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1.  Molecular screening for Epstein Barr virus (EBV) among Sudanese patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) 
The aim of this study was to screen for the presence of Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) among Sudanese patients with Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma (NPC).
In this study, 150 tissue samples that were previously diagnosed as having NPC were screened for the presence of EBV using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). PCR was performed to amplify two viral genes; EBV nuclear antigen-4 (EBNA-4) and latent membrane protein-1 (LMP1).
EBV genes were detected in 92/150 (61.3%) tissue samples. Of the 92 infected samples, 58/92 (63%) were found among males and 34/92 (37%) were among females.
EBV is prevalent in the Sudan and responsible of the vast majority of cases of NPC.
PMCID: PMC4335634
Epstein barr virus; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Sudan
2.  HIV and cancer: a comparative retrospective study of Brazilian and U.S. clinical cohorts 
With successful antiretroviral therapy, non-communicable diseases, including malignancies, are increasingly contributing to morbidity and mortality among HIV-infected persons. The epidemiology of AIDS-defining cancers (ADCs) and non-AIDS-defining cancers (NADCs) in HIV-infected populations in Brazil has not been well described. It is not known if cancer trends in HIV-infected populations in Brazil are similar to those of other countries where antiretroviral therapy is also widely available.
We performed a retrospective analysis of clinical cohorts at Instituto Nacional de Infectologia Evandro Chagas (INI) in Rio de Janeiro and Vanderbilt Comprehensive Care Clinic (VCCC) in Nashville from 1998 to 2010. We used Poisson regression and standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) to examine incidence trends. Clinical and demographic predictors of ADCs and NADCs were examined using Cox proportional hazards models.
This study included 2,925 patients at INI and 3,927 patients at VCCC. There were 57 ADCs at INI (65% Kaposi sarcoma), 47 at VCCC (40% Kaposi sarcoma), 45 NADCs at INI, and 82 at VCCC. From 1998 to 2004, incidence of ADCs remained statistically unchanged at both sites. From 2005 to 2010, ADC incidence decreased in both cohorts (INI incidence rate ratio per year = 0.74, p < 0.01; VCCC = 0.75, p < 0.01). Overall Kaposi sarcoma incidence was greater at INI than VCCC (3.0 vs. 1.2 cases per 1,000 person-years, p < 0.01). Incidence of NADCs remained constant throughout the study period (overall INI incidence 3.6 per 1,000 person-years and VCCC incidence 5.3 per 1,000 person-years). Compared to general populations, overall risk of NADCs was increased at both sites (INI SIR = 1.4 [95% CI 1.1-1.9] and VCCC SIR = 1.3 [1.0-1.7]). After non-melanoma skin cancers, the most frequent NADCs were anal cancer at INI (n = 7) and lung cancer at VCCC (n = 11). In multivariate models, risk of ADC was associated with male sex and immunosuppression. Risk of NADC was associated with increased age.
In both cohorts, ADCs have decreased over time, though incidence of KS was higher at INI than VCCC. Rates of NADCs remained constant over time at both sites.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1750-9378-10-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4327947
HIV; Malignancy; Cancer; Brazil; Anal cancer; Kaposi sarcoma; Non-Hodgkin lymphoma; Lung cancer; Age; Sex
3.  Prevalence of human cytomegalovirus, polyomaviruses, and oncogenic viruses in glioblastoma among Japanese subjects 
The association between human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is becoming a new concept. However, information on the geographic variability of HCMV prevalence in GBM remains scarce. Moreover, the potential roles of various viruses, such as polyomaviruses and oncogenic viruses, in gliomagenesis remain unclear. Our aim was to investigate the prevalence of HCMV in GBM among Japanese patients. Furthermore, this was the first study that evaluated infection with four new human polyomaviruses in GBMs. This study also provided the first data on the detection of human papillomavirus (HPV) in GBM in the Eastern world.
We measured the number of various viral genomes in GBM samples from 39 Japanese patients using real-time quantitative PCR. The tested viruses included HCMV, Merkel cell polyomavirus, human polyomavirus (HPyV) 6, HPyV7, HPyV9, Epstein–Barr virus, human herpesvirus 8, and HPV. Our quantitative PCR analysis led to the detection of eight copies of the HCMV DNA mixed with DNA extracted from 104 HCMV-negative cells. The presence of HCMV and HPV genomes was also assessed by nested PCR. Immunohistochemical study was also carried out to detect HPV-derived protein in GBM tissues.
The viral DNAs were not detectable, with the exception of HPV, which was present in eight out of 39 (21%) GBMs. All HPV-positive cases harbored high-risk-type HPV (HPV16 and HPV18). Moreover, the HPV major capsid protein was detected in GBM tumor cells.
In contrast with previous reports from Caucasian patients, we did not obtain direct evidence in support of the association between HCMV and GBM. However, high-risk-type HPV infection may play a potential etiological role in gliomagenesis in a subset of patients. These findings should prompt further worldwide epidemiological studies aimed at defining the pathogenicity of virus-associated GBM.
