Publications by authors named "Valentina Magri"

18 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Palbociclib Plus Fulvestrant or Everolimus Plus Exemestane for Pretreated Advanced Breast Cancer with Lobular Histotype in ER+/HER2- Patients: A Propensity Score-Matched Analysis of a Multicenter Retrospective Patient Series.

J Pers Med 2020 Dec 18;10(4). Epub 2020 Dec 18.

Comprehensive Cancer Center, UOC di Oncologia Medica, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, 00168 Rome, Italy.

Cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 inhibitors (CDK4/6i) in combination with endocrine therapy (ET) show meaningful efficacy and tolerability in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), but the optimal sequence of ET has not been established. It is not clear if patients with lobular breast carcinomas (LBC) derive the same benefits when receiving second line CDK4/6i. This retrospective study compared the efficacy of palbociclib plus fulvestrant (PALBO-FUL) with everolimus plus exemestane (EVE-EXE) as second-line ET for hormone-resistant metastatic LBC. From 2013 to 2018, patients with metastatic LBC positivity for estrogen and/or progesterone receptors and HER2/neu negativity, who had relapsed during adjuvant hormonal therapy or first-line hormonal treatment, were enrolled from six centers in Italy in this retrospective study. A total of 74 out of 376 patients (48 treated with PALBO-FUL and 26 with EVE-EXE) with metastatic LBC were eligible for inclusion. Progression-free survival (PFS) was longer in patients receiving EVE-EXE compared with PALBO-FUL (6.1 vs. 4.5 months, univariate HR 0.58, 95% CI 0.35-0.96; = 0.025). On the propensity score (PS) analysis, PFS was confirmed to be significantly longer for patients treated with EVE-EXE compared to PALBO-FUL (6.0 vs. 4.6 months, = 0.04). This retrospective analysis suggests that EVE-EXE is more effective than PALBO-FUL for second line ET of metastatic LBC, allowing us to speculate on the optimal therapeutic sequence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jpm10040291DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7766166PMC
December 2020

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

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

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

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

Oncotype DX Predictive Nomogram for Recurrence Score Output: The Novel System ADAPTED01 Based on Quantitative Immunochemistry Analysis.

Clin Breast Cancer 2020 10 5;20(5):e600-e611. Epub 2020 May 5.

UOC di Radioterapia Oncologica, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario "A. Gemelli" IRCCS, Dipartimento di Scienze della Salute della Donna e del Bambino e di Sanità Pubblica, Rome, Italy; Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Istituto di Radiologia, Rome, Italy.

Purpose: Oncotype DX (ODX) predicts breast cancer recurrence risk, guiding the choice of adjuvant treatment. In many countries, access to the test is not always available. We used correlation between phenotypical tumor characteristics, quantitative classical immunohistochemistry (IHC), and recurrence score (RS) assessed by ODX to develop a decision supporting system for clinical use.

Patients And Methods: Breast cancer patients who underwent ODX testing between 2014 and 2018 were retrospectively included in the study. The data selected for analysis were age, menopausal status, and pathologic and IHC features. IHC was performed with standardized quantitative methods. The data set was split into two subsets: 70% for the training set and 30% for the internal validation set. Statistically significant features were included in logistic models to predict RS ≤ 25 or ≤ 20. Another set was used for external validation to test reproducibility of prediction models.

Results: The internal set included 407 patients. Mean (range) age was 53.7 (31-80) years, and 222 patients (54.55%) were > 50 years old. ODX results showed 67 patients (16.6%) had RS between 0 and 10, 272 patients between 11 and 25 (66.8%), and 68 patients > 26 (16.6%). Logistic regression analysis showed that RS score (for threshold ≤ 25) was significantly associated with estrogen receptor (P = .004), progesterone receptor (P < .0001), and Ki-67 (P < .0001). Generalized linear regression resulted in a model that had an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 92.2 (sensitivity 84.2%, specificity 80.1%) and that was well calibrated. The external validation set (183 patients) analysis confirmed the model performance, with an AUC of 82.3 and a positive predictive value of 91%. A nomogram was generated for further prospective evaluation to predict RS ≤ 25.

