Browse Health
Geriatric Specialist (elderly care), Psychiatrist
37 years of experience

Education ?

Medical School
Universidad Nacional Autonoma De Mexico, Df (1973)
Foreign school

Affiliations ?

Dr. Diez is affiliated with 1 hospitals.

Hospital Affilations

  • Devereaux Hospital
  • Publications & Research

    Dr. Diez has contributed to 38 publications.
    Title Bacteria in Bovine Semen Can Increase Sperm Dna Fragmentation Rates: a Kinetic Experimental Approach.
    Date June 2011
    Journal Animal Reproduction Science

    Cryopreserved straws of semen (n=228) from Holstein bulls (n=47) were examined for bacterial presence and sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) dynamics. Commercial semen doses (representing six ejaculates per individual) were randomly selected from a bull stud in Spain. The dynamics of SDF were assessed after thawing (T0) and at 4, 24, 48, 72 and 96h of incubation at 37°C, using the commercial variant of the sperm chromatin dispersion test for Bovine (Halomax®). One group of bulls showed a bacterial presence in semen samples between 0 and 96h of incubation (n=23, group A) while the other did not (n=24, group B). Immediate post-thaw differences in SDF were not observed when both groups were compared. However, the rate of increase in SDF (rSDF) over time, considered as an estimate of the kinetic behaviour of sperm DNA survival, was significantly higher (P<0.05) in semen samples from group A (0.7% per hour) versus group B (0.05% per hour). Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) assay was used for DNA amplification using primers designed for specific regions of the bacterial gene that codifies for 16S rRNA. Different species within the phyla Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, Fusobacteria and Actinobacteria were identified. The results show that (1) SDF at baseline (T0) may not be affected by the presence of bacteria but the rSDF can increase due to bacterial growth during incubation, (2) the increase in the rSDF is characteristic of some bulls but not for others, and (3) certain bacterial strains are repeatedly found in separate ejaculates from the same bull.

    Title Atypical Choroid Plexus Papilloma: Clinical Experience in the Cpt-siop-2000 Study.
    Date January 2010
    Journal Journal of Neuro-oncology

    Atypical choroid plexus papilloma (APP) represents a novel intermediate-grade subtype of choroid plexus tumor (CPT), the clinical outcome of which has not been described yet. We present the first analysis of a group of APP patients enrolled in the ongoing CPT-SIOP-2000 study of CPTs. A worldwide registration and a randomized trial for those patients who require chemotherapy started in 2000. For APP, maximal surgical resection was recommended. After surgery, patients who had undergone complete resection were observed, whereas patients with incompletely resected or metastasized APP were treated with six chemotherapy courses (etoposide and vincristine, combined with either carboplatin or cyclophosphamide). Risk-adapted radiotherapy was given only to patients older than 3 years of age. Of the 106 patients with a centrally confirmed CPT histology, 30 had APP, 42 CPP and 34 CPC. APP patients were significantly younger (median = 0.7 years) than patients with CPP or CPC (both medians = 2.3 years). Complete resection was achieved in 68 (64%) patients (79% in CPP, 63% in APP, and 47% in CPC). Metastases were present at diagnosis in 17% of APP patients, 5% of CPP patients, and 21% of CPC patients. All nine APP patients who received postoperative chemotherapy showed an early response after two cycles: two had complete remission, four had partial response, and three had stable disease. In the observation group of 15 patients, one event was seen, and all patients were alive. In the treatment group, one patient with a metastasized tumor and incompletely resected APP died. While APP was defined histologically, median percentages of both the Ki-67/MIB-1 proliferation marker and the p53 tumor suppressor protein increased across the three histological subtypes (from CPP to APP and then CPC), suggesting that the subtypes comprise an ordinal categorization of increasingly severe CPT tumors. This ordering was reiterated by clinical outcome in the 92 patients treated per the study protocol, with 5-year EFS rates of 92% in 39 CPP patients, 83% in 24 APP patients, and 28% in 29 CPC patients. A similar ordering was seen when all 106 patients were evaluated for EFS. APP responded favorably to chemotherapy. The intermediate position of APP between CPP and CPC was supported by the clinical data.

    Title The Prognostic Value of Tumor Markers in Newly Diagnosed Patients with Primary Central Nervous System Germ Cell Tumors.
    Date December 2008
    Journal Pediatric Blood & Cancer

    BACKGROUND: To determine the impact of diagnostic serum and/or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (b-HCG) elevations on survival in newly diagnosed patients with central nervous system germ cell tumors (CNS GCT) treated with chemotherapy with the intent to avoid irradiation. PROCEDURE: Seventy-five patients with newly diagnosed CNS GCT enrolled in two sequential internationally conducted clinical trials with serum and CSF AFP and b-HCG levels available from initial diagnosis were retrospectively analyzed. Subjects received platinum based chemotherapy and were followed with serial imaging and tumor marker evaluations. RESULTS: The 5-year overall survival (OS) and event free survival (EFS) for patients with normal tumor markers compared with those with elevated markers at diagnosis was 78% (95% CI 51-91%) versus 60% (95% CI 46-72%) (P = 0.08) and 22% (95% CI 7-43%) versus 28% (95% CI 16-40%) (P = 0.68). The hazard ratio of death for patients with elevated markers was 1.9 times as high as that for those with normal markers (95% CI 0.58-6.5) after adjusting for other baseline characteristics. There was no observed difference in survival among patients with histologically confirmed germinomas, irrespective of level of b-HCG. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with elevated tumor markers appear to have poorer OS independent of tumor histology, although these differences do not reach statistical significance (P < or = 0.05). No differences were observed in EFS between groups likely due to the poor response of chemotherapy only approach to patients with normal markers. b-HCG elevations in biopsy proven germinomas do not seem to alter a patient's prognosis.