PMCID: PMC4328287
Oncogenic viruses; HCMV; HPV; Polyomaviruses; Glioblastoma; Epidemiology
4.  Expression of bcl-2 and p53 in bovine cutaneous fibropapillomas 
Bovine cutaneous fibropapillomas are benign hyperproliferative lesions induced by Bovine Papillomaviruses (BPVs). Bcl-2 is an important anti-apoptotic protein which is expressed in several cancer types. In contrary, p53 is a tumour suppressor protein that mediates cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and senescence in response to cellular stresses.
Here, we investigated immunohistochemically and biochemically, the expression of bcl-2 and p53 in a subset of BPV positive fibropapillomas and bovine normal skin. Normal skin samples showed a weak signal for both proteins in the cytoplasm of the basal cells. Nine out of twelve (75%) tumour samples stained positive for bcl-2 throughout basal and parabasal layers, with most of cells showing strong cytoplasmic immunoreactivity. Nine out of twelve (75%) fibropapillomas were found to be positive for p53 expression, showing a strong cytoplasmic and perinuclear staining of p53 protein mainly in the basal and parabasal layers.
Our data reveal an altered bcl-2 and p53 immunoreactivity in bovine cutaneous fibropapillomas, suggesting involvement of these two proteins in the cutaneous neoplastic transformation through an impaired apoptotic process.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1750-9378-10-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4298047  PMID: 25601891
Bovine papillomavirus; Cattle; Fibropapilloma
5.  The first case of human autochtonous subconjunctival dirofilariosis in Poland and MALT lymphoma as possible consequence of this parasitosis 
The first case of human dirofilarosis in Poland was recorded in 2007. Until that time our country was free of Dirofilaria repens. Recent studies show that 21,4- 60% of dogs in Warsaw region harbour microfilariae, therefore it is becoming a growing problem in Central Europe.
In April 2013 a subconjunctival D. repens was removed from the eye of 61-year-old woman. It was the twenty first case of this disease in Poland, the third case of eye dirofilaria and the fourth autochtonous case. The patient had never been abroad, so it was the first case of autochtonous human ocular dirofilariosis in Poland. Nine months after the D. repens had been removed, a MALT lymphoma was discovered. In the article we discuss whether a MALT lymphoma of the lacrimal gland of the eye, previously affected by the parasite, may be the consequence of the invasion.
PMCID: PMC4293813  PMID: 25589901
Dirofilaria repens; Human; Poland; Autochtonous species; MALT lymphoma; Wolbachia
6.  Disruption of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL by viral proteins as a possible cause of cancer 
The Bcl proteins play a critical role in apoptosis, as mutations in family members interfere with normal programmed cell death. Such events can cause cell transformation, potentially leading to cancer. Recent discoveries indicate that some viral proteins interfere with Bcl proteins either directly or indirectly; however, these data have not been systematically described. Some viruses encode proteins that reprogramme host cellular signalling pathways controlling cell differentiation, proliferation, genomic integrity, cell death, and immune system recognition. This review analyses and summarises the existing data and discusses how viral proteins interfere with normal pro- and anti-apoptotic functions of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL. Particularly, this article focuses on how viral proteins, such as Herpesviruses, HTLV-1, HPV and HCV, block apoptosis and how accumulation of such interference predisposes cancer development. Finally, we discuss possible ways to prevent and treat cancers using a combination of traditional therapies and antiviral preparations that are effective against these viruses.
PMCID: PMC4333878
Bcl-2; Bcl-xL; Herpesviruses; Human T-lymphotropic virus 1; Human papillomavirus; Hepatitis C virus; Apoptosis; Signaling pathways; Tumor suppressor genes; Cancer
7.  HIV-1 Tat induces DNMT over-expression through microRNA dysregulation in HIV-related non Hodgkin lymphomas 
A close association between HIV infection and the development of cancer exists. Although the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy has changed the epidemiology of AIDS-associated malignancies, a better understanding on how HIV can induce malignant transformation will help the development of novel therapeutic agents.
HIV has been reported to induce the expression of DNMT1 in vitro, but still no information is available about the mechanisms regulating DNMT expression in HIV-related B-cell lymphomas.
In this paper, we investigated the expression of DNMT family members (DNMT1, DNMT3a/b) in primary cases of aggressive B-cell lymphomas of HIV-positive subjects.
Our results confirmed the activation of DNMT1 by HIV in vivo, and reported for the first time a marked up-regulation of DNMT3a and DNMT3b in HIV-positive aggressive B-cell lymphomas. DNMT up-regulation in HIV-positive tumors correlated with down-regulation of specific microRNAs, as the miR29 family, the miR148-152 cluster, known to regulate their expression. Literature reports the activation of DNMTs by the human polyomavirus BKV large T-antigen and adenovirus E1a, through the pRb/E2F pathway. We have previously demonstrated that the HIV Tat protein is able to bind to the pocket proteins and to inactivate their oncosuppressive properties, resulting in uncontrolled cell proliferation. Therefore, we focused on the role of Tat, due to its capability to be released from infected cells and to dysregulate uninfected ones, using an in vitro model in which Tat was ectopically expressed in B-cells.
