Publications by authors named "Rita Mancini"

87 Publications

The Promise of Liquid Biopsy to Predict Response to Immunotherapy in Metastatic Melanoma.

Front Oncol 2021 18;11:645069. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Metastatic melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer whose incidence has been rising dramatically over the last few decades. Nowadays, the most successful approach in treating advanced melanoma is immunotherapy which encompasses the use of immune checkpoint blockers able to unleash the immune system's activity against tumor cells. Immunotherapy has dramatically changed clinical practice by contributing to increasing long term overall survival. Despite these striking therapeutic effects, the clinical benefits are strongly mitigated by innate or acquired resistance. In this context, it is of utmost importance to develop methods capable of predicting patient response to immunotherapy. To this purpose, one major step forward may be provided by measuring non-invasive biomarkers in human fluids, namely Liquid Biopsies (LBs). Several LB approaches have been developed over the last few years thanks to technological breakthroughs that have allowed to evaluate circulating components also when they are present in low abundance. The elements of this so-called "circulome" mostly encompass: tumor DNA, tumor and immune cells, soluble factors and non-coding RNAs. Here, we review the current knowledge of these molecules as predictors of response to immunotherapy in metastatic melanoma and predict that LB will soon enter into routine practice in order to guide clinical decisions for cancer immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.645069DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8013996PMC
March 2021

Gene signature and immune cell profiling by high-dimensional, single-cell analysis in COVID-19 patients, presenting Low T3 syndrome and coexistent hematological malignancies.

J Transl Med 2021 04 1;19(1):139. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Sapienza University, Via di Grottarossa, 1035/1039, 00189, Rome, Italy.

Background: Low T3 syndrome is frequent in patients admitted to intensive care units for critical illness and pneumonia. It has been reported also in patients with COVID-19, Hodgkin disease and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. We analyzed the clinical relevance of Low T3 syndrome in COVID-19 patients and, in particular, in those with associated hematological malignancies.

Methods: Sixty-two consecutive patients, hospitalized during the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in Sant'Andrea University Hospital in Rome, were subdivided in 38 patients (Group A), showing low levels of FT3, and in 24 patients (Group B), with normal FT3 serum values. During the acute phase of the disease, we measured serum, radiologic and clinical disease severity markers and scores, in search of possible correlations with FT3 serum values. In addition, in 6 COVID-19 patients, 4 with Low T3 syndrome, including 2 with a hematological malignancy, and 2 with normal FT3 values, we performed, high-dimensional single-cell analysis by mass cytometry, multiplex cytokine assay and gene expression profiling in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).

Results: Low FT3 serum values were correlated with increased Absolute Neutrophil Count, NLR and dNLR ratios and with reduced total count of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Low FT3 values correlated also with increased levels of inflammation, tissue damage and coagulation serum markers as well as with SOFA, LIPI and TSS scores. The CyTOF analysis demonstrated reduction of the effector memory and terminal effector subtypes of the CD4+ T lymphocytes. Multiplex cytokine assay indicates that mainly IL-6, IP-10 and MCAF changes are associated with FT3 serum levels, particularly in patients with coexistent hematological malignancies. Gene expression analysis using Nanostring identified four genes differently expressed involved in host immune response, namely CD38, CD79B, IFIT3 and NLRP3.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that low FT3 serum levels are associated with severe COVID-19. Our multi-omics approach suggests that T3 is involved in the immune response in COVID-19 and coexistent hematological malignancy and new possible T3 target genes in these patients have been identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-021-02805-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8016508PMC
April 2021

Circulating Vitamin D levels status and clinical prognostic indices in COVID-19 patients.

Respir Res 2021 Mar 3;22(1):76. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Respiratory Unit, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome, Via di grottarossa, 1035, Rome, Italy.

Background: Several immune mechanisms activate in COVID-19 pathogenesis. Usually, coronavirus infection is characterized by dysregulated host immune responses, interleukine-6 increase, hyper-activation of cytotoxic CD8 T lymphocytes. Interestingly, Vitamin D deficiency has been often associated with altered immune responses and infections. In the present study, we evaluated Vitamin D plasma levels in patients affected with different lung involvement during COVID-19 infection.

Methods: Lymphocyte phenotypes were assessed by flow cytometry. Thoracic CT scan involvement was obtained by an image analysis program.

Results: Vitamin D levels were deficient in (80%) of patients, insufficient in (6.5%) and normal in (13.5%). Patients with very low Vitamin D plasma levels had more elevated D-Dimer values, a more elevated B lymphocyte cell count, a reduction of CD8 + T lymphocytes with a low CD4/CD8 ratio, more compromised clinical findings (measured by LIPI and SOFA scores) and thoracic CT scan involvement.

Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency is associated with compromised inflammatory responses and higher pulmonary involvement in COVID-19 affected patients. Vitamin D assessment, during COVID-19 infection, could be a useful analysis for possible therapeutic interventions.

Trial Registration: 'retrospectively registered'.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12931-021-01666-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7928197PMC
March 2021

Evaluation of twelve formulas for LDL-C estimation in a large, blinded, random Italian population.

Int J Cardiol 2021 May 11;330:221-227. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Background And Aims: Low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) is the major determinant of cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden. Being the direct assays time consuming, expensive, not fully standardized and not worldwide available, indirect formulas represent the most used laboratory estimation of LDL-C. In this study we analyzed the accuracy of twelve formulas for LDL-C estimation in an Italian population of 114,774 individuals.

Methods: All lipid samples were analyzed using direct homogeneous assay. The population was divided into various subgroups based on triglycerides and directly dosed LDL-C (D-LDL) levels. Twelve formulas (Friedewald, DeLong, Hata, Hattori, Puavillai, Anandaraja, Ahmadi, Chen, Vujovic, de Cordova, Martin, and Sampson) were compared in terms of their mean absolute deviations and the correlation and concordance of their estimated LDL-C with the respective D-LDL values.

