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1.  Controlled Trial of Transfusions for Silent Cerebral Infarcts in Sickle Cell Anemia 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;371(8):699-710.
BACKGROUND
Silent cerebral infarcts are the most common neurologic injury in children with sickle cell anemia and are associated with the recurrence of an infarct (stroke or silent cerebral infarct). We tested the hypothesis that the incidence of the recurrence of an infarct would be lower among children who underwent regular blood-transfusion therapy than among those who received standard care.
METHODS
In this randomized, single-blind clinical trial, we randomly assigned children with sickle cell anemia to receive regular blood transfusions (transfusion group) or standard care (observation group). Participants were between 5 and 15 years of age, with no history of stroke and with one or more silent cerebral infarcts on magnetic resonance imaging and a neurologic examination showing no abnormalities corresponding to these lesions. The primary end point was the recurrence of an infarct, defined as a stroke or a new or enlarged silent cerebral infarct.
RESULTS
A total of 196 children (mean age, 10 years) were randomly assigned to the observation or transfusion group and were followed for a median of 3 years. In the transfusion group, 6 of 99 children (6%) had an end-point event (1 had a stroke, and 5 had new or enlarged silent cerebral infarcts). In the observation group, 14 of 97 children (14%) had an end-point event (7 had strokes, and 7 had new or enlarged silent cerebral infarcts). The incidence of the primary end point in the transfusion and observation groups was 2.0 and 4.8 events, respectively, per 100 years at risk, corresponding to an incidence rate ratio of 0.41 (95% confidence interval, 0.12 to 0.99; P = 0.04).
CONCLUSIONS
Regular blood-transfusion therapy significantly reduced the incidence of the recurrence of cerebral infarct in children with sickle cell anemia. (Funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and others; Silent Cerebral Infarct Multi-Center Clinical Trial ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00072761, and Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN52713285.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1401731
PMCID: PMC4195437  PMID: 25140956
2.  Somatic Mutations in Cerebral Cortical Malformations 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;371(8):733-743.
BACKGROUND
Although there is increasing recognition of the role of somatic mutations in genetic disorders, the prevalence of somatic mutations in neurodevelopmental disease and the optimal techniques to detect somatic mosaicism have not been systematically evaluated.
METHODS
Using a customized panel of known and candidate genes associated with brain malformations, we applied targeted high-coverage sequencing (depth, ≥200×) to leukocyte-derived DNA samples from 158 persons with brain malformations, including the double-cortex syndrome (subcortical band heterotopia, 30 persons), polymicrogyria with megalencephaly (20), periventricular nodular heterotopia (61), and pachygyria (47). We validated candidate mutations with the use of Sanger sequencing and, for variants present at unequal read depths, subcloning followed by colony sequencing.
RESULTS
Validated, causal mutations were found in 27 persons (17%; range, 10 to 30% for each phenotype). Mutations were somatic in 8 of the 27 (30%), predominantly in persons with the double-cortex syndrome (in whom we found mutations in DCX and LIS1), persons with periventricular nodular heterotopia (FLNA), and persons with pachygyria (TUBB2B). Of the somatic mutations we detected, 5 (63%) were undetectable with the use of traditional Sanger sequencing but were validated through subcloning and subsequent sequencing of the subcloned DNA. We found potentially causal mutations in the candidate genes DYNC1H1, KIF5C, and other kinesin genes in persons with pachygyria.
CONCLUSIONS
Targeted sequencing was found to be useful for detecting somatic mutations in patients with brain malformations. High-coverage sequencing panels provide an important complement to whole-exome and whole-genome sequencing in the evaluation of somatic mutations in neuropsychiatric disease. (Funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1314432
PMCID: PMC4274952  PMID: 25140959
3.  A Prospective Study of Holiday Weight Gain 
The New England journal of medicine  2000;342(12):861-867.
Background
It is commonly asserted that the “average American” gains five pounds (2.27 kg) or more over the holiday period between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, yet few data support this statement.
Methods
To estimate actual holiday-related weight variation, we measured body weight in a non-clinical sample of 195 adults. Subjects were weighed four times, 6-8 weeks apart, such that weight change was determined for three intervals: Pre-Holiday (from late September to mid-November, Holiday (November to January) and Post-Holiday (January to March). A final weight was obtained in 165 participants the following September. Other vital signs and self-reported health measures were obtained to mask the main outcome of interest.
Results
Mean weight increased significantly during the Holiday (+0.37 ± 1.52 kg, P<0.001), but not during the Pre-Holiday (+0.18 ± 1.49 kg, P=0.09), or Post-Holiday (–0.07 ± 1.14 kg, P=0.36) interval. Holiday weight gain was greater than Post-holiday weight gain (P < 0.002). Compared with their weight in September, study subjects had an average net weight gain of +0.48 ± 2.22 kg at their March measurement (P<0.003). Between March and the next September, there was no significant additional weight change (+0.21 kg ± 2.3 kg, P=0.13) for the 165 participants who returned for follow-up.
