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Albini A.,Laboratory of Translational Oncology | Bertolini F.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Bassani B.,Scientific and Technology Park | Bruno A.,Scientific and Technology Park | And 5 more authors.
ecancermedicalscience | Year: 2015

With the great advances made in the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases over the last century, chronic degenerative Diseases-cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and cancer-represent the major causes of death in the developed world. Although massive efforts and investments have been made in cancer therapy, the progress made towards reducing mortality has been more successful for cardiovascular disease than for tumours. This can be attributable largely to an active prevention approach implemented for cardiovascular disease. Cardiologists treat their patients before the overt disease becomes life threatening, performing early interventions in phenotypically healthy patients, by using several markers that predict risk. If the concept of prevention could be applied to cancer in a more extensive way, a significant number of tumours could be avoided through preventive measures. Prevention approaches range from avoiding tobacco exposure to dietary strategies to active pharmacological approaches in higher risk groups. Host targets rather than the tumour cells themselves are attractive for chemoprevention, in particular endothelial and immune cells. Angioprevention i.e. preventing cancer angiogenesis is a key concept that we introduced; yet one of the major current challenges for anti-angiogenesis in therapy and prevention is finding the right biomarkers. Here we discuss the importance of angioprevention and the potential use of VEGF, PlGF, CD31, Ang and Tie, circulating vascular cell precursors, and microRNA as potential biomarkers. © the authors. Source

Albini A.,IRCCS Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova | Bruno A.,Scientific and Technology Park | Gallo C.,IRCCS Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova | Pajardi G.,San Giuseppe MultiMedica Hospital of Milan | And 4 more authors.
Connective Tissue Research | Year: 2015

Tumor cells able to recapitulate tumor heterogeneity have been tracked, isolated and characterized in different tumor types, and are commonly named Cancer Stem Cells or Cancer Initiating Cells (CSC/CIC). CSC/CIC are disseminated in the tumor mass and are resistant to anti-cancer therapies and adverse conditions. They are able to divide into another stem cell and a "proliferating" cancer cell. They appear to be responsible for disease recurrence and metastatic dissemination even after apparent eradication of the primary tumor. The modulation of CSC/CIC activities by the tumor microenvironment (TUMIC) is still poorly known. CSC/CIC may mutually interact with the TUMIC in a special and unique manner depending on the TUMIC cells or proteins encountered. The TUMIC consists of extracellular matrix components as well as cellular players among which endothelial, stromal and immune cells, providing and responding to signals to/from the CSC/CIC. This interplay can contribute to the mechanisms through which CSC/CIC may reside in a dormant state in a tissue for years, later giving rise to tumor recurrence or metastasis in patients. Different TUMIC components, including the connective tissue, can differentially activate CIC/CSC in different areas of a tumor and contribute to the generation of cancer heterogeneity. Here, we review possible networking activities between the different components of the tumor microenvironment and CSC/CIC, with a focus on its role in tumor heterogeneity and progression. We also summarize novel therapeutic options that could target both CSC/CIC and the microenvironment to elude resistance mechanisms activated by CSC/CIC, responsible for disease recurrence and metastases. © 2015 Adriana Albini, Antonino Bruno, Cristina Gallo, Giorgio Pajardi, Douglas M. Noonan, and Katiuscia Dallaglio. Source

Albini A.,Laboratory of Translational Research | Pagani A.,University of Insubria | Pulze L.,University of Insubria | Bruno A.,Scientific and Technology Park | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of Nanomedicine | Year: 2015

