Bio: Isabella Castellano is an academic researcher from University of Turin. The author has contributed to research in topics: Breast cancer & Medicine. The author has an hindex of 29, co-authored 127 publications receiving 2746 citations.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: AR expression is an independent prognostic factor of better outcome in patients with ER-positive breast cancers, and was a significant marker of good prognosis for TTR and DSS.
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to evaluate the prognostic value of androgen receptor (AR) expression in patients with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer, treated with endocrine therapy, with or without the addition of chemotherapy. A consecutive series of 953 patients with ER-positive breast cancer, treated between 1998 and 2003, was selected. Repeated immunohistochemistry confirmed the expression of ER in the tumor of 938 patients. AR expression was measured by immunohistochemistry. The Kaplan-Meier method, logrank test and multivariate Cox models were used to explore the impact of AR expression on time to relapse (TTR) and disease specific survival (DSS) in all patients and in subgroups treated with chemo-endocrine therapy or endocrine therapy alone. AR immunoreactivity was assessable in 859 tumors and positive in 609 (70.9%). AR expression was a significant marker of good prognosis for TTR (P = 0.001) and DSS (P < 0.001). This effect was particularly evident in the group of patients receiving chemo-endocrine therapy (TTR (P = 0.015) and DSS (P < 0.001)). Cox models confirmed AR as an independent variable for both TTR (P = 0.003, HR 0.444, 95%CI 0.258-0.765) and DSS (P < 0.001, HR 0.135, 95%CI 0.054-0.337). Thus, we focused on ER-positive luminal B breast cancer that may be selected for chemotherapy because of their more aggressive immunophenotype. In this subset AR expression identified a group of patients with better prognosis for TTR (P = 0.017, HR 0.521, 95%CI 0.306-0.888) and DSS (P = 0.001, HR 0.276, 95% CI 0.130-0.588). AR expression is an independent prognostic factor of better outcome in patients with ER-positive breast cancers.
TL;DR: It is confirmed that the 20 % Ki67 cut-off is the best to stratify high-risk patients in luminal breast cancers, and suggested to integrate it with other prognostic factors, to better stratify patients at risk of adverse outcome.
Abstract: Although Ki67 index suffers from poor reproducibility, it is one of the most important prognostic markers used by oncologists to select the treatment of estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancer patients. In this study, we aim to establish the optimal Ki67 cut-offs for stratifying patient prognosis and to create a comprehensive prognostic index for clinical applications. A mono-institutional cohort of 1.577 human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative/ER+ breast cancer patients having complete clinical, histological, and follow-up data was collected. The 14 and 20 % Ki67 cut-offs were correlated to disease-free interval (DFI) and disease-specific survival (DSS). To create a comprehensive prognostic index, we used independent variables selected by uni/multivariate analyses. In terms of DFI and DSS, patients bearing tumors with Ki67 20 % showed the poorest prognosis. Moreover, to tumor size, the number of metastatic lymph nodes and Ki67 > 20 % was given a score value, varying depending on definite cut-offs and used to create a prognostic index, which was applied to the population. Patients with a prognostic index ≥3 were characterized by significant risk of relapse [DFI: Hazard Ratio (HR) = 4.74, p < 0.001] and death (DSS: HR = 5.03, p < 0.001). We confirm that the 20 % Ki67 cut-off is the best to stratify high-risk patients in luminal breast cancers, and we suggest to integrate it with other prognostic factors, to better stratify patients at risk of adverse outcome.
TL;DR: Somatic mutations are common in APAs that result in an increase in CYP11B2 gene expression and may account for the dysregulated aldosterone production in a subset of patients with sporadic primary aldosteronism.
Abstract: Aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) cause a sporadic form of primary aldosteronism and somatic mutations in the KCNJ5 gene, which encodes the G-protein–activated inward rectifier K + channel 4, GIRK4, account for ≈40% of APAs. Additional somatic APA mutations were identified recently in 2 other genes, ATP1A1 and ATP2B3 , encoding Na + /K + -ATPase 1 and Ca 2+ -ATPase 3, respectively, at a combined prevalence of 6.8%. We have screened 112 APAs for mutations in known hotspots for genetic alterations associated with primary aldosteronism. Somatic mutations in ATP1A1 , ATP2B3 , and KCNJ5 were present in 6.3%, 0.9%, and 39.3% of APAs, respectively, and included 2 novel mutations (Na + /K + -ATPase p.Gly99Arg and GIRK4 p.Trp126Arg). CYP11B2 gene expression was higher in APAs harboring ATP1A1 and ATP2B3 mutations compared with those without these or KCNJ5 mutations. Overexpression of Na + /K + -ATPase p.Gly99Arg and GIRK4 p.Trp126Arg in HAC15 adrenal cells resulted in upregulation of CYP11B2 gene expression and its transcriptional regulator NR4A2. Structural modeling of the Na + /K + -ATPase showed that the Gly99Arg substitution most likely interferes with the gateway to the ion binding pocket. In vitro functional assays demonstrated that Gly99Arg displays severely impaired ATPase activity, a reduced apparent affinity for Na + activation of phosphorylation and K + inhibition of phosphorylation that indicate decreased Na + and K + binding, respectively. Moreover, whole cell patch-clamp studies established that overexpression of Na + /K + -ATPase Gly99Arg causes membrane voltage depolarization. In conclusion, somatic mutations are common in APAs that result in an increase in CYP11B2 gene expression and may account for the dysregulated aldosterone production in a subset of patients with sporadic primary aldosteronism.