Results: LCL-C measured by Friedewald formula and direct assay differed by more than 9 mg/dL. For D-LDL>115 mg/dl, we observed a concordance rate of only 55% between Friedewald and the respective D-LDL values. For TG<250 mg/dl, the proportion of reclassification between the different formulas and D-LDL was 14.1% with Vujovic, 14.4% Sampson, 15.9% DeLong, 16.5% Puavilai, 19.9% Martin, 21.9% Friedewald, 23.5% Chen, 29% Anandaraja, 31.1% Ahmadi, 31.5% Hata, 33.2% Hattori, and 44.4% with De Cordova formula.

Conclusions: Our study compared for the first time 12 different LDL-C formulas on a Southern European population of more than 100,000 people. 'Several formulas showed better accuracy compared to Friedewald. Sampson, Martin and Vujovic resulted the most accurate formulas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2021.02.009DOI Listing
May 2021

Full-Length TrkB Variant in NSCLC Is Associated with Brain Metastasis.

Biomed Res Int 2020 17;2020:4193541. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Rome, Italy.

Despite remarkable therapeutic advances have been made in the last few decades, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is still one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Brain metastases are a common complication of a wide range of human malignancies and in particular NSCLC. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), binding its high-affinity tyrosine kinase B receptor, has been shown to promote cancer progression and metastasis. We hereby investigated the expression of the BDNF and its TrkB receptor in its full-length and truncated isoform T1, in samples from primary adenocarcinomas (ADKs) of the lung and in their metastasis to evaluate if their expression was related to preferential tumor entry into the central nervous system (CNS). By immunohistochemistry, 80% of the ADKs that metastasize to central nervous system expressed TrkB receptor compared to 33% expressing of ADKs without CNS metastasis. Moreover, ADKs with CNS metastasis showed an elevated expression of the full-length TrkB receptor. The TrkB receptor FL/T1 ratio was statistically higher in primary ADKs with brain metastasis compared to ADKs without brain metastasis. Our data indicate that TrkB full-length isoform expression in primary ADK cells may be associated with higher risk to develop brain metastasis. Therefore, TrkB receptor may possess prognostic and therapeutic implications in lung ADK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/4193541DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7688363PMC
November 2020

No Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 Circulation in Rome (Italy) during the Pre-Pandemic Period: Results of a Retrospective Surveillance.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 11 16;17(22). Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Sant'Andrea Hospital, University La Sapienza, via di Grottarossa 1035-1039, 00189 Rome, Italy.

In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 outbreak recorded over the previous months could be characterized as a pandemic. The first known Italian SARS-CoV-2 positive case was reported on 21 February. In some countries, cases of suspected "COVID-19-like pneumonia" had been reported earlier than those officially accepted by health authorities. This has led many investigators to check preserved biological or environmental samples to see whether the virus was detectable on dates prior to those officially stated. With regard to Italy, the results of a microbiological screening in sewage samples collected between the end of February and the beginning of April 2020 from wastewaters in Milan (Northern Italy) and Rome (Central Italy) showed presence of SARS-CoV-2. In the present study, we evaluated, by means of a standardized diagnostic method, the SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence amongst patients affected by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARI) in an academic hospital located in Central Italy during the period of 1 November 2019-1 March 2020. Overall, the number of emergency room (ER) visits during the investigated period was 13,843. Of these, 1208 had an influenza-like syndrome, but only 166 matched the definition of SARI as stated in the study protocol. A total of 52 SARI cases were laboratory confirmed as influenza: 26 as a type B virus, 25 as a type A, and 1 as both viruses. Although about 17% of the total sample had laboratory or radiological data compatible with COVID-19, all the nasopharyngeal swabs stored underwent SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and tested negative. Based on our result, it is confirmed that the COVID-19 pandemic spread did not start prior to the "official" onset in central Italy. Routine monitoring of SARI causative agents at the local level is critical for reporting epidemiologic and etiologic trends that may differ from one country to another and also among different influenza seasons. This has a practical impact on prevention and control strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228461DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7696939PMC
November 2020

Cancer Stem Cells and the Slow Cycling Phenotype: How to Cut the Gordian Knot Driving Resistance to Therapy in Melanoma.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Nov 13;12(11). Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Scientific Directorate, IRCSS Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, 00144 Rome, Italy.

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have historically been defined as slow cycling elements that are able to differentiate into mature cells but without dedifferentiation in the opposite direction. Thanks to advances in genomic and non-genomic technologies, the CSC theory has more recently been reconsidered in a dynamic manner according to a "phenotype switching" plastic model. Transcriptional reprogramming rewires this plasticity and enables heterogeneous tumors to influence cancer progression and to adapt themselves to drug exposure by selecting a subpopulation of slow cycling cells, similar in nature to the originally defined CSCs. This model has been conceptualized for malignant melanoma tailored to explain resistance to target therapies. Here, we conducted a bioinformatics analysis of available data directed to the identification of the molecular pathways sustaining slow cycling melanoma stem cells. Using this approach, we identified a signature of 25 genes that were assigned to four major clusters, namely 1) kinases and metabolic changes, 2) melanoma-associated proteins, 3) Hippo pathway and 4) slow cycling/CSCs factors. Furthermore, we show how a protein-protein interaction network may be the main driver of these melanoma cell subpopulations. Finally, mining The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data we evaluated the expression levels of this signature in the four melanoma mutational subtypes. The concomitant alteration of these genes correlates with the worst overall survival (OS) for melanoma patients harboring BRAF-mutations. All together these results underscore the potentiality to target this signature to selectively kill CSCs and to achieve disease control in melanoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113368DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7696527PMC
November 2020

IL-10, IL-13, Eotaxin and IL-10/IL-6 ratio distinguish breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma from all types of benign late seromas.

