University Cattolica Del ore

Rome, Italy

University Cattolica Del ore

Rome, Italy

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A potential complementary role of the dietary long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn-3 PUFA) in combination with innovative mono-targeted therapies has recently been proposed. These compounds are thought to act pleiotropically to prevent the development and progression of a variety of cancers, including breast cancer. We hereinafter critically analyze the reports investigating the ability of LCn-3 PUFA to modulate the Ras/ERK and the phosphoinositide survival signaling pathways often aberrantly activated in breast cancer and representing the main targets of innovative therapies. The in vitro or in vivo animal and human interventional studies published up to January 2017 investigating the effects of LCn-3 PUFA on these pathways in normal and cancerous breast cells or tissues were identified through a systematic search of literature in the PubMed database. We found that, in most cases, both the in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated the ability of LCn-3 PUFA to inhibit the activation of these pro-survival pathways. Altogether, the analyzed results strongly suggest a potential role of LCn-3 PUFA as complementary agents in combination with mono-targeted therapies. Moreover, the results indicate the need for further in vitro and human interventional studies designed to unequivocally prove the potential adjuvant role of these fatty acids. © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Patrignani P.,University of Chieti Pescara | Patrono C.,University Cattolica Del ore
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids | Year: 2015

Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) is a prototypic cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor. It was synthesized serendipitously from a natural compound, i.e., salicylic acid, with known analgesic activity. This chemical modification, obtained for the first time in an industrial environment in 1897, endowed aspirin with the unique capacity of acetylating and inactivating permanently COX-isozymes. Traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (tNSAIDs) were developed to mimic the pharmacological effects of aspirin, using aspirin-sensitive experimental models of pain and inflammation as the template for screening new chemical entities. Among the tNSAIDs, some were endowed with moderate COX- selectivity (e.g., diclofenac), but no studies of sufficient size and duration were performed to show any clinically relevant difference between different members of the class. Similarly, no serious attempts were made to unravel the mechanisms involved in the shared therapeutic and toxic effects of tNSAIDs until the discovery of COX-2. This led to characterizing their main therapeutic effects as being COX-2-dependent and their gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity as being COX-1-dependent, and provided a rationale for developing a new class of selective COX-2 inhibitors, the coxibs. This review will discuss the clinical pharmacology of tNSAIDs and coxibs, and the clinical read-outs of COX-isozyme inhibition. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Oxygenated metabolism of PUFA: analysis and biological relevance." © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Gurrieri F.,University Cattolica Del ore | Gurrieri F.,Catholic University of Rome
American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part C: Seminars in Medical Genetics | Year: 2012

The autism spectrum disorders (ASD) comprise a group of neurobehavioral phenotypes of heterogeneous etiology. In spite of a worldwide extensive research effort to unravel the genetic mystery of autism, medical geneticists are still facing an embarrassing lack of knowledge in dealing with the diagnosis, and consequently prognosis, of a child with autism. However, some lessons can be learned from accumulating experience in the clinical and molecular genetic evaluation of children with this condition. Patient evaluation, indications for molecular testing and counseling are the three aspects that will be discussed in this review. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Mikulska M.,University of Genoa | Calandra T.,University of Lausanne | Sanguinetti M.,University Cattolica Del ore | Poulain D.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Viscoli C.,University of Genoa
Critical Care | Year: 2010

