Sapienza University of Rome

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    519812 research outputs found

    Synergistic effects of cardiac resynchronization therapy and drug up-titration in heart failure. is this enough?

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    This editorial refers to ‘Optimization of heart failure medication after cardiac resynchronization therapy and the impact on long-term survival’, by C.T. Witt et al., on page 18

    Compounds from natural sources for new diagnostics and drugs against biofilm infections

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    Biofilm infections represent a new medical challenge that drives towards the discovery of new diagnostics and new drugs specifically designed for this purpose. All living organisms offer a huge source of compounds which represent the biochemical substrate of the biological competition on the Earth and can be used to this aim. We describe an innovative diagnostic tool to early diagnose medical device infections sustained by Staphylococci; then we list new compounds that modulate bacterial phenotype and reduce virulence without affecting bacterial viability so as to avoid the emergence of genetic resistances. These compounds are all derived from natural sources: prokaryotes, plants, and human body. From prokaryotes we studied new compounds extracted from different environmental bacterial species, including Antarctic species growing in extreme environments. We describe also the anti-biofilm properties of extracts obtained from plants well known since centuries in folk medicine. The humoral immune response is the source of the last anti-biofilm compound: transferrin (Tf), a protein derived from human plasma involved in inflammation and natural immunity. All these compounds can be used as scaffolds for the design of new drugs active on the sessile form of pathogens prevalent in human biofilm infections

    Rituximab, bendamustine, and low-dose cytarabine as induction therapy in elderly patients with mantle cell lymphoma: a multicentre, phase 2 trial from Fondazione Italiana Linfomi

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    Background The combination of rituximab, bendamustine, and cytarabine (R-BAC) was highly active in a pilot trial of mantle cell lymphoma, but its use was restricted by high haematological toxicity. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of an R-BAC regimen with low-dose cytarabine (RBAC500). Methods In this multicentre, phase 2 trial, we recruited previously untreated patients with an established histological diagnosis of mantle cell lymphoma from 29 Fondazione Italiana Linfomi centres in Italy. Patients had to be older than 65 years and fit according to the comprehensive geriatric assessment, or aged 60–65 years if they were ineligible for high-dose chemotherapy plus autologous stem-cell transplantation and were fit or unfit. All patients received RBAC500 (rituximab 375 mg/m2 on day 1, bendamustine 70 mg/m2 on days 2 and 3, and cytarabine 500 mg/m2 on days 2–4; all administered intravenously) every 4 weeks for up to six cycles. Primary endpoints were the proportion of patients achieving complete response at the end of treatment and toxicity, defined as the occurrence of any of the stop treatment criteria or of any episode of relevant toxicity. All patients who started at least one cycle of RBAC500 were included in the primary and safety analyses. Using efficacy and toxicity as a composite primary endpoint, we considered the final conclusion positive if more than 28 of 57 patients achieve complete response and fewer than 18 of 57 patients report toxicities. This study is registered with EudraCT, number 2011-005739-23, and, number NCT01662050, and is completed. Findings Between May 2, 2012, and Feb 25, 2014, we enrolled 57 patients (median age 71 years, IQR 67–75). 54 (95%) patients received at least four RBAC500 cycles (three discontinued because of toxicity), and 38 (67%) completed six cycles. Two (4%) had disease progression (one after the fourth cycle and one after the sixth cycle). All 52 (91%, lower limit of one-sided 95% CI 85%) remaining patients achieved complete response at the end of treatment. 23 (40%, upper limit of one-sided 95% CI 53%) of 57 patients had at least one episode of relevant toxicity. The most frequent grade 3–4 haematological toxicities were neutropenia (149 [49%] of 304 cycles) and thrombocytopenia (158 [52%]). Most treatment-related non-haematological adverse events were of grade 1–2, with the most frequent ones being fatigue (14 [25%] patients), nausea or vomiting (12 [21%]), and infusion-related reactions or tumour lysis syndrome (12 [21%]). 41 (72%) patients required a dose reduction. 12 patients died during the study, but no deaths were related to treatment. Interpretation RBAC500 is an effective treatment for elderly patients with mantle cell lymphoma and, despite not meeting our prespecified safety boundary, haematological toxicity was manageable with appropriate supportive care and dose reduction. Since maintenance therapy is not required, RBAC500 could be considered an option and should be studied in phase 3 trials. Funding Fondazione Italiana Linfomi and Mundipharma. © 2017 Elsevier Lt

    Self-control depletion in tufted capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.): does delay of gratification rely on a limited resource?

