#Blood #screening for heavy #metals and organic #pollutants in #cancer #patients exposed to #toxic #waste in southern #Italy: A pilot study (J Cell Physiol., abstract)

[Source: Journal of Cellular Physiology, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Blood screening for heavy metals and organic pollutants in cancer patients exposed to toxic waste in southern Italy: A pilot study

Iris Maria Forte,  Paola Indovina,  Aurora Costa,  Carmelina Antonella Iannuzzi,  Luigi Costanzo,  Antonio Marfella,  Serena Montagnaro,  Gerardo Botti,  Enrico Bucci,  Antonio Giordano

First published: 15 December 2019 / DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1002/jcp.29399



In Italy, in the eastern area of the Campania region, the illegal dumping and burning of waste have been documented, which could potentially affect the local population’s health. In particular, toxic waste exposure has been suggested to associate with increased cancer development/mortality in these areas, although a causal link has not yet been established. In this pilot study, we evaluated blood levels of toxic heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in 95 patients with different cancer types residing in this area and in 27 healthy individuals. While we did not find any significant correlation between the blood levels of POPs and the provenance of the patients, we did observe high blood concentrations of heavy metals in some municipalities, including Giugliano, where many illegal waste disposal sites have previously been documented. Our results showed that patients with different cancer types from Giugliano had higher blood levels of heavy metals than healthy controls. Despite the obvious limitations of this exploratory study, our preliminary observations encourage further research assessing the possible association between exposure to hazardous waste, increased blood metals, and increased risk of cancer.


Open Research

DATA AVAILABILITY STATEMENT: The data sets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding authors on reasonable request.

Keywords: Toxic chemicals; Environmental pollution; Environmental disasters; Italy; Cancer.


#PCB levels in #adipose tissue of #dogs from illegal #dumping sites in #Campania region (Italy) (Chemosphere, abstract)

[Source: Chemosphere, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Chemosphere / Volume 244, April 2020, 125478

PCB levels in adipose tissue of dogs from illegal dumping sites in Campania region (Italy)

Maria Carmela Ferrante b1, Paola Di Vaio a1, Elisa Magli a, Francesco Frecentese a, Rosaria Meli a, Giuseppe Caliendo a, Angela Corvino a, Ferdinando Fiorino a, Flavia Giordano a, Anna Monnolo b, Irene Saccone a, Vincenzo Santagada a, Beatrice Severino a, Giacomo Calabria d, Cosimo Manzo c, Elisa Perissutti a

{a} Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Via D. Montesano, 49, 80131, Naples, Italy; {b} Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Via Delpino, 1, 80137, Naples, Italy; {c} Avantech Group s.r.l, Via Masuccio Salernitano, 28, 84012, Angri (SA), Italy; {d} Veterinary Clinic “Giacomo Calabria VET”, Via S. Francesco D’Assisi, 41, 80034, Marigliano (NA), Italy

Received 1 April 2019, Revised 19 November 2019, Accepted 25 November 2019, Available online 27 November 2019.

Handling Editor: Andreas Sjodin

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.125478



  • PCB concentrations in dog’s adipose tissue from an area with illegal waste dumping.
  • Animals like sentinels for biomonitoring of PCBs.
  • PCB concentrations positively related to cancer disease.



The aim of the study is to investigate the potential relationship between exposure to PCBs and cancer. In doing so we relied on a sample of dogs coming from a peculiar area of the Campania region (Italy), that has been suffering for illegal waste dumping and open air burning of plastic waste for many years. The latter determined the release of organic and inorganic pollutants, such as the PCBs. By comparing dogs with cancer and healthy dogs, we found much higher PCB concentrations in the former, with a significant difference (p < 0.05) for the non-indicator ∑10NDL-PCB and the DL-PCBs. A regression analysis, controlling for three potentially confounding factors, that are sex, age and weight, confirmed the higher ∑10NDL-PCB concentration in dogs with cancer. Hence, our evidence suggests a potential health hazard for animals and likewise people living in a risky area due to the presence of environmental organic pollutants.

Keywords: Sentinel animals – Dogs – Campania region – Polychlorinated biphenyls – Cancer

(1) These two authors equally contributed.

