard.

Results: Influenced by the information given by our 3D US-model, FS showed a 90% sensitivity and a 93% specificity, with a 93% PPV and an 89% NPV. The agreement with histology was strong (K=0.824). Myometrial invasion was missed at the level of the isthmus by FS just in one case. Subjective assessment was confirmed as the most reliable ultrasonographic technique in assessing myometrial invasion, with 90% sensitivity, 78% specificity, 80% PPV and 89% NPV. The agreement with histology was substantial (K=0.68).

Conclusions: The application of a preoperative 2D/3D US assessment would seem to help pathologists in detecting myometrial invasion in difficult areas of the uterus such as the isthmus, reducing downstaging and overtreatment.
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June 2021

Estradiol/nomegestrol acetate as a first-line and rescue therapy for the treatment of ovarian and deep infiltrating endometriosis.

Gynecol Endocrinol 2021 Jul 22;37(7):646-649. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Obstetrics and Gynecology University Department, Azienda Ospedaliera Ordine Mauriziano di Torino, Torino, Italy.

Purpose: Estradiol valerate/nomegestrol acetate (E2V/NOMAC) is a new combined oral contraceptive with a good tolerability profile and low drop-out rates, which was shown to improve menstrual-related symptoms. This study aims to evaluate its effectiveness in the control of symptoms and progression of disease in women with ovarian endomestriomas and deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE).

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study on 39 women with pelvic endometriosis treated with E2V/NOMAC. We assessed for each patient, at the beginning of treatment and after 6 months, the painful symptoms, through a global VAS (Visual Analogue Scale) index and the size of the greatest ovarian and/or deep infiltrating endometriotic lesions.

Results: After 6 months of treatment, a significant reduction was observed for the global VAS score for pain symptoms and for the mean size of ovarian endometriomas, whereas DIE lesions did not present significant changes in mean size.

Conclusions: E2/NOMAC was effective in reducing pain symptoms associated with pelvic endometriosis and the size of ovarian endometriomas, whereas DIE lesions remained stable. This therapy could provide good results in the control of symptoms and disease progression in women with pelvic endometriosis.
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July 2021

Prognostic and predictive value of combined HE-4 and CA-125 biomarkers during chemotherapy in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer.

Int J Biol Markers 2020 Dec 30;35(4):20-27. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

Unity of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Department of Surgical Sciences, Sant'Anna Hospital, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

Introduction: At present there is no predictive value univocally associated with the success of chemotherapy. Biomarkers produced by ovarian cancer (HE4 and Ca125) could have a good prognostic significance. The aim of this study is to prove the ability of biomarkers to identify patients with the highest risk of non-optimal response during the chemotherapy, and to predict which patients will most likely develop recurrence of disease.

Methods: We analyzed 78 patients with epithelial ovarian cancers who underwent surgery in the biennium 2016-2017. All the patients underwent chemotherapy after surgery or interval debulking surgery following neoadjuvant therapy. Serum levels of HE4 and Ca125 were measured at diagnosis and at each cycle of chemotherapy. We established the degree of response to the treatment by computed tomography scan, and the patients were followed up (median: 10 months). The parameters of progression-free survival and disease-free survival were related to serum levels of biomarkers.

Results: Both CA125 and HE4 values became negative at the fourth cycle in the patients with good response to chemotherapy. HE4 increased earlier than Ca125. The parameters that best correlated with a long progression-free survival were: negativization of the marker after the third cycle of chemotherapy (HE4: odds ratio (OR) 5.5; Ca125: OR 9.1) and biomarker serum levels lower than the mean value in the affected population at the time of diagnosis (HE4: OR 3.4; Ca125: OR 3.7).

Conclusions: We can conclude that the monitoring of HE4 and Ca125 during chemotherapy, especially at the third cycle, is recommended, because their variation is a good prognostic factor.
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December 2020

Endometrial thickness in the evaluation of clinical response to medical treatment for deep infiltrating endometriosis: a retrospective study.

Arch Gynecol Obstet 2021 01 14;303(1):161-168. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Turin, Corso Dogliotti 14, 10126, Torino, Italy.

Purpose: Deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE) is associated with severe pelvic pain and functional impairment of bowel, urinary, and sexual functions. Though hormone therapy with progestins, either as single agents or combined with estrogens, is effective in managing symptoms, some patients may experience a suboptimal response. Endometrial thickness assessed by transvaginal ultrasound examination, reflecting the overall estrogen stimulation, may correlate with the clinical response to hormonal treatments.

Methods: A retrospective study was carried out on 61 women with DIE affecting the bowel or the recto-vaginal septum, undergoing hormone treatment. The symptoms of patients were evaluated at the baseline and after 12 months of therapy, calculating a global Visual Analogue Scale score (gVAS) encompassing dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, chronic pelvic pain, dyschezia, abdominal pain and dysuria. Patients were divided into two subgroups using, as a calculated cut-off value, the mean endometrial thickness in our population at 12 months. The change in gVAS score during the 12 months of treatment was then compared between the two groups.

Results: Women with a thinner endometrium (< 3.3 mm) showed a better response to treatment in terms of symptoms control as compared to patients with a thicker endometrium (mean gVAS score reduction 9.2 ± 1.3 vs. 5.2 ± 1.3, p = 0.036). The correlation between endometrial thickness and symptomatic response was also confirmed (p = 0.041) on multivariate linear regression analysis including as covariates age, size of lesions of DIE, presence of uterine adenomyosis, ovarian endometriosis and type of medical treatment.

Conclusion: Endometrial thickness on ultrasound transvaginal examination is correlated with better response rates to hormone therapy in terms of symptoms control. A thinner endometrium, probably resulting from a more efficient suppression of estrogen stimulation, is associated with improved symptoms. These results may aid clinicians in monitoring and tailoring hormonal treatments during follow-up of women with symptomatic DIE.
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January 2021

Impact of multidisciplinary tumour board in the management of ovarian carcinoma in the first-line setting. Exhaustive analysis from the Rhone-Alpes region.

Eur J Cancer Care (Engl) 2020 Nov 7;29(6):e13313. Epub 2020 Sep 7.

Oncology Department, Leon Berard Cancer Center, Lyon, France.

Objective: Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is a poor prognosis disease partly linked to diagnosis at an advanced stage. The quality of care management is a factor that needs to be explored, more specifically optimal organisation of first-line treatment.

