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Possidente L.,Laboratory of Clinical Research and Advanced Diagnostics | Landriscina M.,Laboratory of Preclinical and Translational Research | Landriscina M.,University of Foggia | Patitucci G.,Pathology Unit | And 3 more authors.
Medical Oncology | Year: 2017

Lung adenocarcinomas are characterized by a variety of genetic and epigenetic changes that lead to activation of specific signaling pathways. This allowed the classification of lung adenocarcinomas according to genetic alterations and the clinical development of novel anticancer agents that affect the activity of specific oncoproteins. In such a context, chromosomal rearrangements that cause constitutive activation of ALK gene define a category of lung adenocarcinomas that is amenable to targeted therapy with ALK inhibitors. Thus, a major issue of current research is to define the morphological and immunophenotypic features of lung ALK-rearranged adenocarcinomas to improve the selection of tumors suitable for molecular genotyping. ALK status was determined, by immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization, in 94 surgically resected lung adenocarcinomas and correlated with histomorphological parameters. Indeed, ALK rearrangement was observed in 10/94 (11%) lung adenocarcinomas and enriched in tumors with a predominant mucinous (46%; p < 0.05) and solid (29%; p < 0.05) pattern. By contrast, it was lacking or sporadically observed in lung adenocarcinomas with predominant acinar, papillary or lepidic pattern. Moreover, the presence of signet-ring cells was predominantly observed in ALK-rearranged tumors (47%; p < 0.05). These data suggest that ALK rearrangement is associated with specific and distinct clinical–pathological characters compared to other genotypes. Thus, the knowledge of these characteristics can improve the diagnostic accuracy and lead to a better understanding of the behavior of ALK-rearranged NSCLC. © 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Lionetti M.,University of Milan | Martino M.T.D.,Magna Graecia University | Fabris S.,University of Milan | Agnelli L.,University of Milan | And 21 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2013

Purpose: Primary plasma cell leukemia (pPCL) is a rare and very aggressive form of plasma cell dyscrasia. To date, no information on microRNA (miRNA) expression in pPCL has been reported. This study aimed at investigating the involvement of miRNAs in pPCL and their possible relationship with higher tumor aggressiveness. Experimental design: Global miRNA expression profiles were analyzed in highly purified malignant plasma cells from 18 pPCL untreated patients included in a prospective clinical trial. MiRNA expression patterns were evaluated in comparison with a representative series of multiple myeloma patients, in relation to the most recurrent chromosomal abnormalities (as assessed by fluorescence in situ hybridization and single-nucleotide polymorphism-array analysis), and in association with clinical outcome. MiRNA expression was also integrated with gene expression profiles in pPCL and multiple myeloma samples. Results: We identified a series of deregulated miRNAs in pPCL (42 upregulated and 41 downregulated) in comparison with multiple myeloma. Some of them, on the basis of their reported functions and putative target genes computed by integrative analysis, might have a role in the pathobiology of pPCL. As regards chromosomal aberrations, the expression of some miRNAs mapped to hotspot altered regions was associated with DNA copy number of the corresponding loci. Finally, 4 miRNA (miR-497, miR-106b, miR-181a*, and miR-181b) were identified as having expression levels that correlated with treatment response, and 4 (miR-92a, miR-330-3p, miR-22, and miR-146a) with clinical outcome. Conclusions: Overall, our study provides insights into the possible contribution of miRNAs in the pathogenesis of pPCL and suggests targets for future therapeutic investigations. © 2013 American Association for Cancer Research.


PubMed | Hematology Unit, University of Bologna, University of Turin, Laboratory of Clinical Research and Advanced Diagnostics and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Tumour biology : the journal of the International Society for Oncodevelopmental Biology and Medicine | Year: 2016

Endocytosis is the major regulator process of tyrosine kinase receptor (RTK) functional activities. Bridging integrator 1 (BIN1) is a key protein involved in RTK intracellular trafficking. Here, we report, by studying 34 patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) at diagnosis, that BIN1 gene is downregulated in CML as compared to healthy controls, suggesting an altered endocytosis of RTKs. Rab interactor 1 (RIN1), an activator of BIN1, displayed a similar behavior. Treatment of 57 patients by tyrosine kinase inhibitors caused, along with BCR-ABL1 inactivation, an increase of BIN1 and RIN1 expression, potentially restoring endocytosis. There was a significant inverse correlation between BIN1-RIN1 and BCR-ABL1 expression. In vitro experiments on both CML and nontumorigenic cell lines treated with Imatinib confirmed these results. In order to provide another proof in favor of BIN1 and RIN1 endocytosis function in CML, we demonstrated that Imatinib induced, in K562 cell line, BIN1-RIN1 upregulation accompanied by a parallel AXL receptor internalization into cytoplasmic compartment. This study shows a novel deregulated mechanism in CML patients, indicating BIN1 and RIN1 as players in the maintenance of the abnormal RTK signaling in this hematological disease.


