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Galizia G.,The Second University of Naples | Gemei M.,CEINGE Advanced Biotechnologies | Orditura M.,The Second University of Naples | Romano C.,The Second University of Naples | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery | Year: 2013

Introduction: Circulating tumor cells are thought to play a crucial role in the development of distant metastases. Their detection in the blood of colorectal cancer patients may be linked to poor outcome, but current evidence is controversial. Materials and Methods: Pre- and postoperative flow cytometric analysis of blood samples was carried out in 76 colorectal cancer patients undergoing surgical resection. The EpCAM/CD326 epithelial surface antigen was used to identify circulating tumor cells. Results: Fifty-four (71 %) patients showed circulating tumor cells preoperatively, and all metastatic patients showed high levels of circulating tumor cells. Surgical resection resulted in a significant decrease in the levels of circulating tumor cells. Among 69 patients undergoing radical surgery, 16 had high postoperative levels of circulating tumor cells, and 12 (75 %) experienced tumor recurrence. High postoperative level of circulating tumor cells was the only independent variable related to cancer relapse. In patients without circulating tumor cells, the progression-free survival rate increased from 16 to 86 %, with a reduction in the risk of tumor relapse greater than 90 %. Conclusions: High postoperative levels of circulating tumor cells accurately predicted tumor recurrence, suggesting that assessment of circulating tumor cells could optimize tailored management of colorectal cancer patients. © 2013 The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract.

Napolitano M.,IRCCS SDN Foundation | Comegna M.,University of Naples Federico II | Succoio M.,University of Naples Federico II | Leggiero E.,CEINGE Advanced Biotechnologies | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

In the last decades, cellular senescence is viewed as a complex mechanism involved in different processes, ranging from tumor suppression to induction of age-related degenerative alterations. Senescence-inducing stimuli are myriad and, recently, we and others have demonstrated the role exerted by microRNAs in the induction and maintenance of senescence, by the identification of a subset of Senescence-Associated microRNAs (SAmiRs) up-regulated during replicative or stress-induced senescence and able to induce a premature senescent phenotype when over-expressed in human primary cells. With the intent to find novel direct targets of two specific SAmiRs, SAmiR-494 and -486-5p, and cellular pathways which they are involved in, we performed a comparative analysis of gene expression profiles available in literature to select genes down-regulated upon replicative senescence of human primary fibroblasts. Among them, we searched for SAmiR's candidate targets by analyzing with different target prediction algorithms their 3′UTR for the presence of SAmiR-binding sites. The expression profiles of selected candidates have been validated on replicative and stress-induced senescence and the targeting of the 3′UTRs was assessed by luciferase assay. Results allowed us to identify Cell Division Cycle Associated 2 (CDCA2) and Inhibitor of DNA binding/differentiation type 4 (ID4) as novel targets of SAmiR-494 and SAmiR-486-5p, respectively. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the over-expression of CDCA2 in human primary fibroblasts was able to partially counteract etoposide-induced senescence by mitigating the activation of DNA Damage Response. © 2014 Napolitano et al.

Iommelli F.,National Research Council Italy | De Rosa V.,National Research Council Italy | Gargiulo S.,National Research Council Italy | Panico M.,National Research Council Italy | And 10 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2014