Conclusions
Average holiday weight gain is 0.37 kg, far less than commonly asserted. As this gain is not reversed during spring or summer months, the net 0.48 kg fall/winter weight gain appears likely to contribute to the increase in body weight that frequently occurs during adulthood.
doi:10.1056/NEJM200003233421206
PMCID: PMC4336296  PMID: 10727591
Season; Adiposity; Obesity; Secular Trend; Body Mass Index
5.  TBX6 Null Variants and a Common Hypomorphic Allele in Congenital Scoliosis 
The New England journal of medicine  2015;372(4):341-350.
BACKGROUND
Congenital scoliosis is a common type of vertebral malformation. Genetic susceptibility has been implicated in congenital scoliosis.
METHODS
We evaluated 161 Han Chinese persons with sporadic congenital scoliosis, 166 Han Chinese controls, and 2 pedigrees, family members of which had a 16p11.2 deletion, using comparative genomic hybridization, quantitative polymerase-chain-reaction analysis, and DNA sequencing. We carried out tests of replication using an additional series of 76 Han Chinese persons with congenital scoliosis and a multi-center series of 42 persons with 16p11.2 deletions.
RESULTS
We identified a total of 17 heterozygous TBX6 null mutations in the 161 persons with sporadic congenital scoliosis (11%); we did not observe any null mutations in TBX6 in 166 controls (P<3.8×10−6). These null alleles include copy-number variants (12 instances of a 16p11.2 deletion affecting TBX6) and single-nucleotide variants (1 nonsense and 4 frame-shift mutations). However, the discordant intrafamilial phenotypes of 16p11.2 deletion carriers suggest that heterozygous TBX6 null mutation is insufficient to cause congenital scoliosis. We went on to identify a common TBX6 haplotype as the second risk allele in all 17 carriers of TBX6 null mutations (P<1.1×10−6). Replication studies involving additional persons with congenital scoliosis who carried a deletion affecting TBX6 confirmed this compound inheritance model. In vitro functional assays suggested that the risk haplotype is a hypomorphic allele. Hemivertebrae are characteristic of TBX6-associated congenital scoliosis.
CONCLUSIONS
Compound inheritance of a rare null mutation and a hypomorphic allele of TBX6 accounted for up to 11% of congenital scoliosis cases in the series that we analyzed.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1406829
PMCID: PMC4326244  PMID: 25564734
6.  Breast-Cancer Risk in Families with Mutations in PALB2 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;371(6):497-506.
BACKGROUND
Germline loss-of-function mutations in PALB2 are known to confer a predisposition to breast cancer. However, the lifetime risk of breast cancer that is conferred by such mutations remains unknown.
METHODS
We analyzed the risk of breast cancer among 362 members of 154 families who had deleterious truncating, splice, or deletion mutations in PALB2. The age-specific breast-cancer risk for mutation carriers was estimated with the use of a modified segregation-analysis approach that allowed for the effects of PALB2 genotype and residual familial aggregation.
RESULTS
The risk of breast cancer for female PALB2 mutation carriers, as compared with the general population, was eight to nine times as high among those younger than 40 years of age, six to eight times as high among those 40 to 60 years of age, and five times as high among those older than 60 years of age. The estimated cumulative risk of breast cancer among female mutation carriers was 14% (95% confidence interval [CI], 9 to 20) by 50 years of age and 35% (95% CI, 26 to 46) by 70 years of age. Breast-cancer risk was also significantly influenced by birth cohort (P < 0.001) and by other familial factors (P = 0.04). The absolute breast-cancer risk for PALB2 female mutation carriers by 70 years of age ranged from 33% (95% CI, 25 to 44) for those with no family history of breast cancer to 58% (95% CI, 50 to 66) for those with two or more first-degree relatives with breast cancer at 50 years of age.
CONCLUSIONS
Loss-of-function mutations in PALB2 are an important cause of hereditary breast cancer, with respect both to the frequency of cancer-predisposing mutations and to the risk associated with them. Our data suggest the breast-cancer risk for PALB2 mutation carriers may overlap with that for BRCA2 mutation carriers. (Funded by the European Research Council and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1400382
PMCID: PMC4157599  PMID: 25099575
7.  Prions in the Urine of Patients with Variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;371(6):530-539.
BACKGROUND
Prions, the infectious agents responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, consist mainly of the misfolded prion protein (PrPSc). The unique mechanism of transmission and the appearance of a variant form of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, which has been linked to consumption of prion-contaminated cattle meat, have raised concerns about public health. Evidence suggests that variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease prions circulate in body fluids from people in whom the disease is silently incubating.
