Konstantinos Dimitrios Ballas

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The zoonotic ascarid Toxocara has been suggested as a possible etiologic agent of asthma. We conducted a clinic-based case-control study to examine whether the zoonotic infection acquired by ingesting Toxocara eggs is associated with asthma in children. Blood samples were collected from children aged 2-15 years, 95 of whom had asthma and 229 of whom did not(More)
BACKGROUND AND AIMS Although declining, cystic echinococcosis is still a serious public health issue in Greece. This study evaluated the clinical features, management, and short-term outcome of patients with complicated liver echinococcosis. MATERIAL AND METHODS A total of 227 patients who were operated on for 322 echinococcal cysts of the liver were(More)
Peutz-Jeghers type polyps of the stomach are rare and almost always associated with intestinal polyposis and mucocutaneous pigmentation; a condition known as Peutz-Jeghers syndrome. The case presented in this report refers to a woman found to have a large solitary Peutz-Jeghers type polyp of the stomach, with a maximal diameter of 7cm. Extended(More)
The human interleukin(IL)-18 is a key regulator of interferon(IFN)-gamma production and T-cell differentiation. Here we report the complete genomic structure and characterization of the 5'untranslated promoter region of the human IL-18 gene. The gene is composed of six exons and five introns, spanning approximately 19. 5kb. Promoter activity of the(More)
PURPOSE The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of angiogenesis inhibition by bevacizumab, a monoclonal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antibody, on the healing process of colonic anastomoses in rats, assessing some specific involved factors. This new agent is used mainly in metastatic colorectal cancer. The angiogenesis plays an(More)
Using a rapid dot-blot screening procedure based on DNA amplification and hybridization to synthetic oligonucleotide probes, we investigated 18 neuroblastomas in various clinical stages for the presence of ras mutations. In none of the samples was a mutation in the relevant codons 12, 13 or 61 of Ha-ras, Ki-ras or N-ras found. These data virtually exclude(More)
IL-18 is a regulator of NK cell function which utilizes the serine-threonine IL-1R-associated kinase signal transduction pathway and may activate additional not yet characterized signaling pathways. Here we evaluated IL-18-mediated signal transduction using the human NK cell line NK92 as a model. NK92 cells were shown by RT-PCR to express all three IL-18(More)
Cells from patients with MDS-derived AML display heterogeneous proliferative responses to transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta). We analyzed growth inhibition and SMAD2 phosphorylation by TGF beta in CD34+ cells from nine patients, as compared to normal controls. While TGF beta consistently inhibited thymidine incorporation of normal cells (41% of(More)
BACKGROUND Since octogenarians become a growing part of the population and surgical care is possible in them, this study was conducted to evaluate the outcome of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in patients 80 years of age and over. METHODS From June 1993 to May 2006, a total of 1263 patients underwent a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, applying the four-trocar(More)
Interleukin 18 (IL-18) is a recently identified cytokine, originally called interferon gamma inducing factor, due to its capacity to induce interferon gamma production in Th1 type cells. IL-18 is expressed by a wide variety of cell types including mononuclear phagocytes, osteoblasts, keratinocytes and adrenal cortex cells. To quantify human IL-18 mRNA(More)