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1.  Somatic Genomics and Clinical Features of Lung Adenocarcinoma: A Retrospective Study 
PLoS Medicine  2016;13(12):e1002162.
Lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) is the most common histologic subtype of lung cancer and has a high risk of distant metastasis at every disease stage. We aimed to characterize the genomic landscape of LUAD and identify mutation signatures associated with tumor progression.
Methods and Findings
We performed an integrative genomic analysis, incorporating whole exome sequencing (WES), determination of DNA copy number and DNA methylation, and transcriptome sequencing for 101 LUAD samples from the Environment And Genetics in Lung cancer Etiology (EAGLE) study. We detected driver genes by testing whether the nonsynonymous mutation rate was significantly higher than the background mutation rate and replicated our findings in public datasets with 724 samples. We performed subclonality analysis for mutations based on mutant allele data and copy number alteration data. We also tested the association between mutation signatures and clinical outcomes, including distant metastasis, survival, and tumor grade. We identified and replicated two novel candidate driver genes, POU class 4 homeobox 2 (POU4F2) (mutated in 9 [8.9%] samples) and ZKSCAN1 (mutated in 6 [5.9%] samples), and characterized their major deleterious mutations. ZKSCAN1 was part of a mutually exclusive gene set that included the RTK/RAS/RAF pathway genes BRAF, EGFR, KRAS, MET, and NF1, indicating an important driver role for this gene. Moreover, we observed strong associations between methylation in specific genomic regions and somatic mutation patterns. In the tumor evolution analysis, four driver genes had a significantly lower fraction of subclonal mutations (FSM), including TP53 (p = 0.007), KEAP1 (p = 0.012), STK11 (p = 0.0076), and EGFR (p = 0.0078), suggesting a tumor initiation role for these genes. Subclonal mutations were significantly enriched in APOBEC-related signatures (p < 2.5×10−50). The total number of somatic mutations (p = 0.0039) and the fraction of transitions (p = 5.5×10−4) were associated with increased risk of distant metastasis. Our study’s limitations include a small number of LUAD patients for subgroup analyses and a single-sample design for investigation of subclonality.
These data provide a genomic characterization of LUAD pathogenesis and progression. The distinct clonal and subclonal mutation signatures suggest possible diverse carcinogenesis pathways for endogenous and exogenous exposures, and may serve as a foundation for more effective treatments for this lethal disease. LUAD’s high heterogeneity emphasizes the need to further study this tumor type and to associate genomic findings with clinical outcomes.
Maria Teresa Landi and colleagues report genomic tumor data for a cohort of patients with lung adenocarcinoma, focusing on implications for tumor initiation and distant metastasis.
Author Summary
Why Was This Study Done?
Lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) is the most common histologic subtype of lung cancer and causes more than half a million deaths worldwide annually.
Genomic studies of LUAD can shed light on tumor initiation and progression and identify potential targets for treatment.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
We performed an integrative genomic analysis, incorporating whole exome sequencing (WES), DNA copy number and DNA methylation determination, and transcriptome sequencing in 101 LUAD samples. We replicated major findings using public genomic resources and combined all existing genomic data for an overall analysis of 825 LUAD samples.
We identified two novel driver genes and characterized the driver events and types of mutations that have a stronger role in tumor initiation versus tumor progression.
We found strong associations between DNA methylation and somatic mutation patterns.
The total number of somatic mutations and the fraction of C→T transitions were associated with increased risk of distant metastasis.
What Do These Findings Mean?
We characterized LUAD genomic architecture and linked major genomic features with clinical outcomes.
Tobacco smoking-related mutations appear to have a stronger role in tumor initiation, while mutations associated with endogenous processes are more prominent at a later stage of tumor development and are associated with tumor progression.
Our findings highlight the complexity and heterogeneity of LUAD. In addition to new driver genes, we found some tumors with no exonic mutations in known lung cancer driver genes. This suggests that there are further drivers (genetic or epigenetic) to be identified, and larger numbers of samples need to be studied to fully capture LUAD genomic characteristics.
PMCID: PMC5140047  PMID: 27923066
2.  Homocysteine metabolism in children and adolescents with epidermolysis bullosa 
BMC Pediatrics  2016;16:173.
Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) belongs to a family of rare heterogeneous, genetic disorders characterized by blistering of the skin and mucous membranes in response to minor mechanical trauma. The involvement of the oral mucosa and oesophagus stenosis is suggested to be responsible for severe nutritional deficiencies, but few studies have till now considered this aspect. This observational study aimed to evaluate homocysteine status in children and adolescents with EB by assessing total plasma homocysteine (tHcy) and metabolically related vitamins (B6, B12, folate) concentrations.
Twenty EB patients (12 M; age range 0.5−19 years) were evaluated for: plasma tHcy, serum B12 and holotranscobalamin (HoloTC, the active fraction of B12), serum and erythrocyte folate (s-F and Ery-F, respectively), plasma B6 and serum high sensitive C-reactive-protein (hsCRP) levels. Clinical severity was also evaluated through the Birmingham Epidermolysis Bullosa Severity (BEBS) score. A sex and age well-matched population was also enrolled.