METHODS
To investigate whether PrPSc can be detected in the urine of patients with variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, we used the protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) technique to amplify minute quantities of PrPSc, enabling highly sensitive detection of the protein. We analyzed urine samples from several patients with various transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (variant and sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and genetic forms of prion disease), patients with other degenerative or nondegenerative neurologic disorders, and healthy persons.
RESULTS
PrPSc was detectable only in the urine of patients with variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and had the typical electrophoretic profile associated with this disease. PrPSc was detected in 13 of 14 urine samples obtained from patients with variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and in none of the 224 urine samples obtained from patients with other neurologic diseases and from healthy controls, resulting in an estimated sensitivity of 92.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 66.1 to 99.8) and a specificity of 100.0% (95% CI, 98.4 to 100.0). The PrPSc concentration in urine calculated by means of quantitative PMCA was estimated at 1×10−16 g per milliliter, or 3×10−21 mol per milliliter, which extrapolates to approximately 40 to 100 oligomeric particles of PrPSc per milliliter of urine.
CONCLUSIONS
Urine samples obtained from patients with variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease contained minute quantities of PrPSc. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1404401
PMCID: PMC4162740  PMID: 25099577
8.  Activated STING in a Vascular and Pulmonary Syndrome 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;371(6):507-518.
BACKGROUND
The study of autoinflammatory diseases has uncovered mechanisms underlying cytokine dysregulation and inflammation.
METHODS
We analyzed the DNA of an index patient with early-onset systemic inflammation, cutaneous vasculopathy, and pulmonary inflammation. We sequenced a candidate gene, TMEM173, encoding the stimulator of interferon genes (STING), in this patient and in five unrelated children with similar clinical phenotypes. Four children were evaluated clinically and immunologically. With the STING ligand cyclic guanosine monophosphate–adenosine monophosphate (cGAMP), we stimulated peripheral-blood mononuclear cells and fibroblasts from patients and controls, as well as commercially obtained endothelial cells, and then assayed transcription of IFNB1, the gene encoding interferon-β, in the stimulated cells. We analyzed IFNB1 reporter levels in HEK293T cells cotransfected with mutant or nonmutant STING constructs. Mutant STING leads to increased phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1), so we tested the effect of Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors on STAT1 phosphorylation in lymphocytes from the affected children and controls.
RESULTS
We identified three mutations in exon 5 of TMEM173 in the six patients. Elevated transcription of IFNB1 and other gene targets of STING in peripheral-blood mono-nuclear cells from the patients indicated constitutive activation of the pathway that cannot be further up-regulated with stimulation. On stimulation with cGAMP, fibro-blasts from the patients showed increased transcription of IFNB1 but not of the genes encoding interleukin-1 (IL1), interleukin-6 (IL6), or tumor necrosis factor (TNF). HEK293T cells transfected with mutant constructs show elevated IFNB1 reporter levels. STING is expressed in endothelial cells, and exposure of these cells to cGAMP resulted in endothelial activation and apoptosis. Constitutive up-regulation of phosphorylated STAT1 in patients’ lymphocytes was reduced by JAK inhibitors.
CONCLUSIONS
STING-associated vasculopathy with onset in infancy (SAVI) is an autoinflammatory disease caused by gain-of-function mutations in TMEM173.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1312625
PMCID: PMC4174543  PMID: 25029335
9.  A Test for Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease Using Nasal Brushings 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;371(6):519-529.
BACKGROUND
Definite diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease in living patients remains a challenge. A test that detects the specific marker for Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, the prion protein (PrPCJD), by means of real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) testing of cerebrospinal fluid has a sensitivity of 80 to 90% for the diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. We have assessed the accuracy of RT-QuIC analysis of nasal brushings from olfactory epithelium in diagnosing sporadic Creutzfeldt– Jakob disease in living patients.
METHODS
We collected olfactory epithelium brushings and cerebrospinal fluid samples from patients with and patients without sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and tested them using RT-QuIC, an ultrasensitive, multiwell plate–based fluorescence assay involving PrPCJD-seeded polymerization of recombinant PrP into amyloid fibrils.
RESULTS
The RT-QuIC assays seeded with nasal brushings were positive in 30 of 31 patients with Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (15 of 15 with definite sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, 13 of 14 with probable sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, and 2 of 2 with inherited Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease) but were negative in 43 of 43 patients without Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, indicating a sensitivity of 97% (95% confidence interval [CI], 82 to 100) and specificity of 100% (95% CI, 90 to 100) for the detection of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. By comparison, testing of cerebrospinal fluid samples from the same group of patients had a sensitivity of 77% (95% CI, 57 to 89) and a specificity of 100% (95% CI, 90 to 100). Nasal brushings elicited stronger and faster RT-QuIC responses than cerebrospinal fluid (P<0.001 for the between-group comparison of strength of response). Individual brushings contained approximately 105 to 107 prion seeds, at concentrations several logs10 greater than in cerebrospinal fluid.