    Title Outcome of Children Less Than Three Years Old at Diagnosis with Non-metastatic Medulloblastoma Treated with Chemotherapy on the "head Start" I and Ii Protocols.
    Date May 2008
    Journal Pediatric Blood & Cancer

    PURPOSE: To determine the survival of infants and young children with non-metastatic medulloblastoma using intensive myeloablative chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic progenitor cell rescue (AuHCR). METHODS: Twenty-one children less than 3 years old at diagnosis with non-metastatic medulloblastoma were enrolled on two identical serial studies, "Head Start" I and "Head Start" II. After surgery, patients received five cycles of induction chemotherapy consisting of vincristine, cisplatin, cyclophosphamide and etoposide. Following induction, all patients underwent myeloablative chemotherapy using carboplatin, thiotepa and etoposide with AuHCR. Irradiation was used only at relapse. RESULTS: The 5-year event-free (EFS) and overall survival (OS) rates (+/-SE) for all patients, patients with gross total resection, and patients with residual tumor were 52 +/- 11% and 70 +/- 10%, 64 +/- 13% and 79 +/- 11%, and 29 +/- 17% and 57 +/- 19%, respectively. The 5-year EFS and OS ( +/- SE) for patients with desmoplastic and classical medulloblastoma were 67 +/- 16% and 78 +/- 14%, and 42 +/- 14 and 67 +/- 14%, respectively. There were four treatment related deaths. The majority of survivors (71%) avoided irradiation completely. Mean intellectual functioning and quality of life (QoL) for children surviving without irradiation was within average range for a majority of survivors tested. CONCLUSION: This strategy of brief intensive chemotherapy for young children with non-metastatic medulloblastoma eliminated the need for craniospinal irradiation 52% of the patients, and may preserve QoL and intellectual functioning. The excellent survival rates are somewhat dampened by high toxic mortality.

    Title Intensive Chemotherapy Followed by Consolidative Myeloablative Chemotherapy with Autologous Hematopoietic Cell Rescue (auhcr) in Young Children with Newly Diagnosed Supratentorial Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumors (spnets): Report of the Head Start I and Ii Experience.
    Date January 2008
    Journal Pediatric Blood & Cancer

    BACKGROUND: Children with newly diagnosed supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors (sPNET) have poor outcomes compared to medulloblastoma patients, despite similar treatments. In an effort to improve overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) and to decrease radiation exposure, the Head Start (HS) protocols treated children with newly diagnosed sPNET utilizing intensified induction chemotherapy (ICHT) followed by consolidation with myeloablative chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic cell rescue (AuHCR). PROCEDURES: Between 1991 and 2002, 43 children with sPNET were prospectively treated on two serial studies (HS I and II). After maximal safe surgical resection, patients on HS I and patients with localized disease on HS II were treated with five cycles of ICHT (vincristine, cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, and etoposide). Patients on HS II with disseminated disease received high-dose methotrexate during ICHT. If the disease remained stable or in response, patients received a single cycle of high-dose myeloablative chemotherapy followed by AuHCR. RESULTS: Five-year EFS and OS were 39% (95%CI: 24%, 53%) and 49 (95%CI: 33%, 62%), respectively. Non-pineal sPNET patients faired significantly better than those patients with pineal sPNETs. Metastasis at diagnosis, age, and extent of resection were not significant prognostic factors. Sixty percent of survivors (12 of 20) are alive without exposure to radiation therapy. CONCLUSIONS: ICHT followed by AuHCR in young patients with newly diagnosed sPNET appears to not only provide an improved EFS and OS for patients who typically have a poor prognosis, but also it successfully permitted deferral and elimination of radiation therapy in a significant proportion of patients.

    Title Outcome for Young Children Newly Diagnosed with Ependymoma, Treated with Intensive Induction Chemotherapy Followed by Myeloablative Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Rescue.
    Date July 2007
    Journal Pediatric Blood & Cancer

    BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study is to investigate the efficacy of an intensive chemotherapy induction regimen followed by myeloablative chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic stem cell rescue (AHSCR) in children with newly diagnosed ependymoma. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty-nine children less than 10 years of age at diagnosis of ependymoma were enrolled on the "Head Start" studies. Twenty-four patients with localized disease received an induction regimen including five cycles of chemotherapy (cisplatin, vincristine, etoposide cyclophosphamide, and high dose methotrexate for patients with metastatic disease). Following induction, individuals without evidence of disease proceeded to marrow-ablative chemotherapy (thiotepa, carboplatin, and etoposide) with AHSCR. RESULTS: The estimated 5-year event free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) from diagnosis were 12% (+/-6%) and 38% (+/-10%), respectively. The toxic mortality amongst this group of 29 patients was 10.3%. Younger age (less than 18 months at diagnosis) was the only statistically significant prognostic factor. The estimated 5-year OS rate for the five patients with metastatic disease at presentation was 80% (+/-18%). Overall, radiation-free survival at 5 years from diagnosis was 8% (+/-5%). CONCLUSIONS: The use of an intensive induction chemotherapy regimen including myeloablative chemotherapy followed by AHSCR in newly diagnosed young children with ependymoma is not superior to other previously reported chemotherapeutic strategies.

    Title Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2/4 Signalling Pathway Components Are Expressed in the Human Thymus and Inhibit Early T-cell Development.
    Date May 2007
    Journal Immunology

    T-cell differentiation is driven by a complex network of signals mainly derived from the thymic epithelium. In this study we demonstrate in the human thymus that cortical epithelial cells produce bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) and BMP4 and that both thymocytes and thymic epithelium express all the molecular machinery required for a response to these proteins. BMP receptors, BMPRIA and BMPRII, are mainly expressed by cortical thymocytes while BMPRIB is expressed in the majority of the human thymocytes. Some thymic epithelial cells from cortical and medullary areas express BMP receptors, being also cell targets for in vivo BMP2/4 signalling. The treatment with BMP4 of chimeric human-mouse fetal thymic organ cultures seeded with CD34+ human thymic progenitors results in reduced cell recovery and inhibition of the differentiation of human thymocytes from CD4- CD8- to CD4+ CD8+ cell stages. These results support a role for BMP2/4 signalling in human T-cell differentiation.

    Title Ontogeny of the Immune System of Fish.
    Date April 2006
    Journal Fish & Shellfish Immunology

    Information on the ontogeny of the fish immune system is largely restricted to a few species of teleosts (e.g., rainbow trout, catfish, zebrafish, sea bass) and has previously focused on morphological features. However, basic questions including the identification of the first lympho-hematopoietic sites, the origin of T- and B-lymphocytes and the acquisition of full immunological capacities remain to be resolved. We review these three main topics with special emphasis on recent results obtained from the zebrafish, a new experimental model particularly suitable for study of the ontogeny of the immune system because of its rapid development and easy manipulation. This species also provides an easy way of creating mutations that can be detected by various types of screens. In some teleosts (i.e., angelfish) the first blood cells are formed in the yolk sac. In others, such as zebrafish, the first hematopoietic site is an intraembryonic locus, the intermediate cell mass (ICM), whereas in both killifish and rainbow trout the first blood cells appear for a short time in the yolk sac but later the ICM becomes the main hematopoietic area. Erythrocytes and macrophages are the first blood cells to be identified in zebrafish embryos. They occur in the ICM, the duct of Cuvier and the peripheral circulation. Between 24 and 30 hour post-fertilization (hpf) at a temperature of 28 degrees C a few myeloblasts and myelocytes appear between the yolk sac and the body walls, and the ventral region of the tail of 1-2 day-old zebrafish also contains developing blood cells. The thymus, kidney and spleen are the major lymphoid organs of teleosts. The thymus is the first organ to become lymphoid, although earlier the kidney can contain hematopoietic precursors but not lymphocytes. In freshwater, but not in marine, teleosts the spleen is the last organ to acquire that condition. We and other authors have demonstrated an early expression of Rag-1 in the zebrafish thymus that correlates well with the morphological identification of lymphoid cells. On the other hand, the origins and time of appearance of B lymphocytes in teleosts are a matter of discussion and recent results are summarized here. The functioning rather than the mere morphological evidence of lymphocytes determines when the full immunocompetence in fish is attained. Information on the histogenesis of fish lymphoid organs can also be obtained by analysing zebrafish mutants with defects in the development of immune progenitors and/or in the maturation of non-lymphoid stromal elements of the lymphoid organs. The main characteristics of some of these mutants will also be described.

