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1.  TREM2 and Neurodegenerative Disease 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(16):1564-1565.
doi:10.1056/NEJMc1306509#SA1
PMCID: PMC3980568  PMID: 24131184
2.  Combination Antifungal Therapy for Cryptococcal Meningitis 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;368(14):1291-1302.
BACKGROUND
Combination antifungal therapy (amphotericin B deoxycholate and flucytosine) is the recommended treatment for cryptococcal meningitis but has not been shown to reduce mortality, as compared with amphotericin B alone. We performed a randomized, controlled trial to determine whether combining flucytosine or high-dose fluconazole with high-dose amphotericin B improved survival at 14 and 70 days.
METHODS
We conducted a randomized, three-group, open-label trial of induction therapy for cryptococcal meningitis in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection. All patients received amphotericin B at a dose of 1 mg per kilogram of body weight per day; patients in group 1 were treated for 4 weeks, and those in groups 2 and 3 for 2 weeks. Patients in group 2 concurrently received flucytosine at a dose of 100 mg per kilogram per day for 2 weeks, and those in group 3 concurrently received fluconazole at a dose of 400 mg twice daily for 2 weeks.
RESULTS
A total of 299 patients were enrolled. Fewer deaths occurred by days 14 and 70 among patients receiving amphotericin B and flucytosine than among those receiving amphotericin B alone (15 vs. 25 deaths by day 14; hazard ratio, 0.57; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.30 to 1.08; unadjusted P = 0.08; and 30 vs. 44 deaths by day 70; hazard ratio, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.39 to 0.97; unadjusted P = 0.04). Combination therapy with fluconazole had no significant effect on survival, as compared with monotherapy (hazard ratio for death by 14 days, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.44 to 1.41; P = 0.42; hazard ratio for death by 70 days, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.45 to 1.11; P = 0.13). amphotericin B plus flucytosine was associated with significantly increased rates of yeast clearance from cerebrospinal fluid (−0.42 log10 colony-forming units [CFU] per milliliter per day vs. −0.31 and −0.32 log10 CFU per milliliter per day in groups 1 and 3, respectively; P<0.001 for both comparisons). Rates of adverse events were similar in all groups, although neutropenia was more frequent in patients receiving a combination therapy.
CONCLUSIONS
Amphotericin B plus flucytosine, as compared with amphotericin B alone, is associated with improved survival among patients with cryptococcal meningitis. A survival benefit of amphotericin B plus fluconazole was not found. (Funded by the Wellcome Trust and the British Infection Society; Controlled-Trials.com number, ISRCTN95123928.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1110404
PMCID: PMC3978204  PMID: 23550668
3.  Nighttime Intensivist Staffing and Mortality among Critically Ill Patients 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;366(22):2093-2101.
BACKGROUND
Hospitals are increasingly adopting 24-hour intensivist physician staffing as a strategy to improve intensive care unit (ICU) outcomes. However, the degree to which nighttime intensivists are associated with improvements in the quality of ICU care is unknown.
METHODS
We conducted a retrospective cohort study involving ICUs that participated in the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) clinical information system from 2009 through 2010, linking a survey of ICU staffing practices with patient-level outcomes data from adult ICU admissions. Multivariate models were used to assess the relationship between nighttime intensivist staffing and in-hospital mortality among ICU patients, with adjustment for daytime intensivist staffing, severity of illness, and case mix. We conducted a confirmatory analysis in a second, population-based cohort of hospitals in Pennsylvania from which less detailed data were available.
RESULTS
The analysis with the use of the APACHE database included 65,752 patients admitted to 49 ICUs in 25 hospitals. In ICUs with low-intensity daytime staffing, nighttime intensivist staffing was associated with a reduction in risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio for death, 0.62; P = 0.04). Among ICUs with high-intensity daytime staffing, nighttime intensivist staffing conferred no benefit with respect to risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality (odds ratio, 1.08; P = 0.78). In the verification cohort, there was a similar relationship among daytime staffing, nighttime staffing, and in-hospital mortality. The interaction between nighttime staffing and daytime staffing was not significant (P = 0.18), yet the direction of the findings were similar to those in the APACHE cohort.
CONCLUSIONS
The addition of nighttime intensivist staffing to a low-intensity daytime staffing model was associated with reduced mortality. However, a reduction in mortality was not seen in ICUs with high-intensity daytime staffing. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMsa1201918
PMCID: PMC3979289  PMID: 22612639
4.  Long-Term Cognitive Impairment after Critical Illness 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(14):1306-1316.
