Publications by authors named "Silvano Bosari"

144 Publications

Extensive Placental Methylation Profiling in Normal Pregnancies.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Feb 21;22(4). Epub 2021 Feb 21.

Research Laboratories Coordination Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy.

The placental methylation pattern is crucial for the regulation of genes involved in trophoblast invasion and placental development, both key events for fetal growth. We investigated LINE-1 methylation and methylome profiling using a methylation EPIC array and the targeted methylation sequencing of 154 normal, full-term pregnancies, stratified by birth weight percentiles. LINE-1 methylation showed evidence of a more pronounced hypomethylation in small neonates compared with normal and large for gestational age. Genome-wide methylation, performed in two subsets of pregnancies, showed very similar methylation profiles among cord blood samples while placentae from different pregnancies appeared very variable. A unique methylation profile emerged in each placenta, which could represent the sum of adjustments that the placenta made during the pregnancy to preserve the epigenetic homeostasis of the fetus. Investigations into the 1000 most variable sites between cord blood and the placenta showed that promoters and gene bodies that are hypermethylated in the placenta are associated with blood-specific functions, whereas those that are hypomethylated belong mainly to pathways involved in cancer. These features support the functional analogies between a placenta and cancer. Our results, which provide a comprehensive analysis of DNA methylation profiling in the human placenta, suggest that its peculiar dynamicity can be relevant for understanding placental plasticity in response to the environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22042136DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7924820PMC
February 2021

International Comparisons of Harmonized Laboratory Value Trajectories to Predict Severe COVID-19: Leveraging the 4CE Collaborative Across 342 Hospitals and 6 Countries: A Retrospective Cohort Study.

medRxiv 2021 Feb 5. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

BIOMERIS (BIOMedical Research Informatics Solutions).

Objectives: To perform an international comparison of the trajectory of laboratory values among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who develop severe disease and identify optimal timing of laboratory value collection to predict severity across hospitals and regions.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: The Consortium for Clinical Characterization of COVID-19 by EHR (4CE), an international multi-site data-sharing collaborative of 342 hospitals in the US and in Europe.

Participants: Patients hospitalized with COVID-19, admitted before or after PCR-confirmed result for SARS-CoV-2. Primary and secondary outcome measures: Patients were categorized as ″ever-severe″ or ″never-severe″ using the validated 4CE severity criteria. Eighteen laboratory tests associated with poor COVID-19-related outcomes were evaluated for predictive accuracy by area under the curve (AUC), compared between the severity categories. Subgroup analysis was performed to validate a subset of laboratory values as predictive of severity against a published algorithm. A subset of laboratory values (CRP, albumin, LDH, neutrophil count, D-dimer, and procalcitonin) was compared between North American and European sites for severity prediction.

Results: Of 36,447 patients with COVID-19, 19,953 (43.7%) were categorized as ever-severe. Most patients (78.7%) were 50 years of age or older and male (60.5%). Longitudinal trajectories of CRP, albumin, LDH, neutrophil count, D-dimer, and procalcitonin showed association with disease severity. Significant differences of laboratory values at admission were found between the two groups. With the exception of D-dimer, predictive discrimination of laboratory values did not improve after admission. Sub-group analysis using age, D-dimer, CRP, and lymphocyte count as predictive of severity at admission showed similar discrimination to a published algorithm (AUC=0.88 and 0.91, respectively). Both models deteriorated in predictive accuracy as the disease progressed. On average, no difference in severity prediction was found between North American and European sites.

Conclusions: Laboratory test values at admission can be used to predict severity in patients with COVID-19. Prediction models show consistency across international sites highlighting the potential generalizability of these models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.12.16.20247684DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7872369PMC
February 2021

SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence trends in healthy blood donors during the COVID-19 outbreak in Milan.

Blood Transfus 2021 05 3;19(3):181-189. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Department of Transfusion Medicine and Haematology, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

Background: The Milan metropolitan area in Northern Italy was among the most severely hit by the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. The aim of this study was to examine the seroprevalence trends of SARS-CoV-2 in healthy asymptomatic adults, and the risk factors and laboratory correlates of positive tests.

Materials And Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study in a random sample of blood donors, who were asymptomatic at the time of evaluation, at the beginning of the first phase (February 24 to April 8 2020; n=789). Presence of IgM/IgG antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2-Nucleocapsid protein was assessed by a lateral flow immunoassay.

Results: The test had a 100/98.3 sensitivity/specificity (n=32/120 positive/negative controls, respectively), and the IgG test was validated in a subset by an independent ELISA against the Spike protein (n=34, p<0.001). At the start of the outbreak, the overall adjusted seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was 2.7% (95% CI: 0.3-6%; p<0.0001 vs 120 historical controls). During the study period, characterised by a gradual implementation of social distancing measures, there was a progressive increase in the adjusted seroprevalence to 5.2% (95% CI: 2.4-9.0; 4.5%, 95% CI: 0.9-9.2% according to a Bayesian estimate) due to a rise in IgG reactivity to 5% (95% CI: 2.8-8.2; p=0.004 for trend), but there was no increase in IgM (p=not significant). At multivariate logistic regression analysis, IgG reactivity was more frequent in younger individuals (p=0.043), while IgM reactivity was more frequent in individuals aged >45 years (p=0.002).

Discussion: SARS-CoV-2 infection was already circulating in Milan at the start of the outbreak. The pattern of IgM/IgG reactivity was influenced by age: IgM was more frequently detected in participants aged >45 years. By the end of April, 2.4-9.0% of healthy adults had evidence of seroconversion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2450/2021.0324-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8092034PMC
May 2021

International electronic health record-derived COVID-19 clinical course profiles: the 4CE consortium.

NPJ Digit Med 2020 19;3:109. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Biomedical Informatics Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC USA.

We leveraged the largely untapped resource of electronic health record data to address critical clinical and epidemiological questions about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). To do this, we formed an international consortium (4CE) of 96 hospitals across five countries (www.covidclinical.net). Contributors utilized the Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside (i2b2) or Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOP) platforms to map to a common data model. The group focused on temporal changes in key laboratory test values. Harmonized data were analyzed locally and converted to a shared aggregate form for rapid analysis and visualization of regional differences and global commonalities. Data covered 27,584 COVID-19 cases with 187,802 laboratory tests. Case counts and laboratory trajectories were concordant with existing literature. Laboratory tests at the time of diagnosis showed hospital-level differences equivalent to country-level variation across the consortium partners. Despite the limitations of decentralized data generation, we established a framework to capture the trajectory of COVID-19 disease in patients and their response to interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41746-020-00308-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7438496PMC
August 2020

Histological characterization of placenta in COVID19 pregnant women.

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2020 Sep 23;252:619-621. Epub 2020 Jun 23.

Division of Pathology, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy; Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2020.06.041DOI Listing
September 2020

Genomewide Association Study of Severe Covid-19 with Respiratory Failure.