Cancer Immunol Immunother 2021 May 4;70(5):1379-1392. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Albert School of Medicine, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

Breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BI-ALCL) is an uncommon peripheral T cell lymphoma usually presenting as a delayed peri-implant effusion. Chronic inflammation elicited by the implant has been implicated in its pathogenesis. Infection or implant rupture may also be responsible for late seromas. Cytomorphological examination coupled with CD30 immunostaining and eventual T-cell clonality assessment are essential for BI-ALCL diagnosis. However, some benign effusions may also contain an oligo/monoclonal expansion of CD30 + cells that can make the diagnosis challenging. Since cytokines are key mediators of inflammation, we applied a multiplexed immuno-based assay to BI-ALCL seromas and to different types of reactive seromas to look for a potential diagnostic BI-ALCL-associated cytokine profile. We found that BI-ALCL is characterized by a Th2-type cytokine milieu associated with significant high levels of IL-10, IL-13 and Eotaxin which discriminate BI-ALCL from all types of reactive seroma. Moreover, we found a cutoff of IL10/IL-6 ratio of 0.104 is associated with specificity of 100% and sensitivity of 83% in recognizing BI-ALCL effusions. This study identifies promising biomarkers for initial screening of late seromas that can facilitate early diagnosis of BI-ALCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00262-020-02778-3DOI Listing
May 2021

Assessing Static Lung Hyperinflation by Whole-Body Plethysmography, Helium Dilution, and Impulse Oscillometry System (IOS) in Patients with COPD.

Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis 2020 21;15:2583-2589. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Purpose: Lung hyperinflation is a feature of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and can determine pivotal consequence on symptoms, exercise tolerance and quality of life. Despite the relevance of assessing lung hyperinflation, there is still no single consensus as to what volume should be taken into account. We investigate which spirometric measurement is more reliable in assessing static lung hyperinflation and which is more related with impulse oscillometry system (IOS) measurements in COPD.

Patients And Methods: Fifty-five COPD patients were enrolled. TLC, RV and RV:TLC ratio were obtained both with helium and plethysmography techniques. IOS measurements (X5, Fres and R5-R20) were performed. Pearson and Spearman correlation determined the relationships between the functional parameters that evaluate static hyperinflation (RV: TLC, TLC, RV) and IOS measurements.

Results: As expected, we reported a statistically significant difference between these two techniques in terms of mean percentage values of TLC (7.57 ± 3.26 L; p= 0.02) and RV (15.24 ± 7.51 L; p=0.04), while RV:TLC measured with the two methods was similar (5.21 ± 4.69%; p=0.27). The correlation analysis showed that IOS parameters, such as difference in resistance between 5 Hz and 20 Hz (R(5-20)) and resonant frequency (Fres), were positively correlated with RV:TLC ratio, while reactance at 5 Hz (X(5)) was negatively correlated with it. In particular, we pointed out a weak correlation between RV:TLC (%) (Pleth) and R(5-20) (r=0.3, p=0.04), Fres (r=0.3; p=0.03), while X5 had a mild correlation with RV:TLC (%) (r=-0.5;p<0.0001). Moreover, we noticed a strong relationship between RV:TLC (%)(He) and X5 (r=-0.7; p=0.0001) and a mild correlation between RV:TLC (%) (He) and Fres (r=0.4; p=0.003). Between R5-R20 and RV:TLC, there was a weak correlation (r=0.3; p=0.001). No correlation between TLC, RV (L,%) (both helium and Pleth derived) and IOS parameters (R(5-20), X5, Fres) was found.

Conclusion: RV:TLC can represent the most reliable parameter in the assessment of hyperinflation, considering the absence of significant difference in its measurement between the two techniques. IOS provides supplementary information in the assessment of static hyperinflation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S264261DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7585810PMC
October 2020

Synergistic antitumor interaction of valproic acid and simvastatin sensitizes prostate cancer to docetaxel by targeting CSCs compartment via YAP inhibition.

J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2020 Oct 8;39(1):213. Epub 2020 Oct 8.

Experimental Pharmacology Unit-Laboratory of Naples and Mercogliano (AV), Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori "Fondazione G. Pascale" - IRCCS, Via M. Semmola, 80131, Naples, Italy.

Background: Despite the introduction of several novel therapeutic approaches that improved survival, metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) remains an incurable disease. Herein we report the synergistic antitumor interaction between two well-known drugs used for years in clinical practice, the antiepileptic agent with histone deacetylase inhibitory activity valproic acid and the cholesterol lowering agent simvastatin, in mCRPC models.

Methods: Synergistic anti-tumor effect was assessed on PC3, 22Rv1, DU145, DU145R80, LNCaP prostate cancer cell lines and EPN normal prostate epithelial cells, by calculating combination index (CI), caspase 3/7 activation and colony formation assays as well as on tumor spheroids and microtissues scored with luminescence 3D-cell viability assay. Cancer stem cells (CSC) compartment was studied evaluating specific markers by RT-PCR, western blotting and flow cytometry as well as by limiting dilution assay. Cholesterol content was evaluated by H-NMR. Overexpression of wild-type YAP and constitutively active YAP5SA were obtained by lipofectamine-based transfection and evaluated by immunofluorescence, western blotting and RT-PCR. 22Rv1 R_39 docetaxel resistant cells were selected by stepwise exposure to increasing drug concentrations. In vivo experiments were performed on xenograft models of DU145R80, 22Rv1 parental and docetaxel resistant cells, in athymic mice.

