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עמוד בית
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November 2018
Jannis Kountouras MD PhD, Michael Doulberis MD DVM PhD, Stergios A. Polyzos MD PhD, Apostolis Papaefthymiou MD, Nikolaos Kapetanakis MD PhD, Stergios Arapoglou MD PhD, Ioannis Venizelos MD PhD, Elizabeth Vardaka PhD, Georgios Kotronis MD, Sotirios Anastasiadis MD and Panagiotis Katsinelos MD PhD
September 2016
Emmanouil Papadakis, Anastasia Banti and Anna Kioumi

Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an autoimmune systemic disease characterized by vascular thrombosis (arterial or venous) and/or pregnancy complications associated with the occurrence of autoantibodies, specifically lupus anticoagulant, anticardiolipin antibodies, and/or anti-β2 glycoprotein-I antibodies confirmed at least twice over a 12 week period according to the 2006 Sydney criteria. Antiphospholipid antibodies are encountered  in the general population with a reported prevalence of 1% to 5%  However, APS is far more infrequent with a prevalence of 40–50/100,000 persons and an incidence of about 5 new patients/100,000 persons. APS can be diagnosed in patients with no apparent clinical or laboratory pathology (primary APS) or it may be related to numerous other conditions, autoimmune diseases (usually systemic lupus erythematosus), malignancies, infections and drugs (secondary APS). Women are at risk for APS since the disease is encountered in both the primary and the secondary state in females more often than in men. In addition, women in their reproductive years can develop APS (either classical or obstetric), and special attention is warranted in pregnant women with a diagnosis of APS. The benefits of hormonal therapy in the form of contraception or hormone replacement treatment should be carefully weighed against the increased risk for vascular complications in women with APS.

November 2009
D.B. Zippel, R. Shapira , I. Kuchuk, D. Goitein, E. Winkler, M.Z. Papa and J. Schachter

Background: Patients with thick melanomas > 4 mm deep are at great risk for regional and distant metastatic disease. Historically, the appropriate management of thick melanomas has remained unclear and there is no consensus in the literature. Many have taken the nihilistic view that surgical intervention to excise regional nodal basins is not justified in light of the poor overall prognosis and risk of occult distant disease.

Objectives: To review the outcome of patients with thick node negative melanoma treated at a multidisciplinary academic center

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed a database of melanoma patients to identify patients with thick melanomas, > 4 mm, who were either clinically or sentinel node biopsy negative, staged T4N0, stage IIb or IIc. The charts of these patients were reviewed and updated, with a median follow-up of 4 years.

Results: We identified 23 patients who fit these criteria. Of these, 18 (78%) remain alive with a median follow-up of 4 years. Five patients died of metastatic disease. Of the 18 surviving patients, 14 remained with no evidence of disease after initial resection of their primary lesions. The majority of the recurrences were non-nodal.
Conclusions: The overall survival of patients in our study remains above 75%, at median follow-up of 4 years, even with thick initial index tumor depths. Most of the failures were due to hematogenous spread with lymphatic sparing. Tumor biology that may inhibit lymphatic spread could be a target of future investigation

August 2009
November 2007
Y. Laitman, B. Kaufmann, E. Levy Lahad, M.Z. Papa and E. Friedman

Background: Germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes account for only 20–40% of familial breast cancer cases. The CHEK2 gene encodes a checkpoint kinase, involved in response to DNA damage, and hence is a candidate gene for breast cancer susceptibility. Indeed, the CHEK2*1100delC truncating mutation was reported in a subset of mostly North European breast cancer families. The rate of the CHEK2*1100delC variant in the Ashkenazi* Jewish population was reported to be 0.3%.

Objectives: To evaluate whether CHEK2 germline mutations contribute to a breast cancer predisposition in Ashkenazi-Jewish high risk families.

Methods: High risk Ashkenazi Jewish women, none of whom was a carrier of the predominant Jewish mutations in BRCA1/BRCA2, were genotyped for germline mutations in the CHEK2 gene by exon-specific polymerase chain reaction followed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and sequencing of abnormally migrating fragments.