N Engl J Med 2020 10 17;383(16):1522-1534. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

From the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Christian-Albrechts-University (D.E., F.D., J.K., S. May, M. Wendorff, L.W., F.U.-W., X.Y., A.T., A. Peschuck, C.G., G.H.-S., H.E.A., M.C.R., M.E.F.B., M. Schulzky, M. Wittig, N.B., S.J., T.W., W.A., M. D'Amato, A.F.), and University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel (N.B., A.F.), Kiel, the Institute for Cardiogenetics, University of Lübeck, Lübeck (J.E.), the German Research Center for Cardiovascular Research, partner site Hamburg-Lübeck-Kiel (J.E.), the University Heart Center Lübeck (J.E.), and the Institute of Transfusion Medicine, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein (S.G.), Lübeck, Stefan-Morsch-Stiftung, Birkenfeld (M. Schaefer, W.P.), and the Research Group for Evolutionary Immunogenomics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Plön (O.O., T.L.L.) - all in Germany; Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, Disease Systems Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen (D.E.); the Department of Liver and Gastrointestinal Diseases, Biodonostia Health Research Institute-Donostia University Hospital-University of the Basque Country (L.B., K.G.-E., L.I.-S., P.M.R., J.M.B.), Osakidetza Basque Health Service, Donostialdea Integrated Health Organization, Clinical Biochemistry Department (A.G.C., B.N.J.), and the Department of Liver and Gastrointestinal Diseases, Biodonostia Health Research Institute (M. D'Amato), San Sebastian, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red en Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas, Instituto de Salud Carlos III (L.B., M. Buti, A. Albillos, A. Palom, F.R.-F., B.M., L. Téllez, K.G.-E., L.I.-S., F.M., L.R., M.R.-B., M. Rodríguez-Gandía, P.M.R., M. Romero-Gómez, J.M.B.), the Departments of Gastroenterology (A. Albillos, B.M., L. Téllez, F.M., M. Rodríguez-Gandía), Intensive Care (R.P., A.B.O.), Respiratory Diseases (D.J., A.S., R.N.), Infectious Diseases (C.Q., E.N.), and Anesthesiology (D. Pestaña, N. Martínez), Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria, University of Alcalá, and Histocompatibilidad y Biologia Molecular, Centro de Transfusion de Madrid (F.G.S.), Madrid, the Liver Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Vall d'Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus (M. Buti, A. Palom, L.R., M.R.-B.), Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, and the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (J.F., F.A., E.S., J.F.-A., L.M., M.H.-T., P.C.), the European Foundation for the Study of Chronic Liver Failure (J.F.), Vall d'Hebron Institut de Recerca (A. Palom, F.R.-F., A.J., S. Marsal), and the Departments of Biochemistry (A.-E.G.-F., F.R.-F., A.C.-G., C.C., A.B.-G.), Intensive Care (R.F.), and Microbiology (T.P.), University Hospital Vall d'Hebron, the Immunohematology Department, Banc de Sang i Teixits, Autonomous University of Barcelona (E.M.-D.), Catalan Institute of Oncology, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute, Consortium for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health and University of Barcelona, l'Hospitalet (V. Moreno), and Autonoma University of Barcelona (T.P.), Barcelona, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellatera (M. Buti, F.R.-F., M.R.-B.), GenomesForLife-GCAT Lab Group, Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (A.C.N., I.G.-F., R.C.), and High Content Genomics and Bioinformatics Unit, Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (L. Sumoy), Badalona, Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez-Neyra, Granada (J.M., M.A.-H.), the Digestive Diseases Unit, Virgen del Rocio University Hospital, Institute of Biomedicine of Seville, University of Seville, Seville (M. Romero-Gómez), and Ikerbasque, Basque Foundation for Science, Bilbao (M. D'Amato, J.M.B.) - all in Spain; the Division of Gastroenterology, Center for Autoimmune Liver Diseases, Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milan Bicocca (P.I., C.M.), Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico (D. Prati, G.B., A.Z., A. Bandera, A.G., A.L.F., A. Pesenti, C.P., F.C., F.M.-B., F.P., F.B., G.G., G. Costantino, L. Terranova, L. Santoro, L. Scudeller, M. Carrabba, M. Baldini, M.M., N. Montano, R.G., S.P., S. Aliberti, V. Monzani, S. Bosari, L.V.), the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Humanitas University (R.A., A. Protti, A. Aghemo, A. Lleo, E.M.P., G. Cardamone, M. Cecconi, V.R., S.D.), Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, IRCCS (R.A., A. Protti, A. Aghemo, A. Lleo, A.V., C.A., E.M.P., H.K., I.M., M. Cecconi, M. Ciccarelli, M. Bocciolone, P.P., P.O., P.T., S. Badalamenti, S.D.), University of Milan (A.Z., A. Bandera, A.G., A.L.F., A. Pesenti, F.M.-B., F.P., F.B., G.G., G. Costantino, M.M., N. Montano, R.G., S.P., S. Aliberti, S. Bosari, L.V.), and the Center of Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, and Bioimaging (M.G.V.) and the Phase 1 Research Center (M. Cazzaniga), School of Medicine and Surgery, and the Departments of Emergency, Anesthesia, and Intensive Care (G.F.), Pneumologia (P.F.), and Infectious Diseases (P.B.); University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, the European Reference Network on Hepatological Diseases (P.I., C.M.) and the Infectious Diseases Unit (P.B.), San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, the Pediatric Departement and Centro Tettamanti-European Reference Network PaedCan, EuroBloodNet, MetabERN-University of Milano-Bicocca-Fondazione MBBM-Ospedale, San Gerardo (A. Biondi, L.R.B., M. D'Angiò), the Gastroenterology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, San Giovanni Rotondo (A. Latiano, O.P.), the Department of Medical Sciences, Università degli Studi di Torino, Turin (S. Aneli, G.M.), and the Italian Bone Marrow Donor Registry, E.O. Ospedali Galliera, Genoa (N.S.) - all in Italy; the Norwegian PSC Research Center, Department of Transplantation Medicine, Division of Surgery, Inflammatory Diseases, and Transplantation, and the Research Institute for Internal Medicine, Division of Surgery, Inflammatory Diseases, and Transplantation, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet and University of Oslo (M.M.G., J.R.H., T.F., T.H.K.), and the Section for Gastroenterology, Department of Transplantation Medicine, Division for Cancer Medicine, Surgery, and Transplantation, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet (J.R.H., T.F., T.H.K.), Oslo; the School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia (T.Z., M. D'Amato); Private University in the Principality of Liechtenstein (C.G.); the Institute of Biotechnology, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania (S.J.); and the Unit of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Medicine Solna, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm (M. D'Amato).

Background: There is considerable variation in disease behavior among patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Genomewide association analysis may allow for the identification of potential genetic factors involved in the development of Covid-19.

Methods: We conducted a genomewide association study involving 1980 patients with Covid-19 and severe disease (defined as respiratory failure) at seven hospitals in the Italian and Spanish epicenters of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Europe. After quality control and the exclusion of population outliers, 835 patients and 1255 control participants from Italy and 775 patients and 950 control participants from Spain were included in the final analysis. In total, we analyzed 8,582,968 single-nucleotide polymorphisms and conducted a meta-analysis of the two case-control panels.

