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1.  Retinoblastoma frontiers with intravenous, intra-arterial, periocular, and intravitreal chemotherapy 
Eye  2012;27(2):253-264.
In this report, we explore retinoblastoma diagnostic accuracy and review chemotherapy alternatives for retinoblastoma using intravenous, intra-arterial, periocular, and intravitreal routes. A review of 2775 patients referred for management of retinoblastoma, disclosed 78% with confirmed retinoblastoma and 22% with simulating lesions, termed pseudoretinoblastomas. Children ≤2 years old showed leading pseudoretinoblastomas of persistent fetal vasculature, Coats disease, and vitreous haemorrhage, whereas those >5 years showed simulators of Coats, toxocariasis, and familial exudative vitreoretinopathy. The diagnosis of retinoblastoma should be established before planning therapeutic strategy. Chemotherapy strategy depends on tumour laterality and stage of disease. If bilateral retinoblastoma, intravenous chemotherapy (IVC) is important as first-line therapy for control of intraocular disease, prevention of metastasis, and reduction in prevalence of pinealoblastoma and long-term second malignant neoplasms. Bilateral groups D and E retinoblastoma receive additional subtenon's carboplatin boost for improved local control. If unilateral disease is present, then intra-arterial chemotherapy (IAC) is often considered. IAC can be salvage therapy following chemoreduction failure. Unilateral retinoblastoma of groups D and E are managed with enucleation or globe-conserving IVC and/or IAC. Intravitreal chemotherapy is cautiously reserved for recurrent vitreous seeds following other therapies. In conclusion, the strategy for retinoblastoma management with chemotherapy depends on tumour laterality and stage of disease. Bilateral retinoblastoma is most often managed with IVC and unilateral retinoblastoma with IAC, but if advanced stage, combination IVC plus IAC or enucleation.
PMCID: PMC3574237  PMID: 22995941
tumour; retinoblastoma; chemoreduction; intravenous chemotherapy; intra-arterial chemotherapy; vitreous chemotherapy
2.  Failure of Globe Conservation in a Case of Adult Onset Retinoblastoma 
Adult onset retinoblastoma is a rare intraocular malignancy. The majority of the cases are treated with enucleation, due to late presentation and advanced-stage tumors. Here we report a case of a 30-year-old female who presented with an intraocular mass with exudative retinal detachment in her right eye. B-scan ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) confirmed the diagnosis of retinoblastoma. In an attempt to salvage the globe, she was treated with chemotherapy, which resulted in excellent regression of the tumor mass by the end of 8 months follow-up. The patient was followed-up regularly with focal treatment whenever necessary. Two years later, she developed a massive recurrence necessitating enucleation. Histopathologic examination revealed a moderately differentiated retinoblastoma with choroidal invasion. Attempt to salvage the globe in adult onset retinoblastoma with chemoreduction and focal therapy may be possible; however, regular long-term follow-up is necessary for recurrence which warrants timely intervention.
PMCID: PMC4219232  PMID: 25371646
Adult Onset Retinoblastoma; Chemotherapy; Enucleation
To evaluate individual tumor control following chemoreduction for retinoblastoma.
Prospective nonrandomized single-center case series of 457 retinoblastomas managed with six cycles of chemoreduction (vincristine, etoposide, and carboplatin). The tumors were then managed with chemoreduction alone (group A) or chemoreduction combined with thermotherapy (group B), cryotherapy (group C), or both thermotherapy and cryotherapy (group D). The main outcome measure was development of tumor recurrence.
Of 457 retinoblastomas, 63 (14%) were in group A, 256 (56%) in group B, 127 (28%) in group C, and 11 (2%) in group D. The tumor was located in the macula in 33 (52%) of group A, 109 (43%) of group B, 3 (2%) of group C, and 1 (9%) of group D. Using Kaplan-Meier analysis, recurrence of the individual retinoblastoma at 7 years was found in 45% of group A and in 18% of combined groups B, C, and D. Treatment of the 93 tumor recurrences included thermotherapy, cryotherapy, or plaque radiotherapy in 62 cases (67%) and external beam radiotherapy or enucleation in 31 cases (33%). Risk factors predictive of tumor recurrence by multivariate analysis included macular tumor location for all groups and, additionally, female sex for group A and increasing tumor thickness for groups B, C, and D.
Chemoreduction alone or combined with cryotherapy and/or thermotherapy is effective for treatment of retinoblastoma, but tumor recurrence is greatest for those located in the macula and those with greater thickness. Globe salvage is usually achieved despite tumor recurrence.
PMCID: PMC1280085  PMID: 15747743
4.  Globe conserving treatment of the only eye in bilateral retinoblastoma 
The British Journal of Ophthalmology  2003;87(11):1374-1380.
Aims: To quantify the rates of eye preservation and patient survival, local tumour relapse and recurrence, and development of new tumours in the remaining eye of children with bilateral retinoblastoma with one eye already enucleated. Also, in the same children, to describe the types of primary and secondary treatment procedures, and to define the anatomical outcome.
Methods: This is a retrospective observational case series report. The study participants consisted of 107 patients with bilateral retinoblastoma with one eye enucleated within 1 month of baseline examination and had their remaining eye treated conservatively. The main outcome measure were: primary treatment failures, new tumours, enucleation of the only eye, death, remission, and anatomical outcomes (retinal detachment, vitreous haemorrhage, and cataract).
Results: The median age at diagnosis was 8.4 (range 0.2–44, SD 10.1) months with a median ophthalmic follow up of 44.3 (8.1–114, SD 10.1) months. In 22 of the 107 patients (21%) the treated eye was in Reese Ellsworth groups I or II and in the remaining 85 (79%) in groups III–V at diagnosis. The primary treatment was cryotherapy in 14% (15/107) of eyes, radioactive plaque brachytherapy in 3.7% (4/107), and chemotherapy in 10% (11/107). It was lens sparing radiotherapy in 37% (40/107), whole eye radiotherapy in 29% (31/107), combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy in 2.8% (3/107), chemothermotherapy in 0.9% (1/107), and combined focal therapy in 1.8% (2/107). The primary treatment failed to achieve local tumour control during the follow up period in 37% (40/107) of eyes. In 17 eyes failure was due to inadequate control of the presenting tumour, in 16 to development of a new tumour, and in eight eyes to a combination of both. 35 (88%) of the 40 failures were managed by secondary conservative treatment and the remaining five were treated by enucleation of the only eye. There were eight (7.4%) deaths and the 3 year survival rate was 93% (100/108). Anatomical results included vitreous haemorrhage in four cases, tractional retinal detachment also in four cases, and 24 children required cataract surgery.
Conclusions: Aggressive conservative treatment achieved a good rate of globe salvage without impairing survival.