CONCLUSIONS
In this preliminary study, RT-QuIC testing of olfactory epithelium samples obtained from nasal brushings was accurate in diagnosing Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and indicated substantial prion seeding activity lining the nasal vault. (Funded by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1315200
PMCID: PMC4186748  PMID: 25099576
10.  Missing Elements of the History 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;370(6):559-566.
doi:10.1056/NEJMcps1213196
PMCID: PMC4103154  PMID: 24499215
11.  Adjuvant Paclitaxel and Trastuzumab for Node-Negative, HER2-Positive Breast Cancer 
The New England journal of medicine  2015;372(2):134-141.
BACKGROUND
No single standard treatment exists for patients with small, node-negative, human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2)–positive breast cancers, because most of these patients have been ineligible for the pivotal trials of adjuvant trastuzumab.
METHODS
We performed an uncontrolled, single-group, multicenter, investigator-initiated study of adjuvant paclitaxel and trastuzumab in 406 patients with tumors measuring up to 3 cm in greatest dimension. Patients received weekly treatment with paclitaxel and trastuzumab for 12 weeks, followed by 9 months of trastuzumab monotherapy. The primary end point was survival free from invasive disease.
RESULTS
The median follow-up period was 4.0 years. The 3-year rate of survival free from invasive disease was 98.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 97.6 to 99.8). Among the 12 relapses seen, 2 were due to distant metastatic breast cancer. Excluding contra-lateral HER2-negative breast cancers and nonbreast cancers, 7 disease-specific events were noted. A total of 13 patients (3.2%; 95% CI, 1.7 to 5.4) reported at least one episode of grade 3 neuropathy, and 2 had symptomatic congestive heart failure (0.5%; 95% CI, 0.1 to 1.8), both of whom had normalization of the left ventricular ejection fraction after discontinuation of trastuzumab. A total of 13 patients had significant asymptomatic declines in ejection fraction (3.2%; 95% CI, 1.7 to 5.4), as defined by the study, but 11 of these patients were able to resume trastuzumab therapy after a brief interruption.
CONCLUSIONS
Among women with predominantly stage I HER2-positive breast cancer, treatment with adjuvant paclitaxel plus trastuzumab was associated with a risk of early recurrence of about 2%; 6% of patients withdrew from the study because of protocol-specified adverse events. (Funded by Genentech; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00542451.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1406281
PMCID: PMC4313867  PMID: 25564897
12.  Spread of Artemisinin Resistance in Plasmodium falciparum Malaria 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;371(5):411-423.
BACKGROUND
Artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum has emerged in Southeast Asia and now poses a threat to the control and elimination of malaria. Mapping the geographic extent of resistance is essential for planning containment and elimination strategies.
METHODS
Between May 2011 and April 2013, we enrolled 1241 adults and children with acute, uncomplicated falciparum malaria in an open-label trial at 15 sites in 10 countries (7 in Asia and 3 in Africa). Patients received artesunate, administered orally at a daily dose of either 2 mg per kilogram of body weight per day or 4 mg per kilogram, for 3 days, followed by a standard 3-day course of artemisinin-based combination therapy. Parasite counts in peripheral-blood samples were measured every 6 hours, and the parasite clearance half-lives were determined.
RESULTS
The median parasite clearance half-lives ranged from 1.9 hours in the Democratic Republic of Congo to 7.0 hours at the Thailand–Cambodia border. Slowly clearing in fections (parasite clearance half-life >5 hours), strongly associated with single point mutations in the “propeller” region of the P. falciparum kelch protein gene on chromosome 13 (kelch13), were detected throughout mainland Southeast Asia from southern Vietnam to central Myanmar. The incidence of pretreatment and post-treatment gametocytemia was higher among patients with slow parasite clearance, suggesting greater potential for transmission. In western Cambodia, where artemisinin-based combination therapies are failing, the 6-day course of antimalarial therapy was associated with a cure rate of 97.7% (95% confidence interval, 90.9 to 99.4) at 42 days.
CONCLUSIONS
Artemisinin resistance to P. falciparum, which is now prevalent across mainland Southeast Asia, is associated with mutations in kelch13. Prolonged courses of artemisinin-based combination therapies are currently efficacious in areas where standard 3-day treatments are failing. (Funded by the U.K. Department of International Development and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01350856.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1314981
PMCID: PMC4143591  PMID: 25075834
13.  Spiroindolone KAE609 for Falciparum and Vivax Malaria 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;371(5):403-410.
BACKGROUND
KAE609 (cipargamin; formerly NITD609, Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases) is a new synthetic antimalarial spiroindolone analogue with potent, dose-dependent antimalarial activity against asexual and sexual stages of Plasmodium falciparum.