BACKGROUND
Survivors of critical illness often have a prolonged and disabling form of cognitive impairment that remains inadequately characterized.
METHODS
We enrolled adults with respiratory failure or shock in the medical or surgical intensive care unit (ICU), evaluated them for in-hospital delirium, and assessed global cognition and executive function 3 and 12 months after discharge with the use of the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (population age-adjusted mean [±SD] score, 100±15, with lower values indicating worse global cognition) and the Trail Making Test, Part B (population age-, sex-, and education-adjusted mean score, 50±10, with lower scores indicating worse executive function). Associations of the duration of delirium and the use of sedative or analgesic agents with the outcomes were assessed with the use of linear regression, with adjustment for potential confounders.
RESULTS
Of the 821 patients enrolled, 6% had cognitive impairment at baseline, and delirium developed in 74% during the hospital stay. At 3 months, 40% of the patients had global cognition scores that were 1.5 SD below the population means (similar to scores for patients with moderate traumatic brain injury), and 26% had scores 2 SD below the population means (similar to scores for patients with mild Alzheimer's disease). Deficits occurred in both older and younger patients and persisted, with 34% and 24% of all patients with assessments at 12 months that were similar to scores for patients with moderate traumatic brain injury and scores for patients with mild Alzheimer's disease, respectively. A longer duration of delirium was independently associated with worse global cognition at 3 and 12 months (P = 0.001 and P = 0.04, respectively) and worse executive function at 3 and 12 months (P = 0.004 and P = 0.007, respectively). Use of sedative or analgesic medications was not consistently associated with cognitive impairment at 3 and 12 months.
CONCLUSIONS
Patients in medical and surgical ICUs are at high risk for long-term cognitive impairment. A longer duration of delirium in the hospital was associated with worse global cognition and executive function scores at 3 and 12 months. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others; BRAIN-ICU ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00392795.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1301372
PMCID: PMC3922401  PMID: 24088092
5.  A Randomized Trial of Planned Cesarean or Vaginal Delivery for Twin Pregnancy 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(14):1295-1305.
BACKGROUND
Twin birth is associated with a higher risk of adverse perinatal outcomes than singleton birth. It is unclear whether planned cesarean section results in a lower risk of adverse outcomes than planned vaginal delivery in twin pregnancy.
METHODS
We randomly assigned women between 32 weeks 0 days and 38 weeks 6 days of gestation with twin pregnancy and with the first twin in the cephalic presentation to planned cesarean section or planned vaginal delivery with cesarean only if indicated. Elective delivery was planned between 37 weeks 5 days and 38 weeks 6 days of gestation. The primary outcome was a composite of fetal or neonatal death or serious neonatal morbidity, with the fetus or infant as the unit of analysis for the statistical comparison.
RESULTS
A total of 1398 women (2795 fetuses) were randomly assigned to planned cesarean delivery and 1406 women (2812 fetuses) to planned vaginal delivery. The rate of cesarean delivery was 90.7% in the planned-cesarean-delivery group and 43.8% in the planned-vaginal-delivery group. Women in the planned-cesarean-delivery group delivered earlier than did those in the planned-vaginal-delivery group (mean number of days from randomization to delivery, 12.4 vs. 13.3; P = 0.04). There was no significant difference in the composite primary outcome between the planned-cesarean-delivery group and the planned-vaginal-delivery group (2.2% and 1.9%, respectively; odds ratio with planned cesarean delivery, 1.16; 95% confidence interval, 0.77 to 1.74; P = 0.49).
CONCLUSIONS
In twin pregnancy between 32 weeks 0 days and 38 weeks 6 days of gestation, with the first twin in the cephalic presentation, planned cesarean delivery did not significantly decrease or increase the risk of fetal or neonatal death or serious neonatal morbidity, as compared with planned vaginal delivery. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00187369; Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN74420086.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1214939
PMCID: PMC3954096  PMID: 24088091 CAMSID: cams3905
6.  Mechanical Ventilation Guided by Esophageal Pressure in Acute Lung Injury 
The New England journal of medicine  2008;359(20):2095-2104.
BACKGROUND
Survival of patients with acute lung injury or the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has been improved by ventilation with small tidal volumes and the use of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP); however, the optimal level of PEEP has been difficult to determine. In this pilot study, we estimated transpulmonary pressure with the use of esophageal balloon catheters. We reasoned that the use of pleural-pressure measurements, despite the technical limitations to the accuracy of such measurements, would enable us to find a PEEP value that could maintain oxygenation while preventing lung injury due to repeated alveolar collapse or overdistention.