Introduction: Timely diagnosis of invasive candidiasis (IC) remains difficult as the clinical presentation is not specific and blood cultures lack sensitivity and need a long incubation time. Thus, non-culture-based methods for diagnosing IC have been developed. Mannan antigen (Mn) and anti-mannan antibodies (A-Mn) are present in patients with IC. On behalf of the Third European Conference on Infections in Leukemia, the performance of these tests was analysed and reviewed.Methods: The literature was searched for studies using the commercially available sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (Platelia™, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Marnes-la-Coquette, France) for detecting Mn and A-Mn in serum. The target condition of this review was IC defined according to 2008 European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer/Mycoses Study Group criteria. Sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic odds ratios (DOR) were calculated for Mn, A-Mn and combined Mn/A-Mn testing.Results: Overall, 14 studies that comprised 453 patients and 767 controls were reviewed. The patient populations included in the studies were mainly haematological and cancer cases in seven studies and mainly intensive care unit and surgery cases in the other seven studies. All studies but one were retrospective in design. Mn sensitivity was 58% (95% confidence interval [CI], 53-62); specificity, 93% (95% CI, 91-94) and DOR, 18 (95% CI 12-28). A-Mn sensitivity was 59% (95% CI, 54-65); specificity, 83% (95% CI, 79-97) and DOR, 12 (95% CI 7-21). Combined Mn/A-Mn sensitivity was 83% (95% CI, 79-87); specificity, 86% (95% CI, 82-90) and DOR, 58 (95% CI 27-122). Significant heterogeneity of the studies was detected. The sensitivity of both Mn and A-Mn varied for different Candida species, and it was the highest for C. albicans, followed by C. glabrata and C. tropicalis. In 73% of 45 patients with candidemia, at least one of the serological tests was positive before the culture results, with mean time advantage being 6 days for Mn and 7 days for A-Mn. In 21 patients with hepatosplenic IC, 18 (86%) had Mn or A-Mn positive test results at a median of 16 days before radiological detection of liver or spleen lesions.Conclusions: Mn and A-Mn are useful for diagnosis of IC. The performance of combined Mn/A-Mn testing is superior to either Mn or A-Mn testing. © 2010 Mikulska et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


De Luca A.,Malattie Infettive Universitarie | De Luca A.,University Cattolica Del ore | Bianco C.,Malattie Infettive Universitarie | Rossetti B.,Malattie Infettive Universitarie
Current Opinion in Pharmacology | Year: 2014

HCV NS3/4A serine protease inhibitors are the first class of direct acting antivirals (DAA) introduced in clinical practice. The first generation agents, selective against HCV genotype 1, are used in association with pegylated interferons and ribavirin allowing increased cure rates at the price of increased toxicity, significant drug interactions and high risk of selecting mutants conferring cross-resistance to the entire class. A large number of second-wave HCV protease inhibitors are currently in clinical development. Advancements include higher potency, activity against a wider number of genotypes, improved tolerability, easier dosing schedules, although their genetic barrier to resistance remains low, especially for subtype 1a, except for the most recent grazoprevir and ACH-2684. The most relevant progress regards the combination with other classes of DAA allowing construction of interferon-free regimens of short duration, good tolerability with exceptionally high cure rates.


Ricci R.,University Cattolica Del ore
Hereditary Cancer in Clinical Practice | Year: 2016

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal neoplasms of gastrointestinal tract. They feature heterogeneous triggering mechanisms, implying relevant clinical differences. The vast majority of GISTs are sporadic tumors. Rarely, however, GIST-prone syndromes occur, mostly depending on heritable GIST predisposing molecular defects involving the entire organism. These conditions need to be properly identified in order to plan appropriate diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic procedures. Clinically, GIST-prone syndromes must be thought of whenever GISTs are multiple and/or associated with accompanying signs peculiar to the background tumorigenic trigger, either in single individuals or in kindreds. Moreover, syndromic GISTs, individually considered, tend to show distinctive features depending on the underlying condition. When applicable, genotyping is usually confirmatory. In GIST-prone conditions, the prognostic features of each GIST, defined according to the criteria routinely applied to sporadic GISTs, combine with the characters proper to the background syndromes, defining peculiar clinical settings which challenge physicians to undertake complex decisions. The latter concern preventive therapy and single tumor therapy, implying possible surgical and molecularly targeted options. In the absence of specific comprehensive guidelines, this review will highlight the traits characteristic of GIST-predisposing syndromes, with particular emphasis on diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic implications, which can help the clinical management of these rare diseases. © 2016 The Author(s).