    Title Intensive Cisplatin and Cyclophosphamide-based Chemotherapy Without Radiotherapy for Intracranial Germinomas: Failure of a Primary Chemotherapy Approach.
    Date August 2004
    Journal Pediatric Blood & Cancer

    PURPOSE: High rates of overall and event-free survival have been reported in patients with intracranial germinomas treated with craniospinal radiotherapy. More recently, similar results have been reported with chemotherapy combined with radiotherapy to more localized treatment volumes. Our interest in exploring chemotherapy without radiotherapy in patients with CNS germinomas was based on concerns about the late sequelae of radiotherapy to the brain or neuraxis and also the well documented success of chemotherapy alone in patients with disseminated extracranial germinomas. The primary objective of this study was to determine whether intensive cisplatin and cyclophosphamide-based combination chemotherapy, without radiotherapy, was effective in patients with CNS germinomas. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Nineteen patients were enrolled, ranging in age from 1 to 24 years (median, 14 years). Thirteen were male. Nine had diabetes insipidus. Therapy comprised two courses of Regimen 'A' (cisplatin, etoposide, cyclophosphamide, and bleomycin) followed by MRI evaluation. Patients achieving a complete remission (CR) completed all planned therapy with two courses of regimen 'B' (carboplatin, etoposide, and bleomycin). Patients achieving less than a CR received two courses of Regimen 'B' followed by another evaluation. Those in CR after four courses of treatment received one additional course of Regimen 'A' and Regimen 'B', while those not in CR after four treatment courses underwent second look surgery and/or radiation therapy. RESULTS: Eleven of 11 patients with residual postoperative disease assessable for response achieved a CR. With a median follow-up of 6.5 years, eight out of 19 (0.42) patients remain in CR 1 without radiotherapy and another three patients are in stable second or subsequent remissions. Three patients died from treatment-related toxicity and another died in CR 1 from an uncharacterized leukoencephalopathy. The 5-year event-free survival (EFS) was 0.47 +/- 0.23 and 5-year overall survival (OS) was 0.68 +/- 0.22. CONCLUSIONS: Intensive cisplatin and cyclophosphamide-based chemotherapy was effective in achieving remissions, however, the long-term outcome using this treatment program was unsatisfactory and associated with unacceptable morbidity and mortality, particularly in patients with diabetes insipidus.

    Title Factors Associated with Outcomes of Unrelated Cord Blood Transplant: Guidelines for Donor Choice.
    Date May 2004
    Journal Experimental Hematology

    OBJECTIVE: Optimizing cord blood donor selection based mainly on cell dose and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) disparities may further improve results of unrelated cord blood transplants (UCBT). MATERIALS AND RESULTS: We analyzed 550 UCBTs for hematologic malignancies reported to the Eurocord Registry. Main outcomes and prognostic factors were analyzed in univariable and multivariable analyses incorporating center and period effects and using death and relapse as competitive risks for nonfatal endpoints. Nucleated cell (NC) dose before freezing and number of HLA disparities had a significant influence on outcome. Cumulative incidence (CI) of neutrophil and platelet recovery was associated with the number of HLA mismatches, number of NC before freezing, and use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. Coexistence of HLA class I and II disparities and high CD34 cell dose in the graft were associated with graft-vs-host disease grades III-IV. CI of disease relapse was higher in matched transplants showing a graft-vs-leukemia effect increased in HLA-mismatched transplants. Overall 3-year survival was 34.4%. Prognostic factors for survival were recipient age, gender, and disease status. CONCLUSION: Our results provide indications for a better choice of cord blood units according to cord blood cell content and HLA.

    Title Primary Chemotherapy for Intracranial Nongerminomatous Germ Cell Tumors: Results of the Second International Cns Germ Cell Study Group Protocol.
    Date March 2004
    Journal Journal of Clinical Oncology : Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

    PURPOSE: The optimum therapy for intracranial nongerminomatous germ cell tumors (NGGCT) remains controversial. The primary objective of this study was to determine whether intensive cisplatin and cyclophosphamide-based combination chemotherapy was effective in patients with intracranial NGGCT. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty patients were enrolled, aged 5 to 41 years (median, 13 years). Initial therapy included two courses of Regimen A (cisplatin, etoposide, cyclophosphamide, and bleomycin). Patients achieving a complete remission (CR) then received two courses of Regimen B (carboplatin, etoposide, and bleomycin). Those in CR after four courses of treatment received one additional course of Regimen A and Regimen B, while those not in CR after four treatment courses underwent second-look surgery and/or irradiation. RESULTS: Sixteen of 17 patients assessable for response after two courses of treatment achieved a CR or partial response (CR + partial response, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.73 to 1.0). With a median follow-up of 6.3 years, 14 of 20 patients are alive without disease; eight patients were without relapse or progression, of whom three received local irradiation in first complete remission in violation of protocol, and six patients were in durable second or third complete remission after further chemotherapy and/or irradiation. The 5-year overall survival and event-free survival were 0.75 (95% CI, 0.56 to 0.94) and 0.36 (95% CI, 0.13 to 0.59), respectively. CONCLUSION: Intensive chemotherapy was effective in one-third of patients in this study. Salvage therapy, including irradiation, was feasible in patients with recurrent disease.

