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Marco Manfredini - Top 30 Publications

Serum IgG antibodies from healthy subjects up to 100 years old react to JC polyomavirus.

JC polyomavirus (JCPyV) was identified in 1971 in the brain tissue of a patient (J.C.) affected by the progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). JCPyV encodes for the oncoproteins large T antigen (Tag) and small t-antigen (tag). These oncoproteins are responsible of the cell transformation and tumorigenesis in experimental animals. JCPyV is ubiquitous in human populations. After the primary infection, which is usually asymptomatic, JCPyV remains lifelong in the host in a latent phase. Its reactivation may occur in heathy subjects and immunocompromised patients. Upon reactivation, JCPyV could reach (i) the CNS inducing the PML, (ii) the kidney of transplant patients causing the organ rejection. Association between JCPyV, which is a small DNA tumor virus, and gliomas and colorectal carcinomas has been published. In the present investigation, we report on a new indirect ELISA with two specific synthetic peptides mimicking JCPyV VP1 immunogenic epitopes to detect specific serum IgG antibodies against JCPyV. Serum samples of healthy subjects (n = 355) ranging 2-100 years old, were analyzed by this new indirect ELISA. The linear peptides VP1 K and VP1 N resemble the natural JCPyV VP1 capsidic epitopes constituting a docking site for serum antibodies. Data from this innovative immunologic assay indicate that the overall prevalence of JCPyV-VP1 antibodies in healthy subjects is at 39%. The innovative indirect ELISA with JCPyV VP1 mimotopes seems to be a useful method to detect specific IgG antibodies against this virus, without cross-reactivity with the closely related SV40 and BKPyV polyomaviruses. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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.

Anti-TNF-α Drugs Differently Affect the TNFα-sTNFR System and Monocyte Subsets in Patients with Psoriasis.

TNF-α has a central role in the development and maintenance of psoriatic plaques, and its serum levels correlate with disease activity. Anti-TNF-α drugs are, however, ineffective in a relevant percentage of patients for reasons that are currently unknown. To understand whether the response to anti-TNF-α drugs is influenced by the production of anti-drug antibodies or by the modulation of the TNFα-TNFα receptor system, and to identify changes in monocyte phenotype and activity, we analysed 119 psoriatic patients who either responded or did not respond to different anti-TNF-α therapies (adalimumab, etanercept or infliximab), and measured plasma levels of TNF-α, TNF-α soluble receptors, drug and anti-drug antibodies. Moreover, we analyzed the production of TNF-α and TNF-α soluble receptors by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and characterized different monocyte populations. We found that: i) the drug levels varied between responders and non-responders; ii) anti-infliximab antibodies were present in 15% of infliximab-treated patients, while anti-etanercept or anti-adalimumab antibodies were never detected; iii) plasma TNF-α levels were higher in patients treated with etanercept compared to patients treated with adalimumab or infliximab; iv) PBMCs from patients responding to adalimumab and etanercept produced more TNF-α and sTNFRII in vitro than patients responding to infliximab; v) PBMCs from patients not responding to infliximab produce higher levels of TNF-α and sTNFRII than patients responding to infliximab; vi) anti- TNF-α drugs significantly altered monocyte subsets. A complex remodelling of the TNFα-TNFα receptor system thus takes place in patients treated with anti-TNF-α drugs, that involves either the production of anti-drug antibodies or the modulation of monocyte phenotype or inflammatory activity.

Desmoplastic melanoma: a challenge for the oncologist.

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

Wall paintings facies and their possible genetic correlates in the ancient Pompeii: A bio-anthropologic message from the past?

The figurative arts and precisely the ancient Pompeian wall paintings portraits can provide an additional source of information in supplementing bio-anthropological studies. There are several genetic diseases with a wide spectrum of congenital bone stigmata in association to distinctive facial features. Gorlin-Goltz syndrome, also named nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, is an autosomal dominant syndrome characterized by unusual skeletal changes, such as macrocephaly, facial asymmetry, hypertelorism, frontal and parietal bossing caused by germline mutations of the gene PTCH1. The Gorlin syndrome, clinically defined in 1963, existed during Dynastic Egyptian times, as revealed by a spectrum of skeletal findings compatible with the syndrome in mummies dating back to three thousand years ago and, most likely, in the ancient population of Pompeii. In the present research, we discuss the potential relationship between Pompeian wall paintings portrait and the cranio-metric bone changes revealed among the Pompeian skull collections assuming that the ancient portraits can constitute an important tool that should be strictly integrated with osteologic and biomolecular data in order to argue a syndromic diagnosis in ancient population.

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.

Pemphigus with features of both vulgaris and foliaceus variants localized to the nose.

