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1.  Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in breast tumors: prevalence in a group of Mexican patients 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:26.
Breast cancer is one of the main health problems in developed countries, occupying first place in mortality in women. It is well-known that there are risk factors associated with breast cancer development. Nonetheless, in 50–80% of cases known risk factors have not been identified, this has generated the attempt to identify new factors related with this neoplasia as viral infections. The aim of this work is investigate the prevalence of HPV DNA in patients with breast lesions at the Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia de Mexico.
Fifty-one cases of breast cancer were selected from the files of the institute and compared by age and tumor size with 43 cases of non malignant breast lesions (fibroadenoma, fibrocystic disease and phyllodes tumor). Paraffin embedded specimens were selected, HPV DNA was analyzed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequenced for different types of HPV in case of positivity for HPV-DNA. Descriptive analysis of clinical and pathological variables was performed and comparisons between positive and negative cases was done.
All patients were mexican, mean age was 53.3, median age of menarche was 13 and median tumor size 9 cms. Cervicovaginal cytology was performed to all patients, 1 patient (1.9%) of cancer group had HPV and none in the other group, no cases were diagnosed with cervical dysplasia. In the group of carcinomas 36 (70.5%) were negative and 15 (29.4%) were positive to HPV-DNA, 10(66.6%) were positive for HPV 16, 3(20%) for HPV 18, two cases (13.4%) were positive for both. In the group of benign conditions all were negative to HPV-DNA.
Presence of HPV in breast cancer in our group of cases is high in comparison to other authors; larger numbers of cases need to be analyzed in order to establish the exact role of this virus in the pathogenesis of breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC2636825  PMID: 19161629
6.  Pre-exenterative chemotherapy, a novel therapeutic approach for patients with persistent or recurrent cervical cancer 
BMC Cancer  2005;5:118.
Most cervical cancer patients with pelvic recurrent or persistent disease are not candidates for exenteration, therefore, they only receive palliative chemotherapy. Here we report the results of a novel treatment modality for these patients pre-exenterative chemotherapy- under the rational that the shrinking of the pelvic tumor would allow its resection.
Patients with recurrent or persistent disease and no evidence of systemic disease, considered not be candidates for pelvic exenteration because of the extent of pelvic tumor, received 3-courses of platinum-based chemotherapy. Response was evaluated by CT scan and bimanual pelvic examination; however the decision to perform exenteration relied on the physical findings. Toxicity to chemotherapy was evaluated with standard criteria. Survival was analyzed with the Kaplan-Meier method.
Seventeen patients were studied. The median number of chemotherapy courses was 4. There were 9 patients who responded to chemotherapy, evaluated by bimanual examination and underwent pelvic exenteration. Four of them had pathological complete response. Eight patients did not respond and were not subjected to surgery. One patient died due to exenteration complications. At a median follow-up of 11 months, the median survival for the whole group was 11 months, 3 months in the non-operated and 32 months in those subjected to exenteration.
Pre-exenterative chemotherapy is an alternative for cervical cancer patients that are no candidates for exenteration because of the extent of the pelvic disease. Its place in the management of recurrent disease needs to be investigated in randomized studies, however, its value for offering long-term survival in some of these patients with no other option than palliative care must be stressed.
PMCID: PMC1260014  PMID: 16171526
7.  Serum nucleosomes during neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with cervical cancer. Predictive and prognostic significance 
BMC Cancer  2005;5:65.
It has been shown that free DNA circulates in serum plasma of patients with cancer and that at least part is present in the form of oligo- and monucleosomes, a marker of cell death. Preliminary data has shown a good correlation between decrease of nucleosomes with response and prognosis. Here, we performed pre- and post-chemotherapy determinations of serum nucleosomes with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method in a group of patients with cervical cancer receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
From December 2000 to June 2001, 41 patients with cervical cancer staged as FIGO stages IB2-IIIB received three 21-day courses of carboplatin and paclitaxel, both administered at day 1; then, patients underwent radical hysterectomy. Nucleosomes were measured the day before (baseline), at day seven of the first course and day seven of the third course of chemotherapy. Values of nucleosomes were analyzed with regard to pathologic response and to time to progression-free and overall survival.