    Title Unrelated Cord Blood Transplantation for Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia: a Eurocord Group Analysis.
    Date January 2004
    Journal Blood

    Results of unrelated cord blood transplantation (UCBT) in childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have not been previously reported. We analyzed 95 children receiving UCB transplants for AML (20 in first complete remission [CR1], 47 in CR2, and 28 in more advanced stage). Poor prognosis cytogenetic abnormalities were identified in 29 cases. Most patients received a 1 or 2 HLA antigens-mismatched UCB transplants. The median number of collected nucleated cells (NCs) was 5.2 x 107/kg. Cumulative incidence (CI) of neutrophil recovery was 78% +/- 4%, acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was 35% +/- 5%, and 100-day transplantation-related mortality (TRM) was 20% +/- 4%. In multivariable analysis, a collected NC dose higher than 5.2 x 107/kg was associated with a lower 100-day TRM. The 2-year CI of relapse was 29% +/- 5% and was associated with disease status. The 2-year leukemia-free survival (LFS) was 42% +/- 5% (59% +/- 11% in CR1, 50% +/- 8% in CR2, and 21% +/- 9% for children not in CR). Children with poor prognosis cytogenetic features had similar LFS compared with other patients (44% +/- 11% vs 40% +/- 8%). In CR2, LFS was not influenced by the length of CR1 (53% +/- 11% in CR1 < 9.5 months compared with 50% +/- 12% in later relapses). We conclude that UCBT is a therapeutic option for children with very poor-prognosis AML and who lack an HLA-identical sibling.

    Title Bone Metastases from Secondary Glioblastoma Multiforme: a Case Report.
    Date January 2002
    Journal Journal of Neuro-oncology

    Extraneural metastases of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) are a relatively rare occurrence which usually manifest after de novo GBM. We report a case of a patient with an oligodendroastrocytoma who developed over a period of 12 years malignant progression to glioblastoma followed by multiple cytologically confirmed bone metastases. No 1p deletions were detected in the original tumour. GBM cells disclosed the EGFr(+) and p53(-) immunophenotype more characteristic of a primary GBM.

    Title Long-term Quality of Life and Neuropsychologic Functioning for Patients with Cns Germ-cell Tumors: from the First International Cns Germ-cell Tumor Study.
    Date December 2001
    Journal Neuro-oncology

    This study evaluated the quality of life and neuropsychologic functioning among patients enrolled between 1989 and 1993 in the First International CNS Germ-Cell Tumor Study. Quality-of-life questionnaires (Short Form-36 or Child Health Questionnaire) were completed on 43 patients at median follow-up of 6.1 years after diagnosis (range, 4.5-8.8 years), and intellectual and academic testing was performed on 22 patients. Psychosocial and physical functioning of patients aged 19 years and older at follow-up was within the average range, whereas the same functioning for patients aged 18 years and younger, as reported by their parents at follow-up, was low average and borderline, respectively. Overall psychosocial and physical health summary scores were positively correlated with age at diagnosis for both groups combined. Those who received CNS radiation therapy (n = 29) reported significantly worse physical health, but similar psychosocial health, compared with those treated without radiation. Neuropsychologic testing indicated full-scale and verbal IQ, reading, spelling, and math skills in the average range, and performance IQ in the low average range. Intelligence and math skills were positively correlated with age at diagnosis. Those with germinomas significantly outperformed those with nongerminomatous/ mixed tumors on all neuropsychological measures administered. Younger patients diagnosed with CNS germ-cell tumors are at increased risk for psychosocial and physical problems as well as neuropsychologic deficits. Exposure to irradiation adversely affects overall physical functioning, whereas tumor pathology appears to be a salient neurocognitive risk factor. Collaborative and randomized studies are required to further elucidate the late effects arising from factors such as age at diagnosis, tumor histology, level of irradiation therapy, and chemotherapy toxicity among these young and potentially curable patients.

    Title Germ Cell Tumors of the Cns in Children: Recent Advances in Therapy.
    Date November 1999
    Journal Child's Nervous System : Chns : Official Journal of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery

    Primary germ cell tumors of the central nervous system are rare neoplasms, accounting for no more than 2% of all malignancies in children and young people under 20 in the Western hemisphere. They have unique features related to age at diagnosis and sites of origin, as well as race and gender predilection. Prognosis has been clearly shown to be strongly related to pathological classification as either pure germinoma or nongerminomatous germ cell tumor, although many of these lesions are comprised of mixed elements. The presence of serum or cerebrospinal fluid tumor marker elevation has been an essential determinant of response to treatment. Because of the deleterious effects of irradiation on the immature nervous system, investigators have used chemotherapeutic strategies that either reduce or eliminate radiation therapy. In this article, we review the most recent advances in therapy for CNS germ cell tumors in the pediatric population and highlight the importance of cooperative trials in this setting.

    Title Selective Adsorption of Poly-his Tagged Glutaryl Acylase on Tailor-made Metal Chelate Supports.
    Date August 1999
    Journal Journal of Chromatography. A

    A poly-His tag was fused in the glutaryl acylase (GA) from Acinetobacter sp. strain YS114 cloned in E. coli yielding a fully active enzyme. Biochemical analyses showed that the tag did not alter the maturation of the chimeric GA (poly-His GA) that undergoes a complex post-translational processing from an inactive monomeric precursor to the active heterodimeric enzyme. This enzyme has been used as a model to develop a novel and very simple procedure for one-step purification of poly-His proteins via immobilized metal-ion affinity chromatography on tailor-made supports. It was intended to improve the selectivity of adsorption of the target protein on tailor-made chelate supports instead of performing a selective desorption. The rate and extent of the adsorption of proteins from a crude extract from E. coli and of pure poly-His tagged GA on different metal chelate supports was studied. Up to 90% of proteins from E. coli were adsorbed on commercial chelate supports having a high density of ligands attached to the support through long spacer arms, while this adsorption becomes almost negligible when using low ligand densities, short spacer arms and Zn2+ or Co2+ as cations. On the contrary, poly-His GA adsorbs strongly enough on all supports. A strong affinity interaction between the poly-His tail and a single chelate moiety seems to be the responsible for the adsorption of poly-His GA. By contrast, multipoint weak interactions involving a number of chelate moieties seem to be mainly responsible for adsorption of natural proteins. By using tailor-made affinity supports, a very simple procedure for one-step purification of GA with minimal adsorption of host proteins could be performed. Up to 20 mg of GA were adsorbed on each ml of chelate support while most of accompanying proteins were hardly adsorbed on such supports. Following few washing steps, the target enzyme was finally recovered (80% yield) by elution with 50 mM imidazole with a very high increment of specific activity (up to a 120 purification factor).

