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Scarpi E.,Biostatistics and Clinical Trials Unit | Calistri D.,Biosciences Laboratory | Klepstad P.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Klepstad P.,European Palliative Care Research Center | And 7 more authors.
Oncologist | Year: 2014

Objective. The study objective was to evaluate whether there are clinical or genetic differences between patients with cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP) and patients with non-CIBP, and, in the CIBP group, in those with good versus poor opioid response.Materials and Methods. A total of 2,294 adult patients with cancer who were receiving opioids for moderate or severe pain were included in the European Pharmacogenetic Opioid Study. Pain intensity and pain relief were measured using the Brief Pain Inventory. Linkage disequilibrium of 112 single nucleotide polymorphisms was evaluated in 25 candidate genes, and 43 haplotypes were assessed. Correlations among demographical factors, disease-related factors, genetic factors, CIBP, and pain relief were analyzed by logistic regression models corrected for multiple testing. Patients with bone metastases and bone/soft tissue pain were defined as having prevalent bone pain (CIBP population). This population was compared with patients who had other types of cancer pain (non-CIBP).Results. A total of 577 patients (26.2%) had CIBP, and 1,624 patients (73.8%) had non-CIBP. Patients with CIBP had more breakthrough cancer pain episodes (64.2% vs. 56.4%, p = .001), had significantly higher pain interference in“walkingability in the past 24 hours” (p < .0001), used more adjuvant drugs (84.1% vs. 78.3%, p = .003), and had a higher, albeit nonsignificant, median overall survival (3.8 vs. 2.9 months, p = .716) than patients with non-CIBP. None of the examined haplotypes exceeded p values corrected for multiple testing for the investigated outcomes.Conclusion. Patients with CIBP who were taking opioids had a clinical profile slightly different from that of the non-CIBP group. However, no specific genetic pattern emerged for CIBP versus non-CIBP or for responsive versus nonresponsive patients with CIBP. The Oncologist 2014;19:1276–1283 © AlphaMed Press 2014.


PubMed | Biosciences Laboratory, Degli Infermi Hospital, Vito Fazzi Hospital, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and 5 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

To investigate the impact of pre-treatment lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels on the outcome of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer treated with first-line chemotherapy with or without the anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody, bevacizumab, in a phase III prospective multicentre randomized ITACa (Italian Trial in Advanced Colorectal Cancer) trial.Three hundred and seventy patients enrolled onto the ITACa first-line trial were considered for this study, 176 receiving chemotherapy (either FOLFIRI or FOLFOX) plus bevacizumab and 194 receiving chemotherapy only. Pre-treatment LDH levels were evaluated to identify a potential correlation with progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS) and objective response rate.Information on pre-treatment LDH levels was available for 344 patients. High LDH levels were predictive of a lower median PFS (8.1 months vs. 9.2 months, p< 0.0001) and median OS (16.1 months vs. 25.2 months, p< 0.0001) in the overall population. In the chemotherapy plus bevacizumab group, median PFS was 9.1 and 9.8 months in patients with high LDH and low LDH, respectively (p= 0.073), whereas in the chemotherapy-only arm it was 6.9 and 9.1 months, respectively (p < 0.0001). In patients with high LDH, the addition of bevacizumab to chemotherapy led to a reduction in the rate of progressive disease (16.4 vs. 30.5%, p= 0.081) and to a prolonged PFS (p= 0.028).A high LDH value was confirmed as a marker of poor prognosis. Bevacizumab reduced the progressive disease rate and improved PFS in the high-LDH subgroup, making serum LDH a potentially effective an easily available and marker to select patients who benefit from bevacizumab.NCT01878422 ClinicalTrials.gov.


Gardini A.C.,Instituto Scientifico Romagnolo per Lo Studio e Cura Dei Tumori IRST | Marisi G.,Biosciences Laboratory | Scarpi E.,Unit of Biostatistics and Clinical Trials | Scartozzi M.,University of Cagliari | And 14 more authors.
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy | Year: 2015

Background and objective: Several studies have reported an association between type 2 diabetes mellitus and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Data from several retrospective studies and meta-analyses have highlighted a reduction of about 50% in the risk of developing HCC in cirrhotic patients treated with metformin for diabetes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the different outcomes of patients who received or did not receive metformin during treatment with sorafenib.Methods: We analyzed 93 patients consecutively treated with sorafenib. Forty-two (45.2%) patients were diabetic, of whom 31 were on metformin. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were estimated with the Kaplan-Meier method and compared with the log-rank test.Results: The concomitant use of sorafenib and metformin was associated with a median PFS of 2.6 months (95% CI 1.9-3.3) compared to 5.0 months (95% CI 2.5-8.2) for patients receiving sorafenib alone (p = 0.029). The median OS of patients treated with the combination was 10.4 months (95% CI 3.9-14.4) compared to 15.1 months (95% CI 11.7-17.8) for those who were not given metformin (p = 0.014).Conclusions: Our findings could be the result of increased tumor aggressiveness and resistance to sorafenib in metformin-treated patients. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.


