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Query: "author" (Ana Sá-Sousa) .

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1.
Medullary thyroid carcinoma and associated endocrinopathies in Slovenia from 1995 to 2021
Sara Milićević, Mateja Krajc, Ana Blatnik, Barbara Perić, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Background: Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is a rare endocrine tumour that is sporadic in 75% of cases and occurs as a part of inherited cancer syndromes in approximately 25% of cases. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency and type of RET pathogenic variants (PVs) in the Slovenian MTC patient population diagnosed between 1995 and 2021 and to elucidate the full range of associated endocrinopathies. Methods: A retrospective analysis of medical records of 266 MTC patients and their relatives seen in a tertiary centre between 1995 and 2021 was performed. Sequence analysis of exons 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, and 16 of the RET gene was analysed in most patients using Sanger sequencing. From 2017, the entire sequence of RET gene was analysed in most patients using targeted next-generation sequencing. Results: Germline PVs in the RET proto-oncogene were identified in 21.6% probands from 21 different MTC families. Of their tested relatives, 65% (67/103) were RET-positive and 35% (36/103) were RET-negative. PVs were detected in codon 618 and codon 634 in 28.6%, and in codon 790 in 23.8%. The RET-positive group consisted of 52 MTC patients, 13 patients with C cell hyperplasia and 2 individuals with neither. Associated endocrinopathies were diagnosed in 8/21 families: primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) in six families and pheochromocytoma (PHEO) in five families. In 62% of RET-positive families (13/21), no associated endocrinopathies were diagnosed. PHEO was most commonly associated with C634R (6/13) and PHPT with C634R (4/7). Hirschsprung’s disease appeared in one patient with RET PV in codon 618. Based on data from the Cancer Registry of Republic of Slovenia, only individual cases of common cancers with well understood environmental risk factors were discovered; lung cancer in 2/21 of families, papillary thyroid cancer in 3/21 of families, cutaneous melanoma in 2/21 of families, cervical cancer in 1/21 families, and lymphoma in 1/21 families. Conclusions: Analysis of prospectively collected MTC cases during a 27-year period revealed that 21.6% of Slovenian patients are RET PV carriers. Sixty-two percent of families had none of the associated endocrinopathies, confirming the thesis that FMTC is the most common presentation. This could suggest using risk-stratified management approaches when screening for PHEO and PHPT in RET PV carriers. However, more studies are needed to evaluate potential genetic risk modifiers as well as safety, improved quality of life, and medical cost reduction in the case of a patient-oriented approach.
Keywords: medullary thyroid carcinoma, multiple endocrine neoplasia, primary hyperparathyroidism
Published in DiRROS: 23.09.2022; Views: 25; Downloads: 11
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2.
Trends and timing of risk-reducing mastectomy uptake in unaffected BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers in Slovenia
Taja Ložar, Janez Žgajnar, Andraž Perhavec, Ana Blatnik, Srdjan Novaković, Mateja Krajc, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Objectives. Risk-reducing mastectomy (RRM) is one of key prevention strategies in female carriers of germline BRCA pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants (PV/LPV). We retrospectively investigated the rate, timing and longitudinal trends of bilateral RRM uptake and the incidence and types of cancers among unaffected BRCA carriers who underwent genetic counseling at the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana in Slovenia. Materials and Methods. Female BRCA carriers without personal history of cancer were included in the study. Clinical data on PV/LPV type, date of RRM, type of reconstructive procedure, occult carcinoma and histopathology results was collected and analyzed. Results. Of the 346 unaffected BRCA carriers (median age 43 years, 70% BRCA1, 30% BRCA2, median follow-up 46 months) who underwent genetic testing between October 1999 and December 2019, 25.1% had a RRM (range 35-50 years, median age at surgery 38 years). A significant difference in time to prophylactic surgery between women undergoing RRM only vs. women undergoing RRM combined with risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy was observed (22.6 vs 8.7 months, p=0.0009). We observed an upward trend in the annual uptake in line with the previously observed Angelina Jolie effect. In 5.7% of cases, occult breast cancer was detected. No women developed breast cancer after RRM. Women who did not opt for surgical prevention developed BRCA1/2-related cancers (9.3%). Conclusion. The uptake of RRM among unaffected BRCA carriers is 25.1% and is similar to our neighboring countries. No women developed breast cancer after RRM while women who did not opt for surgical prevention developed BRCA1/2 related cancers in 9.3% of cases. The reported data may provide meaningful aid for carriers when deciding on an optimal prevention strategy.
Keywords: risk-reducing mastectomy, breast cancer, BRCA
Published in DiRROS: 21.09.2022; Views: 25; Downloads: 9
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3.