METHODS
We randomly assigned patients with acute lung injury or ARDS to undergo mechanical ventilation with PEEP adjusted according to measurements of esophageal pressure (the esophageal-pressure–guided group) or according to the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Network standard-of-care recommendations (the control group). The primary end point was improvement in oxygenation. The secondary end points included respiratory-system compliance and patient outcomes.
RESULTS
The study reached its stopping criterion and was terminated after 61 patients had been enrolled. The ratio of the partial pressure of arterial oxygen to the fraction of inspired oxygen at 72 hours was 88 mm Hg higher in the esophageal-pressure–guided group than in the control group (95% confidence interval, 78.1 to 98.3; P = 0.002). This effect was persistent over the entire follow-up time (at 24, 48, and 72 hours; P = 0.001 by repeated-measures analysis of variance). Respiratory-system compliance was also significantly better at 24, 48, and 72 hours in the esophageal-pressure–guided group (P = 0.01 by repeated-measures analysis of variance).
CONCLUSIONS
As compared with the current standard of care, a ventilator strategy using esophageal pressures to estimate the transpulmonary pressure significantly improves oxygenation and compliance. Multicenter clinical trials are needed to determine whether this approach should be widely adopted. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00127491.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0708638
PMCID: PMC3969885  PMID: 19001507
8.  Diverse Sources of C. difficile Infection Identified on Whole-Genome Sequencing 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(13):10.1056/NEJMoa1216064.
BACKGROUND
It has been thought that Clostridium difficile infection is transmitted predominantly within health care settings. However, endemic spread has hampered identification of precise sources of infection and the assessment of the efficacy of interventions.
METHODS
From September 2007 through March 2011, we performed whole-genome sequencing on isolates obtained from all symptomatic patients with C. difficile infection identified in health care settings or in the community in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. We compared single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) between the isolates, using C. difficile evolution rates estimated on the basis of the first and last samples obtained from each of 145 patients, with 0 to 2 SNVs expected between transmitted isolates obtained less than 124 days apart, on the basis of a 95% prediction interval. We then identified plausible epidemiologic links among genetically related cases from data on hospital admissions and community location.
RESULTS
Of 1250 C. difficile cases that were evaluated, 1223 (98%) were successfully sequenced. In a comparison of 957 samples obtained from April 2008 through March 2011 with those obtained from September 2007 onward, a total of 333 isolates (35%) had no more than 2 SNVs from at least 1 earlier case, and 428 isolates (45%) had more than 10 SNVs from all previous cases. Reductions in incidence over time were similar in the two groups, a finding that suggests an effect of interventions targeting the transition from exposure to disease. Of the 333 patients with no more than 2 SNVs (consistent with transmission), 126 patients (38%) had close hospital contact with another patient, and 120 patients (36%) had no hospital or community contact with another patient. Distinct subtypes of infection continued to be identified throughout the study, which suggests a considerable reservoir of C. difficile.
CONCLUSIONS
Over a 3-year period, 45% of C. difficile cases in Oxfordshire were genetically distinct from all previous cases. Genetically diverse sources, in addition to symptomatic patients, play a major part in C. difficile transmission. (Funded by the U.K. Clinical Research Collaboration Translational Infection Research Initiative and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1216064
PMCID: PMC3868928  PMID: 24066741
9.  Breast Cancer after Use of Estrogen plus Progestin in Postmenopausal Women 
The New England journal of medicine  2009;360(6):573-587.
BACKGROUND
Following the release of the 2002 report of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) trial of estrogen plus progestin, the use of menopausal hormone therapy in the United States decreased substantially. Subsequently, the incidence of breast cancer also dropped, suggesting a cause-and-effect relation between hormone treatment and breast cancer. However, the cause of this decrease remains controversial.
METHODS
We analyzed the results of the WHI randomized clinical trial — in which one study group received 0.625 mg of conjugated equine estrogens plus 2.5 mg of medroxy-progesterone acetate daily and another group received placebo — and examined temporal trends in breast-cancer diagnoses in the WHI observational-study cohort. Risk factors for breast cancer, frequency of mammography, and time-specific incidence of breast cancer were assessed in relation to combined hormone use.