Conclusion: RS was related to quantitative IHC in patients with RS ≤ 25, with a good performance of the statistical model in both internal and external validation. A nomogram for enhancing clinical approach in a cost-effective manner was developed. Prospective studies must test this application in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clbc.2020.04.012DOI Listing
October 2020

Clinical Multigene Panel Sequencing Identifies Distinct Mutational Association Patterns in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer.

Front Oncol 2020 7;10:560. Epub 2020 May 7.

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

Extensive molecular characterization of human colorectal cancer (CRC) via Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) indicated that genetic or epigenetic dysregulation of a relevant, but limited, number of molecular pathways typically occurs in this tumor. The molecular picture of the disease is significantly complicated by the frequent occurrence of individually rare genetic aberrations, which expand tumor heterogeneity. Inter- and intratumor molecular heterogeneity is very likely responsible for the remarkable individual variability in the response to conventional and target-driven first-line therapies, in metastatic CRC (mCRC) patients, whose median overall survival remains unsatisfactory. Implementation of an extensive molecular characterization of mCRC in the clinical routine does not yet appear feasible on a large scale, while multigene panel sequencing of most commonly mutated oncogene/oncosuppressor hotspots is more easily achievable. Here, we report that clinical multigene panel sequencing performed for anti-EGFR therapy predictive purposes in 639 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) mCRC specimens revealed previously unknown pairwise mutation associations and a high proportion of cases carrying actionable gene mutations. Most importantly, a simple principal component analysis directed the delineation of a new molecular stratification of mCRC patients in eight groups characterized by non-random, specific mutational association patterns (MAPs), aggregating samples with similar biology. These data were validated on a The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) CRC dataset. The proposed stratification may provide great opportunities to direct more informed therapeutic decisions in the majority of mCRC cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.00560DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7221020PMC
May 2020

Impact of BMI on HER2+ metastatic breast cancer patients treated with pertuzumab and/or trastuzumab emtansine. Real-world evidence.

J Cell Physiol 2020 11 15;235(11):7900-7910. Epub 2020 Jan 15.

Medical Oncology Unit, Belcolle Hospital, Viterbo, Italy.

Body mass index (BMI) is a main indicator of obesity and its association with breast cancer is well established. However, little is known in the metastatic setting, especially in HER2-positive patients. We assessed the influence of BMI on clinical outcomes of patients treated with pertuzumab and/or trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) for HER2+ metastatic breast cancer (mBC). BMI was addressed as a categorical variable, being classified on the basis of the following ranges, that is, 18.5-24.9, 25-29.9, and 30.0-34.9, namely, normal weight, overweight, and Class I obesity. The outcomes chosen were progression-free survival to first-line chemotherapy (PFS1) and overall survival (OS). Overall (N = 709), no impact of BMI was observed on PFS1 (p = .15), while BMI ≥ 30 was associated with worse OS (p = .003). In subjects who progressed to first line (N = 575), analyzing data across PFS1 quartiles and strata of disease burden, BMI predicted lower PFS1 in patients within the I PFS1 quartile and with the lowest disease burden (p = .001). Univariate analysis showed a detrimental effect of BMI ≥ 30 on OS for women within the I PFS1 quartile (p = .03). Results were confirmed in multivariate analysis. According to PFS1 quartiles a higher percentage of patients with high BMI and low disease burden progressed within 6 months of therapy. The effect of BMI on prognosis was also confirmed in multivariate analysis of OS for overall population. In our cohort, a BMI ≥ 30 correlated with worse OS in patients with HER2+ mBC who received pertuzumab and/or T-DM1 but had no impact on PFS to first line. BMI predicted worse I PFS1 quartile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.29445DOI Listing
November 2020

T-DM1 Efficacy in Patients With HER2-positive Metastatic Breast Cancer Progressing After a Taxane Plus Pertuzumab and Trastuzumab: An Italian Multicenter Observational Study.