Results: We detected cross-replicating associations with rs11385942 at locus 3p21.31 and with rs657152 at locus 9q34.2, which were significant at the genomewide level (P<5×10) in the meta-analysis of the two case-control panels (odds ratio, 1.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.48 to 2.11; P = 1.15×10; and odds ratio, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.20 to 1.47; P = 4.95×10, respectively). At locus 3p21.31, the association signal spanned the genes , , , , and . The association signal at locus 9q34.2 coincided with the blood group locus; in this cohort, a blood-group-specific analysis showed a higher risk in blood group A than in other blood groups (odds ratio, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.20 to 1.75; P = 1.48×10) and a protective effect in blood group O as compared with other blood groups (odds ratio, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.79; P = 1.06×10).

Conclusions: We identified a 3p21.31 gene cluster as a genetic susceptibility locus in patients with Covid-19 with respiratory failure and confirmed a potential involvement of the ABO blood-group system. (Funded by Stein Erik Hagen and others.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2020283DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7315890PMC
October 2020

Chemotherapy for breast cancer during pregnancy induces vascular alterations and impaired development of placental villi: A preliminary histopathological study.

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2020 Jul 29;250:155-161. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Division of Pathology, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda - Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

Objective: To evaluate histological alterations in placentas of women affected by breast cancer and treated with chemotherapy during pregnancy.

Study Design: We retrospectively reviewed histological slides of 23 placentas of patients affected by breast cancer and treated with chemotherapy during pregnancy and 23 control placentas of women without breast cancer and with physiological pregnancies of the same gestational age.

Results: All the patients had breast ductal infiltrating carcinoma, 19 of 23 cases had a G3 cancer. All patients were treated with 2-6 cycles of chemotherapy starting after 16 weeks of gestation, with different protocols. No hypertensive complications and no pre-eclampsia episodes were observed; birth weight was consistent with gestational age in all babies in both group with no uneventful outcomes and no perinatal mortality or fetal malformations. Twenty out of 23 cases (86 %) showed hypoxia-induced villous alterations, including increased syncytial knotting (Tenney-Parker changes), perivillar fibrin deposits, distal villous hypoplasia or accelerated maturation and focal villous chorangiosis. These alterations were found in 19 out of 23 controls (83 %), with no statistically significant difference between the two groups.

Conclusions: These results shows that chemotherapy in the second and third trimester of pregnancy may lead to non-specific alterations in placental vasculature and morphology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2020.04.012DOI Listing
July 2020

Deregulation of miRNAs-cMYC circuits is a key event in refractory celiac disease type-2 lymphomagenesis.

Clin Sci (Lond) 2020 05;134(10):1151-1166

Center for the Prevention and Diagnosis of Celiac Disease, Division of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

A percentage of celiac disease (CD) patients develop refractory type-2 disease (RCD2), a condition associated with increased risk of enteropathy-associated T-cell-lymphoma (EATL) and without therapeutic option. Therefore, we profiled the miRNome in series of peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs), CD, RCD1 or 2 and in the murine interleukin-15 (IL15)-transgenic (TG) model of RCD. The transcriptome was analyzed in 18 intestinal T-cell lymphomas (ITLs). Bioinformatics pipelines provided significant microRNA (miRNA) lists and predicted targets that were confirmed in a second set of patients. Our data show that ITLs have a unique miRNA profile with respect to other PTCLs. The c-MYC regulated miR-17/92 cluster distinguishes monomorphic epitheliotropic ITL (MEITL) from EATL and prognosticates EATL outcome. These miRNAs are decreased in IL15-TG mice upon Janus kinase (JAK) inhibition. The random forest algorithm identified a signature of 38 classifier miRNAs, among which, the miR-200 and miR-192/215 families were progressively lost in RCD2 and ITL-CD, whereas miR-17/92 and C19MC miRNAs were up-regulated. Accordingly, SMAD3, MDM2, c-Myc and activated-STAT3 were increased in RCD2 and EATL tissues while JAK inhibition in IL15-TG mice restored their levels to baseline. Our data suggest that miRNAs circuit supports activation of STAT3 and c-Myc oncogenic signaling in RCD2, thus contributing to lymphomagenesis. This novel understanding might pave the way to personalized medicine approaches for RCD and EATL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/CS20200032DOI Listing
May 2020

PTEN Expression as a Complementary Biomarker for Mismatch Repair Testing in Breast Cancer.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Feb 21;21(4). Epub 2020 Feb 21.

Division of Pathology, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy.

Mismatch repair (MMR) analysis in breast cancer may help to inform immunotherapy decisions but it lacks breast-specific guidelines. Unlike in other neoplasms, MMR protein loss shows intra-tumor heterogeneity and it is not mirrored by microsatellite instability in the breast. Additional biomarkers can improve MMR clinical testing. Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) inactivation is an early oncogenic event that is associated with MMR deficiency (dMMR) in several tumors. Here, we sought to characterize the diagnostic utility of PTEN expression analysis for MMR status assessment in breast cancer. A total of 608 breast cancers were profiled for their MMR and PTEN status. Proteins expression and distribution were analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) on tissue microarrays and confirmed on full sections; PTEN copy number alterations were detected using a real-time PCR assay. Overall, 78 (12.8%) cases were MMR-heterogeneous (hMMR), while all patterns of PTEN expression showed no intra-tumor heterogeneity. Wild-type PTEN expression was observed in 15 (18.5%) dMMR tumors ( < 0.0001). Survival analyses revealed significant correlations between MMR-proficient (pMMR), PTEN expression, and a better outcome. The positive predictive value of PTEN-retained status for pMMR ranged from 94.6% in estrogen receptor (ER)+/HER2- tumors to 100% in HER2-amplified and ER-/HER2- cases. We propose a novel diagnostic algorithm where PTEN expression analysis can be employed to identify pMMR breast cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21041461DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7073136PMC
February 2020

Mismatch Repair Protein Loss as a Prognostic and Predictive Biomarker in Breast Cancers Regardless of Microsatellite Instability.

JNCI Cancer Spectr 2018 Oct 13;2(4):pky056. Epub 2018 Dec 13.

Division of Pathology, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

Background: Breast cancers that harbor mismatch-repair (MMR) deficiency and/or microsatellite instability (MSI) might be sensitive to immune checkpoint blockade, but there are currently no specific guidelines for assessing MMR status in breast cancer. Here, we sought to define the clinical value of MMR immunohistochemistry (IHC) and MSI analysis in breast cancers.

Methods: We subjected 444 breast cancers to MMR IHC and MSI analysis. Cases were classified as MMR-proficient (pMMR), MMR-deficient (dMMR), and MMR-heterogeneous (hMMR) based on the loss of immunoreactivity; MSI was defined by instability in the five indicators recommended by the National Cancer Institute for endometrial and colorectal cancers. Correlation of MMR status with patients' survival was assessed using the Kaplan-Meier estimator. Statistical tests were two-sided.