EB patients showed tHcy levels higher (p = 0.04) and B6 levels lower (p = 0.03) than controls. B12, HoloTC, s-F and ery-F concentrations did not differ between patients and controls. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that tHcy levels were independent of the metabolically related vitamins levels. In addition, serum hsCRP levels were higher in EB patients than in controls (p = 0.003) and correlated negatively with B6 concentrations (r = -0.6; p = 0.009). BEBS score correlated negatively with HoloTC (p = 0.022) and B6 (p = 0.005) levels and positively with age (p = 0.031) and hsCRP levels (p < 0.001).
The assessment of tHcy and metabolically related vitamin levels describes an important aspect of EB patients’ nutritional status which can result essential for their long term care. Monitoring B6 levels in EB patients could be particularly important in order to prevent several complications associated with B6 deficiency and to avoid a B6 excess which sustains an inflammatory condition.
PMCID: PMC5086034  PMID: 27793182
Epidermolysis Bullosa; Homocysteine; Vitamin B6; Holotranscobalamin
3.  Does Human Milk Modulate Body Composition in Late Preterm Infants at Term-Corrected Age? 
Nutrients  2016;8(10):664.
(1) Background: Late preterm infants account for the majority of preterm births and are at risk of altered body composition. Because body composition modulates later health outcomes and human milk is recommended as the normal method for infant feeding, we sought to investigate whether human milk feeding in early life can modulate body composition development in late preterm infants; (2) Methods: Neonatal, anthropometric and feeding data of 284 late preterm infants were collected. Body composition was evaluated at term-corrected age by air displacement plethysmography. The effect of human milk feeding on fat-free mass and fat mass content was evaluated using multiple linear regression analysis; (3) Results: Human milk was fed to 68% of the infants. According to multiple regression analysis, being fed any human milk at discharge and at  term-corrected and being fed exclusively human milk at term-corrected age were positively associated with fat-free mass content(β = −47.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) = −95.7; −0.18; p = 0.049; β = −89.6, 95% CI = −131.5; −47.7; p < 0.0001; β = −104.1, 95% CI = −151.4; −56.7, p < 0.0001); (4) Conclusion: Human milk feeding appears to be associated with fat-free mass deposition in late preterm infants. Healthcare professionals should direct efforts toward promoting and supporting breastfeeding in these vulnerable infants.
PMCID: PMC5084050  PMID: 27782098
human milk; late preterm infants; body composition
4.  Epicardial Adipose Tissue (EAT) Thickness Is Associated with Cardiovascular and Liver Damage in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(9):e0162473.
Background and Aims
Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) has been proposed as a cardiometabolic and hepatic fibrosis risk factor in patients with non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Aim of this study was to evaluate the role of EAT in NAFLD by analyzing 1) the association between EAT, the other metabolic parameters and the severity of steatosis 2) the relationship between cardiovascular (cIMT, cplaques, E/A), liver (presence of NASH and significant fibrosis) damage and metabolic risk factors including EAT 3) the relationship between EAT and genetic factors strongly influencing liver steatosis.
In a cross-sectional study, we considered 512 consecutive patients with NAFLD (confirmed by biopsy in 100). EAT, severity of steatosis, carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) and plaques were evaluated by ultrasonography and results analysed by multiple linear and logistic regression models. Variables independently associated with EAT (mm) were female gender (p = 0.003), age (p = 0.001), BMI (p = 0.01), diastolic blood pressure (p = 0.009), steatosis grade 2 (p = 0.01) and 3 (p = 0.04), fatty liver index (p = 0.001) and statin use (p = 0.03). Variables independently associated with carotid IMT were age (p = 0.0001), hypertension (p = 0.009), diabetes (p = 0.04), smoking habits (p = 0.04) and fatty liver index (p = 0.02), with carotid plaques age (p = 0.0001), BMI (p = 0.03), EAT (p = 0.02),) and hypertension (p = 0.02), and with E/A age (p = 0.0001), diabetes (p = 0.005), hypertension (p = 0.04) and fatty liver index (p = 0.004). In the 100 patients with available liver histology non alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) was independently associated with EAT (p = 0.04) and diabetes (p = 0.054) while significant fibrosis with EAT (p = 0.02), diabetes (p = 0.01) and waist circumference (p = 0.05). No association between EAT and PNPLA3 and TM6SF2 polymorphisms was found.
In patients with NAFLD, EAT is associated with the severity of liver and vascular damage besides with the known metabolic risk factors.
PMCID: PMC5023162  PMID: 27627804
5.  Incidence of mesothelioma in Lombardy, Italy: exposure to asbestos, time patterns and future projections 
In Italy, asbestos has been extensively used from 1945 to 1992. We evaluated the impact of exposure to asbestos on occurrence of malignant mesothelioma (MM) in the Lombardy Region, Northwest Italy, the most populated and industrialised Italian region.
From the Lombardy Mesothelioma Registry, we selected all incident cases of MM diagnosed between 2000 and 2012. We described sources of exposure to asbestos and examined time trends of MM rates. Using Poisson age-cohort models, we derived projections of burden of MM in the Lombardy population for the period 2013–2029.
In 2000–2012, we recorded 4442 cases of MM (2850 men, 1592 women). Occupational exposure to asbestos was more frequent in men (73.6%) than in women (38.2%). Non-occupational exposure was found for 13.6% of women and 3.6% of men. The average number of cases of MM per year was still increasing (+3.6% in men, +3.3% in women). Incidence rates were still increasing in individuals aged 65+ years and declining in younger people. A maximum of 417 cases of MM (267 men, 150 women) are expected in 2019. We forecast there will be 6832 more cases (4397 in men, 2435 in women) in the period 2013–2029, for a total of 11 274 cases of MM (7247 in men, 4027 in women) in 30 years.
