Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 40

Search results for: melanoma

40 Metastatic Polypoid Nodular Melanoma Management During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Stefan Bradu, Daniel Siegel, Jameson Loyal, Andrea Leaf, Alana Kurtti, Usha Alapati, Jared Jagdeo


Compared with all other variants of nodular melanoma, patients with polypoid nodular melanoma have the lowest 5-year survival rate. The pathophysiology and management of polypoid melanoma are scarcely reported in the literature. Although surgical excision is the cornerstone of melanoma management, treatment of polypoid melanoma is complicated by several negative prognostic factors, including early metastasis. This report demonstrates the successful treatment of a rapidly developing red nodular polypoid melanoma with metastasis using surgery and adjuvant nivolumab in a SARS-CoV-2-positive patient who delayed seeking care due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to detailing the successful treatment approach, the immunosuppressive effects of SARS-2-CoV and its possible contribution to the rapid progression of polypoid melanoma are discussed. This case highlights the complex challenges of melanoma diagnosis and management during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: covid-19, dermatology, immunotherapy, melanoma, nivolumab

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39 Immunoliposomes Conjugated with CD133 Antibody for Targeting Melanoma Cancer Stem Cells

Authors: Chuan Yin


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) represent a subpopulation of cancer cells that possess the characteristics associated with normal stem cells. CD133 is a phenotype of melanoma CSCs responsible for melanoma metastasis and drug resistance. Although adriamycin (ADR) is commonly used drug in melanoma therapy, but it is ineffective in the treatment of melanoma CSCs. In this study, we constructed CD133 antibody conjugated ADR immunoliposomes (ADR-Lip-CD133) to target CD133+ melanoma CSCs. The results showed that the immunoliposomes possessed a small particle size (~150 nm), high drug encapsulation efficiency (~90%). After 72 hr treatment on the WM266-4 melanoma tumorspheres, the IC50 values of the drug formulated in ADR-Lip-CD133, ADR-Lip (ADR liposomes) and ADR are found to be 24.42, 57.13 and 59.98 ng/ml respectively, suggesting that ADR-Lip-CD133 was more effective than ADR-Lip and ADR. Significantly, ADR-Lip-CD133 could almost completely abolish the tumorigenic ability of WM266-4 tumorspheres in vivo, and showed the best therapeutic effect in WM266-4 melanoma xenograft mice. It is noteworthy that ADR-Lip-CD133 could selectively kill CD133+ melanoma CSCs of WM266-4 cells both in vitro and in vivo. ADR-Lip-CD133 represent a potential approach in targeting and killing CD133+ melanoma CSCs.

Keywords: cancer stem cells, melanoma, immunoliposomes, CD133

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38 Wound Healing Dressing and Some Composites Such as Zeolite, TiO2, Chitosan and PLGA as New Alternative for Melanoma Therapy: A Review

Authors: L. B. Naves, L. Almeida


The development of Drugs Delivery System (DDS), has been wildly investigated in the last decades. In this paper, first a general overview of traditional and modern wound dressing is presented. This is followed by a review of what scientist have done in the medical environment, focusing the possibility to develop a new alternative for DDS through transdermal pathway, aiming to treat melanoma skin cancer.

Keywords: cancer therapy, dressing polymers, melanoma, wound healing

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37 Potential Activities of Human Endogenous Retroviral kDNA in Melanoma Pathogenesis and HIV-1 Infection

Authors: Jianli Dong, Fangling Xu, Gengming Huang


Human endogenous retroviral elements (HERVs) comprise approximately 8% of the human genome. They are thought to be germline-integrated genetic remnants of retroviral infections. Although HERV sequences are highly defective, some, especially the K type (HERV-K), have been shown to be expressed and may have biological activities in the pathogenesis of cancer, chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases. We found that HERV-K GAG and ENV proteins were strongly expressed in pleomorphic melanoma cells. We also detected a critical role of HERV-K ENV in mediating intercellular fusion and colony formation of melanoma cells. Interestingly, we found that levels of HERV-K GAG and ENV expression correlated with the activation of ERK and loss of p16INK4A in melanoma cells, and inhibition of MEK or CDK4, especially in combination, reduced HERV-K expression in melanoma cells. We also performed a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay using DNase I digestion to remove “contaminating” HERV-K genomic DNA and examined HERV-K RNA expression in plasma samples from HIV-1 infected individuals. We found a covariation between HERV-K RNA expression and CD4 cell counts in HIV-1 positive samples. Although a causal link between HERV-K activation and melanoma development, and between HERV-K activation, HIV-1 infection and CD4 cell count have yet to be determined, existing data support the further research efforts in HERV-K.

Keywords: CD4 cell, HERV-K, HIV-1, melanoma

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36 Epidemiology of Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma in Pakistan: Incidence, Clinical Subtypes, Tumor Stage and Localization

Authors: Warda Jabeen, Romaisa Shamim Khan, Osama Shakeel, Ahmed Faraz Bhatti, Raza Hussain


Background: The worldwide incidence of cutaneous melanoma (CM) has been on the rise over the past few decades. Primary prevention and early treatment remain the focus of management to reduce the burden of disease. This entails identification of risk factors to prompt early diagnosis. In Pakistan, there is a scarcity of clinico-pathological data relating to cutaneous malignant melanoma. Objective: The purpose of this study was to analyze the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of patients presenting with cutaneous malignant melanoma in Pakistan, and to compare the results with other studies. Method: Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre is currently the only dedicated cancer hospital in the country, accepting patients from all over Pakistan. Majority of the patients, however, belong to the northern half of the country. From the recorded data of the hospital, all cutaneous melanoma cases were identified and evaluated. Results: Between 1997 and 2017, a total of 169 cutaneous melanoma patients were registered at Shaukat Khanum. Mean age was 47.5 years. The highest incidence of melanoma was seen in the age group 40-59 years (n=69, 40.8%). Most commonly reported clinical subtype was unspecified melanoma (n=154, 91%). Amongst those in which T stage was reported, the most frequently observed T-stage at presentation was T4 (n=23, 13.6%). With regards to body distribution, in our study CM was seen most commonly in the lower limb including the hip. The yearly incidence of melanoma has increased/remained stable from 2007 to 2017. Conclusion: cutaneous malignant melanoma is a fairly common disease in Pakistan. Patients tend to present at a more advanced stage as compared to patients in developed countries. Identification of risk factors and tumor characteristics is therefore of paramount importance to deal with these patients.

Keywords: epidemiology of cutaneous malignant melanoma, cutaneous malignant melanoma, Pakistan, skin cancer

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35 A Convolutional Deep Neural Network Approach for Skin Cancer Detection Using Skin Lesion Images

Authors: Firas Gerges, Frank Y. Shih


Malignant melanoma, known simply as melanoma, is a type of skin cancer that appears as a mole on the skin. It is critical to detect this cancer at an early stage because it can spread across the body and may lead to the patient's death. When detected early, melanoma is curable. In this paper, we propose a deep learning model (convolutional neural networks) in order to automatically classify skin lesion images as malignant or benign. Images underwent certain pre-processing steps to diminish the effect of the normal skin region on the model. The result of the proposed model showed a significant improvement over previous work, achieving an accuracy of 97%.

Keywords: deep learning, skin cancer, image processing, melanoma

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34 New Approach for Melanoma Skin Cancer Controled Releasing Drugs for Neutron Capture Therapy: A Review

Authors: Lucas Bernardes Naves, Luis Almeida


The paper includes a review concerning the use of some composites including poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PGLA), zeolite and Gadopentetic acid (Gd-DTPA) loaded chitosan nanoparticles (Gd-nanoCPs) in order to establish a new alternative for the treatment of Melanoma Skin Cancer. The main goal of this paper it to make a review of what scientist have done in the last few years, as well as to propose a less invasive therapy for skin cancer, by using Hydrocolloid, based on PLGA coated with Gd-nanoCPs for Neutron Capture Therapy.

