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1.  Impact of assisted reproduction treatments on Spanish newborns: report of 14,119 pregnancies 
To investigate neonatal malformation, prematurity, and stillbirth in singleton and multiple pregnancies derived from different Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART).
In this prospective cohort study data were collected, from private and public Spanish IVF units, during the years 2008 and 2009. During this period, 8,682 pregnancies were analysed from the initial 14,119 pregnancies reported. Pregnancies included in the study derived from IUI (n = 1,065), IVF (n = 838), ICSI (n = 5,080), FET (n = 1,404) and PGD (n = 295). This first analysis focuses primarily on neonatal malformation, prematurity, and stillbirth both in singleton and multiple pregnancies derived from different ART. Malformations were classified according to the WHO ICD 10 code.
Malformations were found in 0.83 % of our newborns. No differences in malformations were observed between singletons or multiples independently of the ART used. There was a significant difference in prematurity rate among singletons depending on treatment but this association was not observed in multiple pregnancies. Stillbirth was significantly lower in singleton (0.72 %) than in multiple pregnancies (1.82 %).
The percentage of malformations observed in ART newborns was similar to the rate observed in the normally-conceived Spanish population. Multiplicity seems to be the most important factor associated with an increased incidence of newborn complications such as prematurity or stillbirth.
PMCID: PMC3725228  PMID: 23779097
ART; Pregnancy outcome; Perinatal outcome; Malformations; Prematurity; Stillbirth
2.  The link between Family History and risk of Type 2 Diabetes is Not Explained by Anthropometric, Lifestyle or Genetic Risk Factors: the EPIC-InterAct Study 
Diabetologia  2012;56(1):60-69.
Although family history of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a strong risk factor for the disease, the factors mediating this excess risk are poorly understood. In the InterAct case-cohort study we investigated the association of family history of diabetes among different family members with incidence of T2D and the extent to which genetic, anthropometric and lifestyle risk factors mediated this association.
13,869 individuals (including 6,168 incident cases of T2D) had family history data available, and 6,887 individuals had complete data on all mediators. Country-specific Prentice-weighted Cox models were fitted within-country and hazard ratios (HR) combined using random-effects meta-analysis. Lifestyle and anthropometric measurements were performed at baseline and a genetic risk score comprising 35 T2D-associated polymorphisms was created.
A family history was associated with higher incidence of T2D (HR:2.72(95%CI:2.48-2.99)). Adjustment for established risk factors including BMI and waist-circumference only modestly attenuated this association (HR:2.44(95%CI:2.03,2.95)); the genetic score alone explained only 2% of the family history-associated risk of T2D. Greatest risk of T2D was observed in those with a biparental history of T2D (HR:5.14(95%CI:3.74,7.07)) and those with parental diabetes diagnosis at younger age (<50yrs) (HR:4.69(95%CI:3.35,6.58)) - an effect largely confined to maternal family history.
Prominent lifestyle, anthropometric and genetic risk factors explained only a marginal proportion of the family history-associated excess risk, highlighting that family history remains a strong, independent and easily assessed risk factor for T2D. Discovering the factors explaining the association of family history with T2D risk will provide important insight into the aetiology of T2D.
PMCID: PMC4038917  PMID: 23052052
family history; type 2 diabetes; genetics
3.  Mutation Status and Immunoglobulin Gene Rearrangements in Patients from Northwest and Central Region of Spain with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:257517.
The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency and mutation status of the immunoglobulin heavy variable chain (IGHV) in a cohort of 224 patients from northwest and central region of Spain diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and to correlate it with cytogenetic abnormalities, overall survival (OS) and time to first treatment (TTFT). 125 patients had mutated IGHV, while 99 had unmutated IGHV. The most frequently used IGHV family was IGHV3, followed by IGHV1 and IGHV4. The regions IGHV3-30, IGHV1-69, IGHV3-23, and IGHV4-34 were the most commonly used. Only 3.1% of the patients belonged to the subfamily IGHV3-21 and we failed to demonstrate a worse clinical outcome in this subgroup. The IGHV4 family appeared more frequently with mutated pattern, similar to IGHV3-23 and IGHV3-74. By contrast, IGHV1-69 was expressed at a higher frequency in unmutated CLL patients. All the cases from IGHV3-11 and almost all from IGHV5-51 subfamily belonged to the group of unmutated CLL.
PMCID: PMC3985179  PMID: 24790994
4.  Smoking and the risk of prostate cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition 
British Journal of Cancer  2012;108(3):708-714.