Methods: A retrospective study, dealing with all patients diagnosed within the Rhone-Alpes region with initial diagnosis EOC in 2012, was performed. The aim was to describe the impact of multidisciplinary tumour boards (MTB) in the organisation of care and the consequence on the patient's outcomes.

Results: 271 EOC were analysed. 206 patients had an advanced EOC. Median progression-free survival (PFS) is 17.8 months (CI95%, 14.6-21.2) for AOC. 157 patients (57.9%) had a front-line surgery versus 114 patients (42.1%) interval debulking surgery. PFS for AOC patients with no residual disease is 24.3 months compared with 15.3 months for patients with residual disease (p = .01). No macroscopic residual disease is more frequent in the patients discussed before surgery in MTB compared with patients not submitted before surgery (73% vs. 56.2%, p < .001).

Conclusion: These results highlight the heterogeneity of medical practices in terms of front-line surgery versus interval surgery, in the administration of neoadjuvant chemotherapy and in the setting of MTB discussion.
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November 2020

Predictors of response after a second attempt of pharmacological labor induction: a retrospective study.

Arch Gynecol Obstet 2020 07 22;302(1):117-125. Epub 2020 May 22.

Obstetrics and Gynaecology Unit, Mauriziano Umberto I Hospital, Largo Turati 62, 10128, Turin, Italy.

Purpose: The aim of our study was to assess the outcomes of a prolonged induction carried out with a second sequential cycle of pharmacological stimulation after unsatisfactory response to a first attempt, and to highlight variables correlated with higher response rates.

Methods: A retrospective study was carried out on 157 women who underwent a two-step labor induction by vaginal prostaglandins followed by a second cycle of prostaglandins or intravenous oxytocin. Outcomes assessed were mode of delivery and maternal and neonatal morbidity. Main variables of pregnancy and delivery were collected to identify factors predicting the mode of delivery.

Results: Among 157 patients, 63 (40.1%) achieved a vaginal delivery, whereas 94 (59.9%) underwent Cesarean section, 9 women (5.7%) had postpartum hemorrhage; in 2 cases (1.3%), an Apgar score < 7 at 5 min from birth was reported. Higher risk of Cesarean section was observed with advanced maternal age (OR 1.13 for additional year, CI 1.04-1.22) and nulliparity (OR 8.84, CI 2.69-29.06), whereas the response rates were better in carriers of group B streptococcus colonization (OR 0.38, CI 0.17-0.84) and in women with favorable cervical status after the first stimulation (OR 0.81 for additional point of Bishop score, CI 0.70-0.94).

Conclusion: Labor induction with two cycles of pharmacological stimulation is a procedure with fairly good success rates and a low risk of maternal and neonatal complications. Factors predicting its success encompass younger age, parity, a positive recto-vaginal swab for group B streptococcus and a favorable cervix following the first cycle of stimulation.
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July 2020

Concomitant stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse surgery: Opportunity or overtreatment?

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2020 Jul 1;250:36-40. Epub 2020 May 1.

University of Turin, Turin, Italy. Electronic address:

Objectives: The association between pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is very common. When POP surgery is indicated and the patient has concomitant SUI, there are two treatment strategies: the one-step strategy (concomitant correction of POP and SUI) and the two-step strategy (correction of POP with subsequent evaluation of SUI). Guidelines from the International Continence Society and International Consultation on Incontinence recommend that a urodynamic assessment (UA) should be performed before surgery as this can reveal the presence of urodynamic SUI, but the role of UA is the subject of debate as it does not seem to improve treatment decisions. The aim of this study was to identify the presence of pre-operative urodynamic parameters that were predictive of POSUI, and to identify patients who could benefit from concomitant correction of SUI during POP surgery STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective evaluation was undertaken of 155 patients with at least second-degree POP who underwent POP surgery after UA between 2009 and 2016 in an Italian gynaecology and obstetrics department. Of these, 61 patients were clinically incontinent before surgery and 94 patients were clinically continent. After UA, patients were stratified using a maximum urethral closure pressure (MUCP) cut-off of 50 cmHO; the risk of POSUI was calculated using this value.

Results: POP surgery alone resolved SUI in 60 % of the 61 clinically incontinent patients; only 30 % of these patients had urodynamic SUI and >50 % did not have POSUI. Thirty-six percent of the 94 continent patients had occult SUI on UA and 16 % developed de-novo POSUI. Seventy-five percent of all patients with occult SUI did not develop de-novo SUI. MUCP was lower in patients with POSUI than in patients without POSUI (p=0.013). The probability of POSUI was higher in patients with MUCP ≤50 cmHO. The number needed to treat (NNT) to prevent one case of POSUI in these patients was 2, compared with an NNT of 4 in the continent group. Eight percent of patients underwent further surgery for SUI.

Conclusions: Clinically incontinent patients with MUCP ≤50 cmHO will gain the greatest benefit from concomitant POP and SUI surgery. However, concomitant surgery has more severe adverse events. Given that 62.3 % of patients resolved SUI after POP surgery alone, it is important not to overtreat these women. Clinical pre-operative SUI is the best indicator of POSUI and was found to increase the risk of POSUI (odds ratio 3.2, 95 % confidence interval 1.5-6.8; p=0.003). Despite the small sample size, the two-step strategy appears to result in lower use of mid-urethral slings and a clear reduction in complications. It is important not to focus on the diagnosis of urodynamic SUI in continent patients but to evaluate MUCP carefully.
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July 2020

Axillary dissection in patients with preoperative positive nodal cytology: Genuine need or overtreatment?

Breast J 2020 02 25;26(2):168-175. Epub 2019 Aug 25.

