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Del Vescovo V.,University of Trento | Grasso M.,University of Trento | Barbareschi M.,Laboratory of Molecular Pathology | Denti M.A.,University of Trento
World Journal of Clinical Oncology | Year: 2014

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Its high mortality is due to the poor prognosis of the disease caused by a late disease presentation, tumor heterogeneities within histological subtypes, and the relatively limited understanding of tumor biology. Importantly, lung cancer histological subgroups respond differently to some chemotherapeutic substances and side effects of some therapies appear to vary between subgroups. Biomarkers able to stratify for the subtype of lung cancer, prognosticate the course of disease, or predict the response to treatment are in high demand. In the last decade, microRNAs (miRNAs), measured in resected tumor samples or in fine needle aspirate samples have emerged as biomarkers for tumor diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of response to treatment, due to the ease of their detection and in their extreme specificity. Moreover, miRNAs present in sputum, in plasma, in serum or in whole blood have increasingly been explored in the last five years as less invasive biomarkers for the early detection of cancers. In this review we cover the increasing amounts of data that have accumulated in the last ten years on the use of miRNAs as lung cancer biomarkers. © 2014 Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.

Guerra F.,S. Orsola Malpighi University Hospital | Girolimetti G.,S. Orsola Malpighi University Hospital | Perrone A.M.,S. Orsola Malpighi University Hospital | Procaccini M.,S. Orsola Malpighi University Hospital | And 8 more authors.
Modern Pathology | Year: 2014

Simultaneous independent primary tumors of the female genital tract occur in 1-2% of gynecological cancer patients, 50-70% of which are synchronous tumors of the endometrium and ovary. Recognition of synchrony upon multiple tumors is crucial for correct prognosis, therapeutic choice, and patient management. Current guidelines for determining synchrony, based on surgical and histopathological findings, are often ambiguous and may require further molecular analyses. However, because of the uniqueness of each tumor and of its intrinsic heterogeneity, these analyses may sometimes be inconclusive. A role for mitochondrial DNA genotyping was previously demonstrated in the diagnosis of synchronous endometrial and ovarian carcinoma. We have analyzed 11 sample pairs of simultaneously revealed endometrial and ovarian cancers and have thereby applied conventional histopathological criteria, current molecular analyses (microsatellite instability, β-catenin immunohistochemical staining/CTNNB1 mutation screening), and mitochondrial DNA sequencing to distinguish separate independent tumors from metastases, comparing the performance and the informative potential of such methods. We have demonstrated that in ambiguous interpretations where histopathological criteria and canonical molecular methods fail to be conclusive, mitochondrial DNA analysis may act as a needle of balance and allow to formulate a diagnosis in 45.5% of our cases. Additional advantages of mitochondrial DNA genotyping, besides the high level of information we demonstrated here, are the easy implementation and the need for small amounts of starting material. Our results show that mitochondrial DNA genotyping may provide a substantial contribution to indisputably recognize the metastatic nature of simultaneously detected endometrial and ovarian cancers and may change the final staging and clinical management of these patients. © 2014 USCAP, Inc All rights reserved.

Massi D.,University of Florence | Simi L.,University of Florence | Sensi E.,Laboratory of Molecular Pathology | Baroni G.,University of Florence | And 8 more authors.
Modern Pathology | Year: 2015

Testing for NRAS is now integral part in the assessment of metastatic melanoma patients because there is evidence that NRAS-mutated patients may be sensitive to MEK inhibitors, and RAS mutation is a common mechanism of acquired resistance during treatment with BRAF inhibitors. This study evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of immunohistochemical analysis using an N-Ras (Q61R) antibody to detect the presence of the NRASQ61R mutation in melanoma patients. A total of 98 primary cutaneous melanomas that have undergone examination of NRAS mutation were retrieved from a multicentric database. Formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded melanoma tissues were analyzed for BRAF and NRAS mutations by independent, blinded observers using both conventional DNA molecular techniques and immunohistochemistry with the novel anti-human N-Ras (Q61R) monoclonal antibody (clone SP174). The antibody showed a sensitivity of 100% (14/14) and a specificity of 100% (83/83) for detecting the presence of an NRASQ61R mutation. Of the NRAS-mutated cases, none of the non-Q61R cases stained positive with the antibody (0/7). There were three cases with discordant NRAS mutational results. Additional molecular analysis confirmed the immunohistochemically obtained NRAS result in all cases, suggesting that a multiple analytical approach can be required to reach the correct sample classification. The reported immunohistochemical method is an accurate, rapid, and cost-effective method for detecting NRASQ61R mutation in melanoma patients, and represents a valuable supplement to traditional mutation testing. If validated in further studies, genetic testing would only be required for immunohistochemistry-negative patients to detect non-Q61R mutations.

Zhao W.-L.,Shanghai JiaoTong University | Zhao W.-L.,Laboratory of Molecular Pathology
Leukemia | Year: 2010

T-cell malignancies, mainly known as T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and T-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma (T-NHL), are aggressive tumors. Although the clinical outcome of the patients has improved dramatically with combination chemotherapy, significant challenges remain, including understanding of the factors that contribute to the malignant behavior of these tumor cells and developing subsequently optimal targeted therapy. Aberrant cell signal transduction is generally involved in tumor progression and drug resistance. This review describes the pathogenetic role of multiple cellular signaling pathways in T-cell malignancies and the potential therapeutic strategies based on the modulation of these key signaling networks. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Stacchiotti S.,Sarcoma Unit | Tamborini E.,Laboratory of Molecular Pathology | Lo Vullo S.,Unit of Clinical Epidemiology and trial Organization | Bozzi F.,Laboratory of Molecular Pathology | And 13 more authors.
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2013

Background: To report on a prospective, investigator-driven, phase II study on lapatinib in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-positive advanced chordoma patients. Patients and methods: From December 2009 to January 2012, 18 advanced progressing chordoma patients entered this study (median age: 61 years; disease extent: metastatic 72% and locally advanced 28%). Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression and activation were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and/or phosphoarrays, real-time polimerase chain reaction, fluorescence immunostaining. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis was also carried out. Patients received lapatinib 1500 mg/day (mean dose intensity = 1282 mg/day), until progression or toxicity. The primary study end point was response rate (RR) as per Choi criteria. Secondary end points were RR by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumor (RECIST), overall survival, progression-free survival (PFS) and clinical benefit rate (CBR; RECIST complete response + partial response (PR) + stable disease (SD) = 6 months). Results: All patients were evaluable for response. Six (33.3%) patients had PR and 7 (38.9%) SD, as their best Choi responses, corresponding to RECIST SD in all cases. Median PFS by Choi was 6 [interquartile (IQ) range 3-8] months. Median PFS by RECIST was 8 (IQ range 4-12) months, with a 22% CBR. Conclusions: This phase II study showed a modest antitumor activity of lapatinib in chordoma. The clinical exploitation of EGFR targeting in chordoma needs to be further investigated, both clinically and preclinically. Clinical trial Registration No: EU Clinical Trials Register trial no. 2009-014456-29. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.

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