    Title Oncogene Expression in Tumour Cells of Pediatric Hodgkin's Disease in Argentina--correlation with Epstein Barr Virus Presence.
    Date May 1998
    Journal Pathology, Research and Practice

    A new category of oncogenes regulating apoptosis, p53 and bcl-2, and the Epstein Barr virus (EBV) latent membrane protein-1 (LMP-1) have been related to Hodgkin's disease (HD) pathogenesis. We attempt to determine p53, mdm2, p21waf-1, bcl-2 and LMP-1 immunohistochemical expression in tissue sections from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded lymph node biopsies of pediatric HD. P53 was detected in the nucleus of Reed Sternberg cells and their variants (H-RS) in 68% of the HD cases. However, there was no statistically significant association with either clinical stages or with histological subtypes. P21waf-1, an indirect marker of p53 functional status, showed nuclear labelling of H-RS in all the studied cases. MDM2 co-expressed with p53 in 62% of the cases, suggesting that both proteins regulate one another, in HD by a self regulatory loop. Bcl-2 cytoplasmatic expression in H-RS was demonstrated in 65% of the cases. There was co-expression of bcl-2 and p53 in 51%, but it failed to correlate with a poor prognosis. LMP-1 labelling was shown in 51% of the cases, disclosing a statistically significant association with the under 6-year group (p = 0.005, Fisher's exact test). Since LMP-1 induces the expression of bcl-2 in vitro, the relation of both proteins was analysed and found to co-express in 15/37 cases, with a statistically significant association only in the under 6-year group (p = 0.001, Fisher's exact test). Abnormal accumulation of these oncoproteins in tumour cells could play a role in the pathogenesis of a subset of pediatric HD.

    Title Pediatric Oncology in Argentina: a Historical Overview.
    Date August 1997
    Journal Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
    Title Epstein Barr Virus in Argentine Pediatric Hodgkin's Disease.
    Date May 1997
    Journal Leukemia & Lymphoma

    Since Hodgkin's disease (HD) is an heterogeneous condition with diverse histological and epidemiological subgroups, it seemed worthwhile to investigate the Argentine pediatric pattern. Moreover, the presence of Epstein Barr virus (EBV) infection occurs at different ages depending on the development status of the country. Thus, it was interesting to assess the relation between EBV and HD in the Argentine pediatric population. The age distribution profile of our pediatric HD patients showed a peak in early childhood which declined towards adolescence, closely resembling EBV infection pattern. Male:female ratio of the studied population was 3.2:1 and the histological subtype distribution disclosed that mixed cellularity HD (MCHD) was the most common, an epidemiological profile shared with other developing countries. Fifty percent of assessed HD cases were associated with EBV, showing a significantly higher prevalence in the 3-6 years-old group, indicating a non-random distribution. EBV was also present in most of MCHD cases and in some nodular lymphocyte predominance HD (nLPHD) but entirely absent in nodular sclerosis HD (NSHD). Both EBV subtypes, namely EBV-1 and EBV-2, were detected in studied HD cases. EBV-HD association in the Argentine pediatric population reveals typical epidemiological features indicating EBV as the aetiologic agent or, alternatively as a cofactor in a considerable percentage of such HD cases.

    Title Talking to a Child with Cancer. A Valuable Experience.
    Date May 1997
    Journal Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
    Title Chemotherapy Without Irradiation--a Novel Approach for Newly Diagnosed Cns Germ Cell Tumors: Results of an International Cooperative Trial. The First International Central Nervous System Germ Cell Tumor Study.
    Date December 1996
    Journal Journal of Clinical Oncology : Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

    PURPOSE: Radiation therapy for CNS germ cell tumors (GCT) is commonly associated with neurologic sequelae. We designed a therapeutic trial to determine whether irradiation could be avoided. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients received four cycles of carboplatin, etoposide, and bleomycin. Those with a complete response (CR) received two further cycles; others received two cycles intensified by cyclophosphamide. RESULTS: Seventy-one patients were enrolled (45 with germinoma and 26 with nongerminomatous GCT [NGGCT]). Sixty-eight were assessable for response. Thirty-nine of 68 (57%) achieved a CR within four cycles. Of 29 patients with less than a CR, 16 achieved CR with intensified chemotherapy or second surgery. Overall, 55 of 71 (78%) achieved a CR without irradiation. The CR rate was 84% for germinomas and 78% for NGGCT. With a median follow-up duration of 31 months, 28 of 71 patients were alive without relapse or progression. Thirty-five showed tumor recurrence (n = 28) or progression (n = 7) at a median of 13 months. Twenty-six of 28 patients (93%) who recurred following remission underwent successful salvage therapy. Pathology was the only variable predictive of survival. The probability of surviving 2 years was .84 for germinoma patients and .62 for NGGCT. Seven of 71 patients died of toxicity associated with study chemotherapy. CONCLUSION: Forty-one percent of surviving patients and 50% of all patients were treated successfully with chemotherapy only without irradiation. Chemotherapy-only regimens for CNS GCT, although encouraging, should continue to be used only in the setting of formal clinical trials.

    Title Functional Adrenal Cortical Tumors in Pediatric Patients: a Clinicopathologic and Immunohistochemical Study of a Long Term Follow-up Series.
    Date June 1996
    Journal Cancer

    BACKGROUND: Controversy exists as to which variable is a reliable predictor of clinical outcome of adrenal cortical tumors in children. METHODS: Twenty patients with adrenal cortical tumors were studied. Tumor weight, histologic features, and percentage of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA/cyclin) in tumor cells were analyzed to determine the best predictor of clinical outcome. RESULTS: Eleven patients had Cushing's syndrome with virilization and 9 had virilization without Cushing's syndrome. The mean age at diagnosis was 7.1 +/- 5.2 years (range, 0.4-15.6 years). Sixteen patients, with good outcomes have been followed for 10.7 +/- 7.8 years (range, 3-23 years). All but two patients had a tumor weight of less than 100 g (185 g and 800 g, respectively) (mean 47.7 g +/- 46.4 g). Two patients with large tumors (weighing 1000 g and 780 g, respectively) had poor outcomes; 1 died 3 months after surgery with metastasis and the other presented with lung metastasis 18 months after surgery. Histologic features did not correlate with clinical outcome. Overall, PCNA stained cells were 6.96 +/- 8.2% (range, 0-32.5%). PCNA values were significantly lower in tumors of patients with good outcomes (P < 0.002). Within all tumors, we found a weak correlation between tumor weight and PCNA (r = 0.51; P < 0.02), but a better correlation was found between tumor weight and PCNA in patients with Cushing's syndrome (r = 0.70; P < 0.01). Patients with Cushing's syndrome had higher PCNA values than those with virilization syndrome (10.3 +/- 9.6% vs. 2.8 +/- 3.3%; P < 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Our data show that small tumors (less than 100 g) are associated with good outcome; the two patients with the poorest prognosis had Cushing's syndrome and large tumors (more than 100 g). Histologic features are not adequate predictors of outcome and PCNA may be useful in tumors of patients with Cushing's syndrome, but this parameter should not be used alone. Two patients had virilization syndrome, large tumors (185 g and 800 g, respectively), and good outcomes, which contradicts with the concept that these tumors are usually associated with poor prognosis.