Results: Overall, 172 high risk women were genotyped: 75 (43.6%) with breast cancer (average age at diagnosis 49.6 ± 9.6 years, mean ± SD) and 97 asymptomatic individuals (age at counseling 48.3 ± 8.2 years). No truncating mutations were noted and four previously described missense mutations were detected (R3W 1.2%, I157T 1.2%, R180C 0.6% and S428F 5%), one silent polymorphism (E84E 20.5%) and one novel missense mutation (Y424H 1.2%). Segregation analysis of the I157T and S428F mutations (shown to affect protein function) with the cancer phenotype showed concordance for the CHK2*I157T mutation, as did two of three families with the CHK2*S428F mutation.

Conclusions: CHEK2 missense mutations may contribute to breast cancer susceptibility in Ashkenazi Jews.


*  Of East European descent

March 2006
M.I. Besser. A.J. Treves. O. Itzhaki, I. Hardan, A. Nagler, M.Z. Papa, R. Catane, E. Winkler, B. Shalmon-Sifroni and J. Schachter

Background: Metastatic melanoma is an aggressive and highly malignant cancer. The 5 year survival rate of patients with metastatic disease is less than 5% with a median survival of only 6–10 months. Drugs like dacarbazin (DTIC) as a single agent or in combination with other chemotherapy agents have a response rate of 15–30%, but the duration of response is usually short with no impact on survival. Interleukin-2-based immunotherapy has shown more promising results. The National Institutes of Health recently reported that lymphodepleting chemotherapy, followed by an adoptive transfer of large numbers of anti-tumor specific tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, resulted in an objective regression in 51% of patients.

Objectives: To introduce the TIL[1] technology to advanced metastatic melanoma patients in Israel.

Methods: We generated TIL cultures from tumor tissue, choosing those with specific activity against melanoma and expanding them to large numbers.

Results: TIL cultures from nine patients were established and examined for their specific activity against the patients' autologous tumor cells. Twelve TIL cultures derived from 5 different patients showed the desired anti-tumor activity, making those 5 patients potential candidates for the therapy.

Conclusions: Pre-clinical studies of the TIL technology in a clinical laboratory set-up were performed successfully and this modality is ready for treating metastatic melanoma patients at the Sheba Medical Center's Ella Institute.

[1] TIL = tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes 

October 2005
X. Giakoumi, M. Tsironi, C. Floudas, E. Polymeropoylos, E. Papalambros and A. Aessopos
October 2002
Arie Figer, MD, Yael Patael Karasik, MD, Ruth Gershoni Baruch, MD, Angela Chetrit, MSc, Moshe Z. Papa, MD, Revital Bruchim Bar Sade, MSc, Shulamith Riezel, MD and Eitan Friedman, MD, PhD

Background: Genes that confer mild or moderate susceptibility to breast cancer may be involved in the pathogenesis of sporadic breast cancer, modifying the phenotypic expression of mutant BRCA1/BRCA2 alleles. An attractive candidate is the insulin-like growth factor I, a known mitogen to mammary ductal cells in vivo and in vitro, whose serum levels were reportedly elevated in breast cancer patients.

Objective: To evaluate the contribution of the IGF-1 gene polymorphism to breast cancer risk by genotyping for a polymorphic allele size in breast cancer patients and controls.

Methods: We analyzed allele size distribution of the polymorphic CA repeat upstream of the IGF-I gene in 412 Israeli Jewish women: 268 women with breast cancer (212-sporadic and 56 carriers of either a BRCA1:or BRCA2 mutation), and 144 controls. Genotyping was accomplished by radioactive polymerase chain reaction of the relevant genomic region and size fractionation on polyacrylamide gels with subsequent auloradiography,

Results: Among women with breast cancer, with or without BRCA germline mutations, 196 and 198 basepair alleles were present in 4.7% (25/536 alleles), compared with 9% (26/288) controls (P = 0.02). This difference was more pronounced and significant in the non-Ashkenazi population. Conversely, the smaller size allele (176 bp) was present in the breast cancer group only {3/536, 0.6%).

Conclusions: The IGF-I polymorphism may serve as a marker for breast cancer risk in the general Jewish population, in particular non-Ashkenazi Jews, but extension and confirmation of these preliminary data are needed.

January 2000
Isabel Zvibel, PhD, Yaron Mintz, MD, Shlomo Brill, MD, Zamir Halpern, MD and Moshe Papa, MD
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