This study documented a high burden of MM in both genders in the Lombardy Region, reflecting extensive occupational (mainly in men) and non-occupational (mainly in women) exposure to asbestos in the past. Incidence rates are still increasing; a downturn in occurrence of MM is expected to occur after 2019.
PMCID: PMC5013098  PMID: 27312399
Mesothelioma incidence; Asbestos exposure; Mesothelioma projections; Age-cohort model; Cancer registry
6.  Differences in the carcinogenic evaluation of glyphosate between the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) 
Portier, Christopher J | Armstrong, Bruce K | Baguley, Bruce C | Baur, Xaver | Belyaev, Igor | Bellé, Robert | Belpoggi, Fiorella | Biggeri, Annibale | Bosland, Maarten C | Bruzzi, Paolo | Budnik, Lygia Therese | Bugge, Merete D | Burns, Kathleen | Calaf, Gloria M | Carpenter, David O | Carpenter, Hillary M | López-Carrillo, Lizbeth | Clapp, Richard | Cocco, Pierluigi | Consonni, Dario | Comba, Pietro | Craft, Elena | Dalvie, Mohamed Aqiel | Davis, Devra | Demers, Paul A | De Roos, Anneclaire J | DeWitt, Jamie | Forastiere, Francesco | Freedman, Jonathan H | Fritschi, Lin | Gaus, Caroline | Gohlke, Julia M | Goldberg, Marcel | Greiser, Eberhard | Hansen, Johnni | Hardell, Lennart | Hauptmann, Michael | Huang, Wei | Huff, James | James, Margaret O | Jameson, C W | Kortenkamp, Andreas | Kopp-Schneider, Annette | Kromhout, Hans | Larramendy, Marcelo L | Landrigan, Philip J | Lash, Lawrence H | Leszczynski, Dariusz | Lynch, Charles F | Magnani, Corrado | Mandrioli, Daniele | Martin, Francis L | Merler, Enzo | Michelozzi, Paola | Miligi, Lucia | Miller, Anthony B | Mirabelli, Dario | Mirer, Franklin E | Naidoo, Saloshni | Perry, Melissa J | Petronio, Maria Grazia | Pirastu, Roberta | Portier, Ralph J | Ramos, Kenneth S | Robertson, Larry W | Rodriguez, Theresa | Röösli, Martin | Ross, Matt K | Roy, Deodutta | Rusyn, Ivan | Saldiva, Paulo | Sass, Jennifer | Savolainen, Kai | Scheepers, Paul T J | Sergi, Consolato | Silbergeld, Ellen K | Smith, Martyn T | Stewart, Bernard W | Sutton, Patrice | Tateo, Fabio | Terracini, Benedetto | Thielmann, Heinz W | Thomas, David B | Vainio, Harri | Vena, John E | Vineis, Paolo | Weiderpass, Elisabete | Weisenburger, Dennis D | Woodruff, Tracey J | Yorifuji, Takashi | Yu, Il Je | Zambon, Paola | Zeeb, Hajo | Zhou, Shu-Feng
PMCID: PMC4975799  PMID: 26941213
7.  Characterizing human lung tissue microbiota and its relationship to epidemiological and clinical features 
Genome Biology  2016;17:163.
The human lung tissue microbiota remains largely uncharacterized, although a number of studies based on airway samples suggest the existence of a viable human lung microbiota. Here we characterized the taxonomic and derived functional profiles of lung microbiota in 165 non-malignant lung tissue samples from cancer patients.
We show that the lung microbiota is distinct from the microbial communities in oral, nasal, stool, skin, and vagina, with Proteobacteria as the dominant phylum (60 %). Microbiota taxonomic alpha diversity increases with environmental exposures, such as air particulates, residence in low to high population density areas, and pack-years of tobacco smoking and decreases in subjects with history of chronic bronchitis. Genus Thermus is more abundant in tissue from advanced stage (IIIB, IV) patients, while Legionella is higher in patients who develop metastases. Moreover, the non-malignant lung tissues have higher microbiota alpha diversity than the paired tumors.
Our results provide insights into the human lung microbiota composition and function and their link to human lifestyle and clinical outcomes. Studies among subjects without lung cancer are needed to confirm our findings.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13059-016-1021-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4964003  PMID: 27468850
Air pollution; Tumor stage; 16S rRNA
8.  Occupational prestige, social mobility and the association with lung cancer in men 
BMC Cancer  2016;16:395.
The nature of the association between occupational social prestige, social mobility, and risk of lung cancer remains uncertain. Using data from the international pooled SYNERGY case–control study, we studied the association between lung cancer and the level of time-weighted average occupational social prestige as well as its lifetime trajectory.
We included 11,433 male cases and 14,147 male control subjects. Each job was translated into an occupational social prestige score by applying Treiman’s Standard International Occupational Prestige Scale (SIOPS). SIOPS scores were categorized as low, medium, and high prestige (reference). We calculated odds ratios (OR) with 95 % confidence intervals (CI), adjusting for study center, age, smoking, ever employment in a job with known lung carcinogen exposure, and education. Trajectories in SIOPS categories from first to last and first to longest job were defined as consistent, downward, or upward. We conducted several subgroup and sensitivity analyses to assess the robustness of our results.