Abstract: Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been extensively investigated and employed for industrial use because of their peculiar physical properties, which make them ideal for many industrial applications. However, rapid growth of CNT employment raises concerns about the potential risks and toxicities for public health, environment, and workers associated with the manufacture and use of these new materials. Here we investigate the main routes of entry following environmental exposure to multi-wall CNTs (MWCNTs; currently the most widely used in industry). We developed a novel murine model that could represent a surrogate of a workplace exposure to MWCNTs. We traced the localization of MWCNTs and their possible role in inducing an innate immune response, inflammation, macrophage recruitment, and inflammatory conditions. Following environmental exposure of CD1 mice, we observed that MWCNTs rapidly enter and disseminate in the organism, initially accumulating in lungs and brain and later reaching the liver and kidney via the bloodstream. Since recent experimental studies show that CNTs are associated with the aggregation process of proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases, we investigated whether MWCNTs are able to induce amyloid fibril production and accumulation. Amyloid deposits in spatial association with macrophages and MWCNT aggregates were found in the brain, liver, lungs, and kidneys of exposed animals. Our data suggest that accumulation of MWCNTs in different organs is associated with inflammation and amyloid accumulation. In the brain, where we observed rapid accumulation and amyloid fibril deposition, exposure to MWCNTs might enhance progression of neurodegenerative and other amyloid-related diseases. Our data highlight the conclusion that, in a novel rodent model of exposure, MWCNTs may induce macrophage recruitment, activation, and amyloid deposition, causing potential damage to several organs. © 2015 Albini et al. Source

Bruno A.,Scientific and Technology Park | Ferlazzo G.,Messina University | Albini A.,IRCCS Tecnologie Avanzate e Modelli Assistenziali in Oncologia | Noonan D.M.,Scientific and Technology Park | Noonan D.M.,University of Insubria
Journal of the National Cancer Institute | Year: 2014

Tumor-infiltrating leukocytes are often induced by the cancer microenvironment to display a protumor, proangiogenic phenotype. This "polarization" has been described for several myeloid cells, in particular macrophages. Natural killer (NK) cells represent another population of innate immune cells able to infiltrate tumors. The role of NK in tumor progression and angiogenesis has not yet been fully investigated. Several studies have shown that tumor-infiltrating NK (here referred to as "TINKs") and tumor-associated NK (altered peripheral NK cells, which here we call "TANKs") are compromised in their ability to lysew tumor cells. Recent data have suggested that they are potentially protumorigenic and can also acquire a proangiogenic phenotype. Here we review the properties of TINKs and TANKs and compare their activities to that of NK cells endowed with a physiological proangiogenic phenotype, in particular decidual NK cells. We speculate on the potential origins of TINKs and TANKs and on the immune signals involved in their differentiation and polarization. The TINK and TANK phenotype has broad implications in the immune response to tumors, ranging from a deficient control of cancer and cancer stem cells to an altered crosstalk with other relevant players of the immune response, such as dendritic cells, to induction of cancer angiogenesis. With this recently acquired knowledge that has not yet been put into perspective, we point out new potential avenues for therapeutic intervention involving NK cells as a target or an ally in oncology. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source

Roncarati R.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Roncarati R.,CNR Institute of Neurobiology and Molecular Medicine | Latronico M.V.,Scientific and Technology Park | Musumeci B.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 12 more authors.
Journal of Cellular Physiology | Year: 2011

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common genetic cardiac disease. Fourteen sarcomeric and sarcomere-related genes have been implicated in HCM etiology, those encoding β-myosin heavy chain (MYH7) and cardiac myosin binding protein C (MYBPC3) reported as the most frequently mutated: in fact, these account for around 50% of all cases related to sarcomeric gene mutations, which are collectively responsible for approximately 70% of all HCM cases. Here, we used denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography followed by bidirectional sequencing to screen the coding regions of MYH7 and MYBPC3 in a cohort (n=125) of Italian patients presenting with HCM. We found 6 MHY7 mutations in 9/125 patients and 18 MYBPC3 mutations in 19/125 patients. Of the three novel MYH7 mutations found, two were missense, and one was a silent mutation; of the eight novel MYBPC3 mutations, one was a substitution, three were stop codons, and four were missense mutations. Thus, our cohort of Italian HCM patients did not harbor the high frequency of mutations usually found in MYH7 and MYBPC3. This finding, coupled to the clinical diversity of our cohort, emphasizes the complexity of HCM and the need for more inclusive investigative approaches in order to fully understand the pathogenesis of this disease. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Source

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