Our findings demonstrated that the ectopic expression of Tat was per se sufficient to determine DNMT up-regulation, based on microRNA down-regulation, and that this results in aberrant hypermethylation of target genes and microRNAs.
These results point at a direct role for Tat in participating in uninfected B-cell lymphomagenesis, through dysregulation of the epigenetical control of gene expression.
PMCID: PMC4334912
HIV; Aggressive B-cell lymphomas; microRNAs; DNMTs; Tat
8.  Hepatocellular carcinoma: preclinical data on a dual-lumen catheter kit for fibrin sealant infusion following loco-regional treatments 
Fibrin sealants are currently used in a variety of surgical and endoscopic settings to improve time to haemostasis, reduce blood loss and complications. However, the application of sealants (composed of two essential components: fibrinogen and thrombin) is not without difficulties. These sealants are normally applied to the resected area using dual-chamber delivery systems. Administration of these substances with different viscosities and diverse flow rates through a long catheter means that a certain amount of force needs to be applied and clot formation and clogging at the distal end of the catheter can occur.
We designed a novel dual-lumen catheter to facilitate the optimal application of fibrin sealant after diagnostic and therapeutic percutaneous procedures and assessed the efficacy and tolerability of this dual-lumen kit when used in a model of hepatic fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in an in vivo, preclinical porcine study.
The experimental was performed on nine pigs (mean body weight 85 ± 7 kg) and with the exception of one pig, all animals survived in good conditions until the day of hepatectomy and euthanasia. The premature death of this animal was in the veterinarian’s judgment caused by a common, non-infective disease. In all nine pigs, bleeding was stopped within 3 minutes of the application of the fibrin sealant and no cases of recurrent bleeding occurred.
The new dual aspect catheter increased ease of delivery of the sealant and FNA liver biopsy and RFA procedures were successfully and safely performed.
PMCID: PMC4258802  PMID: 25489337
Hepatocarcinoma; Dual lumen catheter; Sealant; Loco regional treatments
9.  Global burden of deaths from Epstein-Barr virus attributable malignancies 1990-2010 
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is an oncogenic virus implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of human malignancies of both lymphoid and epithelial origin. Thus, a comprehensive and up-to-date analysis focused on the global burden of EBV-attributable malignancies is of significant interest.
Based on published studies, we estimated the proportion of Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL), Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL), nasopharyngeal carcinoma NPC), gastric carcinoma (GC) and post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) attributable to EBV, taking into consideration age, sex and geographical variations. This proportion was then imputed into the Global Burden of Disease 2010 dataset to determine the global burden of each EBV-attributable malignancy in males and females in 20 different age groups and 21 world regions from 1990 to 2010.
The analysis showed that the combined global burden of deaths in 2010 from all EBV-attributable malignancies was 142,979, representing 1.8% of all cancer deaths. This burden has increased by 14.6% over a period of 20 years. All 5 EBV-attributable malignancies were more common in males in all geographical regions (ratio of 2.6:1). Gastric cancer and NPC accounted for 92% of all EBV-attributable cancer deaths. Almost 50% of EBV-attributed malignancies occurred in East Asia. This region also had the highest age-standardized death rates for both NPC and GC.
Approximately 143,000 deaths in 2010 were attributed to EBV-associated malignancies. This figure is likely to be an underestimate since some of the less prevalent EBV-associated malignancies have not been included. Moreover, the global increase in population and life-expectancy will further increase the overall burden of EBV-associated cancer deaths. Development of a suitable vaccine could have a substantial impact on reducing this burden.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1750-9378-9-38) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4253616  PMID: 25473414
EBV; Viral-associated cancers; Global cancer mortality; Cancer risk factors
10.  High-risk human papilloma virus and cervical abnormalities in HIV-infected women with normal cervical cytology 
The prevalence of High-Risk Human papilloma virus (HR-HPV), a necessary cause of invasive cervical cancer (ICC) is relatively high in HIV infected women. Gaps exist in our knowledge of the optimal approaches for managing women who have HR-HPV with normal cervical cytology (NCC) particularly in settings of HIV infection.
Between May 2012 and June 2013 we conducted a colposcopic assessment of HIV-infected women with prior (NCC) and known HR-HPV status to compare cervical abnormalities in women with and without HR-HPV. Colposcopic examinations were done at the Operation Stop Cervical Cancer (OSCC) unit of the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Jos, Nigeria. Abnormal colposcopic finding (ACF) was defined as areas of aceto-white epithelium involving the squamo-coulumnar junction, areas of punctation, mosaic pattern or atypical vessels. We compared proportions of ACF as well as histologic grades of cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN) in women with or without HR-HPV. Statistical analysis was done on STATA.
We conducted colposcopic examinations in 78 out of 89 (86.5%) eligible women. The mean age of the cohort was 32.4 years (SD ±4.6) with a median 32 years (IQR 29–36). After a mean follow up time of 20.1 months from the initial cervical pap cytology and HR-HPV testing, we found 12 of 78 (15.4%) women with ACF. The odds for an ACF was statistically higher [OR = 4.0 (95% CI: 1.1-14.7)] in women with HR-HPV compared to those without. Of the twelve women with ACF, subsequent histologic examination of colposcopically directed cervical biopsies confirmed CIN 1 in 4 cases (33.3%), CIN 2 in 1 case (8.3%), CIN 3 in 2 cases (16.7%), carcinoma-in-situ (CIS) in 2 cases (16.7%), and normal cervix in 3 (25.0%). Overall, the proportion of women detected with any grade of CIN was 11.5% (9/78) and 6.4% (5/78) were CIN 2 or greater lesion (CIN2+).