Smoking is not associated with prostate cancer incidence in most studies, but associations between smoking and fatal prostate cancer have been reported.
During 1992 and 2000, lifestyle information was assessed via questionnaires and personal interview in a cohort of 145 112 European men. Until 2009, 4623 incident cases of prostate cancer were identified, including 1517 cases of low-grade, 396 cases of high grade, 1516 cases of localised, 808 cases of advanced disease, and 432 fatal cases. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to examine the association of smoking status, smoking intensity, and smoking duration with the risk of incident and fatal prostate cancer.
Compared with never smokers, current smokers had a reduced risk of prostate cancer (RR=0.90, 95% CI: 0.83–0.97), which was statistically significant for localised and low-grade disease, but not for advanced or high-grade disease. In contrast, heavy smokers (25+ cigarettes per day) and men who had smoked for a long time (40+ years) had a higher risk of prostate cancer death (RR=1.81, 95% CI: 1.11–2.93; RR=1.38, 95% CI: 1.01–1.87, respectively).
The observation of an increased prostate cancer mortality among heavy smokers confirms the results of previous prospective studies.
PMCID: PMC3593533  PMID: 23169298
smoking; prostate cancer; cohort study; EPIC
5.  Glycemic index, glycemic load, dietary carbohydrate, and dietary fiber intake and risk of liver and biliary tract cancers in Western Europeans 
Annals of Oncology  2012;24(2):543-553.
The type and quantity of dietary carbohydrate as quantified by glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL), and dietary fiber may influence the risk of liver and biliary tract cancers, but convincing evidence is lacking.
Patients and methods
The association between dietary GI/GL and carbohydrate intake with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC; N = 191), intrahepatic bile duct (IBD; N = 66), and biliary tract (N = 236) cancer risk was investigated in 477 206 participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. Dietary intake was assessed by country-specific, validated dietary questionnaires. Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated from proportional hazard models. HBV/HCV status was measured in a nested case–control subset.
Higher dietary GI, GL, or increased intake of total carbohydrate was not associated with liver or biliary tract cancer risk. For HCC, divergent risk estimates were observed for total sugar = 1.43 (1.17–1.74) per 50 g/day, total starch = 0.70 (0.55–0.90) per 50 g/day, and total dietary fiber = 0.70 (0.52–0.93) per 10 g/day. The findings for dietary fiber were confirmed among HBV/HCV-free participants [0.48 (0.23–1.01)]. Similar associations were observed for IBD [dietary fiber = 0.59 (0.37–0.99) per 10 g/day], but not biliary tract cancer.
Findings suggest that higher consumption of dietary fiber and lower consumption of total sugars are associated with lower HCC risk. In addition, high dietary fiber intake could be associated with lower IBD cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC3551485  PMID: 23123507
biliary tract neoplasms; dietary carbohydrate; dietary fiber; glycemic index; hepatocellular carcinoma; liver neoplasms
6.  Modulation of the Rat Hepatic Cytochrome P4501A Subfamily Using Biotin Supplementation 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:627907.
Studies have found that biotin favors glucose and lipid metabolism, and medications containing biotin have been developed. Despite the use of biotin as a pharmacological agent, few studies have addressed toxicity aspects including the possible interaction with cytochrome P450 enzyme family. This study analyzed the effects of pharmacological doses of biotin on the expression and activity of the cytochrome P4501A subfamily involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics. Wistar rats were treated daily with biotin (2 mg/kg, i.p.), while the control groups were treated with saline. All of the rats were sacrificed by cervical dislocation after 1, 3, 5, or 7 days of treatment. CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 mRNAs were modified by biotin while enzyme activity and protein concentration were not affected. The lack of an effect of biotin on CYP1A activity was confirmed using other experimental strategies, including (i) cotreatment of the animals with biotin and a known CYP1A inducer; (ii) the addition of biotin to the reaction mixtures for the measurement of CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 activities; and (iii) the use of an S9 mixture that was prepared from control and biotin-treated rats to analyze the activation of benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) into mutagenic metabolites using the Ames test. The results suggest that biotin does not influence the CYP1A-mediated metabolism of xenobiotics.
PMCID: PMC3745937  PMID: 23984390
7.  Triflusal reduces dense-core plaque load, associated axonal alterations and inflammatory changes, and rescues cognition in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease 
Neurobiology of disease  2010;38(3):482-491.