Clin Breast Cancer 2020 04 14;20(2):e181-e187. Epub 2019 Nov 14.

Department of Medical Oncology, Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, University of Genova, Genoa, Italy; Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties, University of Genova, Genoa, Italy.

Background: T-DM1 improves progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients with metastatic human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive (HER2) breast cancer progressing on prior trastuzumab plus a taxane. A paucity of data is available on T-DM1 efficacy after dual anti-HER2 blockade with pertuzumab and trastuzumab plus a taxane, which represents the current first-line standard of care. The present study is a retrospective/prospective evaluation of the efficacy and activity of second-line T-DM1 after front-line pertuzumab-based therapy.

Patients And Methods: Eligible patients were identified within the Gruppo Italiano Mammella (GIM) 14/BIOMETA study, a retrospective/prospective multicenter study on treatment patterns and outcomes of patients with metastatic breast cancer (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02284581). We searched for patients who received second-line T-DM1 after taxane plus trastuzumab and pertuzumab between November 15, 2013 and May 31, 2018. We calculated median PFS, median time to treatment failure (TTF), prolonged duration of therapy (PDT), objective response rate (ORR), and 1-year OS.

Results: Of 445 patients with HER2 metastatic breast cancer, 77 were eligible for the analysis. At a median follow-up of 7 months, median PFS was 6.3 months (95% confidence intervals [CI], 4.8-7.7 months), and median TTF was 6.2 months (95% CI, 4-8.6 months). More than one-third of patients (37.6%; n = 29) experienced PDT with an ORR of 27.1%. At data cutoff, the median OS was not reached, and the 1-year OS was 82%.

Conclusions: Our results show meaningful activity of T-DM1 after front-line pertuzumab plus trastuzumab and a taxane, with about 27% of patients having an objective response and 40% of patients achieving durable disease control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clbc.2019.09.001DOI Listing
April 2020

Correlation of body composition by computerized tomography and metabolic parameters with survival of nivolumab-treated lung cancer patients.

Cancer Manag Res 2019 5;11:8201-8207. Epub 2019 Sep 5.

Institute of Pulmonology, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan 5262000, Israel.

Purpose: Weight loss is a well-recognized prognostic parameter for survival of lung cancer patients. Computerized-tomography (CT)-based analysis of body composition and blood-based metabolic evaluation are promising prognostic tools. We aimed to assess the correlation between albumin, body mass index (BMI), skeletal muscle mass index (SMI), fat-free mass index (FFMI), fat mass index (FMI) and weight change, as well as their correlation with survival of lung cancer patients on nivolumab treatment.

Methods: Data were retrospectively collected. Weight was measured at a diagnosis of stage 4 disease and before start of nivolumab. Albumin levels were measured before starting nivolumab. BMI, SMI, FFMI, and FMI were evaluated from CT scans performed at start of nivolumab. Overall survival (OS) was from starting of nivolumab to death or censured at last follow-up. Statistical analysis was done to identify correlation between the various factors and between those factors and survival.

Results: Forty-six patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were included. Median follow-up was 22 months. Pathology was Adenocarcinoma/Squamous/non-other specified in 25/15/6 respectively. All patients received nivolumab as an advanced-line treatment for stage IV NSCLC. We observed a significant correlation of weight loss (=0.01, HR=2.85) and albumin (=0.043, HR=0.34) with OS in multivariate analysis. A significant correlation was found between BMI to SMI, FFMI, FMI, and weight change.

Conclusion: Weight loss and low albumin levels are significant negative prognostic factors for NSCLC patients on immunotherapy. CT-based parameters of body composition remain to be proven as more reliable than standard clinical parameters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S210958DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6733251PMC
September 2019

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

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

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

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

Distinct HR expression patterns significantly affect the clinical behavior of metastatic HER2+ breast cancer and degree of benefit from novel anti-HER2 agents in the real world setting.

