122 research outputs found

    FCI: an R-based algorithm for evaluating uncertainty of absolute real-time PCR quantification

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    Background: FCI is an R code for analyzing data from real-time PCR experiments. This algorithm estimates standard curve features as well as nucleic acid concentrations and confidence intervals according to Fieller's theorem. Results: In order to describe the features of FCI four situations were selected from real data collected during an international external quality assessment program for quantitative assays based on real-time PCR. The code generates a diagnostic figure suitable for assessing the quality of the quantification process. Conclusion: We have provided a freeware programme using this algorithm specifically designed to increase the information content of the real-time PCR assay. \ua9 2008 Verderio et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd

    Predictive Role of CD36 Expression in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Neoadjuvant Trastuzumab

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    CD36 expression; Breast cancer; Neoadjuvant trastuzumabExpresión CD36; Cáncer de mama; Trastuzumab neoadyuvanteExpressió CD36; Càncer de mama; Trastuzumab neoadjuvantBackground Despite huge efforts to identify biomarkers associated with long-term clinical outcomes in patients with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer (HER2+ BC) treated with (neo)adjuvant anti-HER2 therapy, no reliable predictors have been identified so far. Fatty acid uptake, a process mediated by the transmembrane transporter CD36, has recently emerged as a potential determinant of resistance to anti-HER2 treatments in preclinical HER2+ BC models. Methods Here, we investigated the association between baseline intratumor CD36 gene expression and event-free survival in 180 patients enrolled in the phase III trial Neoadjuvant Lapatinib and/or Trastuzumab Treatment Optimization (NeoALTTO), which randomly assigned stage II-III HER2+ BC patients to receive neoadjuvant lapatinib, trastuzumab, or lapatinib-trastuzumab in combination with chemotherapy. To this aim, we selected NeoALTTO trial patients for whom pretreatment whole transcriptomic data were available. The main study results were validated in an independent cohort of patients enrolled in the neoadjuvant phase II trial NeoSphere. Results In 180 NeoALTTO patients, high intratumor CD36 expression was independently associated with worse event-free survival in patients treated with trastuzumab-based therapy (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.72, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.20 to 2.46), but not with lapatinib-based (HR = 1.02, 95% CI = 0.68 to 1.53) or trastuzumab-lapatinib–based (HR = 1.08, 95% CI = 0.60 to 1.94) therapy. Among 331 NeoSphere patients evaluated, high CD36 expression was independently associated with worse patient disease-free survival in both the whole study cohort (HR = 1.197, 95% CI = 1.002 to 1.428) and patients receiving trastuzumab-based neoadjuvant therapy (HR = 1.282, 95% CI = 1.049 to 1.568). Conclusions High CD36 expression predicts worse clinical outcomes in early-stage HER2+ BC treated with trastuzumab-based neoadjuvant therapy.The NeoALTTO trial was sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline; the NeoSphere trial was sponsored by F. Hoffmann-La Roche. Our subanalysis of the NeoALTTO and NeoSphere trials received no funding by pharmaceutical companies

    Sequencing Analysis of SLX4/FANCP Gene in Italian Familial Breast Cancer Cases

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    Breast cancer can be caused by germline mutations in several genes that are responsible for different hereditary cancer syndromes. Some of the genes causing the Fanconi anemia (FA) syndrome, such as BRCA2, BRIP1, PALB2, and RAD51C, are associated with high or moderate risk of developing breast cancer. Very recently, SLX4 has been established as a new FA gene raising the question of its implication in breast cancer risk. This study aimed at answering this question sequencing the entire coding region of SLX4 in 526 familial breast cancer cases from Italy. We found 81 different germline variants and none of these were clearly pathogenic. The statistical power of our sample size allows concluding that in Italy the frequency of carriers of truncating mutations of SLX4 may not exceed 0.6%. Our results indicate that testing for SLX4 germline mutations is unlikely to be relevant for the identification of individuals at risk of breast cancer, at least in the Italian population

    Association between CASP8-652 6N del polymorphism (rs3834129) and colorectal cancer risk: results from a multi-centric study

