Haematology Unit

Firenze, Italy

Haematology Unit

Firenze, Italy
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Husaini R.,Haematology Unit | Ahmad M.,Institute for Medical Research | Zakaria Z.,Haematology Unit
Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine | Year: 2017

Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is a form of leukaemia derived from the myeloid cell lineage. Imatinib mesylate, the breakpoint cluster region-abelson murine leuke-amia kinase inhibitor, is a specific reagent used in the clinical treatment of CML. The DNA topoisomerase II inhibitor, etoposide, is also employed as a therapeutic, though it is used to a lesser extent. The present study aims to evaluate the effects of CML-targeted therapy, utilising imatinib mesylate and etoposide in the in vitro treatment of parental sensitive and adriamycin-resistant CML in the K562 and K562/ADM cell lines, respectively. Preliminary work involved the screening of multidrug resistant (MDR) gene expression, including MDR1, MRP1 and B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2) at the mRNA levels. The sensitive and resistant CML cell lines expressed the MRP1 gene, though the sensitive K562 cells expressed low, almost undetectable levels of MDR1 and BCL-2 genes relative to the K562/ADM cells. Following treatment with imatinib mesylate or etoposide, the IC50 for imatinib mesylate did not differ between the sensitive and resistant cell lines (0.492±0.024 and 0.378±0.029, respectively), indicating that imatinib mesylate is effective in the treatment of CML regardless of cell chemosensitivity. However, the IC50 for etoposide in sensitive K562 cells was markedly lower than that of K562/ADM cells (50.6±16.5 and 194±8.46 µM, respec-tively), suggesting that the higher expression levels of MDR1 and/or BCL-2 mRNA in resistant cells may be partially responsible for this effect. This is supported by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling data, whereby a higher percentage of apoptotic cells were found in the sensitive and resistant K562 cells treated with imatinib mesylate (29.3±0.2 and 31.9±16.7%, respectively), whereas etoposide caused significant apoptosis of sensitive K562 cells (18.3±8.35%) relative to K562/ADM cells (5.17±3.3%). In addition, the MDR genes in K562/ADM cells were knocked down by short interfering RNAs. The percentage knockdowns were 15.4% for MRP1, 17.8% for MDR and 30.7% for BCL-2, which resulted in a non-significant difference in the half maximal inhibitory concentration value of K562/ADM cells relative to K562 cells upon treatment with etoposide. © 2017, Spandidos Publications. All rights reserved.


Di Franco A.,University of Florence | Guasti D.,Histology and Embryology Unit | Mazzanti B.,Haematology Unit | Ercolino T.,Careggi Hospital | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2014

Context: The recent discovery of inducible brown adipose tissue (BAT) in adult humans, in which it is involved in controlling adiposity, is pivotal in the development of treatment strategies for obesity. However, the origin of these adipocytes in white adipose tissue (WAT) is still unclear, and no human brown adipose cell models are currently available.Objective: The objective of the study was to define the origin of inducible BAT (iBAT) by isolating brown adipose stem cells (B-ASCs) from periadrenal fat in adult patients with catecholaminesecreting pheochromocytoma.Design: This was a 1-year study to enroll adrenal tumor patients undergoing surgery.Setting: The study was conducted at a university hospital.Patients and Intervention: Eight patients operated for pheochromocytoma and three for adrenocortical adenoma participated in the study.Main Outcome Measures: Isolation of inducible B-ASCs from fat surrounding the pheochromocytoma was measured.Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that iBAT developed in periadrenal WAT derives from adult stem cells, unlike WAT precursors, confirming an independent origin of the two fat depots. These stem cells represent a unique in vitro stem cell model to study brown adipogenesis and develop novel antiobesity therapies targeting WAT-BAT conversion.Results: We demonstrated the presence of iBAT islets dispersed in periadrenal WAT in patients operated for pheochromocytoma. From this fat depot, which expresses brite/classical BAT markers and high levels of uncoupling protein-1, we isolated B-ASCs and compared their properties with precursors from sc WAT (S-ASC) of the same patients. B-ASCs showed mesenchymal, stem, and multipotency features and expression of brite/classical BAT markers. When differentiated toward white phenotype, B-ASCs accumulated lipid droplets smaller than S-ASCs and expressed adiponectin. Upon induction of brown differentiation, brown commitment was found only in B-ASCs and not in S-ASCs, with no mature brown adipocytes. Copyright © 2014 by the Endocrine Society.


