Asthma is a significant disease among children, and its prevalence has increased notably during the last 2 decades. A traditional Korean medicine, So-Cheong-Ryong-Tang (SCRT), has been used for the treatment of asthma in Asia for centuries, but its mechanism for reducing bronchopulmonary inflammation in asthma has yet to be elucidated.
To investigate whether the herbal extract SCRT inhibits inflammation in a mouse model of cockroach allergen–induced asthma.
A house dust extract containing endotoxin and cockroach allergens was used for immunization and 2 additional pulmonary challenges in BALB/c mice. Mice were treated with SCRT or vehicle 1 hour before each pulmonary challenge. Respiratory parameters were evaluated by whole-body plethysmography and forced oscillation methods 24 hours after the last challenge. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was collected, and histologic sections of lung were prepared either 4 or 24 hours after the last house dust extract challenge.
SCRT treatment significantly reduced the hyperreactivity of the airways as measured by whole-body plethysmography and direct measurement of airway resistance. Inflammation was significantly inhibited by SCRT treatment as demonstrated by reduced plasma IgE levels and improved pulmonary histologic characteristics. SCRT significantly reduced the number of neutrophils in the BAL fluid and also significantly reduced the BAL levels of CXC chemokines, providing a potential mechanism for the reduced inflammation. In a similar fashion, SCRT reduced eosinophil recruitment and BAL levels of eotaxin and RANTES.
These data indicate that SCRT treatment alleviates asthma-like pulmonary inflammation via suppression of specific chemokines.
The knowledge of most plants used in the treatment of asthma, the plant part which is effective in treatment is confined to very few persons
who are engaged in folklore medicine. However, this form of medicine is not very popular. Therefore, it is of considerable interest to ethno-botanical
community to understand the plants and the parts used for treatment. Here, we describe AsthmaPlantBase, a database containing information of medicinal
plants for treatment of asthma.
asthmaplants; medicinal; database; phytochemical; active principles
Semen armeniacae amarum (SAA) is a Chinese traditional medicine and has long been used to control acute lower respiratory tract infection and asthma, as a result of its expectorant and antiasthmatic activities. However, its mutagenicity in vitro and in vivo has not yet been reported. The Ames test for mutagenicity is used worldwide. The histidine contained in biological samples can induce histidine-deficient cells to replicate, which results in more his+ colonies than in negative control cells, therefore false-positive results may be obtained. So, it becomes a prerequisite to exclude the effects of any residual histidine from samples when they are assayed for their mutagenicity. Chinese traditional herbs, such as SAA, are histidine-containing biological sample, need modified Ames tests to assay their in vitro mutagenicity.
The mutagenicity of SAA was evaluated by the standard and two modified Ames tests. The first modification used the plate incorporation test same as standard Ames teat, but with new negative control systems, in which different amounts of histidine corresponding to different concentrations of SAA was incorporated. When the number of his+ revertants in SAA experiments was compared with that in new negative control, the effect of histidine contained in SAA could be eliminated. The second modification used a liquid suspension test similar to the standard Ames test, except with histidine-rich instead of histidine-limited medium. The aim of this change was to conceal the effect of histidine contained in SAA on the final counting of his+ revertants, and therefore to exclude false-positive results of SAA in the Ames test. Furthermore, the effect of SAA on chromosomal aberration in mammalian bone marrow cells was tested.
The standard Ames test showed a positive result for mutagenicity of SAA. In contrast, a negative response was obtained with the modified plate incorporation and modified suspension Ames tests. Moreover, no apparent chromosomal aberrations were observed in mammalian bone marrow cells treated with SAA.
The standard Ames test was not suitable for evaluating the mutagenicity of SAA, because false-positive result could be resulted by the histidine content in SAA. However, the two modified Ames tests were suitable, because the experimental results proved that the effect of histidine in SAA and therefore the false-positive result were effectively excluded in these two modified Ames tests. This conclusion needs more experimental data to support in the future. Moreover, the experimental results illustrated that SAA had no mutagenicity in vitro and in vivo. This was in agreement with the clinical safety of SAA long-term used in China.
