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Chellini E.,Cancer Prevention and Research Institute ISPO | Maurello M.T.,Hygiene and Public Health Service | Cortini B.,Cancer Prevention and Research Institute ISPO | Aprea C.,Public Health Laboratory
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2017

In an area characterized by the presence of a plant that recycles and refines precious metals the study aims to evaluate the exposure to the plant emissions of the residents in the neighbourhood using human urinary biomarkers, in comparison with those obtained in a reference and in an urban area and with the data concerning dispersions of plant emissions obtained through a specific diffusional model. 153 subjects in the study area, 95 in the urban area and 55 in the reference area, aged 18–60 years, answered to a self-administered questionnaire and collected their 24-h urine. Urinary concentrations of antimony, silver, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, mercury, nickel, platinum, creatinine, and the porphyrin patterns were detected. The results for the 3 areas were compared using parametric and non-parametric tests. Significant higher concentrations of mercury, cadmium, silver and nickel are observed in the study area in comparison with the reference area, but no differential distribution was observed by different levels of environmental pollution defined by the study's diffusion model, and no correlation was found between the concentrations of altered urinary porphyrin and metals. Life styles being equal, residents in the study area as well as residents in the urban area have high urinary levels of mercury, silver and nickel in comparison with the reference area, suggesting common environmental pressures probably related to diffuse gold processing activities, suggesting common environmental pressures. The excess of cadmium only in the study area suggests a role played by exposure to plant emissions, even if a differential distribution was not observed by different levels of environmental pollution. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Grazzini G.,ISPO Cancer Prevention and Research Institute | Ventura L.,Cancer Prevention and Research Institute ISPO | Zappa M.,Cancer Prevention and Research Institute ISPO | Ciatto S.,ISPO Cancer Prevention and Research Institute | And 5 more authors.
Gut | Year: 2010

Background: Faecal occult blood testing (FOBT) in population screening has proved to be effective in reducing mortality from colorectal cancer. In Italy a latex agglutination FOBT has been adopted for a single-sample screening programme. The aim of this study was to examine the performance of FOBTs in the Florence screening programme over several seasons to evaluate the impact of variations in ambient temperature on the performance of the screening test. Methods: Measured haemoglobin (Hb) concentrations were aggregated into seasons with their average ambient temperature (AAT). Using logistic regression, the AAT over the period preceding the test measurement was analysed. This period included the time between faecal sampling and return of the test sample (mean 7 days) and the time in the laboratory refrigerator before analysis (mean 4 days). The AAT from days 5-11 before analysis of the test sample was considered a determinant of test positivity. The Kruskal-Wallis rank test was used to evaluate the significance of seasonal and/or AAT-related differences in Hb concentration. A logistic regression model adjusted for sex, age, season and screening episode (first or repeated examination) was constructed. Results: 199 654 FOBT results were examined. Mean FOBT seasonal Hb concentrations (ng/ml) were: spring 27.6 (95% CI 26.2 to 29.1); summer 25.2 (95%CI 23.1 to 27.3); autumn 29.2 (95% CI 27.7 to 30.6); winter 29.5 (95% CI 27.9 to 31.1). Logistic regression showed that there was a 17% lower probability of the FOBT being positive in summer than in winter. The results of the logistic regression showed that an increase in temperature of 18C produced a 0.7% reduction in probability of a FOBT being positive. In the summer the probability of detecting a cancer or an advanced adenoma was about 13% lower than in the winter. Conclusions: This study showed that there is a significant fall in Hb concentration at higher ambient temperatures. These results will have important implications for the organisation of immunochemical FOBT-based screening programmes, particularly in countries with high ambient temperatures.


Halloran S.P.,University of Surrey | Launoy G.,University of Caen Lower Normandy | Zappa M.,Cancer Prevention and Research Institute ISPO
Endoscopy | Year: 2012

Multidisciplinary, evidence-based guidelines for quality assurance in colorectal cancer screening and diagnosis have been developed by experts in a project coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The full guideline document covers the entire process of population-based screening. It consists of 10 chapters and over 250 recommendations, graded according to the strength of the recommendation and the supporting evidence. The 450-page guidelines and the extensive evidence base have been published by the European Commission. The chapter on faecal occult blood testing includes 21 graded recommendations. The content of the chapter is presented here to promote international discussion and collaboration by making the principles and standards recommended in the new EU Guidelines known to a wider professional and scientific community. Following these recommendations has the potential to enhance the control of colorectal cancer through improvement in the quality and effectiveness of screening programmes and services. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart, New York.