TL;DR: Findings provide evidences for a role of p130Cas as a positive regulator of both proliferation and survival in normal and transformed mammary epithelial cells.
Abstract: To investigate the mechanisms through which p130Cas adaptor protein is linked to tumorigenesis, we generated mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-p130Cas mice overexpressing p130Cas in the mammary gland. MMTVp130Cas transgenic mice are characterized by extensive mammary epithelial hyperplasia during development and pregnancy and by delayed involution at the end of lactation. These phenotypes are associated with activation of Src kinase, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and Akt pathways, leading to an increased rate of proliferation and a decreased apoptosis. A double-transgenic line derived from crossing MMTV-p130Cas with MMTV-HER2-Neu mice expressing the activated form of the HER2-Neu oncogene develops multifocal mammary tumors with a significantly shorter latency than the HER2-Neu parental strain alone. Mammary epithelial cells isolated from tumors of double-transgenic mice display increased tyrosine phosphorylation, c-Src, and Akt activation compared with cells derived from HER2-Neu tumors. In addition, p130Cas down-regulation by RNA interference increases apoptosis in HER2-Neu-expressing cells, indicating that p130Cas regulates cell survival. Consistently with the double-transgenic mice model, p130Cas is overexpressed in a significant subset of human breast cancers and high levels of p130Cas in association with HER2 expression correlate with elevated proliferation. These findings provide evidences for a role of p130Cas as a positive regulator of both proliferation and survival in normal and transformed mammary epithelial cells. Its overexpression contributes to HER2-Neu-induced breast tumorigenesis, thus identifying this protein as a putative target for clinical therapy.
TL;DR: Combining genotyping and immunohistochemistry improves the final histopathological diagnosis between single nodule and multinodular hyperplasia of the assessed adrenals, and a significant inverse correlation between CYP11B2 expression and the size of the nodules is observed.
Abstract: Adrenal glands removed for unilateral primary aldosteronism (PA) display marked histological heterogeneity. Recently reported somatic mutations in KCNJ5, ATP1A1, ATP2B3 and CACNA1D can partially account for these differences. In this study we aimed at combining phenotypic and genotypic characteristics, integrating genetic and immunohistochemistry correlates in sporadic PA. Seventy-one adrenal glands have been included in the study and analyzed for mutations in KCNJ5, ATP1A1, ATP2B3 and CACNA1D. Histological examination and immunohistochemical staining for CYP11B1 (11β-hydroxylase) and CYP11B2 (aldosterone synthase) were performed on aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) and adjacent adrenal cortex. In our cohort, the final histopathological diagnosis was multinodular hyperplasia in 22.5% of the patients and single nodule in 77.5%. Forty-five percent of the removed adrenals displayed extra-APA CYP11B2-positive cell nests (B2-CN). Among adrenal vein sampling parameters the suppression of contralateral adrenal was more frequent and the lateralization index was higher in the subgroup of patients without extra-APA B2-CN compared to the subgroup with extra-APA B2-CN. KCNJ5-mutated APAs were composed mainly of zona fasciculata-like cells with high expression of CYP11B1, while ATP1A1, ATP2B3 and CACNA1D-mutated APAs presented more frequently a zona-glomerulosa-like phenotype with high expression of CYP11B2. We observed a significant inverse correlation between CYP11B2 expression and the size of the nodules and, if CYP11B2 expression was corrected for tumor volume, a significant correlation with plasma aldosterone and aldosterone to renin ratio. Our findings indicate that combination of genotyping and immunohistochemistry improves the final histopathological diagnosis between single nodule and multinodular hyperplasia of the assessed adrenals.
TL;DR: There are now unprecedented opportunities to understand and overcome drug resistance through the clinical assessment of rational therapeutic drug combinations and the use of predictive biomarkers to enable patient stratification.
Abstract: Resistance to chemotherapy and molecularly targeted therapies is a major problem facing current cancer research. The mechanisms of resistance to 'classical' cytotoxic chemotherapeutics and to therapies that are designed to be selective for specific molecular targets share many features, such as alterations in the drug target, activation of prosurvival pathways and ineffective induction of cell death. With the increasing arsenal of anticancer agents, improving preclinical models and the advent of powerful high-throughput screening techniques, there are now unprecedented opportunities to understand and overcome drug resistance through the clinical assessment of rational therapeutic drug combinations and the use of predictive biomarkers to enable patient stratification.