RESULTS
In the clinical trial, there were fewer breast-cancer diagnoses in the group receiving estrogen plus progestin than in the placebo group in the initial 2 years of the study, but the number of diagnoses increased over the course of the 5.6-year intervention period. The elevated risk decreased rapidly after both groups stopped taking the study pills, despite a similar frequency of mammography. In the observational study, the incidence of breast cancer was initially about two times as high in the group receiving menopausal hormones as in the placebo group, but this difference in incidence decreased rapidly in about 2 years, coinciding with year-to-year reductions in combined hormone use. During this period, differences in the frequency of mammography between the two groups were unchanged.
CONCLUSIONS
The increased risk of breast cancer associated with the use of estrogen plus progestin declined markedly soon after discontinuation of combined hormone therapy and was unrelated to changes in frequency of mammography.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0807684
PMCID: PMC3963492  PMID: 19196674
10.  No Easy Fixes 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(15):1392-1393.
doi:10.1056/NEJMp1303484
PMCID: PMC3962817  PMID: 24106933
11.  Long-Term Colorectal-Cancer Incidence and Mortality after Lower Endoscopy 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(12):10.1056/NEJMoa1301969.
BACKGROUND
Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy provide protection against colorectal cancer, but the magnitude and duration of protection, particularly against cancer of the proximal colon, remain uncertain.
METHODS
We examined the association of the use of lower endoscopy (updated biennially from 1988 through 2008) with colorectal-cancer incidence (through June 2010) and colorectal-cancer mortality (through June 2012) among participants in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
RESULTS
Among 88,902 participants followed over a period of 22 years, we documented 1815 incident colorectal cancers and 474 deaths from colorectal cancer. With endoscopy as compared with no endoscopy, multivariate hazard ratios for colorectal cancer were 0.57 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.45 to 0.72) after polypectomy, 0.60 (95% CI, 0.53 to 0.68) after negative sigmoidoscopy, and 0.44 (95% CI, 0.38 to 0.52) after negative colonoscopy. Negative colonoscopy was associated with a reduced incidence of proximal colon cancer (multivariate hazard ratio, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.57 to 0.92). Multivariate hazard ratios for death from colorectal cancer were 0.59 (95% CI, 0.45 to 0.76) after screening sigmoidoscopy and 0.32 (95% CI, 0.24 to 0.45) after screening colonoscopy. Reduced mortality from proximal colon cancer was observed after screening colonoscopy (multivariate hazard ratio, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.29 to 0.76) but not after sigmoidoscopy. As compared with colorectal cancers diagnosed in patients more than 5 years after colonoscopy or without any prior endoscopy, those diagnosed in patients within 5 years after colonoscopy were more likely to be characterized by the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) (multivariate odds ratio, 2.19; 95% CI, 1.14 to 4.21) and microsatellite instability (multivariate odds ratio, 2.10; 95% CI, 1.10 to 4.02).
CONCLUSIONS
Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy were associated with a reduced incidence of cancer of the distal colorectum; colonoscopy was also associated with a modest reduction in the incidence of proximal colon cancer. Screening colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy were associated with reduced colorectal-cancer mortality; only colonoscopy was associated with reduced mortality from proximal colon cancer. Colorectal cancer diagnosed within 5 years after colonoscopy was more likely than cancer diagnosed after that period or without prior endoscopy to have CIMP and microsatellite instability. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1301969
PMCID: PMC3840160  PMID: 24047059
12.  Monetary Costs of Dementia in the United States 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;368(14):1326-1334.
BACKGROUND
Dementia affects a large and growing number of older adults in the United States. The monetary costs attributable to dementia are likely to be similarly large and to continue to increase.
METHODS
In a subsample (856 persons) of the population in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a nationally representative longitudinal study of older adults, the diagnosis of dementia was determined with the use of a detailed in-home cognitive assessment that was 3 to 4 hours in duration and a review by an expert panel. We then imputed cognitive status to the full HRS sample (10,903 persons, 31,936 person-years) on the basis of measures of cognitive and functional status available for all HRS respondents, thereby identifying persons in the larger sample with a high probability of dementia. The market costs associated with care for persons with dementia were determined on the basis of self-reported out-of-pocket spending and the utilization of nursing home care; Medicare claims data were used to identify costs paid by Medicare. Hours of informal (unpaid) care were valued either as the cost of equivalent formal (paid) care or as the estimated wages forgone by informal caregivers.
RESULTS
The estimated prevalence of dementia among persons older than 70 years of age in the United States in 2010 was 14.7%. The yearly monetary cost per person that was attributable to dementia was either $56,290 (95% confidence interval [CI], $42,746 to $69,834) or $41,689 (95% CI, $31,017 to $52,362), depending on the method used to value informal care. These individual costs suggest that the total monetary cost of dementia in 2010 was between $157 billion and $215 billion. Medicare paid approximately $11 billion of this cost.