All patients completed chemotherapy, were evaluable for pathologic response, and had nucleosome levels determined. At a mean follow-up of 23 months (range, 7–26 months), projected progression time and overall survival were 80.3 and 80.4%, respectively. Mean differential values of nucleosomes were lower in the third course as compared with the first course (p >0.001). The decrease in the third course correlated with pathologic response (p = 0.041). Survival analysis showed a statistically significant, better progression-free and survival time in patients who showed lower levels at the third course (p = 0.0243 and p = 0.0260, respectively). Cox regression analysis demonstrated that nucleosome increase in the third course increased risk of death to 6.86 (95% confidence interval [CI 95%], 0.84–56.0).
Serum nucleosomes may have a predictive role for response and prognostic significance in patients with cervical cancer patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC1182357  PMID: 15982417
8.  A phase I study of hydralazine to demethylate and reactivate the expression of tumor suppressor genes 
BMC Cancer  2005;5:44.
The antihypertensive compound hydralazine is a known demethylating agent. This phase I study evaluated the tolerability and its effects upon DNA methylation and gene reactivation in patients with untreated cervical cancer.
Hydralazine was administered to cohorts of 4 patients at the following dose levels: I) 50 mg/day, II) 75 mg/day, III) 100 mg/day and IV) 150 mg/day. Tumor biopsies and peripheral blood samples were taken the day before and after treatment. The genes APC, MGMT; ER, GSTP1, DAPK, RARβ, FHIT and p16 were evaluated pre and post-treatment for DNA promoter methylation and gene expression by MSP (Methylation-Specific PCR) and RT-PCR respectively in each of the tumor samples. Methylation of the imprinted H19 gene and the "normally methylated" sequence clone 1.2 was also analyzed. Global DNA methylation was analyzed by capillary electrophoresis and cytosine extension assay. Toxicity was evaluated using the NCI Common Toxicity Criteria.
Hydralazine was well tolerated. Toxicities were mild being the most common nausea, dizziness, fatigue, headache and palpitations. Overall, 70% of the pretreatment samples and all the patients had at least one methylated gene. Rates of demethylation at the different dose levels were as follows: 50 mg/day, 40%; 75 mg/day, 52%, 100 mg/day, 43%, and 150 mg/day, 32%. Gene expression analysis showed only 12 informative cases, of these 9 (75%) re-expressed the gene. There was neither change in the methylation status of H19 and clone 1.2 nor changes in global DNA methylation.
Hydralazine at doses between 50 and 150 mg/day is well tolerated and effective to demethylate and reactivate the expression of tumor suppressor genes without affecting global DNA methylation
PMCID: PMC1131894  PMID: 15862127
9.  HER2 expression in cervical cancer as a potential therapeutic target 
BMC Cancer  2004;4:59.
Trastuzumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody against the HER2 receptor is currently being used in breast and other tumor types. Early studies have shown that a variable proportion of cervical carcinoma tumors overexpress the HER2 receptor as evaluated by diverse techniques and antibodies. Currently it is known that a tumor response to trastuzumab strongly correlates with the level of HER2 expression evaluated by the Hercep Test, thus, it seems desirable to evaluate the status of expression of this receptor using the FDA-approved Hercep Test and grading system to gain insight in the feasibility of using trastuzumab in cervical cancer patients.
We analyzed a series of cervical cancer cell lines, the primary tumors of 35 cases of cervical cancer patients and four recurrent cases, with the Hercep Test in order to establish whether this tumor type overexpress HER2 at level of 2+/3+ as trastuzumab is currently approved for breast cancer having such level of expression.
The results indicate that only 1 out of 35 primary tumors cases overexpress the receptor at this level, however, two out of four recurrent tumors that tested negative at diagnosis shifted to Hercep Test 2+ and 3+ respectively.
The low frequency of expression in primary cases suggests that trastuzumab could have a limited value for the primary management of cervical cancer patients, however, the finding of "conversion" to Hercep Test 2+ and 3+ of recurrent tumors indicates the need to further evaluate the expression of HER2 in the metastatic and recurrent cases.
PMCID: PMC517717  PMID: 15341668

Results 1-9 (9)