Keywords: cancer therapy, dressing polymers, melanoma, wound healing

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33 Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer in Ha’il Region in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A Clinicopathological Study

Authors: Laila Seada, Nouf Al Gharbi, Shaimaa Dawa


Although skin cancers are prevalent worldwide, it is uncommon in Ha’il region in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, mostly non-melanoma sub-type. During a 4-year period from 2014 to 2017, out of a total of 120 cases of skin lesions, 29 non-melanoma cancers were retrieved from histopathology files obtained from King Khalid Hospital. As part of the study, all cases of skin cancer diagnosed during 2014 -2017 have been revised and the clinicopathological data recorded. The results show that Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) was the most common neoplasm (36%), followed by cutaneous lymphomas (mostly mycosis fungoides 25%), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (21%) and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) (11%). Only one case of metastatic carcinoma was recorded. BCC nodular type was the most prevalent, with a mean age 57.6 years and mean size 2.73 cm. SCC was mostly grade 2, with mean size 1.9 cm and an older mean age of 72.3 cm. Increased size of lesion positively correlated with older age (p = 0.001). Non-melanoma skin cancer in Ha’il region is not frequently encountered. BCC is the most frequent followed by cutaneous T-cell lymphomas and SCC. The findings in this study were in accordance with other parts of, but much lower than other parts of the world.

Keywords: non melanoma skin cancer, Hail Region, histopathology, BCC

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32 Human 3D Metastatic Melanoma Models for in vitro Evaluation of Targeted Therapy Efficiency

Authors: Delphine Morales, Florian Lombart, Agathe Truchot, Pauline Maire, Pascale Vigneron, Antoine Galmiche, Catherine Lok, Muriel Vayssade


Targeted therapy molecules are used as a first-line treatment for metastatic melanoma with B-Raf mutation. Nevertheless, these molecules can cause side effects to patients and are efficient on 50 to 60 % of them. Indeed, melanoma cell sensitivity to targeted therapy molecules is dependent on tumor microenvironment (cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions). To better unravel factors modulating cell sensitivity to B-Raf inhibitor, we have developed and compared several melanoma models: from metastatic melanoma cells cultured as monolayer (2D) to a co-culture in a 3D dermal equivalent. Cell response was studied in different melanoma cell lines such as SK-MEL-28 (mutant B-Raf (V600E), sensitive to Vemurafenib), SK-MEL-3 (mutant B-Raf (V600E), resistant to Vemurafenib) and a primary culture of dermal human fibroblasts (HDFn). Assays have initially been performed in a monolayer cell culture (2D), then a second time on a 3D dermal equivalent (dermal human fibroblasts embedded in a collagen gel). All cell lines were treated with Vemurafenib (a B-Raf inhibitor) for 48 hours at various concentrations. Cell sensitivity to treatment was assessed under various aspects: Cell proliferation (cell counting, EdU incorporation, MTS assay), MAPK signaling pathway analysis (Western-Blotting), Apoptosis (TUNEL), Cytokine release (IL-6, IL-1α, HGF, TGF-β, TNF-α) upon Vemurafenib treatment (ELISA) and histology for 3D models. In 2D configuration, the inhibitory effect of Vemurafenib on cell proliferation was confirmed on SK-MEL-28 cells (IC50=0.5 µM), and not on the SK-MEL-3 cell line. No apoptotic signal was detected in SK-MEL-28-treated cells, suggesting a cytostatic effect of the Vemurafenib rather than a cytotoxic one. The inhibition of SK-MEL-28 cell proliferation upon treatment was correlated with a strong expression decrease of phosphorylated proteins involved in the MAPK pathway (ERK, MEK, and AKT/PKB). Vemurafenib (from 5 µM to 10 µM) also slowed down HDFn proliferation, whatever cell culture configuration (monolayer or 3D dermal equivalent). SK-MEL-28 cells cultured in the dermal equivalent were still sensitive to high Vemurafenib concentrations. To better characterize all cell population impacts (melanoma cells, dermal fibroblasts) on Vemurafenib efficacy, cytokine release is being studied in 2D and 3D models. We have successfully developed and validated a relevant 3D model, mimicking cutaneous metastatic melanoma and tumor microenvironment. This 3D melanoma model will become more complex by adding a third cell population, keratinocytes, allowing us to characterize the epidermis influence on the melanoma cell sensitivity to Vemurafenib. In the long run, the establishment of more relevant 3D melanoma models with patients’ cells might be useful for personalized therapy development. The authors would like to thank the Picardie region and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014/2020 for the funding of this work and Oise committee of "La ligue contre le cancer".

Keywords: 3D human skin model, melanoma, tissue engineering, vemurafenib efficiency

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31 ESDN Expression in the Tumor Microenvironment Coordinates Melanoma Progression

Authors: Roberto Coppo, Francesca Orso, Daniela Dettori, Elena Quaglino, Lei Nie, Mehran M. Sadeghi, Daniela Taverna


Malignant melanoma is currently the fifth most common cancer in the white population and it is fatal in its metastatic stage. Several research studies in recent years have provided evidence that cancer initiation and progression are driven by genetic alterations of the tumor and paracrine interactions between tumor and microenvironment. Scattered data show that the Endothelial and Smooth muscle cell-Derived Neuropilin-like molecule (ESDN) controls cell proliferation and movement of stroma and tumor cells. To investigate the role of ESDN in the tumor microenvironment during melanoma progression, murine melanoma cells (B16 or B16-F10) were injected in ESDN knockout mice in order to evaluate how the absence of ESDN in stromal cells could influence melanoma progression. While no effect was found on primary tumor growth, increased cell extravasation and lung metastasis formation was observed in ESDN knockout mice compared to wild type controls. In order to understand how cancer cells cross the endothelial barrier during metastatic dissemination in an ESDN-null microenvironment, structure, and permeability of lung blood vessels were analyzed. Interestingly, ESDN knockout mice showed structurally altered and more permeable vessels compared to wild type animals. Since cell surface molecules mediate the process of tumor cell extravasation, the expression of a panel of extravasation-related ligands and receptors was analyzed. Importantly, modulations of N-cadherin, E-selectin, ICAM-1 and VAP-1 were observed in ESDN knockout endothelial cells, suggesting the presence of a favorable tumor microenvironment which facilitates melanoma cell extravasation and metastasis formation in the absence of ESDN. Furthermore, a potential contribution of immune cells in tumor dissemination was investigated. An increased recruitment of macrophages in the lungs of ESDN knockout mice carrying subcutaneous B16-F10 tumors was found. In conclusion, our data suggest a functional role of ESDN in the tumor microenvironment during melanoma progression and the identification of the mechanisms that regulate tumor cell extravasation could lead to the development of new therapies to reduce metastasis formation.

