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Aldo Tomasi - Top 30 Publications

The value of fluorimetry (Qubit) and spectrophotometry (NanoDrop) in the quantification of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in malignant melanoma and prostate cancer patients.

Circulating cell-free tumor DNA (cfDNA) is of crucial interest in oncology. cfDNA constitutes a potential prognostic and therapeutic marker for different solid tumors and can be used in the diagnostic and therapeutic management of cancer patients for which nowadays there are no valid laboratory markers. In the present study, the quality and quantity of the cfDNA were assessed by different quantification procedures, in order to identify the potential applications of these techniques in the preliminary cfDNA quantification.

PTCH1 Germline Mutations and the Basaloid Follicular Hamartoma Values in the Tumor Spectrum of Basal Cell Carcinoma Syndrome (NBCCS).

Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS) is an autosomal dominantly inherited disorder characterized by multiple basal cell carcinomas (BCC), odontogenic tumors and various skeletal anomalies. Basaloid follicular hamartomas (BFHs) constitute rare neoplasms that can be detected in sporadic and familial settings as in the Basaloid Follicular Hamartoma Syndrome (BFHS). Although BFHS shares clinical, histopathological and genetic overlapping with the NBCCS, they are still considered two distinctive entities. The aim of our single-institution study was the analysis of a cohort of PTCH1-mutated patients in order to define clinical and biomolecular relationship between NBCCS and BFHs.

BRAF, NRAS and C-KIT Advanced Melanoma: Clinico-pathological Features, Targeted-Therapy Strategies and Survival.

The mutational status of stage III and IV melanomas should be recognized in order to allow for targeted therapies. The aim of our study was the characterization of BRAF, NRAS and C-KIT melanoma patients, in order to define their optimal management.

Serum protein changes in a rat model of chronic pain show a correlation between animal and humans.

In previous works we showed the overexpression of some proteins in biological fluids from patients suffering chronic pain. In this proteomic study we analysed serum from a rat model of neuropathic pain obtained by the chronic constriction injury (CCI) of sciatic nerve, at two time intervals, 2 and 5 weeks after the insult, to find proteins involved in the expression or mediation of pain. Sham-operated and CCI rats were treated with saline or indomethacin. Two weeks after ligation, we identified three serum proteins overexpressed in CCI rats, two of which, alpha-1-macroglobulin and vitamin D-binding protein (VDBP), remained increased 5 weeks post-surgery; at this time interval, we found increased levels of further proteins, namely apolipoprotein A-I (APOA1), apolipoprotein E (APOE), prostaglandin-H2 D-isomerase (PTGDS) and transthyretin (TTR), that overlap the overexpressed proteins found in humans. Indomethacin treatment reversed the effects of ligation. The qPCR analysis showed that transcript levels of APOA1, APOE, PTGDS and VDBP were overexpressed in the lumbar spinal cord (origin of sciatic nerve), but not in the striatum (an unrelated brain region), of CCI rats treated with saline 5 weeks after surgery, demonstrating that the lumbar spinal cord is a possible source of these proteins.

Proteomic research of proteins involved in pain expression in an animal model of chronic pain.

Desmoplastic melanoma: a challenge for the oncologist.

To evaluate clinical, pathologic and genetic features of desmoplastic melanoma (DM).

Dynamic thiol/disulphide homeostasis before and after radical prostatectomy in patients with prostate cancer.