Inflammation has been associated with the two classic lesions in the Alzheimer’s (AD) brain, amyloid deposits and neurofibrillary tangles. Recent data suggest that Triflusal, a compound with potent anti-inflammatory effects in the central nervous system in vivo, might delay the conversion from amnestic mild cognitive impairment to a fully established clinical picture of dementia. In the present study, we investigated the effect of Triflusal on brain Aβ accumulation, neuroinflammation, axonal curvature and cognition in an AD transgenic mouse model (Tg2576). Triflusal treatment did not alter the total brain Aβ accumulation but significantly reduced dense-cored plaque load and associated glial cell proliferation, proinflammatory cytokine levels and abnormal axonal curvature, and rescued cognitive deficits in Tg2576 mice. Behavioral benefit was found to involve increased expression of c-fos and BDNF, two of the genes regulated by CREB, as part of the signal transduction cascade underlying the molecular basis of long-term potentiation. These results add preclinical evidence of a potentially beneficial effect of Triflusal in AD.
PMCID: PMC3707138  PMID: 20149872
Alzheimer’s disease; Transgenic mice; Triflusal; Amyloid; Neuroinflammation; Cytokines; Cognition; CREB; c-fos; BDNF
8.  Activation of glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta mediates β-amyloid induced neuritic damage in Alzheimer's disease☆,☆☆,★ 
Neurobiology of disease  2011;45(1):425-437.
β-Amyloid (Aβ) plaques in Alzheimer (AD) brains are surrounded by severe dendritic and axonal changes, including local spine loss, axonal swellings and distorted neurite trajectories. Whether and how plaques induce these neuropil abnormalities remains unknown. We tested the hypothesis that oligomeric assemblies of Aβ, seen in the periphery of plaques, mediate the neurodegenerative phenotype of AD by triggering activation of the enzyme GSK-3β, which in turn appears to inhibit a transcriptional program mediated by CREB. We detect increased activity of GSK-3β after exposure to oligomeric Aβ in neurons in culture, in the brain of double transgenic APP/tau mice and in AD brains. Activation of GSK-3β, even in the absence of Aβ, is sufficient to produce a phenocopy of Aβ-induced dendritic spine loss in neurons in culture, while pharmacological inhibition of GSK-3β prevents spine loss and increases expression of CREB-target genes like BDNF. Of note, in transgenic mice GSK-3β inhibition ameliorated plaque-related neuritic changes and increased CREB-mediated gene expression. Moreover, GSK-3β inhibition robustly decreased the oligomeric Aβ load in the mouse brain. All these findings support the idea that GSK3β is aberrantly activated by the presence of Aβ, and contributes, at least in part, to the neuronal anatomical derangement associated with Aβ plaques in AD brains and to Aβ pathology itself.
PMCID: PMC3694284  PMID: 21945540
9.  Genetic uniqueness of the Waorani tribe from the Ecuadorian Amazon 
Heredity  2012;108(6):609-615.
South America and especially the Amazon basin is known to be home to some of the most isolated human groups in the world. Here, we report on a study of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in the Waorani from Ecuador, probably the most warlike human population known to date. Seeking to look in more depth at the characterization of the genetic diversity of this Native American tribe, molecular markers from the X and Y chromosomes were also analyzed. Only three different mtDNA haplotypes were detected among the Waorani sample. One of them, assigned to Native American haplogroup A2, accounted for more than 94% of the total diversity of the maternal gene pool. Our results for sex chromosome molecular markers failed to find close genetic kinship between individuals, further emphasizing the low genetic diversity of the mtDNA. Bearing in mind the results obtained for both the analysis of the mtDNA control region and complete mitochondrial genomes, we suggest the existence of a ‘Waorani-specific' mtDNA lineage. According to current knowledge on the phylogeny of haplogroup A2, we propose that this lineage could be designated as subhaplogroup A2s. Its wide predominance among the Waorani people might have been conditioned by severe genetic drift episodes resulting from founding events, long-term isolation and a traditionally small population size most likely associated with the striking ethnography of this Amazonian community. In all, the Waorani constitute a fine example of how genetic imprint may mirror ethnopsychology and sociocultural features in human populations.
PMCID: PMC3356810  PMID: 22234246
human isolate; complete sequencing; mitochondrial DNA; genetic drift; population bottleneck; native American
10.  Inflammation marker and risk of pancreatic cancer: a nested case–control study within the EPIC cohort 
British Journal of Cancer  2012;106(11):1866-1874.
