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1.  Mortality in the L'Aquila (Central Italy) Earthquake of 6 April 2009 
PLoS Currents  2013;5:e50585b8e6efd1.
This paper presents the results of an analysis of data on mortality in the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck the central Italian city and province of L'Aquila during the night of 6 April 2009. The aim is to create a profile of the deaths in terms of age, gender, location, behaviour during the tremors, and other aspects. This could help predict the pattern of casualties and priorities for protection in future earthquakes. To establish a basis for analysis, the literature on seismic mortality is surveyed. The conclusions of previous studies are synthesised regarding patterns of mortality, entrapment, survival times, self-protective behaviour, gender and age. These factors are investigated for the data set covering the 308 fatalities in the L'Aquila earthquake, with help from interview data on behavioural factors obtained from 250 survivors. In this data set, there is a strong bias towards victimisation of young people, the elderly and women. Part of this can be explained by geographical factors regarding building performance: the rest of the explanation refers to the vulnerability of the elderly and the relationship between perception and action among female victims, who tend to be more fatalistic than men and thus did not abandon their homes between a major foreshock and the main shock of the earthquake, three hours later. In terms of casualties, earthquakes commonly discriminate against the elderly and women. Age and gender biases need further investigation and should be taken into account in seismic mitigation initiatives.
PMCID: PMC3541886  PMID: 23326762
2.  Detection of minimal residual disease in hematopoietic progenitor cell harvests: lack of predictive value of peripheral blood and bone marrow analysis in mantle cell and indolent lymphoma 
Elimination of neoplastic cells from peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPCs) is an important issue in transplantation-based high-dose chemotherapy in non Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). The capacity to reliably assess the presence of residual lymphoma cells in PBPCs is mandatory in designing this type of protocols. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of molecular rearrangements is widely used to detect minimal residual disease (MRD) in NHL patients. Although concordant data can be obtained in most of the cases from peripheral blood (PB) and bone marrow (BM) at diagnosis, the relationship between these two compartments and the role of their analysis in predicting the molecular status of PBPCs is still an open issue. Here we report data about MRD analysis in BM, PB and PBPCs in a series of mantle cell and indolent NHL patients who underwent high-dose chemotherapy: discordant results were obtained comparing PB, BM and PBPC molecular data. In addition, differences were noted among these results if molecular analysis was performed using well-known rearrangements (i.e., bcl-1/IgH and bcl-2/IgH) or patient specific oligonucleotides. We conclude that neither BM nor PB are reliable in predicting the molecular status of PBPCs and that caution must be adopted in interpreting molecular data obtained using patient specific oligonucleotides.
PMCID: PMC3384403  PMID: 22762029
Minimal residual disease; peripheral blood; bone marrow; peripheral blood progenitor cells

Results 1-2 (2)