PMCID: PMC1771893  PMID: 14609838
globe conservation; bilateral retinoblastoma; children
5.  Efficacy of vincristine and carboplatin as chemo-reduction for advanced bilateral retinoblastoma, the Saudi experience 
Saudi Journal of Ophthalmology  2013;27(3):193-196.
To evaluate the efficacy of a 2-drug chemotherapy regimen without external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and/or without enucleation in bilateral retinoblastoma.
From 1996 to 2010, 79 patients were diagnosed with bilateral RB and were eligible for chemotherapy. Chemotherapy was administered prior to and/or following local therapy to the eye. All patients received 3 cycles of chemo-reduction with carboplatin and vincristine, additional cycles of the same or other chemotherapy, local therapy, EBRT and enucleation were determined according to re-evaluation by the ophthalmologist.
Advanced disease was seen in 115 (79%) eyes (group IV and V: 96, Group D and E: 19) out of 146 affected eyes. Tumor response after chemotherapy was observed in 78 patients (98.7%); complete response in 25 (32.1%), partial response in 49 (62.8%) Four (5.1%) had progressive disease. A total of 50 (63.3%) patients required EBRT; 38 for persistent disease, 4 for progressive disease, 2 for new lesions, 2 for re-activation and 4 for disease control. Enucleation was required in 15 (19%). Secondary malignancies occurred in two patients who underwent EBRT; one osteogenic sarcoma and one rhabdomyosarcoma then later osteogenic sarcoma. The 10 year overall survival was 96.3% with a median follow-up time of 3.124 ± 0.536 years (95%CI: 2.074–4.174).
The 2-drug chemotherapy regimen combined with local therapy appears to be adequate therapy for low stage disease but not in patients with advanced disease. The occurrence of secondary cancers in this group of patients is worrisome further highlighting the deleterious effects of EBRT.
PMCID: PMC3770227  PMID: 24227985
Retinoblastoma; Chemo-reduction; Enucleation; External beam radiation therapy; Secondary malignancy
6.  Brachytherapy of intra ocular tumors using ‘BARC I-125 Ocu-Prosta seeds’: An Indian experience 
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology  2014;62(2):158-162.
To report our experience of brachytherapy using ‘BARC I-125 Ocu-Prosta seeds’ for the management of intraocular tumors with regard to tumor control, globe preservation visual outcome, and patient survival at Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, India between September 2003 and May 2011.
Materials and Methods:
We reviewed records of 35 eyes of 35 patients who underwent ophthalmic brachytherapy between September 2003 and May 2011. Twenty-one cases had choroidal melanoma, nine had childhood retinoblastoma, two had adult-onset retinoblastoma, and there were one case each of vasoproliferative tumor, retinal angioma, and ciliary body melanoma. Brachytherapy was administered using a 15- or 20-mm gold plaque with or without a notch. Brachytherapy was the primary treatment modality in all tumors other than retinoblastoma, wherein brachytherapy was done post chemoreduction for residual tumor.
For choroidal melanomas, the mean radiation dose was 68.69 ± 15.07 (range, 47.72-94.2) Gy. The eye salvage rate was 13/20 (65%) and tumor control rate was 16/20 (80%) at an average follow-up of 24.43 ± 24.75 (range, 1.5-87.98) months. For retinoblastoma, the mean dose was 45.85 ± 3.90 (range, 39.51-50.92) Gy. The eye salvage rate and tumor control rate was 5/6 (83.3%) at an average follow-up of 38.36 ± 31.33 (range, 4.14-97.78) months. All eyes with retinoblastoma needed additional focal therapy for tumor control and eye salvage.
The results of this retrospective study confirms that the use of ‘BARC I-125 Ocu-Prosta seeds’ in episcleral plaques to treat intraocular tumors offers a viable option for the management of intraocular cancers.
PMCID: PMC4005230  PMID: 24618486
‘BARC I-125 Ocu-Prosta seeds’; choroidal melanoma; ciliary body melanoma; Episcleral plaque brachytherapy; retinal angioma; retinoblastoma; vasoproliferative tumor
7.  Ophthalmic Artery Chemosurgery for Less Advanced Intraocular Retinoblastoma: Five Year Review 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e34120.
Ophthalmic artery chemosurgery (OAC) for retinoblastoma was introduced by us 5 years ago for advanced intraocular retinoblastoma. Because the success was higher than with existing alternatives and systemic side effects limited we have now treated less advanced intraocular retinoblastoma (Reese-Ellsworth (RE) I-III and International Classification Retinoblastoma (ICRB) B and C).
Methodology/Principal Findings
Retrospective review of 5 year experience in eyes with Reese Ellsworth (Table 1) I (7 eyes), II (6 eyes) or III (6 eyes) and/or International Classification (Table 2) B (19 eyes) and C (11 eyes) treated with OAC (melphalan with or without topotecan) introduced directly into the ophthalmic artery. Patient survival was 100%. Ocular event-free survival was 100% for Reese-Ellsworth Groups I, II and III (and 96% for ICRB B and C) at a median of 16 months follow-up. One ICRB Group C (Reese-Ellsworth Vb) eye could not be treated on the second attempt for technical reasons and was therefore enucleated. No patient required a port and only one patient required transfusion of blood products. The electroretinogram (ERG) was unchanged or improved in 14/19 eyes.
Ophthalmic artery chemosurgery for retinoblastoma that was Reese-Ellsworth I, II and III (or International Classification B or C) was associated with high success (100% of treatable eyes were retained) and limited toxicity with results that equal or exceed conventional therapy with less toxicity.
PMCID: PMC3335846  PMID: 22545080
8.  Modulation of CRX Transactivation Activity by Phosducin Isoforms† 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(14):5216-5226.