Keywords: melanoma, tumor microenvironment, extravasation, cell surface molecules

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30 Clinical Efficacy of Nivolumab and Ipilimumab Combination Therapy for the Treatment of Advanced Melanoma: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials

Authors: Zhipeng Yan, Janice Wing-Tung Kwong, Ching-Lung Lai


Background: Advanced melanoma accounts for the majority of skin cancer death due to its poor prognosis. Nivolumab and ipilimumab are monoclonal antibodies targeting programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) and cytotoxic T-lymphocytes antigen 4 (CTLA-4). Nivolumab and ipilimumab combination therapy has been proven to be effective for advanced melanoma. This systematic review and meta-analysis are to evaluate its clinical efficacy and adverse events. Method: A systematic search was done on databases (Pubmed, Embase, Medline, Cochrane) on 21 June 2020. Search keywords were nivolumab, ipilimumab, melanoma, and randomised controlled trials. Clinical trials fulfilling the inclusion criteria were selected to evaluate the efficacy of combination therapy in terms of prolongation of progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and objective response rate (ORR). The odd ratios and distributions of grade 3 or above adverse events were documented. Subgroup analysis was performed based on PD-L1 expression-status and BRAF-mutation status. Results: Compared with nivolumab monotherapy, the hazard ratios of PFS, OS and odd ratio of ORR in combination therapy were 0.64 (95% CI, 0.48-0.85; p=0.002), 0.84 (95% CI, 0.74-0.95; p=0.007) and 1.76 (95% CI, 1.51-2.06; p < 0.001), respectively. Compared with ipilimumab monotherapy, the hazard ratios of PFS, OS and odd ratio of ORR were 0.46 (95% CI, 0.37-0.57; p < 0.001), 0.54 (95% CI, 0.48-0.61; p < 0.001) and 6.18 (95% CI, 5.19-7.36; p < 0.001), respectively. In combination therapy, the odds ratios of grade 3 or above adverse events were 4.71 (95% CI, 3.57-6.22; p < 0.001) compared with nivolumab monotherapy, and 3.44 (95% CI, 2.49-4.74; p < 0.001) compared with ipilimumab monotherapy, respectively. High PD-L1 expression level and BRAF mutation were associated with better clinical outcomes in patients receiving combination therapy. Conclusion: Combination therapy is effective for the treatment of advanced melanoma. Adverse events were common but manageable. Better clinical outcomes were observed in patients with high PD-L1 expression levels and positive BRAF-mutation.

Keywords: nivolumab, ipilimumab, advanced melanoma, systematic review, meta-analysis

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29 Primary Melanocytic Tumors of the Central Nervous System: A Clinico-Pathological Study of Seven Cases

Authors: Sushila Jaiswal, Awadhesh Kumar Jaiswal


Background: Primary melanocytic tumors of the central nervous system (CNS) are uncommon lesions and arise from the melanocytes located within the leptomeninges. Aim and objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the clinical details, histomorphology of the primary melanocytic tumor of CNS. Method: The study was performed by the retrospective review of the case records of the primary melanocytic tumors of CNS diagnosed in our department. The formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded tissue blocks and tissue sections were retrieved and reviewed. Results: Seven cases (6 males, 1 female; age range- 16-40 years; mean age- 27 years) of primary melanocytic tumors of CNS were retrieved over last seven years. The tumor was intracranial (n=5; frontal – 1 case, parietal – 1 case, cerebello-pontine angle- 1 case, occipital -1 case, foramen magnum-1 case) and intra spinal (n=2; cervical – 2 cases). All patients presented with the neurological deficits related to the location of the tumor. Four cases were malignant melanoma; two were melanocytoma of intermediate grade and remaining one was melanocytoma. On histopathology, melanocytoma and melanoma both displayed sheets of well-differentiated melanocytes having round to oval nuclei with finely dispersed chromatin, occasional single eosinophilic nucleoli and a moderate amount of cytoplasm with abundant granular melanin pigment. The absence of mitosis and macronucleoli was noticed in melanocytoma while melanoma showed frequent mitosis and macronucleoli. On immunohistochemistry, both showed diffuse strong HMB45 and S-100 immunopositivity. Conclusion: Primary melanocytic tumors of CNS are rare and predominantly seen in males. It is important to differentiate melanoma from melanocytoma as prognosis of later is good.

Keywords: melanocytoma, melanoma, brain tumor, melanin

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28 Prognosis, Clinical Outcomes and Short Term Survival Analyses of Patients with Cutaneous Melanomas

Authors: Osama Shakeel


The objective of the paper is to study the clinic-pathological factors, survival analyses, recurrence rate, metastatic rate, risk factors and the management of cutaneous malignant melanoma at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center. Methodology: From 2014 to 2017, all patients with a diagnosis of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) were included in the study. Demographic variables were collected. Short and long term oncological outcomes were recorded. All data were entered and analyzed in SPSS version 21. Results: A total of 28 patients were included in the study. Median age was 46.5 +/-15.9 years. There were 16 male and 12 female patients. The family history of melanoma was present in 7.1% (n=2) of the patients. All patients had a mean survival of 13.43+/- 9.09 months. Lower limb was the commonest site among all which constitutes 46.4%(n=13). On histopathological analyses, ulceration was seen in 53.6% (n=15) patients. Unclassified tumor type was present in 75%(n=21) of the patients followed by nodular 21.4% (n=6) and superficial spreading 3.5%(n=1). Clark level IV was the commonest presentation constituting 46.4%(n=13). Metastases were seen in 50%(n=14) of the patients. Local recurrence was observed in 60.7%(n=17). 64.3%(n=18) lived after one year of treatment. Conclusion: CMM is a fatal disease. Although its disease of fair skin individuals, however, the incidence of CMM is also rising in this part of the world. Management includes early diagnoses and prompt management. However, mortality associated with this disease is still not favorable.

Keywords: malignant cancer of skin, cutaneous malignant melanoma, skin cancer, survival analyses

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27 Synthetic Coumarin Derivatives and Their Anticancer Properties

Authors: Kabange Kasumbwe, Viresh Mohanlall, Bharti Odhav, Venu Narayanaswamy


Coumarins are naturally occurring plant metabolites known for their pharmacological properties such as anticoagulant, antimicrobial, anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. The pharmacological and biochemical properties and curative applications of coumarins depend on the substitution around the coumarin core structure. In the present study, seven halogenated coumarins CMRN1-CMRN7 were synthesized and evaluated for their anticancer activity. The cytotoxicity potential of the test compounds was evaluated against UACC62 (Melanoma), MCF-7 (Breast cancer) and PBM (Peripheral Blood Mononuclear) cell lines using MTT assay keeping doxorubicin as standard drug. The apoptotic potential of the coumarin compounds was evaluated against UACC62 (Melanoma) cell by assessing their morphological changes, membrane change, mitochondria membrane potential; pro-apoptotic changes were investigated using the AnnexinV-PI staining, JC-1, caspase-3 enzyme kits respectively on flow cytometer. The synthetic coumarin has strongly suppressed the cell proliferation of UACC-62 (Melanoma) and MCF-7 (Breast) Cancer cells, the higher toxicity of these compounds against UACC-62 (Melanoma) and MCF-7 (Breast) were CMRN3, CMRN4, CMRN5, CMRN6. However, compounds CMRN1, CMRN2, and CMRN7 had no significant inhibitory effect. Furthermore the active compounds CMRN3, CMRN4, CMRN5, CMRN6 exerted antiproliferative effects through apoptosis induction against UACC-62 (Melanoma), suggesting their potential could be considered as attractive lead molecules in the future for the development of potential anticancer agents since one of the important criteria in the development of therapeutic drugs for cancer treatment is to have high selectivity and less or no side-effects on normal cells and these compounds had no inhibitory effect against the PBMC cells.