Gorini G.,Cancer Prevention and Research Institute ISPO | Carreras G.,Cancer Prevention and Research Institute ISPO | Allara E.,University of Piemonte Orientale | Allara E.,University of Turin | Faggiano F.,University of Piemonte Orientale
Cancer Causes and Control | Year: 2013

Purpose: To update educational inequalities in smoking in Italy up to 2009, with an in-depth analysis of female prevalence. Methods: Data from 15 national health surveys (1980, 1983, 1986-1987, 1990, 1994, 1999-2003, 2005-2009) were analyzed. The overall sample size was representative of the population older than 25 years of age (3,300,000 men and 3,620,000 women). Main measures smoking prevalence rates standardized to the 2,000 European population, prevalence ratios by educational level (high: university degree or high school diploma; low: primary or middle school diploma), area (north, center, south and islands), and age-group (25-44, 45-59, >=60 years). Trends in tobacco prevalence were also analyzed with a multivariate approach using the negative binomial distribution. Results: Although male prevalence steadily declined of about 2 % annually from 56.1 % in 1980 to 30.2 % in 2009, educational inequalities slightly widened, recording in 2009 a 53 % higher prevalence in men with low educational level compared to graduates. Even though female prevalence stalled around 18 % in the last three decades, this was the result of opposite trends by educational group. In fact, highly educated women, with the highest prevalence during 1980s, decreased their tobacco use, determining a reversal similar to men in educational inequalities in smoking. This reversal occurred from the 1980s onwards with a time gradient starting from north to south and from younger to older women. Conclusion: To achieve a fairer reduction in smoking habits, tobacco control policies focusing on lower social groups are needed. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Raho J.A.,University of California at Los Angeles | Miccinesi G.,Cancer Prevention and Research Institute ISPO
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy (United Kingdom) | Year: 2015

Patients who are imminently dying sometimes experience symptoms refractory to traditional palliative interventions, and in rare cases, continuous sedation is offered. Samuel H. LiPuma, in a recent article in this Journal, argues that continuous sedation until death is equivalent to physician-assisted suicide/euthanasia based on a higher brain neocortical definition of death. We contest his position that continuous sedation involves killing and offer four objections to the equivalency thesis. First, sedation practices are proportional in a way that physician-assisted suicide/euthanasia is not. Second, continuous sedation may not entirely abolish consciousness. Third, LiPuma's particular version of higher brain neocortical death relies on an implausibly weak construal of irreversibility - a position that is especially problematic in the case of continuous sedation. Finally, we explain why continuous sedation until death is not functionally equivalent to neocortical death and, hence, physician-assisted suicide/euthanasia. Concluding remarks review the differences between these two end-of-life practices. © 2015 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy Inc. All rights reserved.


Fraser C.G.,University of Dundee | Rubeca T.,Cancer Prevention and Research Institute ISPO | Rapi S.,Careggi Hospital | Chen L.-S.,Taipei Medical University | Chen H.-H.,National Taiwan University
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine | Year: 2014

Background: Faecal immunochemical tests (FIT) are becoming widely used in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. Availability of data on faecal haemoglobin concentrations (f-Hb) in three countries prompted an observational study on sex and age and the transferability of data across geography. Methods: Single estimates of f-Hb in large groups were made in Scotland, Taiwan and Italy using quantitative automated immunoturbidimetry on the Eiken OC-Sensor. Distributions were examined for men and women overall and in four different age groups. Results: The distributions of f-Hb were not Gaussian and had kurtosis and positive skewness. The distributions were different in the three countries: f-Hb varies with sex and age in all countries, being higher in men and the elderly, but the degree of variation is inconsistent across countries, f-Hb being higher in Scotland than in Taiwan than in Italy, possibly due to different lifestyles. At any cut-off concentration, more men are declared positive than women and more older people are declared positive than younger individuals. Conclusions: Our analysis supports the view that setting and using a single f-Hb cut-off in any CRC screening programme is far from ideal. We suggest that individualisation is the optimum approach with f-Hb, alone or with other important factors such as sex and age, used to determine important personal issues such as need for colonoscopy, screening interval between tests and risk of future CRC. Whether there is merit in monitoring f-Hb in individuals over time remains an interesting research question for the future. © 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.