Int J Cancer 2020 04 7;146(7):1917-1929. Epub 2019 Aug 7.

Department of Medical Oncology, Policlinico Universitario "A. Gemelli", Rome, Italy.

We analyzed data from 738 HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (mbc) patients treated with pertuzumab-based regimens and/or T-DM1 at 45 Italian centers. Outcomes were explored in relation to tumor subtype assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC). The median progression-free survival at first-line (mPFS1) was 12 months. Pertuzumab as first-line conferred longer mPFS1 compared to other first-line treatments (16 vs. 9 months, p = 0.0001), regardless of IHC subtype. Median PFS in second-line (mPFS2) was 7 months, with no difference by IHC subtype, but it was more favorable with T-DM1 compared to other agents (7 vs. 6 months, p = 0.03). There was no PFS2 gain in patients with tumors expressing both hormonal receptors (HRs; p = 0.17), while a trend emerged for tumors with one HR (p = 0.05). Conversely, PFS2 gain was significant in HRs-negative tumors (p = 0.04). Median overall survival (mOS) was 74 months, with no significant differences by IHC subtypes. Survival rates at 2 and 3 years in patients treated with T-DM1 in second-line after pertuzumab were significantly lower compared to pertuzumab-naïve patients (p = 0.01). When analyzed by IHC subtype, the outcome was confirmed if both HRs or no HRs were expressed (p = 0.02 and p = 0.006, respectively). Our results confirm that HRs expression impacts the clinical behavior and novel treatment-related outcomes of HER2-positive tumors when treatment sequences are considered. Moreover, multivariate analysis showed that HRs expression had no effect on PFS and OS. Further studies are warranted to confirm our findings and clarify the interplay between HER2 and estrogen receptor pathways in HER2-positive (mbc) patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32583DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7027476PMC
April 2020

A Simplified Genomic Profiling Approach Predicts Outcome in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 01 27;11(2). Epub 2019 Jan 27.

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

The response of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) to the first-line conventional combination therapy is highly variable, reflecting the elevated heterogeneity of the disease. The genetic alterations underlying this heterogeneity have been thoroughly characterized through omic approaches requiring elevated efforts and costs. In order to translate the knowledge of CRC molecular heterogeneity into a practical clinical approach, we utilized a simplified Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) based platform to screen a cohort of 77 patients treated with first-line conventional therapy. Samples were sequenced using a panel of hotspots and targeted regions of 22 genes commonly involved in CRC. This revealed 51 patients carrying actionable gene mutations, 22 of which carried druggable alterations. These mutations were frequently associated with additional genetic alterations. To take into account this molecular complexity and assisted by an unbiased bioinformatic analysis, we defined three subgroups of patients carrying distinct molecular patterns. We demonstrated these three molecular subgroups are associated with a different response to first-line conventional combination therapies. The best outcome was achieved in patients exclusively carrying mutations on and/or genes. By contrast, in patients carrying mutations in any of the other genes, alone or associated with mutations of , the expected response is much worse compared to patients with exclusive mutations. Additionally, our data indicate that the standard approach has limited efficacy in patients without any mutations in the genes included in the panel. In conclusion, we identified a reliable and easy-to-use approach for a simplified molecular-based stratification of mCRC patients that predicts the efficacy of the first-line conventional combination therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11020147DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6406354PMC
January 2019

Palbociclib plus endocrine therapy in HER2 negative, hormonal receptor-positive, advanced breast cancer: A real-world experience.

J Cell Physiol 2019 06 10;234(6):7708-7717. Epub 2018 Dec 10.

Division of Medical Oncology, Ospedale S. Maria Goretti, Latina, Italy.