Keywords: coumarin, MTT, apoptosis, cytotoxicity

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26 A Short Dermatoscopy Training Increases Diagnostic Performance in Medical Students

Authors: Magdalena Chrabąszcz, Teresa Wolniewicz, Cezary Maciejewski, Joanna Czuwara


BACKGROUND: Dermoscopy is a clinical tool known to improve the early detection of melanoma and other malignancies of the skin. Over the past few years melanoma has grown into a disease of socio-economic importance due to the increasing incidence and persistently high mortality rates. Early diagnosis remains the best method to reduce melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer– related mortality and morbidity. Dermoscopy is a noninvasive technique that consists of viewing pigmented skin lesions through a hand-held lens. This simple procedure increases melanoma diagnostic accuracy by up to 35%. Dermoscopy is currently the standard for clinical differential diagnosis of cutaneous melanoma and for qualifying lesion for the excision biopsy. Like any clinical tool, training is required for effective use. The introduction of small and handy dermoscopes contributed significantly to the switch of dermatoscopy toward a first-level useful tool. Non-dermatologist physicians are well positioned for opportunistic melanoma detection; however, education in the skin cancer examination is limited during medical school and traditionally lecture-based. AIM: The aim of this randomized study was to determine whether the adjunct of dermoscopy to the standard fourth year medical curriculum improves the ability of medical students to distinguish between benign and malignant lesions and assess acceptability and satisfaction with the intervention. METHODS: We performed a prospective study in 2 cohorts of fourth-year medical students at Medical University of Warsaw. Groups having dermatology course, were randomly assigned to:  cohort A: with limited access to dermatoscopy from their teacher only – 1 dermatoscope for 15 people  Cohort B: with a full access to use dermatoscopy during their clinical classes:1 dermatoscope for 4 people available constantly plus 15-minute dermoscopy tutorial. Students in both study arms got an image-based test of 10 lesions to assess ability to differentiate benign from malignant lesions and postintervention survey collecting minimal background information, attitudes about the skin cancer examination and course satisfaction. RESULTS: The cohort B had higher scores than the cohort A in recognition of nonmelanocytic (P < 0.05) and melanocytic (P <0.05) lesions. Medical students who have a possibility to use dermatoscope by themselves have also a higher satisfaction rates after the dermatology course than the group with limited access to this diagnostic tool. Moreover according to our results they were more motivated to learn dermatoscopy and use it in their future everyday clinical practice. LIMITATIONS: There were limited participants. Further study of the application on clinical practice is still needed. CONCLUSION: Although the use of dermatoscope in dermatology as a specialty is widely accepted, sufficiently validated clinical tools for the examination of potentially malignant skin lesions are lacking in general practice. Introducing medical students to dermoscopy in their fourth year curricula of medical school may improve their ability to differentiate benign from malignant lesions. It can can also encourage students to use dermatoscopy in their future practice which can significantly improve early recognition of malignant lesions and thus decrease melanoma mortality.

Keywords: dermatoscopy, early detection of melanoma, medical education, skin cancer

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25 Analysis of Differentially Expressed Genes in Spontaneously Occurring Canine Melanoma

Authors: Simona Perga, Chiara Beltramo, Floriana Fruscione, Isabella Martini, Federica Cavallo, Federica Riccardo, Paolo Buracco, Selina Iussich, Elisabetta Razzuoli, Katia Varello, Lorella Maniscalco, Elena Bozzetta, Angelo Ferrari, Paola Modesto


Introduction: Human and canine melanoma have common clinical, histologic characteristics making dogs a good model for comparative oncology. The identification of specific genes and a better understanding of the genetic landscape, signaling pathways, and tumor–microenvironmental interactions involved in the cancer onset and progression is essential for the development of therapeutic strategies against this tumor in both species. In the present study, the differential expression of genes in spontaneously occurring canine melanoma and in paired normal tissue was investigated by targeted RNAseq. Material and Methods: Total RNA was extracted from 17 canine malignant melanoma (CMM) samples and from five paired normal tissues stored in RNA-later. In order to capture the greater genetic variability, gene expression analysis was carried out using two panels (Qiagen): Human Immuno-Oncology (HIO) and Mouse-Immuno-Oncology (MIO) and the miSeq platform (Illumina). These kits allow the detection of the expression profile of 990 genes involved in the immune response against tumors in humans and mice. The data were analyzed through the CLCbio Genomics Workbench (Qiagen) software using the Canis lupus familiaris genome as a reference. Data analysis were carried out both comparing the biologic group (tumoral vs. healthy tissues) and comparing neoplastic tissue vs. paired healthy tissue; a Fold Change greater than two and a p-value less than 0.05 were set as the threshold to select interesting genes. Results and Discussion: Using HIO 63, down-regulated genes were detected; 13 of those were also down-regulated comparing neoplastic sample vs. paired healthy tissue. Eighteen genes were up-regulated, 14 of those were also down-regulated comparing neoplastic sample vs. paired healthy tissue. Using the MIO, 35 down regulated-genes were detected; only four of these were down-regulated, also comparing neoplastic sample vs. paired healthy tissue. Twelve genes were up-regulated in both types of analysis. Considering the two kits, the greatest variation in Fold Change was in up-regulated genes. Dogs displayed a greater genetic homology with humans than mice; moreover, the results have shown that the two kits are able to detect different genes. Most of these genes have specific cellular functions or belong to some enzymatic categories; some have already been described to be correlated to human melanoma and confirm the validity of the dog as a model for the study of molecular aspects of human melanoma.

Keywords: animal model, canine melanoma, gene expression, spontaneous tumors, targeted RNAseq

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24 Automatic Differential Diagnosis of Melanocytic Skin Tumours Using Ultrasound and Spectrophotometric Data

Authors: Kristina Sakalauskiene, Renaldas Raisutis, Gintare Linkeviciute, Skaidra Valiukeviciene


Cutaneous melanoma is a melanocytic skin tumour, which has a very poor prognosis while is highly resistant to treatment and tends to metastasize. Thickness of melanoma is one of the most important biomarker for stage of disease, prognosis and surgery planning. In this study, we hypothesized that the automatic analysis of spectrophotometric images and high-frequency ultrasonic 2D data can improve differential diagnosis of cutaneous melanoma and provide additional information about tumour penetration depth. This paper presents the novel complex automatic system for non-invasive melanocytic skin tumour differential diagnosis and penetration depth evaluation. The system is composed of region of interest segmentation in spectrophotometric images and high-frequency ultrasound data, quantitative parameter evaluation, informative feature extraction and classification with linear regression classifier. The segmentation of melanocytic skin tumour region in ultrasound image is based on parametric integrated backscattering coefficient calculation. The segmentation of optical image is based on Otsu thresholding. In total 29 quantitative tissue characterization parameters were evaluated by using ultrasound data (11 acoustical, 4 shape and 15 textural parameters) and 55 quantitative features of dermatoscopic and spectrophotometric images (using total melanin, dermal melanin, blood and collagen SIAgraphs acquired using spectrophotometric imaging device SIAscope). In total 102 melanocytic skin lesions (including 43 cutaneous melanomas) were examined by using SIAscope and ultrasound system with 22 MHz center frequency single element transducer. The diagnosis and Breslow thickness (pT) of each MST were evaluated during routine histological examination after excision and used as a reference. The results of this study have shown that automatic analysis of spectrophotometric and high frequency ultrasound data can improve non-invasive classification accuracy of early-stage cutaneous melanoma and provide supplementary information about tumour penetration depth.

Keywords: cutaneous melanoma, differential diagnosis, high-frequency ultrasound, melanocytic skin tumours, spectrophotometric imaging

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23 The Lessons Learned from Managing Malignant Melanoma During COVID-19 in a Plastic Surgery Unit in Ireland

