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Secreto G.,Fondazione Istituto Nazionale Dei Tumori | Venturelli E.,Fondazione Istituto Nazionale Dei Tumori | Meneghini E.,Descriptive Studies and Health Planning Unit | Carcangiu M.L.,Fondazione Istituto Nazionale Dei Tumori | And 8 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2012

Background: Androgen receptors (AR) are frequently expressed in breast cancers, but their implication in cancer growth is still controversial. In the present study, we further investigated the role of the androgen/AR pathway in breast cancer development.Methods: AR expression was evaluated by immunochemistry in a cohort of 528 postmenopausal breast cancer patients previously examined for the association of serum testosterone levels with patient and tumor characteristics. AR expression was classified according to the percentage of stained cells: AR-absent (0%) and AR-poorly (1%-30%), AR-moderately (>30%-60%), and AR-highly (>60%) positive.Results: Statistical analysis was performed in 451 patients who experienced natural menopause. AR-high expression was significantly related with low histologic grade and estrogen receptor (ER)- and progesterone receptor (PR)-positive status (P trend<0.001). Mean testosterone levels were significantly higher in the AR-high category than in the other categories combined (P=0.022), although a trend across the AR expression categories was not present. When women defined by ER status were analyzed separately, regression analysis in the ER-positive group showed a significant association of high testosterone levels with AR-highly-positive expression (OR 1.86; 95% CI, 1.10-3.16), but the association was essentially due to patients greater than or equal to 65 years (OR 2.42; 95% CI, 1.22-4.82). In ER-positive group, elevated testosterone levels appeared also associated with AR-absent expression, although the small number of patients in this category limited the appearance of significant effects (OR 1.92; 95% CI, 0.73-5.02): the association was present in both age groups (<65 and ≥65 years). In the ER-negative group, elevated testosterone levels were found associated (borderline significance) with AR-absent expression (OR 2.82, 95% CI, 0.98-8.06). In this ER-negative/AR-absent subset of tumors, elevated testosterone levels cannot stimulate cancer growth either directly or after conversion into estrogens, but they probably induce increased synthesis of some other substance that is responsible for cancer growth through binding to its specific receptor.Conclusions: The findings in the present study confirm that testosterone levels are a marker of hormone-dependent breast cancer and suggest that the contemporary evaluation of ER status, AR expression, and circulating testosterone levels may identify different subsets of cancers whose growth may be influenced by androgens. © 2012 Secreto et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


De Palma A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Roveri A.,University of Padua | Zaccarin M.,Istituto Oncologico Veneto | Benazzi L.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2010

Since red blood cells (RBCs) lack nuclei and organelles, cell membrane is their main load-bearing component and, according to a dynamic interaction with the cytoskeleton compartment, plays a pivotal role in their functioning. Even if erythrocyte membranes are available in large quantities, the low abundance and the hydrophobic nature of cell membrane proteins complicate their purification and detection by conventional 2D gel-based proteomic approaches. So, in order to increase the efficiency of RBC membrane proteome identification, here we took advantage of a simple and reproducible membrane sub-fractionation method coupled to Multidimensional Protein Identification Technology (MudPIT). In addition, the adoption of a stringent RBC filtration strategy from the whole blood, permitted to remove exhaustively contaminants, such as platelets and white blood cells, and to identify a total of 275 proteins in the three RBC membrane fractions collected and analysed. Finally, by means of software for the elaboration of the great quantity of data obtained and programs for statistical analysis and protein classification, it was possible to determine the validity of the entire system workflow and to assign the proper sub-cellular localization and function for the greatest number of the identified proteins. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source


Pinto C.,Medical Oncology Unit | Di Fabio F.,Medical Oncology Unit | Maiello E.,Medical Oncology Unit | Pini S.,Medical Oncology Unit | And 11 more authors.
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2011