We report the case of a 74-year-old man affected by an unusual variant of pemphigus. He presented with a crusty and scaly lesion of the nose. We performed reflectance confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography on the lesion, which suggested an unexpected diagnosis of pemphigus. Therefore, to confirm our diagnostic suspicions, we executed indirect immunofluorescence and two biopsies, one for histopathological examination and one for direct immunofluorescence. Histopathological evaluation showed acantholysis with formation of clefts in the granular and spinous layers of the epidermis. Direct immunofluorescence revealed immunoglobulin G and C3 deposit to the full thickness of the epidermis. Indirect immunofluorescence showed intercellular antibodies at a titer of 1:40 in the suprabasal epidermis. The immunoblot analysis using epidermal extract revealed the presence of circulating antibodies directed to 130- and 160-kDa antigens in the patient's serum. These two antigens were evidenced from nitrocellulose membrane with colorimetric AP systems, which highlighted the presence of autoantibodies against desmoglein (Dsg)1 and Dsg3 (sodium dodecylsulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis). We also performed an enzyme-linked immunoassay. All these findings suggested that this patient's pemphigus had features of both vulgaris and foliaceus variants.

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.

Annually recurring erythema annulare centrifugum: a case report.

Erythema annulare centrifugum is a rare cutaneous disease characterized by erythematous and violaceous annular plaques that usually involved the thighs and the legs. The eruption may be associated with an underlying disease and its accompanying characteristic symptoms. For these reasons, a full physical examination should be conducted to exclude underlying disorders. Annually recurring erythema annulare centrifugum is a rare and peculiar variant of erythema annulare centrifugum with the same clinical and histopathological characteristics. The lesions of annually recurring erythema annulare centrifugum tend to regress spontaneously after a variable period of days to months with yearly recurrence for many years.

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.

Skin Cancer Diagnosis With Reflectance Confocal Microscopy: Reproducibility of Feature Recognition and Accuracy of Diagnosis.

Reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) studies have been performed to identify criteria for diagnosis of skin neoplasms. However, RCM-based diagnosis is operator dependent. Hence, reproducibility of RCM criteria needs to be tested.

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).

Does skin hydration influence keratinocyte biology? In vivo evaluation of microscopic skin changes induced by moisturizers by means of reflectance confocal microscopy.

Skin hydration is defined as the water content of the epidermis and the dermis. In vivo reflectance confocal microscopy offers the opportunity to determine in vivo the kinetics of the skin after the application of topical products.

High resolution diagnosis of common nevi by multiphoton laser tomography and fluorescence lifetime imaging.

Multiphoton Laser Tomography (MPT) has developed as a non-invasive tool that allows real-time observation of the skin with subcellular resolution. MPT is readily combined with time resolved detectors to achieve fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM). The aim of our study was to identify morphologic MPT/FLIM descriptors of melanocytic nevi, referring to cellular and architectural features.

High-resolution imaging of basal cell carcinoma: a comparison between multiphoton microscopy with fluorescence lifetime imaging and reflectance confocal microscopy.

The aim of this study was to compare morphological aspects of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) as assessed by two different imaging methods: in vivo reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) and multiphoton tomography with fluorescence lifetime imaging implementation (MPT-FLIM).

Multiphoton laser tomography and fluorescence lifetime imaging of basal cell carcinoma: morphologic features for non-invasive diagnostics.

Multiphoton laser tomography (MPT) combined with fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) is a non-invasive imaging technique, which gives access to the cellular and extracellular morphology of the skin. The aim of our study was to assess the sensitivity and specificity of MPT/FLIM descriptors for basal cell carcinoma (BCC), to improve BCC diagnosis and the identification of tumor margins. In the preliminary study, FLIM images referring to 35 BCCs and 35 healthy skin samples were evaluated for the identification of morphologic descriptors characteristic of BCC. In the main study, the selected parameters were blindly evaluated on a test set comprising 63 BCCs, 63 healthy skin samples and 66 skin lesions. Moreover, FLIM values inside a region of interest were calculated on 98 healthy skin and 98 BCC samples. In the preliminary study, three epidermal descriptors and 7 BCC descriptors were identified. The specificity of the diagnostic criteria versus 'other lesions' was extremely high, indicating that the presence of at least one BCC descriptor makes the diagnosis of 'other lesion' extremely unlikely. FLIM values referring to BCC cells significantly differed from those of healthy skin. In this study, we identified morphological and numerical descriptors enabling the differentiation of BCC from other skin disorders and its distinction from healthy skin in ex vivo samples. In future, MPT/FLIM may be applied to skin lesions to provide direct clinical guidance before biopsy and histological examination and for the identification of tumor margins allowing a complete surgical removal.

Diagnosis of BCC by multiphoton laser tomography.

Multiphoton Laser Tomography (MPT) is a non-linear optical technique that gives access to morphology and structure of both cells and extracellular matrix of the skin through the combination of autofluorescence imaging and second harmonic generation (SHG). The aim of this study was to identify MPT descriptors on ex vivo specimens of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) to assess the sensitivity and specificity of these criteria for the diagnosis of BCC and its differentiation from other skin tumours, inflammatory diseases and healthy skin.