Authors: Amenah Dhannoon, Ciaran Martin Hurley, Laura Wrafter, Podraic J. Regan


Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present unprecedented challenges for healthcare systems. This has resulted in the pragmatic shift in the practice of plastic surgery units worldwide. During this period, many units reported a significant fall in urgent melanoma referrals, leading to patients presenting with advanced disease requiring more extensive surgery and inferior outcomes. Our objective was to evaluate our unit's experience with both non-invasive and invasive melanoma during the COVID-19 pandemic and characterize our experience and contrast it to that experienced by our neighbors in the UK, mainland Europe and North America. Methods: a retrospective chart review was performed on all patients diagnosed with invasive and non-invasive cutaneous melanoma between March to December of 2019 (control) compared to 2020 (COVID-19 pandemic) in a single plastic surgery unit in Ireland. Patient demographics, referral source, surgical procedures, tumour characteristics, radiological findings, oncological therapies and follow-up were recorded. All data were anonymized and stored in Microsoft Excel. Results: A total of 589 patients were included in the study. Of these, 314 (53%) with invasive melanoma, compared to 275 (47%) with the non-invasive disease. Overall, more patients were diagnosed with both invasive and non-invasive melanoma in 2020 than in 2019 (p<0.05). However, significantly longer waiting times in 2020 (64 days) compared to 2019 (28 days) (p<0.05), with the majority of the referral being from GP in 2019 (83%) compared to 61% in 2020. Positive sentinel lymph node were higher in 2019 at 56% (n=28) compared to 24% (n=22) in 2020. There was no statistically significant difference in the tutor characteristics or metastasis status. Discussion: While other countries have noticed a fall in the melanoma diagnosis. Our units experienced a higher number of disease diagnoses. This can be due to multiple reasons. In Ireland, the government reached an early agreement with the private sector to continue elective surgery on an urgent basis in private hospitals. This allowed access to local anesthetic procedures and local skin cancer cases were triaged to non-COVID-19 provider centers. Our unit also adapted a fast, effective and minimal patient contact strategy for triaging skin cancer based on telemedicine. Thirdly, a skin cancer nurse specialist maintained patient follow-ups and triaging a dedicated email service. Finally, our plastic surgery service continued to maintain a virtual complex skin cancer multidisciplinary team meeting during the pandemic, ensuring local clinical governance has adhered to each clinical case. Conclusion: Our study highlights that with the prompt efficient restructuring of services, we could reserve successful management of skin cancer even in the most devastating times. It is important to reflect on the success during the pandemic and emphasize the importance of preparation for a potentially difficult future

Keywords: malignant melanoma, skin cancer, COVID-19, triage

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22 Iris Cancer Detection System Using Image Processing and Neural Classifier

Authors: Abdulkader Helwan


Iris cancer, so called intraocular melanoma is a cancer that starts in the iris; the colored part of the eye that surrounds the pupil. There is a need for an accurate and cost-effective iris cancer detection system since the available techniques used currently are still not efficient. The combination of the image processing and artificial neural networks has a great efficiency for the diagnosis and detection of the iris cancer. Image processing techniques improve the diagnosis of the cancer by enhancing the quality of the images, so the physicians diagnose properly. However, neural networks can help in making decision; whether the eye is cancerous or not. This paper aims to develop an intelligent system that stimulates a human visual detection of the intraocular melanoma, so called iris cancer. The suggested system combines both image processing techniques and neural networks. The images are first converted to grayscale, filtered, and then segmented using prewitt edge detection algorithm to detect the iris, sclera circles and the cancer. The principal component analysis is used to reduce the image size and for extracting features. Those features are considered then as inputs for a neural network which is capable of deciding if the eye is cancerous or not, throughout its experience adopted by many training iterations of different normal and abnormal eye images during the training phase. Normal images are obtained from a public database available on the internet, “Mile Research”, while the abnormal ones are obtained from another database which is the “eyecancer”. The experimental results for the proposed system show high accuracy 100% for detecting cancer and making the right decision.

Keywords: iris cancer, intraocular melanoma, cancerous, prewitt edge detection algorithm, sclera

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21 CSPG4 Molecular Target in Canine Melanoma, Osteosarcoma and Mammary Tumors for Novel Therapeutic Strategies

Authors: Paola Modesto, Floriana Fruscione, Isabella Martini, Simona Perga, Federica Riccardo, Mariateresa Camerino, Davide Giacobino, Cecilia Gola, Luca Licenziato, Elisabetta Razzuoli, Katia Varello, Lorella Maniscalco, Elena Bozzetta, Angelo Ferrari


Canine and human melanoma, osteosarcoma (OSA), and mammary carcinomas are aggressive tumors with common characteristics making dogs a good model for comparative oncology. Novel therapeutic strategies against these tumors could be useful to both species. In humans, chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan 4 (CSPG4) is a marker involved in tumor progression and could be a candidate target for immunotherapy. The anti-CSPG4 DNA electrovaccination has shown to be an effective approach for canine malignant melanoma (CMM) [1]. An immunohistochemistry evaluation of CSPG4 expression in tumour tissue is generally performed prior to electrovaccination. To assess the possibility to perform a rapid molecular evaluation and in order to validate these spontaneous canine tumors as the model for human studies, we investigate the CSPG4 gene expression by RT qPCR in CMM, OSA, and canine mammary tumors (CMT). The total RNA was extracted from RNAlater stored tissue samples (CMM n=16; OSA n=13; CMT n=6; five paired normal tissues for CMM, five paired normal tissues for OSA and one paired normal tissue for CMT), retro-transcribed and then analyzed by duplex RT-qPCR using two different TaqMan assays for the target gene CSPG4 and the internal reference gene (RG) Ribosomal Protein S19 (RPS19). RPS19 was selected from a panel of 9 candidate RGs, according to NormFinder analysis following the protocol already described [2]. Relative expression was analyzed by CFX Maestro™ Software. Student t-test and ANOVA were performed (significance set at P<0.05). Results showed that gene expression of CSPG4 in OSA tissues is significantly increased by 3-4 folds when compared to controls. In CMT, gene expression of the target was increased from 1.5 to 19.9 folds. In melanoma, although an increasing trend was observed, no significant differences between the two groups were highlighted. Immunohistochemistry analysis of the two cancer types showed that the expression of CSPG4 within CMM is concentrated in isles of cells compared to OSA, where the distribution of positive cells is homogeneous. This evidence could explain the differences in gene expression results.CSPG4 immunohistochemistry evaluation in mammary carcinoma is in progress. The evidence of CSPG4 expression in a different type of canine tumors opens the way to the possibility of extending the CSPG4 immunotherapy marker in CMM, OSA, and CMT and may have an impact to translate this strategy modality to human oncology.

Keywords: canine melanoma, canine mammary carcinomas, canine osteosarcoma, CSPG4, gene expression, immunotherapy

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20 Low-Density Lipoproteins Mediated Delivery of Paclitaxel and MRI Imaging Probes for Personalized Medicine Applications

Authors: Sahar Rakhshan, Simonetta Geninatti Crich, Diego Alberti, Rachele Stefania


The combination of imaging and therapeutic agents in the same smart nanoparticle is a promising option to perform a minimally invasive imaging guided therapy. In this study, Low density lipoproteins (LDL), one of the most attractive biodegradable and biocompatible nanoparticles, were used for the simultaneous delivery of Paclitaxel (PTX), a hydrophobic antitumour drug and an amphiphilic contrast agent, Gd-AAZTA-C17, in B16-F10 melanoma cell line. These cells overexpress LDL receptors, as assessed by Flow cytometry analysis. PTX and Gd-AAZTA-C17 loaded LDLs (LDL-PTX-Gd) have been prepared, characterized and their stability was assessed under 72 h incubation at 37 ◦C and compared to LDL loaded with Gd-AAZTA-C17 (LDL-Gd) and LDL-PTX. The cytotoxic effect of LDL-PTX-Gd was evaluated by MTT assay. The anti-tumour drug loaded into LDLs showed a significantly higher toxicity on B16-F10 cells with respect to the commercially available formulation Paclitaxel Kabi (PTX Kabi) used in clinical applications. It was possible to demonstrate a high uptake of LDL-Gd in B16-F10 cells. As a consequence of the high cell uptake, melanoma cells showed significantly high cytotoxic effect when incubated in the presence of PTX (LDL-PTX-Gd). Furthermore, B16-F10 have been used to perform Magnetic Resonance Imaging. By the analysis of the image signal intensity, it was possible to extrapolate the amount of internalized PTX indirectly by the decrease of relaxation times caused by Gd, proportional to its concentration. Finally, the treatment with PTX loaded LDL on B16-F10 tumour bearing mice resulted in a marked reduction of tumour growth compared to the administration of PTX Kabi alone. In conclusion, LDLs are selectively taken-up by tumour cells and can be successfully exploited for the selective delivery of Paclitaxel and imaging agents.