Capoluongo E.,University Cattolica del ore
Neurobiology of aging | Year: 2012

Two major susceptibility genes, complement factor H (CFH) and age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2 (ARMS2), have been implicated in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) pathogenesis. We analyzed the association between CFH rs1061170 and/or ARMS2 rs10490924 polymorphisms with central retinal function properties, as evaluated by focal electroretinogram (fERG). Forty early AMD patients, with preserved visual acuity and typical macular lesions, underwent fERG recording (in response to 41 Hz flicker stimuli presented to the central 18 degrees) and CFH/ARMS2 genotyping. Mean fERG amplitude and sensitivity decreased in patients carrying CFH rs1061170 polymorphism (p < 0.01), compared with wild type ones, although visual acuity and funduscopic features were similar across the 2 groups. No significant fERG phase changes were observed. No association was detected between ARMS2 (rs10490924) polymorphism and fERG parameters. Our findings indicate that CFH (rs1061170) polymorphism impacts significantly on retinal function in early AMD patients, and support the hypothesis that dysfunctional CFH might result in early retinal function loss due to a reduction in the immune antioxidant defense mechanism. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Milardi D.,University Cattolica Del ore | Grande G.,University Cattolica Del ore | Vincenzoni F.,University Cattolica Del ore | Castagnola M.,University Cattolica Del ore | Marana R.,University Cattolica Del ore
Molecular Reproduction and Development | Year: 2013

Proteomics is a research area that has developed rapidly in the last decade. It studies the large-scale characterization of the full protein components of a cell, a tissue, or a biological fluid. In the last decade, clinical proteomics has developed new technology and bioinformatics useful in identifying molecular markers of pathology; the next decade might be the era of proteomics. Seminal plasma (SP) represents a good sample for proteomic analysis in the evaluation of male fertility/infertility. SP is an acellular fluid conglomerate, comprised of contributions from the epididymis and accessory sexual glands. Human SP contains many proteins that are important to the successful fertilization of the oocyte by the spermatozoa. Proteomic studies have identified numerous seminal-specific proteins, and recent reports have provided a further understanding of their function with respect to male fertility. Upon further validation, these proteins may be useful in the clinical distinction between fertility and infertility. This article reviews the proteomic methods, such as one dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (1D-PAGE), two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE), and mass spectrometry (MS), employed to detect human SP markers involved in fertility and infertility. As such, proteomic studies will help the development of new techniques to identify novel biomarkers for a better clinical diagnosis and treatment of male infertility. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Cascini F.,University Cattolica Del ore | Aiello C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Di Tanna G.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Current Drug Abuse Reviews | Year: 2012

Aim: The objective of this meta-analysis is to assess the data regarding changes in herbal cannabis potency over time (from 1970 to 2009). Methods: Systematic searches of 17 electronic scientific databases identified studies on this topic, within which 21 case series studies satisfied our inclusion criteria of reporting the mean tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) value per number of samples per year. No language, publication date, publication type or status restrictions were imposed. The study selection and data extraction processes were performed independently but uniformly by two authors, included screening, determination of eligibility and inclusion of the eligible studies in the systematic review, and a meta-analysis of the results on THC content in herbal cannabis samples. We considered papers and not monographic scientific publications, rejecting all studies that were not focused on the subject of this review. Results: Meta-analysis by year was performed on 21 studies containing 75 total mean THC observations from 1979 to 2009 using the random effects model. The results revealed much variability between studies. Further, there was a significant correlation between year and mean THC in herbal cannabis. The combined data indicated the correlation between year and mean THC in herbal cannabis, revealing a temporal trend of increasing potency (5% above the mean THC value in the Poisson regression analysis). Conclusions: The results of the analysis suggest that there has been a recent and consistent increase in cannabis potency worldwide. © 2012 Bentham Science Publishers.


De Carolis M.P.,University Cattolica Del ore
Minerva pediatrica | Year: 2010

Levels of protein C, low at birth, physiologically Increase until six months of age and achieve the adult range after puberty. Protein C deficiency may be congenital or acquired. Severe protein C deficiency is a rare autosomal recessive disorder that usually presents in neonatal period with purpura fulminans. Acquired protein C deficiency may be caused by increased consumption (e.g., asphyxia, overt DIC, severe infection without overt DIC, acute VTE) or by decreased synthesis of the active carboxylated protein (e.g. administration of vitamin K antagonists, severe hepatic synthetic disfunction). Two different formulations of protein C are available: recombinant human activated protein C (rhAPC) and human plasma-derived viral-inactivated protein C. It is known that in septic patients replacement therapy with rhAPC reduces mortality but is associated with an increased risk of bleeding. During the neonatal period, when a higher risk of bleeding exists, the human plasma-derived viral-inactivated protein C concentrate may represent an effective therapeutic option. In fact, its administration results effective both in severe congenital and acquired forms of protein C deficiency.

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