Thiol groups are important anti-oxidants and essential molecules protecting organism against the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The aim of our study is to evaluate thiol-disulphide homeostasis with a novel recent automated method in patients with localized prostate cancer (PC) before and six months after radical prostatectomy (RP). 18 patients with PC and 17 healthy control subjects were enrolled into the study. Blood samples were collected from the controls subjects and patients before and six months after RP. Thiol-disulphide homeostasis was determined using a recently developed novel method. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA), albumin, total protein, total thiol, native thiol, disulphide and total antioxidant status (TAS) were measured and compared between the groups. Native thiol, total thiol and TAS levels were significantly higher in the control group than the patients before RP (pā€‰<ā€‰.001). There was a non-significant increase in the native thiol, total thiol and TAS levels in the patients six months after RP in comparison to the levels before RP (p values .3, .3 and .09, respectively). We found a significant negative correlation between PSA and thiol levels. Our study demonstrated that the decreased thiol and TAS levels weakened anti-oxidant defence mechanism in the patients with PC as indicated. Increased oxidative stress in prostate cancer patients may cause metabolic disturbance and have a role in the aetiopathogenesis of prostate cancer.

Giant elephantiasis neuromatosa in the setting of neurofibromatosis type 1: A case report.

Elephantiasis neuromatosa (EN) can arise from a plexiform neurofibroma of the superficial and deep nerves developing from a hyperproliferation of the perineural connective tissue infiltrating adjacent fat and muscles. To date, the clinical association between EN and neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) has been poorly defined, particularly with regard to the role of lymphatic alterations and the consequent lymphedema. The present study reports the clinical and biomolecular features of EN in a NF1 patient with the clear clinical diagnostic criteria of multiple cafè-au-lait macules, neurofibromas, EN, a positive family history and a novel NF1 germline c.1541_1542del mutation. Lymphoscintigraphy (LS) highlighted marked dermal backflow in the affected limb, hypertrophy of the ipsilateral inguinal and external iliac lymph nodes, and a bilateral lower limb lymph flow delay. These data support the hypothesis that an extensive hyperproliferative process involving perineural connective, limb soft tissues, bones and the lymphatic system can be responsible for EN in NF1 patients, on the basis of adipocyte metaplasia triggered by lymphostasis and lymphedema, and bone overgrowth and gigantism caused by chronic hyperemia. LS and magnetic resonance imaging can be efficacious tools in the diagnosis and clinical characterization of the early onset of the disease.

Fibroepithelioma of Pinkus: Solitary tumor or sign of a complex gastrointestinal syndrome.

Fibroepithelioma of Pinkus (FEP), which is considered to be an uncommon variant of basal cell carcinoma, has been described in association with other systemic diseases. However, no specific studies are currently available on this subject. The aim of our study was to evaluate the clinical and morphological characteristics of FEP and investigate whether this rare tumor is a single entity or seen in the context of a more complex syndrome. We retrospectively analyzed 49 cases of FEP diagnosed and excised in a single academic institution from 1995 to 2011. The tumors were mainly located on the trunk (77.55%), followed by the lower extremities (12.20%) and the head and neck (10.20%). In 9 of the 49 cases (18%), FEP was associated with gastrointestinal tumors. The abovementioned cases are presented in an attempt to make clinicians more aware of a possible association between FEP and gastrointestinal cancer. Although a possible underlying common genetic background between FEP and gastrointestinal tumors was not provided, our study suggests that patients with FEP should be screened for the occurrence of gastrointestinal tumors.

Role of microsatellite instability, immunohistochemistry and mismatch repair germline aberrations in immunosuppressed transplant patients: a phenocopy dilemma in Muir-Torre syndrome.

Sebaceous tumours and keratoacanthomas are uncommon neoplasms that constitute important clinical criteria for Muir-Torre syndrome (MTS) diagnosis. In MTS patients, the increased risk of developing synchronous or metachronous visceral malignancies is characterised by autosomal dominant inheritance. However, there are further conditions, other than MTS, that increase the risk of sebaceous neoplasms, e.g. iatrogenic immunosuppression. In this latter scenario, the sebaceous tumours can present microsatellite instability (MSI) and loss of mismatch repair (MMR) proteins, characteristic of hereditary syndromes, even in the absence of MMR germline mutations. In this article, we examine transplant probands in which the immunosuppressive therapies unmask the MTS cutaneous phenotypes, showing MSI and loss of MMR protein expression, as demonstrated by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Furthermore, MMR genes sequencing analysis identified the presence of germline mutations in MTS-suspected individuals, in the absence of a visceral MTS phenotype. It is well known that immunosuppression plays a central role in the development of sebaceous tumours in both MTS and in non-syndromic settings. Sebaceous skin tumours' MSI status and IHC profiles can be influenced by epigenetic or iatrogenic factors; however, they constitute valuable tools and a cost-effective approach to screen individuals who otherways should undergo MMR genes direct sequencing in the context of immunosuppression. In this complex setting, the choice of the immunosuppressive drug becomes a critical decision for the management of both MTS and sporadic transplant patients, which may benefit from the administration of immunosuppressive drugs, resulting in a low impact on skin cancerogenesis.