PubMed | D Cotugno Hospital, Unit of Biostatistics and Clinical Trials, University of Cagliari, Biosciences Laboratory and 7 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2016

We evalueted a systemic immune-inflammation index (SII), neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) with the aim to explored their prognostic value in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treated with sorafenib. 56 advanced HCC patients receiving sorafenib were available for our analysis. Lymphocyte, neutrophil and platelet were measured before beginning of treatment and after one month. Patient with SII 360 showed lower median PFS (2.6 vs. 3.9 months, P < 0.026) and OS (5.6 vs. 13.9 months, P = 0.027) with respect to patients with SII < 360.NLR 3 had a lower median PFS (2.6 vs. 3.3 months, P < 0.049) but not OS (5.6 vs. 13.9 months, P = 0.062) than those with NLR < 3. After adjusting for clinical covariates SII and NLR remained an independent prognostic factor for OS. The SII and NLR represent potential prognostic indicator in patients with advanced HCC treated with sorafenib.


Gardini A.C.,Instituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e Cura dei Tumori IRST IRCCS | Scarpi E.,Unit of Biostatistics and Clinical Trials | Marisi G.,Biosciences Laboratory | Foschi F.G.,Hospital of Faenza | And 13 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Hypertension (HTN) is frequently associated with the use of angiogenesis inhibitors targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway and appears to be a generalized effect of this class of agent. We investigated the phenomenon in 61 patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) receiving sorafenib. Blood pressure and plasma electrolytes were measured on days 1 and 15 of the treatment. Patients with sorafenib-induced HTN had a better outcome than those without HTN (disease control rate: 63.4% vs. 17.2% (p=0.001); progression-free survival 6.0 months (95% CI 3.2-10.1) vs. 2.5 months (95% CI 1.9-2.6) (p<0.001) and overall survival 14.6 months (95% CI9.7-19.0) vs. 3.9 months (95% CI 3.1-8.7) (p=0.003). Sodium levels were generally higher on day 15 than at baseline (+2.38, p<0.0001) in the group of responders (+4.95, p <0.0001) compared to patients who progressed (PD) (+0.28, p=0.607). In contrast, potassium was lower on day 14 (-0.30, p=0.0008) in the responder group (-0.58, p=0.003) than in those with progressive disease (-0.06, p=0.500). The early onset of hypertension is associated with improved clinical outcome in HCC patients treated with sorafenib. Our data are suggestive of an activation of the renin-angiotensin system in patients with advanced disease who developed HTN during sorafenib treatment.


PubMed | Marche Polytechnic University, University of Cagliari, Biosciences Laboratory, Morgagni Pierantoni Hospital and 6 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Hypertension (HTN) is frequently associated with the use of angiogenesis inhibitors targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway and appears to be a generalized effect of this class of agent. We investigated the phenomenon in 61 patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) receiving sorafenib. Blood pressure and plasma electrolytes were measured on days 1 and 15 of the treatment. Patients with sorafenib-induced HTN had a better outcome than those without HTN (disease control rate: 63.4% vs. 17.2% (p=0.001); progression-free survival 6.0 months (95% CI 3.2-10.1) vs. 2.5 months (95% CI 1.9-2.6) (p<0.001) and overall survival 14.6 months (95% CI9.7-19.0) vs. 3.9 months (95% CI 3.1-8.7) (p=0.003). Sodium levels were generally higher on day 15 than at baseline (+2.38, p<0.0001) in the group of responders (+4.95, p <0.0001) compared to patients who progressed (PD) (+0.28, p=0.607). In contrast, potassium was lower on day 14 (-0.30, p=0.0008) in the responder group (-0.58, p=0.003) than in those with progressive disease (-0.06, p=0.500). The early onset of hypertension is associated with improved clinical outcome in HCC patients treated with sorafenib. Our data are suggestive of an activation of the renin-angiotensin system in patients with advanced disease who developed HTN during sorafenib treatment.


Ibrahim T.,Instituto Scientifico Romagnolo Per Lo Studio E La Cura Dei Tumori Irst | Sacanna E.,Instituto Scientifico Romagnolo Per Lo Studio E La Cura Dei Tumori Irst | Gaudio M.,Morgagni Pierantoni Hospital | Mercatali L.,Instituto Scientifico Romagnolo Per Lo Studio E La Cura Dei Tumori Irst | And 7 more authors.
Clinical Breast Cancer | Year: 2011