Petrarca A.,University of Florence | Rigacci L.,Haematology Unit | Caini P.,University of Florence | Colagrande S.,University of Florence | And 9 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2010

The effectiveness of rituximab in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related mixed cryoglobulinemia (MC) has been shown. However, the risk of an increase in viral replication limits its use in cirrhosis, a condition frequently observed in patients with MC. In this prospective study, 19 HCV-positive patients with MC and advanced liver disease, who were excluded from antiviral therapy, were treated with rituximab and followed for 6 months. MC symptoms included purpura, arthralgias, weakness, sensory-motor polyneuropathy, nephropathy, and leg ulcers. Liver cirrhosis was observed in 15 of 19 patients, with ascitic decompensation in 6 cases. A consistent improvement in MC syndrome was evident at the end-of-treatment (EOT) and end-of-follow-up (EOF-U). Variable modifications in both mean viral titers and alanine aminotransferase values were observed at admission, EOT, third month of follow-up, and EOF-U (2.62 × 106, 4.28 × 106, 4.82 × 106, and 2.02 × 106 IU/mL and 63.6, 49.1, 56.6, and 51.4 IU/L, respectively). Improvement in liver protidosynthetic activity and ascites degree was observed at EOT and EOF-U, especially in more advanced cases. This study shows the effectiveness and safety of rituximab in MC syndrome with advanced liver disease. Moreover, the depletion of CD20+ B cells was also followed by cirrhosis syndrome improvement despite the possibility of transient increases of viremia titers. © 2010 by The American Society of Hematology.


Silvestris N.,Instituto Tumori Giovanni Paolo II | Gnoni A.,Hospital Vito Fazzi | Brunetti A.E.,Instituto Tumori Giovanni Paolo II | Vincenti L.,Surgery Unit | And 8 more authors.
Current Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2014

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) occurs in the majority of cases with early locoregional spread and distant metastases at diagnosis, leading to dismal prognosis and limited treatment options. Traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy provides only modest benefit to patients with PDAC. Identification of different molecular pathways, overexpressed in pancreatic cancer cells, has provided the opportunity to develop targeted therapies (monoclonal antibodies and small-molecule inhibitors) and peculiar new class of taxanes with a crucial therapeutic role in this cancer setting. A phase III trial has shown that erlotinib in combination with gemcitabine was clinically irrelevant and skin toxicity can be a positive prognostic factor. Moreover, the combination of cetuximab or erlotinib with radiotherapy in advanced pancreatic cancer has shown to be synergistic and a reversal of radio-resistance has been suggested by inhibition of VEGF/EGFR pathway. To overcome EGFR-inhibition therapy resistance several alternative pathways targets are under investigation (IGF- 1R, MMPs, Hedgehog proteins, m-TOR, MEK, COX-2) and provide the rationale for clinical use in phase II/III studies. Also nab-paclitaxel, a new taxanes class, uses high pancreatic albumin-binding protein SPARC levels to act in cancer cells with a less toxic and more effective dose with respect to classic taxanes. Understanding of molecular pathogenesis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma continues to expand. However, many promising data in preclinic and phase I/II trials did not yield promise in phase III trials, suggesting that identification of predictive biomarkers for these new agents is mandatory. The knowledge of biologic and molecular aspects of pancreatic cancer can be the basis for future therapeutic developments. © 2014 Bentham Science Publishers.