Tylophora indica (Burm.f) Merr. (ASCLEPIDACEAE) is an important Indian medicinal plant. It is called “ASTHMA KODI” OR “NANJARUPPAN” IN Tamil in the Siddha system of medicine. Tamil medical literature reveal that it is an ideal plant medicine for respiratory problems and is also a cardiac tonic. For medicinal purposes it is collected only from the wild. It has not yet been brought under cultivation. Its taxonomy, morphology, ecology and medicinal uses were studied. Since, tissue-culture is a costly technology and requiring a high-tech laboratory a low-cost mass- multiplication technique has been invented through water-culture experiments, in order to make its saplings available to the interested herbal farmers in a larger scale. The results are reported in this paper, which will be of immense help and use to the herbal farmers.
The noble gas helium has many applications owing to its distinct physical and chemical characteristics, namely: its low density, low solubility, and high thermal conductivity. Chiefly, the abundance of studies in medicine relating to helium are concentrated in its possibility of being used as an adjunct therapy in a number of respiratory ailments such as asthma exacerbation, COPD, ARDS, croup, and bronchiolitis. Helium gas, once believed to be biologically inert, has been recently shown to be beneficial in protecting the myocardium from ischemia by various mechanisms. Though neuroprotection of brain tissue has been documented, the mechanism by which it does so has yet to be made clear. Surgeons are exploring using helium instead of carbon dioxide to insufflate the abdomen of patients undergoing laparoscopic abdominal procedures due to its superiority in preventing respiratory acidosis in patients with comorbid conditions that cause carbon dioxide retention. Newly discovered applications in Pulmonary MRI radiology and imaging of organs in very fine detail using Helium Ion Microscopy has opened exciting new possibilities for the use of helium gas in technologically advanced fields of medicine.
Helium; Heliox; Inhalation therapy; Cardioprotection; Neuroprotection; Insufflation
Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting children. Despite publicized expert panels on asthma management and the availability of high-potency inhaled corticosteroids, asthma continues to pose an enormous burden on quality of life for children. Research into the genetic and molecular origins of asthma are starting to show how distinct disease entities exist within the syndrome of “asthma”. Biomarkers can be used to diagnose underlying molecular mechanisms that can predict the natural course of disease or likely response to drug treatment. The progress of personalized medicine in the care of children with asthma is still in its infancy. We are not yet able to apply stratified asthma treatments based on molecular phenotypes, although that time may be fast approaching. This review discusses some of the recent advances in asthma genetics and the use of current biomarkers that can help guide improved treatment. For example, the fraction of expired nitric oxide and serum Immunoglobulin E (IgE) (including allergen-specific IgE), when evaluated in the context of recurrent asthma symptoms, are general predictors of allergic airway inflammation. Biomarker assays for secondhand tobacco smoke exposure and cysteinyl leukotrienes are both promising areas of study that can help personalize management, not just for pharmacologic management, but also education and prevention efforts.
asthma; biomarkers; children; management
This article focuses on the overarching question: how can we use existing data to develop the capacity to improve the evidence base on personalized medicine technologies and particularly regarding their utilization and clinical utility? We focus on data from health payers who are key stakeholders in capacity building, as they need data to guide decisions and they develop data as part of operations. Broadly defined, health payers include insurance carriers, third party payers, health-plan sponsors and organized delivery systems. Data from health payers have not yet been widely used to assess personalized medicine. Now, with an increasing number of personalized technologies covered and reimbursed by health payers, and an increasing number of emerging technologies that will require policy decisions, there is a great opportunity to develop the evidence base using payer data and by engaging with these stakeholders. Here, we describe data that are available from, and are being developed by, health payers and assess how these data can be further developed to increase the capacity for future research, using three examples. The examples suggest that payer data can be used to examine clinical utility and approaches can be developed that simultaneously address the characteristics of personalized medicine, real world data and organizations. These examples can now help us to elucidate how to best examine clinical utility in actual practice and build evaluation approaches that can be applied to future technologies.
cancer; data development; evidence development; health payer; organized delivery system; personalized medicine; pharmacy benefits manager
Information about personalized medicine abounds, yet it is difficult to comprehensively search for information on this topic due to the broadness of the term “personalized medicine, ” the variety of terms that are used to describe this concept, the vast amount of pertinent journal articles and Web sites, and the fast pace of developments in this field, A selected list of Web sites is provided as a starting place for information about concepts, terminology, projects, databases, tools, and stakeholders related to personalized medicine.
personalized medicine; personalized health care; pharmacogenomics; genomics; Human Genome Project; Web site; internet
Many studies have shown the effectiveness of self-management for patients with asthma. In particular, possession and use of a written asthma action plan provided by a doctor has shown to significantly improve patients’ asthma control. Yet, uptake of a written asthma action plan and preventative asthma management is low in the community, especially amongst adults.