    Title Presence of Epstein-barr Virus and Strain Type Assignment in Argentine Childhood Hodgkin's Disease.
    Date December 1995
    Journal Blood

    Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been implicated in the etiology of a large number of malignancies. Most recently several studies have linked EBV to Hodgkin's disease. In this report, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues were collected retrospectively from 41 children with Hodgkin's disease treated at our hospital. Lymph node biopsies were examined for the presence of two virus-encoded latent proteins: latent membrane protein (LMP) and Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen-2 (EBNA-2), in Reed-Sternberg (RS) and Hodgkin (H) cells, by peroxidase immunolabeling. Nonisotopic Epstein-Barr encoded RNAs (EBERs) in situ hybridization was also performed and positive labeling in malignant cells was detected. Twenty specimens were EBER+/LMP+, 2 were EBER+/LMP-, and 19 were EBER-/LMP-. However, none of the 41 cases expressed EBNA-2. Twenty-two of 41 (54%) cases were EBV positive including 2 of 6 with lymphocyte predominance, 19 of 25 with mixed cellularity, 0 of 9 with nodular sclerosis, and 1 of 1 with lymphocyte depletion. In the age range of 2 to 6 years, 14 of 17 (82%) samples were EBV-positive, whereas only 8 of 24 (33%) samples from the age range of 7 to 15 years contained EBV. (P = .004), a two-tailed Fisher's test). In 17 samples, polymerase chain reaction amplification was performed using strain specific primers for exon sequences of the EBNA-3C gene of EBV. From 12 positive samples, 8 contained EBV-A and 4 EBV-B. These results support the hypothesis that EBV contributes to the pathogenesis of pediatric Hodgkin's disease, particularly in mixed cellularity Hodgkin's disease and in the younger group.

    Title Epstein-barr Virus (ebv) Latent Membrane Protein (lmp) in Tumor Cells of Hodgkin's Disease in Pediatric Patients.
    Date December 1994
    Journal Medical and Pediatric Oncology

    Twenty-nine out of 31 consecutive pediatric patients with Hodgkin's disease treated at our hospital from 1988 to 1992 were studied. The selection criterion was the availability of sufficient formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue for analysis. Patient age ranged from 3 to 15 years with a median age of 7 years. Lymph node biopsies were examined for the presence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded latent membrane protein (LMP) in malignant cells by peroxidase immunolabeling. LMP positivity was present in 10/15 (67%) of mixed cellularity, 1/6 (17%) of lymphocyte predominance, 0/7 (0%) of nodular sclerosis, and 1/1 (100%) of lymphocyte depletion. Positive cases by age range were: 10/12 (83%) for 3-6 years and 2/17 (11%) for 7-15 years. The association between EBV and Hodgkin's disease in children appeared to be more frequent in patients with mixed cellularity and those in the 3-6 age range, through examples of EBV-positive tumors were found in other histologic subtypes, stages and ages. Findings indicate that Hodgkin's disease in children is at least as strongly linked to EBV as in adults. Furthermore, we suggest that the EBV is associated with a subgroup of patients which can be defined on the basis of the age at diagnosis.

    Title Detection of Circulating Antigens in the Diagnosis of Acute Toxoplasmosis.
    Date November 1994
    Journal The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

    Using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, we have found circulating antigens of Toxoplasma gondii in three models of murine toxoplasmosis: mice infected with trophozoites of the RH strain (acute toxoplasmosis), the Beverley strain (subacute toxoplasmosis), and the T626 strain (chronic toxoplasmosis). Circulating antigens were detected 48 hr after infection in the mice infected with the RH strain, and all mice had antigenemia by the fourth day. In those infected with the Beverley strain, circulating antigens were detected from the second day after inoculation until the end of the study, with a peak (71% of the infected mice) on day 10. Of those infected with the T626 strain, 40% had antigenemia at 13 days after infection. The detection of circulating antigens in serum is directly related to the presence of toxoplasmosis in the acute phase in the three models studied and, therefore, may prove very useful in the rapid diagnosis of this disease.

    Title N-myc Oncogene and Urinary Catecholamines in Children with Neuroblastoma.
    Date August 1993
    Journal Medical and Pediatric Oncology

    This paper reports the analysis of N-myc amplification, urinary vanillylmandelic acid (VMA), and norepinephrine (NE) excretion and survival in 22 children with neuroblastoma and 7 with ganglio-neuroblastoma. Five patients had N-myc amplification (from 30 to more than 200 copies), all of whom had advanced-stage disease. The urinary excretion of VMA was normal in all of them, only one showed increased NE excretion. All patients with stage C-D disease and one copy of N-myc had increased VMA urinary excretion and increased (9/14) or normal (5/14) NE urinary excretion. All patients with stage A or B disease had one copy of N-myc. Half of them showed increased VMA urinary levels, while only 3/10 showed increased NE urinary values. Comparison of cumulative survival curves in relation to N-myc amplification and to VMA and NE urinary excretion showed a clear parallelism. Amplification of N-myc corresponded to normal VMA and NE urinary excretion, and was associated with the worst prognosis (P < 0.01), while increased VMA and/or NE excretion was found in patients with only one copy of N-myc.

    Title Molecular Epidemiology of Burkitt's Lymphoma from South America: Differences in Breakpoint Location and Epstein-barr Virus Association from Tumors in Other World Regions.
    Date July 1992
    Journal Blood

    We have previously shown that the endemic (African) and sporadic (North American) forms of Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) differ at a molecular level. We have now extended our studies to the molecular epidemiology of BL in South America, specifically to two climatic regions: temperate (Argentina and Chile) and tropical (Brazil). We have examined the patterns of chromosomal breakpoint locations in 39 tumors with respect to geography and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) association. The result of these analyses provide further support for the existence of pathogenetically distinct subtypes of BL in different world regions. The majority of breakpoints on chromosome 8 in South American BL (41%) occurred in the immediate flanking region of c-myc, ie, further 5' of the "typical" sporadic breakpoints, in the first exon/intron region, and further 3' of the "typical" endemic breakpoints, which are usually distant from c-myc. However, the distribution of breakpoints on chromosome 14 in tumors from the temperate and tropical regions of South America is similar to that observed in sporadic and endemic tumors. Interestingly, only one tumor with an unrearranged c-myc gene joined to the S mu region of chromosome 14 was observed. This combination was also rarely observed in our earlier series and presumably is either less readily generated by the mechanism that mediates 8;14 translocation or requires other, infrequent genetic changes to provide the necessary selective advantage for lymphomagenesis. The frequency of EBV association in South American BL (51%) is also intermediate with respect to tumors from the United States (30%) and Africa (100%). No correlation with the breakpoint location on chromosome 8 was discernable. Surprisingly, only 54% of tumors with breakpoint outside c-myc were EBV positive. This is in contrast to endemic tumors and suggests that any pathogenetic contribution of EBV is not dependent on breakpoint location, but is more likely to complement additional pathogenetic elements that differ in different world regions.