Fambrini M.,University of Florence | Sorbi F.,University of Florence | Bussani C.,University of Florence | Cioni R.,University of Florence | And 2 more authors.
Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica | Year: 2013

A decrease in HOXA10 gene expression in eutopic mid-secretory endometrium has been found in women with endometriosis-associated infertility. Promoter hypermethylation of HOXA10 is thought to be the leading mechanism for epigenetic gene regulation in patients with endometriosis. In our series we documented significantly higher HOXA10 promoter methylation levels in women with ovarian endometriomas than in healthy controls during the mid-luteal phase. Development of epigenetic-based strategies for non-surgical treatment of infertility related to ovarian endometriomas could be an attractive field of research in the coming years. © 2013 Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


Rossi S.,Italian National Institute of Health | Crocetti E.,Cancer Prevention and Research Institute ISPO | Capocaccia R.,Italian National Institute of Health | Gatta G.,Fondazione IRCCS Instituto Nazionale Dei Tumori
Tumori | Year: 2013

Aims and background. This paper presents updated estimates of the incidence, prevalence and mortality of stomach, colorectal, lung, breast, uterine cervix and prostate cancer and skin melanoma in the Italian population. In particular, point estimates for 2012 and time trends from 1970 to 2015 will be provided. Methods. The presented figures were obtained by summing up the regional epidemiological indicator estimates presented in the other papers of this monographic issue, which were derived by applying the MIAMOD statistical back-calculation method to cancer registries survival data and official mortality rates. Results. Our findings indicate that breast, colon-rectum and prostate will be the cancer sites with the highest incidence rates in the forthcoming years. The incidence rates still tend to increase for breast, male colorectal cancer and female lung cancer as well as for skin melanoma. By contrast, the incidence of stomach cancer, cervical cancer and male lung cancer, by far the most common tumor sites up to the early 1990s, will continue to decrease. The mortality estimates showed a decreasing trend for all considered cancers with the only exception of lung cancer in women. Conclusion. These results point to the need to reinforce prevention activities by developing more effective preventive measures for population groups at risk. There is also a need to support timely and continuous cancer surveillance in the Italian population through cancer registries in order to monitor the spread of the cancer risk and to evaluate the impact of prevention policies and therapeutic advances.


Rapi S.,Careggi Hospital | Rubeca T.,Cancer Prevention and Research Institute ISPO | Fraser C.G.,University of Dundee
International Journal of Biological Markers | Year: 2015

Lack of reference materials and standard procedures, on faecal tests leads to major problems in harmonisation of methods and do not allow the comparison of outcome data. In particular the absence of standardisation of pre-analytical characteristic was noted for faecal test methods for haemoglobin since different manufacturers have developed different sampling procedures and report units. Moreover the physical characteristics of the faecal specimen and the designs of specimen collection devices do not allow analysis of samples on different systems in consequence, faecal tests cannot be compared using standard evaluation protocols. To improve the harmonization of results generated using different analytical systems and the overall performances of test on faecal materials we propose the introduction of standard procedures for sampling and pre-analytical phase and the adoption of specific procedures based on the use of artificial biological samples for comparison of methods. Harmonization of sampling devices with the use of a standard design for pickers and a standard ratio between analyte and buffer for different manufacturers represent a mandatory step in the roadmap for harmonization of clinical laboratory measurement on faecal materials and can allow a significant standardisation of results generated by different devices. The creation of specific protocols for the evaluation and comparison of analytical methods for analyse of faeces could lead to a significant improvement in the performance of methods and systems. © 2014 Wichtig Publishing - eISSN 1724-6008.


Pandolfi M.,Lund University | Carreras G.,Cancer Prevention and Research Institute ISPO
European Journal of Internal Medicine | Year: 2014

The authors illustrate the difficulties involved in obtaining a valid statistical significance in clinical studies especially when the prior probability of the hypothesis under scrutiny is low. Since the prior probability of a research hypothesis is directly related to its scientific plausibility, the commonly used frequentist statistics, which does not take into account this probability, is particularly unsuitable for studies exploring matters in various degree disconnected from science such as complementary alternative medicine (CAM) interventions. Any statistical significance obtained in this field should be considered with great caution and may be better applied to more plausible hypotheses (like placebo effect) than that examined - which usually is the specific efficacy of the intervention. Since achieving meaningful statistical significance is an essential step in the validation of medical interventions, CAM practices, producing only outcomes inherently resistant to statistical validation, appear not to belong to modern evidence-based medicine. © 2014 European Federation of Internal Medicine.

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