HIV-infected women with NCC and HR-HPV had a four-fold higher likelihood for an ACF. The practice of early colposcopic examination of HIV-infected women with prior NCC and HR-HPV may increase early detection of higher grade CIN and CIS cancer stages in our setting.
PMCID: PMC4230523  PMID: 25395987
HR-HPV; HIV; Cervical cytology; Cervical cancer; Nigeria
11.  The 4th Bi-annual international African-Caribbean Cancer Consortium conference: building capacity to address cancer health disparities in populations of African descent 
This is a brief summary of the 4th International Meeting of the African-Caribbean Cancer Consortium (AC3), organized and sponsored by Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC), and held on July 21–22, 2012 at the Lincoln University Graduate Center, Lincoln Plaza, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. AC3 investigators gathered in Philadelphia, PA to present the results of our ongoing collaborative research efforts throughout the African Diaspora. The general theme addressed cancer health disparities and presentations represented all cancer types. However, there was particular emphasis on women’s cancers, related to human papillomavirus (HPV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections.
PMCID: PMC4221714
Cancer health disparities; Innovative research; Building consortia; Women’s cancers
12.  The role of EBV in the pathogenesis of Burkitt’s Lymphoma: an Italian hospital based survey 
The exact worldwide incidence of Burkitt’s lymphoma is not known. There are three distinct clinical variants of Burkitt’s lymphoma, each manifesting differences in epidemiology, clinical presentation, morphology, biology and genetic features: the endemic (African), the sporadic (non-endemic), and the immunodeficiency-associated form. In particular, we reported data regarding Burkitt’s lymphoma incidence in the world and across different European countries. Finally, we described clinic-pathological data of 48 Burkitt’s lymphomas occurred in Italy from 2003 to 2013, in 4 different hospitals, two of which located in east side, and the other ones located in the west-coast. Forty Burkitt’s lymphomas occurs in children (age range 3–12), and 8 were adulthood Burkitt’s lymphomas (age range 18–87). In the pediatric group the Male:Female ratio (M:F) was of 4:1, whereas the group of the adult patients has a M:F of 1:1.67. Immunohistochemical detection of Latent Membrane Protein 1 (LMP1) expression and Epstein-Barr virus Encoded RNA (EBER) In Situ Hybridization (ISH) procedures have been performed. Lymphocyte B monoclonal spread has been demonstrated using a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) based method to amplify Fragment Restriction FR1, FR2 and FR3 immunoglobulin heavy chains DNA fragments. Only 38 cases out of 48 were analyzed for LMP-1 showing various percentage of stained cells in 47.4% of the patients.
Considering ISH for EBER detection results: 1 out 2 (50%) adult analyzed cases was positive, with 50% of stained tumor cells (this patient was a 22 years old female, coming from Napoli);15 out 24 (62.5%) children analyzed Burkitt’s lymphomas resulted as positive for EBER;the overall positivity has been observed in 16/26 Burkitt’s lymphomas (61.53%).Finally, EBV has been detected in children and adult patients, one of them with deregulation of the oncogene c-MYC by chromosomal translocation.
PMCID: PMC4216353  PMID: 25364378
Burkitt’s lymphoma; Immunohistochemistry; In situ hybridization
13.  Cervical human papillomavirus prevalence and genotype distribution among hybrid capture 2 positive women 15 to 64 years of age in the Gurage zone, rural Ethiopia 
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a prerequisite of cervical cancer, the leading cause of cancer mortality in Ethiopian women today. Data on Ethiopian cervical HPV prevalence and genotype distribution are rare, but essential as pre-vaccine baseline data to monitor changes after initiating HPV vaccination. The objectives of this study were to assess the cervical HPV prevalence, genotype distribution and associated correlates among female hospital outpatients in rural Ethiopia.
We examined a consecutive sample of 537 women 15–64 years of age in rural Ethiopia between November and December 2006. Screening for low risk (LR) and high-risk (HR) cervical HPV infection was performed and HR positive samples were genotyped with a GP5+/6 + − and SPF10-primer based system.
The age-standardized prevalence of HPV, HPV HR and HPV LR infection was 17.3% (95% CI 14.1-20.5), 15.8% (95% CI 12.7-18.9) and 3.9% (95% CI 2.3-5.6), respectively. Among HC2 HPV HR positive infections (n = 86), the most common genotype was HPV 16 (24.4%), followed by 52 (11.6%), 56 (10.5%) and 31 (10.5%). Non-married relationship and widowhood, increasing number of lifetime sexual partners, human immunodeficiency virus infection and non-traditional housing type, but not age, were significantly associated with HR HPV infection.