New approach for detection of normal alternative splicing events and aberrant spliceogenic transcripts with long-range PCR and deep RNA sequencing
Vita Šetrajčič Dragoš, Vida Stegel, Ana Blatnik, Gašper Klančar, Mateja Krajc, Srdjan Novaković, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: RNA sequencing is a promising technique for detecting normal and aberrant RNA isoforms. Here, we present a new single-gene, straightforward 1-day hands-on protocol for detection of splicing alterations with deep RNA sequencing from blood. We have validated our method%s accuracy by detecting previously published normal splicing isoforms of STK11 gene. Additionally, the same technique was used to provide the first comprehensive catalogue of naturally occurring alternative splicing events of the NBN gene in blood. Furthermore, we demonstrate that our approach can be used for detection of splicing impairment caused by genetic variants. Therefore, we were able to reclassify three variants of uncertain significance: NBN:c.584G>A, STK11:c.863-5_863-3delCTC and STK11:c.615G>A. Due to the simplicity of our approach, it can be incorporated into any molecular diagnostics laboratory for determination of variant%s impact on splicing.
Keywords: RNA sequencing, DNA variant, splicing
Published in DiRROS: 21.09.2022; Views: 28; Downloads: 16
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4.
BAP1-defficient breast cancer in a patient with BAP1 cancer syndrome
Ana Blatnik, Domen Ribnikar, Vita Šetrajčič Dragoš, Srdjan Novaković, Vida Stegel, Biljana Grčar-Kuzmanov, Nina Boc, Barbara Perić, Petra Škerl, Gašper Klančar, Mateja Krajc, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: BAP1 cancer syndrome is a rare and highly penetrant hereditary cancer predisposition. Uveal melanoma, mesothelioma, renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and cutaneous melanoma are considered BAP1 cancer syndrome core cancers, whereas association with breast cancer has previously been suggested but not confirmed so far. In view of BAP1 immunomodulatory functions, BAP1 alterations could prove useful as possible biomarkers of response to immunotherapy in patients with BAP1-associated cancers. We present a case of a patient with BAP1 cancer syndrome who developed a metastatic breast cancer with loss of BAP1 demonstrated on immunohistochemistry. She carried a germline BAP1 likely pathogenic variant (c.898_899delAG p.(Arg300Glyfs*6)). In addition, tumor tissue sequencing identified a concurrent somatic variant in BAP1 (partial deletion of exon 12) and a low tumor mutational burden. As her triple negative tumor was shown to be PD-L1 positive, the patient was treated with combination of atezolizumab and nab-paclitaxel. She had a complete and sustained response to immunotherapy even after discontinuation of nab-paclitaxel. This case strengthens the evidence for including breast cancer in the BAP1 cancer syndrome tumor spectrum with implications for future cancer prevention programs. It also indicates immune checkpoint inhibitors might prove to be an effective treatment for BAP1-deficient breast cancer.
Keywords: BAP1, breast cancer, hereditary cancer syndromes, immunotherapy
Published in DiRROS: 19.09.2022; Views: 46; Downloads: 26
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5.
Kartiranje prednostnih gozdnih habitatnih tipov v območjih Nature 2000
Lado Kutnar, Anica Simčič, Valerija Babij, 2021, professional article

Keywords: gozdni habitatni tipi, kartiranje, Natura 2000, obrečni gozd, javorov gozd
Published in DiRROS: 15.09.2022; Views: 45; Downloads: 25
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6.
First report of Diplodia fraxini and Diplodia subglobosa causing canker and dieback of Fraxinus excelsior in Slovenia
Benedetto Teodoro Linaldeddu, Carlo Bregant, Lucio Montecchio, Ana Brglez, Barbara Piškur, Nikica Ogris, 2022, short scientific article

Abstract: Over the last decades the vitality and productivity of European ash trees in Slovenia has been seriously impacted by the onset of canker and dieback disease symptoms on young and old trees, primarily identified as ash dieback caused by Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. Given the limited information available about the aetiology of this emerging disease, a study was carried out to isolate, identify and characterize the fungal species involved in the observed ash symptoms. Field surveys were conducted in five forest sites where 50 symptomatic branch samples were collected. All samples were inspected and used for fungal isolation. Based on morphology, colony appearance and DNA sequence data of the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS), 125 fungal colonies belonging to five species were isolated and identified. Only a few symptomatic ash samples yielded colonies of H. fraxineus, whereas Botryosphaeriaceae species were isolated with a high frequency, with Diplodia fraxini as the dominant species. A pathogenicity test proved that all isolated species were pathogenic on European ash, causing bark lesions and wood discoloration. All Botryosphaeriaceae species isolated in this study are reported for the first time on European ash in Slovenia.
Keywords: emerging disease, invasive species, Botryosphaeriaceae, pathogenicity
Published in DiRROS: 15.09.2022; Views: 69; Downloads: 11
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7.
