Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research

Anderson, United States

Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research

Anderson, United States
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Guerrero D.,Biomedical Research Center | Guarch R.,Navarra Hospital Complex | Ojer A.,Biomedical Research Center | Casas J.M.,Hospital Complex of Navarra | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Cancer | Year: 2011

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the vulva is a heterogeneous disease, associated or not with vulvar lichen sclerosus (LS). The precursor role of LS in vulvar cancer is unclear. We studied the epigenetic alterations of RASSF1A, RASSF2A, p16, TSP-1 and MGMT genes in vulvar SCCs, LS associated with SCC, isolated LS and normal vulvar skin. Gene hypermethylation and human papillomavirus presence were evaluated by methylation-specific PCR and PCR/reverse line blot, respectively. High-risk human papillomavirus types were present in 16.7% of the patients with vulvar SCC. There were increasing percentages of hypermethylation of genes from isolated LS to LS associated with vulvar SCC and vulvar SCC. The genes were hypermethylated more frequently in vulvar SCC associated with LS than in those not associated with LS, MGMT and RASSF2A being unmethylated in LS not associated with vulvar SCC. TSP-1 hypermethylation was related to recurrence in patients with vulvar cancer. Conclusions are as follows: (i) the epigenetic inactivation of genes is a common event in vulvar SCC and is also present in adjacent lesions, implying a possible precursor role for these alterations; (ii) MGMT and RASSF2A hypermethylation are present exclusively in vulvar SCC and LS associated with SCC, and absent from isolated LS; and (iii) TSP-1 hypermethylation is a bad prognosis factor in vulvar SCC. © 2010 UICC.


De Wit R.,Erasmus Medical Center | Skoneczna I.,Marie Sklodowska Curie Memorial Cancer Center | Daugaard G.,Rigshospital | De Santis M.,Ludwig Boltzmann Research Institute | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Oncology | Year: 2012

Purpose: To compare the efficacy of four cycles of paclitaxel-bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin (T-BEP) to four cycles of bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin (BEP) in previously untreated patients with intermediate-prognosis germ-cell cancer (GCC). Patients and Methods: Patients were randomly assigned to receive either T-BEP or standard BEP. Patients assigned to the T-BEP group received paclitaxel 175 mg/m2 in a 3-hour infusion. Patients who were administered T-BEP received primary granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) prophylaxis. The study was designed as a randomized open-label phase II/III study. To show a 10% improvement in 3-year progression-free survival (PFS), the study aimed to recruit 498 patients but closed with 337 patients as a result of slow accrual. Results: Accrual was from November 1998 to April 2009. A total of 169patients were administered BEP, and 168 patients were administered T-BEP. Thirteen patients in both arms were ineligible, mainly as a result of a good prognosis of GCC (eight patients administered BEP; six patients administered T-BEP) or a poor prognosis of GCC (one patient administered BEP; four patients administered T-BEP). PFS at 3 years (intent to treat) was 79.4% in the T-BEP group versus 71.1% in the BEP group (hazard ratio [HR], 0.73; CI, 0.47 to 1.13; P [log-rank test] = 0.153). PFS at 3 years in all eligible patients was 82.7% versus 70.1%, respectively (HR, 0.60; CI: 0.37 to 0.97) and was statistically significant (P = 0.03). Overall survival was not statistically different. Conclusion: T-BEP administered with G-CSF seems to be a safe and effective treatment regimen for patients with intermediate-prognosis GCC. However, the study recruited a smaller-than-planned number of patients and included 7.7% ineligible patients. The primary analysis of the trial could not demonstrate statistical superiority of T-BEP for PFS. When ineligible patients were excluded, the analysis of all eligible patients demonstrated a 12% superior 3-year PFS with T-BEP, which was statistically significant. © 2012 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.


Videira M.,Imedul Research Institute For Medicines And Pharmaceutical Science | Almeida A.J.,Imedul Research Institute For Medicines And Pharmaceutical Science | Fabra T.,Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research
Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine | Year: 2012

Lung cancer remains a leading cause of death due to the low efficacy of chemotherapy, mainly related to the administration route used. Therefore, alternative administration routes are needed. Paclitaxel (PTX) is an insoluble anticancer drug active against solid tumors, such as those found in lung cancer, that has stimulated an intense research effort over recent years. Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) are potential carriers for poorly soluble drugs, being biodegradable systems that served as alternatives to the usual colloidal carriers. That system was used to deliver PTX to the lungs and seem to fulfill the requirements for an optimum particulate carrier. Furthermore, PTX-loaded SLN pulmonary administration provided a target administration, which is expected to avoid high concentration of the drug at nontarget tissues, reducing toxicity, and increasing the drug's therapeutic index. The rationale of this study was to deliver a colloidal system to the lung lymphatics through a pulmonary route for cancer therapy. From the Clinical Editor: Paclitaxel-loaded solid lipid nanoparticles were used to target tumors in a murine lung cancer model enabling high PTX concentration in the target with reduced systemic toxicity and increased therapeutic index. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Porta-de-la-Riva M.,Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research | Porta-de-la-Riva M.,Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical | Fontrodona L.,Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research | Villanueva A.,Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Visualized Experiments | Year: 2012

