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Rondelli T.,Core Research Laboratory Istituto Toscano Tumori | Berardi M.,Core Research Laboratory Istituto Toscano Tumori | Peruzzi B.,Core Research Laboratory Istituto Toscano Tumori | Boni L.,Clinical Trials Coordinating Center | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Germ-line mutation rate has been regarded classically as a fundamental biological parameter, as it affects the prevalence of genetic disorders and the rate of evolution. Somatic mutation rate is also an important biological parameter, as it may influence the development and/or the course of acquired diseases, particularly of cancer. Estimates of this parameter have been previously obtained in few instances from dermal fibroblasts and lymphoblastoid cells. However, the methodology required has been laborious and did not lend itself to the analysis of large numbers of samples. We have previously shown that the X-linked gene PIG-A, since its product is required for glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins to become surface bound, is a good sentinel gene for studying somatic mutations. We now show that by this approach we can accurately measure the proportion of PIG-A mutant peripheral blood granulocytes, which we call mutant frequency, f{hook}. We found that the results are reproducible, with a variation coefficient (CV) of 45%. Repeat samples from 32 subjects also had a CV of 44%, indicating that f{hook} is a relatively stable individual characteristic. From a study of 142 normal subjects we found that log f{hook} is a normally distributed variable; f{hook} variability spans a 80-fold range, from less than 1×10-6 to 37.5×10-6, with a median of 4.9×10-6. Unlike other techniques commonly employed in population studies, such as comet assay, this method can detect any kind of mutation, including point mutation, as long as it causes functional inactivation of PIG-A gene. Since the test is rapid and requires only a small sample of peripheral blood, this methodology will lend itself to investigating genetic factors that underlie the variation in the somatic mutation rate, as well as environmental factors that may affect it. It will be also possible to test whether f{hook} is a determinant of the risk of cancer. © 2013 Rondelli et al. Source

Maron B.J.,Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation | Spirito P.,Ente Ospedaliero Ospedali Galliera | Ackerman M.J.,Mayo Medical School | Casey S.A.,Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation | And 21 more authors.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology | Year: 2013

Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) in children and adolescents with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Background: HCM is the most common cause of sudden death in the young. The availability of ICDs over the past decade for HCM has demonstrated the potential for sudden death prevention, predominantly in adult patients. Methods: A multicenter international registry of ICDs implanted (1987 to 2011) in 224 unrelated children and adolescents with HCM judged at high risk for sudden death was assembled. Patients received ICDs for primary (n = 188) or secondary (n = 36) prevention after undergoing evaluation at 22 referral and nonreferral institutions in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Results: Defibrillators were activated appropriately to terminate ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation in 43 of 224 patients (19%) over a mean of 4.3 ± 3.3 years. ICD intervention rates were 4.5% per year overall, 14.0% per year for secondary prevention after cardiac arrest, and 3.1% per year for primary prevention on the basis of risk factors (5-year cumulative probability 17%). The mean time from implantation to first appropriate discharge was 2.9 ± 2.7 years (range to 8.6 years). The primary prevention discharge rate terminating ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation was the same in patients who underwent implantation for 1, 2, or ≥3 risk factors (12 of 88 [14%], 10 of 71 [14%], and 4 of 29 [14%], respectively, p = 1.00). Extreme left ventricular hypertrophy was the most common risk factor present (alone or in combination with other markers) in patients experiencing primary prevention interventions (17 of 26 [65%]). ICD-related complications, particularly inappropriate shocks and lead malfunction, occurred in 91 patients (41%) at 17 ± 5 years of age. Conclusions: In a high-risk pediatric HCM cohort, ICD interventions terminating life-threatening ventricular tachyarrhythmias were frequent. Extreme left ventricular hypertrophy was most frequently associated with appropriate interventions. The rate of device complications adds a measure of complexity to ICD decisions in this age group. © 2013 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Source

Masi G.,Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Pisana | Salvatore L.,Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Pisana | Boni L.,Clinical Trials Coordinating Center | Loupakis F.,Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Pisana | And 14 more authors.
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2015