Obstetrics and Gynaecology Unit, Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Medicine, Umberto I Hospital, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

Recent studies demonstrated the possibility to avoid axillary dissection (ALND) in selected patients with one or two metastatic nodes. Otherwise, patients with positive nodal ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration cytology (US-FNAC) currently undergo ALDN. The aim of this study is to quantify the nodal burden in patients with positive US-FNAC treated with ALND and to evaluate if clinical or pathological characteristics associated with low nodal involvement can be identified. This is a multicentric retrospective study involving 297 patients who underwent ALND because of a positive preoperative US-FNAC. A total of 157 patients showed bulky axillary lymph nodes at diagnosis, and 70% of them had three or more metastatic nodes. One hundred and forty patients had a clinically negative axilla and in 50% of them, 4 or more metastatic nodes were found with axillary dissection. Overall, the median number of metastatic nodes was 5. Favorable pathological characteristics of tumors were found in patients with only one or two metastatic nodes: smaller primary tumor, a lower proportion of grade 3, invasive lobular carcinomas and a higher proportion of low-Ki67 tumors. In the group of patients with clinically negative axilla and potentially meeting ACOSOG Z0011 criteria, 22 (31%) showed less than three metastatic axillary nodes. A preoperative positive axillary FNAC is associated with a metastatic nodal burden significantly higher than in patients with positive sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB). Nevertheless, about 30% of patients with cN0 axilla, positive axillary FNAC performed because of suspicious nodes on imaging, T1-2 primary tumor and breast-conserving surgery showed less than three metastatic axillary nodes, thus meeting ACOSOG Z0011 trial's criteria and therefore would be eligible for skipping ALND according to current guidelines.
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February 2020

Development of a preoperative computed tomography score for the management of advanced epithelial ovarian cancer.

Int J Gynecol Cancer 2019 03 21;29(3):599-604. Epub 2018 Dec 21.

Gynaecology and Obstetrics Academic Department, University of Turin, A.O. Ordine Mauriziano, Turin, Italy.

Objective: The main objective is to develop a model based on computed tomographic features to predict surgical outcome and establish cut-offs to rationalize clinical management in advanced epithelial ovarian carcinoma. The secondary purpose is to identify parameters that should be reported by radiologists to allow a correct pre-operative evaluation.

Methods: This study evaluated the association between 17 radiologic parameters and surgical outcome through the review of 61 computed tomographic scans. Each parameter received a score according to the strength of statistical association and points were added to obtain a predictive index value. The absence of residual tumor was considered an optimal result. Receiver operating characteristic curves were applied to assess the ability to predict surgical outcome. The score was applied to the study population to verify if the therapeutic approach had been congruent with the predicted results and to define adequate cut-offs.

Results: Analysis with a receiver operating characteristic curve demonstrated a statistical association with surgical outcome (area under curve=0.949). The clinical approach agreed with the predicted outcome. Patients with lower scores received primary debulking surgery (mean predictive index value 2.4) whereas those with higher scores (mean 14.1) were given neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Further surgical investigation (laparoscopy) was performed in patients with higher predictive index value variability (0-17.5). Different cut-offs were analysed to define the model applicability. The results show that surgery is appropriate for patients with a predictive index value <6 (failure rate 11.5%) while a predictive index value >8 should address to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (0% of inappropriately unexplored patients). In addition, patients with a predictive index value between 6 and 8 could benefit from diagnostic exploration with a good success rate (71.4%).

Conclusions: The model correctly discerns patients who can benefit from surgery (predictive index value <6) from those who should undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy (>8) and establishes a range (6-8) where surgical investigations may be helpful. This score is a flexible tool where cut-offs can be changed according to the desire to be surgically more aggressive or more conservative.
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March 2019

Actual role of color-doppler high-resolution neck ultrasonography in primary hyperparathyroidism: a clinical review and an observational study with a comparison of Tc-sestamibi parathyroid scintigraphy.

J Ultrasound 2019 Sep 24;22(3):291-308. Epub 2018 Oct 24.

S.C. Radiodiagnostica, Azienda Ospedaliera Ordine Mauriziano di Torino, Largo Turati, 62-10128, Turin, Italy.

Purpose: Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a frequent endocrine pathology that has surgical treatment as its only decisive measure. High-Resolution Neck Ultrasonography with color-Doppler (CDHR-NUS) and Technetium-SestaMIBI Parathyroid Scintigraphy (Tc-MIBI PS) are the two instrumental exams more commonly used in the preoperatory localization of pathologic parathyroids. The aim of this observational study was to outline-in accordance with the latest scientific literature-the precise role of CDHR-NUS in the environment of PHPT, comparing it with that of Parathyroid Scintigraphy.

Methods: 136 patients operated on for PHPT and underwent CDHR-NUS and Tc-MIBI PS preoperatively. The CDHR-NUS was carried out by an expert medical sonographer. The results of the two methods were compared between each other and with the results of the operative act for the evaluation of accordance and diagnostic performances.

Results: PHPT is prevalently due to monoglandular pathology (SGD). The parallel use of CDHR-NUS and of Tc-MIBI PS does not determine a significant increase in diagnostic accuracy. The preoperative accordance evaluation between the two methods does not exclude the presence of multiglandular pathology (MGD) with certainty.

Conclusions: CDHR-NUS is an accurate as well as cost-effective method; its role as a main and eventual unique preoperative localization method in patients affected by PHPT is confirmed. In the presence of expert medical sonographers, the sequential use of the two methods is retained correct and their use in parallel is neither justified nor cost-effective. The preoperative accordance evaluation between the two methods is neither necessary nor indispensable.
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September 2019

Can Vulnerable Elders Survey-13 predict the impact of frailty on chemotherapy in elderly patients with gynaecological malignancies?

Medicine (Baltimore) 2018 Sep;97(39):e12298

The management of gynaecological cancers in elderly women and high-risk patients is an even more relevant issue, because the increase in longevity and comorbidities. The assumption of frailty based on age alone may lead to inadequate and inappropriate treatment and frailty assessment is recommended. The aim of this study was to assess if Vulnerable Elders Survey-13 (VES-13), as indicator of frailty, can predict the toxicity of chemotherapy in gynaecological cancers.VES-13 was administered to patients aged ≥ 70 years with ovarian, endometrial and cervical cancers who underwent chemotherapy from 2010 to 2016.Eighty-four patients aged ≥ 70 years (mean age 74.6) were included, 36 patients (42.9%) resulted vulnerable (score ≥ 3). Thrombocytopenia and anaemia were more prevalent in the vulnerable subjects (81.3% versus 18.7%, P = .0005, and 81.8% versus 18.2%, P = .005, respectively), while neutropenia was similar between the 2 groups. Vulnerable women had higher risk of non-haematological toxicities. Most of the patients (77.4%) completed chemotherapy, but dose reductions and discontinuations were more common in the vulnerable group (66.7% versus 33.3%, P = .07 and 68.4% versus 31.6%, P = .01, respectively).To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate VES-13 exclusively in elderly women with gynaecological cancers. VES-13 may be useful to stratify this category of patients according to vulnerability in order to identify women at risk of toxicity and to prevent complications induced by chemotherapy.
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September 2018

Ovarian Cancer in Elderly Patients: Patterns of Care and Treatment Outcomes According to Age and Modified Frailty Index.

