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Garrone O.,S Croce And Carle Teaching Hospital | Bertelli G.,Singleton Hospital | Principe E.,oce And Carle University Hospital | Lewis P.D.,University of Swansea | And 3 more authors.
Tumori | Year: 2014

Aim and background. A reduction of gynaecological adverse events has been reported in trials comparing aromatase inhibitors with tamoxifen as adjuvant treatment in postmenopausal women with early breast cancer, but there is a paucity of randomised studies specifically investigating their effects on the uterus. We report here the results of a prospective phase III trial comparing the effects of tamoxifen and exemestane by transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS). Patients and methods. Postmenopausal patients with ER+ early breast cancer were randomised to receive tamoxifen 20 mg once daily or exemestane 25 mg once daily as adjuvant hormone therapy. TVUS was performed at baseline and at 6 and 12 months to measure endometrial thickness (ET) and uterine volume (UV). Results. A total of 123 women were randomised to tamoxifen (n = 61) or exemestane (n = 62). A significantly higher proportion of patients in the tamoxifen group had increased ET at 6 and 12 months from randomisation compared with the exemestane group (66.1% and 64.3% versus12.1% and 6.8%, respectively; P <0.0001). Mean ET and UV also significantly increased with tamoxifen compared to exemestane at both time points (P <0.01 for all comparisons). Conclusion. Tamoxifen is associated with endometrial thickening and increased uterine volume in a significant proportion of postmenopausal women with early breast cancer. Our study confirms the lack of endometrial effects of exemestane, which may be of interest to patients and clinicians when choosing among adjuvant endocrine options for breast cancer.


Benhamou Y.,University of Nice Sophia Antipolis | Picco V.,Center Scientifique Of Monaco | Raybaud H.,University of Nice Sophia Antipolis | Sudaka A.,Center Antoine Lacassagne | And 7 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC) is the most common oral cancer worldwide. Treatments including surgery, radio- and chemo-therapies mostly result in debilitating side effects. Thus, a more accurate evaluation of patients at risk of recurrence after radio/chemo treatment is important for preserving their quality of life. We assessed whether the Telomeric Repeat-binding Factor 2 (TERF2) influences tumor aggressiveness and treatment response. TERF2 is over-expressed in many cancers but its correlation to patient outcome remains controversial in OSCC. Our retrospective study on sixty-two patients showed that TERF2 overexpression has a negative impact on survival time. TERF2-dependent survival time was independent of tumor size in a multivariate analysis. In vitro, TERF2 knockdown by RNA interference had no effect on cell proliferation, migration, senescence and apoptosis. Instead, TERF2 knockdown increased the expression of cytokines implicated in inflammation and angiogenesis, except for vascular endothelial growth factor. TERF2 knockdown resulted in a decrease vascularization and growth of xenograft tumors. Finally, response to erlotinib/Tarceva and cetuximab/Erbitux treatment was increased in TRF2 knocked-down cells. Hence, TERF2 may represent an independent marker of survival for OSCC and a predictive marker for cetuximab/Erbitux and erlotinib/Tarceva efficacy.


Griseri P.,IRCCS Giannina Gaslini Institute | Garrone O.,S Croce And Carle Teaching Hospital | Lo Sardo A.,IRCCS Giannina Gaslini Institute | Monteverde M.,S Croce And Carle Teaching Hospital | And 6 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Germline and somatic mutations play a crucial role in breast cancer (BC), driving the initiation, progression, response to therapy and outcome of the disease. Hormonal therapy is limited to patients with tumors expressing steroid hormone receptors, such as estrogen receptor (ER), nevertheless resistance often limits its success. The RET gene is known to be involved in neurocristopathies such as Hirschsprung disease and Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 2, in the presence of loss-of-function and gain-of-function mutations, respectively. More recently, RET over-expression has emerged as a new player in ER-positive (ER+) BC, and as a potential target to enhance sensitivity and avoid resistance to tamoxifen therapy. Therefore, targeting the RET pathway may lead to new therapies in ER+ BC. To this end, we have investigated the molecular mechanisms which underlie RET overexpression and its possible modulation in two BC cell lines, MCF7 and T47D, showing different RET expression levels. Moreover, we have carried out a pilot association study in 93 ER+ BC patients. Consistent with the adverse role of RET over-expression in BC, increased overall survival was observed in carriers of the variant allele of SNP rs2435357, a RET polymorphism already known to be associated with reduced RET expression.