METHODS
We conducted a phase 2, open-label study at three centers in Thailand to assess the antimalarial efficacy, safety, and adverse-event profile of KAE609, at a dose of 30 mg per day for 3 days, in two sequential cohorts of adults with uncomplicated P. vivax malaria (10 patients) or P. falciparum malaria (11). The primary end point was the parasite clearance time.
RESULTS
The median parasite clearance time was 12 hours in each cohort (interquartile range, 8 to 16 hours in patients with P. vivax malaria and 10 to 16 hours in those with P. falciparum malaria). The median half-lives for parasite clearance were 0.95 hours (range, 0.68 to 2.01; interquartile range, 0.85 to 1.14) in the patients with P. vivax malaria and 0.90 hours (range, 0.68 to 1.64; interquartile range, 0.78 to 1.07) in those with P. falciparum malaria. By comparison, only 19 of 5076 patients with P. falciparum malaria (<1%) who were treated with oral artesunate in Southeast Asia had a parasite clearance half-life of less than 1 hour. Adverse events were reported in 14 patients (67%), with nausea being the most common. The adverse events were generally mild and did not lead to any discontinuations of the drug. The mean terminal half-life for the elimination of KAE609 was 20.8 hours (range, 11.3 to 37.6), supporting a once-daily oral dosing regimen.
CONCLUSIONS
KAE609, at dose of 30 mg daily for 3 days, cleared parasitemia rapidly in adults with uncomplicated P. vivax or P. falciparum malaria. (Funded by Novartis and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01524341.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1315860
PMCID: PMC4143746  PMID: 25075833
14.  Transplantation Outcomes for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, 2000–2009 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;371(5):434-446.
BACKGROUND
The Primary Immune Deficiency Treatment Consortium was formed to analyze the results of hematopoietic-cell transplantation in children with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and other primary immunodeficiencies. Factors associated with a good transplantation outcome need to be identified in order to design safer and more effective curative therapy, particularly for children with SCID diagnosed at birth.
METHODS
We collected data retrospectively from 240 infants with SCID who had received transplants at 25 centers during a 10-year period (2000 through 2009).
RESULTS
Survival at 5 years, freedom from immunoglobulin substitution, and CD3+ T-cell and IgA recovery were more likely among recipients of grafts from matched sibling donors than among recipients of grafts from alternative donors. However, the survival rate was high regardless of donor type among infants who received transplants at 3.5 months of age or younger (94%) and among older infants without prior infection (90%) or with infection that had resolved (82%). Among actively infected infants without a matched sibling donor, survival was best among recipients of haploidentical T-cell–depleted transplants in the absence of any pretransplantation conditioning. Among survivors, reduced-intensity or myeloablative pre-transplantation conditioning was associated with an increased likelihood of a CD3+ T-cell count of more than 1000 per cubic millimeter, freedom from immunoglobulin substitution, and IgA recovery but did not significantly affect CD4+ T-cell recovery or recovery of phytohemagglutinin-induced T-cell proliferation. The genetic subtype of SCID affected the quality of CD3+ T-cell recovery but not survival.
CONCLUSIONS
Transplants from donors other than matched siblings were associated with excellent survival among infants with SCID identified before the onset of infection. All available graft sources are expected to lead to excellent survival among asymptomatic infants. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1401177
PMCID: PMC4183064  PMID: 25075835
16.  Results of the Two Incidence Screenings in the National Lung Screening Trial 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(10):920-931.
Background
The National Lung Screening Trial was conducted to determine whether three annual screenings (rounds T0, T1, and T2) with low-dose helical computed tomography (CT), as compared with chest radiography, could reduce mortality from lung cancer. We present detailed findings from the first two incidence screenings (rounds T1 and T2).
Methods
We evaluated the rate of adherence of the participants to the screening protocol, the results of screening and downstream diagnostic tests, features of the lung-cancer cases, and first-line treatments, and we estimated the performance characteristics of both screening methods.
Results
At the T1 and T2 rounds, positive screening results were observed in 27.9% and 16.8% of participants in the low-dose CT group and in 6.2% and 5.0% of participants in the radiography group, respectively. In the low-dose CT group, the sensitivity was 94.4%, the specificity was 72.6%, the positive predictive value was 2.4%, and the negative predictive value was 99.9% at T1; at T2, the positive predictive value increased to 5.2%. In the radiography group, the sensitivity was 59.6%, the specificity was 94.1%, the positive predictive value was 4.4%, and the negative predictive value was 99.8% at T1; both the sensitivity and the positive predictive value increased at T2. Among lung cancers of known stage, 87 (47.5%) were stage IA and 57 (31.1%) were stage III or IV in the low-dose CT group at T1; in the radiography group, 31 (23.5%) were stage IA and 78 (59.1%) were stage III or IV at T1. These differences in stage distribution between groups persisted at T2.
