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Nesi G.,University of Florence | Nobili S.,University of Florence | Cai T.,Santa Chiara Regional Hospital | Caini S.,Institute for Cancer Research and Prevention ISPO | Santi R.,University of Florence
Virchows Archiv

The association between inflammation and cancer has been pointed out in epidemiological and clinical studies, revealing how chronic inflammation may contribute to carcinogenesis in various malignancies. However, the molecular events leading to malignant transformation in a chronically inflamed environment are not fully understood. In urothelial carcinoma of the urinary bladder, inflammation plays a dual role. On the one hand, chronic inflammation is a well-established risk factor for the development of bladder cancer (BC), as seen in Schistosoma haematobium infection. On the other, intravesical therapy by bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), which induces inflammation, offers protection against cancer recurrence. The large variety of pro-inflammatory mediators expressed by BC and immune cells binds to specific receptors which control signalling pathways. These activate transcription of a plethora of downstream factors. This review summarizes recent data regarding inflammation and urothelial carcinoma, with special emphasis on the role the inflammatory response plays in BC recurrence risk and progression. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Bonacchi A.,University of Florence | Rossi A.,University of Florence | Bellotti L.,University of Florence | Franco S.,University of Florence | And 3 more authors.

Objective: The evaluation of psychological distress in cancer patients recently entered oncologic clinical practice. The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of clinical interview within psycho-oncologic assessment. Methods: Questionnaires assessing distress (PDI), psychopathology (MHQ, HADS) and needs (NEQ) and a subsequent clinical interview were proposed to 320 consecutive inpatients from the Oncology Department of Careggi Hospital in Florence. Results: The clinical interview made it possible to evaluate a significant percentage of patients (30%) who did not fill in questionnaires and to detect the presence of distress in 39 (13.7%) patients who would not have received a diagnosis in a protocol for the assessment of distress based only on questionnaires. It also provided the possibility to ask for help or to receive clinical support to a high percentage of patients (44.1%) who had not requested to speak to a psychologist through the questionnaires (NEQ). Moreover, 25% of patients who received prolonged clinical support had a low score in tests detecting distress, indicating that the opportunity for therapeutic support can emerge during a clinical interview, also in the absence of relevant symptoms detected by questionnaires. Conclusions: The use of more than one questionnaire in the assessment of distress and psychopathology is associated with reduced compliance and redundant information. On the other hand, clinical interview has a pivotal role in clinical evaluation and access to psychological support. We conclude that optimal efficacy of programs assessing distress in cancer patients is reached when a single questionnaire evaluating distress is associated with a clinical interview. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

Bonacchi A.,Institute for Cancer Research and Prevention ISPO | Bonacchi A.,Centro Studi e Ricerca Synthesis | Fazzi L.,Centro Studi e Ricerca Synthesis | Toccafondi A.,Centro Studi e Ricerca Synthesis | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

Context. In Italy, data regarding the use of complementary therapies (CTs) among patients with cancer are sparse and discordant. Objectives: The present study aimed to investigate the demographic and psychological characteristics of Italian cancer patients who use CTs and the perceived benefit of users. Methods. Eight hundred three patients from six Italian oncology departments were interviewed about CT use and completed two questionnaires to explore psychological distress and the resilience trait called sense of coherence (SOC). Patients included in the study had different primary tumor sites and were in different phases of the disease and care process. Results. At the time of measurement, 37.9% of patients were using one or more types of CTs. The most commonly used CTs were diets and dietary supplements (27.5%), herbs (10.8%), homeopathy (6.4%), and mind-body therapies (5.5%). The Italian context is characterized by a high percentage of patients who informed their physicians about CT use (66.3%) and who experienced benefits (89.6%); 75.2% of the patients had used CTs in the past. Multivariate analysis revealed that young, female patients, who previously used complementary and alternative medicine in the past, appear more likely to use at least one type of CT in the present. Predictors of the use of CTs varied according to the type of CT. Among psychological factors, SOC was positively associated with both past and present CT use. Conclusion. Overall prevalence of CTs among Italian cancer patients is high and is in accordance with the European average. In addition to clinical and sociodemographic factors, the resilience trait SOC also was associated with CT use. © 2014 U.S. Cancer Pain Relief Committee. Source

Bonacchi A.,Institute for Cancer Research and Prevention ISPO | Bonacchi A.,Centro Studi e Ricerca Synthesis | Toccafondi A.,Centro Studi e Ricerca Synthesis | Mambrini A.,Oncologia Medica AUSL 1 | And 5 more authors.

Objective Although many studies indicate that the use of complementary and alternative medicine by cancer patients is common and widespread, few studies have focused on unmet needs of patients using complementary therapies (CTs). The aim of the present study was to evaluate, through a quantitative approach, possible associations between the use of CTs and the presence of specific unmet needs in cancer patients. Methods In six Italian oncology departments, 783 patients were interviewed about CTs use and completed the Needs Evaluation Questionnaire. Patients included in the study had different primary tumor sites and were in different phases of the disease and care process. Results At the time of the survey, 38.3% of patients were using one or more types of CTs. According to Needs Evaluation Questionnaire, the use of CTs was associated (p < .05) with the need to be more involved in therapeutic choices (40% vs. 31.7%), the need to have a better dialogue with clinicians (44.4% vs. 37.2%), and the need to have more economic-insurance information in relation to their illness (46.1% vs. 36.4%). Statistical significance was confirmed with multivariable analysis for the last two items, whereas three more needs were associated with the use of CTs after adjustment: to receive more explanation on treatments (46.8% vs. 41.0%), to receive more comprehensible information (38% vs. 31.9%), and to receive more attention from nurses (16% vs. 12.1%). Conclusions Our study shows interesting differences regarding perceived needs between cancer patients who use and who do not use CTs. Unmet needs that are more expressed in CTs users should be known and, when possible, could be taken into account to improve both psychosocial interventions in the context of conventional care process and the quality of the relationship between patient and medical and nursing staff. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

Bonacchi A.,Institute of Psychosynthesis | Bonacchi A.,Institute for Cancer Research and Prevention ISPO | Miccinesi G.,Institute for Cancer Research and Prevention ISPO | Guazzini M.,University of Florence | And 12 more authors.

Background. There is an increase in the attention to factors influencing the quality of life of cancer patients. The aim of the present study was to evaluate temperament and character traits related to health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with cancer. Methods. Two hundred and three inpatients from three Italian oncology departments filled in the Temperament Character Inventory (TCI-140) based on Cloninger's personality model, the SF-36 questionnaire assessing HRQoL, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Eighty percent of patients were undergoing chemotherapy. Results. Lower levels of harm avoidance and higher levels of self-directedness were significantly correlated with a better HRQoL. Regression analysis controlling for psychopathology (anxiety and depression symptoms) showed that the influence of temperament and character traits on quality of life seemed to add little to the influence of psychopathology. Conclusions. The present study demonstrates the existence of some relations between HRQoL and temperament and character traits assessed using the TCI-140 questionnaire. However, among the psychological factors, psychopathology seems to retain more influence on HRQoL of cancer patients. © Il Pensiero Scientifico Editore. Source

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