Research Papers:

The density of mast cells c-Kit+ and tryptase+ correlates with each other and with angiogenesis in pancreatic cancer patients

Michele Ammendola _, Cosmo Damiano Gadaleta, Adam Enver Frampton, Tullio Piardi, Riccardo Memeo, Valeria Zuccalà, Maria Luposella, Rosa Patruno, Nicola Zizzo, Pietro Gadaleta, Patrick Pessaux, Rosario Sacco, Giuseppe Sammarco and Girolamo Ranieri

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:70463-70471. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19716

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Michele Ammendola1, Cosmo Damiano Gadaleta7, Adam Enver Frampton2, Tullio Piardi3, Riccardo Memeo8, Valeria Zuccalà4, Maria Luposella5, Rosa Patruno6, Nicola Zizzo6, Pietro Gadaleta7, Patrick Pessaux8, Rosario Sacco1, Giuseppe Sammarco1 and Girolamo Ranieri7

1Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Clinical Surgery Unit, University of Catanzaro “Magna Graecia” Medical School, Viale Europa-Germaneto, Catanzaro, Italy

2HPB Surgical Unit, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK

3Department of General, Digestive and Endocrine Surgery, Hopital Robert Debre, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Reims, Universite de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France

4Pathology Unit, “Pugliese-Ciaccio” Hospital, Catanzaro, Italy

5Cardiovascular Disease Unit, “San Giovanni di Dio” Hospital, Crotone, Italy

6Chair of Pathology, Veterinary Medical School, University “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy

7Interventional Radiology Unit with Integrated Section of Traslational Medical Oncology, National Cancer Research Centre, “Giovanni Paolo II”, Bari, Italy

8Hepato-Biliary and Pancreatic Surgical Unit, General, Digestive and Endocrine Surgery, IRCAD, IHU Mix-Surg, Institute for Minimally Invasive Image-Guided Surgery, University of Strasbourg, 1 place de l'Hôpital, Strasbourg, France

Correspondence to:

Michele Ammendola, email: [email protected]

Keywords: angiogenesis, mast cells, tryptase, c-Kit-receptor, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Received: May 26, 2017     Accepted: June 24, 2017     Published: July 31, 2017


Literature data suggest that inflammatory cells such as mast cells (MCs) are involved in angiogenesis. MCs can stimulate angiogenesis by releasing of well identified pro-angiogenic cytokines stored in their cytoplasm. In particular, MCs can release tryptase, a potent in vivo and in vitro pro-angiogenic factor. Nevertheless, few data are available concerning the role of MCs positive to tryptase in primary pancreatic cancer angiogenesis. This study analyzed the correlation between mast cells positive to c-Kit receptor (c-Kit+ MCs), the density of MCs expressing tryptase (MCD-T) and microvascular density (MVD) in primary tumor tissue from patients affected by pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). A series of 35 PDAC patients with stage T2-3N0-1M0 (by AJCC for Pancreas Cancer Staging 7th Edition) were selected and then undergone to surgery. Tumor tissue samples were evaluated by mean of immunohistochemistry and image analysis methods in terms of number of c-Kit+ MCs, MCD-T and MVD. The above parameters were related each other and with the most important main clinico-pathological features. A significant correlation between c-Kit+ MCs, MCD-T and MVD groups each other was found by Pearson t-test analysis (r ranged from 0.75 to 0.87; p-value ranged from 0.01 to 0.04). No other significant correlation was found. Our in vivo preliminary data, suggest that tumor microenvironmental MCs evaluated in terms of c-Kit+ MCs and MCD-T may play a role in PDAC angiogenesis and they could be further evaluated as a novel tumor biomarker and as a target of anti-angiogenic therapy.

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