Results: Loss of MMR proteins was homogeneous (dMMR) in 75 patients (17%) and heterogeneous (hMMR) in 55 (12%). Among luminal breast cancers, there were similar frequencies of dMMR and hMMR tumors. Overall, the rate of discrepancy between IHC and MSI analysis was high (91%). Women with Luminal B-like dMMR carcinomas (n = 44) showed shorter overall survival (median = 77 months, range = 0-115 months) than those with pMMR (n = 205) or hMMR (n = 35) tumors (median = 84 months, range = 0-127 months) ( = .008). On the contrary, patients with estrogen receptor-negative breast cancers treated with chemotherapy lived longer in cases of dMMR (n = 9) than pMMR (n = 33) or hMMR (n = 7) tumors, with 87 months of median survival (range = 73-123 months) for the former compared with 79 months (range = 8-113 months) for the latter two categories ( < .001).

Conclusions: Immunohistochemistry and MSI are not interchangeable tests in breast carcinomas. MMR protein loss is a more common event than MSI and shows intra-tumor heterogeneity. MMR IHC allows the identification of clinically relevant subclasses of breast cancer patients, provided that multiple areas of the tumor are analyzed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jncics/pky056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6649738PMC
October 2018

p65BTK is a novel potential actionable target in KRAS-mutated/EGFR-wild type lung adenocarcinoma.

J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2019 Jun 14;38(1):260. Epub 2019 Jun 14.

Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy.

Background: Lung cancer is still the main cause of cancer death worldwide despite the availability of targeted therapies and immune-checkpoint inhibitors combined with chemotherapy. Cancer cell heterogeneity and primary or acquired resistance mechanisms cause the elusive behaviour of this cancer and new biomarkers and active drugs are urgently needed to overcome these limitations. p65BTK, a novel isoform of the Bruton Tyrosine Kinase may represent a new actionable target in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Methods: p65BTK expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 382 NSCLC patients with complete clinico-pathological records including smoking habit, ALK and EGFR status, and in metastatic lymph nodes of 30 NSCLC patients. NSCLC cell lines mutated for p53 and/or a component of the RAS/MAPK pathway and primary lung cancer-derived cells from Kras/Trp53 null mice were used as a preclinical model. The effects of p65BTK inhibition by BTK Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs) (Ibrutinib, AVL-292, RN486) and first-generation EGFR-TKIs (Gefitinib, Erlotinib) on cell viability were evaluated by MTT. The effects of BTK-TKIs on cell growth and clonogenicity were assessed by crystal violet and colony assays, respectively. Cell toxicity assays were performed to study the effect of the combination of non-toxic concentrations of BTK-TKIs with EGFR-TKIs and standard-of-care (SOC) chemotherapy (Cisplatin, Gemcitabine, Pemetrexed).

Results: p65BTK was significantly over-expressed in EGFR-wild type (wt) adenocarcinomas (AdC) from non-smoker patients and its expression was also preserved at the metastatic site. p65BTK was also over-expressed in cell lines mutated for KRAS or for a component of the RAS/MAPK pathway and in tumors from Kras/Trp53 null mice. BTK-TKIs were more effective than EGFR-TKIs in decreasing cancer cell viability and significantly impaired cell proliferation and clonogenicity. Moreover, non-toxic doses of BTK-TKIs re-sensitized drug-resistant NSCLC cell lines to both target- and SOC therapy, independently from EGFR/KRAS status.

Conclusions: p65BTK results as an emerging actionable target in non-smoking EGFR-wt AdC, also at advanced stages of disease. Notably, these patients are not eligible for EGFR-TKIs-based therapy due to a lack of EGFR mutation. The combination of BTK-TKIs with EGFR-TKIs is cytotoxic for EGFR-wt/KRAS-mutant/p53-null tumors and BTK-TKIs re-sensitizes drug-resistant NSCLC to SOC chemotherapy. Therefore, our data suggest that adding BTK-TKIs to SOC chemotherapy and EGFR-targeted therapy may open new avenues for clinical trials in currently untreatable NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13046-019-1199-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6570906PMC
June 2019

Specific V-ATPase expression sub-classifies IDHwt lower-grade gliomas and impacts glioma growth in vivo.

EBioMedicine 2019 Mar 5;41:214-224. Epub 2019 Feb 5.

Division of Pathology, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy; Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy; Fondazione Istituto Nazionale Genetica Molecolare 'Romeo ed Enrica Invernizzi', Milan, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: Cancer cells use specific V-ATPase subunits to activate oncogenic pathways. Therefore, we investigated V-ATPase deregulation in aggressive gliomas and associated signaling.

Methods: V-ATPase genes expression and associated pathways were analyzed in different series of glioma available from public databases, as well as in patients' cohort. Activation of pathways was analyzed at gene and protein expression levels. A genetic model of glioma in Drosophila melanogaster and mice with GBM patients-derived orthotopic xenografts were used as in vivo models of disease.

Findings: GBM and recurrent gliomas display a specific V-ATPase signature. Such signature resolves the heterogeneous class of IDH-wild type lower-grade gliomas, identifying the patients with worse prognosis independently from clinical and molecular features (p = 0·03, by Cox proportional-hazards model). In vivo, V-ATPase subunits deregulation significantly impacts tumor growth and proliferation. At the molecular level, GBM-like V-ATPase expression correlates with upregulation of Homeobox genes.

Interpretation: Our data identify a V-ATPase signature that accompanies glioma aggressiveness and suggest new entry points for glioma stratification and follow-up. FUND: This work was supported by Fondazione Cariplo (2014-1148 to VV), Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, and Fondazione INGM Grant in Molecular Medicine 2014 (to VV).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.01.052DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6441867PMC
March 2019

Impact of different stages of intrauterine inflammation on outcome of preterm neonates: Gestational age-dependent and -independent effect.

PLoS One 2019 8;14(2):e0211484. Epub 2019 Feb 8.

NICU Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

Objective: To investigate the impact of different stages of intrauterine inflammation (IUI) on neonatal outcomes, before and after adjusting for gestational age (GA) and other perinatal confounders.

Methods: This was an observational, prospective, single-center cohort study including all eligible neonates with GA < 35 weeks and/or birth weight ≤ 1500 g born at a 3rd level Neonatal Intensive Care Unit between 2011 and 2014. Pathological patterns of placenta, membranes and cord were classified according to Redline's criteria. Multivariable linear and logistic regression models were applied, either including or not GA among the covariates.

Results: Of the 807 enrolled neonates, 134 (16.6%) had signs of IUI: among these, 54.5% showed just histological chorioamnionitis (HCA), 25.4% had HCA + funisitis (FUN) stage 1, and 20.1% had HCA + FUN stage 2-3. At univariate analysis, HCA increased the risk for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and bronchopulmonary dysplasia, while FUN (any stage) had a deleterious impact on all outcomes investigated. After adjustment for covariates not including GA, HCA was a risk factor only for ROP (OR = 2.8, CI: 1-7.8), while FUN (any stage) was still associated with increased ORs for all outcomes (p <0.01). Upon inclusion of GA in the regression model, the results differed remarkably. HCA was associated with lower risk for mechanical ventilation (OR = 0.3, CI: 0.1-0.7) and need for surfactant (OR = 0.5, CI: 0.2-0.9), while FUN (any stage) worsened clinical conditions at birth (p <0.05), increased the risk for early-onset sepsis (p <0.01), and increased the length of mechanical ventilation (FUN stage 2-3 only, RC = 6.5 days, CI: 2-11). No other outcome was affected.