Established risk factors for pancreatic cancer include smoking, long-standing diabetes, high body fatness, and chronic pancreatitis, all of which can be characterised by aspects of inflammatory processes. However, prospective studies investigating the relation between inflammatory markers and pancreatic cancer risk are scarce.
We conducted a nested case–control study within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, measuring prediagnostic blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and soluble receptors of tumour necrosis factor-α (sTNF-R1, R2) in 455 pancreatic cancer cases and 455 matched controls. Odds ratios (ORs) were estimated using conditional logistic regression models.
None of the inflammatory markers were significantly associated with risk of pancreatic cancer overall, although a borderline significant association was observed for higher circulating sTNF-R2 (crude OR=1.52 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.97–2.39), highest vs lowest quartile). In women, however, higher sTNF-R1 levels were significantly associated with risk of pancreatic cancer (crude OR=1.97 (95% CI 1.02–3.79)). For sTNF-R2, risk associations seemed to be stronger for diabetic individuals and those with a higher BMI.
Prospectively, CRP and IL-6 do not seem to have a role in our study with respect to risk of pancreatic cancer, whereas sTNF-R1 seemed to be a risk factor in women and sTNF-R2 might be a mediator in the risk relationship between overweight and diabetes with pancreatic cancer. Further large prospective studies are needed to clarify the role of proinflammatory proteins and cytokines in the pathogenesis of exocrine pancreatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC3364108  PMID: 22617158
inflammation; pancreatic cancer; EPIC; CRP; IL-6; TNF receptor
11.  Effect of Maraviroc on HIV Disease Progression-Related Biomarkers 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2012;56(11):5858-5864.
The potential effect of blocking the CCR5 receptor on HIV disease progression biomarkers is not well understood. We showed that an 8-day maraviroc (MVC) monotherapy clinical test (MCT) can be used in selecting patients to receive MVC-containing combined antiretroviral therapy (cART). Using this MCT model, we assessed the effect of MVC on several HIV disease progression biomarkers during the MCT (MVC-specific effect) and following short-term (12-week) cART. We compared 45 patients on MVC monotherapy with a control group of 25 patients on MVC-sparing cART. We found that MVC did not modify any biomarkers in patients that had no virological response after the MCT. MVC-specific effects in patients with virological responses included increased CD8+ T-cell activation and senescence levels, preservation of an increase in soluble CD14 (sCD14), and a decrease in D dimer levels. After 12 weeks, MVC-containing cART increased CD8+ T-cell counts and preserved CD4+ T-cell senescence levels compared with MVC-sparing cART. Moreover, there was a decrease in sCD14 levels in patients that received MVC-containing cART. In conclusion, effects compatible with CD8+ T-cell redistribution in peripheral blood were observed after MVC therapy. However, MVC was associated with a favorable profile in HIV disease progression biomarkers only in patients with a virological response. These results support a potential clinical benefit of a therapy which includes MVC in HIV-infected patients.
PMCID: PMC3486555  PMID: 22948867
12.  Fas/Fas ligand regulation mediates cell death in human Ewing's sarcoma cells treated with melatonin 
British Journal of Cancer  2012;106(7):1288-1296.
Despite recent advances in cancer therapy, the 5-year survival rate for Ewing's sarcoma is still very low, and new therapeutic approaches are necessary. It was found previously that melatonin induces cell death in the Ewing's sarcoma cell line, SK-N-MC, by activating the extrinsic apoptotic pathway.
Melatonin actions were analysed by metabolic viability/survival cell assays, flow cytometry, quantitative PCR for mRNA expression, western blot for protein activation/expression and electrophoretic mobility shift assay for transcription factor activation.
Melatonin increases the expression of Fas and its ligand Fas L, this increase being responsible for cell death induced by the indolamine. Melatonin also produces a transient increase in intracellular oxidants and activation of the redox-regulated transcription factor Nuclear factor-kappaB. Inhibition of such activation prevents cell death and Fas/Fas L upregulation. Cytotoxic effect and Fas/Fas L regulation occur in all Ewing's cell lines studied, and do not occur in the other tumour cell lines studied where melatonin does not induce cell death.
Our data offers new insights in the study of alternative therapeutic strategies in the treatment of Ewing's sarcoma. Further attention deserves to be given to the differences in the cellular biology of sensitive tumours that could explain the cytotoxic effect of melatonin and the increase in the level of free radicals caused by this molecule, in particular cancer types.
PMCID: PMC3314785  PMID: 22382690
apoptosis; ESFT cell lines; Fas/Fas L upregulation; melatonin
13.  Apoptotic microtubules delimit an active caspase free area in the cellular cortex during the execution phase of apoptosis 
Cell Death & Disease  2013;4(3):e527-.