Purpose: MET amplification is one of the mechanisms underlying acquired resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Here, we tested whether 3′-deoxy-3′-[18F]-fluorothymidine ([18F]FLT) positron emission tomography/computerized tomography (PET/CT) can detect MET-mediated resistance to EGFR TKIs and monitor the effects of MET inhibitors in NSCLC.Experimental Design: H1993 and H820 NSCLC cells with high and low levels of MET amplification, respectively, and HCC827-expressing MET, but without gene amplification, were tested for the effects of MET inhibitors on the EGFR pathway and proliferation both in vitro and in vivo. Nude mice bearing NSCLCs with and without MET amplification were subjected to [18F]FLT PET/CT before and after treatment with crizotinib or erlotinib (50 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg p.o. for 3 days).Results: H1993 cells showed high responsiveness to MET inhibitors and were resistant to erlotinib. Conversely, HCC827 cells showed high sensitivity to erlotinib and were resistant to MET inhibitors. Accordingly, H1993 tumors bearingMETamplification showed a mean reduction in [18F]FLT uptake of28% and 41% after low- and high-dose treatment with crizotinib for 3 days, whereas no posttherapy changes of [18F]FLT uptake were observed in HCC827 tumors lacking MET amplification. Furthermore, a persistently high [18F]FLT uptake was observed in H1993 tumors after treatment with erlotinib, whereas HCC827 tumors showed up to 39% reduction of [18F]FLT uptake following erlotinib treatment. Imaging findings were confirmed by Ki67 immunostaining of tumor sections.Conclusions: [18F]FLT PET/CT can detect MET-mediated resistance to EGFR TKIs and its reversal by MET inhibitors in NSCLC. © 2014 American Association for Cancer Research.

Gentile I.,University of Naples Federico II | Borgia F.,CEINGE Advanced Biotechnologies | Borgia F.,University of Naples Federico II | Coppola N.,The Second University of Naples | And 4 more authors.
Current Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2014

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection affects about 160 million people worldwide. It is treated with pegylatedinterferon (peg-IFN) and ribavirin, and in the case of patients affected by genotype 1, also with a protease inhibitor (telaprevir or boceprevir). Despite a good success rate, IFN-based combinations are contraindicated in several patients (e.g. decompensated cirrhosis, patients with psychiatric disorders, severe heart diseases or autoimmune disorders) and are associated with frequent adverse events that ultimately reduce their use. Numerous oral drugs are in an advanced phase of clinical development, and in some cases, in IFN-free combinations. This review focuses on preclinical and clinical data regarding daclatasvir (BMS-790052), which is a highly selective HCV NS5A replication complex inhibitor effective against HCV genotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4. In vitro data show that daclatasvir exerts a very potent antiviral effect against several HCV genotypes. Its pharmacokinetics is optimal and allows once-a-day oral administration. Its adverse event profile is good. Clinical data regarding its efficacy in combination with peg-IFN, ribavirin or other direct antiviral agents are impressive (rates of sustained virological response range between 60% and 100% in treatment-naïve patients). The only drawback of this drug appears to be a relatively low genetic barrier to resistance. In conclusion, daclatasvir, especially in combinations with other antiviral agents, is a very promising drug for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. © 2014 Bentham Science Publishers.

Fabbrini E.,University of Washington | Fabbrini E.,Center for Clinical and Basic Research | Higgins P.B.,The Texas Institute | Magkos F.,University of Washington | And 9 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2013

We established a model of chronic portal vein catheterization in an awake nonhuman primate to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the metabolic response to low-carbohydrate/high-fat (LCHF; 20% carbohydrate and 65% fat) and high-carbohydrate/low-fat (HCLF; 65% carbohydrate and 20% fat) meal ingestion. Each meal was given 1 wk apart to five young adult (7.8 ± 1.3 yr old) male baboons. A [U-13C]glucose tracer was added to the meal, and a [6,6-132H2]glucose tracer was infused systemically to assess glucose kinetics. Plasma areas under the curve (AUCs) of glucose, insulin, and C-peptide in the femoral artery and of glucose and insulin in the portal vein were higher (P ≤ 0.05) after ingestion of the HCLF compared with the LCHF meal. Compared with the LCHF meal, the rate of appearance of ingested glucose into the portal vein and the systemic circulation was greater after the HCLF meal (P < 0.05). Endogenous glucose production decreased by ~40% after ingestion of the HCLF meal but was not affected by the LCHF meal (P < 0.05). Portal vein blood flow increased (P < 0.001) to a similar extent after consumption of either meal. In conclusion, a LCHF diet causes minimal changes in the rate of glucose appearance in both portal and systemic circulations, does not affect the rate of endogenous glucose production, and causes minimal stimulation of C-peptide and insulin. These observations demonstrate that LCHF diets cause minimal perturbations in glucose homeostasis and pancreatic β-cell activity. © 2013 the American Physiological Society.

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