Keywords: low density lipoprotein, melanoma cell lines, MRI, paclitaxel, personalized medicine application, theragnostic System

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19 MicroRNA-1246 Expression Associated with Resistance to Oncogenic BRAF Inhibitors in Mutant BRAF Melanoma Cells

Authors: Jae-Hyeon Kim, Michael Lee


Intrinsic and acquired resistance limits the therapeutic benefits of oncogenic BRAF inhibitors in melanoma. MicroRNAs (miRNA) regulate the expression of target mRNAs by repressing their translation. Thus, we investigated miRNA expression patterns in melanoma cell lines to identify candidate biomarkers for acquired resistance to BRAF inhibitor. Here, we used Affymetrix miRNA V3.0 microarray profiling platform to compare miRNA expression levels in three cell lines containing BRAF inhibitor-sensitive A375P BRAF V600E cells, their BRAF inhibitor-resistant counterparts (A375P/Mdr), and SK-MEL-2 BRAF-WT cells with intrinsic resistance to BRAF inhibitor. The miRNAs with at least a two-fold change in expression between BRAF inhibitor-sensitive and –resistant cell lines, were identified as differentially expressed. Averaged intensity measurements identified 138 and 217 miRNAs that were differentially expressed by 2 fold or more between: 1) A375P and A375P/Mdr; 2) A375P and SK-MEL-2, respectively. The hierarchical clustering revealed differences in miRNA expression profiles between BRAF inhibitor-sensitive and –resistant cell lines for miRNAs involved in intrinsic and acquired resistance to BRAF inhibitor. In particular, 43 miRNAs were identified whose expression was consistently altered in two BRAF inhibitor-resistant cell lines, regardless of intrinsic and acquired resistance. Twenty five miRNAs were consistently upregulated and 18 downregulated more than 2-fold. Although some discrepancies were detected when miRNA microarray data were compared with qPCR-measured expression levels, qRT-PCR for five miRNAs (miR-3617, miR-92a1, miR-1246, miR-1936-3p, and miR-17-3p) results showed excellent agreement with microarray experiments. To further investigate cellular functions of miRNAs, we examined effects on cell proliferation. Synthetic oligonucleotide miRNA mimics were transfected into three cell lines, and proliferation was quantified using a colorimetric assay. Of the 5 miRNAs tested, only miR-1246 altered cell proliferation of A375P/Mdr cells. The transfection of miR-1246 mimic strongly conferred PLX-4720 resistance to A375P/Mdr cells, implying that miR-1246 upregulation confers acquired resistance to BRAF inhibition. We also found that PLX-4720 caused much greater G2/M arrest in A375P/Mdr cells transfected with miR-1246mimic than that seen in scrambled RNA-transfected cells. Additionally, miR-1246 mimic partially caused a resistance to autophagy induction by PLX-4720. These results indicate that autophagy does play an essential death-promoting role inPLX-4720-induced cell death. Taken together, these results suggest that miRNA expression profiling in melanoma cells can provide valuable information for a network of BRAF inhibitor resistance-associated miRNAs.

Keywords: microRNA, BRAF inhibitor, drug resistance, autophagy

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18 2-Thioimidazole Analogues: Synthesis, in silico Studies and in vitro Anticancer and Antiprotozoal Evaluation

Authors: Drashti G. Daraji, Rosa E. Moo-Puc, Hitesh D. Patel


Substituted 2-Thioimidazole analogues have been synthesized and confirmed by advanced spectroscopic techniques. Among them, ten compounds have been selected and evaluated for their in vitro anti-cancer activity at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for testing against a panel of 60 different human tumor cell lines derived from nine neoplastic cancer types. Furthermore, synthesized compounds were tested for their in vitro antiprotozoal activity, and none of them exhibited significant potency against antiprotozoans. It was observed that the tested all compounds seem effective on the UACC-62 melanoma cancer cell line as compared to other cancer cell lines and also exhibited the least potent in the Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer cell line in one-dose screening. In silico studies of these derivatives were carried out by molecular docking techniques and Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, and Excretion (ADME) using Schrödinger software to find potent B-Raf kinase inhibitor (PDB ID: 3OG7). All the compounds have been performed for docking study; Compound D4 has a good docking score for melanoma cancer as compared with other.

Keywords: anticancer activity, cancer cell line, 2-thio imidazole, one-dose assay, molecular docking

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17 Triple Immunotherapy to Overcome Immune Evasion by Tumors in a Melanoma Mouse Model

Authors: Mary-Ann N. Jallad, Dalal F. Jaber, Alexander M. Abdelnoor


Introduction: Current evidence confirms that both innate and adaptive immune systems are capable of recognizing and abolishing malignant cells. The emergence of cancerous tumors in patients is, therefore, an indication that certain cancer cells can resist elimination by the immune system through a process known as “immune evasion”. In fact, cancer cells often exploit regulatory mechanisms to escape immunity. Such mechanisms normally exist to control the immune responses and prohibit exaggerated or autoimmune reactions. Recently, immunotherapies have shown promising yet limited results. Therefore this study investigates several immunotherapeutic combinations and devises a triple immunotherapy which harnesses the innate and acquired immune responses towards the annihilation of malignant cells through overcoming their ability of immune evasion, consequently hampering malignant progression and eliminating established tumors. The aims of the study are to rule out acute/chronic toxic effects of the proposed treatment combinations, to assess the effect of these combinations on tumor growth and survival rates, and to investigate potential mechanisms underlying the phenotypic results through analyzing serum levels of anti-tumor cytokines, angiogenic factors and tumor progression indicator, and the tumor-infiltrating immune-cells populations. Methodology: For toxicity analysis, cancer-free C57BL/6 mice are randomized into 9 groups: Group 1 untreated, group 2 treated with sterile saline (solvent of used treatments), group 3 treated with Monophosphoryl-lipid-A, group 4 with anti-CTLA4-antibodies, group 5 with 1-Methyl-Tryptophan (Indolamine-Dioxygenase-1 inhibitor), group 6 with both MPLA and anti-CTLA4-antibodies, group 7 with both MPLA and 1-MT, group 8 with both anti-CTLA4-antibodies and 1-MT, and group 9 with all three: MPLA, anti-CTLA4-antibodies and 1-MT. Mice are monitored throughout the treatment period and for three following months. At that point, histological sections from their main organs are assessed. For tumor progression and survival analysis, a murine melanoma model is generated by injecting analogous mice with B16F10 melanoma cells. These mice are segregated into the listed nine groups. Their tumor size and survival are monitored. For a depiction of underlying mechanisms, melanoma-bearing mice from each group are sacrificed at several time-points. Sera are tested to assess the levels of Interleukin-12 (IL-12), Vascular-Endothelial-Growth Factor (VEGF), and S100B. Furthermore, tumors are excised for analysis of infiltrated immune cell populations including T-cells, macrophages, natural killer cells and immune-regulatory cells. Results: Toxicity analysis shows that all treated groups present no signs of neither acute nor chronic toxicity. Their appearance and weights were comparable to those of control groups throughout the treatment period and for the following 3 months. Moreover, histological sections from their hearts, kidneys, lungs, and livers were normal. Work is ongoing for completion of the remaining study aims. Conclusion: Toxicity was the major concern for the success of the proposed comprehensive combinational therapy. Data generated so far ruled out any acute or chronic toxic effects. Consequently, ongoing work is quite promising and may significantly contribute to the development of more effective immunotherapeutic strategies for the treatment of cancer patients.