Tadmor T.,Haematology Unit | Attias D.,Haematology Unit | Polliack A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
British Journal of Haematology | Year: 2011

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are a heterogeneous population of immature myeloid cells at different stages of maturation that play a role in cancer tolerance and function as an immune-suppressive cell subpopulation. They utilize different mechanisms to block both innate and adaptive arms of anti-tumour immunity, mostly through inhibition of T cell activation and expansion. Further advances in our understanding of this cell population in both murine models and humans has enabled more accurate characterization of their phenotype and the recognition of two major classes of MDSCs: granulocytic and monocytic. Recently, the mechanism of action and clinical importance of MDSCs has been more clearly defined and their interactions with cancer cells have been shown to be among the factors influencing tumour development and induction of tolerance. Most of the earlier studies were performed using murine models, but recent clinical investigations have shown their potential role in human cancers. Here, we review the origin of MDSCs, their mechanisms of action, the factors influencing their production and related signalling pathways. We focus on their role in human solid tumours and haemato-oncological malignancies, and relate to possible novel therapeutic approaches targeting MDSCs which could be considered together with other anticancer strategies in the not too distant future. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Leotta M.,University of Catanzaro | Biamonte L.,University of Catanzaro | Raimondi L.,University of Catanzaro | Ronchetti D.,University of Milan | And 12 more authors.
Journal of Cellular Physiology | Year: 2014

The analysis of deregulated microRNAs (miRNAs) is emerging as a novel approach to disclose the regulation of tumor suppressor or tumor promoting pathways in tumor cells. Targeting aberrantly expressed miRNAs is therefore a promising strategy for cancer treatment. By miRNA profiling of primary plasma cells from multiple myeloma (MM) patients, we previously reported increased miR-125a-5p levels associated to specific molecular subgroups. On these premises, we aimed at investigating the biological effects triggered by miR-125a-5p modulation in MM cells. Expression of p53 pathway-related genes was down-regulated in MM cells transfected with miR-125a-5p mimics. Luciferase reporter assays confirmed specific p53 targeting at 3′UTR level by miR-125a-5p mimics. Interestingly, bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) affected the miR-125a-5p/p53 axis, since adhesion of MM cells to BMSCs strongly up-regulated miR-125a-5p levels, while reduced p53 expression. Moreover, ectopic miR-125a-5p reduced, while miR-125-5p inhibitors promoted, the expression of tumor suppressor miR-192 and miR-194, transcriptionally regulated by p53. Lentiviral-mediated stable inhibition of miR-125a-5p expression in wild-type p53 MM cells dampened cell growth, increased apoptosis and reduced cell migration. Importantly, inhibition of in vitro MM cell proliferation and migration was also achieved by synthetic miR-125a-5p inhibitors and was potentiated by the co-expression of miR-192 or miR-194. Taken together, our data indicate that miR-125a-5p antagonism results in the activation of p53 pathway in MM cells, underlying the crucial role of this miRNA in the biopathology of MM and providing the molecular rationale for the combinatory use of miR-125a inhibitors and miR-192 or miR-194 mimics for MM treatment. J. Cell. Physiol. 229: 2106-2116, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Martino M.,Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit | Fedele R.,Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit | Massara E.,Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit | Recchia A.G.,Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit | And 5 more authors.
Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy | Year: 2012

Introduction: Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a hematopoietic growth factor that stimulates the proliferation and differentiation of neutrophil precursor cells. G-CSF-mobilized peripheral blood (PB) hematopoietic progenitor stem cells (HPSCs) collected by apheresis are being increasingly employed for allogeneic transplantation in patients with malignancies as an alternative to bone marrow (BM) transplant. Documenting the safety of G-CSF as a mobilizing agent for HPSC donation has long been a matter of importance for physicians, particularly when volunteer, unrelated adult donors are involved Areas covered: We review publications in the field with the goal of providing an overview of these approaches. Expert opinion: Trials and international donor registries have not shown any long-term effects associated with G-CSF therapy and a threefold-or-greater increased risk of leukemia or other malignancies through PB HPSC donation can be excluded. Our conclusions are that the administration of G-CSF to healthy donors has a favorable long-term risk-benefit profile, although it is essential to encourage the enrolment of donors in carefully designed programs for follow-up monitoring. © Informa UK, Ltd.