Int J Gynecol Cancer 2017 11;27(9):1863-1871

*Academic Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, University of Torino, Mauriziano Hospital, Torino; and †Division of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Objective: The present study assessed the predictive value of age and Modified Frailty Index (mFI) on the management of primary epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) patients aged 70 years or older (elderly).

Methods: A retrospective multicenter study selected elderly EOC patients treated between 2006 and 2014. Treatments were analyzed according to the following age group categories: (1) 70 to 75 years versus (2) older than 75 years, and mFI of less than 4 (low frailty) versus greater than or equal to 4 (high frailty).

Results: Seventy-eight patients were identified (40 in age group 1 and 38 in age group 2). The mFI was greater than or equal to 4 in 23 women. Median age of low frailty and high frailty was not significantly different (75.6 vs 75.3). Comorbidities were equally distributed according to age, whereas diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and chronic renal failure were more frequent in the high-frailty group. Performance status was different only according to mFI. Twenty percent of age group 1 versus 55.3% of age group 2 underwent none or only explorative surgical approach (P = 0.003), whereas surgical approaches were similar in the 2 frailty groups. The rate of postoperative complications was higher in high-frailty patients compared with low-frailty patients (23.5% vs 4.3%; P = 0.03). Chemotherapy was administered to all the patients, a monotherapy regimen to 50% of them. No differences in toxicity were registered, except more hospital recovery in the high-frailty cohort. Median survival time was in favor of younger patients (98 versus 30 months) and less-frailty patients (56 vs 27 months).

Conclusions: Elderly EOC patients can receive an adequate treatment, but patients who are older than 75 years can be undertreated, if not adequately selected. The pretreatment assessment of frailty through mFI could be suggested in the surgical and medical management.
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November 2017

Endometriosis-associated Ovarian Cancer: A Distinct Clinical Entity?

Anticancer Res 2016 Jul;36(7):3445-9

Unit of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Department of Surgical Science, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

Aim: The aim of the study was to evaluate the incidence of endometriosis-associated ovarian cancer (EAOC) and compare clinicopathological characteristics and overall survival (OS) between patients with EAOC and those with ovarian cancer not associated with endometriosis.

Patients And Methods: We identified EAOC among 203 patients with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer who underwent complete surgery at our Institution from January 2004 to March 2014.

Results: EAOC was present in 45 patients. EAOC was significantly more frequently diagnosed at an earlier stage of disease (p=0.038). At a median follow-up time of 32 months, OS among patients with EAOC was significantly longer (p=0.039). However, stratifying by stage, the OS advantage of EAOC was not significant. At multivariate analysis, only stage was an independent prognostic factor for OS (hazard ratio=5.7; 95% confidence interval=1.8-18.6; p=0.003).

Conclusion: EAOC incidence was 22.2%. EAOC appears to be diagnosed at an earlier stage and confers a better OS. However, stratifying by stage, the advantage in survival of EAOC disappears.
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July 2016

Complications after the treatment of endometrial cancer: a prospective study using the French-Italian glossary.

Int J Gynecol Cancer 2014 Mar;24(3):418-26

*Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; †Gynecology and Obstetrics Academic Department, Azienda Ospedaliera Mauriziano Umberto I, Turin, Italy; ‡Gynecology and Obstetrics Department, Azienda Sanitaria Ospedaliera S. Croce e Carle, Cuneo, Italy; and §SSVD Gynecological Oncology, PO S. Anna, Cittá della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, Turin, Italy.

Introduction: The evaluation of treatment complications is crucial in modern oncology because they heavily influence the every day life of patients. Several authors confirmed the reproducibility of the French-Italian glossary to score the complications in patients with endometrial cancer after radiotherapy (RT), but the treatment of endometrial carcinoma is primarily surgical and chemotherapy is often used for high-risk disease.

Objectives: This study aimed to analyze the incidence of complications in our patients treated for endometrial cancer and to verify whether the glossary is a suitable instrument in the description of complications after surgery, RT, and chemotherapy.

Methods: The data of patients affected by endometrial cancer treated in the Gynecology and Obstetrics Academic Department, Azienda Ospedaliera Mauriziano Umberto I in Turin from 2000 to 2009 (with surgery alone or integrated treatments) were prospectively collected, and complications were described using the glossary. Every patient included in the analyses had a minimum of 18 months follow-up.

Results: Of the 271 patients, 68 (25%) experienced at least 1 complication with 87 overall complications. Most of the complications were mild (63%) and were found in the urinary (30%) or cutaneous systems (30%). Forty-four (50%) complications appeared within 1 year after treatment, but 9 (10%) complications appeared after 60 months of follow-up. Patients who were submitted to both surgery and RT showed a trend of higher rate of at least 1 complication (19/58 [32.7%]) if compared with surgery alone (36/135 [26.6%]), even if the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.09). The incidence of complications in patients treated or not with lymphadenectomy was not statistically different (P = 0.088), whereas patients treated with laparotomy had a higher rate of cutaneous complications if compared with the laparoscopic approach (P = 0.018). The glossary included all observed complications.

Conclusions: One every 4 women treated for endometrial cancer develops a complication. Clinicians should check for complications especially after integrated treatments maintaining surveillance even in the long term. The glossary is a comprehensive instrument to describe the complications of endometrial cancer, regardless of the type of treatment delivered.
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March 2014

Prognostic factors and clinical outcome of patients with recurrent early-stage epithelial ovarian cancer: an Italian multicenter retrospective study.

Int J Gynecol Cancer 2013 Mar;23(3):461-8

Division of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the clinical outcome of patients with recurrent early-stage ovarian cancer.

Methods: The hospital records of 87 patients were reviewed. The median follow-up of survivors from recurrence was 87.6 months.