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    Self-control failure has enormous personal and societal consequences. One of the most debated models explaining why self-control breaks down is the Strength Model, according to which self-control depends on a limited resource. Either previous acts of self-control or taking part in highly demanding cognitive tasks have been shown to reduce self-control, possibly due to a reduction in blood glucose levels. However, several studies yielded negative findings, and recent meta-analyses questioned the robustness of the depletion effect in humans. We investigated, for the first time, whether the Strength Model applies to a non-human primate species, the tufted capuchin monkey. We tested five capuchins in a self-control task (the Accumulation task) in which food items were accumulated within individual's reach for as long as the subject refrained from taking them. We evaluated whether capuchins' performance decreases: (i) when tested before receiving their daily meal rather than after consuming it (Energy Depletion Experiment), and (ii) after being tested in two tasks with different levels of cognitive complexity (Cognitive Depletion Experiment). We also tested, in both experiments, how implementing self-control in each trial of the Accumulation task affected this capacity within each session and/or across consecutive sessions. Repeated acts of self-control in each trial of the Accumulation task progressively reduced this capacity within each session, as predicted by the Strength Model. However, neither experiencing a reduction in energy level nor taking part in a highly demanding cognitive task decreased performance in the subsequent Accumulation task. Thus, whereas capuchins seem to be vulnerable to within-session depletion effects, to other extents our findings are in line with the growing body of studies that failed to find a depletion effect in humans. Methodological issues potentially affecting the lack of depletion effects in capuchins are discussed

    Β-blockers treatment of cardiac surgery patients enhances isolation and improves phenotype of cardiosphere-derived cells

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    Β-blockers (BB) are a primary treatment for chronic heart disease (CHD), resulting in prognostic and symptomatic benefits. Cardiac cell therapy represents a promising regenerative treatment and, for autologous cell therapy, the patients clinical history may correlate with the biology of resident progenitors and the quality of the final cell product. This study aimed at uncovering correlations between clinical records of biopsy-donor CHD patients undergoing cardiac surgery and the corresponding yield and phenotype of cardiospheres (CSs) and CS-derived cells (CDCs), which are a clinically relevant population for cell therapy, containing progenitors. We describe a statistically significant association between BB therapy and improved CSs yield and CDCs phenotype. We show that BB-CDCs have a reduced fibrotic-like CD90 + subpopulation, with reduced expression of collagen-I and increased expression of cardiac genes, compared to CDCs from non-BB donors. Moreover BB-CDCs had a distinctive microRNA expression profile, consistent with reduced fibrotic features (miR-21, miR-29a/b/c downregulation), and enhanced regenerative potential (miR-1, miR-133, miR-101 upregulation) compared to non-BB. In vitro adrenergic pharmacological treatments confirmed cytoprotective and anti-fibrotic effects of β1-blocker on CDCs. This study shows anti-fibrotic and pro-commitment effects of BB treatment on endogenous cardiac reparative cells, and suggests adjuvant roles of β-blockers in cell therapy applications

    Trends in door-to-thrombolysis time in the safe implementation of stroke thrombolysis registry

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    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Shorter delays between symptom onset and treatment translate into better outcomes after ischemic stroke thrombolysis. There are considerable intercenter variations in treatment delivery. We analyzed the trends of door-to-needle times (DNTs) in the Safe Implementation of Thrombolysis in Stroke registry between 2003 and 2011. METHODS: We extracted from the Safe Implementation of Thrombolysis in Stroke registry (n=45 079) year of treatment, center code, DNT, sex, age, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, and comorbidity. For each center, the year they joined the registry and the annual volume of patients were determined (<5, 5-24, 25-49, 50-74, 75-99, and ≥100 patients/y). RESULTS: DNT was not available for 720 (1.6%) patients. The overall mean (SD) DNT was 73 (37) minutes with a median (interquartile range) of 67 (47-91) minutes. The DNT was 65 (46-90), 68 (50-92), and 72 (51-98) minutes for centers joined early (2003-2005), later (2006-2009), and recently (2009-2011), respectively. Center volume had more robust effect on DNT than year of treatment, and the shortest DNTs were seen in centers with volumes ≥100 patients/y. Earlier enrollment period was also associated with shorter delays. CONCLUSIONS: Centers that joined the registry earlier and those with high annual volume achieved shorter DNT than centers that joined later and low-volume centers. However, in most of the centers, DNT did not change much during the registry period. A multicenter project aiming to reduce DNT is warranted