Apoptotic microtubule network (AMN) is organized during apoptosis, forming a cortical structure beneath plasma membrane, which has an important role in preserving cell morphology and plasma membrane permeability. The aim of this study was to examine the role of AMN in maintaining plasma membrane integrity during the execution phase of apoptosis. We demonstrated in camptothecin-induced apoptosis in H460 cells that AMN delimits an active caspase free area beneath plasma membrane that permits the preservation of cellular cortex and transmembrane proteins. AMN depolymerization in apoptotic cells by a short exposure to colchicine allowed active caspases to reach the cellular cortex and cleave many key proteins involved in plasma membrane structural support, cell adhesion and ionic homeostasis. Cleavage of cellular cortex and plasma membrane proteins, such as α-spectrin, paxilin, focal adhesion kinase (FAK), E-cadherin and integrin subunit β4 was associated with cell collapse and cell detachment. Otherwise, cleavage-mediated inactivation of calcium ATPase pump (PMCA-4) and Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) involved in cell calcium extrusion resulted in calcium overload. Furthermore, cleavage of Na+/K+ pump subunit β was associated with altered sodium homeostasis. Cleavage of cell cortex and plasma membrane proteins in apoptotic cells after AMN depolymerization increased plasma permeability, ionic imbalance and bioenergetic collapse, leading apoptotic cells to secondary necrosis. The essential role of caspase-mediated cleavage in this process was demonstrated because the concomitant addition of colchicine that induces AMN depolymerization and the pan-caspase inhibitor z-VAD avoided the cleavage of cortical and plasma membrane proteins and prevented apoptotic cells to undergo secondary necrosis. Furthermore, the presence of AMN was also critical for proper phosphatidylserine externalization and apoptotic cell clearance by macrophages. These results indicate that AMN is essential to preserve an active caspase free area in the cellular cortex of apoptotic cells that allows plasma membrane integrity during the execution phase of apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC3613836  PMID: 23470534
apoptosis; microtubules; cytoskeleton; caspases; secondary necrosis
14.  Primary mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma as a pleural mass 
The British Journal of Radiology  2011;84(1008):e229-e231.
Primary pleural lymphoma is a rare entity that has been described in association with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or pyothorax. It occurs in only 7% of primary lymphoma cases. We report the case of a 52-year-old male with no history of HIV infection or pyothorax who was diagnosed of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) and underwent a routine chest X-ray to screen for any organic cause of the symptoms. The radiograph revealed two voluminous masses with extraparenchymatous features but without pleural effusion. A contrast-enhanced CT was performed and confirmed the existence of the pleural masses that showed homogeneous attenuation. Neither mediastinal lymphadenopathy nor pleural effusion were present. A percutaneous CT-guided fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) with a 25-G needle was performed (two samples were obtained) and the first diagnosis was of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The final diagnosis of primary pleural mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma was confirmed by a CT-guided core biopsy with a 20-G needle. To the best of our knowledge, no cases of MALT lymphoma presenting as pleural masses without pleural effusion have been reported in immunocompetent patients. In this report, we describe the case of a patient with a primary pleural MALT lymphoma and include a short review of the literature.
PMCID: PMC3473832  PMID: 22101588
15.  Oral contraceptive use and reproductive factors and risk of ovarian cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition 
British Journal of Cancer  2011;105(9):1436-1442.
It is well established that parity and use of oral contraceptives reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, but the associations with other reproductive variables are less clear.
We examined the associations of oral contraceptive use and reproductive factors with ovarian cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Among 327 396 eligible women, 878 developed ovarian cancer over an average of 9 years. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazard models stratified by centre and age, and adjusted for smoking status, body mass index, unilateral ovariectomy, simple hysterectomy, menopausal hormone therapy, and mutually adjusted for age at menarche, age at menopause, number of full-term pregnancies and duration of oral contraceptive use.
Women who used oral contraceptives for 10 or more years had a significant 45% (HR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.41–0.75) lower risk compared with users of 1 year or less (P-trend, <0.01). Compared with nulliparous women, parous women had a 29% (HR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.59–0.87) lower risk, with an 8% reduction in risk for each additional pregnancy. A high age at menopause was associated with a higher risk of ovarian cancer (>52 vs ⩽45 years: HR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.06–1.99; P-trend, 0.02). Age at menarche, age at first full-term pregnancy, incomplete pregnancies and breastfeeding were not associated with risk.