Phosducin (Phd) and Phd-like proteins (PhLPs) selectively bind guanine nucleotide protein (G protein) βγ subunits (Gβγ), while Phd-like orphan proteins (PhLOPs) lack the major functional domain for the binding of Gβγ. A retina- and pineal gland-specific transcription factor, cone-rod homeobox (CRX), was identified by a yeast two-hybrid screen using PhLOP1 as the bait. Direct protein-protein interactions between Phd or PhLOP1 and CRX were demonstrated using a β-galactosidase quantitative assay in the yeast two-hybrid system and were confirmed by an in vitro binding assay and a glutathione S-transferase (GST) pull-down assay. To determine if the interaction with Phd or PhLOP1 affected CRX transactivation, a 120-bp interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein (IRBP) promoter-luciferase reporter construct containing a CRX consensus element (GATTAA) was cotransfected into either COS-7 or retinoblastoma Weri-Rb-1 cells with expression constructs for CRX and either Phd or PhLOP1. Phd and PhLOP1 inhibited the transcriptional activation activity of CRX by 50% during transient cotransfection in COS-7 cells and by 70% in Weri-Rb-1 cells and COS-7 cells stably transfected with CRX. Phd inhibited CRX transactivation in a dose-dependent manner. Whereas Phd is a cytoplasmic phosphoprotein, coexpression of Phd with CRX results in Phd being localized both in the cytoplasm and nucleus. By contrast, PhLOP1 is found in the nucleus even without CRX coexpression. To address the physiological relevance of these potential protein interacting partners, we identified immunoreactive proteins for Phd and CRX in retinal cytosolic and nuclear fractions. Immunohistochemical analysis of bovine retinas reveals colocalization of Phd isoforms with CRX predominantly in the inner segment of cone cells, with additional costaining in the outer nuclear layer and the synaptic region. Our findings demonstrate that both Phd and PhLOP1 interact directly with CRX and that each diminishes the transactivation activity of CRX on the IRBP promoter. A domain that interacts with CRX is found in the carboxyl terminus of the Phd isoforms. Phd antibody-immunoreactive peptides are seen in light-adapted mouse retinal cytosolic and nuclear extracts. Neither Phd nor PhLOP1 affected CRX binding to its consensus DNA element in electrophoretic mobility shift assays. A model that illustrates separate functional roles for interactions between Phd and either SUG1 or CRX is proposed. The model suggests further a mechanism by which Phd isoforms could inhibit CRX transcriptional activation.
PMCID: PMC85970  PMID: 10866677
Extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is an uncommon but lethal malignancy. We analyzed the role of definitive chemoradiotherapy for patients with nonmetastatic, locally advanced extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma treated at a single institution.
Methods and Materials
This retrospective analysis included 37 patients who underwent external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) with concurrent chemotherapy and/or brachytherapy (BT) for locally advanced extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Local control (LC) and overall survival (OS) were assessed, and univariate regression analysis was used to evaluate the effects of patient- and treatment-related factors on clinical outcomes.
Twenty-three patients received EBRT alone, 8 patients received EBRT plus BT, and 6 patients received BT alone (median follow-up of 14 months). Two patients were alive without evidence of recurrence at the time of analysis. Actuarial OS and LC rates at 1 year were 59% and 90%, respectively, and 22% and 71%, respectively, at 2 years. Two patients lived beyond 5 years without evidence of recurrence. On univariate analysis, EBRT with or without BT improved LC compared to BT alone (97% vs. 56% at 1 year; 75% vs. 56% at 2 years; p = 0.096). Patients who received EBRT alone vs. BT alone also had improved LC (96% vs. 56% at 1 year; 80% vs. 56% at 2 years; p = 0.113). Age, gender, tumor location (proximal vs. distal), histologic differentiation, EBRT dose (≤ or >50 Gy), EBRT planning method (two-dimensional vs. three-dimensional), and chemotherapy were not associated with patient outcomes.
Patients with locally advanced extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma have poor survival. Long-term survival is rare. The majority of patients treated with EBRT had local control at the time of death, suggesting that symptoms due to the local tumor effect might be effectively controlled with radiation therapy, and EBRT is an important element of treatment. Novel treatment approaches are indicated in the therapy for this disease.
PMCID: PMC4121739  PMID: 20864265
Biliary cancer; Radiotherapy; 5-Fluorouracil; Adjuvant therapy
10.  Adjuvant radiotherapy for stage I endometrial cancer 
This is an updated version of the original Cochrane review published in Issue 2, 2007. The role of radiotherapy (both pelvic external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and vaginal intracavity brachytherapy (VBT)) in stage I endometrial cancer following hysterectomy remains controversial.
To assess the efficacy of adjuvant radiotherapy following surgery for stage I endometrial cancer.
Search methods
We searched The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Specialised Register to end-2005 for the original review, and extended the search to January 2012 for the update.
Selection criteria
We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared post-operative adjuvant radiotherapy (either EBRTor VBT, or both) versus no radiotherapy or VBT in women with stage I endometrial cancer.
Data collection and analysis
Two review authors independently assessed trials and extracted data to a specifically designed data collection form. The primary outcome was overall survival. Secondary outcomes were endometrial cancer-related deaths, locoregional recurrence and distant recurrence. Meta-analyses were performed using Cochrane Review Manager Software 5.1.
Main results
We included eight trials. Seven trials (3628 women) compared EBRT with no EBRT (or VBT), and one trial (645 women) compared VBTwith no additional treatment. We considered six of the eight trials to be of a high quality. Time-to-event data were not available for all trials and all outcomes.
EBRT (with or without VBT) compared with no EBRT (or VBT alone) for stage I endometrial carcinoma significantly reduced locoregional recurrence (time-to-event data: five trials, 2965 women; Hazard Ratio (HR) 0.36, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.25 to 0.52; and dichotomous data: seven trials, 3628 women; Risk Ratio (RR) 0.33, 95% CI 0.23 to 0.47). This reduced risk of locoregional recurrence did not translate into improved overall survival (time-to-event data: five trials, 2,965 women; HR 0.99, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.20; and dichotomous data: seven trials, 3628 women; RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.83 to 1.15) or improved endometrial cancer-related survival (time-to-event data: five trials, 2965 women; HR 0.96, 95% CI 0.72 to 1.28; and dichotomous data: seven trials, 3628 women; RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.81 to 1.29) or improved distant recurrence rates (dichotomous data: seven trials, 3628 women; RR 1.04, 95% CI 0.80 to 1.35).
EBRT did not improve survival outcomes in either the intermediate-risk or high-risk subgroups, although high-risk data were limited, and a benefit of EBRT for high-risk women could not be excluded. One trial (PORTEC-2) compared EBRT with VBT in the high-intermediate risk group and reported that VBT was effective in ensuring vaginal control with a non-significant difference in loco-regional relapse rate compared to EBRT (5.1% versus 2.1%; HR 2.08, 95% CI 0.71 to 6.09; P = 0·17). In the subgroup of low-risk patients (IA/B and grade 1/2), EBRT increased the risk of endometrial carcinoma-related deaths (including treatment-related deaths) (two trials, 517 women; RR 2.64, 95% CI 1.05 to 6.66) but there was a lack of data on overall survival. We considered the evidence for the low-risk subgroup to be of a low quality.
EBRT was associated with significantly increased severe acute toxicity (two trials, 1328 patients, RR 4.68, 95% CI 1.35 to 16.16), increased severe late toxicity (six trials, 3501 women; RR 2.58, 95% CI 1.61 to 4.11) and significant reductions in quality of life scores and rectal and bladder function more than 10 years after randomisation (one trial, 351 women) compared with no EBRT.
One trial of VBT versus no additional treatment in women with low-risk lesions reported a non-significant reduction in locoregional recurrence in the VBT group compared with the no additional treatment group (RR 0.39, (95% CI 0.14 to 1.09). There were no significant differences in survival outcomes in this trial.