Results: We demonstrated the capacity of the combined approach to target CSC compartment by a novel molecular mechanism based on the inhibition of YAP oncogene via concurrent modulation of mevalonate pathway and AMPK. Because both CSCs and YAP activation have been associated with chemo-resistance, we tested if the combined approach can potentiate docetaxel, a standard of care in mCRCP treatment. Indeed, we demonstrated, both in vitro and in vivo models, the ability of valproic acid/simvastatin combination to sensitize mCRPC cells to docetaxel and to revert docetaxel-resistance, by mevalonate pathway/YAP axis modulation.

Conclusion: Overall, mCRPC progression and therapeutic resistance driven by CSCs via YAP, can be tackled by the combined repurposing of two generic and safe drugs, an approach that warrants further clinical development in this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13046-020-01723-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7545949PMC
October 2020

Drug tolerance to target therapy in melanoma revealed at single cell level: What next?

Biochim Biophys Acta Rev Cancer 2020 12 29;1874(2):188440. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Scientific Directorate, IRCSS Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, 00128 Rome, Italy.

Drug resistance strongly impairs the efficacy of virtually every kind of anticancer therapy. This phenomenon is commonly fueled by intrinsic or acquired mechanisms. In this mini-review, focusing on BRAF-mutated melanoma as prototypical example, we analyze how recent studies that make use of single cell analysis identify the involvement of distinct transcriptional trajectories as the common thread at the basis of drug tolerance. The identification of these transcriptional trajectories provide a mechanistic basis for the development of both intrinsic and acquired drug resistance. These studies also suggest that hitting these transcriptional trajectories through personalized adaptive treatments can delay or abrogate the onset of drug resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbcan.2020.188440DOI Listing
December 2020

Reverse transcriptase inhibition potentiates target therapy in BRAF-mutant melanomas: effects on cell proliferation, apoptosis, DNA-damage, ROS induction and mitochondrial membrane depolarization.

Cell Commun Signal 2020 09 15;18(1):150. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

IRCCS, Istituto Nazionale Tumori "Regina Elena", Via Elio Chianesi 53, 00144, Rome, Italy.

Target therapies based on BRAF and MEK inhibitors (MAPKi) have changed the therapeutic landscape for metastatic melanoma patients bearing mutations in the BRAF kinase. However, the emergence of drug resistance imposes the necessity to conceive novel therapeutic strategies capable to achieve a more durable disease control. In the last years, retrotransposons laying in human genome have been shown to undergo activation during tumorigenesis, where they contribute to genomic instability. Their activation can be efficiently controlled with reverse transcriptase inhibitors (RTIs) frequently used in the treatment of AIDS. These drugs have demonstrated anti-proliferative effects in several cancer models, including also metastatic melanoma. However, to our knowledge no previous study investigated the capability of RTIs to mitigate drug resistance to target therapy in BRAF-mutant melanomas. In this short report we show that the non-nucleoside RTI, SPV122 in combination with MAPKi strongly inhibits BRAF-mutant melanoma cell growth, induces apoptosis, and delays the emergence of resistance to target therapy in vitro. Mechanistically, this combination strongly induces DNA double-strand breaks, mitochondrial membrane depolarization and increased ROS levels. Our results shed further light on the molecular activity of RTI in melanoma and pave the way to their use as a novel therapeutic option to improve the efficacy of target therapy. Video Abstract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12964-020-00633-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7493390PMC
September 2020

Detoxification of bilirubin and bile acids with intermittent coupled plasmafiltration and adsorption in liver failure (HERCOLE study).

J Nephrol 2021 02 24;34(1):77-88. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine (DIMES), Nephrology, Dialysis and Renal Transplantation Unit, S. Orsola Hospital, University of Bologna, Via G. Massarenti 9 (Pad. 15), 40138, Bologna, Italy.

Background: CPFA is an extracorporeal treatment used in severe sepsis to remove circulating proinflammatory cytokines. Limited evidence exists on the effectiveness of bilirubin adsorption by the hydrophobic styrenic resin, the distinctive part of CPFA. The aim of this study is to validate CPFA effectiveness in liver detoxification.

Methods: In this prospective observational study, we enrolled patients with acute or acute-on-chronic liver failure (serum total bilirubin > 20 mg/dL or MELD Score > 20) hospitalized from June 2013 to November 2017. CPFA was performed using the Lynda (Bellco/MedTronic, Mirandola, Italy) or the Amplya (Bellco/MedTronic, Mirandola, Italy) machines. Anticoagulation was provided with unfractionated heparin or citrate. Bilirubin and bile acids reduction ratios per session (RRs) were the main parameters for hepatic detoxification.

Results: Twelve patients with acute (n = 3) or acute-on-chronic (n = 9) liver failure were enrolled. Alcohol was the main cause of liver disease. Thirty-one CPFA treatments of 6 h each were performed, 19 with heparin and 12 with citrate. RRs was 28.8% (range 2.2-40.5) for total bilirubin, 32.7% (range 8.3-48.9) for direct bilirubin, 29.5% (range 6.5-65.4) for indirect bilirubin and 28.9% (16.7- 59.7) for bile acids. One patient received liver transplantation and 8/9 were alive at 1 year of follow-up. Three patients (25%) died: 2 during hospitalization and 1 for a cardiac event at 4 months of follow up with restored liver function.

Conclusions: CPFA resulted to be effective in liver detoxification. Thus, it may be considered as a "bridge technique" both to the liver transplant and to the recovery of the basal liver function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40620-020-00799-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7881965PMC
February 2021

The emerging role of cancer cell plasticity and cell-cycle quiescence in immune escape.