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    The common −652 6N del variant in the CASP8 promoter (rs3834129) has been described as a putative low-penetrance risk factor for different cancer types. In particular, some studies suggested that the deleted allele (del) was inversely associated with CRC risk while other analyses failed to confirm this. Hence, to better understand the role of this variant in the risk of developing CRC, we performed a multi-centric case-control study. In the study, the variant −652 6N del was genotyped in a total of 6,733 CRC cases and 7,576 controls recruited by six different centers located in Spain, Italy, USA, England, Czech Republic and the Netherlands collaborating to the international consortium COGENT (COlorectal cancer GENeTics). Our analysis indicated that rs3834129 was not associated with CRC risk in the full data set. However, the del allele was under-represented in one set of cases with a family history of CRC (per allele model OR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.69-0.90) suggesting this allele might be a protective factor versus familial CRC. Since this multi-centric case-control study was performed on a very large sample size, it provided robust clarification of the effect of rs3834129 on the risk of developing CRC in Caucasians

    The Recently Identified P2Y-Like Receptor GPR17 Is a Sensor of Brain Damage and a New Target for Brain Repair

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    Deciphering the mechanisms regulating the generation of new neurons and new oligodendrocytes, the myelinating cells of the central nervous system, is of paramount importance to address new strategies to replace endogenous damaged cells in the adult brain and foster repair in neurodegenerative diseases. Upon brain injury, the extracellular concentrations of nucleotides and cysteinyl-leukotrienes (cysLTs), two families of endogenous signaling molecules, are markedly increased at the site of damage, suggesting that they may act as “danger signals” to alert responses to tissue damage and start repair. Here we show that, in brain telencephalon, GPR17, a recently deorphanized receptor for both uracil nucleotides and cysLTs (e.g., UDP-glucose and LTD4), is normally present on neurons and on a subset of parenchymal quiescent oligodendrocyte precursor cells. We also show that induction of brain injury using an established focal ischemia model in the rodent induces profound spatiotemporal-dependent changes of GPR17. In the lesioned area, we observed an early and transient up-regulation of GPR17 in neurons expressing the cellular stress marker heat shock protein 70. Magnetic Resonance Imaging in living mice showed that the in vivo pharmacological or biotechnological knock down of GPR17 markedly prevents brain infarct evolution, suggesting GPR17 as a mediator of neuronal death at this early ischemic stage. At later times after ischemia, GPR17 immuno-labeling appeared on microglia/macrophages infiltrating the lesioned area to indicate that GPR17 may also acts as a player in the remodeling of brain circuitries by microglia. At this later stage, parenchymal GPR17+ oligodendrocyte progenitors started proliferating in the peri-injured area, suggesting initiation of remyelination. To confirm a specific role for GPR17 in oligodendrocyte differentiation, the in vitro exposure of cortical pre-oligodendrocytes to the GPR17 endogenous ligands UDP-glucose and LTD4 promoted the expression of myelin basic protein, confirming progression toward mature oligodendrocytes. Thus, GPR17 may act as a “sensor” that is activated upon brain injury on several embryonically distinct cell types, and may play a key role in both inducing neuronal death inside the ischemic core and in orchestrating the local remodeling/repair response. Specifically, we suggest GPR17 as a novel target for therapeutic manipulation to foster repair of demyelinating wounds, the types of lesions that also occur in patients with multiple sclerosis

    3Rs Principle and Legislative Decrees to Achieve High Standard of Animal Research

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    Animal experimentation is a vast ecosystem that tries to make different issues such as legislative, ethical and scientific coexist. Research in animal experimentation has made many strides thanks to the 3Rs principle and the attached legislative decrees, but for this very reason, it needs to be evenly implemented both among the countries that have adhered to the decrees and among the team members who design and execute the experimental practice. In this article, we emphasize the importance of the 3Rs principle’s application, with a particular focus on the concept of Reduction and related key aspects that can best be handled with the contribution of experts from different fields

    Assessing the Clinical Relevance of Oncogenic Pathways in Neoadjuvant Breast Cancer

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