Authors’ conclusions
EBRT reduces the risk of locoregional recurrence but has no significant impact on cancer-related deaths or overall survival. It is associated with significant morbidity and a reduction in quality of life. There is no demonstrable survival advantage from adjuvant EBRT for high-risk stage I endometrial cancer, however, the meta-analyses of this subgroup were underpowered and also included high-intermediate risk women, therefore we cannot exclude a small benefit in the high-risk subgroup. EBRT may have an adverse effect on endometrial cancer survival when used to treat uncomplicated low-risk (IA/B grade 1/2) endometrial cancer. For the intermediate to high-intermediate risk group, VBT alone appears to be adequate in ensuring vaginal control compared to EBRT. Further research is needed to guide practice for lesions that are truly high risk. In addition, the definitions of risk should be standardised.
PMCID: PMC4164955  PMID: 22513918
Endometrial Neoplasms [pathology; *radiotherapy; surgery]; Neoplasm Staging; Radiotherapy, Adjuvant [methods]; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; Survival Analysis; Female; Humans
11.  Long-Term Survival After Radical Prostatectomy Versus External Beam Radiotherapy for Patients with High-Risk Prostate Cancer 
Cancer  2011;117(13):2883-2891.
We compared the long-term survival of patients with high-risk prostate cancer following radical prostatectomy (RRP) and external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) with and without adjuvant androgen deprivation treatment (ADT).
We identified 1,238 patients who underwent RRP and 609 patients treated with EBRT (344 with EBRT + ADT and 265 with EBRT alone) between 1988–2004 who had a pretreatment prostate-specific antigen level (PSA) ≥ 20 ng/mL, biopsy Gleason score 8–10, or clinical stage ≥ T3. Median follow-up was 10.2, 6.0, and 7.2 years after RRP, EBRT + ADT, and EBRT alone, respectively. The impact of treatment modality on systemic progression, cancer-specific, and overall survival was evaluated using multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression analysis and a competing risk-regression model.
Ten-year cancer-specific survival was 92%, 92%, and 88% following RRP, EBRT + ADT, and EBRT alone (p=0.06). After adjustment for case mix, no significant differences in the risks of systemic progression (hazard ratio, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.51 to 1.18; p=0.23) or prostate cancer death (hazard ratio 1.14; 95% CI, 0.68 to 1.91; p=0.61) were seen between patients treated with EBRT + ADT and patients who underwent RRP. The risk of all-cause mortality was, however, greater after EBRT + ADT than RRP (hazard ratio, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.25 to 2.05; p=0.0002).
RRP and EBRT + ADT provide similar long-term cancer control for patients with high-risk disease. Continued investigation into the differing impact of treatments on quality-of-life and non-cancer mortality are necessary to determine the optimal management approach for these patients.
PMCID: PMC3139725  PMID: 21692049
prostate cancer; radical prostatectomy; radiation therapy; androgen-deprivation therapy; prostate-specific antigen
12.  Current therapy and recent advances in the management of retinoblastoma 
Retinoblastoma is the most common intraocular malignancy in children. The survival of retinoblastoma patients and visual outcome has improved dramatically in the developed world. This can be attributed to early tumor recognition and advances in the management of retinoblastoma. Chemoreduction followed by adjuvant consolidative treatment has replaced external beam radiotherapy as the primary modality of treatment for intraocular retinoblastoma. Further, histopathological high-risk factors have been identified in enucleated eyes, allowing use of prophylactic chemotherapy to take care of possible micrometastasis. The survival in case of extraocular retinoblastoma is still low, and the reported survival rate ranges between 50% and 70%. In developing countries, the overall survival of retinoblastoma patients remains low, primarily due to a delayed presentation, resulting in larger proportions of extraocular disease compared with the developed world, where majority of the disease is intraocular. Greater efforts need to be directed toward early tumor recognition in order to improve the survival of retinoblastoma patients in the developing world. In this article, we provide an overview of the current clinical management of retinoblastoma.
PMCID: PMC3439795  PMID: 22988349
Recent advances; retinoblastoma; treatment
13.  Mechanistically Distinct Mouse Models for CRX-Associated Retinopathy 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(2):e1004111.
Cone-rod homeobox (CRX) protein is a “paired-like” homeodomain transcription factor that is essential for regulating rod and cone photoreceptor transcription. Mutations in human CRX are associated with the dominant retinopathies Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), Cone-Rod Dystrophy (CoRD) and Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), with variable severity. Heterozygous Crx Knock-Out (KO) mice (“+/−”) have normal vision as adults and fail to model the dominant human disease. To investigate how different mutant CRX proteins produce distinct disease pathologies, we generated two Crx Knock-IN (K-IN) mouse models: CrxE168d2 (“E168d2”) and CrxR90W (“R90W”). E168d2 mice carry a frameshift mutation in the CRX activation domain, Glu168del2, which is associated with severe dominant CoRD or LCA in humans. R90W mice carry a substitution mutation in the CRX homeodomain, Arg90Trp, which is associated with dominant mild late-onset CoRD and recessive LCA. As seen in human patients, heterozygous E168d2 (“E168d2/+”) but not R90W (“R90W/+”) mice show severely impaired retinal function, while mice homozygous for either mutation are blind and undergo rapid photoreceptor degeneration. E168d2/+ mice also display abnormal rod/cone morphology, greater impairment of CRX target gene expression than R90W/+ or +/− mice, and undergo progressive photoreceptor degeneration. Surprisingly, E168d2/+ mice express more mutant CRX protein than wild-type CRX. E168d2neo/+, a subline of E168d2 with reduced mutant allele expression, displays a much milder retinal phenotype, demonstrating the impact of Crx expression level on disease severity. Both CRX[E168d2] and CRX[R90W] proteins fail to activate transcription in vitro, but CRX[E168d2] interferes more strongly with the function of wild type (WT) CRX, supporting an antimorphic mechanism. E168d2 and R90W are mechanistically distinct mouse models for CRX-associated disease that will allow the elucidation of molecular mechanisms and testing of novel therapeutic approaches for different forms of CRX-associated disease.
Author Summary
The transcription factor Cone-Rod Homeobox (CRX) plays a central role in regulating gene expression of rod and cone photoreceptors, the primary light sensing cells of the retina. Mutations in the human CRX gene have been associated with the retinal degeneration diseases Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), Cone-Rod Dystrophy (CoRD) and Leber Congential Amaurosis (LCA). These diseases cause progressive and permanent loss of vision, vary widely in age of onset and severity, and are currently untreatable. To understand how mutations in CRX cause distinct forms of retinal disease, we have genetically engineered mice to carry human disease-causing mutations in their Crx gene. These mouse lines accurately recapitulate distinct forms of CRX-associated disease, demonstrating that different classes of CRX mutations are responsible for phenotype variability in humans. We have characterized the pathology of these mice and identified critical mechanisms of disease. In addition, we have discovered that modifying the level of mutant protein had a dramatic effect on disease pathology in one mutant model, suggesting that targeted therapy against the mutant CRX could be an effective treatment strategy. These mouse models will allow for the testing of novel therapeutic strategies for retinal diseases caused by CRX mutations.