    Somatic alterations of targetable oncogenes are frequently observed in BRCA1/2 mutation negative male breast cancers

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    Male breast cancer (MBC) is a rare disease. Due to its rarity, MBC research and clinical approach are mostly based upon data derived from its largely known female counterpart. We aimed at investigating whether MBC cases harbor somatic alterations of genes known as prognostic biomarkers and molecular therapeutic targets in female breast cancer.We examined 103 MBC cases, all characterized for germ-line BRCA1/2 mutations, for somatic alterations in PIK3CA, EGFR, ESR1 and CCND1 genes.Pathogenic mutations of PIK3CA were detected in 2% of MBCs. No pathogenic mutations were identified in ESR1 and EGFR. Gene copy number variations (CNVs) analysis showed amplification of PIK3CA in 8.1%, EGFR in 6.8% and CCND1 in 16% of MBCs, whereas deletion of ESR1 was detected in 15% of MBCs. Somatic mutations and gene amplification were found only in BRCA1/2 mutation negative MBCs.Significant associations emerged between EGFR amplification and large tumor size (T4), ER-negative and HER2-positive status, between CCND1 amplification and HER2-positive and MIB1-positive status, and between ESR1 deletion and ER-negative status.Our results show that amplification of targetable oncogenes is frequent in BRCA1/2 mutation negative MBCs and may identify MBC subsets characterized by aggressive phenotype that may benefit from potential targeted therapeutic approaches

    Contrast-enhanced ultrasound of histologically proven hepatic epithelioid hemangioendothelioma

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    AIM: To analyze contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) features of histologically proven hepatic epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (HEHE) in comparison to other multilocular benign focal liver lesions (FLL). METHODS: Twenty-five patients with histologically proven HEHE and 45 patients with histologically proven multilocular benign FLL were retrospectively reviewed. Four radiologists assessed the CEUS enhancement pattern in consensus. RESULTS: HEHE manifested as a single (n = 3) or multinodular (n = 22) FLL. On CEUS, HEHE showed rim-like (18/25, 72%) or heterogeneous hyperenhancement (7/25, 28%) in the arterial phase and hypoenhancement (25/25, 100%) in the portal venous and late phases (PVLP), a sign of malignancy. Eighteen patients showed central unenhanced areas (18/25, 72%); in seven patients (7/25, 28%), more lesions were detected in the PVLP. In contrast, all patients with hemangioma and focal nodular hyperplasia showed hyperenhancement as the most distinctive feature (P &lt; 0.01). CONCLUSION: CEUS allows for characterization of unequivocal FLL. By analyzing the hypoenhancement in the PVLP, CEUS can determine the malignant nature of HEHE

    Selectivity in the photofragmentation of halo-pyrimidines

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    The fragmentation of 2Br-, 2Cl- and 5Br-pyrimidine following direct valence photoionization or inner shell excitation and decay has been studied by electron-ion coincidence experiments. The results show that the fragmentation is strongly selective on the final singly charged ion state and the dominant fragmentation patterns correlate to the nearest appearance potential

    Evaluation of the relationships between computed tomography features, pathological findings, and rrognostic risk assessment in gastrointestinal stromal tumors

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    Objectives The aim of this study was to correlate computed tomography (CT) findings with pathology in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs). Methods A retrospective evaluation of CT images of 44 patients with GISTs was performed. Computed tomography findings analyzed were location, size, margins, degree and pattern of contrast enhancement, angiogenesis, necrosis, signs of invasion, peritoneal effusion, peritoneal implants, surface ulceration, and calcifications. Associations between CT features and mitotic rate, Miettinen classes of risk, lesions size, and among CT features were investigated. χ 2 Test and Fisher test were performed. Results Mitotic rate was associated with margins (P = 0.016) and with adjacent organ invasion (P = 0.043). Pattern of contrast enhancement (P = 0.002), angiogenesis (P = 0.006), necrosis (P = 0.006), invasion of adjacent organs (P = 0.011), and margins (P = 0.006) were associated with classes of risk. Several associations (P &lt; 0.05) between lesion size and CT features and among all the investigated CT features were found. Conclusions Computed tomography features could reflect GIST biology being associated with the mitotic rate and with classes of risk


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