Alvaro C. Laga

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A human polyomavirus was recently discovered in Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) specimens. The Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) genome undergoes clonal integration into the host cell chromosomes of MCC tumors and expresses small T antigen and truncated large T antigen. Previous studies have consistently reported that MCPyV can be detected in approximately 80%(More)
PURPOSE A rare 5% of cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (cSCC) metastasize, lack FDA-approved therapies, and carry a poor prognosis. Our aim was to identify recurrent genomic alterations in this little-studied population of metastatic cSCCs. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN We performed targeted sequencing of 504 cancer-associated genes on lymph node metastases in 29(More)
The mechanisms of melanoma invasion are poorly understood despite extensive inquiry. SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 2 (SOX2) is an embryonic stem cell transcription factor that has recently been discovered to be expressed in human melanoma where it is associated with dermal invasion and primary tumor thickness. To assess the potential role of SOX2(More)
SOX2 is an embryonic neural crest stem-cell transcription factor recently shown to be expressed in human melanoma and to correlate with experimental tumor growth. SOX2 binds to an enhancer region of the gene that encodes for nestin, also a neural progenitor cell biomarker. To define further the potential relationship between SOX2 and nestin, we examined(More)
SOX2 is a gene located on chromosome 3q26.33 that encodes a transcription factor important to maintenance of embryonic neural crest stem cell pluripotency. We have identified rare SOX2-immunoreactive cells in normal human skin at or near the established stem cell niches. Three subsets of SOX2-positive cells were defined in these regions: those expressing(More)
CONTEXT Melanoma growing as a tumorigenic nodule is one of the most virulent neoplasms to which the flesh is heir. At a considerably small tumor size, it incurs significant risk for widespread metastatic dissemination. There are no effective means of surgical intervention, chemical therapy, or immunologic therapy for advanced and metastatic melanoma. (More)
Hemolyzed specimens are rejected for coagulation testing based on concerns of artifactual interference. Prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), and selected factor assay test results for consecutive pairs of hemolyzed and subsequently recollected (mean, 72 minutes later) nonhemolyzed patient specimens were compared. Specimens(More)
Galectin-1 (Gal-1)-binding to Gal-1 ligands on immune and endothelial cells can influence melanoma development through dampening antitumor immune responses and promoting angiogenesis. However, whether Gal-1 ligands are functionally expressed on melanoma cells to help control intrinsic malignant features remains poorly understood. Here, we analyzed(More)
CONTEXT Previous studies report that increased expression of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) correlates with poor clinical outcome in several malignancies, including non- small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors have been reported to effectively inhibit carcinogenesis in colon cancer experimental models. OBJECTIVE We examined COX-2(More)