Background: The RANK/RANKL/OPG system is active in primary cancers such as breast, prostate, and also in their bone metastases. CXCR4 chemokine receptor is highly expressed in human breast cancer cells and is believed to facilitate the homing of tumor cells to organs such as bone that express high levels of its ligand SDF1. Our study aimed to investigate whether the analysis of these markers with an inexpensive and simple test can help to predict bone metastases in breast cancer patients. Patients and Methods: Marker expression was evaluated by immunohistochemical staining in paraffin-embedded tissue sections of primary breast cancers from 40 individuals: 20 patients with bone metastases (BM), 10 with visceral metastases (VM; considered together as the relapsed group), and 10 with no evidence of disease (NED). Results: RANKL was not detected in tumor cells. OPG- and RANK-positive tumors are found with similar frequency in NED (20%) and in relapsed patients (23% and 17%, respectively). However, in the latter subgroup, only RANK positivity was always associated with bone relapse. The frequency of CXCR4-positive tumors was three-fold higher in relapsed (30%) than in NED (10%) patients and positivity was always linked to bone metastases. Considering NED and VM patients together versus BM patients, we observed that CXCR4 expression, alone (P =.008) or in combination with RANK (P <.001), identified patients destined to relapse to bone. Conclusion: Our results provide the first clinical evidence to support a pivotal role of combined CXCR4 and RANK expression in predicting bone relapse. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Biosciences Laboratory and Instituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori IRST IRCCS
Type: | Journal: OncoTargets and therapy | Year: 2016

The increasing knowledge of the molecular pathogenesis of cancer and the rapid development of new molecular techniques are promoting the study of early molecular alterations involved in cancer development in body fluids. Specific genetic and epigenetic alterations could be found in plasma, serum, and urine cell-free DNA (cfDNA) and could potentially be used as diagnostic biomarkers for several types of cancers. This review focuses on the role of cfDNA in diagnosis: a PubMed search was performed by selecting papers according to journal impact factor and robustness of statistical analysis. A comprehensive evaluation of liquid biopsy, including cfDNA analysis, will be one of the critical challenges to better understand the early mechanisms of cancer development.


Sacanna E.,Osteoncology Center | Sacanna E.,Instituto Scientifico Romagnolo per Lo Studio e la Cura Dei Tumori IRST | Ibrahim T.,Osteoncology Center | Gaudio M.,Osteoncology Center | And 9 more authors.
Oncology | Year: 2011

Objective: The chemokine receptor CXCR4 is involved in tumor growth and homing of cancer cells to distant sites. The aim of our retrospective case-control study was to evaluate whether CXCR4 expression is more effective than conventional markers (estrogen receptor and HER-2) in predicting bone relapse in breast cancer. Methods: CXCR4 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemical staining in paraffin-embedded tissue sections of primary breast cancers from 20 patients with bone metastases (BM), 10 with visceral metastases (VM) and 10 with no evidence of disease (NED) at a median follow-up of 10.5 years (range 10.1-11.8). Results: Cytoplasmic CXCR4 expression was high in BM patients (45%, 95% CI 23-67), much lower in NED patients (10%, 95% CI 0-29) and negative in the VM group. CXCR4 coexpression in the nucleus and cytoplasm was observed in about half of the BM patients (45%) but never in NED or VM patients (p = 0.013). Conversely, estrogen receptor-positive and HER-2-negative status identified 80 and 95% of bone relapse patients, respectively, but did not discriminate between cases and controls. Conclusions: Our results suggest a pivotal role of CXCR4 expression as a predictor of BM in primary breast cancer. A larger study is ongoing to confirm these results. © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Casoni G.L.,Morgagni Pierantoni Hospital | Ulivi P.,Biosciences Laboratory | Mercatali L.,Biosciences Laboratory | Chilosi M.,University of Verona | And 7 more authors.
International Journal of Biological Markers | Year: 2010

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is difficult to diagnose because of numerous interstitial lung diseases with similar symptoms. As serum DNA has proven useful for early lung cancer detection, we aimed to define the relevance of this marker in discriminating IPF from other fibrotic and nonfibrotic/nonmalignant lung diseases. DNA was quantified in 191 subjects: 64 healthy individuals, 58 patients with IPF, 17 patients with nonspecific pulmonary fibrosis (13 idiopathic nonspecific interstitial pneumonia, 4 chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis), and 52 patients with other diffuse/nonmalignant lung diseases. The median value of free DNA in IPF patients was 61.1 ng/mL (range 7.1-405), which was significantly higher than that of healthy donors (median 6.8, range 2.2-184) (p<0.001) and that of patients with other diffuse/nonmalignant lung diseases (median 28.0, range 4.2-281) (p=0.004). The area under the ROC curve was 0.926 (95% CI 0.879-0.973) when IPF patients were compared with healthy donors, and 0.702 (95% CI 0.609-0.796) when a comparison was made with non-IPF pulmonary diseases. In conclusion, we observed significantly higher levels of free circulating DNA in patients with IPF than in those with other fibrotic or diffuse/nonmalignant lung diseases. © 2010 Wichtig Editore.

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