These results on cervical HPV prevalence and genotype distribution may serve as baseline data in evaluating the impact of future HPV vaccination programmes in rural Ethiopia.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1750-9378-9-33) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4197284  PMID: 25320636
Papillomavirus infections; Cervix uteri; Ethiopia; DNA probes; HPV; Epidemiology; Risk factors; Sub-Sahara Africa
14.  Burkitt lymphoma research in East Africa: highlights from the 9th African organization for research and training in cancer conference held in Durban, South Africa in 2013 
A one-day workshop on Burkitt lymphoma (BL) was held at the 9th African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) conference in 2013 in Durban, South Africa. The workshop featured 15 plenary talks by delegates representing 13 institutions that either fund or implement research on BL targeting AORTIC delegates primarily interested in pediatric oncology. The main outcomes of the meeting were improved sharing of knowledge and experience about ongoing epidemiologic BL research, BL treatment in different settings, the role of cancer registries in cancer research, and opportunities for African scientists to publish in scientific journals. The idea of forming a consortium of BL to improve coordination, information sharing, accelerate discovery, dissemination, and translation of knowledge and to build capacity, while reducing redundant efforts was discussed. Here, we summarize the presentations and discussions from the workshop.
PMCID: PMC4163050
15.  Bacteria flying under the radar: linking a bacterial infection to colon carcinogenesis 
The emergence of a link between Helicobacter pylori infection and an increased risk of gastric cancer has raised an awareness of a possible link between colonic microbiota and colorectal cancer. Pertubation of the colonic epithelium by toxin-producing strains of Bacteroides fragilis may increase the risk of premalignant transdifferentiation. However, like H. pylori, B. fragilis exhibit an ability to modulate the normal host response to infection. We speculate this may be an underappreciated risk factor in the genesis of colon carcinogenesis in individuals colonised with toxin-producing strains of B. fragilis.
PMCID: PMC4164325  PMID: 25225573
Bacteroides fragilis; Colorectal cancer; Host response; Bacterial persistence
16.  High prevalence of hpv multiple genotypes in women with persistent chlamydia trachomatis infection 
Chlamydia trachomatis interaction with HR-HPV types has highlighted a central role in cervical cancer development. The aim of this study was to investigate HPV prevalence and genotypes distribution in women at risk for C. trachomatis infection and negative for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy.
1071 cervical swabs were tested for C. trachomatis by Real Time PCR and genotyping by ompA gene sequencing. Additionally, a quantitative Real time-PCR was performed to assess the expression of the C. trachomatis Hsp60–encoding gene (Ct604 portion), linked to a persistent status of infection. HPV infection and genotypes was investigated in C. trachomatis positive women using Luminex technology.
C. trachomatis infection was detected in 53 out of 1071 (4.5%) samples, of which the 53% resulted positive for Hsp60 gene expression. The overall prevalence of HPV infection in C. trachomatis positive samples was of 60.4% (32/53): in 37.5% of samples was present a single genotype, while multiple genotypes infections were found in the 62.5% of them. Among women with a C. trachomatis chronic infection, 68% were HPV co-infected and the 79% showed multiple genotypes. Should be noted that levels of C. trachomatis Hsp60 expression in HPV co-infected women were significantly lower compared to women infected only with C. trachomatis. The C. trachomatis serotype F was found in the majority of samples, independently of HPV infection.
A high prevalence of HPV multiple infections have been found in young women affected with a C. trachomatis chronic infection. These observations suggested that the expression of CHSP60-1, interfering with both apoptotic and cellular senescence pathways, may promote a favourable local microenvironment for HPV infection.
PMCID: PMC4304071  PMID: 25621003
Human papillomavirus; Chlamydia trachomatis; HPV multiple genotypes; Hsp60 RNA persistent infection
17.  The levels of anti-HPV16/18 and anti-HPV31/33/35/45/52/58 antibodies among AS04-adjuvanted HPV16/18 vaccinated and non-vaccinated Ugandan girls aged 10–16 years 
Data on Human Papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine immune response in sub-Saharan Africa is still sparse yet such knowledge is critical for optimal implementation and monitoring of HPV vaccines. Our primary objective was to evaluate levels of anti-HPV-16/18 antibodies and six other ‘high risk’ HPV (hrHPV) types among the vaccinated and unvaccinated Ugandan girls.
We conducted a cross sectional study among AS04-adjuvanted HPV-16/18 vaccinated and unvaccinated school girls aged 10–16 years in Western Uganda using purposive sampling. The vaccinated girls were at 18 months post vaccination. After consenting and assenting, data was collected using interviewer administered questionnaires for demographics and sexual history. Blood was drawn from which serum samples were analysed by the multiplex HPV serology technology to determine anti-HPV antibody levels to HPV-16/18 and six other hrHPV types (31, 33, 35, 45, 52 and 58). The antibody levels were expressed as Median Fluorescent Intensity (MFI).