Cell Death Dis 2020 06 18;11(6):471. Epub 2020 Jun 18.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-020-2669-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7303167PMC
June 2020

Drug repurposing against COVID-19: focus on anticancer agents.

J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2020 May 12;39(1):86. Epub 2020 May 12.

Cellular Networks and Molecular Therapeutic Targets, Proteomics Unit, IRCCS - Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, Rome, Italy.

Background: The very limited time allowed to face the COVID-19 pandemic poses a pressing challenge to find proper therapeutic approaches. However, synthesis and full investigation from preclinical studies to phase III trials of new medications is a time-consuming procedure, and not viable in a global emergency, such as the one we are facing.

Main Body: Drug repurposing/repositioning, a strategy effectively employed in cancer treatment, can represent a valid alternative. Most drugs considered for repurposing/repositioning in the therapy of the COVID-19 outbreak are commercially available and their dosage and toxicity in humans is well known, due to years (or even decades) of clinical use. This can allow their fast-track evaluation in phase II-III clinical trials, or even within straightforward compassionate use. Several drugs being re-considered for COVID-19 therapy are or have been used in cancer therapy. Indeed, virus-infected cells are pushed to enhance the synthesis of nucleic acids, protein and lipid synthesis and boost their energy metabolism, in order to comply to the "viral program". Indeed, the same features are seen in cancer cells, making it likely that drugs interfering with specific cancer cell pathways may be effective as well in defeating viral replication.

Short Conclusion: To our knowledge, cancer drugs potentially suitable for facing SARS-CoV-2 infection have not been carefully reviewed. We present here a comprehensive analysis of available information on potential candidate cancer drugs that can be repurposed for the treatment of COIVD-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13046-020-01590-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7214852PMC
May 2020

In Vitro Biophysical and Biological Characterization of Lipid Nanoparticles Co-Encapsulating Oncosuppressors miR-199b-5p and miR-204-5p as Potentiators of Target Therapy in Metastatic Melanoma.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Mar 12;21(6). Epub 2020 Mar 12.

IRCCS, Istituto Nazionale Tumori "Regina Elena", Via Elio Chianesi 53, 00144 Rome, Italy.

Uncontrolled MAPK signaling is the main oncogenic driver in metastatic melanomas bearing mutations in BRAF kinase. These tumors are currently treated with the combination of BRAF/MEK inhibitors (MAPKi), but this therapy is plagued by drug resistance. In this context we recently discovered that several microRNAs are involved in the development of drug resistance. In particular miR-204-5p and miR-199b-5p were found to function as antagonists of resistance because their enforced overexpression is able to inhibit melanoma cell growth in vitro either alone or in combination with MAPKi. However, the use of miRNAs in therapy is hampered by their rapid degradation in serum and biological fluids, as well as by the poor intracellular uptake. Here, we developed lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) encapsulating miR-204-5p, miR-199b-5p individually or in combination. We obtained LNPs with mean diameters < 200 nm and high miRNA encapsulation efficiency. These formulations were tested in vitro on several melanoma cell lines sensitive to MAPKi or rendered drug resistant. Our results show that LNPs encapsulating combinations of the two oncosuppressor miRNAs are highly efficient in impairing melanoma cell proliferation and viability, affect key signaling pathways involved in melanoma cell survival, and potentiate the efficacy of drugs inhibiting BRAF and MEK. These results warrant further assessment of the anti-tumor efficacy of oncosuppressor miRNAs encapsulating LNPs in in vivo tumor models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21061930DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7139872PMC
March 2020

Multiplexed therapeutic drug monitoring of antipsychotics in dried plasma spots by LC-MS/MS.

J Sep Sci 2020 Apr 17;43(8):1440-1449. Epub 2020 Mar 17.

LUM Metropolitan Laboratory, AUSL Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

In this work, a convenient method for the therapeutic monitoring of seven common antipsychotic drugs in "dried plasma spot" samples has been developed. It is based on the liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry technique, operating in multiple reaction monitoring mode, and a straightforward procedure for the simultaneous extraction of all antipsychotics in a single step, with high extraction yield. The method was fully validated with proper accuracy, precision, selectivity and sensitivity, for all the drugs. Limits of quantification were 0.12, 1.09, 1.46, 1.47, 5.70, 1.32, 1.33 µg/L for haloperidol, aripiprazole, olanzapine, quetiapine, clozapine, risperidone, and paliperidone, respectively. Accuracy, intra- and interday precision values were <10% for all drugs at all concentration levels examined. The method was tested in the analysis of 30 plasma samples from real patients for each drug. The proposed analytical approach, by combining practical and logistical advantages of microsampling with liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry analytical performance, could offer an ideal strategy for accurate and timely therapeutic drug monitoring of antipsychotic drugs in most clinical settings, even in remote centers and/or in out-patient settings, bringing so many potential improvements in psychiatric patient care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jssc.201901200DOI Listing
April 2020

microRNA-378a-5p iS a novel positive regulator of melanoma progression.

Oncogenesis 2020 Feb 14;9(2):22. Epub 2020 Feb 14.

Preclinical Models and New Therapeutic Agents Unit, IRCCS Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, Rome, Italy.