Conclusions
Low-dose CT was more sensitive in detecting early-stage lung cancers, but its measured positive predictive value was lower than that of radiography. As compared with radiography, the two annual incidence screenings with low-dose CT resulted in a decrease in the number of advanced-stage cancers diagnosed and an increase in the number of early-stage lung cancers diagnosed. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute; NLST ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00047385.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1208962
PMCID: PMC4307922  PMID: 24004119
17.  Outpatient Glycemic Control with a Bionic Pancreas in Type 1 Diabetes 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;371(4):313-325.
BACKGROUND
The safety and effectiveness of automated glycemic management have not been tested in multiday studies under unrestricted outpatient conditions.
METHODS
In two random-order, crossover studies with similar but distinct designs, we compared glycemic control with a wearable, bihormonal, automated, “bionic” pancreas (bionic-pancreas period) with glycemic control with an insulin pump (control period) for 5 days in 20 adults and 32 adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus. The automatically adaptive algorithm of the bionic pancreas received data from a continuous glucose monitor to control subcutaneous delivery of insulin and glucagon.
RESULTS
Among the adults, the mean plasma glucose level over the 5-day bionic-pancreas period was 138 mg per deciliter (7.7 mmol per liter), and the mean percentage of time with a low glucose level (<70 mg per deciliter [3.9 mmol per liter]) was 4.8%. After 1 day of automatic adaptation by the bionic pancreas, the mean (±SD) glucose level on continuous monitoring was lower than the mean level during the control period (133±13 vs. 159±30 mg per deciliter [7.4±0.7 vs. 8.8±1.7 mmol per liter], P<0.001) and the percentage of time with a low glucose reading was lower (4.1% vs. 7.3%, P = 0.01). Among the adolescents, the mean plasma glucose level was also lower during the bionic-pancreas period than during the control period (138±18 vs. 157±27 mg per deciliter [7.7±1.0 vs. 8.7±1.5 mmol per liter], P = 0.004), but the percentage of time with a low plasma glucose reading was similar during the two periods (6.1% and 7.6%, respectively; P = 0.23). The mean frequency of interventions for hypoglycemia among the adolescents was lower during the bionic-pancreas period than during the control period (one per 1.6 days vs. one per 0.8 days, P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS
As compared with an insulin pump, a wearable, automated, bihormonal, bionic pancreas improved mean glycemic levels, with less frequent hypoglycemic episodes, among both adults and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus. (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and others; ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT01762059 and NCT01833988.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1314474
PMCID: PMC4183762  PMID: 24931572
18.  Ibrutinib versus Ofatumumab in Previously Treated Chronic Lymphoid Leukemia 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;371(3):213-223.
Background
In patients with chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), a short duration of response to therapy or adverse cytogenetic abnormalities are associated with a poor outcome. We evaluated the efficacy of ibrutinib, a covalent inhibitor of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, in patients at risk for a poor outcome.
Methods
In this multicenter, open-label, phase 3 study, we randomly assigned 391 patients with relapsed or refractory CLL or SLL to receive daily ibrutinib or the anti-CD20 antibody ofatumumab. The primary end point was the duration of progression-free survival, with the duration of overall survival and the overall response rate as secondary end points.
Results
At a median follow-up of 9.4 months, ibrutinib significantly improved progression-free survival; the median duration was not reached in the ibrutinib group (with a rate of progression-free survival of 88% at 6 months), as compared with a median of 8.1 months in the ofatumumab group (hazard ratio for progression or death in the ibrutinib group, 0.22; P<0.001). Ibrutinib also significantly improved overall survival (hazard ratio for death, 0.43; P = 0.005). At 12 months, the overall survival rate was 90% in the ibrutinib group and 81% in the ofatumumab group. The overall response rate was significantly higher in the ibrutinib group than in the ofatumumab group (42.6% vs. 4.1%, P<0.001). An additional 20% of ibrutinib-treated patients had a partial response with lymphocytosis. Similar effects were observed regardless of whether patients had a chromosome 17p13.1 deletion or resistance to purine analogues. The most frequent nonhematologic adverse events were diarrhea, fatigue, pyrexia, and nausea in the ibrutinib group and fatigue, infusion-related reactions, and cough in the ofatumumab group.
Conclusions
Ibrutinib, as compared with ofatumumab, significantly improved progression-free survival, overall survival, and response rate among patients with previously treated CLL or SLL. (Funded by Pharmacyclics and Janssen; RESONATE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01578707.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1400376
PMCID: PMC4134521  PMID: 24881631
20.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC4295117  PMID: 23215556
21.  Adjuvant Exemestane with Ovarian Suppression in Premenopausal Breast Cancer 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;371(2):107-118.
BACKGROUND
Adjuvant therapy with an aromatase inhibitor improves outcomes, as compared with tamoxifen, in postmenopausal women with hormone-receptor–positive breast cancer.