Conclusions: IUI, especially FUN, negatively impact most neonatal morbidities, but its effect is partially reverted adjusting for GA. Considered that GA is an intermediate variable interposed between prenatal causes of prematurity and outcomes, the appropriateness of adjusting for GA may be questionable.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0211484PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6368287PMC
December 2019

Inhibition of de novo lipogenesis targets androgen receptor signaling in castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019 01 21;116(2):631-640. Epub 2018 Dec 21.

Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455.

A hallmark of prostate cancer progression is dysregulation of lipid metabolism via overexpression of fatty acid synthase (FASN), a key enzyme in de novo fatty acid synthesis. Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) develops resistance to inhibitors of androgen receptor (AR) signaling through a variety of mechanisms, including the emergence of the constitutively active AR variant V7 (AR-V7). Here, we developed an FASN inhibitor (IPI-9119) and demonstrated that selective FASN inhibition antagonizes CRPC growth through metabolic reprogramming and results in reduced protein expression and transcriptional activity of both full-length AR (AR-FL) and AR-V7. Activation of the reticulum endoplasmic stress response resulting in reduced protein synthesis was involved in IPI-9119-mediated inhibition of the AR pathway. In vivo, IPI-9119 reduced growth of AR-V7-driven CRPC xenografts and human mCRPC-derived organoids and enhanced the efficacy of enzalutamide in CRPC cells. In human mCRPC, both FASN and AR-FL were detected in 87% of metastases. AR-V7 was found in 39% of bone metastases and consistently coexpressed with FASN. In patients treated with enzalutamide and/or abiraterone FASN/AR-V7 double-positive metastases were found in 77% of cases. These findings provide a compelling rationale for the use of FASN inhibitors in mCRPCs, including those overexpressing AR-V7.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1808834116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6329966PMC
January 2019

Therapeutic faecal microbiota transplantation controls intestinal inflammation through IL10 secretion by immune cells.

Nat Commun 2018 12 5;9(1):5184. Epub 2018 Dec 5.

Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology IRCCS, via Adamello 16, Milan, 20139, Italy.

Alteration of the gut microbiota has been associated with different gastrointestinal disorders. Normobiosis restoration by faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is considered a promising therapeutic approach, even if the mechanisms underlying its efficacy are at present largely unknown. Here we sought to elucidate the functional effects of therapeutic FMT administration during experimental colitis on innate and adaptive immune responses in the intestinal mucosa. We show that therapeutic FMT reduces colonic inflammation and initiates the restoration of intestinal homeostasis through the simultaneous activation of different immune-mediated pathways, ultimately leading to IL-10 production by innate and adaptive immune cells, including CD4 T cells, iNKT cells and Antigen Presenting Cells (APC), and reduces the ability of dendritic cells, monocytes and macrophages to present MHCII-dependent bacterial antigens to colonic T cells. These results demonstrate the capability of FMT to therapeutically control intestinal experimental colitis and poses FMT as a valuable therapeutic option in immune-related pathologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-07359-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6281577PMC
December 2018

Pathologic Grading of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: An Evidence-Based Proposal.

J Thorac Oncol 2018 11 7;13(11):1750-1761. Epub 2018 Jul 7.

Division of Thoracic Surgery, Foundation for Research and Treatment - IRCCS Ca' Granda Major Hospital Polyclinic, Milan and Department of Health Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

Introduction: A pathologic grading system (PGS) for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is warranted to better identify different risk categories of patients, plan therapeutic options, and activate clinical trials.

Methods: A series of 940 patients with MPM (328 in a training set and 612 in a validation set) that was diagnosed between October 1980 and June 2015 at the participant institutions was retrospectively assembled. A PGS was constructed by attributing to each histologic parameter, independent at multivariate analysis with excellent reproducibility (κ > 0.75), different scores based on the increase in corresponding hazard ratios. The relevant PGS score thus ranged from 0 to 8 points for individual patients with MPM.

Conclusions: The PGS was constructed by taking into consideration the histological subtyping of MPM (epithelioid/biphasic = 0 points; sarcomatoid = 2 points), necrosis (absent = 0 points versus present = 1 point), mitotic count per 1 mm (cutoffs as follows: 1-2 = 0 points, 3-5 = 1 point, 6-9 = 2 points, or ≥10 = 4 points), and Ki-67 labeling index based on 2000 cells (<30% = 0 points versus ≥30 = 1 point), all of which are independent factors in both patient sets after adjustment for stage and age at diagnosis. No heterogeneity was seen across the validation centers (p = 0.19). Epithelioid/biphasic MPM patterning and biopsy versus resection did not affect survival, whereas the PGS outperformed mitotic count and Ki-67 LI in both the training (area under the curve receiver operating characteristic = 0.76) and validation sets (area under the curve receiver operating characteristic = 0.73) (p < 0.01). Patient survival progressively deteriorated from a score of 0 (median times of 26.3 and 26.9 months) to a score 1 to 3 (median times of 12.8 and 14.4 months) and a score of 4 to 8 (median times of 3.7 and 7.7 months) in both sets of patients, with the hazard ratio for a 1-point increase in score being 1.46 (95% confidence interval: 1.36-1.56) in the training set and 1.28 (95% confidence interval: 1.22-1.34) in the validation set (after adjustment for age and [when available] tumor stage). The PGS was effective even in subgroup analysis (epithelioid, biphasic, and sarcomatoid tumors).

Discussion: A simple and reproducible multiparametric PGS effectively predicted survival in patients with MPM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2018.07.002DOI Listing
November 2018

Author Correction: MYC-driven epigenetic reprogramming favors the onset of tumorigenesis by inducing a stem cell-like state.

Nat Commun 2018 09 20;9(1):3921. Epub 2018 Sep 20.

Laboratory of Chromatin Biology & Epigenetics, Center for Integrative Biology (CIBIO), University of Trento, 38123, Trento, Italy.

The original version of this Article contained an error in the spelling of the author Miriam Gaggianesi, which was incorrectly given as Miriam Giaggianesi. Furthermore, the affiliation details for Gabriella Gaudioso, Valentina Vaira, and Silvano Bosari incorrectly omitted 'Division of Pathology, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, 20122, Italy'. Finally, the affiliation details for Alice Turdo, Miriam Gaggianesi, Aurora Chinnici and Elisa Lipari were incorrectly given as 'Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Mediche e Medicina Legale Sezione di Biochimica Medica, Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, Policlinico "P.Giaccone", Università di Palermo, Palermo, 90127, Italy'. The correct affiliation is 'Department of Surgical, Oncological and Stomatological Sciences, University of Palermo, Palermo, 90127, Italy'. These errors have now been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the Article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-06480-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6147780PMC
September 2018

OATPB1/B3 and MRP3 expression in hepatocellular adenoma predicts Gd-EOB-DTPA uptake and correlates with risk of malignancy.

