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Genova C.,Lung Cancer Unit | Rijavec E.,Lung Cancer Unit | Truini A.,Lung Cancer Unit | Coco S.,Lung Cancer Unit | And 9 more authors.
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy

Introduction: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a major cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Although advanced NSCLC is still incurable, various anti-neoplastic agents have become available for the treatment of this disease. Pemetrexed, a multi-target folate antagonist, has improved the survival of non-squamous NSCLC patients. Currently, pemetrexed is approved for first-line treatment in combination with a platinum derivate, for second-line treatment as a single agent and, more recently, as maintenance treatment after first-line chemotherapy. Areas covered: The authors analyzed the state of the art of pemetrexed through a review of the literature. Clinical trials and meta-analyses involving pemetrexed in NSCLC were evaluated. Pemetrexed improved survival of non-squamous NSCLC in first-line, maintenance, and second-line treatments; this benefit is limited to non-squamous histology. Because pemetrexed has become part of the standard of care, current clinical trials are designed to compare it to other investigational combinations. Limited data on resectable disease are available, and additional clinical trials are being conducted. Expert opinion: Pemetrexed has shown effectiveness and a favorable toxicity profile. Histology-driven indications and the relationship of pemetrexed with thymidylate synthase expression suggest that a more precise definition of predictive biomarkers could be further investigated. © 2013 Informa UK, Ltd. Source

Muraglia A.,Biorigen Srl. | Todeschi M.R.,Biorigen Srl. | Todeschi M.R.,University of Genoa | Papait A.,University of Genoa | And 5 more authors.

Background aims: Platelet derivatives have been proposed as alternatives to animal sera given that for cell therapy applications, the use of fetal bovine/calf serum (FBS/FCS) is subjected to severe limitations for safety and ethical concerns. We developed a cell culture medium additive obtained by the combination of two blood-derived standardized components. Methods: A platelet lysate (PL) and a platelet-poor plasma (PPP) were produced in a lyophilized form. Each component was characterized for its growth factor content (platelet-derived growth factor-BB/vascular endothelial growth factor). PL and PPP were used as single components or in combination in different ratio at cumulative 5% final concentration in the culture medium. Results: The single components were less effective than the component combination. In primary cell cultures (bone marrow stromal cells, adipose derived adult stem cells, osteoblasts, chondrocytes, umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stromal cells, lymphocytes), the PL/PPP supplement promoted an increased cell proliferation in respect to the standard FCS culture in a dose-dependent manner, maintaining the cell functionality, clonogenicity, phenotype and differentiative properties throughout the culture. At a different component ratio, the supplement was also used to support proliferation of a cell line (U-937). Conclusions: The PL/PPP supplement is an efficient cell culture medium additive that can replace FCS to promote cell proliferation. It can outdo FCS, especially when adopted in primary cultures from tissue biopsies. Moreover, the dual component nature of the supplement allows the researcher to determine the more appropriate ratio of the two components for the nutritional and functional requirements of the cell type of interest. © 2015 International Society for Cellular Therapy. Source

Catania G.,San Martino IST Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro | Costantini M.,San Martino IST Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro | Beccaro M.,San Martino IST Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro | Bagnasco A.,University of Genoa | Sasso L.,University of Genoa
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes

Background: Palliative Care (PC) is an approach that improves the Quality of Life (QoL). A number of QoL assessment tools have been developed and validated in PC. It is not clear how QoL should be measured in PC practice. A procedure of QoL assessment in clinical practice can be defined as a clinical intervention focused on QoL assessment. This is a typical complex intervention that should be appropriately developed and described in all its components and assessed for its effectiveness. The aim of this study is to define a framework to help researchers to develop and evaluate clinical interventions focused on QoL assessment in PC.Methods: A study group of experts in PC and in research methodology was set up to define a framework that would describe the principles of clinical interventions focused on QoL assessment in PC. The study group discussed the WHO Population Screening Principles as a possible useful framework. The new principles had to be developed taking into account the following criteria: 1) specific to PC practice; 2) address a single underlying characteristic; 3) anchored to relevant literature; 4) consistent with the WHO PC definition.With regard to contents and the format of the principles, discussions occurred among the study group members through a cognitive process.Results: We reviewed each of the WHO Population Screening Principles and adapted them to QoL assessment, taking into account the defined criteria. As a result, a new framework, the QoL Assessment Principles in Palliative Care was developed. It consisted of 4 sections, for a total of 11 principles.Conclusions: The WHO Screening Principles framework was used to outline the eleven essential principles to be considered in developing and/or evaluating clinical interventions focused on QoL assessment in PC. The QoL Assessment Principles in Palliative Care identified could represent a methodological and ethical standard to be considered when developing and evaluating a clinical intervention focused on QoL assessment in PC. © 2013 Catania et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Croce M.,San Martino IST Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro | Orengo A.M.,San Martino IST Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro | Azzarone B.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Azzarone B.,University Paris - Sud | Ferrini S.,San Martino IST Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro

IL-15 is a member of the IL-2 family of cytokines, which play a fundamental role in innate and adaptive immune responses. IL-15 has pleiotropic immune-enhancing activities, as it stimulates NK, T and NKT cell proliferation, survival and effector functions. In view of these properties, IL-15 is regarded as a good candidate for cancer immunotherapy. This possibility is reinforced by its low toxicity and efficacy in preclinical tumor models. The use of IL-15 to boost the immune response in HIV infection has also been proposed, although further studies are required to establish potential risks and benefits. Clinical trials of IL-15 have been initiated in cancer patients and in HIV vaccination and will elucidate the potential of IL-15-based immunotherapy. The purpose of this review is to provide an update on the potential applications of IL-15 in cancer immunotherapy and HIV infection. © 2012 Future Medicine Ltd. Source

Barboro P.,San Martino IST Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro | Ferrari N.,Integrate | Capaia M.,San Martino IST Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro | Petretto A.,Laboratorio Of Spettrometria Of Massa | And 3 more authors.
International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer

Prostate cancer (PCa) displays infrequent point mutations, whereas genomic rearrangements are highly prevalent. In eukaryotes, the genome is compartmentalized into chromatin loop domains by the attachment to the nuclear matrix (NM), and it has been demonstrated that several recombination hot spots are situated at the base of loops. Here, we have characterized the binding between NM proteins and matrix attachment regions (MARs) in PCa. Nontumor and 44 PCa tissues were analyzed. More aggressive tumors were characterized by an increase in the complexity of the NM protein patterns that was synchronous with a decrease in the number of proteins binding the MAR sequences. PARP-1 was the protein that showed the most evident changes. The expression of the PARP-1 associated with NM increased and it was dependent on tumor aggressiveness. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the protein was significantly overexpressed in tumor cells. To explore the role of PARP-1 in PCa progression, PCa cells were treated with the PARP inhibitor, ABT-888. In androgen-independent PC3 cells, PARP inhibition significantly decreased cell viability, migration, invasion, chromatin loop dimensions and histone acetylation. Collectively, our study provides evidence that MAR-binding proteins are involved in the development and progression of PCa. PARP could play a key role in the compartmentalization of chromatin and in the development of the more aggressive phenotype. Thus, PARP can no longer be viewed only as an enzyme involved in DNA repair, but that its role in chromatin modulation could provide the basis for a new therapeutic approach to the treatment of PCa. © 2015 UICC. Source

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