© 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Environmental pollution; Environmental disaster; Cancer; Italy; Dogs.


Five-Year #US #Trends in the North American #Cancer #Survival Index, 2005–2014 (Am J Prev Med., abstract)

[Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Five-Year U.S. Trends in the North American Cancer Survival Index, 2005–2014

Bożena M. Morawski, PhD1,2, Hannah K. Weir, PhD3, Christopher J. Johnson, MPH2

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2019.10.001

Published online: December 10, 2019




Progress in U.S. 5-year survival trends for all cancers combined was assessed using the North American Cancer Survival Index, a sum of age-, sex-, and cancer site–standardized relative survival ratios.


In January 2019, authors calculated 5-year cancer survival indices and 95% CIs by race and sex for 2005–2011, 2006–2012, 2007–2013, and 2008–2014 diagnosis cohorts with data from 42 cancer registries.


Overall 5-year survival increased from 63.5% (95% CI=63.4, 63.5) in 2005–2011 to 64.1% (95% CI=64.1, 64.2) in 2008–2014. Survival increased 0.9 and 0.5 percentage points in female and male patients, respectively; the survival disparity among blacks versus whites decreased by 0.5%. In 2008–2014, the Cancer Survival Index was 7.7% higher for whites (64.6%; 95% CI=64.6, 64.7) than for blacks (56.9%; 95% CI=56.7, 57.1).


Cancer Survival Index survival estimates increased among all race and sex subpopulations during 2005–2014. A substantial but decreasing survival gap persisted between blacks and whites. The Cancer Survival Index can assist decision makers and others in comparing cancer survival among populations and over time and in monitoring progress toward national cancer surveillance objectives.

Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Keywords: USA; Cancer.


Initiation of #Colorectal #Cancer #Screening Among #Medicaid Enrollees (Am J Prev Med., abstract)

[Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Initiation of Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Medicaid Enrollees

Cynthia M. Mojica, PhD1, Savannah M. Bradley, MPH2, Bonnie K. Lind, PhD3, Yifan Gu, MS3, Gloria D. Coronado, PhD4, Melinda M. Davis, PhD5,6,7

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2019.09.015

Published online: November 27, 2019




Few studies have explored how individual- and practice-level factors influence colorectal cancer screening initiation among Medicaid enrollees newly age eligible for colorectal cancer screening (i.e., turning 50 years). This study explored colorectal cancer screening initiation among newly age-eligible Medicaid enrollees in Oregon.


Medicaid claims data (January 2013 to June 2015) were used to conduct multivariable logistic regression (in 2018 and 2019) to explore individual- and practice-level factors associated with colorectal cancer screening initiation among 9,032 Medicaid enrollees.


A total of 17% of Medicaid enrollees initiated colorectal cancer screening; of these, 64% received a colonoscopy (versus fecal testing). Colorectal cancer screening initiation was positively associated with turning 50 years in 2014 (versus 2013; OR=1.21), being Hispanic (versus non-Hispanic white; OR=1.41), urban residence (versus rural; OR=1.23), and having 4 to 7 (OR=1.90) and 8 or more (OR=2.64) primary care visits compared with 1 to 3 visits in the year after turning 50 years. Having 3 or more comorbidities was inversely associated with initiation (OR=0.75). The odds of screening initiation were also higher for practices with 3 to 4 (OR=1.26) and 8 or more (OR=1.34) providers compared with 1 to 2 providers, and negatively associated with percentage of Medicaid panel age eligible for colorectal cancer screening (OR=0.92).


Both individual- and practice-level factors are associated with disparities in colorectal cancer screening initiation among Oregon Medicaid enrollees. Future work promoting colorectal cancer screening might focus on additional barriers to the timely initiation of colorectal cancer screening and explore the effect of practice in-reach and population outreach strategies.

© 2019 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Cancer; USA; Society.


