493 research outputs found

    Defective DNA repair mechanisms in prostate cancer: impact of olaparib

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    The field of prostate oncology has continued to change dramatically. It has truly become a field that is intensely linked to molecular genetic alterations, especially DNA-repair defects. Germline breast cancer 1 gene (BRCA1) and breast cancer 2 gene (BRCA2) mutations are implicated in the highest risk of prostate cancer (PC) predisposition and aggressiveness. Poly adenosine diphosphate ribose polymerase (PARP) proteins play a key role in DNA repair mechanisms and represent a valid target for new therapies. Olaparib is an oral PARP inhibitor that blocks DNA repair pathway and coupled with BRCA mutated-disease results in tumor cell death. In phase II clinical trials, including patients with advanced castration-resistant PC, olaparib seems to be efficacious and well tolerated. Waiting for randomized phase III trials, olaparib should be considered as a promising treatment option for PC

    Risk-reducing surgery in BRCA 1/2 mutation carries: A point of view

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    The work aspires to provide a reliable evaluation of the effect of risk-reducing surgery, both salpingoophorectomy (RRSO) and bilateral mastectomy (BRRM), to reduce long-term onset of ovarian cancer OC and/or BC in BRCA 1/2 mutation carries

    Ion channel expression in human melanoma samples. in silico identification and experimental validation of molecular targets

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    Expression of 328 ion channel genes was investigated, by in silico analysis, in 170 human melanoma samples and controls. Ninety-one members of this gene-family (i.e., about 28%) show a significant (p 0.90 and p 90% in most cases). Such five genes (namely, SCNN1A, GJB3, KCNK7, GJB1, KCNN2) are novel potential melanoma markers or molecular targets, never previously related to melanoma. The “druggable genome” analysis was then carried out. Miconazole, an antifungal drug commonly used in clinics, is known to target KCNN2, the best candidate among the five identified genes. Miconazole was then tested in vitro in proliferation assays; it dose-dependently inhibited proliferation up to 90% and potently induced cell-death in A-375 and SKMEL-28 melanoma cells, while it showed no effect in control cells. Moreover, specific silencing of KCNN2 ion channel was achieved by siRNA transfection; under such condition miconazole strongly increases its anti-proliferative effect. In conclusion, the present study identified five ion channels that can potentially serve as sensitive and specific markers in human melanoma specimens and demonstrates that the antifungal drug miconazole, known to target one of the five identified ion channels, exerts strong and specific anti-melanoma effects in vitro

    Could cattle ranching and soybean cultivation be sustainable? A systematic review and a meta-analysis for the Amazon

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    Tropical forests are being destroyed to make space for agricultural activities with the assumption that they are required to feed the growing global population. Consequently, more sustainable practices are needed to guarantee food security and environmental protection of highly threatened natural biodiversity hotspots like the Amazon rainforest. Cattle ranching and soybean cultivation are by far the greater drivers of land use change and deforestation in the Amazon region. We performed a systematic review of papers related to these two main drivers and a meta-analysis on the effects of sustainable practices on different ecosystem services. The results of the review highlight a large concern about the negative impacts of cattle ranching and soybean crops on the ecosystem dynamics and functionality of the Amazon biome, in addition to the clear relationship with deforestation. Another relevant finding is the large gap in empirical research concerning the effects of sustainable practices on different ecosystem services. Such a gap is evident since only 13 studies from the initial database met the requirements for a meta-analysis. Of the 171 comparisons between the ecosystem services provided in conventional land-uses and those adopting sustainable practices, the overall model indicated a non-significant effect, although the results were heterogeneous. Crop yield and herbage biomass were negatively affected, while livestock productivity, soil organic carbon, soil fertility and woody biomass were positively affected. Also, the six sustainable practices evaluated showed different outcomes, from a predominance of positive effects in silvopastoral systems, to a predominance of negative effects on agrosilvicultural systems. Our systematic review and meta-analysis indicate that cattle ranching and soybean cultivation can indeed be conducted in a more sustainable way, enhancing the provision of ecosystem services while avoiding deforestation. In turn, our results also highlight the lack of empirical data and the need to standardize the methodologies used to deeply assess the effects of such practices. In conclusion, we suggest a way to advance research into the real effects of sustainable practices aimed at reducing the negative impacts of cattle ranching and soybean crops in the Amazon

    Degradation rate of 5-fluorouracil in metastatic colorectal cancer. A new predictive outcome biomarker?