Tonissi F.,S Croce And Carle Teaching Hospital | Lattanzio L.,S Croce And Carle Teaching Hospital | Merlano M.C.,S Croce And Carle Teaching Hospital | Infante L.,S Croce And Carle Teaching Hospital | And 2 more authors.
Investigational New Drugs | Year: 2015

Taxanes represent a treatment of choice for metastatic breast cancer. Their combination with bevacizumab improved response rate and progression-free survival. We studied in vitro the effect on cell survival of the combination of either paclitaxel or nab-paclitaxel with bevacizumab and we investigated the biological factors involved in the response to treatments. We used two breast cancer cell lines, MCF7 (ER+/HER2-) and MDA-MB-231 (ER-/HER2-), co-cultured with or without HUVEC cells. We analysed cell survival by MTT test, VEGF secretion by ELISA and VEGFR, SPARC, MDR1 expression by western blot. Doses of both taxanes causing a 50 % growth inhibition were higher in MCF7 than MDA-MB-231, suggesting that taxanes are more effective in ER- cell lines. When both cell lines were grown as single culture, the combination bevacizumab+paclitaxel showed a similar anti-proliferative effect compared to paclitaxel alone. The association bevacizumab+nab-paclitaxel was more effective than nabpaclitaxel alone. An increased anti-proliferative effect of bevacizumab+paclitaxel was observed when MDA-MB-231 cells were cultured with HUVEC. We detected an induction of VEGF secretion when MDA-MB-231 cells were treated with either taxanes. Paclitaxel caused a reduction of VEGF in MCF7. SPARC resulted up-regulated in both cell lines treated with bevacizumab+nab-paclitaxel. Nab-paclitaxel seems to play an important role in inhibiting tumor proliferation through albumin-SPARC bound in association with bevacizumab compared to taxanes alone in both breast cancer cells. The addition of bevacizumab to paclitaxel increased its activity only in ER-cells. This difference might be due to their ER status. © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015.


Lattanzio L.,S Croce And Carle Teaching Hospital
Anti-Cancer Drugs | Year: 2016

Aberrant epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling is associated with tumor growth in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and is a major focus of targeted therapy. The phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/AKT/mammalian target of the rapamycin (PI3K/AKT/mTOR) signaling pathway is frequently mutated in HNSCC and is involved in disease progression and resistance to EGFR inhibitors. The aim of this study was to assess the antiproliferative effects of mTOR inhibition (temsirolimus) combined with the anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody cetuximab, administered according to different combination schedules. Antiproliferative effects of the combination of temsirolimus and cetuximab were determined on the representative HNSCC CAL33 cell line (PI3KCA H1047R mutated and K-RAS wild-type). In addition, key proteins related to the EGFR pathway (pEGFR/EGFR, pAKT/AKT) and the mTOR pathway (p-p70S6K1, p4E-BP1) were determined to explain the cytotoxic effects. Temsirolimus and cetuximab showed a synergistic effect when administered in combination. Supra-additive effect was lost when the two drugs were administered sequentially, irrespective of which drug was administered first. Synergistic effect of the combination was corroborated by a marked downregulation of pEGFR, significant downregulation of pAKT expression, and a marked diminution of p70S6K1 and p4E-BP1 expression. Our study demonstrated a synergistic effect of temsirolimus and cetuximab administered in combination, well illustrated by a simultaneous blockade of intracellular signaling pathways regulating cell proliferation and survival. These results establish the notion of a schedule dependency for the combined treatment, which can be of importance at the clinical level. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Cabrini G.,University of Verona | Fabbri E.,University of Ferrara | Lo Nigro C.,S Croce And Carle Teaching Hospital | Dechecchi M.C.,University of Verona | Gambari R.,University of Ferrara
International Journal of Oncology | Year: 2015

O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) is an abundantly expressed nuclear protein dealkylating O6-methylguanine (O6-MG) DNA residue, thus correcting the mismatches of O6-MG with a thymine residue during DNA replication. The dealkylating effect of MGMT is relevant not only in repairing DNA mismatches produced by environmental alkylating agents promoting tumor pathogenesis, but also when alkylating molecules are applied in the chemotherapy of different cancers, including glioma, the most common primary tumor of the central nervous system. Elevated MGMT gene expression is known to confer resistance to the treatment with the alkylating drug temozolomide in patients affected by gliomas and, on the contrary, methylation of MGMT gene promoter, which causes reduction of MGMT protein expression, is known to predict a favourable response to temozolomide. Thus, detecting expression levels of MGMT gene is crucial to indicate the option of alkylating agents or to select patients directly for a second line targeted therapy. Further study is required to gain insights into MGMT expression regulation, that has attracted growing interest recently in MGMT promoter methylation, histone acetylation and microRNAs expression. The review will focus on the epigenetic regulation of MGMT gene, with translational applications to the identification of biomarkers predicting response to therapy and prognosis.


Nigro C.L.,S Croce And Carle Teaching Hospital | Ricci V.,S Croce And Carle Teaching Hospital | Vivenza D.,S Croce And Carle Teaching Hospital | Granetto C.,S Croce And Carle Teaching Hospital | And 3 more authors.
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2016