Results: The 25%, 50%, and 75% quantiles of time to recurrence were 15, 25, and 44 months, respectively. The pelvis was the most common site of failure (39.1%), followed by abdomen (18.3%) and retroperitoneal nodes (18.3%). Treatment at recurrence consisted of chemotherapy in 46 patients, surgery plus chemotherapy in 29, surgery in 3, surgery plus radiotherapy in 2, and other therapies in 7. A macroscopically complete cytoreduction was obtained in 29 (85.2%) of the 34 patients who underwent secondary surgery. Five- and 7-year survival rates after recurrence were 34.3% and 29.6%. By log-rank test, survival after recurrence was related to patient age (≤60 vs. >60 years; P = 0.001), time to recurrence (>15 vs. ≤15 months; P = 0.049), site of recurrence (retroperitoneum vs pelvis vs other; P = 0.004), and surgery at recurrence (yes vs. not; P = 0.001), but not to substage, histotype, grade, prior adjuvant chemotherapy, examination that detected recurrence, and chemotherapy at recurrence. On multivariate analysis, patient age (hazard ratio, 1.836; 95% confidence interval, 1.060-3.180) and surgical treatment at recurrence (hazard ratio, 1.972; 95% confidence interval, 1.084-3.587) were independent prognostic variables for survival after recurrence.

Conclusions: Patient age and surgery at recurrence were independent prognostic variables for patients with recurrent early-stage ovarian cancer. When feasible, salvage surgery appears to give a survival advantage in this clinical setting.
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March 2013

Daily administration of low molecular weight heparin increases Hepatocyte Growth Factor serum levels in gynaecological patients: pharmacokinetic parameters and clinical implications.

BMC Res Notes 2012 Sep 23;5:517. Epub 2012 Sep 23.

Unit of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics of the University of Torino at Azienda Ospedaliera Ordine Mauriziano, Largo Turati 62, Turin, Italy.

Background: Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF) enhances cytotoxicity of paclitaxel (PTX) and cisplatin (CDDP) in human ovarian cancer cells. Because of potential pitfalls of HGF exogenous administration, we investigated whether HGF serum concentration might be alternatively raised in vivo by administering low molecular weight heparin (LMWH).

Methods: The main HGF pharmacokinetic parameters were evaluated following acute and chronic LMWH treatment. First, women, operated on for gynaecological tumors, were treated with a single dose of calcium nadroparin and studied for 12 hours. Next, women operated on for benign or malignant gynaecological tumors were treated daily with calcic nadroparin for one month. Subsequently, the biological activity of the measured HGF serum levels was tested in assays of ovarian cancer cell sensitization to drugs.

Results: In the short-term treated group, median HGF AUCss, Cmax and Caverage were about four-fold that of the control group, whereas Cmin was three-fold. In the patients treated chronically median HGF serum levels rose about six-fold in the first week, and decreased but remained significantly higher after one month. The pharmacokinetic of nadroparin-dependent HGF increase were similar in the two groups. The HGF concentrations measured after both acute and chronic treatment were found to be effective in sensitising ovarian cancer cells to chemotherapeutics.

Conclusions: This study raises the possibility of using LMWH to increase HGF serum concentration and to take advantage of its biological activities. In particular, nadroparin might be used as a chemo-potentiating agent in epithelial cell ovarian carcinoma through its action on HGF serum concentration.

Trial Registration: ID: NCT01523652.
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September 2012

Analysis of treatment failures and survival of patients with uterine papillary serous carcinoma: a Cooperation Task Force (CTF) Study.

Int J Gynecol Cancer 2012 Oct;22(8):1355-60

Department of Procreative Medicine, Division of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Objective: To assess the pattern of failures and the survival of patients with uterine papillary serous carcinoma (UPSC).

Methods: The hospital records of 119 women with UPSC were reviewed. Surgery was the initial therapy for all the cases. The median follow-up of survivors was 133 months (range, 3-216 months).

Results: Postoperative treatment was used in 98 patients (82.4%). Adjuvant treatment was radiotherapy in 25 women, chemotherapy in 61 women, and chemotherapy plus radiotherapy in 12 women. Tumor recurred in 44 (37.0%) of the 119 patients, after a median time of 15.1 months. Relapse was symptomatic in 15 patients (34.1%), and recurrent disease involved peritoneum or distant sites in 26 (66.7%) of the 39 patients for whom the site of failure was known. Five- and 10-year survival rates were 61.8% and 54.6%, respectively. Survival was related to disease stage (P < 0.0001). Among patients with advanced tumor, 5-year survival was lower in women who had macroscopic residual disease after surgery than in those who had not (15.4% vs 37.5%; P = 0.08). Distant failures were higher in women with histologically proven positive nodes than in those with negative nodes (28.6% vs 9.1%; P = 0.048). There was a trend to better survival for patients with stage I to stage II disease who underwent chemotherapy when compared with those who did not.

Conclusions: Uterine papillary serous carcinoma has an aggressive clinical behavior with a great tendency to recur especially in peritoneal and distant sites. Tumor stage is a strong prognostic factor, whereas the role of adjuvant treatment is still uncertain.
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October 2012

Could different follow-up modalities play a role in the diagnosis of asymptomatic endometrial cancer relapses?: an Italian multicentric retrospective analysis.

Int J Gynecol Cancer 2012 Jul;22(6):1013-9

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Objective: To determine current practice and to assess the value of routine follow-up procedures for endometrial cancer surveillance. To discuss whether such procedures are feasible and effective to identify asymptomatic recurrences and describe the pattern of relapse detected by procedures.

Methods: The records of 282 consecutive women with recurrent endometrial cancer treated from 1986 to 2005 were retrospectively collected in 8 Italian institutions. Primary disease, clinical history, and recurrence features and data were analyzed.

Results: Thirty-five (12.4%) of 282 patients had recurrence in vaginal vault, 51 patients (18.0%) had recurrence in central pelvis, 14 patients (4.9%) had recurrence in pelvic wall, and 39 patients (13.8%) had recurrence in lymph nodes. One-hundred twenty-eight patients (45.3%) showed a distant relapse, whereas 15 patients (5.3%) developed both distant relapse and local relapse. The site of relapse influenced survival because the patients with vaginal vault recurrences lived significantly longer than the patients with recurrences in other sites. Eighty (28.4%) of the 282 patients became symptomatic and anticipated the scheduled visit, 37 (13.1 %) of the patients reported their symptoms during the follow-up meeting, and 165 (58.5 %) of the patients were asymptomatic and the diagnostic path was introduced by a planned visit or examination. Among the asymptomatic patients, the first procedure that led to further examinations was clinical visit alone for 60 (36.4%) of 165 patients, imaging for 103 patients (62.4%), and cytologic examination for 2 patients (1.2%). Symptoms at recurrence can predict survival: patients with an asymptomatic recurrence had a median survival time from relapse of 35 months versus 13 months if they had a symptomatic repetition (P = 0.0001).