A total of 207 vaccinated [mean age 13.1 years (SD 1.5); range 10-16 years] and 197 unvaccinated girls [mean age 13.6 years (SD 1.3); range 10-16 years] participated in the study. Sexual activity was self reported among 14/207 (6.8%) vaccinated and 5/197 (2.5%) unvaccinated girls. The MFI levels for HPV-16 and HPV-18 were 15 and 20 times higher respectively in the vaccinated girls than in the unvaccinated girls. HPV-16 mean MFI level was 4691(SD 1812; 95% CI: 4438-4958) among the vaccinated compared to 218 (SD 685; 95% CI: 190-252) among the unvaccinated girls. For HPV-18 the mean MFI level was 1615 (SD 1326; 95% CI: 1470-1776) among the vaccinated compared to MFI 103 (SD 506; 95% CI: 88 -121) among unvaccinated girls.
In addition antibody levels to non vaccine hrHPV types (31, 33, 35, 45, 52 and 58) were all significantly higher in the vaccinated group than in the unvaccinated group (p<0.01).
The AS04-Adjuvanted HPV-16/18 vaccinated girls showed a higher level of antibodies to HPV-16/18 and other non-vaccine hrHPV types compared to the unvaccinated girls. This may translate into protection against HPV-16/18 and other hrHPV types.
PMCID: PMC4158334  PMID: 25206925
Human Papilloma Virus; Bivalent HPV vaccine; Immune response; Uganda; Adolescents
18.  Oncogenic viruses associated with vulva cancer in HIV-1 patients in Botswana 
Oncoviruses such as HPV, KSHV, and EBV have been reported in patients with HIV infection and AIDS. How oncovirus-associated cancers rise in AIDS patients has not been fully established. The purpose of our study was to identify the viral agents in vulvar cancer and to assess their contribution to pathogenesis.
We retrospectively identified a total of 13 vulva tissue samples from HIV-1 positive and 9 vulvar samples from HIV-1 negative patients from the Botswana National Health Laboratory in Gaborone, Botswana, a Southern African country with a high incidence of HIV. We utilized PCR and IHC to identify HPV, EBV, KSHV, and JC virus in FFPE preserved tissue samples.
Using the GP5+/GP6+ primer set we detected several HPV types in tissue samples. EBV was detected in all of the positive cases (100%) and in most of the negative cases (89%). KSHV was detected in 39% of the HIV-1 positive samples and in 11% of the negative samples, and no JC virus was detected in any of the samples.
Using IHC we demonstrated that LANA was expressed in 61% of the positive samples and in 44% of the negative samples. The ubiquitous EBV was more consistently expressed in negative cases (100%) than in positive cases (69%). Interestingly, the HPV-16 E6 transcript was detected in 56% of the negative samples compared to 31% of the positive samples. However, the cell cycle protein P21 used as a surrogate marker for HPV was detected in 77% of the positive samples and in 44% of the negative samples, while VEGF signals were similar in both positive (92%) and negative samples (89%).
Our study, suggests that in Botswana, vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (VSCC) is associated with oncogenic viruses present in the niche but the contribution and progression may be regulated by HPV and other immunosuppressive infections that include HIV-1.
PMCID: PMC4164322  PMID: 25225572
19.  The GH-IGF-SST system in hepatocellular carcinoma: biological and molecular pathogenetic mechanisms and therapeutic targets 
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common malignancy worldwide. Different signalling pathways have been identified to be implicated in the pathogenesis of HCC; among these, GH, IGF and somatostatin (SST) pathways have emerged as some of the major pathways implicated in the development of HCC. Physiologically, GH-IGF-SST system plays a crucial role in liver growth and development since GH induces IGF1 and IGF2 secretion and the expression of their receptors, involved in hepatocytes cell proliferation, differentiation and metabolism. On the other hand, somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) are exclusively present on the biliary tract. Importantly, the GH-IGF-SST system components have been indicated as regulators of hepatocarcinogenesis. Reduction of GH binding affinity to GH receptor, decreased serum IGF1 and increased serum IGF2 production, overexpression of IGF1 receptor, loss of function of IGF2 receptor and appearance of SSTRs are frequently observed in human HCC. In particular, recently, many studies have evaluated the correlation between increased levels of IGF1 receptors and liver diseases and the oncogenic role of IGF2 and its involvement in angiogenesis, migration and, consequently, in tumour progression. SST directly or indirectly influences tumour growth and development through the inhibition of cell proliferation and secretion and induction of apoptosis, even though SST role in hepatocarcinogenesis is still opened to argument.
This review addresses the present evidences suggesting a role of the GH-IGF-SST system in the development and progression of HCC, and describes the therapeutic perspectives, based on the targeting of GH-IGF-SST system, which have been hypothesised and experimented in HCC.
PMCID: PMC4164328  PMID: 25225571
GH-IGF1 axis; Somatostatin; Somatostatin receptors; Normal liver; Hepatocarcinogenesis; Hepatocarcinoma
20.  Co-infection with HPV types from the same species provides natural cross-protection from progression to cervical cancer 
The worldwide administration of bivalent and quadrivalent HPV vaccines has resulted in cross-protection against non-vaccine HPV types. Infection with multiple HPV types may offer similar cross-protection in the natural setting. We hypothesized that infections with two or more HPV types from the same species, and independently, infections with two or more HPV types from different species, associate with protection from high-grade lesions.