Keywords: cancer immunotherapy, check-point blockade, combination therapy, melanoma

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16 An Epidemiological Study on Cutaneous Melanoma, Basocellular and Epidermoid Carcinomas Diagnosed in a Sunny City in Southeast Brazil in a Five-Year Period

Authors: Carolina L. Cerdeira, Julia V. F. Cortes, Maria E. V. Amarante, Gersika B. Santos


Skin cancer is the most common cancer in several parts of the world; in a tropical country like Brazil, the situation isn’t different. The Brazilian population is exposed to high levels of solar radiation, increasing the risk of developing cutaneous carcinoma. Aimed at encouraging prevention measures and the early diagnosis of these tumors, a study was carried out that analyzed data on cutaneous melanomas, basal cell, and epidermoid carcinomas, using as primary data source the medical records of 161 patients registered in one pathology service, which performs skin biopsies in a city of Minas Gerais, Brazil. All patients diagnosed with skin cancer at this service from January 2015 to December 2019 were included. The incidence of skin carcinoma cases was correlated with the identification of histological type, sex, age group, and topographic location. Correlation between variables was verified by Fisher's exact test at a nominal significance level of 5%, with statistical analysis performed by R® software. A significant association was observed between age group and type of cancer (p=0.0085); age group and sex (0.0298); and type of cancer and body region affected (p < 0.01). Those 161 cases analyzed comprised 93 basal cell carcinomas, 66 epidermoid carcinomas, and only two cutaneous melanomas. In the group aged 19 to 30 years, the epidermoid form was most prevalent; from 31 to 45 and from 46 to 59 years, the basal cell prevailed; in 60-year-olds or over, both types had higher frequencies. Associating age group and sex, in groups aged 18 to 30 and 46 to 59 years, women were most affected. In the 31-to 45-year-old group, men predominated. There was a gender balance in the age group 60-year-olds or over. As for topography, there was a high prevalence in the head and neck, followed by upper limbs. Relating histological type and topography, there was a prevalence of basal cell and epidermoid carcinomas in the head and neck. In the chest, the basal cell form was most prevalent; in upper limbs, the epidermoid form prevailed. Cutaneous melanoma affected only the chest and upper limbs. About 82% of patients 60-year-olds or over had head and neck cancer; from 46 to 59 and 60-year-olds or over, the head and neck region and upper limbs were predominantly affected; the distribution was balanced in the 31-to 45-year-old group. In conclusion, basal cell carcinoma was predominant, whereas cutaneous melanoma was the rarest among the types analyzed. Patients 60-year-olds or over were most affected, showing gender balance. In young adults, there was a prevalence of the epidermoid form; in middle-aged patients, basal cell carcinoma was predominant; in the elderly, both forms presented with higher frequencies. There was a higher incidence of head and neck cancers, followed by malignancies affecting the upper limbs. The epidermoid type manifested significantly in the upper limbs. Body regions such as the thorax and lower limbs were less affected, which is justified by the lower exposure of these areas to incident solar radiation.

Keywords: basal cell carcinoma, cutaneous melanoma, skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, topographic location

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15 Histopathological Spectrum of Skin Lesions in the Elderly: Experience from a Tertiary Hospital in Southeast Nigeria

Authors: Ndukwe, Chinedu O.


Background: There are only a few epidemiological studies published on skin disorders in the elderly within the Nigerian context and none from the Southeast Region of the country. In addition, none of these studies has considered the pattern and frequency of histopathologically diagnosed geriatric skin lesions. Hence, we attempted to determine the frequency as well as the age and gender distributions of histologically diagnosed dermatological diseases in the geriatric population from skin biopsies submitted to the histopathology department of a tertiary care hospital in Southeast Nigeria. Material and methods: This is a cross-sectional retrospective hospital-based study involving all skin biopsies of patients 60 years and above, received at the Department of Histopathology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Nigeria from January 2004 to December 2019. Results: During the study period, 751 skin biopsies were received in the histopathology department. Of these, 142 were from patients who were older than 60 years. Thus, the overall share of geriatric patients was 18.9%. The mean age at presentation was 71.1 ± 8.6 years. The M: F was 1:1 and most of the patients belonged to the age group of 60–69 years (69 cases, 48.6%). The mean age of the male patients was 72.1±9.5 years. In the female patients, it was 70.1±7.5 years. The commonest disease category was neoplasms (91, 64.1%). Most neoplasms were malignant. There were 67/142 (47.2%) malignant lesions. Commonest was Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (30 cases) which is 21.1% of all geriatric skin biopsies and 44.8% of malignant skin biopsies. This is closely followed by melanoma (29 cases). Conclusion: Malignant neoplasms, benign neoplasms and papulosquamous disorders are the three commonest histologically diagnosed skin lesions in our geriatric population. The commonest skin malignancies in this group of patients are squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma.

Keywords: geriatric, skin, Nigeria, histopathology

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14 Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer of Cephalic Extremity – Clinical and Histological Aspects

Authors: Razvan Mercut, Mihaela Ionescu, Vlad Parvanescu, Razvan Ghita, Tudor-Gabriel Caragea, Cristina Simionescu, Marius-Eugen Ciurea


Introduction: Over the past years, the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) has continuously increased, being one of the most commonly diagnosed carcinomasofthe cephalic extremity. NMSC regroups basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), Merkel cell carcinoma, cutaneous lymphoma, and sarcoma. The most common forms are BCC and SCC, both still implying a significant level of morbidity due to local invasion (especially BCC), even if the overall death rates are declining. The objective of our study was the evaluation of clinical and histological aspects of NMSC for a group of patients with BCC and SCC, from Craiova, a south-western major city in Romania. Materialand method: Our study lot comprised 65 patients, with an almost equal distribution of sexes, and ages between 23-91 years old (mean value±standard deviation62.61±16.67), all treated within the Clinic of Plastic Surgery and Reconstructive Microsurgery, Clinical Emergency County Hospital Craiova, Romania, between 2019-2020. In order to determine the main morphological characteristics of both studied cancers, we used paraffin embedding techniques, with various staining methods:hematoxylin-eosin, Masson's trichrome stain with aniline blue, and Periodic acid-schiffAlcian Blue. The statistical study was completed using Microsoft Excel (Microsoft Corp., Redmond, WA, USA), with XLSTAT (Addinsoft SARL, Paris, France). Results: The overall results of our study indicate that BCC accounts for 67.69% of all NMSC forms; SCC covers 27.69%, while 4.62% are representedby other forms. The most frequent site is the nose for BCC (27.69%, 18 patients), being followed by preauricular regions, forehead, and periorbital areas. For patients with SCC, tumors were mainly located at lips level (66.67%, 12 patients). The analysis of NMSC histological forms indicated that nodular BCC is predominant (45.45%, 20 patients), as well as ulcero-vegetant SCC (38.89%, 7 patients). We have not identified any topographic characteristics or NMSC forms significantly related to age or sex. Conclusions: The most frequent NMSC form identified for our study lot was BCC. The preferred location was the nose for BCC. For SCC, the oral cavity is the most frequent anatomical site, especially the lips level. Nodular BCC and ulcero-vegetant SCC were the most commonly identified histological types. Our findings emphasize the need for periodic screening, in order to improve prevention and early treatment for these malignancies.