This study shows a strong protective association of oral contraceptives and parity with ovarian cancer risk, a higher risk with a late age at menopause, and no association with other reproductive factors.
PMCID: PMC3241548  PMID: 21915124
reproductive history; oral contraceptive use; ovarian cancer; cohort study
16.  Multifocal hepatic cystic mass as first manifestation of metastatic spinal hemangiopericytoma 
Hemangiopericytomas (HPCs) are rare vascular tumors with a high malignant potential. Hepatic metastases from HPC are very infrequent and usually show a distinctive solid aspect with a surrounding pseudocapsule.
A 37-year-old man with a previous medical history of recurrent spinal hemangiopericytoma with a 9 cm × 7 cm cystic hepatic mass detected on follow-up. Contrast enhanced US and MRI confirmed the presence the lesion showing mixed (solid and cystic) content. Parasitic and viral serology plus serum tumoral markers (CEA, ca 19.9, ca 125, AFP) tests, upper and lower endoscopy and general laboratory tests were normal and extended left lobectomy was performed. Histopathologic study confirmed the diagnosis of multifocal metastasic hemangiopericytoma with moderate CD-34, CD-99 and Bcl-2 positivity after immunohistochemical staining. After 1-year follow-up the patient does not present any evidence of abdominal recurrence but a skull base recurrence has been detected.
Liver metastasis from spinal HPC are uncommon and do not have cystic appearance so radiologic diagnosis can be challenging. In spite of the presence of previously diagnosed HPC context, the presence of a liver cystic mass in a young patient makes necessary to discard a number much more frequent benign and malignant diagnosis before metastatic disease can be confirmed.
The presence of a cystic hepatic mass makes it mandatory to rule out a number neoplasms other than metastasic HPC before a definitive diagnosis is made. In addition to local radiotherapy and antiangiogenic agents, surgery can be useful to treat liver dissemination.
PMCID: PMC3537926  PMID: 23103627
HPC, hemangiopericytoma; MRI, magnetic resonance imaging; CT, computed tomography; US, ultrasonography; Hemangiopericytoma; Liver metastases; Liver cysts; Vascular tumors; Bcl-2
17.  First Face Composite-Tissue Transplant Recipient Successfully Treated for Cytomegalovirus Infection with Preemptive Valganciclovir Treatment ▿ 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2011;55(12):5949-5951.
Little is known about cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection after face transplantation, since only two of the 11 cases of face transplantation reported worldwide have documented a CMV infection after transplantation. Herein, we present the first report of a composite-tissue face allotransplant recipient at high risk for CMV infection (D+/R− [CMV serpositive donor positive/CMV seronegative receptor]) undergoing preemptive treatment. Preemptive treatment was safe and effective for controlling CMV infection and thus promoting early acquisition of a CMV-specific immune response that protected the patient from late-onset CMV disease.
PMCID: PMC3232763  PMID: 21968361
18.  Mediterranean dietary pattern and cancer risk in the EPIC cohort 
British Journal of Cancer  2011;104(9):1493-1499.
Although several studies have investigated the association of the Mediterranean diet with overall mortality or risk of specific cancers, data on overall cancer risk are sparse.
We examined the association between adherence to Mediterranean dietary pattern and overall cancer risk using data from the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and nutrition, a multi-centre prospective cohort study including 142 605 men and 335 873. Adherence to Mediterranean diet was examined using a score (range: 0–9) considering the combined intake of fruits and nuts, vegetables, legumes, cereals, lipids, fish, dairy products, meat products, and alcohol. Association with cancer incidence was assessed through Cox regression modelling, controlling for potential confounders.
In all, 9669 incident cancers in men and 21 062 in women were identified. A lower overall cancer risk was found among individuals with greater adherence to Mediterranean diet (hazard ratio=0.96, 95% CI 0.95–0.98) for a two-point increment of the Mediterranean diet score. The apparent inverse association was stronger for smoking-related cancers than for cancers not known to be related to tobacco (P (heterogeneity)=0.008). In all, 4.7% of cancers among men and 2.4% in women would be avoided in this population if study subjects had a greater adherence to Mediterranean dietary pattern.
