Uterine leiomyosarcoma (LMS) is a rare tumor constituting 1% of all uterine malignancies. This sarcoma demonstrates an aggressive growth pattern with an high rate of recurrence with hematologic dissemination; the most common sites are lung, liver, and peritoneal cavity, head and neck district being rarely interested. Only other four cases of metastasis in the oral cavity have been previously described. The treatment of choice is surgery and the use of adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation has limited impact on clinical outcome. In case of metastases, surgical excision can be performed considering extent of disease, number and type of distant lesions, disease free interval from the initial diagnosis to the time of metastases, and expected life span. We illustrate a case of uterine LMS metastasis in the upper buccal gingiva that occurred during chemotherapy in a 63-year-old woman that underwent a total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy for a diagnosis of LMS staged as pT2bN0 and that developed lung metastases eight months after primary treatment. Surgical excision of the oral mass (previously misdiagnosed as epulis at a dental center) and contemporary reconstruction with pedicled temporalis muscle flap was performed in order to improve quality of life. Even if resection was achieved in free margins, "local" relapse was observed 5 months after surgery.
Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide and numerous ongoing research efforts are directed to identify new strategies for its early detection. The development of non-invasive blood-based biomarkers for cancer detection in its preclinical phases is crucial to improve the outcome of this deadly disease. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a new promising class of circulating biomarkers for cancer detection and prognosis definition, but lack of consensus on data normalization methods for circulating miRNAs and the critical issue of haemolysis, has affected the identification of circulating miRNAs with diagnostic potential. We describe here an interesting approach for profiling circulating miRNAs in plasma samples based on the evaluation of reciprocal miRNA levels measured by quantitative Real-Time PCR. By monitoring changes of plasma miRNA-ratios, it is possible to assess the deregulation of tumor-related miRNAs and identify signatures with diagnostic and prognostic value. In addition, to avoid bias due to the release of miRNAs from blood cells, a miRNA-ratios signature distinguishing haemolyzed samples was identified. The method described was validated in plasma samples of lung cancer patients, but given its reproducibility and reliability, could be potentially applied for the identification of diagnostic circulating miRNAs in other diseases.
Recent screening trial results indicate that low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) reduces lung cancer mortality in high-risk patients. However, high false-positive rates, costs, and potential harms highlight the need for complementary biomarkers. The diagnostic performance of a noninvasive plasma microRNA signature classifier (MSC) was retrospectively evaluated in samples prospectively collected from smokers within the randomized Multicenter Italian Lung Detection (MILD) trial.
Non-small-cell lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States and Europe. Most patients are diagnosed with metastatic disease for which chemotherapy remains the cornerstone of treatment. In non-metastatic disease, surgery is the most potentially curative therapeutic option, but its outcome is still poor, in particular for patients with lymph node involvement. Therefore, several randomized adjuvant/neoadjuvant trials using chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy investigated the possibility of increasing the overall survival of patients with surgically treated lung cancer. The findings are reviewed in this article.
The present study is aimed to design a prototype of hybrid silicon-muscle cell junction, analog to an artificial neuromuscular junction prototype and relevant to the development of advanced neuro-prostheses and bionic systems. The device achieves focal Electric Capacitive Stimulation (ECS) by coupling of single cells and semiconductors, without electrochemical reaction with the substrate. A voltage change applied to a stimulation spot beneath an electrogenic cell leads to a capacitive current (charge accumulation) that opens voltage-gated ion channels in the membrane and generates an action potential. The myo-electronic junction was employed to chronically stimulate muscle cells via ECS and to induce cytosolic calcium transients in myotubes, fibers isolated from mouse FDB (fast [Ca(2+)](i) transients) and surprisingly also in undifferentiated myoblasts (slow [Ca(2+)](i) waves). The hybrid junction elicited, via chronic ECS, a differential reprogramming of single muscle cells by inducing early muscle contraction maturation and plasticity effects, such as NFAT-C3 nuclear translocation. In addition, in the presence of agrin, chronic ECS induced a modulation of AchR clustering which simulates in vitro synaptogenesis. This methodology can coordinate the myogenic differentiation, thus offering direct but non-invasive single cell/wiring, providing a platform for regenerative medicine strategies.