We observed increased lung cancer risk estimates for men with medium (OR = 1.23; 95 % CI 1.13–1.33) and low occupational prestige (OR = 1.44; 95 % CI 1.32–1.57). Although adjustment for smoking and education reduced the associations between occupational prestige and lung cancer, they did not explain the association entirely. Traditional occupational exposures reduced the associations only slightly. We observed small associations with downward prestige trajectories, with ORs of 1.13, 95 % CI 0.88–1.46 for high to low, and 1.24; 95 % CI 1.08–1.41 for medium to low trajectories.
Our results indicate that occupational prestige is independently associated with lung cancer among men.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12885-016-2432-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4936282  PMID: 27388894
Life course; Occupational history; Social prestige; Socio-economic status; SYNERGY; Transitions
9.  Is targeted fortification of human breast milk an optimal nutrition strategy for preterm infants? An interventional study 
Fortifying human milk contributes to the prevention of postnatal growth failure in preterm infants. Because of the natural variability of human milk, targeted fortification of human milk has been advocated. However, data regarding the efficacy and safety of prolonged targeted fortification are scarce. We aimed to assess the safety of targeted fortification of human milk in preterm infants compared with standard fortification, as well as the effects on infant growth.
We conducted an interventional study during hospital stay in healthy very low birth weight preterm infants who were exclusively fed human milk. Pools of human milk collected for 24 h were analysed using mid-infrared transmission spectroscopy. Targeted fortification of human milk was performed by adding macronutrients to native human milk to obtain optimal ratios of fat (4.4 g), carbohydrates (8.8 g), and protein (3 g) per 100 ml. The intervention period lasted 4–7 weeks. Weekly weight and daily growth rates were compared with those of a standardized fortification group of very low birth weight preterm infants who received standard fortified human milk (n = 10). The osmolality as well as the metabolic and gastrointestinal tolerance were monitored. Intergroup differences were evaluated using the Mann–Whitney U-test.
A total of 10 preterm infants (birth weight 1223 ± 195 g; gestational age 29.1 ± 1.03 weeks) were enrolled and 118 samples of pooled milk were analysed. On average, 1.4 ± 0.1 g of protein, 2.3 ± 0.5 g of carbohydrate, and 0.3 ± 0.1 g of fat per 100 ml were added to the milk. Osmolality values after target fortification were within recommended limits (376 ± 66 mOsml/kg). Weekly weight gain (205.5 g; 95 % CI 177–233 vs 155 g; 95 % CI 132–178; p = 0.025) and daily growth rates (15.7 g/kg/day; 95 % CI 14.5–16.9 vs 12.3 g/kg/day; 95 % CI 10.7–13.9; p = 0.005) were higher in infants receiving target fortification than in infants receiving standardized fortification. The infants receiving targeted fortified milk consumed similar volumes as infants in the standardized fortification group (148 ± 4.5 vs 146 ± 4 ml/kg/day). No signs of either gastrointestinal or metabolic intolerance were observed.
Target fortification appears to promote growth in very low birth weight preterm infants without any detrimental effects.
Trial registration NCT02716337
PMCID: PMC4930619  PMID: 27370649
Human milk target fortification; Preterm infants; Growth rate; Osmolality
10.  Lung Cancer Prognosis Before and After Recurrence in a Population-Based Setting 
Population-based estimates of absolute risk of lung cancer recurrence, and of mortality rates after recurrence, can inform clinical management.
We evaluated prognostic factors for recurrences and survival in 2098 lung cancer case patients from the general population of Lombardy, Italy, from 2002 to 2005. We conducted survival analyses and estimated absolute risks separately for stage IA to IIIA surgically treated and stage IIIB to IV non–surgically treated patients.
Absolute risk of metastases exceeded that of local recurrence in every stage and cell type, highlighting the systemic threat of lung cancer. In stage I, the probability of dying within the first year after diagnosis was 2.7%, but it was 48.3% within first year after recurrence; in stage IV, the probabilities were 57.3% and 80.6%, respectively. Over half the patients died within one year of first metastasis. Although in stages IA to IB about one-third of patients had a recurrence, stage IIA patients had a recurrence risk (61.2%) similar to stage IIB (57.9%) and IIIA (62.8%) patients. Risk of brain metastases in stage IA to IIIA surgically treated non–small cell lung cancer patients increased with increasing tumor grade. Absolute risk of recurrence was virtually identical in adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma patients.
This population-based study provides clinically useful estimates of risks of lung cancer recurrence and mortality that are applicable to the general population. These data highlight the need for more effective adjuvant treatments overall and within specific subgroups. The estimated risks of various endpoints are useful for designing clinical trials, whose power depends on absolute numbers of events.
