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Sassari, Italy

Scicchitano P.,University of Bari | Cameli M.,University of Siena | Maiello M.,ASL BR | Modesti P.A.,University of Florence | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Functional Foods | Year: 2014

Dyslipidaemia accelerates the atherosclerotic process and its morbid consequences; statins represent the evidence-based treatment of choice for reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and decreasing cardiovascular events. Unfortunately, statins are frequently not available for several reasons, including intolerance, side effects or, simply, patient preference. Nutraceuticals and functional food ingredients that are beneficial to vascular health may represent useful compounds that are able to reduce the overall cardiovascular risk induced by dyslipidaemia by acting parallel to statins or as adjuvants in case of failure or in situations where statins cannot be used. The mechanisms underlying such actions are not fully understood but may be related to reducing 7α-hydroxylase, increasing faecal excretion of cholesterol, decreasing 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase mRNA levels or reducing the secretion of very low-density lipoprotein. This contribution provides an overview of the mechanism of action of nutraceuticals and functional food ingredients on lipids and their role in the management of lipid disorders. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

De Muro P.,University of Sassari | Lepedda A.J.,University of Sassari | Nieddu G.,University of Sassari | Idini M.,University of Sassari | And 4 more authors.
Biochemistry Research International | Year: 2016

Aims. T2DM often remains undiagnosed for many years because hyperglycemia develops gradually and may not produce any symptoms. As patients with T2DM are at increased risk of microvascular and macrovascular complications, the preclinical diagnosis of the state is the key point of the disease management. Methods. We evaluated parameters such as GAGs/PGs, NAG, and NGAL in urine samples from 43 normoalbuminuric T2DM patients and 31 apparently healthy control subjects. Results. The total urinary GAG excretion showed no significant differences between patients and controls. The electrophoretic analysis evidenced the presence of UTI and its degradation products (LSC and SM-LSC), CS, and HS. We observed modifications of HS and total UTI (including UTI and its degradation products) relative contents in T2DM patients compared with controls whereas no differences in CS percentage were found. NGAL levels were significantly increased in T2DM patients and were positively correlated with both NAG (r=0.606, p<0.0001) and the presence of hypertension (r=0.352, p<0.05). Conclusions. These data suggest that the assessed molecules could represent useful markers to detect early renal impairment in patients with T2DM. Copyright © 2016 Pierina De Muro et al.

Spada F.,Tumors Unit | Squadroni M.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Lorizzo K.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Farris A.,AOU Sassari | Fazio N.,Tumors Unit
Tumori | Year: 2012

Among primary liver cancers occurring worldwide, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the major histological type accounting for 70-85% of all cases. Phase III trials in patients with advanced HCC treated with sorafenib (SO), a multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor, showed significant improvements in both overall and progression-free survival. We report the cases of two elderly patients with advanced HCC who had prolonged stable disease following treatment with SO (400 mg bid). Patient 1 was treated with SO for a period of 16 months until evidence of right sacral metastases was noted. Patient 2 received SO 400 mg bid from January 2009 to October 2009 until radiological evidence of disease progression was noted. Both patients experienced minimal toxicity, suggesting that SO can be safely administered to elderly patients.

Cossu-Rocca P.,University of Sassari | Cossu-Rocca P.,Surgical Pathology Unit | Orru S.,A Businco Oncologic Hospital | Muroni M.R.,University of Sassari | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Background Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) accounts for 12-24% of all breast carcinomas, and shows worse prognosis compared to other breast cancer subtypes. Molecular studies demonstrated that TNBCs are a heterogeneous group of tumors with different clinical and pathologic features, prognosis, genetic-molecular alterations and treatment responsivity. The PI3K/AKT is a major pathway involved in the regulation of cell survival and proliferation, and is the most frequently altered pathway in breast cancer, apparently with different biologic impact on specific cancer subtypes. The most common genetic abnormality is represented by PIK3CA gene activating mutations, with an overall frequency of 20-40%. The aims of our study were to investigate PIK3CA gene mutations on a large series of TNBC, to perform a wider analysis on genetic alterations involving PI3K/AKT and BRAF/RAS/MAPK pathways and to correlate the results with clinical-pathologic data. Materials and Methods PIK3CA mutation analysis was performed by using cobas1PIK3CA Mutation Test. EGFR, AKT1, BRAF, and KRAS genes were analyzed by sequencing. Immunohistochemistry was carried out to identify PTEN loss and to investigate for PI3K/AKT pathways components. Results PIK3CA mutations were detected in 23.7%of TNBC, whereas no mutations were identified in EGFR, AKT1, BRAF, and KRAS genes. Moreover, we observed PTEN loss in 11.3% of tumors. Deregulation of PI3K/AKT pathways was revealed by consistent activation of pAKT and p-p44/42 MAPK in all PIK3CA mutated TNBC. Conclusions Our data shows that PIK3CA mutations and PI3K/AKT pathway activation are common events in TNBC. A deeper investigation on specific TNBC genomic abnormalities might be helpful in order to select patients who would benefit from current targeted therapy strategies. © 2015 Cossu-Rocca et al.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Cossu-Rocca P.,University of Sassari | Cossu-Rocca P.,Surgical Pathology Unit | Muroni M.R.,University of Sassari | Sanges F.,University of Sassari | And 10 more authors.
American Journal of Cancer Research | Year: 2016

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is associated with progression of many epithelial malignancies and represents a significant therapeutic target. Although clear cell renal cell carcinoma (CCRCC) has been widely investigated for EGFR molecular alterations, genetic evidences of EGFR gene activating mutations and/or gene amplification have been rarely confirmed in the literature. Therefore, until now EGFR-targeted therapies in clinical trials have been demonstrated unsuccessful. New evidence has been given about the interactions between EGFR and the sodium glucose co-transporter-1 (SGLT1) in maintaining the glucose basal intracellular level to favour cancer cell growth and survival; thus a new functional role may be attributed to EGFR, regardless of its kinase activity. To define the role of EGFR in CCRCC an extensive investigation of genetic changes and functional kinase activities was performed in a series of tumors by analyzing the EGFR mutational status and expression profile, together with the protein expression of downstream signaling pathways members. Furthermore, we investigated the co-expression of EGFR and SGLT1 proteins and their relationships with clinic-pathological features in CCRCC. EGFR protein expression was identified in 98.4% of CCRCC. Furthermore, it was described for the first time that SGLT1 is overexpressed in CCRCC (80.9%), and that co-expression with EGFR is appreciable in 79.4% of the tumours. Moreover, the activation of downstream EGFR pathways was found in about 79.4% of SGLT1-positive CCRCCs. The mutational status analysis of EGFR failed to demonstrate mutations on exons 18 to 24 and the presence of EGFR-variantIII (EGFRvIII) in all CCRCCs analyzed. FISH analysis revealed absence of EGFR amplification, and high polysomy of chromosome 7. Finally, the EGFR gene expression profile showed gene overexpression in 38.2% of CCRCCs. Our study contributes to define the complexity of EGFR role in CCRCC, identifying its bivalent kinase-dependent and kinase-independent functions, both potentially involved in CCRCC progression. These results might have important implications on therapeutic approaches to CCRCC, since the disruption of the interaction between EGFR/SGLT1, mediated by anti-EGFR antibodies and/or SGLT1 inhibitors, might constitute a novel therapeutic target for CCRCC treatment, and new clinical trials should be evaluated on the basis of this therapeutic proposal.

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