Data from 423 human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2-), hormone receptor-positive (HR+) advanced breast cancer (aBC) patients treated with palbociclib and endocrine therapy (ET) were provided by 35 Italian cancer centers and analyzed for treatment outcomes. Overall, 158 patients were treated in first line and 265 in second/later lines. We observed 19 complete responses and 112 partial responses. The overall response rate (ORR) was 31% (95% confidence interval [CI], 26.6-35.4) and clinical benefit was 52.7% (95% CI, 48-57.5). ORR was negatively affected by prior exposure to everolimus/exemestane ( p = 0.002) and favorably influenced by early line-treatment ( p < 0.0001). At 6 months, median progression-free survival was 12 months (95% CI, 8-16) and median overall survival was 24 months (95% CI, 17-30). More favorable outcomes were associated with palbociclib in early lines, no visceral metastases and no prior everolimus/exemestane. The main toxicity reported was neutropenia. Our results provide further support to the use of palbociclib with ET in HER2-, HR+ aBC. Differences in outcomes across patients subsets remain largely unexplained.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.27832DOI Listing
June 2019

A multicenter REtrospective observational study of first-line treatment with PERtuzumab, trastuzumab and taxanes for advanced HER2 positive breast cancer patients. RePer Study.

Cancer Biol Ther 2019 7;20(2):192-200. Epub 2018 Nov 7.

r HPV Unit, Department of Gynaecologic Oncology , IRCCS Regina Elena National Cancer Institute , Rome , Italy.

We carried out a retrospective observational study of 264 HER2-positive advanced breast cancer (ABC) patients to explore the efficacy of first-line treatment with pertuzumab/trastuzumab/taxane in real-world setting. Survival data were analyzed by Kaplan Meier curves and log rank test. Median follow-up, length of pertuzumab/trastuzumab/taxane treatment and of pertuzumab, trastuzumab maintenance were 21, 4 and 15 months, respectively. The response rate was 77.3%, and the clinical benefit rate 93.6%. Median progression-free survival (mPFS) was 21 months, and median overall survival (mOS) was not reached. When comparing patients by trastuzumab-pretreatment, similar PFS were observed, although a longer OS was reached in trastuzumab-naïve patients (p = 0.02). Brain metastases at baseline and their development in course of therapy were associated with significantly shorter PFS (p = 0.0006) and shorter OS, although at a not fully statistically relevant extent (p = 0.06). The addition of maintenance endocrine therapy (ET) to pertuzumab/trastuzumab maintenance was associated with longer PFS (p = 0.0001), although no significant differences were detected in OS (p = 0.31). Results were confirmed by propensity score analysis (p = 0.003 and p = 0.46, respectively). In multivariate models, longer PFS was related to lower Performance Status (PS) (p = 0.07), metastatic stage at diagnosis (p = 0.006) and single metastatic site (p < 0.0001). An OS advantage was observed with lower PS (p < 0.0001), single metastatic site (p = 0.004), no prior exposure to trastuzumab (p = 0.004) and response to pertuzumab-based treatment (p = 0.003). Our results confirm that trastuzumab/pertuzumab/taxane is the standard of care as first-line treatment of patients with HER2-positive ABC even in the real-world setting. Moreover, the double-maintenance therapy (HER2 block and ET) is strongly recommended when feasible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15384047.2018.1523095DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6343690PMC
April 2020

Automated classification of focal breast lesions according to S-detect: validation and role as a clinical and teaching tool.

J Ultrasound 2018 Jun 21;21(2):105-118. Epub 2018 Apr 21.

U.O.C. Diagnostica per Immagini, P. O San Paolo - ASL Roma 4, Largo dei Donatori del Sangue 1, 00053, Civitavecchia (RM), Italy.

Purpose: To assess the diagnostic performance and the potential as a teaching tool of S-detect in the assessment of focal breast lesions.

Methods: 61 patients (age 21-84 years) with benign breast lesions in follow-up or candidate to pathological sampling or with suspicious lesions candidate to biopsy were enrolled. The study was based on a prospective and on a retrospective phase. In the prospective phase, after completion of baseline US by an experienced breast radiologist and S-detect assessment, 5 operators with different experience and dedication to breast radiology performed elastographic exams. In the retrospective phase, the 5 operators performed a retrospective assessment and categorized lesions with BI-RADS 2013 lexicon. Integration of S-detect to in-training operators evaluations was performed by giving priority to S-detect analysis in case of disagreement. 2 × 2 contingency tables and ROC analysis were used to assess the diagnostic performances; inter-rater agreement was measured with Cohen's k; Bonferroni's test was used to compare performances. A significance threshold of p = 0.05 was adopted.