Greater adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern could reduce overall cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC3101925  PMID: 21468044
Mediterranean diet; dietary patterns; cancer risk; epidemiology
19.  Immunohistochemical and ultrastructural visualization of different routes of oocyte elimination in adult rats 
Cell death is a process for maintaining homeostasis in tissues and organs. In the ovary, apoptotic cell death has been implicated in follicular atresia; in the elimination of the follicles that are not ovulated during adult life. Recent studies indicate that apoptosis and autophagy are two programmed processes of cell death. Apoptosis is performed by proteases called caspases and leads to such morphological traits as DNA fragmentation. Autophagy, in turn, is characterized by the exacerbated formation of autophagosomes; a process in which the amount of the LC3 and Lamp 1 proteins increases. In this study, oocytes from all stages of the estrous cycle of Wistar rats were analyzed. The apoptosis process was identified by immunodetecting active Caspase-3 and locating DNA fragmentation using the TUNEL technique. Autophagy was evaluated through immunodetection of the LC3 and Lamp 1 proteins, and by ultrastructural localization of autophagic vesicle formation. All techniques were conducted using the same oocytes. Results show that all phases of the estrous cycle contain dying oocytes that test positive simultaneously for apoptosis and autophagy markers. The highest level of apoptosis was found during estrus; while the proestrous stage had the highest level of autophagy. The diestrous and metestrous phases were characterized by a high frequency of the presence of markers of apoptosis and autophagy in the same oocyte. Our results demonstrate that during oocyte elimination in adult rats the proteins involved in both processes, apoptosis and autophagy, are present in the same cell at the same time.
PMCID: PMC3428966  PMID: 22688298
atresia; apoptosis; autophagy; oocyte; estrous cycle.
21.  Oral contraceptives, reproductive history and risk of colorectal cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition 
British Journal of Cancer  2010;103(11):1755-1759.
Oral contraceptive use and reproductive factors may initiate long-term changes to the hormonal milieu and thereby, possibly influence colorectal cancer risk.
We examined the association of hormonal and reproductive factors with risk of colorectal cancer among 337 802 women in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, of whom 1878 developed colorectal cancer.
After stratification for center and age, and adjustment for body mass index, smoking, diabetes mellitus, physical activity and alcohol consumption, ever use of oral contraceptives was marginally inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk (hazard ratio (HR), 0.92; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.83–1.02), although this association was stronger among post-menopausal women (HR, 0.84; 95% CI: 0.74–0.95). Duration of oral contraceptive use and reproductive factors, including age at menarche, age at menopause, type of menopause, ever having an abortion, parity, age at first full-term pregnancy and breastfeeding, were not associated with colorectal cancer risk.
Our findings provide limited support for a potential inverse association between oral contraceptives and colorectal cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC2994229  PMID: 21045829
oral contraceptives; reproductive history; colorectal cancer; cohort study
22.  First Cases of Microsporidiosis in Transplant Recipients in Spain and Review of the Literature▿ 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(4):1301-1306.
Microsporidia are currently considered emerging pathogens responsible for life-threatening infections in organ transplant recipients. Here, we describe the first cases of intestinal microsporidiosis by Enterocytozoon bieneusi genotype D in two non-HIV-infected renal transplant recipients from Spain. Previously reported cases of microsporidiosis in organ transplant recipients have also been reviewed, highlighting the necessity of considering organ transplant recipients a risk group for microsporidiosis. A systematic search for these parasites is recommended in cases of persistent diarrhea and in the differential diagnosis of other syndromes, such as chronic fever of unknown etiology.
PMCID: PMC3122787  PMID: 21325545
23.  Students’ Factors Affecting Undergraduates’ Perceptions of their Teaching and Learning Process within ECTS Experience  
Introduction: In the present study, we investigated the potential factors that influenced the level of students satisfaction with the teaching–learning process (TLP), from the perspective of students participating in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) experience. Method: A total of 1490 students from the Universities of Almería and Granada (Spain) participated in an evaluation of their class discipline area. They completed the new revised protocol for evaluating the ECTS experience. Analyses of variance were carried out, taking the following factors as independent variables: student's grade average, year in school, study discipline, credit load in terms of ECTS credits assigned to a subject, the e-learning approach. Perception of the TLP was used as the dependent variable. Results: The data analyses showed variability of the degree of statistically significance among the factors that influenced students’ perceptions of the TLP. These factors included: Student's grade average (in favor of high performers), year in school (in favor of earlier years), ECTS load (in favor of subjects with a medium load of credits), and e-learning (in favor of its use). These research findings provided evidence to explore the delineation of a potential profile of factors that trigger a favorable perception of the TLP. Discussion and Conclusion: The present findings certainly have implications to deepen our understanding of the core beliefs, commitment, and the experience in shaping the implementation of the European Higher Education Area through the ECTS.