Liver Int 2019 01 8;39(1):158-167. Epub 2018 Oct 8.

Service of Clinical Pathology, Institute of Pathology, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Background And Aims: Hepatobiliary phase (HBP) Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has increased the accuracy in differentiating focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) and hepatocellular adenoma (HCA). However, the ability of this technique to distinguish HCA subtypes remains controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of hepatocyte transporters (OATPB1/B3, MRP2, MRP3) in HCA subtypes, hence to understand their MRI signal intensity on HBP Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI.

Methods: By means of immunohistochemistry (IHC), we scored the expression of OATPB1/B3, MRP2 and MRP3, in resected specimens of FNH (n = 40), subtyped HCA (n = 58) and HCA with focal malignant transformation (HCA-HCC, n = 4). Results were validated on a supplementary set of FNH (n = 6), subtyped HCA (n = 17) and HCA-HCC (n = 1) with Gd-EOB-DTPA MR images.

Results: All FNH showed a preserved expression of hepatocytes transporters. Beta-catenin-activated HCA (at highest risk of malignant transformation) and HCA-HCC were characterized by preserved/increased OATPB1/B3 expression (predictor of hyperintensity on HBP), as opposed to other HCA subtypes (P < 0.01) that mostly showed OATPB1/B3 absence (predictor of hypointensity on HBP). HCA-HCC showed an additional MRP3 overexpressed profile (P < 0.01). On HBP Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI, FNH and HCA signal intensity reflected the profile predicted by their specific OATPB1/B3 tissue expression. The hyperintense vs hypointense HBP signal criterion was able to distinguish all higher risk HCA and HCA-HCC (100% accuracy).

Conclusions: OATPB1/B3 and MRP3 IHC and signal intensity on HBP Gd-EOB-DTPA-enhanced MRI can help to stratify HCA according to their risk of malignant transformation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/liv.13964DOI Listing
January 2019

Expression of C19MC miRNAs in HCC associates with stem-cell features and the cancer-testis genes signature.

Dig Liver Dis 2018 Jun 30;50(6):583-593. Epub 2018 Mar 30.

Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; Divisions of Pathology, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: Intratumor heterogeneity of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and, among HCC cell subsets, the cancer stem cell population (hCSC), is responsible for therapeutic resistance and disease relapse.

Aims: To characterize hCSC-enriched HCCs at the molecular level.

Methods: Side population (SP) was used to identify the hCSCs in multiple tumor sampling from different patients and primary HCCs cultures. FACS was used to immunoprofile cultures. miRNAs were profiled in samples and correlated to SP. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) HCC dataset was analyzed to search for signatures associated with C19MC miRNAs expression. Results were confirmed by immunohistochemistry.

Results: The miRNA cluster on chromosome 19 (C19MC) was enriched in SP and in HCCs with a high SP fraction. At the molecular level, an elevated C19MC was correlated with expression of precursor transcripts. In TCGA-HCC series, high C19MC expression identified a subset of patients with poorer prognosis, advanced disease and overexpression of the cancer-testis (CT) antigens. These data were confirmed in an independent cohort of HCCs and at the protein level.

Conclusion: C19MC miRNAs and CT antigens overexpression represents a novel oncogenic pathway in a subset of hCSC-enriched HCCs with dismal prognosis. CT antigens are promising immunotherapy targets. Therefore, these molecular signatures could identify HCCs who could benefit from immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dld.2018.03.026DOI Listing
June 2018

MYC-driven epigenetic reprogramming favors the onset of tumorigenesis by inducing a stem cell-like state.

Nat Commun 2018 03 9;9(1):1024. Epub 2018 Mar 9.

Laboratory of Chromatin Biology & Epigenetics, Center for Integrative Biology (CIBIO), University of Trento, 38123, Trento, Italy.

Breast cancer consists of highly heterogeneous tumors, whose cell of origin and driver oncogenes are difficult to be uniquely defined. Here we report that MYC acts as tumor reprogramming factor in mammary epithelial cells by inducing an alternative epigenetic program, which triggers loss of cell identity and activation of oncogenic pathways. Overexpression of MYC induces transcriptional repression of lineage-specifying transcription factors, causing decommissioning of luminal-specific enhancers. MYC-driven dedifferentiation supports the onset of a stem cell-like state by inducing the activation of de novo enhancers, which drive the transcriptional activation of oncogenic pathways. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the MYC-driven epigenetic reprogramming favors the formation and maintenance of tumor-initiating cells endowed with metastatic capacity. This study supports the notion that MYC-driven tumor initiation relies on cell reprogramming, which is mediated by the activation of MYC-dependent oncogenic enhancers, thus establishing a therapeutic rational for treating basal-like breast cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03264-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5844884PMC
March 2018

Short-term Oral Antibiotics Treatment Promotes Inflammatory Activation of Colonic Invariant Natural Killer T and Conventional CD4 T Cells.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2018 7;5:21. Epub 2018 Feb 7.

Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.

The gut mucosa is continuously exposed to a vast community of microorganisms, collectively defined as microbiota, establishing a mutualistic relationship with the host and contributing to shape the immune system. Gut microbiota is acquired at birth, and its composition is relatively stable during the entire adult life. Intestinal dysbiosis, defined as a microbial imbalance of gut bacterial communities, can be caused by several factors, including bacterial infections and antibiotic use, and has been associated with an increased risk to develop or exacerbate immune-mediated pathologies, such as allergic reactions, asthma, and inflammatory bowel diseases. Still, the mechanisms by which antibiotic-induced gut dysbiosis may lead to development of mucosal inflammation are still matter of debate. To this end, we aimed to evaluate the impact of antibiotic treatment on phenotype and functions of intestinal immune cell populations, including invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells, a subset of lipid-specific T cells profoundly influenced by alterations on the commensal microbiota. To this aim, a cocktail of broad-spectrum antibiotics was administered for 2 weeks to otherwise healthy mice before re-colonization of the intestinal microbial community with oral gavage of eubiotic or dysbiotic mucosa-associated bacteria and luminal colonic content, followed or not by intestinal inflammation induction. Here. we showed that short-term antibiotic treatment alters frequency and functions of intestinal iNKT cells, even in the absence of intestinal inflammation. The presence of a dysbiotic microbiota after antibiotic treatment imprints colonic iNKT and CD4 T cells toward a pro-inflammatory phenotype that collectively contributes to aggravate intestinal inflammation. Nonetheless, the inflammatory potential of the dysbiotic microbiota decreases over time opening the possibility to temporally intervene on the microbial composition to re-equilibrate dysbiosis, thus controlling concomitantly mucosal immune T cell activations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2018.00021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5808298PMC
February 2018

Molecular profiling of lung cancer specimens and liquid biopsies using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry.