PMCID: PMC3916252  PMID: 24516401
14.  Does External Beam Radiation Therapy Improve Survival Following Transarterial Chemoembolization for Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma? 
Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) improves survival in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Partial liver radiotherapy with modern techniques has been shown to be safe. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the survival value of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) with concurrent chemotherapy combined with TACE.
A University of Virginia Interventional Radiology patient log was used to identify patients treated with TACE ± another modality from 1999 through 2005. During this time, 44 patients received TACE for unresectable HCC, and 7 of these received adjuvant EBRT. Univariate analysis and multivariable proportional hazards survival modeling were used to identify factors impacting survival.
We compared 37 patients receiving TACE alone to 7 receiving TACE and EBRT (5 with concurrent capecitabine). Unadjusted mean transplant-free survival times were TACE only = 376 days (standard error [SE] = 63 days), TACE + EBRT = 879 days (SE = 100 days). EBRT, TNM stage, and MELD score were important predictors for survival on univariate analysis (p < .10). The adjusted hazard ratio for transplant or death in the TACE + EBRT group was 0.15 (0.02–0.95, p = .026).
EBRT with concurrent chemotherapy following TACE is feasible and well tolerated with modern treatment techniques. Further research should be directed toward determining the potential overall survival benefit of adjuvant EBRT with chemotherapy following TACE for hepatocellular carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3348711  PMID: 22574232
15.  Vitreous relapse following primary chemotherapy for retinoblastoma: is adjuvant diode laser a risk factor? 
The British Journal of Ophthalmology  2006;90(9):1168-1172.
To evaluate rates of vitreous relapse among retinoblastoma patients treated with primary chemotherapy and assess diode laser as a potential risk factor for relapse.
Retrospective review of all patients treated with primary chemotherapy at a large ocular oncology centre. Eyes that developed vitreous relapse were coded with regard to Reese‐Ellsworth Group, laterality, time to relapse, type of relapse (vitreous base or non‐vitreous base relapse), treatments used (including adjuvant diode laser), and ocular preservation. Individual tumour foci treated with laser hyperthermia were also coded for laser parameters including power settings, number of treatments, and concomitant administration of systemic chemotherapy (chemothermotherapy).
15 of 106 eyes (14.15%) developed vitreous relapse over a 6 year period. Mean time to relapse was 7.2 months after chemotherapy was completed. Five cases (33%) were of the vitreous base variety. Ocular salvage was attempted in 11 cases using a variety of methods; one patient was lost to follow up. Six of the remaining 10 eyes (60%) were salvaged. Eight of 38 eyes (21%) treated with systemic chemotherapy and laser hyperthermia developed vitreous relapse compared with seven of 68 eyes (10%) treated with primary chemotherapy alone (p<0.005). Laser settings, number of hyperthermia treatments, and the concomitant use of systemic chemotherapy (chemothermotherapy) were not associated with higher rates of vitreous relapse.
Nearly one in seven eyes with retinoblastoma treated with primary chemotherapy may develop vitreous relapse. The administration of diode laser hyperthermia appears to increase this risk. Despite additional therapy a number of these eyes succumb to enucleation.
PMCID: PMC1857400  PMID: 16707528
retinoblastoma; chemotherapy; vitreous relapse; laser hyperthermia; transpupillary thermotherapy; children
16.  Tri-Modality therapy with I-125 brachytherapy, external beam radiation therapy, and short- or long-term hormone therapy for high-risk localized prostate cancer (TRIP): study protocol for a phase III, multicenter, randomized, controlled trial 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:110.
Patients with high Gleason score, elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) level, and advanced clinical stage are at increased risk for both local and systemic relapse. Recent data suggests higher radiation doses decrease local recurrence and may ultimately benefit biochemical, metastasis-free and disease-specific survival. No randomized data is available on the benefits of long-term hormonal therapy (HT) in these patients. A prospective study on the efficacy and safety of trimodality treatment consisting of HT, external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), and brachytherapy (BT) for high-risk prostate cancer (PCa) is strongly required.
This is a phase III, multicenter, randomized controlled trial (RCT) of trimodality with BT, EBRT, and HT for high-risk PCa (TRIP) that will investigate the impact of adjuvant HT following BT using iodine-125 (125I-BT) and supplemental EBRT with neoadjuvant and concurrent HT. Prior to the end of September 2012, a total of 340 patients with high-risk PCa will be enrolled and randomized to one of two treatment arms. These patients will be recruited from more than 41 institutions, all of which have broad experience with 125I-BT. Pathological slides will be centrally reviewed to confirm patient eligibility. The patients will commonly undergo 6-month HT with combined androgen blockade (CAB) before and during 125I-BT and supplemental EBRT. Those randomly assigned to the long-term HT group will subsequently undergo 2 years of adjuvant HT with luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist. All participants will be assessed at baseline and every 3 months for the first 30 months, then every 6 months until 84 months from the beginning of CAB.
The primary endpoint is biochemical progression-free survival. Secondary endpoints are overall survival, clinical progression-free survival, disease-specific survival, salvage therapy non-adaptive interval, and adverse events.
To our knowledge, there have been no prospective studies documenting the efficacy and safety of trimodality therapy for high-risk PCa. The present RCT is expected to provide additional insight regarding the potency and limitations of the addition of 2 years of adjuvant HT to this trimodality approach, and to establish an appropriate treatment strategy for high-risk PCa.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3350387  PMID: 22439742
Prostate cancer; Trimodality; Radiation therapy; Brachytherapy; External beam radiation therapy; Hormone therapy; Randomized controlled trial; Biochemical progression-free survival
17.  Hypofractionated SBRT versus conventionally fractionated EBRT for prostate cancer: comparison of PSA slope and nadir 
Patients with early stage prostate cancer have a variety of curative radiotherapy options, including conventionally-fractionated external beam radiotherapy (CF-EBRT) and hypofractionated stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). Although results of CF-EBRT are well known, the use of SBRT for prostate cancer is a more recent development, and long-term follow-up is not yet available. However, rapid post-treatment PSA decline and low PSA nadir have been linked to improved clinical outcomes. The purpose of this study was to compare the PSA kinetics between CF-EBRT and SBRT in newly diagnosed localized prostate cancer.