A Web-based personally controlled health management system (PCHMS) called Healthy.me will be evaluated in a 2010 CONSORT-compliant 2-group (static websites verse PCHMS) parallel randomized controlled trial (RCT) (allocation ratio 1:1).
The PCHMS integrates an untethered personal health record with consumer care pathways and social forums. After eligibility assessment, a sample of 300 adult patients with moderate persistent asthma will be randomly assigned to one of these arms. After 12 months of using either Healthy.me or information websites (usual care arm), a post-study assessment will be conducted.
The primary outcome measure is possession of or revision of an asthma action plan during the study. Secondary outcome measures include: (1) adherence to the asthma action plan, (2) rate of planned and unplanned visits to healthcare providers for asthma issues, (3) usage patterns of Healthy.me and attrition rates, (4) asthma control and asthma exacerbation scores, and (5) impact of asthma on life and competing demands, and days lost from work.
This RCT will provide insights into whether access to an online PCHMS will improve uptake of a written asthma action plan and preventative asthma actions.
Trial Registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12612000716864; https://www.anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=362714 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6IYBJGRnW).
asthma management; Internet intervention; personalized health record; personally controlled health management system; eHealth; asthma action plan
The term ‘discipline’, as applied to family medicine, is widely used, yet poorly understood. The dictionary definitions of discipline as “a branch of knowledge or learning; training that develops self-control, character, or orderliness and efficiency” are related in this article to the personal discipline of family physicians. This discipline requires a commitment to whole person medicine, learning and growth; it is both efficient and humane.
Personalized medicine refers to the utilization of technologies at the molecular level to understand disease processes and improve health outcomes. In rheumatoid arthritis (RA) some factors associated with disease outcome have been identified. These factors have not yet been integrated into a clinically useful tool to predict disease outcome in individual patients. Developments in pharmacogenomics are moving the field forward quite rapidly. Genetic variants, which may have a role in drug metabolism mediating either drug response or toxicity, have been identified for both traditional disease modifying antirheumatic drugs and biologic agents. Choosing a medication based on a patient's characteristics (sociodemographic, clinical, genetic) will result in better utilization of resources and better clinical outcomes. The ethical, political, and legal implications of personalized medicine need to be considered as well.
biomarkers; disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs); personalized medicine; pharmacogenetics; pharmacogenomics
Nanotheranostics, the integration of diagnostic and therapeutic function in one system using the benefits of nanotechnology, is extremely attractive for personalized medicine. Because treating cancer is not a one-size-fits-all scenario, it requires therapy to be adapted to the patient’s specific biomolecules. Personalized and precision medicine (PM) does just that. It identifies biomarkers to gain an understanding of the diagnosis and in turn treating the specific disorder based on the precise diagnosis. By predominantly utilizing the unique properties of nanoparticles to achieve biomarker identification and drug delivery, nanotheranostics can be applied to noninvasively discover and target image biomarkers and further deliver treatment based on the biomarker distribution. This is a large and hopeful role theranostics must fill. However, as described in this expert opinion, current nanotechnology-based theranostics systems engineered for PM applications are not yet sufficient. PM is an ever-growing field that will be a driving force for future discoveries in biomedicine, especially cancer theranostics. In this article, the authors dissect the requirements for successful nanotheranostics-based PM.
chemotherapy; drug delivery; molecular imaging; molecular profiling; nanotechnology; nanotheranostics; prodrugs
Drug users are disproportionately affected by hepatitis C virus (HCV), yet they face barriers to health care that place them at risk for levels of HCV-related care that are lower than those of nondrug users. Substance abuse treatment physicians may treat more HCV-infected persons than other generalist physicians, yet little is known about how such physicians facilitate HCV-related care. We conducted a nationwide survey of American Society of Addiction Medicine physicians (n = 320) to determine substance abuse physicians’ HCV-related management practices and to describe factors associated with these practices. We found that substance abuse treatment physicians promote several elements of HCV-related care, including screening for HCV antibodies, recommending vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, and referring patients to subspecialists for HCV treatment. Substance abuse physicians who also provide primary medical or HIV-related care were most likely to facilitate HCV-related care. A significant minority of physicians were either providing HCV antiviral treatment or willing to provide HCV antiviral treatment.