8.
Identification of spliceogenic variants beyond canonical GT-AG splice sites in hereditary cancer genes
Vita Šetrajčič Dragoš, Ksenija Strojnik, Gašper Klančar, Petra Škerl, Vida Stegel, Ana Blatnik, Marta Banjac, Mateja Krajc, Srdjan Novaković, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants in susceptibility genes that interrupt RNA splicing are a well-documented mechanism of hereditary cancer syndromes development. However, if RNA studies are not performed, most of the variants beyond the canonical GT-AG splice site are characterized as variants of uncertain significance (VUS). To decrease the VUS burden, we have bioinformatically evaluated all novel VUS detected in 732 consecutive patients tested in the routine genetic counseling process. Twelve VUS that were predicted to cause splicing defects were selected for mRNA analysis. Here, we report a functional characterization of 12 variants located beyond the first two intronic nucleotides using RNAseq in APC, ATM, FH, LZTR1, MSH6, PALB2, RAD51C, and TP53 genes. Based on the analysis of mRNA, we have successfully reclassified 50% of investigated variants. 25% of variants were downgraded to likely benign, whereas 25% were upgraded to likely pathogenic leading to improved clinical management of the patient and the family members.
Keywords: hereditary cancer, RNA sequencing, spliceogenic
Published in DiRROS: 07.09.2022; Views: 63; Downloads: 33
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9.
Real-world data on detection of germline and somatic pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants in BRCA1/2 and other susceptibility genes in ovarian cancer patients using next generation sequencing
Vida Stegel, Ana Blatnik, Erik Škof, Vita Šetrajčič Dragoš, Mateja Krajc, Brigita Gregorčič, Petra Škerl, Ksenija Strojnik, Gašper Klančar, Marta Banjac, Janez Žgajnar, Maja Ravnik-Oblak, Srdjan Novaković, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Detection of germline and somatic pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants (PV/LPV) in BRCA genes is at the moment a prerequisite for use of PARP inhibitors in different treatment settings of different tumors. The aim of our study was to determine the most appropriate testing workflow in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) patients using germline and tumor genotyping of BRCA and other hereditary breast and/or ovarian cancer (HBOC) susceptibility genes. Consecutive patients with advanced non-mucinous EOC, who responded to platinum-based chemotherapy, were included in the study. DNA extracted from blood and FFPE tumor tissue were genotyped using NGS panels TruSightCancer/Hereditary and TruSight Tumor 170. Among 170 EOC patients, 21.8% had BRCA germline or somatic PV/LPV, and additionally 6.4% had PV/LPV in other HBOC genes. Sensitivity of tumor genotyping for detection of germline PV/LPV was 96.2% for BRCA genes and 93.3% for HBOC genes. With germline genotyping-only strategy, 58.8% of HBOC PV/LPV and 68.4% of BRCA PV/LPV were detected. By tumor genotyping-only strategy, 96.1% of HBOC PV/LPV and 97.4% of BRCA PV/LPV were detected. Genotyping of tumor first, followed by germline genotyping seems to be a reasonable approach for detection of PV/LPV in breast and/or ovarian cancer susceptibility genes in non-mucinous EOC patients.
Keywords: BRCA, ovarian cancer, tumor genotyping, HBOC
Published in DiRROS: 06.09.2022; Views: 70; Downloads: 41
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10.
Cancer patients’ survival according to socioeconomic environment in a high-income country with universal health coverage
Vesna Zadnik, Tina Žagar, Sonja Tomšič, Ana Mihor, Katarina Lokar, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Despite having an established systematic approach to population survival estimation in Slovenia, the influence of socioeconomic environment on cancer patients’ survival has not yet been evaluated. Thus, the main aim of our study was to quantify the potential impact of socioeconomic environment on cancer patients’ survival in our population in the 21st century. The net survival was calculated and stratified into quintiles of Slovenian version of the European Deprivation Index for all adult cancer patients diagnosed between 2004 and 2018 using the national cancer registry data. After accounting for basic demographic variables (age and gender), differences in stage at diagnosis, as well as the impact of the cancer treatment improvements over time, we found that cancer patients in Slovenia with lower socioeconomic status experience worse survival and have higher mortality. In particular, the odds of dying from oral, stomach, colorectal, liver, pancreatic, lung, breast, ovarian, corpus uteri, prostate, and bladder cancers, as well as for melanoma, leukemia, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, are significantly higher in the socioeconomically most deprived group of patients compared to the most affluent group. The inequalities in cancer burden we found could help decision-makers to better understand the magnitude of this problem.
Keywords: cancer, population-survival, socioeconomic deprivation, cancer registry
Published in DiRROS: 06.09.2022; Views: 65; Downloads: 39
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