    Title Relationship Between the Production of Interferon-alpha/beta and Interferon-gamma During Acute Toxoplasmosis.
    Date November 1989
    Journal Parasitology

    Acute toxoplasmosis was induced in mice, and interferon (IFN) production in serum and by spleen cells was evaluated during the infection period. Interferon was characterized by acid-treatment and anti-IFN-alpha/beta neutralization. In order to verify the correlation between the unusual aspects of the IFN production and the induction of immunosuppression, splenocyte mitogen responsiveness was investigated concomitantly to IFN synthesis. The activity of Toxoplasma-induced serum IFN-alpha/beta increased gradually throughout all post-infection days, but IFN-gamma was not detected in the systemic circulation at any time during the infection. It was also observed that IFN-alpha/beta production and the capacity to produce IFN-gamma by spleen cells were closely and inversely correlated. As the infection progressed, more IFN-alpha/beta was produced, and the ability of spleen cells to produce IFN-gamma decreased. The observation that Toxoplasma-infected mice were concomitantly immunosuppressed (as documented by mitogen unresponsiveness and defective IFN-gamma production) in direct correlation to IFN-alpha/beta production, suggests that such IFN-alpha/beta production is an important factor associated with acute toxoplasmosis-induced immunosuppression.

    Title [cytogenetic Studies in Tumors of the Nervous System]
    Date September 1989
    Journal Medicina
    Title Malignant Germ Cell Sacrococcygeal Tumors in Children. Improved Prognosis After Introduction of Cisplatin-containing Multiple Drug Treatment.
    Date August 1989
    Journal Acta Oncologica (stockholm, Sweden)

    The survival of children with malignant germ cell sacrococcygeal tumors has improved during the last few years after introduction of a multidrug protocol including cisplatinum. Treatment for 10 patients registered in 1965-1978 was not uniform and consisted of surgical resection or biopsy and radiotherapy with or without multiple drug chemotherapy (methotrexate + actinomycin D + cyclophosphamide). Only one of these patients is alive. Fifteen patients registered between 1978 and 1986 were treated with actinomycin D + cyclophosphamide + vincristine + doxorubicin + bleomycin + cisplatinum. Four patients also received radiotherapy. Seven out of these 15 children are alive without evidence of disease.

    Title Thyroid Dysfunction in Hodgkin's Disease.
    Date February 1989
    Journal Cancer

    Radiotherapy to the neck and/or polychemotherapy late effects on the thyroid were investigated in 51 patients (34 males and 17 females) with Hodgkin's disease. Except for two untreated, recently diagnosed patients, all were studied after 1 to 105 months (median, 27.5 months) of completion of polychemotherapy. Age ranged from 6.2 to 36.6 years (median, 13.6 years). Patients were divided according to treatment into four groups: (A) patients treated with CVPP (cyclophosphamide, vinblastine, procarbazine, and prednisone); (B) 22 patients treated with CVPP plus radiotherapy (median radiation dose to the thyroid, 3000 cGy); (C) seven patients with ACOP/BVP (adriamycin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone, bleomycin, vinblastine, procarbazine); and (D) seven patients treated with different polychemotherapy protocols, four of whom also received radiotherapy. Elevated basal and/or post-TRH, -TSH levels were found in the following: Group A: two of 12 patients (17%); Group B: 11 of 22 (50%); Group C: four of seven (57%); and Group D: two of seven (28%). Positive antimicrosomal thyroid antibody titers (AM Ab) were found in the following: Group A: three of 12 patients (25%); Group B: six of 21 (28%), Group C: two of seven (28%); and Group D: one of six (17%). Of 46 patients studied, 12 (26%) had positive AM Ab; 37 of 46 patients were younger than 20 years of age, 11 (30%) of whom had positive AM Ab versus 4% in the normal population (P less than 0.001). Two recently diagnosed, untreated patients had either high TSH response to TRH or positive AM Ab. In conclusion, higher frequency of thyroid dysfunction was observed in patients receiving radiotherapy (50% versus 27%). Prevalence of positive AM Ab, apparently unrelated to therapy, was higher in young patients than in the normal population. A predisposition to autoimmune thyroid disease seems to be present in these patients, but it is not possible to discern how lymphoma and thyroiditis are interrelated.

    Title Glucokinase-deficient Mutant of Penicillium Chrysogenum is Derepressed in Glucose Catabolite Regulation of Both Beta-galactosidase and Penicillin Biosynthesis.
    Date December 1988
    Journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy

    One glucokinase-deficient mutant (glk1) of Penicillium chrysogenum AS-P-78 was isolated after germ tube-emitting spores were mutated with nitrosoguanidine and selected for growth on lactose-containing medium in the presence of inhibitory concentrations of D-2-deoxyglucose (3 mM). Penicillin biosynthesis was greatly reduced (55%) in D-glucose-grown cultures of the parental strain, but this sugar had no repressive effect on the rate of penicillin biosynthesis in the mutant glk1. This mutant was deficient in ATP-dependent glucokinase and showed a greatly reduced uptake of D-glucose. The parental strain P. chrysogenum AS-P-78 showed in vitro ATP-dependent phosphorylating activities of D-glucose, D-2-deoxyglucose, and D-galactose. The glk1 mutant was deficient in the in vitro phosphorylation of D-glucose and D-2-deoxyglucose but retained a normal D-galactose-phosphorylating activity. D-Glucose repressed both beta-galactosidase and isopenicillin-N-synthase but not acyl coenzyme A:6-aminopenicillanic acid acyltransferase in the parental strain. The glucokinase-deficient mutant was simultaneously derepressed in carbon catabolite regulation of beta-galactosidase and isopenicillin-N-synthase, suggesting that a common regulatory mechanism is involved in carbon catabolite regulation of both sugar utilization and penicillin biosynthesis.