Results: All operators showed sensitivity > 90% and varying specificity (50-75%); S-detect showed sensitivity > 90 and 70.8% specificity, with inter-rater agreement ranging from moderate to good. Lower specificities were improved by the addition of S-detect. The addition of elastography did not lead to any improvement of the diagnostic performance.

Conclusions: S-detect is a feasible tool for the characterization of breast lesions; it has a potential as a teaching tool for the less experienced operators.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40477-018-0297-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5972107PMC
June 2018

EpCAM-expressing circulating tumor cells in colorectal cancer.

Int J Biol Markers 2017 Oct 31;32(4):e415-e420. Epub 2017 Oct 31.

 Circulating Tumor Cells Unit, Department of Molecular Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome - Italy.

Background: Several studies have raised the issue of the inadequacy of CellSearch® to detect the entire pool of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from blood of cancer patients, suggesting that cells expressing low levels of epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) are not recognized by the capture reagent. In this exploratory study, we aimed to evaluate the status of EpCAM in CTCs isolated from a group of metastatic colorectal cancer patients, in 40% of whom, CTC had been found to be undetected by the CellSearch® system.

Methods: CTCs were analyzed using both a microfiltration method (ScreenCell) and CellSearch® in parallel. Furthermore, since EpCAM exists in 2 different variants, we investigated the presence of both its intracellular domain (EpICD) and extracellular domain (EpEX) through immunofluorescence staining of CTCs on filters.

Results: Results from immunofluorescence experiments demonstrated that, overall, EpICD and/or EpEX was expressed in 176 CTCs detected by ScreenCell, while the CellSearch® system was able to capture only 10 CTCs.

Conclusions: This is the first demonstration that the low sensitivity of CellSearch® to detect CTCs in colorectal cancer patients is not due to the lack of EpCAM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5301/ijbm.5000284DOI Listing
October 2017

Prolactin as a Potential Early Predictive Factor in Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Treated with Nivolumab.

Oncology 2017 14;93(1):62-66. Epub 2017 Apr 14.

Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Radiological, Oncological, and Pathological Sciences, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Background/aims: Prolactin (PRL) is a peptide hormone and several studies have demonstrated its role as a cytokine in human T cell-mediated immunity. We are unaware if PRL is a positive or negative immunomodulator, but its effects on the regulation of T cells could inhibit the antitumor activity elicited by nivolumab (NIVO). We aimed to assess whether the occurrence of hyperprolactinemia in metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (mNSCLC) patients treated with NIVO is associated with poor clinical outcomes.

Methods: We evaluated 26 mNSCLC patients treated with NIVO. Blood samples were collected in every patient to evaluate PRL basal levels before starting the therapy with NIVO and before each following administration of NIVO. All patients underwent a conventional CT to investigate the effect of therapy according to Immune-related Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (IrRECIST).

Results: Twenty patients (77%) developed hyperprolactinemia during the treatment, whereas 6 patients (23%) had stable levels of PRL during the therapy (p = 0.001). A total of 95% of the 20 patients with hyperprolactinemia had progressive disease (PD), according to CT results, whereas only 2 patients (33%) out of 6 with stable PRL levels had PD (p = 0.004).

Conclusions: Hyperprolactinemia in mNSCLC patients treated with NIVO could potentially represent a negative early predictive factor for poor clinical outcomes, thus anticipating PD shown by CT scan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000464328DOI Listing
October 2017

Eribulin in Male Patients With Breast Cancer: The First Report of Clinical Outcomes.

Oncologist 2016 Nov 14;21(11):1298-1305. Epub 2016 Oct 14.

San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy.