METHODS
In two phase 3 trials, we randomly assigned premenopausal women with hormone-receptor–positive early breast cancer to the aromatase inhibitor exemestane plus ovarian suppression or tamoxifen plus ovarian suppression for a period of 5 years. Suppression of ovarian estrogen production was achieved with the use of the gonadotropin-releasing-hormone agonist triptorelin, oophorectomy, or ovarian irradiation. The primary analysis combined data from 4690 patients in the two trials.
RESULTS
After a median follow-up of 68 months, disease-free survival at 5 years was 91.1% in the exemestane–ovarian suppression group and 87.3% in the tamoxifen–ovarian suppression group (hazard ratio for disease recurrence, second invasive cancer, or death, 0.72; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.60 to 0.85; P<0.001). The rate of freedom from breast cancer at 5 years was 92.8% in the exemestane–ovarian suppression group, as compared with 88.8% in the tamoxifen–ovarian suppression group (hazard ratio for recurrence, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.55 to 0.80; P<0.001). With 194 deaths (4.1% of the patients), overall survival did not differ significantly between the two groups (hazard ratio for death in the exemestane–ovarian suppression group, 1.14; 95% CI, 0.86 to 1.51; P = 0.37). Selected adverse events of grade 3 or 4 were reported for 30.6% of the patients in the exemestane–ovarian suppression group and 29.4% of those in the tamoxifen–ovarian suppression group, with profiles similar to those for postmenopausal women.
CONCLUSIONS
In premenopausal women with hormone-receptor–positive early breast cancer, adjuvant treatment with exemestane plus ovarian suppression, as compared with tamoxifen plus ovarian suppression, significantly reduced recurrence. (Funded by Pfizer and others; TEXT and SOFT ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT00066703 and NCT00066690, respectively.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1404037
PMCID: PMC4175521  PMID: 24881463
22.  Letrozole versus Clomiphene for Infertility in the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;371(2):119-129.
BACKGROUND
Clomiphene is the current first-line infertility treatment in women with the polycystic ovary syndrome, but aromatase inhibitors, including letrozole, might result in better pregnancy outcomes.
METHODS
In this double-blind, multicenter trial, we randomly assigned 750 women, in a 1:1 ratio, to receive letrozole or clomiphene for up to five treatment cycles, with visits to determine ovulation and pregnancy, followed by tracking of pregnancies. The polycystic ovary syndrome was defined according to modified Rotterdam criteria (anovulation with either hyperandrogenism or polycystic ovaries). Participants were 18 to 40 years of age, had at least one patent fallopian tube and a normal uterine cavity, and had a male partner with a sperm concentration of at least 14 million per milliliter; the women and their partners agreed to have regular intercourse with the intent of conception during the study. The primary outcome was live birth during the treatment period.
RESULTS
Women who received letrozole had more cumulative live births than those who received clomiphene (103 of 374 [27.5%] vs. 72 of 376 [19.1%], P = 0.007; rate ratio for live birth, 1.44; 95% confidence interval, 1.10 to 1.87) without significant differences in overall congenital anomalies, though there were four major congenital anomalies in the letrozole group versus one in the clomiphene group (P = 0.65). The cumulative ovulation rate was higher with letrozole than with clomiphene (834 of 1352 treatment cycles [61.7%] vs. 688 of 1425 treatment cycles [48.3%], P<0.001). There were no significant between-group differences in pregnancy loss (49 of 154 pregnancies in the letrozole group [31.8%] and 30 of 103 pregnancies in the clomiphene group [29.1%]) or twin pregnancy (3.4% and 7.4%, respectively). Clomiphene was associated with a higher incidence of hot flushes, and letrozole was associated with higher incidences of fatigue and dizziness. Rates of other adverse events were similar in the two treatment groups.
CONCLUSIONS
As compared with clomiphene, letrozole was associated with higher live-birth and ovulation rates among infertile women with the polycystic ovary syndrome. (Funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00719186.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1313517
PMCID: PMC4175743  PMID: 25006718
23.  Risk of Pediatric Celiac Disease According to HLA Haplotype and Country 
BACKGROUND
The presence of HLA haplotype DR3–DQ2 or DR4–DQ8 is associated with an increased risk of celiac disease. In addition, nearly all children with celiac disease have serum antibodies against tissue transglutaminase (tTG).
METHODS
We studied 6403 children with HLA haplotype DR3–DQ2 or DR4–DQ8 prospectively from birth in the United States, Finland, Germany, and Sweden. The primary end point was the development of celiac disease autoimmunity, which was defined as the presence of tTG antibodies on two consecutive tests at least 3 months apart. The secondary end point was the development of celiac disease, which was defined for the purpose of this study as either a diagnosis on biopsy or persistently high levels of tTG antibodies.