Hepatitis C virus; Chronic hepatitis C; Drug users; Substance abuse treatment physicians; Addiction medicine
Information-rich technologies have advanced personalized medicine, yet obstacles limit measurement of large numbers of chemicals in human samples. Current laboratory tests measure hundreds of chemicals based upon existing knowledge of exposures, metabolism and disease mechanisms. Practical issues of cost and throughput preclude measurement of thousands of chemicals. Additionally, individuals are genetically diverse and have different exposures and response characteristics; some have disease mechanisms that have not yet been elucidated. Consequently, methods are needed to detect unique metabolic characteristics without presumption of known pathways, exposures or disease mechanisms, i.e., using a top-down approach. In this report, we describe profiling of human plasma with liquid chromatography (LC) coupled to Fourier-transform mass spectrometry (FTMS). FTMS is a high-resolution mass spectrometer providing mass accuracy and resolution to discriminate thousands of m/z features, which are peaks defined by m/z, retention time and intensity. We demonstrate that LC-FTMS detects 2000 m/z features in 10 min. These features include known and unidentified chemicals with m/z between 85 and 850, most with <10% coefficient of variation. Comparison of metabolic profiles for 4 healthy individuals showed that 62% of the m/z features were common while 10% were unique and 770 discriminated the individuals. Because the simple one-step extraction and automated analysis is rapid and cost-effective, the approach is practical for personalized medicine. This provides a basis to rapidly characterize novel metabolic patterns which can be linked to genetics, environment and/or lifestyle.
Medical residents, as part of their job to balance the demands of their work with caring for themselves so as to be mentally, emotionally, and physically sound to stay clinically competent. While regulatory and legislative attempts at limiting medical resident work hours have materialized but have yet to attain passage, there are fairly little data looking into how residents cope up with their demands and yet attend to their own personal health.
Anonymous mailed survey.
Three hundred and thirty-seven residents from all internal medicine residency programs within United States.
We conducted a survey in the form of a questionnaire that was sent by e-mail to the program directors of various internal medicine residency programs within the United States, and responses were collected between May 19 and June 21, 2009. Response was well appreciated with total number of participants of 337 with even demographical distribution in gender, residency year, AMG/IMG, age group. Seventy-one percent of the residents felt that they would prefer getting admitted to their own hospital for any acute medical or surgical condition. Of the 216 residents who have had received health care in the past, almost half of them chose their own hospital because of the proximity, while 45% did not choose their own hospital despite proximity. Two out of three residents missed their doctors appointments or cancelled them due to demands of medical training. Only half of the residents have a primary care physician and almost 80% of them did not have their yearly health checkup. Close to 30% held back information regarding their social and sexual history from their provider because of privacy and confidentiality concerns. Eighty percent of residents never received information about barriers that physicians may face in obtaining care for their socially embarrassing conditions. Seventy percent felt that their performance then was suboptimal because of that health condition and also felt sick but did not drop the call. Half of the residents had concerns that they might be having a psychiatric illness, but only 5% of them received a formal evaluation at their own hospital and 23 (12.4%) at an outside hospital.
