Publications by authors named "Petra Vuković"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Expression of NEDD9 and connexin-43 in neoplastic and stromal cells of gastric adenocarcinoma.

Bosn J Basic Med Sci 2021 01 11. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia; Department of Pathology and Cytology "Ljudevit Jurak", University Hospital Center "Sestre milosrdnice", Zagreb, Croatia; School of Dental Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia; Scientific Group for Research on Epigenetic Biomarkers, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia.

Gastric cancer is related to high mortality rates and advanced disease stage at the time of diagnosis. Its carcinogenesis is extensively studied and is associated with genetic and epigenetic changes, changed the interaction between tumor and adjacent stromal cells, and changes in the microenvironment molecule status. Neural precursor cell-expressed developmentally down-regulated 9 (NEDD9) affects different signaling proteins and pathways, apoptosis, adhesion, cell migration, and invasiveness. Connexin-43 (Cx43) also assists in intercellular communications and has several channel-independent functions. Aberrant expression of those two gap junction proteins plays an essential role in metastatic processes. Our scope was to detect the expression of Cx43 and NEDD9 in epithelial and stromal gastric cancer compartments and its relation to tumor progression and lymph node metastases. Cancer tissue from 53 cases of node-negative and 55 cases of node-positive primary gastric carcinoma patients was analyzed for Cx43 and NEDD9 expression by immunohistochemical assay, and the results were correlated with the remaining clinical and pathological findings and survival. In our cohort of patients with lymph node metastases, we detected higher expression of epithelial Cx43 in the primary tumor and stromal Cx43 expression correlated with both epithelial NEDD9 (rho = 0.453) and stromal NEDD9 (rho = 0.484). Higher epithelial Cx43 and NEDD9 expression were associated with higher mortality (HR 1.54, 95% CI 1.01-2.37, p = 0.048). Epithelial Cx43 expression, both epithelial and stromal NEDD9 expression, T and N status were all independently associated with shorter survival. In summary, our findings suggest that increased expression of both epithelial and stromal NEDD9 and epithelial Cx43 could potentially be used as prognostic gastric cancer biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.17305/bjbms.2020.5379DOI Listing
January 2021

Preimplantation genetic testing for carriers of BRCA1/2 pathogenic variants.

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol 2021 Jan 29;157:103201. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Department of Medical Oncology, U.O.C. Clinica di Oncologia Medica, IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genova, 16132, Italy; Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties (DiMI), School of Medicine, University of Genova, Genova, 16126, Italy. Electronic address:

The detection of germline BRCA1/2 pathogenic variant has relevant implications for the patients and their family members. Family planning, prophylactic surgery and the possibility of preimplantation genetic testing for monogenic disorders (PGT-M) to avoid transmittance of pathogenic variants to the offspring are relevant topics in this setting. PGT-M is valuable option for BRCA carriers, but it remains a controversial and underdiscussed topic. Although the advances in PGT technologies have improved pregnancy rate, there are still several important challenges associated with its use. The purpose of this review is to report the current evidence on PGT-M for BRCA1/2 carriers, ethical concerns and controversy associated with its use, reproductive implications of BRCA pathogenic variants, underlying areas in which an educational effort would be beneficial as well as possibilities for future research efforts in the field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.critrevonc.2020.103201DOI Listing
January 2021

HbA1c in patients with intracranial meningiomas WHO grades I and II: A preliminary study.

IUBMB Life 2020 07 5;72(7):1426-1432. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Department of Neurosurgery, Clinical Hospital Dubrava, Zagreb, Croatia.

Meningiomas are among the most common primary brain tumors. There is a growing need for novel ways of differentiating between benign (World Health Organization [WHO] grade I) and atypical (WHO grade II) meningiomas as well as for novel markers of the tumor's future behavior. A difference between glucose metabolism in atypical and benign meningiomas is well known. However, a significant correlation between the systemic metabolic status of the patient and the meningioma WHO grade has not yet been established. Our aim was to compare the WHO grades of intracranial meningiomas with the patient's HbA1c levels as a more reliable marker of the chronic systemic metabolic status than the fasting blood glucose value, which is usually looked at. We retrospectively analyzed 15 patients and compared their meningioma WHO grade with their preoperative HbA1c values. Our results show that patients with benign intracranial meningiomas have significantly lower HbA1c value. Conversely, patients with atypical intracranial meningiomas have higher HbA1c values. Furthermore, we showed that the proliferation factor Ki67 was statistically strongly correlated with the HbA1c value (p < .001. These results imply a possible positive correlation between meningioma cell proliferation and the chronic systemic glycemia. Further research in this area could not only lead to better understanding of meningiomas but could have significant clinical application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/iub.2268DOI Listing
July 2020

Oncologist Burnout Syndrome in Eastern Europe: Results of the Multinational Survey.