Oral mucosal stigmata in hereditary-cancer syndromes: From germline mutations to distinctive clinical phenotypes and tailored therapies.

Numerous familial tumor syndromes are associated with distinctive oral mucosal findings, which may make possible an early diagnosis as an efficacious marker for the risk of developing visceral malignancies. In detail, Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP), Gardner syndrome, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, Cowden Syndrome, Gorlin Syndrome, Lynch/Muir-Torre Syndrome and Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia show specific lesions of the oral mucosa and other distinct clinical and molecular features. The common genetic background of the above mentioned syndromes involve germline mutations in tumor suppressor genes, such as APC, PTEN, PTCH1, STK11, RET, clearly implied in both ectodermal and mesodermal differentiation, being the oral mucosal and dental stigmata frequently associated in the specific clinical phenotypes. The oral and maxillofacial manifestations of these syndromes may become visible several years before the intestinal lesions, constituting a clinical marker that is predictive for the development of intestinal polyps and/or other visceral malignancies. A multidisciplinary approach is therefore necessary for both clinical diagnosis and management of the gene-carriers probands and their family members who have to be referred for genetic testing or have to be investigated for the presence of visceral cancers.

Skeletal stigmata as keys to access to the composite and ancient Gorlin-Goltz syndrome history: The Egypt, Pompeii and Herculaneum lessons.

There are several genetic diseases with a wide spectrum of congenital bone stigmata in association to cutaneous and visceral benign and malignant neoplasms. Gorlin-Goltz syndrome, also named nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, is an autosomal dominant systemic disease with almost complete penetrance and high intra-familial phenotypic variability, caused by germline mutations of the gene PTCH1. The syndrome is characterized by unusual skeletal changes and high predisposition to the development of multiple basal cell carcinomas, odontogenic keratocysts tumors and other visceral tumors. The Gorlin syndrome, clinically defined as distinct syndrome in 1963, existed during Dynastic Egyptian times, as revealed by a costellation of skeletal findings compatible with the syndrome in mummies dating back to 3000years ago and, most likely, in the ancient population of Pompeii. These paleogenetic and historical evidences, together with the clinical and biomolecular modern evidences, confirm the quite benign behavior of the syndrome and the critical value of the multiple and synchronous skeletal anomalies in the recognition of these rare and complex genetic disease.

Analysis of protein expression in periodontal pocket tissue: a preliminary study.

The periodontal disease is caused by a set of inflammatory disorders characterized by periodontal pocket formation that lead to tooth loss if untreated. The proteomic profile and related molecular conditions of pocket tissue in periodontally-affected patients are not reported in literature. To characterize the proteomic profile of periodontally-affected patients, their interproximal periodontal pocket tissue was compared with that of periodontally-healthy patients. Pocket-associated and healthy tissue samples, harvested during surgical therapy, were treated to extract the protein content. Tissues were always collected at sites where no periodontal-pathogenic bacteria were detectable. Proteins were separated using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and identified by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. After identification, four proteins were selected for subsequent Western Blot quantitation both in pathological and healty tissues.

BRAFp.V600E, p.V600K, and p.V600R Mutations in Malignant Melanoma: Do They Also Differ in Immunohistochemical Assessment and Clinical Features?