Background: The combination of bevacizumab with fluorouracil-based chemotherapy is a standard first-line treatment option in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). We studied the efficacy of continuing or reintroducing bevacizumab in combination with second-line chemotherapy after progression to bevacizumab-based first-line therapy. Patients and methods: In this phase III study, patients with mCRC treated with fluoropyrimidine-based first-line chemotherapy plus bevacizumab were randomized to receive in second-line mFOLFOX-6 or FOLFIRI (depending on firstline regimen) with or without bevacizumab. The primary end point was progression-free survival. To detect a hazard ratio (HR) for progression of 0.70 with an α and β error of 0.05 and 0.20, respectively, 262 patients were required. Results: In consideration of the results of the ML18147 trial, the study was prematurely stopped. Between April 2008 and May 2012, a total of 185 patients were randomized. Bevacizumab-free interval was longer than 3 months in 43% of patients in chemotherapy alone arm and in 50% of patients in the bevacizumab arm. At a median follow-up of 45.3 months, the median progression-free survival was 5.0 months in the chemotherapy group and 6.8 months in the bevacizumab group [adjusted HR = 0.70; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.52-0.95; stratified log-rank P = 0.010]. Subgroup analyses showed a consistent benefit in all subgroups analyzed and in particular in patients who had continued or reintroduced bevacizumab. An improved overall survival was also observed in the bevacizumab arm (adjusted HR = 0.77; 95% CI 0.56-1.06; stratified log-rank P = 0.043). Responses (RECIST 1.0) were similar in the chemotherapy and bevacizumab groups (17% and 21%; P = 0.573). Toxicity profile was consistent with previously reported data. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the continuation or the reintroduction of bevacizumab with second-line chemotherapy beyond first progression improves the outcome and supports the use of this strategy in the treatment of mCRC. Clinical Trials.gov number: NCT00720512. © The Author 2015. Source

Cremolini C.,Unit of Medical Oncology 2 | Cremolini C.,University of Pisa | Loupakis F.,Unit of Medical Oncology 2 | Loupakis F.,University of Pisa | And 22 more authors.
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2015

Background: Early tumor shrinkage (ETS) and depth of response (DoR) predict overall survival (OS) in first-line trials of chemotherapy ± anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). These associations and the predictive accuracy of response measurements for survival parameters were investigated in the phase III TRIBE trial of FOLFOXIRI plus bevacizumab (bev) versus FOLFIRI plus bev. Patients and methods: A landmark approach was adopted to define the assessable population. The distribution of RECIST response rate, ETS and DoR was compared in the two arms. Associations between response measurements and progression-free survival (PFS), post-progression survival (PPS) and OS were tested by univariate and multivariate Cox models. Prediction performance of each factor was estimated by C-index. Results: A significantly higher percentage of patients in the FOLFOXIRI plus bev arm achieved ETS ≥20%, when compared with the control arm (62.7% versus 51.9%, P = 0.025). Also the DoR was significantly higher in the triplet plus bev arm (43.4% versus 37.8%, P = 0.003). Both ETS and DoR were associated with PFS, PPS and OS at the univariate analyses and in the multivariate models stratified for other prognostic variables. Both ETS and DoR were able to predict survival as accurately as RECIST response. Conclusion: FOLFOXIRI plus bev improves ETS and DoR when compared with FOLFIRI plus bev. Achieving rapid and deep tumor shrinkage consistently delays tumor progression and prolongs survival in patients treated with first-line chemotherapy plus bev. ETS is a promising and valuable end point for clinical trials' design deserving further investigation. © The Author 2015. Source

Spirito P.,Ospedali Galliera | Boni L.,Clinical Trials Coordinating Center
European Heart Journal | Year: 2012

AimsThe recent American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association Guidelines on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) have confirmed surgical myectomy as the gold standard for non-pharmacological treatment of obstructive HCM. However, during the last 15 years, an extensive use of alcohol septal ablation has led to the virtual extinction of myectomy programmes in several European countries. Therefore, many HCM candidates for myectomy in Europe cannot be offered the option of this procedure. The purpose of our study is to report the difficulties and results in developing a myectomy programme for HCM in a centre without previous experience with this procedure. Methods and resultsThe clinical course is reported of 124 consecutive patients with obstructive HCM and heart failure symptoms who underwent myectomy at a single European centre between 1996 and 2010. The median follow-up was 20.3 months (inter-quartile range: 3.940.6 months). No patients were lost to follow-up. A cumulative incidence of HCM-related death after myectomy was 0.8, 3.3, and 11.2 at 1, 5, and 10 years, respectively, including one operative death (procedural mortality 0.8). The left ventricular (LV) outflow gradient decreased from 95 ± 36 mmHg before surgery to 12 ± 6 mmHg at most recent evaluation (P < 0.001), with none of the patients having a significant residual LV outflow gradient. Of the 97 patients in New York Heart Association functional class IIIIV before surgery, 93 (96) were in class III at most recent evaluation (P < 0.001). ConclusionOur results show that the development of a myectomy programme at a centre without previous experience with this procedure is feasible and can lead to highly favourable clinical results. © 2012 The Author. Source

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