JCO Oncol Pract 2020 04 29;16(4):e366-e376. Epub 2020 Jan 29.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Clinical Hospital "Sveti Duh," Zagreb, Croatia.

Purpose: Burnout is defined as a three-dimensional syndrome-emotional exhaustion (EE), depersonalization (DP), and reduced personal accomplishment (PA)-caused by chronic occupational stress. The aim of the current study was to investigate the prevalence of burnout among oncologists in Eastern Europe and to identify the contributing factors.

Methods: The study was conducted as an online survey between October 2017 and March 2018. Oncologists (including medical, radiation, clinical, and surgical oncologists) from 19 countries were invited to participate. The survey consisted of 30 questions, including the standardized burnout instrument, Maslach Burnout Inventory, and eight demographic questions. Burnout risk was scored according to the scoring manual for health care workers.

Results: The study included 637 oncologists. Overall, 28% were at low or intermediate risk and 72% were at high risk for burnout. Forty-four percent of participants were at high risk for EE, 28.7% for DP, and 47.3% for PA. EE risk was associated with female sex. DP risk was highest among clinical and radiation oncologists, whereas PA risk was positively correlated with years of service, percentage of cancer deaths, and availability of the number of oncologists. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, burnout was significantly associated with standardized cancer mortality and fewer years of practice.

Conclusion: Burnout among oncologists in Eastern Europe is high, and younger oncologists are the most vulnerable group. Preventive measures should be taken to address this issue, which negatively affects optimal care delivery and poses a threat to oncologists' health and well-being.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JOP.19.00470DOI Listing
April 2020

Melanoma Development: Current Knowledge on Melanoma Pathogenesis.

Acta Dermatovenerol Croat 2019 Sep;27(3):163-168

Professor Liborija Lugović-Mihić, MD, PhD, Department of Dermatovenerology , Sestre milosrdnice University Hospital Center, Vinogradska cesta 29, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia;

The pathogenic features of melanomas include growth and amplification of atypical melanocytes associated with several features (self-sufficiency of growth factors, insensitivity to growth inhibitors, evasion of cellular apoptosis, limitless replicative potential, sustained angiogenesis, tissue invasion, and metastasis). These melanoma pathogenic events can be triggered by activating oncogenes or inactivating tumor-suppressor genes by means of molecular mechanisms such as dotted mutations, deletions, and translocations or epigenetic mechanisms such as microRNA expression and promoter methylation. In melanomas, an analysis of the gene aberrations in the genome has led to the discovery of the complex interaction of signaling pathways. Progression of melanomas also involves genetic instability and selective growth of cells with favorable mutations. Additional factors include genetic predisposition, mutagenesis, and suppressed host immune response. Some of the most important signaling pathways involved in the pathogenesis of melanoma are the MAPK, PI3K/PTEN/AKT, and MITF signaling pathways. Obtaining insight into the biology of melanocytes and pathogenesis of melanomas is important for the development of a targeted therapy (such as vemurafenib, dabrafenib, trametinib) as well as the immunotherapy (e.g. pembrolizumab, nivolumab, ipilimumab), which has enabled a substantial breakthrough in the treatment of patients with melanoma.
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September 2019

FERTILITY PRESERVATION IN YOUNG WOMEN WITH EARLY-STAGE BREAST CANCER.