Background: The aim of this phase II study was to assess the activity of panitumumab in combination with oxaliplatin, 5-fluorouracil, and external radiotherapy (RT) as preoperative treatment in locally advanced rectal cancer patients. Patients and methods: Patients had rectal adenocarcinoma, cT3N+ or cT4N2/+ stage, located <12cm from the anal margin. Panitumumab was administered before the start of chemo-RT, and every 2 weeks in combination with 5-fluorouracil-oxaliplatin with concurrent RT. Rectal surgery was carried out 7-8 weeks after the end of neoadjuvant treatment. The primary end point was a pathological complete response rate of 25%. Results: Sixty patients were enrolled from February 2007 to October 2009. Fifty-five (91.7%) patients underwent surgery. Rate of pathological complete response was 21.1% (95% confidence interval 10.4% to 31.6%). Pathological downstaging occurred in 33 of 57 (57.9%) patients. Grade 3-4 toxicity during neoadjuvant treatment was diarrhea (38.9%), cutaneous reactions (18.6%), nausea (5.1%), asthenia (3.4%), anorexia (3.4%), and neutropenia (1.7%). One toxic death was observed for diarrhea. Conclusions: In our study, the primary end point is not reached and panitumumab combination treatment was associated with high incidence of grade 3-4 diarrhea. The higher pathological complete response rate in comparison with the results of previous neoadjuvant rectal cancer trials with anti-epidermal growth factor receptor monoclonal antibodies supports further studies necessary to understand the possibility of optimal regimens and sequences with chemo-RT. © The Author 2011. Source


Soletormos G.,Copenhagen University | Duffy M.J.,University College Dublin | Hayes D.F.,University of Michigan | Sturgeon C.M.,Royal Infirmary | And 10 more authors.
Clinical Chemistry | Year: 2013

A major application of tumor biomarkers is in serial monitoring of cancer patients, but there are no published guidelines on how to evaluate biomarkers for this purpose. The European Group on Tumor Markers has convened a multidisciplinary panel of scientists to develop guidance on the design of such monitoring trials. The panel proposes a 4-phase model for biomarker-monitoring trials analogous to that in use for the investigation of new drugs. In phase I, biomarker kinetics and correlation with tumor burden are assessed. Phase II evaluates the ability of the biomarker to identify, exclude, and/or predict a change in disease status. In phase III, the effectiveness of tumor biomarker-guided intervention is assessed by measuring patient outcome in randomized trials. Phase IV consists of an audit of the long-term effects after biomarker monitoring has been included into standard patient care. Systematic well-designed evaluations of biomarkers for monitoring may provide a stronger evidence base that might enable their earlier use in evaluating responses to cancer therapy. © 2012 American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Source


Zuin J.,Xeptagen S.p.A. | Veggiani G.,Xeptagen S.p.A. | Pengo P.,Xeptagen S.p.A. | Gallotta A.,Xeptagen S.p.A. | And 11 more authors.
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine | Year: 2010

Background: Squamous cell carcinoma antigen-immunoglobulin M (SCCA-IgM) is a useful biomarker for the risk of development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with cirrhosis due to its progressive increase associated to HCC evolution. In patients with cirrhosis, other assays have been affected by interfering reactivities of IgM. In this study, the analytical specificity of the SCCA-IgM assay was assessed by evaluating SCCA-IgM measurement dependence on different capture phases, and by measuring the recovery of SCCA-IgM reactivity following serum fractionation. Methods: Serum samples from 82 patients with cirrhosis were analyzed. SCCA-IgM was measured using the reference test (Hepa-IC, Xeptagen, Italy) that is based on rabbit oligoclonal anti-squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCCA) and a dedicated ELISA with a mouse monoclonal anti-SCCA as the capture antibody. Results: SCCA-IgM concentrations measured with the reference assay (median value=87 AU/mL) were higher than those measured with the mouse monoclonal test (median value=78 AU/mL). However, the differences in the SCCA-IgM distribution were not statistically significant (p>0.05). When SCCA-IgM concentrations measured with both tests were compared, a linear correlation was found (r=0.77, p<0.05). Fractionation of the most reactive sera by gel-filtration chromatography showed that total recovery of SCCA-IgM reactivity was seen only in the fractions corresponding to components with a molecular weight higher than IgM and SCCA (>2000 kDa) with both tests. Conclusions: The equivalence of both SCCA-IgM assays and the absence of reactivity not related to immune complexes support the analytical specificity of SCCA-IgM measurements. The results validate the assessment of SCCA-IgM for prognostic purposes in patients with cirrhosis. © 2010 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York. Source

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