Conclusions: Follow-up after endometrial cancer treatment varies in Italy. In this retrospective study, women with asymptomatic recurrence have shown a better clinical outcome compared with those with symptomatic relapse. The optimal approach is actually unknown, and guidelines comparing follow-up protocols have not been established. Prospective cost-effectiveness studies are needed.
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July 2012

Variation in gynecological oncology follow-up practice: attributable to cancer centers or to patient characteristics? A Piedmont Regional Oncology Network Study.

Tumori 2011 Sep-Oct;97(5):551-8

Gynecology and Obstetrics Academic Department, Azienda Ospedaliera Ordine Mauriziano, Turin.

Aims And Background: Although guidelines recommend minimalist follow-up, there is wide variability in gynecological oncology practice. The aims of this study were to describe between-center differences in the follow-up of endometrial, ovarian, and uterine cervical cancer; to identify the determinants of test prescription; to estimate the related costs; and to assess the weight of center habits and patient characteristics as sources of unexplained variability.

Methods And Study Design: The medical records of patients treated between August 2004 and July 2005 for gynecological malignancies and followed up for the detection of recurrent disease were retrospectively collected from 29 centers of the Piedmont Oncology Network. Multivariate multilevel analyses were performed to study the determinants of test prescription and costs.

Results: Analyses were performed on 351 patients (median follow-up: 578 days). The unexplained variability in computed tomography prescriptions (26%), ultrasound prescriptions (17%), and total cost of follow-up (15%) can be attributed to center habits, independenty of the clinical characteristics of the patients.

Conclusions: Much of the unexplained variability in the follow-up for gynecological malignancies is attributable to different habits of centers belonging to a cancer network. These results prompted us to design a multicenter randomized controlled trial to compare minimalist versus intensive follow-up programs in endometrial cancer.
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April 2012

Angiogenesis and molecular markers in advanced epithelial ovarian cancer: a retrospective study.

Gynecol Oncol 2011 Nov 20;123(2):301-7. Epub 2011 Aug 20.

Academic Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Mauriziano Hospital, Torino, Italy.

Objective: The role of molecular markers in ovarian cancer is still a matter of debate. Angiogenesis is a necessary condition for tumor growth. Hypoxia induces angiogenesis, and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), p53 and HER2 are involved in cancer proliferation and angiogenesis regulation. The aims of this study were to evaluate the relationship between intratumoral microvessel density (IMD) and the expression of molecular markers that affect angiogenesis (COX-2, p53 and HER2) in advanced epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), to analyze their prognostic and predictive value and their association with clinicopathological features, such as serum hemoglobin level at diagnosis (Hb).

Methods: Immunohistochemical staining with CD34 (for IMD), COX-2, p53 and HER2 antibodies was performed in 113 patients with advanced EOC who had undergone primary surgery. Clinicopathological data were collected and statistical analyses were performed.

Results: Neither IMD, COX-2 nor HER2 had any predictive or prognostic value in EOC. A relationship that approached statistical significance was found between p53 expression and a complete response to treatment (p=0.05). p53 expression and tumor grade were inversely associated (p=0.012). Hb<12g/dl had predictive value (p=0.02).

Conclusions: In our series IMD, COX-2 and HER2 had neither prognostic nor predictive value in advanced EOC. p53 and Hb may be predictive factors. The results and clinical usefulness of immunohistochemistry are controversial. Further evaluations are required to determine whether the serum levels of molecular markers correlate with the results of immunohistochemical assays and whether they offer any prognostic and/or predictive value. Targeted therapy remains the ultimate goal of these studies.
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November 2011

Analysis of vitamin D receptor expression and clinical correlations in patients with ovarian cancer.

Gynecol Oncol 2010 Oct;119(1):121-4

Department of Genetics, Biology and Biochemistry, University of Turin, Italy.

Objective: Although the antiproliferative and differentiating properties of vitamin D have been demonstrated, its effects on cancer cells are variable. Little is known about vitamin D receptor (VDR) levels in patients with ovarian cancer. In this population we sought to determine correlations between VDR expression, clinical parameters and treatment outcome.

Methods: We analyzed VDR content in platelets of healthy women and of a cohort of patients with ovarian tumors and we evaluated possible correlations with clinical parameters, tumor characterization (stage, histology, nuclear grading, ascites), response to therapy and survival. Moreover receptor expression was evaluated immunohistochemically on tissue samples.

Results: VDR levels were markedly lower in healthy women when compared with the pathological group. In the latter a significant increase in receptor expression was observed in malignancies compared with benign cases. No correlation existed between VDR expression and clinicopathological parameters, although we observed an advantage on survival if patients had a higher level of VDR expression in platelets. A cytoplasmic localization of the protein was observed by immunohistochemistry in ovarian cancer cells.

Conclusions: Vitamin D receptor status measured in platelets differs significantly between healthy and pathological groups, increasing with malignancy, and there is a trend towards longer overall survival for tumors showing higher VDR levels. These data suggest that platelet VDR content could be used as a pathological marker. The meaning of this increased VDR expression in platelets needs further investigation and it is possibly linked to an inflammatory response.
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October 2010

Gemcitabine and vinorelbine combination in platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer.

Int J Gynecol Cancer 2009 Dec;19(9):1529-34

Academic Division of Gynecological Oncology, Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (IRCC) of Candiolo and AO Ordine Mauriziano, Turin, Italy.

Objectives: Most patients with ovarian cancer are candidates for second-line or salvage treatments often for prolonged periods. Patients with platinum-sensitive disease can benefit from a platinum retreatment with a likelihood of response dependents on the treatment-free interval. Alternative agents and combination chemotherapy are potential therapeutic approaches. At our institution, we carried out a phase II trial to evaluate feasibility, efficacy, and toxicity of gemcitabine and vinorelbine combination in recurrent ovarian carcinoma. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of this combination in patients with platinum-sensitive disease.