Acta Clin Croat 2019 Mar;58(1):147-156

1Division of Radiotherapy and Medical Oncology, University Hospital for Tumors, Sestre milosrdnice University Hospital Centre, Zagreb, Croatia; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Zagreb University Hospital Centre, Zagreb, Croatia; 3Zadar General Hospital, Department of Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, Zadar, Croatia; 4School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia; 5Department of Clinical Oncology, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia; 6Human Reproduction Unit, Zenica Cantonal Hospital, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Although breast cancer (BC) occurs more often in older women, it is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy in women of childbearing age. Owing to the overall advancement of modern medicine and the growing global trend of delaying childbirth until later age, we find ever more younger women diagnosed and treated for BC who have not yet completed their family. Therefore, fertility preservation has emerged as a very important quality of life issue for young BC survivors. This paper reviews currently available options for fertility preservation in young women with early-stage BC and highlights the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to fertility preservation as a very important quality of life issue for young BC survivors. Pregnancy after BC treatment is considered not to be associated with an increased risk of BC recurrence; therefore, it should not be discouraged for those women who want to achieve pregnancy after oncologic treatment. Currently, it is recommended to delay pregnancy for at least 2 years after BC diagnosis, when the risk of recurrence is highest. However, BC patients of reproductive age should be informed about the potential negative effects of oncologic therapy on fertility, as well as on the fertility preservation options available, and if interested in fertility preservation, they should be promptly referred to a reproductive specialist. Early referral to a reproductive specialist is an important factor that increases the likelihood of successful fertility preservation. Embryo and mature oocyte cryopreservation are currently the only established fertility preservation methods but they require ovarian stimulation (OS), which delays initiation of chemotherapy for at least 2 weeks. Controlled OS does not seem to increase the risk of BC recurrence. Other fertility preservation methods (ovarian tissue cryopreservation, cryopreservation of immature oocytes and ovarian suppression with gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists) do not require OS but are still considered to be experimental techniques for fertility preservation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.20471/acc.2019.58.01.19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6629203PMC
March 2019

Importance of ovarian tissue cryopreservation in fertility preservation and anti-aging treatment.

Gynecol Endocrinol 2019 Nov 11;35(11):919-923. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

Department of Clinical Oncology, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb , Zagreb , Croatia.

Various oncological and non-oncological diseases, as well as their treatments, can cause premature ovarian insufficiency and reduce a woman's reproductive potential. Fertility preservation is, therefore, becoming an emerging field of reproductive medicine allowing these patients to have their own biological children. The aim of this review is to analyze the importance of ovarian tissue cryopreservation as a fertility preservation method as well as its new role as a hormone replacement treatment. Although ovarian tissue cryopreservation is currently regarded as an experimental procedure, it is rapidly advancing and may become an established fertility preservation method in the near future. This method does not require ovarian stimulation or a subsequent delay in the initiation of cancer treatment. Furthermore, orthotopic ovarian tissue transplantation offers the unique opportunity of spontaneous conception. Due to the restoration of endocrine function following the procedure, ovarian tissue cryopreservation may also be used as tissue hormone replacement therapy in cases of premature ovarian insufficiency, to postpone menopause and prevent its troublesome symptoms and diseases. Even though the role of ovarian tissue cryopreservation as a new anti-aging treatment modality is quite promising, the safety and efficacy of this approach should be investigated in clinical settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09513590.2019.1611763DOI Listing
November 2019

Drug-Induced Photosensitivity - a Continuing Diagnostic Challenge.

Acta Clin Croat 2017 Jun;56(2):277-283

Clinical Department of Dermatovenereology, Sestre milosrdnice University Hospital Center, Zagreb, Croatia.

When taking different drugs, their possible side effects on the skin should be considered, including skin reactions connected to photosensitivity. This photosensitivity caused by drugs can appear as phototoxic reactions (which occur more often) or photoallergic reactions (which occur less often and include allergic mechanisms). The following drugs stand out as medications with a high photosensitivity potential: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cardiovascular drugs (such as amiodarone), phenothiazines (especially chlorpromazine), retinoids, antibiotics (sulfonamides, tetracyclines, especially demeclocycline and quinolones), etc. In recent years, photosensitive reactions to newer drugs have appeared, e.g., targeted anticancer therapies such as BRAF kinase inhibitors (vemurafenib, dabrafenib), EGFR inhibitors, VEGFR inhibitors, MEK inhibitors, Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase inhibitors, etc. In patients taking drugs over a longer period of time (e.g., NSAIDs, cardiovascular drugs, etc.), a particular problem arises when an unrecognized drug-induced photosensitivity on the skin manifests in summer months. When taking patient histories, the physician/dermatovenereologist should bear in mind that any drug the patient is currently taking may be the cause of skin reactions. Therefore, patients who use potentially photosensitive drugs and treatments on a long term basis should be warned of the possibility of these side effects on their skin and advised to avoid direct exposure to sunlight and to use adequate photoprotection. If patients carefully protect themselves from the sun, it is often not necessary to stop treatments that include photosensitive drugs. If such reactions appear, anti-inflammatory and antiallergic therapies should be introduced.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.20471/acc.2017.56.02.11DOI Listing
June 2017