PubMed | Italian National Cancer Institute, Hematology and Stem Cell Transplantation Unit, The Second University of Naples, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart and 4 more.
Type: | Journal: Journal of immunology research | Year: 2016

The frequency and function of regulatory T-cells (Tregs) in multiple myeloma (MM) are still matter of debate. The percentage and absolute number of circulating Tregs (CD4(+)CD25(+highdensity)CD127(-/lowdensity)) from 39 patients with untreated MM and 44 patients with monoclonal gammopathies of uncertain significance (MGUS) were tested and compared with 20 healthy subjects as controls. The mean percentage number of circulating Tregs was 2.1% 1.0 (range 0.75-6.1%) in MM patients; 2.1% 0.9 (range 0.3-4.4%) in MGUS; and 1.5% 0.4 (range 0.9-2.1%) in controls (p ns). Mean absolute number of Tregs was 36.3/L 23.7 (range 6.7-149/L) in MM; 38.8/L 19.1 (range 4.3-87/L) in MGUS; and 39.4/L 12.5 (range 18-63/L) in controls (p ns). After a median follow-up of 38 months, 5 MGUS and 2 smoldering MM (SMM) transformed into overt MM; however Tregs number did not predict this evolution. With respect to MM patients and after a median follow-up of 33 months, Tregs did not show any significant correlation with main clinical and laboratory characteristics. Finally, from a functional point of view, Tregs displayed an effective suppressor function, irrespective of disease status. This study indicates that the number of circulating Tregs does not differ in different monoclonal gammopathies and normal subjects and do not correlate with clinical features of MM.


PubMed | University of Foggia, University of Perugia, Laboratory of Clinical Research and Advanced Diagnostics, Laboratory of Pre Clinical and Translational Research and University of L'Aquila
Type: Journal Article | Journal: British journal of haematology | Year: 2015

The iron chelator deferasirox (DFX) prevents complications related to transfusional iron overload in several haematological disorders characterized by marrow failure. It is also able to induce haematological responses in a percentage of treated patients, particularly in those affected by myelodysplastic syndromes. The underlying mechanisms responsible for this feature, however, are still poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the effect of DFX-treatment in human haematopoietic/progenitor stem cells, focussing on its impact on the redox balance, which proved to control the interplay between stemness maintenance, self-renewal and differentiation priming. Here we show, for the first time, that DFX treatment induces a significant diphenyleneiodonium-sensitive reactive oxygen species (ROS) production that leads to the activation of POU5F1 (OCT4), SOX2 and SOX17 gene expression, relevant in reprogramming processes, and the reduction of the haematopoietic regulatory proteins CTNNB1 (-Catenin) and BMI1. These DFX-mediated events were accompanied by decreased CD34 expression, increased mitochondrial mass and up-regulation of the erythropoietic marker CD71 (TFRC) and were compound-specific, dissimilar to deferoxamine. Our findings would suggest a novel mechanism by which DFX, probably independently on its iron-chelating property but through ROS signalling activation, may influence key factors involved in self-renewal/differentiation of haematopoietic stem cells.


Improta G.,Laboratory of Clinical Research and Advanced Diagnostics | Leone I.,Laboratory of Clinical Research and Advanced Diagnostics | Donia M.,Copenhagen University | Gieri S.,CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology | And 3 more authors.
OncoTargets and Therapy | Year: 2015

Cancer immunotherapy is now recognized to be fundamental in modern oncology, because immune system recruitment may represent a powerful and innovative strategy in cancer therapy. Pembrolizumab, a highly selective humanized monoclonal antibody directly blocking the interaction between programmed cell death-1 expressed by tumor-associated T-cells and its ligand programmed cell death-L1 present on tumor and stromal cells, was recently approved by US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma and disease progression upon ipilimumab and BRAF inhibitor. This review will focus on the clinical development and use of pembrolizumab in the clinical practice and in the management of advanced melanoma. © 2015 Improta et al.


PubMed | CNR Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology, Laboratory of Clinical Research and Advanced Diagnostics, Cannizzaro Hospital, Copenhagen University and University of Milan
Type: | Journal: OncoTargets and therapy | Year: 2015

Cancer immunotherapy is now recognized to be fundamental in modern oncology, because immune system recruitment may represent a powerful and innovative strategy in cancer therapy. Pembrolizumab, a highly selective humanized monoclonal antibody directly blocking the interaction between programmed cell death-1 expressed by tumor-associated T-cells and its ligand programmed cell death-L1 present on tumor and stromal cells, was recently approved by US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma and disease progression upon ipilimumab and BRAF inhibitor. This review will focus on the clinical development and use of pembrolizumab in the clinical practice and in the management of advanced melanoma.