Tadmor T.,Haematology Unit | Zhang Y.,University of Miami | Cho H.-M.,University of Miami | Podack E.R.,University of Miami | Rosenblatt J.D.,University of Miami
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy | Year: 2011

Increasing evidence suggests that B lymphocytes play a central role in inhibiting the immune response against certain tumors, but the underlying mechanisms by which B cells facilitate tumor growth are still poorly understood. In this study, we investigated how the presence or absence of B cells affects expansion and function of T-regulatory cells ('T-regs') in a murine breast tumor model (EMT-6). We compared tumor growth, and the number and function of T-reg cells in wild-type immune-competent mice (ICM) and B-cell-deficient mice (BCDM). Mice were either tumor-naive or implanted with EMT-6 mammary adenocarcinoma cells. Tumor growth was markedly inhibited in BCDM, compared to wild-type mice (ICM). Increased T-reg expansion as defined by CD4+/CD25+/FOXP3+ cells was evident following EMT-6 inoculation in ICM in comparison with non-tumor-bearing mice or compared to BCDM in which tumor had been implanted. The percentage and absolute number of T-regs in the spleen, tumor draining lymph nodes, and tumor bed were significantly reduced in BCDM compared to ICM. T-reg function, measured by suppression and proliferation assays, was also reduced in tumor inoculated BCDM compared to ICM. Our studies indicate that absence of B cells may play a role in augmenting the T-cell anti-tumor response, in part due to effects on T-regulatory cell expansion and function. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Gavish I.,Thrombosis and Haemostasis Unit | Gavish I.,Haematology Unit | Brenner B.,Thrombosis and Haemostasis Unit | Brenner B.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Internal and Emergency Medicine | Year: 2011

Almost two billion people use commercial aircraft annually. Long-haul flights are taken by over 300 million people. A serious complication of long-distance travel (or prolonged time of flight) is thromboembolism. The real incidence of the problem is difficult to evaluate since there is no consensus about the diagnostic tests or limitation of time after landing connected to the VTE complication. A direct relation between VTE incidence and long-distance flights has been documented. The risk for DVT is 3-12% in a long-haul flight. The pathophysiologic changes that increase VTE risk at flight are stasis (sitting in crowded condition), hypoxia in the airplane cabin, and dehydration. Individual risk factors for air travel-related VTE include age over 40 years, gender (female), women who use oral contraceptives, varicose veins in lower limbs, obesity and genetic thrombophilia. Prevention measures include environmental protection such as keeping the pressure inside the airplane cabinet in hypobaric condition, avoiding dehydration and prolonged sitting. For individuals at increased risk, venous blood stasis can be reduced by wearing elastic stockings and prophylactic use of low-molecular-weight heparin. © 2010 SIMI.


Zhang Y.,University of Miami | Eliav Y.,University of Miami | Shin S.-U.,University of Miami | Schreiber T.H.,University of Miami | And 3 more authors.
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy | Year: 2013

The mechanisms by which B lymphocytes inhibit anti-tumor immunity remain poorly understood. Murine EMT-6 mammary tumors grow readily in immune competent mice (BALB/c), but poorly in B-cell-deficient μ-/- BALB/c mice (BCDM). T regulatory cell (Treg) expansion and function were impaired in BCDM compared with BALB/c. In this study, we compared tumor growth, Treg cell proliferation, tumor lymphocyte infiltration and cytolytic T cell activity in BALB/c, BCDM and BCDM partially reconstituted with B cells by adoptive transfer (BCDM+B). Partial reconstitution of BCDM with adoptively transferred B cells restored EMT-6 tumor growth, which was independent of IL-10 secretion by B cells. Instead, high frequencies of intratumoral B cells were associated with increased recruitment and proliferation of Treg cells within the tumor microenvironment. The B-cell-dependent accumulation of Treg within the tumor microenvironment was associated with reduced tumor infiltration by CD49+ NK and CD8+ T cells and reduced cytotoxic T cell activity against EMT-6 targets. Our studies indicate that tumor-dependent immunosuppression of T-cell-mediated anti-tumor immunity is coordinated within the tumor microenvironment by B-cell-dependent cross talk with Treg cells, which does not require production of IL-10 by B cells. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

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