PMCID: PMC4838060  PMID: 25802059
11.  Exchange Transfusion in the Treatment of Neonatal Septic Shock: A Ten-Year Experience in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit 
Septic shock, occurring in about 1% of neonates hospitalized in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), is a major cause of death in the neonatal period. In the 1980s and 90s, exchange transfusion (ET) was reported by some authors to be effective in the treatment of neonatal sepsis and septic shock. The main aim of this retrospective study was to compare the mortality rate of neonates with septic shock treated only with standard care therapy (ScT group) with the mortality rate of those treated with ScT and ET (ET group). All neonates with septic shock admitted to our NICU from 2005 to 2015 were included in the study. Overall, 101/9030 (1.1%) neonates had septic shock. Fifty neonates out of 101 (49.5%) received one or more ETs. The mortality rate was 36% in the ET group and 51% in the ScT group (p = 0.16). At multivariate logistic regression analysis, controlling for potentially confounding factors significantly associated with death (gestational age, serum lactate, inotropic drugs, oligoanuria), ET showed a marked protective effect (Odds Ratio 0.21, 95% Confidence Interval: 0.06–0.71; p = 0.01). The lack of observed adverse events should encourage the use of this procedure in the treatment of neonates with septic shock.
PMCID: PMC4881521  PMID: 27171076
neonate; preterm infant; neonatal infection; neonatal sepsis; neonatal septic shock; therapy of septic shock; exchange transfusion
12.  The occlusion tests and end-expiratory esophageal pressure: measurements and comparison in controlled and assisted ventilation 
Esophageal pressure is used as a reliable surrogate of the pleural pressure. It is conventionally measured by an esophageal balloon placed in the lower part of the esophagus. To validate the correct position of the balloon, a positive pressure occlusion test by compressing the thorax during an end-expiratory pause or a Baydur test obtained by occluding the airway during an inspiratory effort is used. An acceptable catheter position is defined when the ratio between the changes in esophageal and airway pressure (∆Pes/∆Paw) is close to unity. Sedation and paralysis could affect the accuracy of esophageal pressure measurements. The aim of this study was to evaluate, in mechanically ventilated patients, the effects of paralysis, two different esophageal balloon positions and two PEEP levels on the ∆Pes/∆Paw ratio measured by the positive pressure occlusion and the Baydur tests and on the end-expiratory esophageal pressure and respiratory mechanics (lung and chest wall).
Twenty-one intubated and mechanically ventilated patients (mean age 64.8 ± 14.0 years, body mass index 24.2 ± 4.3 kg/m2, PaO2/FiO2 319.4 ± 117.3 mmHg) were enrolled. In step 1, patients were sedated and paralyzed during volume-controlled ventilation, and in step 2, they were only sedated during pressure support ventilation. In each step, two esophageal balloon positions (middle and low, between 25–30 cm and 40–45 cm from the mouth) and two levels of PEEP (0 and 10 cmH2O) were applied. The ∆Pes/∆Paw ratio and end-expiratory esophageal pressure were evaluated.
The ∆Pes/∆Paw ratio was slightly higher (+0.11) with positive occlusion test compared with Baydur’s test. The level of PEEP and the esophageal balloon position did not affect this ratio. The ∆Pes and ∆Paw were significantly related to a correlation coefficient of r = 0.984 during the Baydur test and r = 0.909 in the positive occlusion test. End-expiratory esophageal pressure was significantly higher in sedated and paralyzed patients compared with sedated patients (+2.47 cmH2O) and when esophageal balloon was positioned in the low position (+2.26 cmH2O). The esophageal balloon position slightly influenced the lung elastance, while the PEEP reduced the chest wall elastance without affecting the lung and total respiratory system elastance.
Paralysis and balloon position did not clinically affect the measurement of the ∆Pes/∆Paw ratio, while they significantly increased the end-expiratory esophageal pressure.
PMCID: PMC4751101  PMID: 26868503
Esophageal pressure; PEEP; ARDS; Transpulmonary pressure; Respiratory mechanics
13.  Is nutritional support needed in late preterm infants? 
BMC Pediatrics  2015;15:194.
Late preterm birth accounts for 70 % of all preterm births. While the impact of feeding problems in very preterm infants has been widely investigated, data on late preterm infants’ feeding issues are scarce. The aim of the present study was to investigate the need of nutritional support during hospital stay in a cohort of late preterm infants and to identify the factors that most contribute to its occurrence.
We analyzed the medical records of late preterm infants, born 2011–2013, admitted to a single institution. Neonatal data, the need for nutritional support, defined as the need for parenteral nutrition or intravenous fluids or tube feeding, and the feeding status at discharge were retrieved. The occurrence of respiratory distress syndrome, congenital malformations/chromosomal diseases, cardiac diseases, sepsis, hypoglycemia, poor feeding and the need for surgical intervention were also collected.
A total of 1768 late preterm infants were included. Among the 592 infants requiring a nutritional support, 228 developed a respiratory distress syndrome, two developed a sepsis, one presented with a cardiac disease, 24 underwent a surgical intervention, eight had a chromosomal disease/congenital malformation, 80 had hypoglycemia. In addition, 100 infants required nutritional support due to poor feeding and 149 were born small for gestational age. Birth weight ≤2000 g (adjusted OR = 12.2, 95 % CI 7.5-19.9, p < 0.0001), gestational age of 34 weeks (adjusted OR = 4.08, 95 % CI 2.8-5.9, p < 0.0001), being small for gestational age (adjusted OR = 2.17, 95 % CI 2.8-5.9, p=0.001), having a respiratory distress syndrome (adjusted OR = 79.6, 95 % CI 47.2-134.3, p < 0.0001) and the need of surgical intervention (adjusted OR = 49.4, 95 % CI 13.9-174.5, p < 0.0001) were associated with a higher risk of need of nutritional support during hospital stay.