Although the detection of BRAF p.V600E mutation by immunohistochemistry was clearly described in melanoma, discordant evidences were reported for the detection of p.V600K and p.V600R mutations. The aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of BRAFp.V600E, p.V600K, and p.V600R detection by immunohistochemistry in melanoma.

Validation of potential candidate biomarkers of drug-induced nephrotoxicity and allodynia in medication-overuse headache.

Medication-overuse headache (MOH) is a chronic disorder that results from the overuse of analgesics drugs, triptans or other acute headache compounds. Although the exact mechanisms underlying MOH remain still unknown, several studies suggest that it may be associated with development of "central sensitization", which may cause cutaneous allodynia (CA). Furthermore, the epidemiology of drug-induced disorders suggests that medication overuse could lead to nephrotoxicity. The aim of this work was to confirm and validate the results obtained from previous proteomics studies, in which we analyzed the urinary proteome of MOH patients in comparison with healthy non-abusers individuals.

Giuseppe Moscati: a man, a physician and a scientist.

The life of Giuseppe Moscati (1880-1927) as a man, as a physician and as a scientist may be framed within the cultural climate of Positivism, which spread over the last years of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th Century. His activity contributed to patients' care improvement; in addition to meticulous drug regimens, he also prescribed a methodology of spiritual care, involving meditation and self-control as part of an holistic approach to healthcare. Our review deals with his published researches, highlighting the innovative findings on the juvenile diabetes treatment and extensive clinical changes consequent upon nephritis. This extraordinary man put considerable emphasis on primary care and holistic health in Italy, pioneering a new patient-centred, and holistic approach to medicine.

Confocal microscopy characterization of BRAFV600E mutated melanomas.

Thanks to modern techniques, molecular signatures for melanoma are now identifiable and have opened new horizons in the treatment of metastatic disease with molecular-targeted therapies. We distinguish different melanoma subtypes on the basis of genetic mutations such as BRAFV600E and we can therefore hypothesize the existence of corresponding morphological patterns that might be detected in vivo by noninvasive diagnostic tools such as dermoscopy and confocal microscopy. Eight BRAFV600E mutated melanomas (six primary and two metastases) were collected, matched in terms of age, sex, and thickness wild-type controls, and analyzed. In this preliminary study, regression, corresponding to fibrosis and melanophages in the dermis, was the predominant pattern and was also observed confocally when dermoscopy showed no peppering. In particular, confocal microscopy could not only detect regression but also provided a semiquantitative analysis of its grade through the count of melanophages. Confocal microscopy can be proposed as a useful tool in the preliminary screening and characterization of BRAFV600E mutated melanomas, providing new insights for patients' screening and follow-up.

Erratum to: Proteomic analysis of protein extraction during hemofiltration with on-line endogenous reinfusion (HFR) using different polysulphone membranes.

Mismatch repair gene deficiency and genetic anticipation in Lynch syndrome: myth or reality?

Hypomelanosis of Ito with a trisomy 2 mosaicism: a case report.

Hypomelanosis of Ito is a rare neurocutaneous disorder, characterized by streaks and swirls of hypopigmentation following the lines of Blaschko that may be associated to systemic abnormalities involving the central nervous system and musculoskeletal system. Despite the preponderance of reported sporadic hypomelanosis of Ito, few reports of familial hypomelanosis of Ito have been described.

Fordyce granules and hyperplastic mucosal sebaceous glands as distinctive stigmata in Muir-Torre syndrome patients: characterization with reflectance confocal microscopy.

The Muir-Torre syndrome (MTS), a variant of Lynch syndrome (LS), is characterized by the presence of sebaceous skin adenomas and/or carcinomas and keratoacanthomas associated with visceral malignancies. Fordyce granules (FGs) are oral mucosal lesions previously found in association with LS. The aim of this study was to analyze the specific frequency of FGs in sporadic individuals and gene carriers patients with MTS of known mismatch repair genes mutations. The secondary aim was to characterize FGs by means of reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM).

