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Catalano V.,Medical Oncology | Mellone P.,The Second University of Naples | d'Avino A.,The Second University of Naples | Shridhar V.,Mayo Clinic Cancer Center | And 14 more authors.

Aims: HtrA1 is a member of the HtrA (high-temperature requirement factor A) family of serine proteases. HtrA1 plays a protective role in various malignancies due to its tumour suppressive properties. The aim of this study was to determine HtrA1 expression as a predictor of chemoresponse in patients with advanced gastric cancer. Methods and results: HtrA1 expression was determined by immunohistochemistry on specimens of primary gastric cancer from 80 patients treated consecutively with cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy. Response to chemotherapy was assessed according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours (RECIST) criteria. Our population consisted of males/females [51/29; median age 64years (range 32-82)]. A complete or partial response was observed in 71.4% [95% confidence interval (CI) 54.7-88.2], 66.7% (95% CI 47.8-85.5) and 28.6% (95 CI 11.8-45.3) of tumours showing high, medium and low HtrA1 expression, respectively. A statistically significant association between HtrA1 expression and the clinical response was observed (P=0.002). The median overall survival for patients with high/medium expression was 17months compared to 9.5months for patients with low HtrA1 expression (P=0.037). Conclusions: Identification of HtrA1 in gastric cancer prior to chemotherapy indicates that levels of HtrA1 could be used to predict response to platinum-based combination therapies. Further assessment of HtrA1 expression is highly warranted in large, prospective studies. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Limited. Source

Santini D.,Biomedical University of Rome | Schiavon G.,Biomedical University of Rome | Vincenzi B.,Biomedical University of Rome | Cass C.E.,University of Alberta | And 13 more authors.
Current Cancer Drug Targets

Background and aim: Translational data suggest that nucleoside transporters, in particular human equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (hENT1), play an important role in predicting clinical outcome after gemcitabine chemotherapy for several types of cancer. The aim of this study was to retrospectively determine patients' outcome according to the expression of hENT1 in tumoral cells of patients receiving gemcitabine-based therapy. Materials and Methods: The immunohistochemistry analysis was performed on samples from thirty-one patients with unresectable biliary tract cancer (BTC) consecutively treated with first line gemcitabine-based regimens. Results: Positive hENT1 staining patients were 21 (67.7%); negative hENT1 staining patients were 10 (32.3%). Statistical analysis revealed no association between baseline characteristics, toxicities and tumor response to gemcitabine and hENT1 levels. In the univariate analysis, HENT1 expression was significantly correlated with time to progression (TTP) (p=0.0394; HR 2.902, 95%CI 1.053-7.996). The median TTP was 6.33 versus 2.83 months, respectively in patients with positive versus negative hENT1 staining. Moreover, patients with positive hENT1 expression showed a longer median overall survival when compared with patients with low hENT1 expression (14 versus 7 months, respectively), but this difference did not reach the statistical significance (p=0.128). Conclusions: Therefore, hENT1 may be a relevant predictive marker of benefit from gemcitabine-based therapies in patients with advanced BTC. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. Source

Santini D.,Biomedical University of Rome | Vincenzi B.,Biomedical University of Rome | Fratto M.E.,Biomedical University of Rome | Perrone G.,Biomedical University of Rome | And 12 more authors.
Journal of Cellular Physiology

Nucleoside transporter proteins are specialized proteins that mediate the transport of nucleosides and nucleoside analog drugs across the plasma membrane. The human equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (hENT1) is a member of these proteins and mediates cellular entry of gemcitabine, cytarabine, and fludarabine. The hENT1 expression has been demonstrated to be related with prognosis and activity of gemcitabine-based therapy in breast, ampullary, lung, and pancreatic cancer. We investigated the immunohistochemical expression of hENT in tumor samples from III patients with resected gastric adenocarcinoma, correlating these data with clinical parameters and disease outcomes. None of the patients received chemotherapy or radiation therapy before or after surgery as a part of an adjuvant or neoadjuvant program. On univariate survival analysis, the hENT1 expression was associated with overall survival (OS) and disease free survival (DFS). Specifically, those patients with overexpression of hENT1 showed a shorter OS ( P=0.021) and a shorter DFS ( P=0.033). Considering only the node positive patients, higher hENT levels were associated with significantly shorter median DFS (21.7 months; 95% CI 11.1-32.4) compared with patients with low expression of hENT1. The hENT1 expression was defined, in the lymph-node positive patients, as an independent prognostic factor ( P=0.019). Furthermore, considering only patients with diffuse or mixed tumors and lymph-node positive, the expression of hENT1 was strongly related with DFS and OS. Immunohistochemistry for the hENT1 protein carries prognostic information in patients with resected gastric cancer and holds promise as a predictive factor in chemotherapy decisions. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Source

Santini D.,Biomedical University of Rome | Virzi V.,Biomedical University of Rome | Vincenzi B.,Biomedical University of Rome | Catalano V.,Azienda Ospedaliera Ospedale San Salvatore | And 4 more authors.

Background: This phase II trial was conducted to determine the activity and safety of the combination of fixed-dose rate (FDR) gemcitabine and capecitabine in metastatic biliary tract cancer (BTC) patients. Methods: Patients with unresectable BTC who had pathologically confirmed adenocarcinoma, no prior chemotherapy, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status ≤1 and measurable disease were enrolled. Treatment consisted of FDR gemcitabine at 800 mg/m 2 on days 1 and 8 every 21 days with capecitabine administered orally b.i.d. in equal doses (650 mg/m 2 b.i.d.) for 14 days (28 doses). Results: Between May 2005 and February 2009, 30 patients were enrolled. The median age was 67 years (45-76) and there were 14 males. Thirty patients were evaluable for response and toxicity. A total of 221 cycles were administered (median 7, range 2-16). One patient achieved complete response and 7 patients achieved partial response, giving an overall response rate of 26.7% in the intention-to-treat population. Twelve patients (40.0%) had stable disease. The median progression-free survival was 6.33 months. The median overall survival was 10.8 months. Grade 3/4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia were noted in 13 and 7% of the patients, respectively. Grade 2/3 nonhematologic toxicities were asthenia (54% of patients), diarrhea (17%), stomatitis (23%) and hand-foot syndrome (7%). There was no treatment-related death. The drugs taken were skipped at least once in 45% of the patients and the dose was reduced in 26% of them. Conclusions: The combination of FDR gemcitabine and capecitabine in this 3-week cycle is safe and seems to have a good activity in advanced biliary cancer. © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel. Source

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