Late preterm infants are at relatively high risk of requiring nutritional support during hospital stay, especially if they have a birth weight ≤2000 g, a gestational age of 34 weeks, are born small for gestational age, develop a respiratory distress syndrome and require a surgical intervention. The present findings add to the knowledge of late preterm infants’ feeding issues and may contribute to tailoring nutritional approaches for these infants.
PMCID: PMC4657334  PMID: 26597280
Late preterm infants; Nutritional support; Feeding issues
14.  Effect of co-morbidities on the development of oral feeding ability in pre-term infants: a retrospective study 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:16603.
Pre-term infants frequently experience difficulties in attaining independent oral feeding, thus delaying the achievement of an adequate nutritional status and hospital discharge. The aim of this retrospective, single-centre, observational study was to investigate the effect of co-morbidities on the timing of the achievement of full oral feeding in pre-term infants. The neonatal and feeding data of 84 infants born at a gestational age of <32 weeks were collected, and the effect of co-morbidities on the achievement of feeding independence was evaluated using multiple linear regression analysis. The mean postmenstrual age at the time of the achievement of full oral feeding was 36.7 ± 3.68 weeks (range 33–53) weeks. The multiple linear regression analysis showed that a low birth weight, the occurrence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and the need for gastrointestinal surgical procedures were independently associated with a higher postmenstrual age at achievement of full oral feedings.
PMCID: PMC4642327  PMID: 26558841
15.  Effects of first- and second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy on glucose and lipid metabolism in chronic myeloid leukemia patients: a real clinical problem? 
Oncotarget  2015;6(32):33944-33951.
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have dramatically changed the prognosis of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). They have a distinct toxicity profile that includes glycometabolic alterations: i.e. diabetes mellitus (DM), impaired fasting glucose (IFG), and the metabolic syndrome (MS). The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of these alterations in a cohort of CML-chronic phase patients treated with imatinib, dasatinib or nilotinib.
The study involved 168 consecutive CML-chronic phase patients with no history of DM/IFG or MS. Anthropometric and metabolic parameters were assessed, and DM/IFG and MS were diagnosed based on the criteria of the American Diabetes Association and the National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel III, respectively.
The nilotinib group had significantly higher levels of fasting plasma glucose, insulin, C-peptide, insulin resistance, and total and LDL cholesterol than the imatinib and dasatinib groups. DM/IFG were identified in 25% of the imatinib- and dasatinib-treated patients, and 33% of those in the nilotinib cohort (p = 0.39 vs imatinib and p = 0.69 vs dasatinib). A diagnosis of MS was made in 42.4% of the imatinib-treated patients, 37.5% of the dasatinib-treated patients, and 36.1% of the nilotinib-treated patients (p = 0.46 vs imatinib and p = 0.34 vs dasatinib).
Treatment with nilotinib does not seem to induce DM/IFG or the MS to a significantly higher extent than imatinib or dasatinib, though it causes a worse glycometabolic profile. These findings suggest the need for a close monitoring of glucose and lipid metabolism and a multidisciplinary approach in patients treated with nilotinib.
PMCID: PMC4741815  PMID: 26376678
chronic myeloid leukemia; imatinib; dasatinib; nilotinib; diabetes mellitus; metabolic syndrome
16.  Cranial ultrasound findings in late preterm infants and correlation with perinatal risk factors 
Late preterm infants are the most represented premature babies. They are exposed to a wide spectrum of brain lesions which are often clinically silent, supporting a possible role of cerebral ultrasound screening. Aim of the study is to describe the pattern of cranial ultrasound abnormalities in late preterm infants and to define the need for cranial ultrasound according to perinatal risk factors.
A hospital-based cranial ultrasound screening was carried out by performing two scans (at 1 and 5 weeks). Unfavorable cranial ultrasound at 5 weeks was defined as either persistent periventricular hyperechogenicity or severe abnormalities.
One thousand one hundred seventy-two infants were included. Periventricular hyperechogenicity and severe abnormalities were observed in, respectively, 19.6 % and 1 % of late preterms at birth versus 1.8 % and 1.4 % at 5 weeks. Periventricular hyperechogenicity resolved in 91.3 %. At the univariate analysis gestational age (OR 0.5, 95 % CI 0.32-0.77), Apgar score <5 at 5’ (OR 15.3, 1.35-173) and comorbidities (OR 4.62, 2.39-8.98) predicted unfavorable ultrasound at 5 weeks. At the multivariate analysis the accuracy in predicting unfavorable ultrasound, estimated by combined gestational age/Apgar/comorbidities ROC curve, was fair (AUC 74.6) and increased to excellent (AUC 89.4) when ultrasound at birth was included.
Gestational age and comorbitidies are the most important risk factors for detecting brain lesions. The combination of being born at 34 weeks and developing RDS represents the strongest indication to perform a cranial ultrasound. Differently from other studies, twin pregnancy doesn’t represent a risk factor.
PMCID: PMC4581101  PMID: 26400481
Late preterm infant; Cranial ultrasound; Brain injury; Perinatal risk factors
17.  Assessment of Fibrinolysis in Sepsis Patients with Urokinase Modified Thromboelastography 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(8):e0136463.