75 patients with low to low-intermediate risk prostate cancer (T1-T2; GS 3 + 3, PSA < 20 or 3 + 4, PSA < 15) treated without hormones with CF-EBRT (>70.2 Gy, <76 Gy) to the prostate only, were identified from a prospectively collected cohort of patients treated at the University of California, San Francisco (1997–2012). Patients were excluded if they failed therapy by the Phoenix definition or had less than 1 year of follow-up or <3 PSAs. 43 patients who were treated with SBRT to the prostate to 38 Gy in 4 daily fractions also met the same criteria. PSA nadir and rate of change in PSA over time (slope) were calculated from the completion of RT to 1, 2 and 3 years post-RT.
The median PSA nadir and slope for CF-EBRT was 1.00, 0.72 and 0.60 ng/ml and -0.09, -0.04, -0.02 ng/ml/month, respectively, for durations of 1, 2 and 3 years post RT. Similarly, for SBRT, the median PSA nadirs and slopes were 0.70, 0.40, 0.24 ng and -0.09, -0.06, -0.05 ng/ml/month, respectively. The PSA slope for SBRT was greater than CF-EBRT (p < 0.05) at 2 and 3 years following RT, although similar during the first year. Similarly, PSA nadir was significantly lower for SBRT when compared to EBRT for years 2 and 3 (p < 0.005).
Patients treated with SBRT experienced a lower PSA nadir and greater rate of decline in PSA 2 and 3 years following completion of RT than with CF-EBRT, consistent with delivery of a higher bioequivalent dose. Although follow-up for SBRT is limited, the improved PSA kinetics over CF-EBRT are promising for improved biochemical control.
PMCID: PMC3923240  PMID: 24484652
SBRT; Stereotactic body radiotherapy; Prostate; External beam; Conventionally fractionated; Nadir; Kinetics; Slope
18.  Supraselective intra-arterial chemotherapy: evaluation of treatment-related complications in advanced retinoblastoma 
The purpose of this study is to report the complication profile and safety evaluation of supraselective intra-arterial melphalan chemotherapy in children undergoing treatment with advanced retinoblastoma.
Twelve eyes of 10 children with advanced retinoblastoma (Reese-Ellsworth Group Vb or International Classification Group D) were treated with supraselective intra-ophthalmic artery infusion of melphalan. Eleven eyes of nine children had previously failed traditional management with systemic chemotherapy and laser ablation and underwent intra-ophthalmic artery infusion of melphalan as an alternative to enucleation. Serial ophthalmic examinations, retinal photography, and ultrasonographic imaging were used to evaluate treatment regime.
Ophthalmic artery cannulation was successfully performed in 12 eyes of 10 patients (total 16 times). Striking regression of tumor, subretinal and vitreous seeds were seen early in each case. No severe systemic side effects occurred. Grade III neutropenia was seen in one patient. No transfusions were required. Three patients developed a vitreous hemorrhage obscuring tumor visualization. One patient developed periocular edema associated with inferior rectus muscle inflammation per orbital MRI. This same patient had scattered intraretinal hemorrhages and peripapillary cotton wool spots consistent with a Purtscher’s-like retinopathy that resolved spontaneously. At the 6-month follow-up examination, nine eyes had no evidence of tumor progression, whereas three eyes were enucleated for tumor progression. In each enucleated case, viable tumor was identified on histopathologic examination.
Ophthalmic intra-arterial infusion with melphalan is an excellent globe-conserving treatment option in advanced retinoblastoma cases with minimal systemic side effects. Local toxicities include microemboli to the retina and choroid (1/12, 8%), vitreous hemorrhage (3/12, 25%), and myositis (1/12, 8%). Enucleation remained a definitive treatment for tumor progression in 3 of 12 eyes in this small case series with limited follow-up. Further studies are necessary to establish the role of supraselective intra-arterial melphalan chemotherapy for children with retinoblastoma.
PMCID: PMC3045066  PMID: 21383945
retinoblastoma; intra-arterial chemotherapy; melphalan
19.  Radiation-related quality of life parameters after targeted intraoperative radiotherapy versus whole breast radiotherapy in patients with breast cancer: results from the randomized phase III trial TARGIT-A 
Intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) is a new treatment approach for early stage breast cancer. This study reports on the effects of IORT on radiation-related quality of life (QoL) parameters.
Two hundred and thirty women with stage I-III breast cancer (age, 31 to 84 years) were entered into the study. A single-center subgroup of 87 women from the two arms of the randomized phase III trial TARGIT-A (TARGeted Intra-operative radioTherapy versus whole breast radiotherapy for breast cancer) was analyzed. Furthermore, results were compared to non-randomized control groups: n = 90 receiving IORT as a tumor bed boost followed by external beam whole breast radiotherapy (EBRT) outside of TARGIT-A (IORT-boost), and n = 53 treated with EBRT followed by an external-beam boost (EBRT-boost). QoL was collected using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaires C30 (QLQ-C30) and BR23 (QLQ-BR23). The mean follow-up period in the TARGIT-A groups was 32 versus 39 months in the non-randomized control groups.
Patients receiving IORT alone reported less general pain (21.3 points), breast (7.0 points) and arm (15.1 points) symptoms, and better role functioning (78.7 points) as patients receiving EBRT (40.9; 19.0; 32.8; and 60.5 points, respectively, P < 0.01). Patients receiving IORT alone also had fewer breast symptoms than TARGIT-A patients receiving IORT followed by EBRT for high risk features on final pathology (IORT-EBRT; 7.0 versus 29.7 points, P < 0.01). There were no significant differences between TARGIT-A patients receiving IORT-EBRT compared to non-randomized IORT-boost or EBRT-boost patients and patients receiving EBRT without a boost.
In the randomized setting, important radiation-related QoL parameters after IORT were superior to EBRT. Non-randomized comparisons showed equivalent parameters in the IORT-EBRT group and the control groups.
PMCID: PMC3896671  PMID: 23294485
Quality of life; Targeted intraoperative radiotherapy; Breast cancer; Boost; TARGIT-A trial
20.  Excellent local control with IOERT and postoperative EBRT in high grade extremity sarcoma: results from a subgroup analysis of a prospective trial 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:350.
To report the results of a subgroup analysis of a prospective phase II trial focussing on radiation therapy and outcome in patients with extremity soft tissue sarcomas (STS).
Between 2005 and 2010, 50 patients (pts) with high risk STS (size ≥ 5 cm, deep/extracompartimental location, grade II-III (FNCLCC)) were enrolled. The protocol comprised 4 cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy with EIA (etoposide, ifosfamide and doxorubicin), definitive surgery with IOERT, postoperative EBRT and 4 adjuvant cycles of EIA. 34 pts, who suffered from extremity tumors and received radiation therapy after limb-sparing surgery, formed the basis of this subgroup analysis.