Association between #particulate matter #air #pollution and #lung #cancer (Thorax, abstract)

[Source: Thorax, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Association between particulate matter air pollution and lung cancer

Zhenyu Zhang 1, Dawei Zhu 2, Bin Cui 3, Ruoxi Ding 4, Xuefeng Shi 5, Ping He 2

Author affiliations: 1 Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA; 2 China Center for Health Development Studies, Peking University, Beijing, China; 3 School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, China; 4 Institute of Population Research, Peking University, Beijing, China; 5 School of Management, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China

Correspondence to Professor Ping He, China Center for Health Development Studies, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China; phe@pku.edu.cn; Professor Xuefeng Shi; shixuefeng981206@163.com



Long-term exposure to particulate matter 2.5 μm (PM2.5) air pollution is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. However, the evidence is limited in low-income and middle-income countries. We estimated the association between the incidence of lung cancer and PM2.5 air pollution exposure in the Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance (UEBMI) beneficiaries in China. A total of 16 483 new lung cancer cases diagnosed from 12 966 137 UEBMI beneficiaries from 36 cities between 2013 and 2016. The relative risk for lung cancer associated with a 10 µg/m3 increase in 3-year PM2.5 exposure was 1.12 (95% CI 1.00 to 1.26). The population attributable risk estimated for a reduction in PM2.5 concentration to 35 µg/m3 corresponded to a decrease of 14% in cases of lung cancer. Reducing PM2.5 air pollution has a significant public health benefit.


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/thoraxjnl-2019-213722



XS and PH are joint senior authors.

ZZ and DZ contributed equally.


This work was supported by the Peking University’s Start-up Fund (BMU2018YJ004)

Competing interests 

None declared.

Patient consent for publication 

Not required.

Ethics approval 

The study was deemed as exempt from ethical approval by the institutional review board of the Beijing University of Chinese medicine (No.2019BZHYLL0201).

Provenance and peer review 

Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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Keywords: Environmental pollution; Cancer; China.


#Bloodstream #infections caused by #Escherichia coli in #onco-haematological patients: #Risk #factors and #mortality in an #Italian prospective survey (PLOS One, abstract)

[Source: PLOS One, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]


Bloodstream infections caused by Escherichia coli in onco-haematological patients: Risk factors and mortality in an Italian prospective survey

Enrico Maria Trecarichi , Gabriele Giuliano, Chiara Cattaneo, Stelvio Ballanti, Marianna Criscuolo, Anna Candoni, Francesco Marchesi, Marica Laurino, Michelina Dargenio, Rosa Fanci, Mariagiovanna Cefalo, Mario Delia, Angelica Spolzino,  [ … ], for the Haematologic Malignancies Associated Bloodstream Infections Surveillance (HEMABIS) registry–Sorveglianza Epidemiologica Infezioni Fungine in Emopatie Maligne (SEIFEM) group, Italy


Published: October 29, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0224465



Bloodstream infections (BSIs) remain life-threatening complications in the clinical course of patients with haematological malignancies (HM) and Escherichia coli represent one of the most frequent cause of such infections. In this study, we aimed to describe risk factors for resistance to third generation cephalosporins and prognostic factors, including the impact of third generation cephalosporins resistance, in patients with HM and BSIs caused by E. coli. Three hundred forty-two cases of E. coli BSIs were collected during the study period (from January 2016 to December 2017). The percentage of resistance to third generation cephalosporins was 25.7%. In multivariate analysis, the variables recent endoscopic procedures, culture-positive surveillance rectal swabs for multidrug-resistant bacteria, antibiotic prophylaxis with fluoroquinolones, and prolonged neutropenia were independently associated with bloodstream infections caused by a third generation cephalosporins resistant E. coli. The overall 30-day mortality rate was 7.1%. Cox regression revealed that significant predictors of mortality were acute hepatic failure, septic shock, male sex, refractory/relapsed HM, and third generation cephalosporins resistance by E. coli isolate. In conclusion, resistance to third generation cephalosporins adversely affected the outcomes of bloodstream infections caused by E. coli in our cohort of HM patients. We also found a significant correlation between prophylaxis with fluoroquinolones and resistance to third generation cephalosporins by E. coli isolates.