Impairment of fibrinolysis during sepsis is associated with worse outcome. Early identification of this condition could be of interest. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a modified point-of-care viscoelastic hemostatic assay can detect sepsis-induced impairment of fibrinolysis and to correlate impaired fibrinolysis with morbidity and mortality.
This single center observational prospective pilot study was performed in an adult Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a tertiary academic hospital. Forty consecutive patients admitted to the ICU with severe sepsis or septic shock were included. Forty healthy individuals served as controls. We modified conventional kaolin activated thromboelastography (TEG) adding urokinase to improve assessment of fibrinolysis in real time (UK-TEG). TEG, UK-TEG, plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1, thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI), d-dimer, DIC scores and morbidity (rated with the SOFA score) were measured upon ICU admission. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) of mortality at ICU discharge.
UK-TEG revealed a greater impairment of fibrinolysis in sepsis patients compared to healthy individuals confirmed by PAI-1. TAFI was not different between sepsis patients and healthy individuals. 18/40 sepsis patients had fibrinolysis impaired according to UK-TEG and showed higher SOFA score (8 (6–13) vs 5 (4–7), p = 0.03), higher mortality (39% vs 5%, p = 0.01) and greater markers of cellular damage (lactate levels, LDH and bilirubin). Mortality at ICU discharge was predicted by the degree of fibrinolysis impairment measured by UK-TEG Ly30 (%) parameter (OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.93–0.98, p = 0.003).
Sepsis-induced impairment of fibrinolysis detected at UK-TEG was associated with increased markers of cellular damage, morbidity and mortality.
PMCID: PMC4550424  PMID: 26308340
18.  Lung cancer risk among bricklayers in a pooled analysis of case–control studies 
Bricklayers may be exposed to several lung carcinogens, including crystalline silica and asbestos. Previous studies that analyzed lung cancer risk among these workers had several study design limitations. We examined lung cancer risk among bricklayers within SYNERGY, a large international pooled analysis of case–control studies on lung cancer and the joint effects of occupational carcinogens. For men ever employed as bricklayers we estimated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) adjusted for study center, age, lifetime smoking history and employment in occupations with exposures to known or suspected lung carcinogens. Among 15,608 cases and 18,531 controls, there were 695 cases and 469 controls who had ever worked as bricklayers (OR: 1.47; 95% CI: 1.28–1.68). In studies using population controls the OR was 1.55 (95% CI: 1.32–1.81, 540/349 cases/controls), while it was 1.24 (95% CI: 0.93–1.64, 155/120 cases/controls) in hospital-based studies. There was a clear positive trend with length of employment (p < 0.001). The relative risk was higher for squamous (OR: 1.68, 95% CI: 1.42–1.98, 309 cases) and small cell carcinomas (OR: 1.78, 95% CI: 1.44–2.20, 140 cases), than for adenocarcinoma (OR: 1.17, 95% CI: 0.95–1.43, 150 cases) (p-homogeneity: 0.0007). ORs were still elevated after additional adjustment for education and in analyses using blue collar workers as referents. This study provided robust evidence of increased lung cancer risk in bricklayers. Although non-causal explanations cannot be completely ruled out, the association is plausible in view of the potential for exposure to several carcinogens, notably crystalline silica and to a lesser extent asbestos.
What's new?
In their work, bricklayers can be exposed to various airborne carcinogens, including crystalline silica and asbestos. Previous studies of cancer risk have not accounted for full employment history or smoking status, and failed to establish a firm relationship between bricklaying and lung cancer. In this study, the authors used data from the largest collection of case-control studies on lung cancer with complete occupational and smoking history existing today, the SYNERGY project. They found clear evidence that lung cancer risk increases in proportion to the length of time spent working as a bricklayer, paving the way for better protection and compensation for those in this occupation.
PMCID: PMC4477910  PMID: 24861979
lung neoplasms; case–control studies; bricklayers; occupational health; epidemiology
19.  Time to Smoke First Morning Cigarette and Lung Cancer in a Case–Control Study 
Targeting smokers at higher lung cancer risk can improve efficiency and reduce false-positive detection in lung cancer screening. We evaluated whether time to first cigarette after waking (TTFC), a single-item measure of nicotine dependency, could improve stratification of lung cancer risk beyond standard smoking metrics (intensity, duration, and pack-years).
In 3249 ever-smokers (n = 1812 case subjects; n = 1437 control subjects) from a population-based case–control study in Italy, we examined the association between TTFC and lung cancer using logistic regression and estimated lung cancer incidence by levels of TTFC, and intensity, duration, and pack-years using absolute risk regression. Significance tests were two-sided.
Compared with smokers with TTFC greater than 60 minutes, the lung cancer odds ratios for TTFC of 31 to 60 minutes, 6 to 30 minutes, and 5 or fewer minutes (by increasing dependency) were 2.57 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.03 to 3.26), 2.27 (95% CI = 1.79 to 2.88), and 3.50 (95% CI = 2.64 to 4.64), respectively (P trend < .0001). The average lung cancer incidence rates for smokers of 1 to 10, 11 to 20, 21 to 30 and more than 30 cigarettes per day were consistently higher among smokers with TTFC of 60 or fewer minutes vs more than 60 minutes (64.1 vs 11.7; 125.6 vs 28.6; 130.1 vs 40.7; and 260.8 vs 108.9 per 100000 person-years, respectively). The slopes of increase in lung cancer rates with smoking duration and pack-years were statistically significantly greater among smokers with higher dependency (P interaction < .001).