Median follow-up from inclusion was 48 months in survivors. Margin status was R0 in 30 pts (88%) and R1 in 4 pts (12%). IOERT was performed as planned in 31 pts (91%) with a median dose of 15 Gy, a median electron energy of 6 MeV and a median cone size of 9 cm. All patients received postoperative EBRT with a median dose of 46 Gy after IOERT or 60 Gy without IOERT. Median time from surgery to EBRT and median EBRT duration was 36 days, respectively. One patient developed a local recurrence while 11 patients showed nodal or distant failures. The estimated 5-year rates of local control, distant control and overall survival were 97%, 66% and 79%, respectively. Postoperative wound complications were found in 7 pts (20%), resulting in delayed EBRT (>60 day interval) in 3 pts. Acute radiation toxicity mainly consisted of radiation dermatitis (grade II: 24%, no grade III reactions). 4 pts developed grade I/II radiation recall dermatitis during adjuvant chemotherapy, which resolved during the following cycles. Severe late toxicity was observed in 6 pts (18%). Long-term limb preservation was achieved in 32 pts (94%) with good functional outcome in 81%.
Multimodal therapy including IOERT and postoperative EBRT resulted in excellent local control and good overall survival in patients with high risk STS of the extremities with acceptable acute and late radiation side effects. Limb preservation with good functional outcome was achieved in the majority of patients.
Trial registration NCT01382030, EudraCT 2004-002501-72, 17.06.2011
PMCID: PMC4032585  PMID: 24885755
Soft tissue sarcoma; Extremity; Neoadjuvant chemotherapy; Intraoperative radiation therapy; Postoperative radiation therapy; Prospective trial
21.  Clinical Results of Chemotherapy based Treatment in Retinoblastoma Patients: A Single Center Experience 
Retinoblastoma is the most common intraocular malignancy in children. Since the 1990s, chemotherapy was indicated for intraocluar disease to reduce the frequency of enucleation and spare the complications associated with external beam radiation. In this study, we analyzed treatment results of retinoblastoma in our institute.
Materials and Methods
Datas from children diagnosed with retinoblastoma and treated at Seoul National University Children's Hospital between 1986 and 2008 were analyzed retrospectively. We utilized cyclophosphamide, vincristine, adriamycin, and methotrexate (CVAM) for OPD-based adjuvant chemotherapy. From 1990, primary chemotherapy was administered to patients with intraocular disease for eyeball-saving and patients received a combination of etoposide, vincristine, cisplatin (or ifosfamide) as a moderately intensive regimen, or a combination of cisplatin, doxorubicin, etoposide, and cycophosphamide (CDEC) as a highly intensive regimen.
One hundred eighteen children were analyzed. There were 68 unilateral and 50 bilateral diseases. The median age at diagnosis was 1 year and Reese-Ellsworth stage V was the most common stage at the time of diagnosis. All patients were treated by chemotherapy-based multimodality methods, and primary chemotherapy was administered to 80 patients. The 10-year overall and event-free survival rate of all patients were 93.9% and 91.6%, respectively. Two patients who died were in the CDEC regimen group, but there was no significant statistical difference in survival rates by chemotherapy regimens. Fifty-six of 114 eyeballs were saved after primary chemotherapy-based treatment, and the eyeball-saving rate was 49.1%. Six patients relapsed after enucleation and 2 patients were treated successfully after autologous PBSCT. Osteosarcoma occurred in 2 patients as a secondary malignancy, and facial asymmetry after radiotherapy was the most common long-term sequelae.
In this study, the overall and event-free survival rates of retinoblastoma were satisfactory and eye-saving was possible with primary chemotherapy. Development of new chemotherapeutic regimens and a team approach are necessary to improve the eyeball-saving rate.
PMCID: PMC2697477  PMID: 19688125
Retinoblastoma; Chemotherapy; Radiotherapy; Enucleation; Survival rate; Eyeball-saving
22.  Irresponsiveness of two retinoblastoma cases to conservative therapy correlates with up- regulation of hERG1 channels and of the VEGF-A pathway 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:504.
Treatment strategies for Retinoblastoma (RB), the most common primary intraocular tumor in children, have evolved over the past few decades and chemoreduction is currently the most popular treatment strategy. Despite success, systemic chemotherapeutic treatment has relevant toxicity, especially in the pediatric population. Antiangiogenic therapy has thus been proposed as a valuable alternative for pediatric malignancies, in particolar RB. Indeed, it has been shown that vessel density correlates with both local invasive growth and presence of metastases in RB, suggesting that angiogenesis could play a pivotal role for both local and systemic invasive growth in RB. We present here two cases of sporadic, bilateral RB that did not benefit from the conservative treatment and we provide evidence that the VEGF-A pathway is significantly up-regulated in both RB cases along with an over expression of hERG1 K+ channels.
Case presentation
Two patients showed a sporadic, bilateral RB, classified at Stage II of the Reese-Elsworth Classification. Neither of them got benefits from conservative treatment, and the two eyes were enucleated. In samples from both RB cases we studied the VEGF-A pathway: VEGF-A showed high levels in the vitreous, the vegf-a, flt-1, kdr, and hif1-α transcripts were over-expressed. Moreover, both the transcripts and proteins of the hERG1 K+ channels turned out to be up-regulated in the two RB cases compared to the non cancerous retinal tissue.
We provide evidence that the VEGF-A pathway is up-regulated in two particular aggressive cases of bilateral RB, which did not experience any benefit from conservative treatment, showing the overexpression of the vegf-a, flt-1, kdr and hif1-α transcripts and the high secretion of VEGF-A. Moreover we also show for the first time that the herg1 gene transcripts and protein are over expressed in RB, as occurs in several aggressive tumors. These results further stress the relevance of the VEGF-A pathway in RB and the correlation with hERG1, making aggressive and recurrent RB cases good candidates for antiangiogenesis therapies based on the targeting of VEGF-A.
PMCID: PMC2955607  PMID: 20860824
23.  Metastasis After Radical Prostatectomy or External Beam Radiotherapy for Patients With Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer: A Comparison of Clinical Cohorts Adjusted for Case Mix 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2010;28(9):1508-1513.
We assessed the effect of radical prostatectomy (RP) and external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) on distant metastases (DM) rates in patients with localized prostate cancer treated with RP or EBRT at a single specialized cancer center.
Patients and Methods
Patients with clinical stages T1c-T3b prostate cancer were treated with intensity-modulated EBRT (≥ 81 Gy) or RP. Both cohorts included patients treated with salvage radiotherapy or androgen-deprivation therapy for biochemical failure. Salvage therapy for patients with RP was delivered a median of 13 months after biochemical failure compared with 69 months for EBRT patients. DM was compared controlling for patient age, clinical stage, serum prostate-specific antigen level, biopsy Gleason score, and year of treatment.