Patients And Methods: Patients with platinum-sensitive disease recurring after 1 or more lines of platinum-based chemotherapy were included. Vinorelbine at 25 mg/m followed by gemcitabine at 1000 mg/m was administered intravenously on days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks. Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors and cancer antigen 125 test (CA-125 Kinetics [Rustin criteria]) were adopted to classify responses. Toxicity was assessed according to the National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria.

Results: Thirty-nine patients were eligible. Platinum-free interval (PFI) was 6 to 12 months in 13 patients (33.3%; PFI 6-12) and more than 12 months in 26 patients (66.7%; PFI > 12). The overall response rate was 48.7%, with 6 complete responses. Median response duration was 38 weeks. The response rate was 23% in PFI 6-12 and 62% in PFI >12. The most frequently observed toxicity was hematological, with 23% of the patients having grade 3 or 4 neutropenia.

Conclusions: Gemcitabine and vinorelbine combination is effective and well tolerated in recurrent platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer. It may represent an option in the management of these patients because the chronic nature of the disease.
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December 2009

Are surveillance procedures of clinical benefit for patients treated for ovarian cancer?: A retrospective Italian multicentric study.

Int J Gynecol Cancer 2009 Apr;19(3):367-74

Department of Procreative Medicine, University of Pisa, Italy.

The aim of this retrospective investigation was to assess the pattern of failures of 412 patients with recurrent ovarian cancer followed up with different surveillance protocols.Time to recurrence was less than 6 months in 98 women (23.8%), 6 to 12 months in 102 women (24.7%), and more than 12 months in 212 women (51.5%). Symptoms at relapse were referred by 81 women (19.7%). Among the 331 asymptomatic patients, the surveillance procedure that raised the suspect of recurrent disease was clinical examination in 49 (14.8%), imaging technique in 90 (27.2%), serum CA 125 in 77 (23.3%), and both serum CA 125 and imaging technique in 115 (34.7%). At univariate analysis, survival from initial diagnosis was related to stage (P = 0.004), residual disease after initial surgery (P < 0.0001), time to recurrence (P < 0.0001), site of relapse (P = 0.04), and treatment at recurrence (P < 0.0001), and survival after recurrence was related to stage (P = 0.01), residual disease (P < 0.0001), time to recurrence (P < 0.0001), and treatment at recurrence (P < 0.0001). Conversely, symptoms at recurrence had no prognostic relevance. Cox proportional hazards model showed that residual disease and time to recurrence were the only independent prognostic variables for both survival from initial diagnosis (P < 0.0001) and survival after recurrence (P < 0.0001). In conclusion, there was no survival difference between asymptomatic and symptomatic patients at the time of relapse, and therefore, the diagnostic anticipation allowed by a scheduled follow-up protocol did not seem to improve the clinical outcome of patients who ultimately developed recurrent disease.
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April 2009

Identification of new genes associated with breast cancer progression by gene expression analysis of predefined sets of neoplastic tissues.

Int J Cancer 2008 Sep;123(6):1327-38

Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, Unit of Gynecological Oncology, University of Turin Medical School, Candiolo, Turin, Italy.

Gene expression profiles were studied by microarray analysis in 2 sets of archival breast cancer tissues from patients with distinct clinical outcome. Seventy-seven differentially expressed genes were identified when comparing 30 cases with relapse and 30 cases without relapse within 72 months from surgery. These genes had a specific ontological distribution and some of them have been linked to breast cancer in previous studies: AIB1, the two keratin genes KRT5 and KRT15, RAF1, WIF1 and MSH6. Seven out of 77 differentially expressed genes were selected and analyzed by qRT-PCR in 127 cases of breast cancer. The expression levels of 6 upregulated genes (CKMT1B, DDX21, PRKDC, PTPN1, SLPI, YWHAE) showed a significant association to both disease-free and overall survival. Multivariate analysis using the significant factors (i.e., estrogen receptor and lymph node status) as covariates confirmed the association with survival. There was no correlation between the expression level of these genes and other clinical parameters. In contrast, SERPINA3, the only downregulated gene examined, was not associated with survival, but correlated with steroid receptor status. An indirect validation of our genes was provided by calculating their association with survival in 3 publicly available microarray datasets. CKMT1B expression was an independent prognostic marker in all 3 datasets, whereas other genes confirmed their association with disease-free survival in at least 1 dataset. This work provides a novel set of genes that could be used as independent prognostic markers and potential drug targets for breast cancer.
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September 2008

Influence of estrogens and antiestrogens on the expression of selected hormone-responsive genes.

Maturitas 2007 May 28;57(1):50-5. Epub 2007 Mar 28.

Cattedra di Ginecologia Oncologica, Istituto per la Ricerca e la Cura del Cancro, Università Degli Studi di Torino, Candiolo, Italy.

Estrogen exerts a primary regulatory role on a wide variety of physiological processes in different tissues and organs. Agonistic ad antagonistic compounds are widely used in human health and, therefore, a deep understanding of their mechanisms of action at the molecular level is mandatory. The effect of 17beta-estradiol and three antiestrogenic drugs, comprising two selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM, 4-OH-tamoxifen, Raloxifene) and the pure antiestrogen ICI 182,780, on genome-wide gene expression levels was evaluated in breast carcinoma cell lines by DNA microarray analysis. Different clusters of genes, showing specific coregulation patterns, were found. First, several groups of genes displaying temporal-specific up- or down-regulation were characterized. Second, clusters of genes responding to different antiestrogenic drugs in either antagonstic or agonistic fashion, were found. Genes responding specifically to antiestrogens, but not to estrogen, were also identified. In addition, each individual compound exhibited a very specific gene regulation. Bioinformatic analysis was applied to the regulatory sequences of different groups of genes and confirmed that specific pathways and secondary responses are activated at each temporal point and in response to different compounds. Our results underline the complexity of genomic responses to estrogen in breast cancer cells and strongly suggest that the molecular characterization of estrogen agonists and antagonists used in human therapy should be carefully studied.
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May 2007

Constitutional high expression of an APC mRNA isoform in a subset of attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis patients.

J Mol Med (Berl) 2007 Mar 2;85(3):305-12. Epub 2006 Dec 2.

Unit of Pathology, Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment-IRCC, Strada Provinciale 142, 10060, Candiolo, Torino, Italy.