We recruited a cohort of 94 HIV, HPV-positive women from Botswana, with Grade 2 or higher cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. Infections with 2 or more HPV types from a single species associated with reduced lesion severity in univariate analysis (OR = 0.41, 95% CI 0.18-0.97, p = 0.042), when adjusted for the presence of HPV 16 or 18 types (OR = 0.41, 95% CI 0.17-1.00, p = 0.049), or all high-risk HPV type infections (OR = 0.38, 95% CI 0.16-0.90, p = 0.028). Infections with 2 or more HPV types from different species did not associate (OR = 0.68, 95% CI 0.25-1.81, p = 0.435).
Our findings show that co-infections with genetically similar HPV types reduce the likelihood of progression to high-grade lesions in HIV positive women, an effect not observed in co-infections with taxonomically different HPV types. This observation is possibly caused by an immune cross-protection through a similar mechanism to that observed after HPV vaccination.
PMCID: PMC4141127  PMID: 25152769
HPV; Taxonomy; Cervical cancer; Coinfection; Immune cross-protection; Vaccine
21.  Prevalence of human papillomavirus infection and phylogenetic analysis of HPV-16 E6 variants among infected women from Northern Brazil 
The main cause of cervical cancer in the world is high risks human papillomavirus infection (mainly represented by HPV-16 and HPV-18), that are associated to the development of malign transformation of the epithelium. HPV prevalence exhibits a wide geographical variability and HPV-16 variants have been related to an increased risk of developing cervical intraepithelial lesion. The aim of this study was to describe DNA-HPV prevalence and HPV-16 variants among a women population from Northern Brazil.
One hundred and forty three women, during routine cervical cancer screening, at Juruti Project, fulfilled an epidemiological inquiry and were screened through a molecular HPV test. HPV-16 variants were determined by sequencing the HPV-16 E6 open reading frame.
Forty two samples were considered HPV positive (29.4%). None of those had abnormal cytology results. HPV prevalence varied between different age groups (Z(U) = 14.62; p = <0.0001) and high-risk HPVs were more frequent among younger ages. The most prevalent type was HPV-16 (14%) and it variants were classified, predominantly, as European (87.5%).
HPV prevalence in our population was higher than described by others and the most prevalent HPV types were high-risk HPVs. The European HPV-16 variant was the most prevalent among HPV-16 positive samples. Our study reinforces the fact that women with normal cytology and a positive molecular test for high-risk HPVs should be submitted to continuous follow up, in order to verify persistence of infection, promoting an early diagnosis of cervical cancer and/or its precursors.
PMCID: PMC4138943  PMID: 25143783
Prevalence; HPV; HPV-16; Variants
22.  MDM2 polymorphism associated with the development of cervical lesions in women infected with Human papillomavirus and using of oral contraceptives 
The MDM2 gene is the major negative regulator of p53, a tumor suppressor protein. Single nucleotide polymorphism in promoter region of MDM2 gene leads to increased expression resulting in higher levels of MDM2 protein. This event increases the attenuation of the p53 pathway. Polymorphisms in this gene can interfere in the regulation of cellular proliferation. We evaluated whether MDM2 SNP309 (rs2278744) associated or not with the use of oral contraceptive can heighten susceptibility to development of cervical lesions in women HPV infected.
MDM2 SNP309 (rs2278744) was genotyped in a total of 287 patients using the PCR-RFLP technique. The results were analyzed by UNPHASED v.3.121 and SNPStats programs.
The three groups (SIL, LSIL and HSIL) showed no significant differences in either genotype or allelic frequencies for MDM2 polymorphisms, except when HSIL was compared with LSIL (p = 0.037; OR = 1.81). Furthermore, in the analysis of contraceptives, a significant association was found between the use of contraceptives and the MDM2 variant in the development of high-grade cervical lesions for the TG genotype (p = 0.019; OR = 2.21) when HSIL was compared with control. When HSIL was compared with LSIL (p = 0.006; OR = 2.27).
The results of this study suggest that MDM2 SNP309 might be a good marker for assessing the progression of LSIL to HSIL. In addition, they also show that oral contraceptives alone, did not have any effect on the progression or development of cervical lesions. However, they may act synergistically with MDM2 SNP309 (rs2278744) and HPV infection in the development of cervical lesions.
PMCID: PMC4113664  PMID: 25075210
MDM2; HPV; Oral contraceptives; Cervical cancer
23.  Loss of nuclear PTEN in HCV-infected human hepatocytes 
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major risk factor for chronic hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); however, the mechanism of HCV-mediated hepatocarcinogenesis is not well understood. Insufficiency of PTEN tumor suppressor is associated with more aggressive cancers, including HCC. We asked whether viral non-coding RNA could initiate oncogenesis in HCV infected human hepatocytes. The results presented herein suggest that loss of nuclear PTEN in HCV-infected human hepatocytes results from depletion of Transportin-2, which is a direct target of viral non-coding RNA, vmr11.
The intracellular distribution of PTEN in HCV-infected cells was monitored by immunostaining and Western blots of nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins. Effects of PTEN depletion were examined by comparing expression arrays of uninfected cells with either HCV-infected or vmr11-transfected cells. Target genes suggested by array analyses were validated by Western blot. The influence of nuclear PTEN deficiency on virus production was determined by quantitative analysis of HCV genomic RNA in culture media of infected hepatocytes.
