Haemato Oncological Day Hospital

Merano, Italy

Haemato Oncological Day Hospital

Merano, Italy

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Seeber A.,Innsbruck Medical University | Seeber A.,Tyrolean Cancer Research Institute | Seeber A.,Oncotyrol Center for Personalized Cancer Medicine | Braicu I.,European Competence Center for Ovarian Cancer | And 17 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2015

EpCAM is an attractive target for cancer therapy and the EpCAM-specific antibody catumaxomab has been used for intraperitoneal treatment of EpCAM-positive cancer patients with malignant ascites. New prognostic markers are necessary to select patients that mostly benefit from catumaxomab. Recent data showed that soluble EpCAM (sEpCAM) is capable to block the effect of catumaxomab in vitro. This exploratory retrospective analysis was performed on archived ascites samples to evaluate the predictive role of sEpCAM in catumaxomab-treated patients. Sixty-six catumaxomab-treated patients with an available archived ascites sample were included in this study and tested for sEpCAM by sandwich ELISA. All probes were sampled before treatment start and all patients received at least one catumaxomab infusion. Overall survival, puncture-free survival and time to next puncture were compared between sEpCAM-positive and -negative patients. We detected sEpCAM in ascites samples of 9 patients (13.6%). These patients showed a significantly shorter overall survival. The prognostic significance of sEpCAM in ascites was particularly strong in patients with ovarian cancer. Puncture-free survival and time to next puncture were not significantly different between sEpCAM-positive and -negative patients. We propose sEpCAM in malignant ascites as a potential predictive marker in cancer patients treated with catumaxomab. Prospective studies with larger patients samples are urgently needed to confirm these findings and studies testing dose-intensified catumaxomab in patients with sEpCAM-positive ascites should be envisaged.


Seeber A.,Haemato Oncological Day Hospital | Seeber A.,Center for Personalized Cancer Medicine | Mitterer M.,Haemato Oncological Day Hospital | Mitterer M.,Center for Personalized Cancer Medicine | And 9 more authors.
Oncology (Switzerland) | Year: 2013

Objective: Treatment of lung cancer patients is changing rapidly and new treatment options have emerged in recent years. In 2007, to guarantee the best treatment procedure for lung cancer patients being treated in our peripheral hospital, we decided to introduce an interdisciplinary tumour videoconference between the Haemato-Oncological Day Hospital in Merano and the Comprehensive Cancer Centre Innsbruck. This retrospective analysis aims to describe the feasibility of such a conference. Patients and Methods: Two hundred and three patients with lung cancer treated at the peripheral hospital of Merano between May 2003 until May 2011 were retrospectively analysed. After introduction of the tumour videoconference in 2007, 54% (n = 110) of the patients in this cohort were discussed in the conference. Results: One hundred and four videoconferences were performed. Videoconference was feasible for 110 patients. Radiotherapeutic treatments were prescribed more frequently in patients from the conference group. Overall, major and minor treatment changes were undertaken in 7% (n = 8) and 18% (n = 20), respectively. Conclusion: Interdisciplinary tumour videoconference is feasible between a peripheral hospital and a comprehensive cancer centre. Radiotherapeutic treatment was prescribed more frequently, suggesting that such a conference facilitates the access to cancer-centre- specific treatment modalities. Accordingly, tumour videoconference between a peripheral hospital and a cancer centre is to be recommend. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Fong D.,Tyrolean Cancer Research Institute | Fong D.,Oncotyrol Center for Personalized Cancer Medicine | Fong D.,Innsbruck Medical University | Fong D.,Haemato Oncological Day Hospital | And 14 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Pathology | Year: 2014

Regulated intramembrane proteolysis has been shown to be an important mechanism for oncogenic activation of epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) through nuclear translocation of the intracellular domain EpICD. Recent studies have identified new membranebound EpCAM variants. To evaluate the prevalence of two membranous EpCAM variants in human tumours, we performed a large-scale expression analysis using specific antibodies against the extracellular domain EpEX (MOC-31 clone) and the intracellular domain EpICD (9-2 clone) of the EpCAM antigen by immunohistochemistry. Material and methods Two multi-tissue microarrays (TMA) series containing 1564 tissue samples each of 53 different histological tumour types were stained and compared. One TMA was stained for EpEX and one for EpICD. Membranous full-length EpCAM (EpCAMMF) expression in tissues was defined by the expression of EpEX and EpICD, while the truncated variant of EpCAM (EpCAMMT) was characterised by a significant loss of membranous EpICD expression compared with EpEX expression. Results We defined tumours with high EpCAMMT expression (ie, cancers of the endometrium and bladder), tumours with intermediate (ie, gastric, pancreatic, colorectal and oesophageal cancer) and tumours with low rates of expression of the EpCAMMT variant (ie, lung, ovarian, gallbladder, breast and prostate cancer). Conclusions Our results indicate that loss of membranous EpICD expression is a common event in human epithelial carcinomas, arguing for the expression of different degrees of EpCAMMF and EpCAMMT variants across the most important tumour entities. Future studies evaluating the prognostic and predictive role of these variants in human malignancies, especially in patients treated with EpCAM-specific antibodies, are clearly warranted.


Witt C.M.,University of Zürich | Witt C.M.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Ausserer O.,Franz Tappeiner Hospital Merano | Baier S.,Hospital Bolzano | And 10 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment | Year: 2015

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an additional, individualized, multi-component complementary medicine treatment offered to breast cancer patients at the Merano Hospital (South Tyrol) on health-related quality of life compared to patients receiving usual care only. A randomized pragmatic trial with two parallel arms was performed. Women with confirmed diagnoses of breast cancer were randomized (stratified by usual care treatment) to receive individualized complementary medicine (CM group) or usual care alone (usual care group). Both groups were allowed to use conventional treatment for breast cancer. Primary endpoint was the breast cancer-related quality of life FACT-B score at 6 months. For statistical analysis, we used analysis of covariance (with factors treatment, stratum, and baseline FACT-B score) and imputed missing FACT-B scores at 6 months with regression-based multiple imputation. A total of 275 patients were randomized between April 2011 and March 2012 to the CM group (n = 136, 56.3 ± 10.9 years of age) or the usual care group (n = 139, 56.0 ± 11.0). After 6 months from randomization, adjusted means for health-related quality of life were higher in the CM group (FACT-B score 107.9; 95 % CI 104.1–111.7) compared to the usual care group (102.2; 98.5–105.9) with an adjusted FACT-B score difference between groups of 5.7 (2.6–8.7, p < 0.001). Thus, an additional individualized and complex complementary medicine intervention improved quality of life of breast cancer patients compared to usual care alone. Further studies evaluating specific effects of treatment components should follow to optimize the treatment of breast cancer patients. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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