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Petrara M.R.,University of Padua | Elefanti L.,Immunology and Molecular Oncology | Quaggio M.,University of Padua | Zanchetta M.,Immunology and Molecular Oncology | And 4 more authors.
Leukemia Research | Year: 2013

Molecular methods are important tools for diagnosis and monitoring of many lymphoproliferative disorders. The reliability of lymphoma diagnoses is strikingly different between developed and developing countries, partly due to lack of access to these advanced molecular analyses. To overcome these problems, we propose a new application of dried blood spots (DBS) for detecting clonal B-cell populations in peripheral blood (PB).We ensured that the DBS contained sufficient lymphocytes to perform a PCR-based clonality assay without producing false positives. Using the Namalwa B-cell line, we established that the assay is sensitive enough to detect 200 clonal cells in the analyzed sample. Very similar clonal results were obtained between DNA from DBS and fresh whole blood from patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia. B-cell clonality can also be detected in DBS from African children with EBV-associated diseases. This is the first study demonstrating that clonality testing can be performed on DBS samples, thus improving the diagnostic and monitoring options for lymphoproliferative diseases in resource-limited settings. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Falci C.,Medical Oncology Unit II | Gianesin K.,University of Padua | Sergi G.,University of Padua | Giunco S.,Immunology and Molecular Oncology | And 12 more authors.
Experimental Gerontology | Year: 2013

Background: The challenge of immune senescence has never been addressed in elderly cancer patients. This study compares the thymic output and peripheral blood telomere length in ≥. 70. year old cancer patients. Patients and methods: Fifty-two elderly cancer patients and 39 age-matched controls without personal history of cancer were enrolled. All patients underwent a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA), from which a multidimensional prognostic index (MPI) score was calculated. Peripheral blood samples were studied for naïve and recent thymic emigrant (RTE) CD4+ and CD8+ cells by flow cytometry. T-cell receptor rearrangement excision circle (TREC) levels, telomere length and telomerase activity in peripheral blood cells were quantified by real-time PCR. Results: The percentages of CD8+ naïve and CD8+ RTE cells and TREC levels were significantly lower in cancer patients than in controls (p=0.003, p=0.004, p=0.031, respectively). Telomere lengths in peripheral blood cells were significantly shorter in cancer patients than in controls (p=0.046) and did not correlate with age in patients, whereas it did in controls (r=-0.354, p=0.031). Short telomere (≤median)/low TREC (≤median) profile was associated with higher risk of cancer (OR=3.68 [95% CI 1.22-11.11]; p=0.021). Neither unfitness on CGA nor MPI score were significantly related to thymic output or telomere length in either group. Conclusions: Immune senescence is significantly worse in elderly cancer patients than in age-matched controls. The low thymic output and the shorter telomeres in peripheral blood cells of cancer patients may reflect a pre-existing condition which facilitates the onset of malignancies in elderly people. © 2013 .

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