Import of PTEN to the nucleus relies on the interaction of Transportin-2 and PTEN proteins; we show that depletion of Transportin-2 by HCV infection or by the introduction of vmr11 in uninfected cells results in reduced nuclear PTEN. In turn, nuclear PTEN insufficiency correlates with increased virus production and the induction of γ-H2AX, a marker of DNA double-strand breaks and genomic instability.
An HCV-derived small non-coding RNA inhibits Transportin-2 and PTEN translocation to the nucleus, suggesting a direct viral role in hepatic oncogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4114100  PMID: 25075209
HCV infection; Nuclear PTEN restriction
24.  Invasive cervical cancers from women living in the United States or Botswana: differences in human papillomavirus type distribution 
Cervical cancer is the primary cause of cancer-related deaths in women living in Botswana.
Paraffin-embedded blocks of formalin-fixed invasive cervical cancer specimens were identified from women living in the U.S. (n = 50) or Botswana (n = 171) from which DNA was extracted. Thin-section PCR was performed on each sample for HPV types and HIV. Comparisons were made between HPV types and groups of types identified in cancers.
HPV DNA was identified in 92.0% of specimens from the U.S. containing amplifiable human DNA, and 79.5% of specimens from Botswana. HPV 16 was detected in 40 of 46 HPV-positive specimens (87.0%) from the U.S. vs. 58 of 136 (42.7%) from Botswana (p < 0.001). In contrast, non-HPV 16/18 types, all A9 species (HPV16, 31, 33, 35, 52, and 58), non-HPV 16 A9 (HPV 31, 33, 35, 52, and 58), HPV 18, all A7 types (18, 39, 45, 59, and 68) types were detected significantly more often in specimens from Botswana. The prevalence of non-HPV 18 A7 types did not differ significantly between the two groups. For specimens from Botswana, 31.6% contained PCR-amplifiable HIV sequences, compared to 3.9% in U.S. specimens. Stratifying the samples from Botswana by HIV status, HPV 31 was detected significantly more often in HIV-positive specimens. Other HPV types and groups of types were not significantly different between HIV-positive and HIV-negative specimens from Botswana.
This study demonstrates that there may be important HPV type differences in invasive cervical cancers occurring in women living in the United States or Botswana. Factors in addition to HIV may be driving these differences.
PMCID: PMC4105511  PMID: 25053972
Human papillomavirus; Human immunodeficiency virus; DNA testing; Type distribution; Linear array
25.  Impact of density of schistosomal antigen expression in urinary bladder tissue on the stratification, cell type, and staging, and prognosis of carcinoma of the bladder in Egyptian patients 
Infection with urinary schistosomiasis and its severity are oncogenic factors for developing carcinoma of the bladder, whether it is urothelial carcinoma (UC) of a transitional cell type (TCC) or non-urothelial of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). In UC it is not defined whether it is schistosomal or not. This led to controversial results in expression of tumour markers, tumour prognosis, and response to therapy.
We assessed the application by immunohistochemistry method (IHC) for detection of schistosomal antigen in bladder cancer tissue samples to differentiate UC associated with or without schistosomiasis. Urothelial carcinoma stage, grade, and progression were correlated with the density, intensity, and index of schistosomal antigen expression. Follow up was done for 2-5 years.
Design and participants
Archival tissue samples of 575 patients were studied: 515 urothelial carcinoma, 30 patients with SCC associated with schistosomiasis, and a control group of 30 patients without schistosomiasis.
Expression of schistosomal antigen in tissue was done by IHC using monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against schistosomal antigens (SA). Correlation of intensity of antigen expression to clinical and pathological data was analysed.
Results and limitations
We identified 3 parameters of antigen expression: density, intensity and index with 4 grades for each. SCC-group was 100% positive. UC was positive in 61.4% distributed as follows: Ta: 37.5%, T1: 62%, and muscle invasive T2-4 were 64%. Upstaging, metastases and recurrence were correlated with high index in T1 and T2-4 tumours.
Urothelial carcinoma associated with schistosomiasis was defined by the positive expression of schistosomal antigens in tissues detected by lHC using MAbs against schistosomal haematobium. Upstaging and progression of T1 and T2-4 were correlated with high density, intensity, and index of antigen expression. Non-schistosomal UC had negative expression for schistosomal antigen, which was detected in 36.5% of cases. These results would be of significance in differentiating schistosomal from non-schistosomal bladder cancer of UC and would predict the prognosis in T1, T2-3 tumours. Implementation of IHC using MAbs against SA in UC would help in planning the proper therapy. Schistosomiasis should be considered as an oncogene for UC in endemic areas.
PMCID: PMC4094454  PMID: 25018779
Schistosomiasis; Infection; Urinary bladder; Urothelial carcinoma; Squamous cell carcinoma; Cancer prognosis; Endemic diseases; Neglected diseases; Bilharziasis; Schistosomal antigen; Monoclonal antibodies; Tumour marker

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