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Ymittos Athens, Greece

Tzifi F.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Economopoulou C.,Rimini Street | Gourgiotis D.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Ardavanis A.,St. Savvas Anticancer Hospital | And 2 more authors.
Advances in Hematology

The disturbance of apoptosis molecular signaling pathways is involved in carcinogenesis. BCL2 family of proteins is the hallmark of apoptosis regulation. In the last decade, new members of BCL2 gene family were discovered and cloned and were found to be differentially expressed in many types of cancer. BCL2 protein family, through its role in regulation of apoptotic pathways, is possibly related to cancer pathophysiology and resistance to conventional chemotherapy. It is well known that leukemias are haematopoietic malignancies characterized by biological diversity, varied cytogenetics, different immunophenotype profiles, and diverse outcome. Current research focuses on the prognostic impact and specific role of these proteins in the pathogenesis of leukemias. The understanding of the molecular pathways that participate in the biology of leukemias may lead to the design of new therapies which may improve patients' survival. In the present paper, we describe current knowledge on the role of BCL2 apoptosis regulator proteins in acute and chronic leukemias. Copyright © 2012 Flora Tzifi et al. Source

Oikonomopoulos G.M.,St. Savvas Anticancer Hospital | Syrigos K.N.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Skoura E.,Evaggelismos General Hospital | Saif M.W.,Tufts Medical Center
Journal of the Pancreas

In the field of treatment of pancreatic cancer, there has been significant progress lately. After the ACCORD/PRODIGE-4 study, 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan and oxaliplatin (FOLFIRINOX) became the standard combination for first-line chemotherapy. This led also to its use in the neoadjuvant setting in borderline resectable tumors, or locally advanced unresectable disease, improving the resectability and survival. The major disadvantage of this therapy is increased toxicity, limiting its use to young patients with no comorbidities. This arises the need to make dose reductions in clinical practice, with a possible drawback in effectiveness. The authors summarize three Abstracts (#256, #275, #305) presented at the 2014 ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium which were focused in the use of modified forms of FOLFIRINOX, their toxicity profile and effectiveness. Reduced toxicity was observed, without affecting the effectiveness of the combination. Source

Oikonomopoulos G.M.,St. Savvas Anticancer Hospital | Syrigos K.N.,Oncology Unit | Wasif Saif M.,Tufts Medical Center
Journal of the Pancreas

Pancreatic cancer is a frequent and lethal disease ranking fourth as a cause of cancer-related death in Western countries. There are patients, though, who respond well to chemotherapy and have a prolonged survival. There is an effort towards identification of specific characteristics of these tumor cells in order to identify those patients who will benefit from chemotherapy and use them as prognostic or predictive factors. This review is an update on the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting regarding the most important developments in this field for pancreatic cancer, as they were reported in Abstracts #4006, #4016, #4046, and #4060 and a discussion is presented about their application in clinical praxis. Source

Michaelidou K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Ardavanis A.,St. Savvas Anticancer Hospital | Scorilas A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

Examining for new BC biomarkers has proven that kallikrein-related peptidase (KLK) family members represent promising serum and/or tissue molecular tools for early diagnosis, effective prognosis, and treatment monitoring of patients. The aim of this study was to investigate, the previously unexplored, prognostic significance of KLK8 in BC. KLK8 mRNA expression was quantitatively analyzed in 150 cancerous and 100 corresponding normal breast tissue specimens via a SYBR Green-based Real-Time PCR methodology. Expression data and patients’ clinicopathological parameters were used for extensive biostatistical analyses, including internal validation. KLK8 mRNA expression was significantly downregulated in the cancerous tissue part relative to the non-cancerous counterpart (P < 0.001), in the majority of the paired breast tissue samples. KLK8 expression was associated with advanced TNM stage (P = 0.019) and positive nodal status involvement (P = 0.044). Triple negative (TNBC) and HER2 overexpressing tumors exhibited higher KLK8 expression levels (P < 0.001), compared to Luminal A and B molecular subtypes. Kaplan–Meier survival curve analysis revealed that BC patients with high KLK8 expression had significantly shorter disease-free survival (DFS) intervals (P < 0.001) compared to those belonging in the KLK8-low expression group. Cox univariate analysis confirmed the association between KLK8 expression, analyzed as a continuous variable, and poor patients’ outcome (Hazard ratio [HR] = 3.28, P < 0.001). Most importantly, multivariate analysis showed that KLK8 expression is a strong and independent predictor of adverse DFS in BC ([HR] = 2.74; P = 0.002). Our results show that KLK8 mRNA expression is associated with aggressive tumor characteristics and it can serve as a novel independent biomarker of unfavorable prognosis for BC patients. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

Davies A.,Royal Surrey County Hospital | Buchanan A.,University of Surrey | Porta-Sales J.,Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology | Likar R.,The Interdisciplinary Center | And 19 more authors.
Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

Context: Breakthrough pain is common in patients with cancer and is a significant cause of morbidity in this group of patients. Objectives: The aim of this study was to characterize breakthrough pain in a diverse population of cancer patients. Methods: The study involved 1000 cancer patients from 13 European countries. Patients were screened for breakthrough pain using a recommended diagnostic algorithm and then questioned about the characteristics and management of their pain. Results: Of the 1000 patients, 44% reported incident pain, 41.5% spontaneous pain, and 14.5% a combination. The median number of episodes was three a day. The median time to peak intensity was 10 minutes, with the median for patients with incident pain being five minutes (P < 0.001). The median duration of untreated episodes was 60 minutes, with the median for patients with incident pain being 45 minutes (P = 0.001). Eight hundred six patients stated that pain stopped them doing something, 66 that it sometimes stopped them doing something, and only 107 that it did not interfere with their activities. Patients with incident pain reported more interference with walking ability and normal work, whereas patients with spontaneous pain reported more interference with mood and sleep. As well, 65.5% of patients could identify an intervention that improved their pain (29.5%, pharmacological; 23%, nonpharmacological; 12%, combination). Regarding medications, 980 patients were receiving an opioid to treat their pain, although only 191 patients were receiving a transmucosal fentanyl product licensed for the treatment of breakthrough pain. Conclusion: Breakthrough cancer pain is an extremely heterogeneous condition. © 2013 U.S. Cancer Pain Relief Committee. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

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