Evaluating the expression levels of miR-378a-5p both in a large melanoma patient cohort from The Cancer Genome Atlas database and in melanoma patients from our Institute, we found that miR-378a-5p is upregulated in metastatic melanoma specimens. miR-378a-5p expression was also increased in melanoma cells resistant to target therapy, and decreased in response to drug treatment. We also demonstrated that overexpression of miR-378a-5p enhances in vitro cell invasion and migration, and facilitates the ability of melanoma cells to form de novo vasculogenic structures. While performing downstream targeting studies, we confirmed the ability of miR-378a-5p to modulate the expression of known target genes, such as SUFU, FUS-1, and KLF9. Luciferase-3'UTR experiments also identified STAMBP and HOXD10 as new miR-378a-5p target genes. MMP2 and uPAR, two HOXD10 target genes, were positively regulated by miR-378a-5p. Genetic and pharmacologic approaches inhibiting uPAR expression and activity evidenced that the in vitro tumor-promoting functions of miR-378a-5p, were in part mediated by uPAR. Of note miR-378a-5p was also able to increase VEGF, as well as in vitro and in vivo angiogenesis. Finally, genetic and pharmacologic modulation of Bcl-2 evidenced Bcl-2 ability to regulate miR-378a-5p expression. In conclusion, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating that miR-378a-5p acts as an oncogenic microRNA in melanoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41389-020-0203-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7021836PMC
February 2020

Protective role of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) patients.

PLoS One 2020 17;15(1):e0227834. Epub 2020 Jan 17.

Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Division of Respiratory Diseases, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a common disorder characterized by repeated episodes of upper airways collapse during the sleep. The following intermittent hypoxia triggers a state of chronic inflammation, which also interests the nervous system leading to neuronal damage and increased risk of cognitive impairment. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a growth factor often associated with neuroplasticity and neuroprotection whose levels increase in several condition associated with neuronal damage. However, whether patients affected by OSAS have altered BDNF levels and whether such alteration may be reflective of their cognitive impairment is still controversial. Here we show that, when compared to healthy control volunteers, OSAS patients have increased serum levels of BDNF. Moreover, OSAS patients with the higher levels of BDNF also have reduced neurocognitive impairment as measured by The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) questionnaire. Treatment with standard non-invasive mechanical ventilation (CPAP) also was able to ameliorate the level of cognitive impairment. Altogether our results indicate that BDNF levels represent a neuroprotective response to intermittent hypoxia in OSAS patients.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0227834PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6968866PMC
April 2020

MiR-200c sensitizes Olaparib-resistant ovarian cancer cells by targeting Neuropilin 1.

J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2020 Jan 2;39(1). Epub 2020 Jan 2.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena 324, 00161, Rome, Italy.

Background: Ovarian cancer (OC) is the most lethal gynecological malignancy and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women. Treatment with PARP inhibitors (PARPi), such as Olaparib, has been recently introduced for OC patients, but resistance may occur and underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. The aim of this study is to identify target genes within the tumor cells that might cause resistance to Olaparib. We focused on Neuropilin 1 (NRP1), a transmembrane receptor expressed in OC and correlated with poor survival, which has been also proposed as a key molecule in OC multidrug resistance.

Methods: Using three OC cell lines (UWB, UWB-BRCA and SKOV3) as model systems, we evaluated the biological and molecular effects of Olaparib on OC cell growth, cell cycle, DNA damage and apoptosis/autophagy induction, through MTT and colony forming assays, flow cytometry, immunofluorescence and Western blot analyses. We evaluated NRP1 expression in OC specimens and cell lines by Western blot and qRT-PCR, and used RNA interference to selectively inhibit NRP1. To identify miR-200c as a regulator of NRP1, we used miRNA target prediction algorithms and Pearsons' correlation analysis in biopsies from OC patients. Then, we used a stable transfection approach to overexpress miR-200c in Olaparib-resistant cells.

Results: We observed that NRP1 is expressed at high levels in resistant cells (SKOV3) and is upmodulated in partially sensitive cells (UWB-BRCA) upon prolonged Olaparib treatment, leading to poor drug response. Our results show that the selective inhibition of NRP1 is able to overcome Olaparib resistance in SKOV3 cells. Moreover, we demonstrated that miR-200c can target NRP1 in OC cells, causing its downmodulation, and that miR-200c overexpression is a valid approach to restore Olaparib sensitivity in OC resistant cells.

Conclusions: These data demonstrate that miR-200c significantly enhanced the anti-cancer efficacy of Olaparib in drug-resistant OC cells. Thus, the combination of Olaparib with miRNA-based therapy may represent a promising treatment for drug resistant OC, and our data may help in designing novel precision medicine trials for optimizing the clinical use of PARPi.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13046-019-1490-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6939329PMC
January 2020

B4GALT1 Is a New Candidate to Maintain the Stemness of Lung Cancer Stem Cells.

J Clin Med 2019 Nov 9;8(11). Epub 2019 Nov 9.

Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Sant'Andrea Hospital, "Sapienza" University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Background: According to the cancer stem cells (CSCs) hypothesis, a population of cancer cells with stem cell properties is responsible for tumor propagation, drug resistance, and disease recurrence. Study of the mechanisms responsible for lung CSCs propagation is expected to provide better understanding of cancer biology and new opportunities for therapy.

Methods: The Lung Adenocarcinoma (LUAD) NCI-H460 cell line was grown either as 2D or as 3D cultures. Transcriptomic and genome-wide chromatin accessibility studies of 2D vs. 3D cultures were carried out using RNA-sequencing and Assay for Transposase Accessible Chromatin with high-throughput sequencing (ATAC-seq), respectively. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was also carried out on RNA extracted from primary cultures derived from malignant pleural effusions to validate RNA-seq results.

Results: RNA-seq and ATAC-seq data disentangled transcriptional and genome accessibility variability of 3D vs. 2D cultures in NCI-H460 cells. The examination of genomic landscape of genes upregulated in 3D vs. 2D cultures led to the identification of 2D cultures led to the identification of Beta-1,4-galactosyltranferase 1 (B4GALT1) as the top candidate. B4GALT1 as the top candidate. B4GALT1 was validated as a stemness factor, since its silencing caused strong inhibition of 3D spheroid formation.