Proteomic analisys of protein extraction during hemofiltration with on-line endogenous reinfusion (HFR) using different polysulphone membranes.

In end-stage renal disease patients, extracorporeal dialytic therapy is not able to prevent the accumulation of toxins related to the uremic syndrome, a severe complication that increases morbidity and mortality rate. In this paper, hemoFiltration with on-line Reinfusion (HFR) architecture is used to evaluate the effect of a more permeable membrane on the extraction of medium-high molecular weight molecules. The aim of this study was to compare two polysulphone membranes for convective chamber: polyphenylene High Flux (pHF) and polyphenylene Super High-Flux (pSHF). Fourteen patients were subjected to HFR with pHF and pSHF membranes and ultra filtrate (UF) samples were collected to evaluate molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) and to identify extracted proteins. Furthermore, image analysis software was used in order to evaluate change in protein extraction during the dialysis. The quantification of four proteins by immunoassay demonstrates a higher permeability of pSHF membrane. Two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) gels showed, for both membranes, the greater number of protein spots at 235 min. Some of the identified proteins, involved in nephropathic disease complications, were compared to assess differences in extraction during dialytic treatment by PDQuest analysis. UF proteomic analysis demonstrated a different behavior for the two membranes; pHF membrane was more permeable at the beginning of HFR treatment (15 min), while pSHF membrane at the end of treatment (235 min). Proteomic analysis is a suitable approach to investigate the behavior of different membranes during dialysis. Results indicated that pSHF membrane offers the higher permeability, and showed higher efficiency in removal of middle molecules related to uremic syndrome.

Inflammation: an important parameter in the search of prostate cancer biomarkers.

A more specific and early diagnostics for prostate cancer (PCa) is highly desirable. In this study, being inflammation the focus of our effort, serum protein profiles were analyzed in order to investigate if this parameter could interfere with the search of discriminating proteins between PCa and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Skeletal and cranio-facial signs in Gorlin syndrome from ancient Egypt to the modern age: sphenoid asymmetry in a patient with a novel PTCH1 mutation.

Gorlin syndrome is an autosomal dominant disorder linked to PTCH1 mutation, identified by a collection of clinical and radiologic signs. We describe the case of a family in which father and son fulfilled clear cut diagnostic criteria for Gorlin syndrome including multiple basal cell carcinomas, keratocystic odontogenic tumors, atypical skeletal anomalies and a novel PTCH1 germline mutation (c.1041delAA). Craniofacial and other skeletal anomalies displayed at 3D and helical CT scan were: macrocephaly, positional plagiocephaly, skull base and sphenoid asymmetry, bifidity of multiple ribs and giant multilocular odontogenic jaw cysts. Extensive multilamellar calcifications were found in falx cerebri, tentorium, falx cerebelli and in the atlanto-occipital ligament. The inclusion of bifid ribs as a novel major criteri may be useful for the recognition and characterization of misdiagnosed cases.

NF1 truncating mutations associated to aggressive clinical phenotype with elephantiasis neuromatosa and solid malignancies.

Von Recklinghausen disease is a syndrome characterized by a wide phenotypic variability giving rise to both, cutaneous and visceral benign and malignant neoplasms. The first include cutaneous neurofibromas, subcutaneous and plexiform neurofibromas. The latter can undergo malignant transformation and/or determine elephantiasis neuromatosa. Visceral tumors may include malignant peripheral nerve sheet tumors, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, cerebral gliomas and abdominal neurofibromas. In the present study, the authors discuss the clinical and biomolecular characterization of a cohort of 20 families with a diagnosis of type 1 neurofibromatosis.

Multiple primary melanomas versus single melanoma of the head and neck: a comparison of genetic, diagnostic, and therapeutic implications.