Keywords: non-melanoma skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, histological

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13 Methotrexate Associated Skin Cancer: A Signal Review of Pharmacovigilance Center

Authors: Abdulaziz Alakeel, Abdulrahman Alomair, Mohammed Fouda


Introduction: Methotrexate (MTX) is an antimetabolite used to treat multiple conditions, including neoplastic diseases, severe psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Skin cancer is the out-of-control growth of abnormal cells in the epidermis, the outermost skin layer, caused by unrepaired DNA damage that triggers mutations. These mutations lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. The aim of this review is to evaluate the risk of skin cancer associated with the use of methotrexate and to suggest regulatory recommendations if required. Methodology: Signal Detection team at Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) performed a safety review using National Pharmacovigilance Center (NPC) database as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) VigiBase, alongside with literature screening to retrieve related information for assessing the causality between skin cancer and methotrexate. The search conducted in July 2020. Results: Four published articles support the association seen while searching in literature, a recent randomized control trial published in 2020 revealed a statistically significant increase in skin cancer among MTX users. Another study mentioned methotrexate increases the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer when used in combination with immunosuppressant and biologic agents. In addition, the incidence of melanoma for methotrexate users was 3-fold more than the general population in a cohort study of rheumatoid arthritis patients. The last article estimated the risk of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) in a cohort study shows a statistically significant risk increase for CMM was observed in MTX exposed patients. The WHO database (VigiBase) searched for individual case safety reports (ICSRs) reported for “Skin Cancer” and 'Methotrexate' use, which yielded 121 ICSRs. The initial review revealed that 106 cases are insufficiently documented for proper medical assessment. However, the remaining fifteen cases have extensively evaluated by applying the WHO criteria of causality assessment. As a result, 30 percent of the cases showed that MTX could possibly cause skin cancer; five cases provide unlikely association and five un-assessable cases due to lack of information. The Saudi NPC database searched to retrieve any reported cases for the combined terms methotrexate/skin cancer; however, no local cases reported up to date. The data mining of the observed and the expected reporting rate for drug/adverse drug reaction pair is estimated using information component (IC), a tool developed by the WHO Uppsala Monitoring Centre to measure the reporting ratio. Positive IC reflects higher statistical association, while negative values translated as a less statistical association, considering the null value equal to zero. Results showed that a combination of 'Methotrexate' and 'Skin cancer' observed more than expected when compared to other medications in the WHO database (IC value is 1.2). Conclusion: The weighted cumulative pieces of evidence identified from global cases, data mining, and published literature are sufficient to support a causal association between the risk of skin cancer and methotrexate. Therefore, health care professionals should be aware of this possible risk and may consider monitoring any signs or symptoms of skin cancer in patients treated with methotrexate.

Keywords: methotrexate, skin cancer, signal detection, pharmacovigilance

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12 Development and Characterization of Topical 5-Fluorouracil Solid Lipid Nanoparticles for the Effective Treatment of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

Authors: Sudhir Kumar, V. R. Sinha


Background: The topical and systemic toxicity associated with present nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) treatment therapy using 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) make it necessary to develop a novel delivery system having lesser toxicity and better control over drug release. Solid lipid nanoparticles offer many advantages like: controlled and localized release of entrapped actives, nontoxicity, and better tolerance. Aim:-To investigate safety and efficacy of 5-FU loaded solid lipid nanoparticles as a topical delivery system for the treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancer. Method: Topical solid lipid nanoparticles of 5-FU were prepared using Compritol 888 ATO (Glyceryl behenate) as lipid component and pluronic F68 (Poloxamer 188), Tween 80 (Polysorbate 80), Tyloxapol (4-(1,1,3,3-Tetramethylbutyl) phenol polymer with formaldehyde and oxirane) as surfactants. The SLNs were prepared with emulsification method. Different formulation parameters viz. type and ratio of surfactant, ratio of lipid and ratio of surfactant:lipid were investigated on particle size and drug entrapment efficiency. Results: Characterization of SLNs like–Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Differential Scannig calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Particle size determination, Polydispersity index, Entrapment efficiency, Drug loading, ex vivo skin permeation and skin retention studies, skin irritation and histopathology studies were performed. TEM results showed that shape of SLNs was spherical with size range 200-500nm. Higher encapsulation efficiency was obtained for batches having higher concentration of surfactant and lipid. It was found maximum 64.3% for SLN-6 batch with size of 400.1±9.22 nm and PDI 0.221±0.031. Optimized SLN batches and marketed 5-FU cream were compared for flux across rat skin and skin drug retention. The lesser flux and higher skin retention was obtained for SLN formulation in comparison to topical 5-FU cream, which ensures less systemic toxicity and better control of drug release across skin. Chronic skin irritation studies lacks serious erythema or inflammation and histopathology studies showed no significant change in physiology of epidermal layers of rat skin. So, these studies suggest that the optimized SLN formulation is efficient then marketed cream and safer for long term NMSC treatment regimens. Conclusion: Topical and systemic toxicity associated with long-term use of 5-FU, in the treatment of NMSC, can be minimized with its controlled release with significant drug retention with minimal flux across skin. The study may provide a better alternate for effective NMSC treatment.

Keywords: 5-FU, topical formulation, solid lipid nanoparticles, non melanoma skin cancer

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11 Investigation of the Controversial Immunomodulatory Potential of Trichinella spiralis Excretory-Secretory Products versus Extracellular Vesicles Derived from These Products in Vitro

Authors: Natasa Ilic, Alisa Gruden-Movsesijan, Maja Kosanovic, Sofija Glamoclija, Marina Bekic, Ljiljana Sofronic-Milosavljevic, Sergej Tomic


As a very promising candidate for modulation of immune response in the sense of biasing the inflammatory towards the anti-inflammatory type of response, Trichinella spiralis infection was shown to successfully alleviate the severity of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, the animal model of human disease multiple sclerosis. This effect is achieved via its excretory-secretory muscle larvae (ES L1) products which affect the maturation status and function of dendritic cells (DCs) by inducing the tolerogenic status of DCs, which leads to the mitigation of Th1 type of response and the activation of a regulatory type of immune response both in vitro and in vivo. ES L1 alone or via treated DCs successfully mitigated EAE in the same manner as the infection itself. On the other hand, it has been shown that T. spiralis infection slows down the tumor growth and significantly reduces the tumor size in the model of mouse melanoma, while ES L1 possesses a pro-apoptotic and anti-survival effect on melanoma cells in vitro. Hence, although the mechanisms still need to be revealed, T. spiralis infection and its ES L1 products have a bit of controversial potential to modulate both inflammatory diseases and malignancies. The recent discovery of T. spiralis extracellular vesicles (TsEVs) suggested that the induction of complex regulation of the immune response requires simultaneous delivery of different signals in nano-sized packages. This study aimed to explore whether TsEVs bare the similar potential as ES L1 to influence the status of DCs in initiation, progression and regulation of immune response, but also to investigate the effect of both ES L1 and TsEVs on myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), which present the regular tumor tissue environment. TsEVs were enriched from the conditioned medium of T. spiralis muscle larvae by differential centrifugation and used for the treatment of human monocyte-derived DCs and MDSC. On DCs, TsEVs induced low expression of HLA DR and CD40, moderate CD83 and CD86 and increased expression of ILT3 and CCR7 on treated DCs, i.e., they induced tolerogenic DCs. Such DCs possess the capacity to polarize T cell immune response towards regulatory type, with an increased proportion of IL-10 and TGF-β producing cells similarly to ES L1. These findings indicated that the ability of TsEVs to induce tolerogenic DCs favoring anti-inflammatory responses might be helpful in coping with diseases that involve Th1/Th17-, but also Th2-mediated inflammation. In MDSC in vitro model, although both ES L1 and TsEVs had the same impact on MDSC phenotype i.e., they acted suppresivelly, ES L1 treated MDSC, unlike TsEVs treated ones, induced T cell response characterized by the increased RoRγT and IFN-γ, while the proportion of regulatory cells were decreased followed by the decrease in IL-10 and TGF-β positive cells proportion within this population. These findings indicate the interesting ability of ES L1 to modulate T cells response via MDSC towards pro-inflammatory type, suggesting that, unlike TsEVs, which consistently demonstrate the suppressive effect on the inflammatory response, it could also be used for the development of new approaches aimed at the treatment of malignant diseases.

Keywords: immunomodulation, dendritic cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, trichinella spiralis

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