PMCID: PMC3111137  PMID: 21713171
teaching–learning perception; European Higher Education Area; satisfaction with teaching; satisfaction with learning
24.  Altered blood glucose concentration is associated with risk of death among patients with community-acquired Gram-negative rod bacteremia 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:181.
Altered blood glucose concentration is commonly observed in patients with sepsis, even among those without hypoglycemic treatments or history of diabetes mellitus. These alterations in blood glucose are potentially detrimental, although the precise relationship with outcome in patients with bacteremia has not been yet determined.
A retrospective cohort study design for analyzing patients with Gram negative rod bacteremia was employed, with the main outcome measure being in-hospital mortality. Patients were stratified in quintiles accordingly deviation of the blood glucose concentration from a central value with lowest mortality. Cox proportional-hazards regression model was used for determining the relationship of same day of bacteremia blood glucose and death.
Of 869 patients identified 63 (7.4%) died. Same day of bacteremia blood glucose concentration had a U-shaped relationship with in-hospital mortality. The lowest mortality (2%) was detected in the range of blood glucose concentration from 150 to 160 mg/dL. Greater deviation of blood glucose concentration from the central value of this range (155 mg/dL, reference value) was directly associated with higher risk of death (p = 0.002, chi for trend). The low-risk group (quintile 1) had a mortality of 3.3%, intermediate-risk group (quintiles 2, 3 and 4) a mortality of 7.1%, and the high-risk group (quintile 5) a mortality of 12.05%. In a multivariable Cox regression model, the hazard ratio for death among patients in the intermediate-risk group as compared with that in the low risk group was 2.88 (95% confidence interval, 1.01 to 8.18; P = 0.048), and for the high risk group it was 4.26 (95% confidence interval, 1.41 to 12.94; P = 0.01).
Same day of bacteremia blood glucose concentration is related with outcome of patients with Gram-negative rod bacteremia. Lowest mortality is detected in patients with blood glucose concentration in an interval of 150-160 mg/dL. Deviations from these values are associated with an increased risk of death.
PMCID: PMC2912309  PMID: 20569435
25.  Prospective Universal Application of Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive-Unit-Variable-Number Tandem-Repeat Genotyping To Characterize Mycobacterium tuberculosis Isolates for Fast Identification of Clustered and Orphan Cases▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(7):2026-2032.
The use of molecular tools for genotyping Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates in epidemiological surveys in order to identify clustered and orphan strains requires faster response times than those offered by the reference method, IS6110 restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) genotyping. A method based on PCR, the mycobacterial interspersed repetitive-unit-variable-number tandem-repeat (MIRU-VNTR) genotyping technique, is an option for fast fingerprinting of M. tuberculosis, although precise evaluations of correlation between MIRU-VNTR and RFLP findings in population-based studies in different contexts are required before the methods are switched. In this study, we evaluated MIRU-VNTR genotyping (with a set of 15 loci [MIRU-15]) in parallel to RFLP genotyping in a 39-month universal population-based study in a challenging setting with a high proportion of immigrants. For 81.9% (281/343) of the M. tuberculosis isolates, both RFLP and MIRU-VNTR types were obtained. The percentages of clustered cases were 39.9% (112/281) and 43.1% (121/281) for RFLP and MIRU-15 analyses, and the numbers of clusters identified were 42 and 45, respectively. For 85.4% of the cases, the RFLP and MIRU-15 results were concordant, identifying the same cases as clustered and orphan (kappa, 0.7). However, for the remaining 14.6% of the cases, discrepancies were observed: 16 of the cases clustered by RFLP analysis were identified as orphan by MIRU-15 analysis, and 25 cases identified as orphan by RFLP analysis were clustered by MIRU-15 analysis. When discrepant cases showing subtle genotypic differences were tolerated, the discrepancies fell from 14.6% to 8.6%. Epidemiological links were found for 83.8% of the cases clustered by both RFLP and MIRU-15 analyses, whereas for the cases clustered by RFLP or MIRU-VNTR analysis alone, links were identified for only 30.8% or 38.9% of the cases, respectively. The latter group of cases mainly comprised isolates that could also have been clustered, if subtle genotypic differences had been tolerated. MIRU-15 genotyping seems to be a good alternative to RFLP genotyping for real-time interventional schemes. The correlation between MIRU-15 and IS6110 RFLP findings was reasonable, although some uncertainties as to the assignation of clusters by MIRU-15 analysis were identified.
PMCID: PMC2708494  PMID: 19458183

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