It is very important to have more studies to emphasize on resident's physical and mental health and encourage them to have a primary care physician. There are several reasons preventing residents from getting a formal evaluation, confidentiality reasons, lack of time – schedule constraints, fear of being labeled, and social repercussions are few of them. Program directors should encourage the residents to not only care of the health of their patients but also be enthusiastic about their personal health issues for upgraded, revised patient care, and ultimately for their overall well-being.
mailed questionnaire; confidentiality; primary care; health access
Epidemiologic studies have suggested the association between environmental exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the increased risk of incurring asthma. Yet there is little data regarding the relationship between personal exposure to air pollution and the incidence of asthma in children. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of exposure to air pollution on children with asthma by using exposure biomarkers. We assessed the exposure level to VOCs by measuring urinary concentrations of hippuric acid and muconic acid, and PAHs by 1-OH pyrene and 2-naphthol in 30 children with asthma and 30 children without asthma (control). The mean level of hippuric acid was 0.158 ± 0.169 µmol/mol creatinine in the asthma group and 0.148 ± 0.249 µmol/mol creatinine in the control group, with no statistical significance noted (p=0.30). The mean concentration of muconic acid was higher in the asthma group than in the control group (7.630 ± 8.915 µmol/mol creatinine vs. 3.390 ± 4.526 µmol/mol creatinine p=0.01). The mean level of urinary 1-OHP was higher in the asthma group (0.430 ± 0.343 µmol/mol creatinine) than the control group (0.239 ± 0.175 µmol/mol creatinine), which was statistically significant (p=0.03). There was no difference in the mean concentration of 2-NAP between the two groups (9.864 ± 10.037 µmol/mol in the asthma group vs. 9.157 ± 9.640 µmol/mol in the control group, p=0.96). In conclusion, this study suggests that VOCs and PAHs have some role in asthma.
VOCs; PAHs; asthma
Illness and treatment perceptions are vital for people self-managing co-morbid conditions with associated cardiovascular disease, such as type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, perceptions of a co-morbid condition and the use of multiple medicines have yet to be researched. This study investigated the illness and treatment perceptions of people with co-morbid T2D. The Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (repeated for T2D, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia) and the Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire Specific Concerns Scales (repeated for Oral hypoglycemic agents, anti-hypertensive medicines, and statins) were sent to 480 people managing co-morbid T2D. Data on the number of medicines prescribed were collected from medical records. Significantly different perceptions were found across the illnesses. The strongest effect was for personal control; the greatest control reported for T2D. Illness perceptions of T2D differed significantly from perceptions about hyperlipidemia. Furthermore, illness perceptions of T2D also differed from perceptions of hypertension with the exception of perceptions of illness severity. Hypertension and hyperlipidemia shared similar perceptions about comprehensibility, concerns, personal control, and timeline. Significant differences were found for beliefs about treatment necessity, but no difference was found for treatment concerns. When the number of medicines was taken as a between-subjects factor, only intentional non-adherence, treatment necessity beliefs, and perceptions of illness timeline were accounted for. Co-morbid illness and treatment perceptions are complex, often vary between illnesses, and can be influenced by the number of medicines prescribed. Further research should investigate relationships between co-morbid illness and treatment perception structures and self-management practices.
co-morbidity; polypharmacy; illness perceptions; treatment perceptions; increasing numbers of medicines
Currently, cancer therapy remains limited by a “one-size-fits-all” approach, whereby treatment decisions are based mainly on the clinical stage of disease, yet fail to reference the individual's underlying biology and its role driving malignancy. Identifying better personalized therapies for cancer treatment is hindered by the lack of high-quality “omics” data of sufficient size to produce meaningful results and the ability to integrate biomedical data from disparate technologies. Resolving these issues will help translation of therapies from research to clinic by helping clinicians develop patient-specific treatments based on the unique signatures of patient's tumor. Here we describe the Georgetown Database of Cancer (G-DOC), a Web platform that enables basic and clinical research by integrating patient characteristics and clinical outcome data with a variety of high-throughput research data in a unified environment. While several rich data repositories for high-dimensional research data exist in the public domain, most focus on a single-data type and do not support integration across multiple technologies. Currently, G-DOC contains data from more than 2500 breast cancer patients and 800 gastrointestinal cancer patients, G-DOC includes a broad collection of bioinformatics and systems biology tools for analysis and visualization of four major “omics” types: DNA, mRNA, microRNA, and metabolites. We believe that G-DOC will help facilitate systems medicine by providing identification of trends and patterns in integrated data sets and hence facilitate the use of better targeted therapies for cancer. A set of representative usage scenarios is provided to highlight the technical capabilities of this resource.