    Title Long-term Endocrine Sequelae After Surgery, Radiotherapy, and Chemotherapy in Children with Medulloblastoma.
    Date March 1987
    Journal Cancer

    Thirteen children with medulloblastoma, were studied after 2 to 62 months off radiotherapy and chemotherapy with methotrexate and BCNU. Ages at time of study ranged from 2.3 to 15.7 years. Eleven patients, followed for a mean of 22 months, showed a significant decrease of height score, whereas nine patients had deficient growth hormone (GH) response to provocative tests. Clinical pubertal progression was normal in all patients, and three of five girls with advanced pubertal development had menarche. No evidences of gonadotropin disturbances were found in five patients whereas seven had raised basal follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) level or FSH response to luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH). Abnormalities in thyrotrophin (TSH) secretion were found in 9 of 13 patients. This study shows that poor growth and GH deficiency were frequent in our patients. The high frequency of thyroid disturbances observed point out the need of evaluating thyroid function for adequate replacement therapy. Perhaps modification of adjuvant chemotherapy in the future can diminish drug-induced gonadal damage.

    Title Paratesticular Rhabdomyosarcoma in Children.
    Date July 1986
    Journal The Journal of Urology

    The clinicopathological features of 10 children with paratesticular rhabdomyosarcoma treated between 1965 and 1984 are reviewed. Of the patients 9 had embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma and 1 was pleomorphic. Median age was 4 years (range 2 to 11 years). Staging was based on clinical findings, chest x-ray, lymphoangiography, computerized tomography and histological studies. The disease was stage I in 5 patients, stage II in 2 and stage IV in 3. Treatment included radical orchiectomy in all patients, chemotherapy in 8 and lumboaortic radiotherapy in 5. No retroperitoneal node lymphadenectomy was performed. Of the 10 children 7 are free of disease after 2 to 19 years (median 7 years) of followup, including all of those with stages I and II disease.

    Title Evaluation of Cisplatin in Children with Recurrent Brain Tumors.
    Date September 1985
    Journal Cancer Treatment Reports
    Title Primary Rhabdomyosarcoma of Brain and Cerebellum. Report of Four Cases in Infants: an Immunohistochemical Study.
    Date August 1985
    Journal Acta Neuropathologica

    Tumors of the central nervous system (CNS) composed of pure mesenchymal derivatives with both embryonal and mature striated muscle cells devoid of neuroblastic elements should be considered rhabdomyosarcomas. Some 13 cases have been reported, and here we study four additional cases in infancy under 3 years of age which represent 0.82% of 483 intracranial tumors studied by us at the Children's Hospital in the last 12 years. Two cases were localized in the temporal lobes, and two were in the cerebellar vermis. All of them were typical embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas at various stages of differentiation including undifferentiated mesenchymal cells, embryonal cells, and rhabdomyoblasts. Tumor cells achieved a higher degree of differentiation in the cerebellum, as shown by readily detectable immature muscle fibers which were consistently absent in tumors involving the brain. Myoglobin [peroxidase-antiperoxidase (PAP) technique] was positive throughout in rhabdomyoblasts and in immature muscle cells, whereas glial fibrillary acidic protein was negative in all four tumors. In spite of the well differentiated appearance of the cerebellar tumors, their behavior was highly malignant with extensive infiltration of brainstem leptomeninges in one case, and all patients survived for only a short time after surgery. These tumors may be observed in the midline structures of the posterior fossa and in the brain, but we suspect their true incidence might be higher if immunohistochemical techniques were applied.

    Title Comparison of Two Consecutive Trials for Treatment of Childhood Non-hodgkin's Lymphoma.
    Date January 1985
    Journal Cancer

    Two consecutive trials for the treatment of childhood non-Hodgkin's lymphoma were evaluated, carried out by the same cooperative groups. Group A: From June, 1973 to December, 1975, 50 evaluable patients under 16 years of age participated in a study that included vincristine and prednisone plus surgery and/or radiotherapy as induction. This was followed by 2400 rad of cranial radiotherapy plus 5 doses of intrathecal methotrexate-dexamethasone and anti-leukemia (6-mercaptopurine, methotrexate, cyclophosphamide) or anti-lymphoma (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone) maintenance treatment. Group B: From January, 1976 to December, 1980, 55 evaluable patients participated in a consecutive study that added Adriamycin (doxorubicin) and cyclophosphamide to the former induction regimen. Central nervous system (CNS) prevention was performed with 5 doses of intrathecal methotrexate-dexamethasone. Maintenance treatment was the same. Prognostic factors as stage and primary site were comparable in both groups. A total of 33 (66%) of 50 children of Group A and 48 (87%) of 55 children of Group B achieved complete remission (P less than 0.005). Disease-free survival at 60 months was 27% in Group A and 49% in Group B; for Stage I-II, 30% in Group A and 85% in Group B (P less than 0.025); for Stage III-IV 28% in Group A and 36% in Group B (not significant). In Group A, 9.1% and in Group B, 8.3% had primary CNS relapse. Both maintenance schedules had the same relapse rate. It was concluded that: (1) the addition of Adriamycin and cyclophosphamide to vincristine-prednisone in Group B produces a higher rate of complete remission in Stage III-IV, a higher rate of disease-free survival in Stage I-II, and a higher survival rate in all stages; (2) CNS prevention with intrathecal methotrexate-dexamethasone is equally effective as cranial radiation plus intrathecal methotrexate-dexamethasone; and (3) anti-leukemia and anti-lymphoma maintenance are equally effective in the context of this study.

    Title Recombinant Microorganisms for Industrial Production of Antibiotics.
    Journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering

    The enhancement of industrial antibiotic yield has been achieved through technological innovations and traditional strain improvement programs based on random mutation and screening. The development of recombinant DNA techniques and their application to antibiotic producing microorganisms has allowed yield increments and the design of biosynthetic pathways giving rise to new antibiotics. Genetic manipulations of the cephalosporin producing fungus Cephalosporium acremonium have included yield improvements, accomplished increasing biosynthetic gene dosage or enhancing oxygen uptake, and new biosynthetic capacities as 7-aminocephalosporanic acid (7-ACA) or penicillin G production. Similarly, in Penicillium chrysogenum, the industrial penicillin producing fungus, heterologous expression of cephalosporin biosynthetic genes has led to the biosynthesis of adipyl-7-aminodeacetoxycephalosporanic acid (adipyl-7-ADCA) and adipyl-7-ACA, compounds that can be transformed into the economically relevant 7-ADCA and 7-ACA intermediates. Escherichia coli expression of the genes encoding D-amino acid oxidase and cephalosporin acylase activities has simplified the bioconversion of cephalosporin C into 7-ACA, eliminating the use of organic solvents. The genetic manipulation of antibiotic producing actinomycetes has allowed productivity increments and the development of new hybrid antibiotics. A legal framework has been developed for the confined manipulation of genetically modified organisms. (c) 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Biotechnol Bioeng 55: 216-226, 1997.

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