Background: Evidence on the management and treatment of male breast cancer is scant. We report the analysis of a multicenter Italian series of patients with male breast cancer treated with eribulin. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the use or eribulin in this setting.

Patients And Methods: Patients were retrospectively identified in 19 reference centers. All patients received eribulin treatment, according to the standard practice of each center. Data on the identified patients were collected using a standardized form and were then centrally reviewed by two experienced oncologists.

Results: A total of 23 patients (median age, 64 years; range, 42-80) were considered. The median age at the time of diagnosis of breast cancer was 57 years (range, 42-74). HER2 status was negative in 14 patients (61%), and 2 patients (9%) had triple-negative disease. The most common metastatic sites were the lung ( = 14; 61%) and bone ( = 13; 56%). Eribulin was administered for a median of 6 cycles (range, 3-15). All patients reported at least stable disease; two complete responses (9%) were documented. Eribulin was well-tolerated, with only four patients (17%) reporting grade 3 adverse events and two (9%) with treatment interruptions because of toxicity. Eight subjects (35%) did not report any adverse event during treatment. For patients with a reported fatal event, the median overall survival from the diagnosis of metastatic disease was 65 months (range, 22-228).

Conclusion: Although hampered by all the limitations of any retrospective case series, the results of the present study suggest, for the first time, the use of eribulin as therapy for male breast cancer.

Implications For Practice: Evidence on the management and treatment of male breast cancer is eagerly awaited. Although hampered by all the limitations of any retrospective case series, the results of the present study suggest, for the first time, the use of eribulin as therapy for male breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2016-0022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5189626PMC
November 2016

The promise of liquid biopsy in cancer: a clinical perspective.

Chin J Cancer Res 2015 Oct;27(5):488-90

Medical Oncology Unit, Department of Radiological Oncological and Pathological Sciences, Sapienza, University of Rome, Italy.

The clinical utility of liquid biopsy in cancer treatment will increase as circulating tumor cells (CTCs) analysis move from the enumeration to the real-time measurement of tumor characteristics. Intratumor heterogeneity is becoming increasingly recognized as a major drawback to the shift to personalized medicine. Spatial and temporal heterogeneity might be reflected by the serial assessment of CTCs. Indeed, the developing technologies for CTCs analysis now allow digital genomic and next-generation sequencing approaches, able to differentiate molecular subtypes of the disease and to monitor genetic variation over time. The liquid biopsy of cancer might offer a real-time assessment of tumor biology, providing the opportunity to serially evaluate patients most likely to benefit from targeted drugs based on a dynamic characterization of the disease at the molecular level. Although hurdles remain before liquid biopsy is seen in routine clinical practice, the information derived from CTCs may facilitate the real-time identification of actionable mutations in cancer leading the way toward personalized medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3978/j.issn.1000-9604.2015.10.01DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4626818PMC
October 2015

Multimodality treatment of gynecomastia in patients receiving antiandrogen therapy for prostate cancer in the era of abiraterone acetate and new antiandrogen molecules.

Oncology 2013 2;84(2):92-9. Epub 2012 Nov 2.

Department of Radiological, Oncological and Anatomopathological Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Gynecomastia is a pathological enlargement of male breasts due to hormonal imbalance and elevation of estrogens at the expense of testosterone. It is very important to diagnose this disease precociously because it can be the expression of different underlying pathologies. Besides genetic, chromosomal or chronic diseases, drugs often represent the principal cause of this hormonal disequilibrium. In the elderly population, antiandrogen therapy for prostate cancer frequently induces gynecomastia, thus negatively affecting the patients' compliance to treatment because of physical and psychological discomfort deriving from this condition; gynecomastia can in fact be associated with severe breast pain, and it can modify how patients see their own body. During the past decades and even today, many different surgical, radiotherapeutic or clinical approaches have been proposed to prevent or treat this hypertrophy. This article focuses on gynecomastia associated with antiandrogen-based hormonal treatment and shortly reviews the currently most often used therapeutic options for preventing and treating this pathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000343821DOI Listing
February 2013