Single primary and multiple primary melanomas (MPMs) of the head and neck region may be confused at first glance because of the common clinical and dermoscopic patterns. An inaccurate diagnosis may lead the clinician to a wrong diagnostic and therapeutic pathway because MPMs occurring in familial or sporadic settings are often involved in individual cancer susceptibility. We investigated the clinical, demographic, histological, and survival differences between MPMs and single melanoma occurring in the head and neck region. A retrospective analysis of medical and histologic records from 217 melanomas of the head and neck region was carried out. Malignant neoplasms affecting MPMs patients were also reported. Mutational analysis of specific genes was carried out when clinical data and family history were suggestive for a familial/hereditary setting. Two hundred and five out of 217 (94.5%) patients were affected by single primary melanoma and 12 (5.5%) by MPMs of the head and neck region. Individuals affected by MPMs were distinguished by a significantly higher mutation frequency and a higher prevalence of malignant neoplasms such as renal cancer. Genetic testing showed germline mutations affecting MITF E318K, CDKN2A genes. Our data highlight the importance of strict cancer surveillance in individuals with MPMs and the role of appropriate genetic counseling and testing in selected patients. Finally, personalized clinical and instrumental screening and follow-up strategies should also be based on mutational status. A heightened level of suspicion is required in the clinical management of mutation carriers.

Molecular targeted approaches for advanced BRAF V600, N-RAS, c-KIT, and GNAQ melanomas.

The introduction of a newly developed target therapy for metastatic melanomas poses the challenge to have a good molecular stratification of those patients who may benefit from this therapeutic option. Practically, BRAF mutation status (V600E) is commonly screened although other non-V600E mutations (i.e., K-R-M-D) could be found in some patients who respond to therapy equally to the patients harboring V600E mutations. Furthermore, other mutations, namely, N-RAS, KIT, and GNAQ, should be sequenced according to distinct melanoma specific subtypes and clinical aspects. In our report, a practical flow chart is described along with our experience in this field.

Giuseppe Moscati (1880-1927): a holistic approach to medicine.

Giuseppe Moscati was a physician, medical school professor and a pioneer in the field of biochemistry and Italian studies on diabetes. He was declared a Catholic saint in 1987. In order to respond better to both the physical and spiritual needs of his patients, he developed his own holistic approach to healthcare involving meticulous drug regimens, meditation and discipline.

Brooke-Spiegler syndrome tumor spectrum beyond the skin: a patient carrying germline R936X CYLD mutation and a somatic CYLD mutation in Brenner tumor.

Brooke-Spiegler syndrome is a hereditary disorder characterized by a predisposition to the development of skin appendage neoplasms and the major and minor salivary glands neoplasms. The role of the CYLD mutation in visceral neoplasms is still unclear, except for the parathyroid tumor. We report the case of a 46-year-old patient with multiple cylindromas and trichoepitheliomas, a Brenner tumor of the ovary and a negative family history for Brooke-Spiegler phenotype. Genetic analysis revealed R936X germline mutation in the proband, but not in the patient's relatives. The same somatic mutation was found in the Brenner tumor, together with a novel missense CYLD mutation (D889N), which has never been reported in the literature. A founder effect for R936X has been hypothesized due to its high prevalence; surprisingly, in our case, this mutation seems to be recognized as a de novo mutation. Future studies involving a greater number of cases, through the clinical analysis of the familial tumor spectrum and the associated molecular pathways, are necessary to understand possible genotype/phenotype correlations and the underlying molecular mechanisms.

Proteomic analysis of PTCH1+/- fibroblast lysate and conditioned culture media isolated from the skin of healthy subjects and nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome patients.

The pathogenesis underlying the increased predisposition to the development of basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) in the context of Gorlin-Goltz syndrome is linked to molecular mechanisms that differ from sporadic BCCs. Patients with Gorlin syndrome tend to develop multiple BCCs at an early age and present with tumors of non-sun-exposed skin. The aim of this study was to compare the proteomic profile of cultured fibroblast and fibroblast conditioned culture media of PTCH1+ and nonmutated fibroblasts.