Pancreatic cancer is a lethal malignancy with a 5-year survival rate of only 6%. Surgical resection remains the only cure, yet even after resection the 5-year survival is only 20% due to a high recurrence rate. Thus, a high proportion of patients with this disease will ultimately require systemic chemotherapy for advanced pancreatic cancer (APC). While the advent of personalized medicine has resulted in significant advances in the management of many cancer types, the standard of care for pancreatic cancer remains gemcitabine based, with very few exceptions. This article first aims to provide an overview of the benefits and limitations of gemcitabine alone, gemcitabine combinations, and different modes of administration of gemcitabine in APC. It then discusses research, suggesting that pharmacogenomic differences in enzymes that affect gemcitabine transport and metabolism can predict benefit from this drug in pancreatic cancer. Finally, the article outlines novel therapies and combinations that exploit these interindividual variations in gemcitabine metabolism to improve the efficacy of this drug in the management of APC.
gemcitabine; metabolism; pancreatic cancer; pharmacogenomics
In recent years, personalized medicine (PM) has become a highly regarded line of development in medicine. Yet, it is still a relatively new field. As a consequence, the discussion of its future developments, in particular of its ethical implications, in most cases can only be anticipative. Such anticipative discussions, however, pose several challenges. Nevertheless, they play a crucial role for shaping PM’s further developments. Therefore, it is vital to understand how the ethical discourse on PM is conducted, i.e. on what – empirical and normative – assumptions ethical arguments are based regarding PM’s current and future developments.
To gather this information, we conducted a qualitative interview study with stakeholders in the German health care system. Our purposive sample included 17 representatives of basic research, clinical research, health economics, regulatory authorities, reimbursement institutions, pharmaceutical industry, patient organizations, as well as clinicians and legal experts involved in PM developments or policy making. We used an interview guide with open-ended questions and analyzed transcriptions of the interviews by means of qualitative content analysis.
The respondents addressed a multitude of concerns in the context of research on as well as application of personalized preventive and therapeutic measures both on the individual and on the societal level. Interestingly, regarding future developments of PM the ethical evaluation seemed to follow the rule: the less likely its application, the more problematic a PM measure is assessed. The more likely its application, on the other hand, the less problematic it is evaluated.
The results of our study suggest re-focusing the ethical discourse on PM in Germany towards a constructive ethical monitoring which ensures to include only, nevertheless all of the actual and/or potential concerns that are ethically relevant in order to allow balancing them against the actual and potential ethically relevant benefits of PM measures. To render this possible, we propose a strategy for evaluating ethical concerns in the context of PM.
Information about a patient's inherited risk of disease has important ethical and legal implications in clinical practice. Because genetic information is by nature highly personal yet familial, issues of confidentiality arise. Counselling and informed consent before testing are important in view of the social and psychological risks that accompany testing, the complexity of information surrounding testing, and the fact that effective interventions are often not available. Follow-up counselling is also important to help patients integrate test results into their lives and the lives of their relatives. Genetic counselling should be provided by practitioners who have up-to-date knowledge of the genetics of and the tests available for specific diseases, are aware of the social and psychological risks associated with testing, and are able to provide appropriate clinical follow-up. Some physicians may elect to refer patients for genetic counselling and testing. However, it is inevitable that all physicians will be involved in long-term follow-up both by monitoring for disease and by supporting the integration of genetic information into patients' lives.
Despite stunning advances in our understanding of the genetics and the molecular basis for cancer, many patients with cancer are not yet receiving therapy tailored specifically to their tumor biology. The translation of these advances into clinical practice has been hindered, in part, by the lack of evidence for biomarkers supporting the personalized medicine approach. Most stakeholders agree that the translation of biomarkers into clinical care requires evidence of clinical utility. The highest level of evidence comes from randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs). However, in many instances, there may be no RCTs that are feasible for assessing the clinical utility of potentially valuable genomic biomarkers. In the absence of RCTs, evidence generation will require well-designed cohort studies for comparative effectiveness research (CER) that link detailed clinical information to tumor biology and genomic data. CER also uses systematic reviews, evidence-quality appraisal, and health outcomes research to provide a methodologic framework for assessing biologic patient subgroups. Rapid learning health care (RLHC) is a model in which diverse data are made available, ideally in a robust and real-time fashion, potentially facilitating CER and personalized medicine. Nonetheless, to realize the full potential of personalized care using RLHC requires advances in CER and biostatistics methodology and the development of interoperable informatics systems, which has been recognized by the National Cancer Institute's program for CER and personalized medicine. The integration of CER methodology and genomics linked to RLHC should enhance, expedite, and expand the evidence generation required for fully realizing personalized cancer care.