Familial adenomatous polyposis is an inherited condition associated with hundreds to thousands of colorectal adenomas conferring a very high risk of cancer at a young age. In addition to "classical" form, there is also an attenuated polyposis, with fewer than 100 polyps and a delayed age of cancer onset. Both classical and attenuated polyposis are characterized by a relevant phenotypic heterogeneity. The disease has been linked to constitutive mutations of either APC tumor suppressor gene, or less frequently, MYH base-excision repair gene. However, the genetic cause remains undetected in up to 70-80% of patients with the attenuated form. This analysis was performed on 26 polyposis patients with the attenuated phenotype. All patients had formerly proven to be negative for APC truncating mutations that typically represent the majority of APC gene alterations. We evaluated the APC mRNA constitutional level by real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Eleven patients (42%) showed an anomalous APC transcription level. One patient with reduced mRNA was a carrier of a whole APC gene deletion. In seven out of the ten remaining cases, we found the increased expression of an APC mRNA isoform resulting from exon 10/15 connection and giving rise to a stable truncated peptide. Mutations neither in the invariant splice sites nor in the known transcription regulatory signals were found. Our results support the notion that in attenuated polyposis patients, a detailed investigation of APC transcription can allow detection of rare alterations. Although functional data are required, the isoform we observed might have some pathogenic role, accounting for the heterogeneous phenotype that characterizes the polyposis syndrome.
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March 2007

Pretreatment serum hemoglobin level as a predictive factor of response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with locally advanced squamous cervical carcinoma: a preliminary report.

Gynecol Oncol 2005 Dec 26;99(3 Suppl 1):S187-91. Epub 2005 Sep 26.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Turin, Azienda Sanitaria Ospedaliera Ordine Mauriziano, "Umberto I" Hospital, Torino, Italy.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the predictive value of pretreatment serum hemoglobin level (Hb) together with a series of clinical and pathological variables available before neoadjuvant chemotherapy in locally advanced squamous cervical cancer.

Methods: The influence on response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy of a series of pretreatment clinico-pathological features: hemoglobin level at diagnosis, age, parity, menopausal status, body mass index, clinical stage, tumor diameter, and nuclear grading were analyzed on 73 patients with locally advanced cervical cancer treated with platinum-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by radical surgery. The relationships between pretreatment variables and response to chemotherapy were assessed in univariate and multivariate settings. A univariate and multivariate logistic regression model was adapted to predict an "optimal" response (pathological complete response or more than 50% reduction in tumoral diameter) or "sub-optimal" response (<50% reduction in tumoral diameter).

Results: Seventy-three patients-clinical stage: Ib2: 29 (39.7%) IIa: 22 (30.1%) IIb: 22 (30.1%)-received 3 cycles of platinum-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by type III radical hysterectomy. A complete response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy was significantly associated with higher level of pretreatment hemoglobin (mean 14.0 mg/dl) compared to patients with > or =50% response (12.7 mg/dl) or <50% (11.9 mg/dl) (P = 0.002). At multivariate analysis, Hb level was found to be the most powerful and significantly related factor to response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. A hemoglobin threshold of 12 mg/dl was able to distinguish between patients-with > or =12 mg/dl-at higher probability to respond to neoadjuvant chemotherapy from the ones at lower probability (hemoglobin level under 12 mg/dl). Patients with a complete response to chemotherapy had a 100% survival compared to 93.1% and 53.8% for patients with responses > or =50% and <50% respectively (P = 0.0001). Patients with a pretreatment hemoglobin level of > or =12 mg/dl showed a survival of 87% compared to 63% for patients with a lower hemoglobin level (P = 0.008).

Conclusions: Pretreatment Hb level showed a prognostic and independent predictive value for response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in locally advanced cervical cancer. In our preliminary report, performed on a limited sample, a threshold of 12 mg/dl seems to be helpful to distinguish between "optimal" and "non-optimal" response.
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December 2005

Laparoscopic treatment of endometrial cancer: feasibility and results.

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2006 Feb 10;124(2):232-6. Epub 2005 Aug 10.

Department of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Turin, Mauriziano Umberto I Hospital, Turin and Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment Candiolo, Italy.

Objective: The aim of this study was to compare laparoscopic and abdominal approach in the treatment of endometrial cancer in our department.

Study Design: From January 1999 to November 2002, 77 patients underwent surgery for stages I-III endometrial cancer. The first group of 36 patients had abdominal hysterectomy as well as salpingo-oophorectomy, with or without lymphadenectomy. The remaining 41 patients received laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy as well as salpingo-oophorectomy, with or without lymphadenectomy. In this retrospective study, we have compared the surgical results, the short- and long-term morbidity and the outcome of the two patient groups.

Results: Body mass index (BMI) was significantly higher in the laparoscopic group (27.3 versus 24.6; p=0.009). The average time for surgery was significantly longer for the laparoscopic group (143.6 min versus 109.7 min; p=0.0001), but lymphadenectomy was performed in more patients (63.4% versus 25%; p=0.001). Postoperative hospital stay was significantly longer in patients undergoing the abdominal approach (4.59 days versus 3.18 days; p<0.0001). No blood transfusions were performed and the rates of complications were similar in the two groups. No differences were found in recurrence and survival rate.

Conclusions: In our experience, laparoscopic and abdominal surgery can achieve similar results in the treatment of endometrial cancer. In our series, even with the BMI and the number of lymphadenectomies being higher in the laparoscopic group, the rates of complications were similar in the two groups.
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February 2006

Attitudes of Italian gynaecologists towards prophylactic oophorectomy at hysterectomy for non-malignant conditions.

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2006 Jan 18;124(1):82-7. Epub 2005 Jul 18.

Academic Department of Gynaecological Oncology, University of Turin, Mauriziano Umberto I Hospital, Corso Turati, 62-10128 Turin, Italy.

Objective: To compare the attitudes of Italian oncologic gynaecologists towards prophylactic oophorectomy at hysterectomy for a non-neoplastic reason.

Study Design: A four-item two-part questionnaire was submitted to 170 gynaecologists attending a national conference on gynaecologic oncology.

Results: About 92% of gynaecologists reported they would perform prophylactic oophorectomy in women over 50 years, but only 14% said they would in patients aged 45-50; a family history of cancer emerged as a major decision-making criterion for performing oophorectomy in the younger set of patients.

Conclusion: Our brief survey confirms the wide variability in attitudes among gynaecologists towards performing prophylactic oophorectomy at hysterectomy for a non-neoplastic pathology in women aged 40-50.
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January 2006