Diagn Pathol 2018 Jan 12;13(1). Epub 2018 Jan 12.

Department of Pathophysiology & Transplantation, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Francesco Sforza, 35 -20122, Milan, Italy.

Background: Identification of predictive molecular alterations in lung adenocarcinoma is essential for accurate therapeutic decisions. Although several molecular approaches are available, a number of issues, including tumor heterogeneity, frequent material scarcity, and the large number of loci to be investigated, must be taken into account in selecting the most appropriate technique. MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry (MS), which allows multiplexed genotyping, has been adopted in routine diagnostics as a sensitive, reliable, fast, and cost-effective method. Our aim was to test the reliability of this approach in detecting targetable mutations in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In addition, we also analyzed low-quality samples, such as cytologic specimens, that often, are the unique source of starting material in lung cancer cases, to test the sensitivity of the system.

Methods: We designed a MS-based assay for testing 158 mutations in the EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, ALK, PIK3CA, ERBB2, DDR2, AKT, and MEK1 genes and applied it to 92 NSCLC specimens and 13 liquid biopsies from another subset of NSCLC patients. We also tested the sensitivity of the method to distinguish low represented mutations using serial dilutions of mutated DNA.

Results: Our panel is able to detect the most common NSCLC mutations and the frequency of the mutations observed in our cohort was comparable to literature data. The assay identifies mutated alleles at frequencies of 2.5-10%. In addition, we found that the amount of DNA template was irrelevant to efficiently uncover mutated alleles present at high frequency. However, when using less than 10 ng of DNA, the assay can detect mutations present in at least 10% of the alleles. Finally, using MS and a commercial kit for RT-PCR we tested liquid biopsy from 13 patients with identified mutations in cancers and detected the mutations in 4 (MS) and in 5 samples (RT-PCR).

Conclusions: MS is a powerful method for the routine predictive tests of lung cancer also using low quality and scant tissues. Finally, after appropriate validation and improvement, MS could represent a promising and cost-effective strategy for monitoring the presence and percentage of the mutations also in non-invasive sampling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13000-017-0683-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6389067PMC
January 2018

A novel tool for predicting extracapsular extension during graded partial nerve sparing in radical prostatectomy.

BJU Int 2018 03 22;121(3):373-382. Epub 2017 Oct 22.

Department of Urology, Ospedale Policlinico e Nuovo Ospedale Civile S. Agostino Estense Modena, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Objectives: To create a statistical tool for the estimation of extracapsular extension (ECE) level of prostate cancer and determine the nerve-sparing (NS) approach that can be safely performed during radical prostatectomy (RP).

Patients And Methods: A total of 11 794 lobes, from 6 360 patients who underwent robot-assisted RP between 2008 and 2016 were evaluated. Clinicopathological features were included in a statistical algorithm for the prediction of the maximum ECE width. Five multivariable logistic models were estimated for: presence of ECE and ECE width of >1, >2, >3, and >4 mm. A five-zone decision rule based on a lower and upper threshold is proposed. Using a graphical interface, surgeons can view patient's pre-treatment characteristics and a curve showing the estimated probabilities for ECE amount together with the areas identified by the decision rule.

Results: Of the 6 360 patients, 1 803 (28.4%) were affected by non-organ-confined disease. ECE was present in 1 351 lobes (11.4%) and extended beyond the capsule for >1, >2, >3, and >4 mm in 498 (4.2%), 261 (2.2%), 148 (1.3%), 99 (0.8%) cases, respectively. ECE width was up to 15 mm (interquartile range 1.00-2.00). The five logistic models showed good predictive performance, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was: 0.81 for ECE, and 0.84, 0.85, 0.88, and 0.90 for ECE width of >1, >2, >3, and >4 mm, respectively.

Conclusion: This novel tool predicts with good accuracy the presence and amount of ECE. Furthermore, the graphical interface available at www.prece.it can support surgeons in patient counselling and preoperative planning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.14026DOI Listing
March 2018

Mass spectrometry-based assay for the molecular diagnosis of glioma: concomitant detection of chromosome 1p/19q codeletion, and , , and mutation status.

Oncotarget 2017 Aug 8;8(34):57134-57148. Epub 2017 Jul 8.

Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.

The World Health Organization recently revised the diagnosis of glioma, to integrate molecular parameters, including IDH mutations and codeletion (loss of heterozygosity; LOH) of chromosome arms 1p/19q, into the definitions of adult glioma histological subtypes. Mutations in the promoter may also be useful for glioma diagnosis and prognosis. The integration of molecular markers into routine diagnosis requires their rapid and reliable assessment. We propose a MassARRAY (MS)-based test that can identify 1p/19q codeletion using quantitative SNP genotyping and, simultaneously, characterize hotspot mutations in the , , and genes in tumor DNA. We determined the reliability of the MS approach testing 50 gliomas and comparing the MS results with those obtained by standard methods, such as short tandem repeat genotyping, array comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) and Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) for 1p/19q codeletion and Sanger sequencing for hotspots mutations. The results indicate that MS is suitable for the accurate, rapid, and cost-effective evaluation of chromosome deletions combined with hotspot mutation detection. This MS approach could be similarly exploited in evaluation of LOH in other situations of clinical and/or research importance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19103DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5593631PMC
August 2017

Extended versus standard pelvic lymphadenectomy during robot-assisted radical prostatectomy: the role of extended template as an independent predictor of lymph node invasion with comparable morbidity burden.

Minerva Urol Nefrol 2017 Oct 10;69(5):475-485. Epub 2017 Mar 10.

Department of Urology, University of Milan, IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico Foundation, Milan, Italy.

Background: To assess oncologic and surgical outcomes in patients subjected to standard (S) versus extended (E) pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND) during robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP).

Methods: From February 2009 to December 2015 a total of 184 consecutive patients underwent RARP and either standard or extended PLND for localized prostate cancer (PCa). Descriptive statistics compared clinical and pathological variables between groups. Logistic regression identified potential predictors of lymph node invasion (LNI).

Results: No significant preoperative differences were found between the EPLND and SPLND groups. No difference in complication rates was observed between groups. No group differences were found for intraoperative blood loss, hospitalization times, positive surgical margins, biochemical recurrence, sexual dysfunction or need for adjuvant therapy. A higher median range of LN yield was found for the EPLND compared to SPLND cohort (22.5 vs. 12.8; P<0.001). Of the 36 patients who had positive LNs at the final pathology, 22 were in the EPLND group and 14 in the SPLND group (P<0.01). PSA, clinical stage and both number of nodes removed and EPLND were significant univariable predictors for LNI. In the multivariable model, PSA, clinical stage and number of removed nodes were independent predictors of LNI. EPLND was an independent predictor of LNI after accounting for PSA, clinical stage and Gleason Score stage.

Conclusions: EPLND during RARP is safe and effective. It results in more removed nodes and a higher LN positivity rate compared to SPLND, predicting LNI without increasing complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0393-2249.17.02838-7DOI Listing
October 2017

Recurrent NAB2-STAT6 gene fusions and oestrogen receptor-α expression in pulmonary adenofibromas.