Conclusion: Combined transcriptomic and chromatin accessibility study of 3D vs. 2D LUAD cultures led to the identification of B4GALT1 as a new factor involved in the propagation and maintenance of LUAD CSCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm8111928DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6912435PMC
November 2019

Single cell analysis to dissect molecular heterogeneity and disease evolution in metastatic melanoma.

Cell Death Dis 2019 10 31;10(11):827. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

IRCCS, Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, Rome, Italy.

Originally described as interpatient variability, tumour heterogeneity has now been demonstrated to occur intrapatiently, within the same lesion, or in different lesions of the same patient. Tumour heterogeneity involves both genetic and epigenetic changes. Intrapatient heterogeneity is responsible for generating subpopulations of cancer cells which undergo clonal evolution with time. Tumour heterogeneity develops also as a consequence of the selective pressure imposed by the immune system. It has been demonstrated that tumour heterogeneity and different spatiotemporal interactions between all the cellular compontents within the tumour microenvironment lead to cancer adaptation and to therapeutic pressure. In this context, the recent advent of single cell analysis approaches which are able to better study tumour heterogeneity from the genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic standpoint represent a major technological breakthrough. In this review, using metastatic melanoma as a prototypical example, we will focus on applying single cell analyses to the study of clonal trajectories which guide the evolution of drug resistance to targeted therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-019-2048-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6823362PMC
October 2019

ErbB3 Phosphorylation as Central Event in Adaptive Resistance to Targeted Therapy in Metastatic Melanoma: Early Detection in CTCs during Therapy and Insights into Regulation by Autocrine Neuregulin.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 Sep 25;11(10). Epub 2019 Sep 25.

Scientific Directorate, IRCCS Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, 00144 Rome, Italy.

In recent years the introduction of target therapies with BRAF and MEK inhibitors (MAPKi) and of immunotherapy with anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies have dramatically improved survival of metastatic melanoma patients. Despite these changes drug resistance remains a major hurdle. Several mechanisms are at the basis of drug resistance. Particular attention has been devoted over the last years to unravel mechanisms at the basis of adaptive/non genetic resistance occurring in BRAF mutated melanomas upon treatment with to MAPKi. In this paper we focus on the involvement of activation of ErbB3 receptor following early exposure of melanoma cells to BRAF or MEK inhibitors, and the following induction of PI3K/AKT pathway. Although different mechanisms have been invoked in the past at the basis of this activation we show here with a combination of approaches that autocrine production of neuregulin by melanoma cells is a major factor responsible for ErbB3 phosphorylation and downstream AKT activation. Interestingly the kinetic of neuregulin production and of the ensuing ErbB3 phosphorylation is different in different melanoma cell lines which underscores the high degree of tumor heterogeneity. Moreover, heterogeneity is further highlighted by the evidence that in different cell lines neuregulin upregulation can occur at the transcriptional or at the post-transcritpional level. Finally we complement our study by showing with a liquid biopsy assay that circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from melanoma patients undergo upregulation of ErbB3 phosphorylation in vivo shortly after initiation of therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101425DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6826737PMC
September 2019

Serum or plasma? An old question looking for new answers.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2020 01;58(2):178-187

Dipartimento di Medicina di Laboratorio e Anatomia Patologica Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria e USL di Modena, Modena, Italy.

Serum or plasma? An old question looking for new answers. There is a continual debate on what type of sample a clinical laboratory should use. While serum is still considered the gold standard and remains the required sample for some assays, laboratories must consider turn-around time, which is an important metric for laboratory performance and, more importantly, plays a critical role in patient care. In addition, a body of evidence emphasise the choice of plasma in order to prevent modifications of some analytes due to the coagulation process and related interferences. Advantages and disadvantages of serum and plasma are discussed on the basis of current literature and evidence. In addition, data are provided on the current utilisation of the samples (serum or plasma) in Italy and in other countries. Finally, a rationale for a possible switch from serum to plasma is provided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2019-0719DOI Listing
January 2020

CytoMatrix for a reliable and simple characterization of lung cancer stem cells from malignant pleural effusions.

J Cell Physiol 2020 03 9;235(3):1877-1887. Epub 2019 Aug 9.

Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a subpopulation with the properties of extensive self-renewal, capability to generate differentiated cancer cells and resistance to therapies. We have previously shown that malignant pleural effusions (MPEs) from patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) represent a valuable source of cancer cells that can be grown as three-dimensional (3D) spheroids enriched for stem-like features, which depend on the activation of the Yes-associated protein-transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif (YAP-TAZ)/Wnt-βcatenin/stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1) axis. Here, we describe a novel support, called CytoMatrix, for the characterization of limited amounts of cancer cells isolated from MPEs of patients with NSCLC. Our results show that this synthetic matrix allows an easy and fast characterization of several epithelial cellular markers. The use of CytoMatrix to study CSCs subpopulation confirms that SCD1 protein expression is enhanced in 3D spheroids when compared with 2D adherent cell cultures. YAP/TAZ nuclear-cytoplasmic distribution analysed by CytoMatrix in 3D spheroids is highly heterogeneous and faithfully reproduces what is observed in tumour biopsies. Our results confirm and extend the robustness of our workflow for the isolation and phenotypic characterization of primary cancer cells derived from the lung MPEs and underscore the role of SCD1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.29121DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6916247PMC
March 2020

Identification and Targeting of Stem Cell-Activated Pathways in Cancer Therapy.

Stem Cells Int 2019 4;2019:8549020. Epub 2019 Jun 4.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2019/8549020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6589219PMC
June 2019

Comparative serum bactericidal activity of meropenem-based combination regimens against extended-spectrum beta-lactamase and KPC-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 2019 Oct 6;38(10):1925-1931. Epub 2019 Jul 6.