To evaluate documentation of compliance with the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program publication Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma.
A retrospective review of 114 charts coded as asthma. Fourteen chart evaluation questions were developed based on the 4 management components in the guidelines: assessment and monitoring of asthma, control of asthma factors, pharmacotherapy, and patient education.
A hospital-based asthma clinic, a private pulmonary group, and a general internal medicine group in Dallas, Texas.
Nearly all physicians documented inquiries about daytime asthma symptoms, but only 64% of pulmonary group and 58% of internal medicine physicians documented inquiries about nighttime symptoms. In addition, in 14% of pulmonary group charts and 74% of internal medicine charts, no spirometry or peak flow data were documented. Most asthma clinic and pulmonary group charts (98% and 78%, respectively) included a history of triggers, but the pulmonary group and internal medicine group were more likely to document administration of the influenza vaccine than the asthma clinic (25% and 26% vs 13%). Of 38 patients with ≥1 recorded forced expiratory volume in 1 second <60%, all but 1 were on inhaled steroids. However, many charts lacked adequate documentation to match drug selection to asthma severity. The asthma clinic group documented the 4 educational interventions 65% to 83% of the time, compared with the pulmonary group, at 17% to 50%, and the internal medicine group, at 5% to 18%.
Results showed significant variation with the recommendations. Areas in particular need of improvement were objective diagnosis and assessment, control of asthma-associated factors, and patient education. Furthermore, the study demonstrated significant variation between specialists and primary care physicians, with the more specialized clinics demonstrating better guideline compliance.
While corticosteroids and β-2 agonists are effective in managing asthma symptoms, a curative therapy for asthma is lacking. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), used in Asia for centuries, is beginning to play a role in Western health care as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modality. There is increasing scientific evidence supporting the use of TCM for asthma treatment.
This review article discusses promising TCM interventions for asthma and explores their possible mechanisms of action.
We first reviewed five clinical studies of “anti-asthma” TCM herbal remedies published between 2005–2007. We then summarized possible mechanisms underlying their effects based on data in the original articles, published abstracts, and available data bases. Possible mechanisms include anti-inflammation, inhibition of airway smooth muscle contraction, and immunomodulation. Research on TCM herbal therapy for food allergy is rare, and we therefore focused on the effect and mechanism of action of Food Allergy Herbal Formula-2 (FAHF-2) on a murine model of peanut allergy and preliminary clinical study results.
Evidence from clinical studies supports beneficial effects of TCM herbal therapy on asthma. A number of mechanisms may be responsible for efficacy of these agents. Strong preclinical study data suggest potential efficacy of FAHF-2 for food allergy.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine; traditional Chinese herbal medicine; botanical drug; asthma; food allergy; Th1/Th1 balance
Despite the identical immunological mechanisms activating the release of mediators and consecutive symptoms in immediate-type allergy, there is still a clear clinical difference between female and male allergic patients. Even though the risk of being allergic is greater for boys in childhood, almost from adolescence onwards it seems to be a clear disadvantage to be a woman as far as atopic disorders are concerned. Asthma, food allergies and anaphylaxis are more frequently diagnosed in females. In turn, asthma and hay fever are associated with irregular menstruation. Pointing towards a role of sex hormones, an association of asthma and intake of contraceptives, and a risk for asthma exacerbations during pregnancy have been observed. Moreover, peri- and postmenopausal women were reported to increasingly suffer from asthma, wheeze and hay fever, being even enhanced by hormone replacement therapy. This may be on account of the recently identified oestradiol-receptor-dependent mast-cell activation. As a paradox of nature, women may even become hypersensitive against their own sex hormones, resulting in positive reactivity upon intradermal injection of oestrogen or progesterone. More importantly, this specific hypersensitivity is associated with recurrent miscarriages. Even though there is a striking gender-specific bias in IgE-mediated allergic diseases, public awareness of this fact still remains minimal today.
allergy; gender; hormone allergy; mast cell; oestrogen