AIM: To reviewing genetic and epigenetic make-up of metastatic colorectal cancers (mCRCs) addicted to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling. METHODS: The present study summarizes the potential value of prognostic and predictive biomarkers in selecting mCRC patients treated with anti-EGFR therapy. A meta-analysis was performed using a systematic search of PubMed, Medline and Web of Science to identify eligible papers until March 21st, 2016 using these following terms: "colorectal cancer", "predictive biomarkers", "anti-EGFR therapy", "KRAS", "NRAS", "PIK3CA", "TP53", "PTEN", "EGFR", "MET", "HER2", "epiregulin", "amphiregulin", "prognostic biomarkers", "BRAF", "miRNA" and "antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity". Two investigators independently evaluated and extracted data from each identified studies based on selected criteria of inclusion and exclusion. RESULTS: The introduction of agents targeting EGFR such as cetuximab and panitumumab increased overall survival of mCRCs. Nevertheless, it has firstly became evident that response rates to cetuximab regimens in unselected patient populations were typically lower than 30%. Clinical data confirmed the predictive value of RAS mutations for resistance to cetuximab and panitumumab leading to the license of these monoclonal antibodies exclusively for the management of patients with RAS-wild type colorectal cancers. So far the identification of predictive biomarkers have generated interesting, though preliminary and, at times, conflicting data on the importance of tumour mRNA levels of EGFR ligands, of activating mutations in other genes such as NRAS and PIK3CA . The prognostic value of selected microRNAs level and ADCC activity is under investigation, while the prognostic impact of BRAF status remains controversial. CONCLUSION: This review focuses on the personalized treatment of mCRC and discusses the potential of new prognostic and predictive biomarkers in selecting patients treated with anti-EGFR therapy. © 2016 Baishideng Publishing Group Inc.


PubMed | S Croce And Carle Teaching Hospital
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Anti-cancer drugs | Year: 2016

Aberrant epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling is associated with tumor growth in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and is a major focus of targeted therapy. The phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/AKT/mammalian target of the rapamycin (PI3K/AKT/mTOR) signaling pathway is frequently mutated in HNSCC and is involved in disease progression and resistance to EGFR inhibitors. The aim of this study was to assess the antiproliferative effects of mTOR inhibition (temsirolimus) combined with the anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody cetuximab, administered according to different combination schedules. Antiproliferative effects of the combination of temsirolimus and cetuximab were determined on the representative HNSCC CAL33 cell line (PI3KCA H1047R mutated and K-RAS wild-type). In addition, key proteins related to the EGFR pathway (pEGFR/EGFR, pAKT/AKT) and the mTOR pathway (p-p70S6K1, p4E-BP1) were determined to explain the cytotoxic effects. Temsirolimus and cetuximab showed a synergistic effect when administered in combination. Supra-additive effect was lost when the two drugs were administered sequentially, irrespective of which drug was administered first. Synergistic effect of the combination was corroborated by a marked downregulation of pEGFR, significant downregulation of pAKT expression, and a marked diminution of p70S6K1 and p4E-BP1 expression. Our study demonstrated a synergistic effect of temsirolimus and cetuximab administered in combination, well illustrated by a simultaneous blockade of intracellular signaling pathways regulating cell proliferation and survival. These results establish the notion of a schedule dependency for the combined treatment, which can be of importance at the clinical level.


PubMed | S Croce And Carle Teaching Hospital
Type: Review | Journal: Genes, chromosomes & cancer | Year: 2016

Malignant melanoma (MM) is a highly aggressive skin cancer with high incidence worldwide. It originates from melanocytes and is characterized by invasion, early metastasis and despite the use of new drugs it is still characterized by high mortality. Since an early diagnosis determines a better prognosis, it is important to explore novel prognostic markers in the management of patients with MM. microRNAs (miRNAs) are small (22 nucleotides) single-stranded non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate the expression of more than 60% of human genes.miRNAs alterations are involved in several cancers, including MM, where a differential expression for some of them has been reported between healthy controls and MM patients. Moreover, since miRNAs are stable and easily detectable in body fluids, they might be considered as robust candidate biomarkers useful to identify risk of MM, to diagnose an early lesion and/or an early metastatic disease. This review highlights the importance of miRNAs as risk factors, prognostic factors and their role as molecular regulator in the development and progression of MM. 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


PubMed | University of Verona, S Croce And Carle Teaching Hospital and University of Ferrara
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of oncology | Year: 2015

O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) is an abundantly expressed nuclear protein dealkylating O6-methylguanine (O6-MG) DNA residue, thus correcting the mismatches of O6-MG with a thymine residue during DNA replication. The dealkylating effect of MGMT is relevant not only in repairing DNA mismatches produced by environmental alkylating agents promoting tumor pathogenesis, but also when alkylating molecules are applied in the chemotherapy of different cancers, including glioma, the most common primary tumor of the central nervous system. Elevated MGMT gene expression is known to confer resistance to the treatment with the alkylating drug temozolomide in patients affected by gliomas and, on the contrary, methylation of MGMT gene promoter, which causes reduction of MGMT protein expression, is known to predict a favourable response to temozolomide. Thus, detecting expression levels of MGMT gene is crucial to indicate the option of alkylating agents or to select patients directly for a second line targeted therapy. Further study is required to gain insights into MGMT expression regulation, that has attracted growing interest recently in MGMT promoter methylation, histone acetylation and microRNAs expression. The review will focus on the epigenetic regulation of MGMT gene, with translational applications to the identification of biomarkers predicting response to therapy and prognosis.

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