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    BACKGROUND: 5-FU based chemotherapy is the most common first line regimen used for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Identification of predictive markers of response to chemotherapy is a challenging approach for drug selection. The present study analyzes the predictive role of 5-FU degradation rate (5-FUDR) and genetic polymorphisms (MTHFR, TSER, DPYD) on survival. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Genetic polymorphisms of MTHFR, TSER and DPYD, and the 5-FUDR of homogenous patients with mCRC were retrospectively studied. Genetic markers and the 5-FUDR were correlated with clinical outcome. RESULTS: 133 patients affected by mCRC, treated with fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy from 2009 to 2014, were evaluated. Patients were classified into three metabolic classes, according to normal distribution of 5-FUDR in more than 1000 patients, as previously published: poor-metabolizer (PM) with 5-FU-DR ≤ 0,85 ng/ml/106 cells/min (8 pts); normal metabolizer with 0,85 < 5-FU-DR < 2,2 ng/ml/106 cells/min (119 pts); ultra-rapid metabolizer (UM) with 5-FU-DR ≥ 2,2 ng/ml/106 cells/min (6 pts). PM and UM groups showed a longer PFS respect to normal metabolizer group (14.5 and 11 months respectively vs 8 months; p = 0.029). A higher G3-4 toxicity rate was observed in PM and UM, respect to normal metabolizer (50% in both PM and UM vs 18%; p = 0.019). No significant associations between genes polymorphisms and outcomes or toxicities were observed. CONCLUSION: 5-FUDR seems to be significantly involved in predicting survival of patients who underwent 5-FU based CHT for mCRC. Although our findings require confirmation in large prospective studies, they reinforce the concept that individual genetic variation may allow personalized selection of chemotherapy to optimize clinical outcomes

    TGFβ impairs HNF1α functional activity in Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition interfering with the recruitment of CBP/p300 acetyltransferases

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    The cytokine transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) plays a crucial role in the induction of both epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program and fibro-cirrhotic process in the liver, where it contributes also to organ inflammation following several chronic injuries. All these pathological situations greatly increase the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and contribute to tumor progression. In particular, late-stage HCCs are characterized by constitutive activation of TGFβ pathway and by an EMT molecular signature leading to the acquisition of invasive and metastatic properties. In these pathological conditions, the cytokine has been shown to induce the transcriptional downregulation of HNF1α, a master regulator of the epithelial/hepatocyte differentiation and of the EMT reverse process, the mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET). Therefore, the restoration of HNF1α expression/activity has been proposed as targeted therapeutic strategy for liver fibro-cirrhosis and late-stage HCCs. In this study, TGFβ is found to trigger an early functional inactivation of HNF1α during EMT process that anticipates the effects of the transcriptional downregulation of its own gene. Mechanistically, the cytokine, while not affecting the HNF1α DNA-binding capacity, impaired its ability to recruit CBP/p300 acetyltransferases on target gene promoters and, consequently, its transactivating function. The loss of HNF1α capacity to bind to CBP/p300 and HNF1α functional inactivation have been found to correlate with a change of its posttranslational modification profile. Collectively, the results obtained in this work unveil a new level of HNF1α functional inactivation by TGFβ and contribute to shed light on the early events triggering EMT in hepatocytes. Moreover, these data suggest that the use of HNF1α as anti-EMT tool in a TGFβ-containing microenvironment may require the design of new therapeutic strategies overcoming the TGFβ-induced HNF1α inactivation

    Weekly versus three weeks chemotherapy for advanced ovarian cancer. A meta-analysis

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    Aim: Three weeks paclitaxel and carboplatin has been considered the standard of care for primary treatment of ovarian cancer (OC). Whether weekly therapy will further improve the clinical outcomes or not is still unclear. We conducted a meta-analysis to compare the two regimens. Method: Articles were selected with a systematic approach, using PubMed databases. Trials concerning comparison between carboplatin plus weekly paclitaxel (dose-dense regimen) and carboplatin plus paclitaxel every 3 weeks were considered. Outcomes included overall survival (OS), progression free survival (PFS) and severe acute toxicity. Results: Dose-dense regimen was associated with significant improvement of PFS compared with standard schedule, with HR of 0.73 (95% CI 0.61-0.88, p = 0.001). There was no difference in OS between treatment regimens (HR 0.95, 95% CI 0.77-1.16, p=0.06), as well as in term of severe acute toxicity. Conclusion: Dose-dense regimen is superior to standard schedule in terms of PFS. Further studies are necessary to firmly confirm this evidence in advanced OC treatment
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