Lung cancer risk increases with shorter TTFC; this simple nicotine dependency measure increases lung cancer risk stratification beyond standard smoking measures. Assessing TTFC may improve lung cancer risk prediction and could be useful in lung cancer screening and smoking cessation programs.
PMCID: PMC4072901  PMID: 24948709
21.  Commuting-Adjusted Short-Term Health Impact Assessment of Airborne Fine Particles with Uncertainty Quantification via Monte Carlo Simulation 
Background: Exposure to air pollution is associated with a short-term increase in mortality, and this field has begun to focus on health impact assessment.
Objectives: Our aim was to estimate the impact of PM10 on mortality within 2 days from the exposure in the Italian region of Lombardy for the year 2007, at the municipality level, examining exposure entailed by daily intermunicipality commuting and accounting for uncertainty propagation.
Methods: We combined data from different sources to derive probabilistic distributions for all input quantities used to calculate attributable deaths (mortality rates, PM10 concentrations, estimated PM10 effects, and commuting flows) and applied a Monte Carlo procedure to propagate uncertainty and sample the distribution of attributable deaths for each municipality.
Results: We estimated that annual average PM10 concentrations above the World Health Organization-recommended threshold of 20 μg/m3 were responsible for 865 short-term deaths (80% credibility interval: 475, 1,401), 26% of which were attributable to PM10 above the European Union limit of 40 μg/m3. Reducing annual average PM10 concentrations > 20 μg/m3 by 20% would have reduced the number of attributable deaths by 36%. The largest estimated impacts were along the basin of the Po River and in the largest cities. Commuting contributed to the spatial distribution of the estimated impact.
Conclusions: Our estimates, which incorporated uncertainty quantification, indicate that the short-term impact of PM10 on mortality in Lombardy in 2007 was notable, and that reduction in air pollution would have had a substantial beneficial effect on population health. Using commuting data helped to identify critical areas for prioritizing intervention.
Citation: Baccini M, Grisotto L, Catelan D, Consonni D, Bertazzi PA, Biggeri A. 2015. Commuting-adjusted short-term health impact assessment of airborne fine particles with uncertainty quantification via Monte Carlo simulation. Environ Health Perspect 123:27–33;
PMCID: PMC4286278  PMID: 25325518
24.  Welding and Lung Cancer in a Pooled Analysis of Case-Control Studies 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;178(10):1513-1525.
Several epidemiologic studies have indicated an increased risk of lung cancer among welders. We used the SYNERGY project database to assess welding as a risk factor for developing lung cancer. The database includes data on 15,483 male lung cancer cases and 18,388 male controls from 16 studies in Europe, Canada, China, and New Zealand conducted between 1985 and 2010. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals between regular or occasional welding and lung cancer were estimated, with adjustment for smoking, age, study center, and employment in other occupations associated with lung cancer risk. Overall, 568 cases and 427 controls had ever worked as welders and had an odds ratio of developing lung cancer of 1.44 (95% confidence interval: 1.25, 1.67) with the odds ratio increasing for longer duration of welding. In never and light smokers, the odds ratio was 1.96 (95% confidence interval: 1.37, 2.79). The odds ratios were somewhat higher for squamous and small cell lung cancers than for adenocarcinoma. Another 1,994 cases and 1,930 controls had ever worked in occupations with occasional welding. Work in any of these occupations was associated with some elevation of risk, though not as much as observed in regular welders. Our findings lend further support to the hypothesis that welding is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC3888276  PMID: 24052544
case-control studies; lung cancer; occupational exposure; welding
25.  Lung Cancer Risk Among Hairdressers: A Pooled Analysis of Case-Control Studies Conducted Between 1985 and 2010 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;178(9):1355-1365.
Increased lung cancer risks among hairdressers were observed in large registry-based cohort studies from Scandinavia, but these studies could not adjust for smoking. Our objective was to evaluate the lung cancer risk among hairdressers while adjusting for smoking and other confounders in a pooled database of 16 case-control studies conducted in Europe, Canada, China, and New Zealand between 1985 and 2010 (the Pooled Analysis of Case-Control Studies on the Joint Effects of Occupational Carcinogens in the Development of Lung Cancer). Lifetime occupational and smoking information was collected through interviews with 19,369 cases of lung cancer and 23,674 matched population or hospital controls. Overall, 170 cases and 167 controls had ever worked as hairdresser or barber. The odds ratios for lung cancer in women were 1.65 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.16, 2.35) without adjustment for smoking and 1.12 (95% CI: 0.75, 1.68) with adjustment for smoking; however, women employed before 1954 also experienced an increased lung cancer risk after adjustment for smoking (odds ratio = 2.66, 95% CI: 1.09, 6.47). The odds ratios in male hairdressers/barbers were generally not elevated, except for an increased odds ratio for adenocarcinoma in long-term barbers (odds ratio = 2.20, 95% CI: 1.02, 4.77). Our results suggest that the increased lung cancer risks among hairdressers are due to their smoking behavior; single elevated risk estimates should be interpreted with caution and need replication in other studies.
PMCID: PMC3813309  PMID: 24068200
case-control studies; hair bleaching agents; hair color; lung neoplasms; occupational exposure

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