Department of Medical Sciences and Surgery, Operative Unit of Infectious Diseases, S.Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital, Bologna, Italy.

Combination therapies are frequently used in the treatment of multidrug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae infection without consensus regarding which combination is the most effective. We compared bactericidal titres from sera collected from critically ill patients receiving meropenem plus tigecycline (n = 5), meropenem plus colistin (n = 5), or meropenem, colistin and tigecycline (n = 5) against K. pneumoniae isolates that included ESBL-producing (n = 7) and KPC-producing strains (n = 14) with varying sensitivity patterns to colistin and tigecycline. Meropenem concentrations (C) were measured in all samples by LC-MS/MS, and indexed to respective pathogen MICs to explore differences in patterns of bactericidal activity for two versus three drug combination regimens. All combination regimens achieved higher SBTs against ESBL (median reciprocal titre 128, IQR 32-256) versus KPC (4, IQR 2-32) strains. Sera from patients treated with meropenem-colistin yielded higher median SBTs (256, IQR 64-512) than either meropenem-tigecycline (32, IQR 8-256; P < 0.001). The addition of tigecycline was associated with a lower probability of achieving a reciprocal SBT above 8 when meropenem concentrations were below the MIC (P = 0.04). Although the clinical significance is unknown, sera from patients receiving tigecycline-based combination regimens produce lower serum bactericidal titres against ESBL or KPC-producing K. pneumoniae. SBTs may represent a useful complimentary endpoint for comparing pharmacodynamics of combinations regimens for MDR Enterobacteriaceae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10096-019-03628-6DOI Listing
October 2019

Frailty assessment in older adults undergoing interventions for peripheral arterial disease.

J Vasc Surg 2019 11 18;70(5):1594-1602.e1. Epub 2019 May 18.

Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, Lady Davis Institute-Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Division of Cardiology, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Objective: Frailty is a multidimensional syndrome that influences postoperative morbidity and mortality after vascular procedures; however, its integration in clinical practice has been limited, given the lack of consensus on how to measure it. This study sought to compare the incremental predictive value of six different nonphysical performance frailty scales to predict poor outcomes after interventions for peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

Methods: This preplanned analysis of the FRailty Assessment In Lower Extremity arterial Disease (FRAILED) prospective cohort included two centers recruiting patients between July 1, 2015, and October 1, 2016. Individuals who underwent vascular interventions for Rutherford class 3 or higher PAD were enrolled. The following scales were compared: Edmonton Frail Scale, Groningen Frailty Indicator (GFI), modified Essential Frailty Toolset (mEFT), modified Frailty Index, Multidimensional Prognostic Index, and the Risk Analysis Index-C. The primary end point was a composite of all-cause mortality and major disability at 12 months after the procedure. The secondary end point was length of stay. Logistic regression was used to determine the association of frailty with the primary end point after adjusting for confounders. To compare the incremental predictive value of each frailty scale, model performance statistics were calculated.

Results: The cohort was composed of 148 patients with a mean age of 70 years. Depending on the scale used, the prevalence of frailty ranged from 16% to 70%. Frailty as measured by the GFI (adjusted odds ratio, 1.76; 95% confidence interval, 1.14-2.72) and mEFT (adjusted odds ratio, 2.71; 95% confidence interval, 1.29-5.73) predicted mortality and worsening disability at 12 months after interventions for PAD. Furthermore, there was statistically significant C-statistic, Bayesian information criterion, and integrated discrimination improvement when the GFI and mEFT were added to the baseline model. Frailty was not associated with length of stay.

Conclusions: Frailty is associated with mortality and worsening disability after interventions for PAD. The GFI and mEFT performed well and identified vulnerable older adults who are at risk of poor outcomes after interventions for PAD and recommended for use in this setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2018.12.052DOI Listing
November 2019

If You Cannot Measure Frailty, You Cannot Improve It.

JACC Heart Fail 2019 04 6;7(4):303-305. Epub 2019 Feb 6.

Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jchf.2018.12.015DOI Listing
April 2019

c-Src Recruitment is Involved in c-MET-Mediated Malignant Behaviour of NT2D1 Non-Seminoma Cells.

Int J Mol Sci 2019 Jan 14;20(2). Epub 2019 Jan 14.

Department of Anatomy, Histology, Forensic-Medicine and Orthopedics, "Sapienza" University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy.

c-MET pathway over-activation is the signature of malignancy acquisition or chemotherapy resistance of many cancers. We recently demonstrated that type II Testicular Germ Cell Tumours (TGCTs) express c-MET receptor. In particular, we elucidated that the non-seminoma lesions express c-MET protein at higher level, compared with the seminoma ones. In line with this observation, NTERA-2 clone D1 (NT2D1) non-seminoma cells increase their proliferation, migration and invasion in response to Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF). One of the well-known adaptor-proteins belonging to c-MET signaling cascade is c-Src. Activation of c-Src is related to the increase of aggressiveness of many cancers. For this reason, we focused on the role of c-Src in c-MET-triggered and HGF-dependent NT2D1 cell activities. In the present paper, we have elucidated that this adaptor-protein is involved in HGF-dependent NT2D1 cell proliferation, migration and invasion, since Src inhibitor-1 administration abrogates these responses. Despite these biological evidences western blot analyses have not revealed the increase of c-Src activation because of HGF administration. However, notably, immunofluorescence analyses revealed that cytoplasmic and membrane-associated localization of c-Src shifted to the nuclear compartment after HGF stimulation. These results shed new light in the modality of HGF-dependent c-Src recruitment, and put the basis for novel investigations on the relationship between c-Src, and TGCT aggressiveness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms20020320DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6358843PMC
January 2019