The 8-year probability of freedom from metastatic progression was 97% for RP patients and 93% for EBRT patients. After adjustment for case mix, surgery was associated with a reduced risk of metastasis (hazard ratio, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.19 to 0.65; P < .001). Results were similar for prostate cancer–specific mortality (hazard ratio, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.13 to 0.80; P = .015). Rates of metastatic progression were similar for favorable-risk disease (1.9% difference in 8-year metastasis-free survival), somewhat reduced for intermediate-risk disease (3.3%), and more substantially reduced in unfavorable-risk disease (7.8% in 8-year metastatic progression).
Metastatic progression is infrequent in men with low-risk prostate cancer treated with either RP or EBRT. RP patients with higher-risk disease treated had a lower risk of metastatic progression and prostate cancer–specific death than EBRT patients. These results may be confounded by differences in the use and timing of salvage therapy.
PMCID: PMC3731893  PMID: 20159826
24.  Intranasal Vaccination Promotes Detrimental Th17-Mediated Immunity against Influenza Infection 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(1):e1003875.
Influenza disease is a global health issue that causes significant morbidity and mortality through seasonal epidemics. Currently, inactivated influenza virus vaccines given intramuscularly or live attenuated influenza virus vaccines administered intranasally are the only approved options for vaccination against influenza virus in humans. We evaluated the efficacy of a synthetic toll-like receptor 4 agonist CRX-601 as an adjuvant for enhancing vaccine-induced protection against influenza infection. Intranasal administration of CRX-601 adjuvant combined with detergent split-influenza antigen (A/Uruguay/716/2007 (H3N2)) generated strong local and systemic immunity against co-administered influenza antigens while exhibiting high efficacy against two heterotypic influenza challenges. Intranasal vaccination with CRX-601 adjuvanted vaccines promoted antigen-specific IgG and IgA antibody responses and the generation of polyfunctional antigen-specific Th17 cells (CD4+IL-17A+TNFα+). Following challenge with influenza virus, vaccinated mice transiently exhibited increased weight loss and morbidity during early stages of disease but eventually controlled infection. This disease exacerbation following influenza infection in vaccinated mice was dependent on both the route of vaccination and the addition of the adjuvant. Neutralization of IL-17A confirmed a detrimental role for this cytokine during influenza infection. The expansion of vaccine-primed Th17 cells during influenza infection was also accompanied by an augmented lung neutrophilic response, which was partially responsible for mediating the increased morbidity. This discovery is of significance in the field of vaccinology, as it highlights the importance of both route of vaccination and adjuvant selection in vaccine development
Author Summary
Influenza virus remains a global health risk causing significant morbidity and mortality each year, with the elderly (>65 years) and the very young particularly prone to severe respiratory disease. Scientists are working to develop highly efficacious vaccines capable of eliciting broad cross-clade protection from influenza infection. Adjuvants as well as the route of immunization are known to modulate the type, quality and breadth of immune responses to vaccines. In this study, we demonstrated intranasal vaccination with influenza antigens, and a novel synthetic TLR4-based adjuvant system provided protection against a lethal heterologous viral challenge. Immunization stimulated mucosal influenza-specific IgA antibody responses together with systemic IgG antibodies. While intranasal immunization stimulated the production of protective antibodies, vaccination via this route also promoted the generation of influenza-specific Th17 CD4+ T cells. These vaccine-induced Th17 cells increased inflammation and morbidity without contributing to viral clearance following challenge. Antibody neutralization of IL-17A during influenza infection significantly reduced the enhanced lung neutrophilic response, which was partially responsible for mediating the increased morbidity. This discovery is of significance in the field of vaccinology, as it demonstrates the importance of both route of immunization and adjuvant selection in vaccine development.
PMCID: PMC3900655  PMID: 24465206
25.  Clinical benefit of radiation therapy and metallic stenting for unresectable hilar cholangiocarcinoma 
AIM: To determine the efficacy of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), with or without intraluminal brachytherapy (ILBT), in patients with non-resected locally advanced hilar cholangiocarcinoma.
METHODS: We analyzed 64 patients with locally advanced hilar cholangiocarcinoma, including 25 who underwent resection (17 curative and 8 non-curative), 28 treated with radiotherapy, and 11 who received best supportive care (BSC). The radiotherapy group received EBRT (50 Gy, 30 fractions), with 11 receiving an additional 24 Gy (4 fractions) ILBT by iridium-192 with remote after loading. ILBT was performed using percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage (PTBD) route. Uncovered metallic stents (UMS) were inserted into non-resected patients with obstructive jaundice, with the exception of four patients who received percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage only. UMS were placed endoscopically or percutaneously, depending on the initial drainage procedure. The primary endpoints were patient death or stent occlusion. Survival time of patients in the radiotherapy group was compared with that of patients in the resection and BSC groups. Stent patency was compared in the radiotherapy and BSC groups.
RESULTS: No statistically significant differences in patient characteristics were found among the resection, radiotherapy, and BSC groups. Three patients in the radiotherapy group and one in the BSC group did not receive UMS insertion but received PTBD alone; cholangitis occurred after endoscopic stenting, and patients were treated with PTBD. A total of 16 patients were administered additional systemic chemotherapy (5-fluorouracil-based regimen in 9, S-1 in 6, and gemcitabine in 1). Overall survival varied significantly among groups, with median survival times of 48.7 mo in the surgery group, 22.1 mo in the radiotherapy group, and 5.7 mo in the BSC group. Patients who underwent curative resection survived significantly longer than those who were not candidates for surgery (P = 0.0076). Cumulative survival in the radiotherapy group was significantly longer than in the BSC group (P = 0.0031), but did not differ significantly from those in the non-resection group. Furthermore, the median survival time of patients in the radiotherapy group who were considered for possible resection (excluding the seven patients who were not candidates for surgery due to comorbid disease or age) was 25.9 mo. Stent patency was evaluated only in the 24 patients who received a metallic stent. Stent patency was significantly longer in the radiotherapy than in the BSC group (P = 0.0165). Biliary drainage was not eliminated in any patient. To determine the efficacy of ILBT, we compared survival time and stent patency in the EBRT alone and EBRT plus ILBT groups. However, we found no significant difference in survival time between groups or for stent patencies. Hemorrhagic gastroduodenal ulcers were observed in 5 patients (17.9%), three in the EBRT plus ILBT group and two in the EBRT alone group. Ulcers occurred 5 mo, 7 mo, 8 mo, 16 mo, and 29 mo following radiotherapy. All patients required hospitalization, but blood transfusions were unnecessary. All 5 patients recovered following the administration of anti-ulcer medication.
CONCLUSION: Radiotherapy improved patient prognosis and the patency of uncovered metallic stents in patients with locally advanced hilar cholangiocarcinoma, but ILBT provided no additional benefits.
PMCID: PMC3353370  PMID: 22654427
Hilar cholangiocarcinoma; Radiotherapy; Intra-luminal brachytherapy; Biliary metallic stent; Obstructive jaundice

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