Research into the molecular and developmental biology of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was begun in the early seventies by Sydney Brenner and it has since been used extensively as a model organism 1. C. elegans possesses key attributes such as simplicity, transparency and short life cycle that have made it a suitable experimental system for fundamental biological studies for many years 2. Discoveries in this nematode have broad implications because many cellular and molecular processes that control animal development are evolutionary conserved 3. C. elegans life cycle goes through an embryonic stage and four larval stages before animals reach adulthood. Development can take 2 to 4 days depending on the temperature. In each of the stages several characteristic traits can be observed. The knowledge of its complete cell lineage 4,5 together with the deep annotation of its genome turn this nematode into a great model in fields as diverse as the neurobiology 6, aging 7,8, stem cell biology 9 and germ line biology 10. An additional feature that makes C. elegans an attractive model to work with is the possibility of obtaining populations of worms synchronized at a specific stage through a relatively easy protocol. The ease of maintaining and propagating this nematode added to the possibility of synchronization provide a powerful tool to obtain large amounts of worms, which can be used for a wide variety of small or high-throughput experiments such as RNAi screens, microarrays, massive sequencing, immunoblot or in situ hybridization, among others. Because of its transparency, C. elegans structures can be distinguished under the microscope using Differential Interference Contrast microscopy, also known as Nomarski microscopy. The use of a fluorescent DNA binder, DAPI (4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole), for instance, can lead to the specific identification and localization of individual cells, as well as subcellular structures/defects associated to them.© JoVE 2006-2012.All Rights Reserved.


Bens S.,Institute of Human Genetics | Bens S.,University of Kiel | Ammerpohl O.,Institute of Human Genetics | Martin-Subero J.I.,Institute of Human Genetics | And 8 more authors.
Sexual Development | Year: 2011

Male external genital differentiation is accompanied by implementation of a long-term, male-specific gene expression pattern indicating androgen programming in cultured genital fibroblasts. We hypothesized the existence of an epigenetic background contributing to this phenomenon. DNA methylation levels in 2 normal scrotal fibroblast strains from 46,XY males compared to 2 labia majora fibroblast strains from 46,XY females with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) due to androgen receptor (AR) mutations were analyzed by Illumina GoldenGate methylation arrays®. Results were validated with pyrosequencing in labia majora fibroblast strains from fifteen 46,XY patients and compared to nine normal male scrotal fibroblast strains. HOXA5 showed a significantly higher methylation level in complete AIS. This finding was confirmed by bisulfite pyrosequencing of 14 CpG positions within the HOXA5 promoter in the same strains. Extension of the 2 groups revealed a constant low HOXA5 methylation pattern in the controls in contrast to a highly variable methylation pattern in the AIS patients. HOXA5 represents a candidate gene of androgen-mediated promoter methylation. The constantly low HOXA5 DNA methylation level of normal male scrotal fibroblast strains and the frequently high methylation levels in labia majora fibroblast strains in AIS indicate for the first time that androgen programming in sexual differentiation is not restricted to global gene transcription but also occurs at the epigenetic level. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.


PubMed | Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research
Type: | Journal: Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE | Year: 2012

Research into the molecular and developmental biology of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was begun in the early seventies by Sydney Brenner and it has since been used extensively as a model organism. C. elegans possesses key attributes such as simplicity, transparency and short life cycle that have made it a suitable experimental system for fundamental biological studies for many years. Discoveries in this nematode have broad implications because many cellular and molecular processes that control animal development are evolutionary conserved. C. elegans life cycle goes through an embryonic stage and four larval stages before animals reach adulthood. Development can take 2 to 4 days depending on the temperature. In each of the stages several characteristic traits can be observed. The knowledge of its complete cell lineage together with the deep annotation of its genome turn this nematode into a great model in fields as diverse as the neurobiology, aging, stem cell biology and germ line biology. An additional feature that makes C. elegans an attractive model to work with is the possibility of obtaining populations of worms synchronized at a specific stage through a relatively easy protocol. The ease of maintaining and propagating this nematode added to the possibility of synchronization provide a powerful tool to obtain large amounts of worms, which can be used for a wide variety of small or high-throughput experiments such as RNAi screens, microarrays, massive sequencing, immunoblot or in situ hybridization, among others. Because of its transparency, C. elegans structures can be distinguished under the microscope using Differential Interference Contrast microscopy, also known as Nomarski microscopy. The use of a fluorescent DNA binder, DAPI (4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole), for instance, can lead to the specific identification and localization of individual cells, as well as subcellular structures/defects associated to them.

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