The efficacy of computed tomography (CT) screening for early lung cancer detection in heavy smokers is currently being tested by a number of randomized trials. Critical issues remain the frequency of unnecessary treatments and impact on mortality, indicating the need for biomarkers of aggressive disease. We explored microRNA (miRNA) expression profiles of lung tumors, normal lung tissues and plasma samples from cases with variable prognosis identified in a completed spiral-CT screening trial with extensive follow-up. miRNA expression patterns significantly distinguished: (i) tumors from normal lung tissues, (ii) tumor histology and growth rate, (iii) clinical outcome, and (iv) year of lung cancer CT detection. Interestingly, miRNA profiles in normal lung tissues also displayed remarkable associations with clinical features, suggesting the influence of a permissive microenvironment for tumor development. miRNA expression analyses in plasma samples collected 1-2 y before the onset of disease, at the time of CT detection and in disease-free smokers enrolled in the screening trial, resulted in the generation of miRNA signatures with strong predictive, diagnostic, and prognostic potential (area under the ROC curve ? 0.85). These signatures were validated in an independent cohort from a second randomized spiral-CT trial. These results indicate a role for miRNAs in lung tissues and plasma as molecular predictors of lung cancer development and aggressiveness and have theoretical and clinical implication for lung cancer management.
Primary thymic carcinoma is a rare and heterogeneous group of tumours of the anterior mediastinum that includes different histological types. Frequently, it first comes to clinical attention through paraneoplastic syndromes such as dermatomyositis. We report the case of a 54-year-old woman with several episodes of fever and chest pain in the previous 5 months. The patient was admitted to the Rheumatology Department with a peri-ungual erythema and papular lesions on both sides of each hand and alteration at biochemistry tests. A left deltoid muscle biopsy specimen showed a histological pattern compatible with the diagnosis of dermatomyositis. A computed tomography of the chest, abdomen and pelvis, showed a solid mass in the upper anterior mediastinal area and a mediastinoscopy with mass-biopsy was performed. Only the immunohistochemical staining technique allowed a definitive histological diagnosis. We report the diagnostic challenge and the therapeutic approach of thymic neoplasia.
Rearrangements involving the ALK gene define two distinct entities in the new 2008 WHO classification of lymphoid neoplasms, i.e. ALK+ anaplastic large cell lymphoma and a rare subset of ALK+ diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Recently, rearrangements involving ALK and the echinoderm microtubule associated protein-like 4 (EML4) gene were described as a specific genetic alteration in about 6% of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We investigated the expression of EML4-ALK mRNA and protein in 51 reactive and 58 neoplastic lymphoid tissues. EML4-ALK transcripts were detected in 3/51 (5.9%) of reactive lymphoid tissues and 12/58 (20.7%) of lymphomas of different categories, including follicular lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and Hodgkins disease. Notably, none of these cases expressed the EML4-ALK fusion protein at Western blotting samples and immunohistochemistry. These results indicate that EML4-ALK rearrangements are not specific of NSCLC and raise yet unsolved questions about their role in promoting human neoplasms.
Free circulating plasma DNA has emerged as a potential biomarker for early lung cancer detection. In a previous case-control study we have shown that high levels of plasma DNA are a strong risk factor for lung cancer.
A fusion gene, echinoderm microtubule associated protein like 4-anaplastic lymphoma kinase (EML4-ALK), with transforming activity has recently been identified in a subset of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but its pathogenetic, diagnostic, and therapeutic roles remain unclear. Both frequency and type of EML4-ALK transcripts were investigated by reverse transcription PCR in 120 frozen NSCLC specimens from Italy and Spain; non-neoplastic lung tissues taken far from the tumor were used as controls. In cases carrying the fusion transcript, we determined EML4-ALK gene and protein levels using fluorescence in situ hybridization, Western blotting, and immunoprecipitation. We also analyzed ALK protein levels in paraffin samples from 662 NSCLC specimens, including the 120 cases investigated in the molecular studies. EML4-ALK transcripts (variants 1 and 3) were detected in 9 of 120 NSCLC samples but were not specific for NSCLC since they were also found in non-cancerous lung tissues taken far from the tumor. Notably, no transcripts were detected in matching tumor samples from these patients. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of cases expressing EML4-ALK transcripts showed that only a minority of cells harbored the EML4-ALK gene. None of these cases was found to express the EML4-ALK protein as examined by immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, and immunoprecipitation. The EML4-ALK transcript cannot be regarded as a specific diagnostic tool for NSCLC. Our results show therefore that the causal role and value of EML4-ALK as a therapeutic target remain to be defined.
FHIT and p53 are the two most commonly altered tumor suppressor genes in lung cancer, and their molecular status regulates sensitivity to anticancer drugs. Although their functions are independent, there is evidence that their pathways might be interconnected, but little is known at the molecular level.
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