TL;DR: Reduction of lysyl oxidase-mediated collagen crosslinking prevented MMTV-Neu-induced fibrosis, decreased focal adhesions and PI3K activity, impeded malignancy, and lowered tumor incidence, and data show how collagenCrosslinking can modulate tissue fibrosis and stiffness to force focal adhesion, growth factor signaling and breast malignancies.
Abstract: Tumors are characterized by extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling and stiffening. The importance of ECM remodeling to cancer is appreciated; the relevance of stiffening is less clear. We found that breast tumorigenesis is accompanied by collagen crosslinking, ECM stiffening, and increased focal adhesions. Induction of collagen crosslinking stiffened the ECM, promoted focal adhesions, enhanced PI3 kinase (PI3K) activity, and induced the invasion of an oncogene-initiated epithelium. Inhibition of integrin signaling repressed the invasion of a premalignant epithelium into a stiffened, crosslinked ECM and forced integrin clustering promoted focal adhesions, enhanced PI3K signaling, and induced the invasion of a premalignant epithelium. Consistently, reduction of lysyl oxidase-mediated collagen crosslinking prevented MMTV-Neu-induced fibrosis, decreased focal adhesions and PI3K activity, impeded malignancy, and lowered tumor incidence. These data show how collagen crosslinking can modulate tissue fibrosis and stiffness to force focal adhesions, growth factor signaling and breast malignancy.
TL;DR: An update on the current knowledge on Ki67 and of the evidence in the published work about the prognostic and predictive role of this marker is provided, and information on the laboratory techniques used to determine Ki67 is provided.
Abstract: The leading parameters that define treatment recommendations in early breast cancer are oestrogen-receptor, progesterone-receptor, and human epidermal growth-factor status. Although some pathologists report Ki67 in addition to other biological markers, the existing guidelines of the American Society of Clinical Oncology do not include Ki67 in the list of required routine biological markers. The advent of new genetic tests has emphasised the role of proliferative genes, including Ki67, as prognostic and predictive markers. Additionally, randomised studies have retrospectively reviewed data and reported on the role of Ki67 in breast cancer. In light of new data, we have re-assessed evidence that could change guidelines to include Ki67 in the standard pathological assessment of early breast cancers. This review provides an update on the current knowledge on Ki67 and of the evidence in the published work about the prognostic and predictive role of this marker, and provides information on the laboratory techniques used to determine Ki67.
TL;DR: The results of the analyses suggest that disease progression to distant sites does not occur exclusively via the axillary lymph nodes, but rather that lymph node status serves as an indicator of the tumor's ability to spread.
Abstract: Two of the most important prognostic indicators for breast cancer are tumor size and extent of axillary lymph node involvement. Data on 24,740 cases recorded in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute were used to evaluate the breast cancer survival experience in a representative sample of women from the United States. Actuarial (life table) methods were used to investigate the 5-year relative survival rates in cases with known operative/pathologic axillary lymph node status and primary tumor diameter. Survival rates varied from 45.5% for tumor diameters equal to or greater than 5 cm with positive axillary nodes to 96.3% for tumors less than 2 cm and with no involved nodes. The relation between tumor size and lymph node status was investigated in detail. Tumor diameter and lymph node status were found to act as independent but additive prognostic indicators. As tumor size increased, survival decreased regardless of lymph node status; and as lymph node involvement increased, survival status also decreased regardless of tumor size. A linear relation was found between tumor diameter and the percent of cases with positive lymph node involvement. The results of our analyses suggest that disease progression to distant sites does not occur exclusively via the axillary lymph nodes, but rather that lymph node status serves as an indicator of the tumor's ability to spread.
TL;DR: Recent evidence that shows that inherent material properties may be engineered to dictate stem cell fate decisions are discussed, and a subset of the operative signal transduction mechanisms that have begun to emerge are overviewed.
Abstract: The stem cell/material interface is a complex, dynamic microenvironment in which the cell and the material cooperatively dictate one another's fate: the cell by remodelling its surroundings, and the material through its inherent properties (such as adhesivity, stiffness, nanostructure or degradability). Stem cells in contact with materials are able to sense their properties, integrate cues via signal propagation and ultimately translate parallel signalling information into cell fate decisions. However, discovering the mechanisms by which stem cells respond to inherent material characteristics is challenging because of the highly complex, multicomponent signalling milieu present in the stem cell environment. In this Review, we discuss recent evidence that shows that inherent material properties may be engineered to dictate stem cell fate decisions, and overview a subset of the operative signal transduction mechanisms that have begun to emerge. Further developments in stem cell engineering and mechanotransduction are poised to have substantial implications for stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.