RESULTS
The median follow-up was 60 months (interquartile range, 46 to 77). Celiac disease autoimmunity developed in 786 children (12%). Of the 350 children who underwent biopsy, 291 had confirmed celiac disease; an additional 21 children who did not undergo biopsy had persistently high levels of tTG antibodies. The risks of celiac disease autoimmunity and celiac disease by the age of 5 years were 11% and 3%, respectively, among children with a single DR3–DQ2 haplotype, and 26% and 11%, respectively, among those with two copies (DR3–DQ2 homozygosity). In the adjusted model, the hazard ratios for celiac disease autoimmunity were 2.09 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.70 to 2.56) among heterozygotes and 5.70 (95% CI, 4.66 to 6.97) among homozygotes, as compared with children who had the lowest-risk genotypes (DR4–DQ8 heterozygotes or homozygotes). Residence in Sweden was also independently associated with an increased risk of celiac disease autoimmunity (hazard ratio, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.61 to 2.25).
CONCLUSIONS
Children with the HLA haplotype DR3–DQ2, especially homozygotes, were found to be at high risk for celiac disease autoimmunity and celiac disease early in childhood. The higher risk in Sweden than in other countries highlights the importance of studying environmental factors associated with celiac disease. (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1313977
PMCID: PMC4163840  PMID: 24988556
24.  Loss-of-Function Mutations in APOC3, Triglycerides, and Coronary Disease 
Background
Plasma triglyceride levels are heritable and are correlated with the risk of coronary heart disease. Sequencing of the protein-coding regions of the human genome (the exome) has the potential to identify rare mutations that have a large effect on phenotype.
Methods
We sequenced the protein-coding regions of 18,666 genes in each of 3734 participants of European or African ancestry in the Exome Sequencing Project. We conducted tests to determine whether rare mutations in coding sequence, individually or in aggregate within a gene, were associated with plasma triglyceride levels. For mutations associated with triglyceride levels, we subsequently evaluated their association with the risk of coronary heart disease in 110,970 persons.
Results
An aggregate of rare mutations in the gene encoding apolipoprotein C3 (APOC3) was associated with lower plasma triglyceride levels. Among the four mutations that drove this result, three were loss-of-function mutations: a nonsense mutation (R19X) and two splice-site mutations (IVS2+1G→A and IVS3+1G→T). The fourth was a missense mutation (A43T). Approximately 1 in 150 persons in the study was a heterozygous carrier of at least one of these four mutations. Triglyceride levels in the carriers were 39% lower than levels in noncarriers (P<1×10−20), and circulating levels of APOC3 in carriers were 46% lower than levels in noncarriers (P = 8×10−10). The risk of coronary heart disease among 498 carriers of any rare APOC3 mutation was 40% lower than the risk among 110,472 noncarriers (odds ratio, 0.60; 95% confidence interval, 0.47 to 0.75; P = 4×10−6).
Conclusions
Rare mutations that disrupt APOC3 function were associated with lower levels of plasma triglycerides and APOC3. Carriers of these mutations were found to have a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1307095
PMCID: PMC4180269  PMID: 24941081
25.  CYTOMEGALOVIRUS INFECTION AND HIV-1 DISEASE PROGRESSION IN INFANTS BORN TO HIV-1–INFECTED WOMEN 
Background and Methods
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) has been implicated as a cofactor in the progression of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) disease. We assessed 440 infants (75 of whom were HIV-1–infected and 365 of whom were not) whose CMV status was known, who were born to HIV-1–infected women, and who were followed prospectively. HIV-1 disease progression was defined as the presence of class C symptoms (according to the criteria of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]) or CD4 counts of less than 750 cells per cubic millimeter by 1 year of age and less than 500 cells per cubic millimeter by 18 months of age.
Results
At birth the frequency of CMV infection was similar in the HIV-1–infected and HIV-1–uninfected infants (4.3 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively), but the HIV-1–infected infants had a higher rate of CMV infection at six months of age (39.9 percent vs. 15.3 percent, P=0.001) and continued to have a higher rate of CMV infection through four years of age (P=0.04). By 18 months of age, the infants with both infections had higher rates of HIV-1 disease progression (70.0 percent vs. 30.4 percent, P=0.001), CDC class C symptoms or death (52.5 percent vs. 21.7 percent, P=0.008), and impaired brain growth or progressive motor deficits (35.6 percent vs. 8.7 percent, P=0.005) than infants infected only with HIV-1. In a Cox regression analysis, CMV infection was associated with an increased risk of HIV-1 disease progression (relative risk, 2.59; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.13 to 5.95). Among children infected with HIV-1 alone, but not among those infected with both viruses, children with rapid progression of HIV-1 disease had higher mean levels of HIV-1 RNA than those with slower or no progression of disease.
Conclusions
HIV-1–infected infants who acquire CMV infection in the first 18 months of life have a significantly higher rate of disease progression and central nervous system disease than those infected with HIV-1 alone.
doi:10.1056/NEJM199907083410203
PMCID: PMC4280563  PMID: 10395631

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