Histopathology 2017 May 24;70(6):906-917. Epub 2017 Feb 24.

Division of Pathology, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

Aims: Pulmonary adenofibromas are rare benign fibroepithelial tumours of the lung with unknown histogenesis and an indolent clinical behaviour. Their stroma resembles that of solitary fibrous tumours, whereas the glands are composed of respiratory epithelium organized in a phyllodes-like architecture. Differentiation of pulmonary adenofibromas from other more aggressive intrathoracic tumours is clinically relevant. However, their biology is unknown. Here, we sought to characterize pulmonary adenofibromas at a clinicopathological level and to define whether they could be underpinned by a highly recurrent somatic genetic alteration akin to tumours with similar morphology.

Methods And Results: Seven pulmonary adenofibromas were subjected to immunohistochemical analysis for thyroid transcription factor 1 (TTF1), napsin A, cytokeratin 7, E-cadherin, CD99, CD34, CD31, STAT6, oestrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor, androgen receptor, bcl-2, and vimentin, as well as electron microscopy and capillary sequencing on microdissected samples to evaluate the presence of NAB2-STAT6 fusion genes and MED12 exon 2 mutations in their discrete components. A control group comprising pulmonary solitary fibrous tumours, pulmonary hamartomas and breast fibroadenomas was also analysed. We confirmed that the stromal elements of pulmonary adenofibromas pertain to the fibroblastic lineage, and show ER overexpression in 71% of cases, whereas the epithelium consists of TTF1-positive, E-cadherin positive bronchiolar elements. A highly recurrent NAB2-STAT6 fusion variant (exon 4-exon 2) was detected in the stroma but not in the epithelium. No MED12 mutations were identified.

Conclusions: Here, we demonstrate that pulmonary adenofibromas are neoplastic lesions harbouring the molecular hallmark of solitary fibrous tumours.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/his.13165DOI Listing
May 2017

Multicellular spheroids from normal and neoplastic thyroid tissues as a suitable model to test the effects of multikinase inhibitors.

Oncotarget 2017 Feb;8(6):9752-9766

Endocrine Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, 20122 Milan, Italy.

Multicellular three-dimensional (3D) spheroids represent an experimental model that is intermediate in its complexity between monolayer cultures and patients' tumor. In the present study, we characterize multicellular spheroids from papillary (PTC) and follicular (FTC) thyroid cancers and from the corresponding normal tissues. We show that these 3D structures well recapitulate the features of the original tissues, in either the differentiated and "stem-like" components. As a second step, we were aimed to test the effects of a small multikinase inhibitor, SP600125 (SP), previously shown to efficiently induce cell death in undifferentiated thyroid cancer monolayer cultures. We demonstrate the potent effect of SP on cell growth and survival in our 3D multicellular cultures. SP exerts its main effects through direct and highly significant inhibition of the ROCK pathway, known to be involved in the regulation of cell migration and β-catenin turnover. Consistently, SP treatment resulted in a significant decrease in β-catenin levels with respect to basal conditions in tumor but not in normal spheroids, indicating that the effect is promisingly selective on tumor cells.In conclusion, we provide the morphological and molecular characterization of thyroid normal and tumor spheroids. In this 3D model we tested in vitro the effects of the multikinase inhibitor SP and further characterized its mechanism of action in both normal and tumor spheroids, thus making it an ideal candidate for developing new drugs against thyroid cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.14187DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5354768PMC
February 2017

A neuronal network of mitochondrial dynamics regulates metastasis.

Nat Commun 2016 12 19;7:13730. Epub 2016 Dec 19.

Prostate Cancer Discovery and Development Program, The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.

The role of mitochondria in cancer is controversial. Using a genome-wide shRNA screen, we now show that tumours reprogram a network of mitochondrial dynamics operative in neurons, including syntaphilin (SNPH), kinesin KIF5B and GTPase Miro1/2 to localize mitochondria to the cortical cytoskeleton and power the membrane machinery of cell movements. When expressed in tumours, SNPH inhibits the speed and distance travelled by individual mitochondria, suppresses organelle dynamics, and blocks chemotaxis and metastasis, in vivo. Tumour progression in humans is associated with downregulation or loss of SNPH, which correlates with shortened patient survival, increased mitochondrial trafficking to the cortical cytoskeleton, greater membrane dynamics and heightened cell invasion. Therefore, a SNPH network regulates metastatic competence and may provide a therapeutic target in cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms13730DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5187409PMC
December 2016

miR-494-3p is a novel tumor driver of lung carcinogenesis.

Oncotarget 2017 Jan;8(5):7231-7247

Division of Pathology, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of tumor-related death worldwide and more efforts are needed to elucidate lung carcinogenesis. Here we investigated the expression of 641 miRNAs in lung tumorigenesis in a K-Ras(+/LSLG12Vgeo);RERTn(ert/ert) mouse model and 113 human tumors. The conserved miRNA cluster on chromosome 12qF1 was significantly and progressively upregulated during murine lung carcinogenesis. In particular, miR-494-3p expression was correlated with lung cancer progression in mice and with worse survival in lung cancer patients. Mechanistically, ectopic expression of miR-494-3p in A549 lung cancer cells boosted the tumor-initiating population, enhanced cancer cell motility, and increased the expression of stem cell-related genes. Importantly, miR-494-3p improved the ability of A549 cells to grow and metastasize in vivo, modulating NOTCH1 and PTEN/PI3K/AKT signaling.Overall, these data identify miR-494-3p as a key factor in lung cancer onset and progression and possible therapeutic target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13933DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5352317PMC
January 2017

Transcriptional Landscape of Human Tissue Lymphocytes Unveils Uniqueness of Tumor-Infiltrating T Regulatory Cells.

Immunity 2016 11;45(5):1135-1147

Istituto Nazionale Genetica Molecolare INGM 'Romeo ed Enrica Invernizzi,' Milan 20122, Italy; Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano 20122, Italy. Electronic address:

Tumor-infiltrating regulatory T lymphocytes (Treg) can suppress effector T cells specific for tumor antigens. Deeper molecular definitions of tumor-infiltrating-lymphocytes could thus offer therapeutic opportunities. Transcriptomes of T helper 1 (Th1), Th17, and Treg cells infiltrating colorectal or non-small-cell lung cancers were compared to transcriptomes of the same subsets from normal tissues and validated at the single-cell level. We found that tumor-infiltrating Treg cells were highly suppressive, upregulated several immune-checkpoints, and expressed on the cell surfaces specific signature molecules such as interleukin-1 receptor 2 (IL1R2), programmed death (PD)-1 Ligand1, PD-1 Ligand2, and CCR8 chemokine, which were not previously described on Treg cells. Remarkably, high expression in whole-tumor samples of Treg cell signature genes, such as LAYN, MAGEH1, or CCR8, correlated with poor prognosis. Our findings provide insights into the molecular identity and functions of human tumor-infiltrating Treg cells and define potential targets for tumor immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2016.10.021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5119953PMC
November 2016