Citation: Trecarichi EM, Giuliano G, Cattaneo C, Ballanti S, Criscuolo M, Candoni A, et al. (2019) Bloodstream infections caused by Escherichia coli in onco-haematological patients: Risk factors and mortality in an Italian prospective survey. PLoS ONE 14(10): e0224465. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0224465

Editor: Peter Gyarmati, University of Illinois College of Medicine, UNITED STATES

Received: June 3, 2019; Accepted: October 14, 2019; Published: October 29, 2019

Copyright: © 2019 Trecarichi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Data Availability: Data cannot be made publicly available due to ethical restrictions imposed by Italian legislation and ethic committees of the study coordinating center and of any other participating centers. For additional information, please contact the corresponding author, Professor Enrico M Trecarichi (em.trecarichi@unicz.it) or the ethic committee of the study coordinating center (Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS – Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; E-mail: comitato.etico@policlinicogemelli.it).

Funding: The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.

Competing interests: EMT has been a speaker at accredited educational courses funded by unrestricted grants from Pfizer and Mattioli 1885. MT has been a scientific advisor/consultant for Angelini, Gilead, MSD, Nordic Pharma, and Roche, and speaker/chairman at accredited educational courses funded by unrestricted grants from Astellas, Gilead, MSD, and Pfizer. LP received honoraria for Advisory Board from Gilead Sciences, MSD, Pfizer, Jazz, Janssen, Menarini and Cidara, and has been speaker for Gilead Sciences, MSD, Pfizer, Celgine, Novartis, Astellas Pharma. MD received honoraria for Advisory Board from Honoraria from MSD, Gilead, and Pfizer. AB received honoraria for Advisory Board from Gilead, Pfizer, MSD, and Jazz. None of the other authors has any conflicts of interest to declare. This does not alter our adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

Keywords: Antibiotics; Drugs Resistance; E. Coli; Fluoroquinolones; Cephalosporins; Cancer; Italy.


#Vancomycin #resistance #gene cluster, vanC, in the #gut #microbiome of acute #leukemia #patients undergoing intensive #chemotherapy (PLoS One, abstract)

[Source: PLoS One, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]


Vancomycin-resistance gene cluster, vanC, in the gut microbiome of acute leukemia patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy

Armin Rashidi , Zhigang Zhu, Thomas Kaiser, Dawn A. Manias, Shernan G. Holtan, Tauseef Ur Rehman, Daniel J. Weisdorf, Alexander Khoruts, Gary M. Dunny, Christopher Staley

Published: October 10, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0223890



Two recent reports suggested that the less common, less virulent enterococcal species, Enterococcus gallinarum and E. casseliflavus, with low-level vancomycin resistance due to chromosomally encoded vanC1 and vanC2/3, may influence host immunity. We reported that peri-transplant gut colonization with E. gallinarum and E. casseliflavus is associated with lower mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Because most acute leukemia patients undergoing HCT have received intensive chemotherapy (usually requiring prolonged hospitalization) for their underlying disease before HCT, we hypothesized that some may have acquired vanC-positive enterococci during chemotherapy. Therefore, we evaluated the presence of the vanC gene cluster using vanC1 and vanC2/3 qPCR in thrice-weekly collected stool samples from 20 acute leukemia patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy. We found that an unexpectedly large proportion of patients have detectable vanC1 and vanC2/3 (15% and 35%, respectively) in at least one stool sample. Comparing qPCR results with 16S rRNA gene sequencing results suggested that E. gallinarum may reach high abundances, potentially persisting into HCT and influencing transplant outcomes.


Citation: Rashidi A, Zhu Z, Kaiser T, Manias DA, Holtan SG, Rehman TU, et al. (2019) Vancomycin-resistance gene cluster, vanC, in the gut microbiome of acute leukemia patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy. PLoS ONE 14(10): e0223890. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0223890

Editor: Senthilnathan Palaniyandi, University of Kentucky, UNITED STATES

Received: July 26, 2019; Accepted: October 1, 2019; Published: October 10, 2019

Copyright: © 2019 Rashidi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Data Availability: Raw sequencing data are deposited under accession number SRP141394 at the NCBI SRA.

Funding: This work was supported by grants from the University of Minnesota (Medical School Innovation award and Foundation grant for new faculty) to AR. In addition, funding from Achieving Cures Together and Hubbard Broadcasting Foundation supported this research. TK received partial support from the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Keywords: Antibiotics; Drugs Resistance; Vancomycin; Enterococci; Enterococcus gallinarum; Cancer; Leukemia.