PubMed | Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Laboratory of Clinical Research and Advanced Diagnostics, Cannizzaro Hospital and University of Naples Federico II
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of clinical pathology | Year: 2016

To evaluate the incidence of PI3KCA, KRAS and BRAF mutations in primary ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC).63 consecutive patients, with a proven diagnosis of OCCC, according to WHO criteria, were included into the study. Pyrosequencing analysis of all three genes hotspot regions were performed on 2.5m sections of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue from primary OCCC.PI3KCA mutations were found in 20/63 (32%) cases; KRAS mutations were found in 8/63 (13%); no BRAF V600 mutations were found. In particular, 12/20 mutations (60%) of PI3KCA were found in the exon 20, whereas the remaining eight cases presented mutations in exon 9 (8/20; 40%). KRAS pyrosequencing analysis revealed higher incidence of codon 12 mutations (7/8; 90%) than codon 13 mutations (1/8; 10%). In five cases (5/66; 8%), synchronous mutations, affecting PI3KCA and KRAS genes, were found. No differences were found in the distribution of hotspot mutations, according to the stage.The high frequency of PI3KCA mutations, the low rate of mutations in KRAS and the absence of mutations in BRAF, indicate a molecular signature of OCCCs different from other ovarian carcinomas. Detection of driver mutations, such as PI3KCA and KRAS, may be the basis for a targeted therapy, although the clinical and therapeutic implications of these findings have to be supported by further studies.


PubMed | Laboratory of Clinical Research and Advanced Diagnostics, University of Naples Federico II and Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine
Type: | Journal: Clinical immunology (Orlando, Fla.) | Year: 2016

Ataxia-Teleangiectasia (A-T) is a neurodegenerative disorder due to mutations in ATM gene. ATM in the nucleus ensures DNA repair, while its role in the cytosol is still poorly clarified. Abnormal autophagy has been documented in other neurodegenerative disorders, thus we evaluated whether alteration in this process may be involved in the pathogenesis of A-T by analyzing the autophagic vesicles and the genes implicated in the different stages of autophagy. Through transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and immunofluorescence analysis we observed an accumulation of APs associated with a LC3 puncta pattern, and a reduced number of ALs. We also documented an increased expression of genes involved in AP and lysosome biogenesis and function, and a decrease of Vps18 expression, involved in their vesicular trafficking and fusion. mTORC1-controlled proteins were hyperphosphorylated in A-T, in keeping with an increased mTOR inhibitory influence of autophagy. Betamethasone is able to promote the degradation of SQSTM1, a biomarker of autophagy. Collectively, our results indicate that in cells from A-T patients, the APs maturation is active, while the fusion between APs and lysosomes is inappropriate, thus implying abnormalities in the cell-clearance process. We also documented a positive effect of Betamethasone on molecules implicated in autophagosome degradation.


PubMed | Unit of Clinical Pathology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, University of Naples Federico II, Laboratory of Preclinical and Translational Research and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Tumour biology : the journal of the International Society for Oncodevelopmental Biology and Medicine | Year: 2015

Many cell types release extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes, microvesicles (MVs), and apoptotic bodies, which play a role in physiology and diseases. Presence and phenotype of circulating EVs in hematological malignancies (HMs) remain largely unexplored.The aim of this study was to characterize EVs in peripheral blood of HM patients compared to healthy subjects (controls). We isolated serum EVs from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL), Waldenstroms macroglobulinemia (WM), Hodgkins lymphoma (HL), multiple myeloma (MM), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), and controls. EVs were isolated from serum of peripheral blood by ultracentrifuge steps and analyzed by flow cytometry to define count, size, and immunophenotype. MV levels were significantly elevated in WM, HL, MM, AML, and some MPNs and, though at a lesser degree, in CLL and NHL as compared to healthy controls. HL, MM, and MPNs generated a population of MVs characterized by lower size (below 0.3 m) when compared to controls. MVs from patients specifically expressed tumor-related antigens, such as CD19 in B cell neoplasms, CD38 in MM, CD13 in myeloid tumors, and CD30 in HL. Both total and antigen-specific count of MVs significantly correlated with different HM clinical features such as Rai stage in CLL, International Prognostic Scoring System in WM, International Staging System in MM, and clinical stage in HL. MVs may represent a novel biomarker in HMs.

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