CONCLUSIONS
Dementia represents a substantial financial burden on society, one that is similar to the financial burden of heart disease and cancer. (Funded by the National Institute on Aging.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMsa1204629
PMCID: PMC3959992  PMID: 23550670
13.  Glucose Levels and Risk of Dementia 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(6):540-548.
BACKGROUND
Diabetes is a risk factor for dementia. It is unknown whether higher glucose levels increase the risk of dementia in people without diabetes.
METHODS
We used 35,264 clinical measurements of glucose levels and 10,208 measurements of glycated hemoglobin levels from 2067 participants without dementia to examine the relationship between glucose levels and the risk of dementia. Participants were from the Adult Changes in Thought study and included 839 men and 1228 women whose mean age at baseline was 76 years; 232 participants had diabetes, and 1835 did not. We fit Cox regression models, stratified according to diabetes status and adjusted for age, sex, study cohort, educational level, level of exercise, blood pressure, and status with respect to coronary and cerebrovascular diseases, atrial fibrillation, smoking, and treatment for hypertension.
RESULTS
During a median follow-up of 6.8 years, dementia developed in 524 participants (74 with diabetes and 450 without). Among participants without diabetes, higher average glucose levels within the preceding 5 years were related to an increased risk of dementia (P = 0.01); with a glucose level of 115 mg per deciliter (6.4 mmol per liter) as compared with 100 mg per deciliter (5.5 mmol per liter), the adjusted hazard ratio for dementia was 1.18 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04 to 1.33). Among participants with diabetes, higher average glucose levels were also related to an increased risk of dementia (P = 0.002); with a glucose level of 190 mg per deciliter (10.5 mmol per liter) as compared with 160 mg per deciliter (8.9 mmol per liter), the adjusted hazard ratio was 1.40 (95% CI, 1.12 to 1.76).
CONCLUSIONS
Our results suggest that higher glucose levels may be a risk factor for dementia, even among persons without diabetes. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1215740
PMCID: PMC3955123  PMID: 23924004
14.  Weighing the Benefits and Burdens of Witnessed Resuscitation 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;368(11):1058-1059.
doi:10.1056/NEJMe1300397
PMCID: PMC3601383  PMID: 23484835
15.  Indoor Tanning — Science, Behavior, and Policy 
The New England journal of medicine  2010;363(10):901-903.
doi:10.1056/NEJMp1005999
PMCID: PMC3951814  PMID: 20818900
16.  Hypercholesterolemic Aortic-Valve Disease 
The New England journal of medicine  2003;349(7):717-718.
doi:10.1056/NEJMc031360
PMCID: PMC3951872  PMID: 12917318
17.  Probability of Cancer in Pulmonary Nodules Detected on First Screening CT 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(10):910-919.
BACKGROUND
Major issues in the implementation of screening for lung cancer by means of low-dose computed tomography (CT) are the definition of a positive result and the management of lung nodules detected on the scans. We conducted a population-based prospective study to determine factors predicting the probability that lung nodules detected on the first screening low-dose CT scans are malignant or will be found to be malignant on follow-up.
METHODS
We analyzed data from two cohorts of participants undergoing low-dose CT screening. The development data set included participants in the Pan-Canadian Early Detection of Lung Cancer Study (PanCan). The validation data set included participants involved in chemoprevention trials at the British Columbia Cancer Agency (BCCA), sponsored by the U.S. National Cancer Institute. The final outcomes of all nodules of any size that were detected on baseline low-dose CT scans were tracked. Parsimonious and fuller multivariable logistic-regression models were prepared to estimate the probability of lung cancer.
RESULTS
In the PanCan data set, 1871 persons had 7008 nodules, of which 102 were malignant, and in the BCCA data set, 1090 persons had 5021 nodules, of which 42 were malignant. Among persons with nodules, the rates of cancer in the two data sets were 5.5% and 3.7%, respectively. Predictors of cancer in the model included older age, female sex, family history of lung cancer, emphysema, larger nodule size, location of the nodule in the upper lobe, part-solid nodule type, lower nodule count, and spiculation. Our final parsimonious and full models showed excellent discrimination and calibration, with areas under the receiver-operating-characteristic curve of more than 0.90, even for nodules that were 10 mm or smaller in the validation set.
CONCLUSIONS
Predictive tools based on patient and nodule characteristics can be used to accurately estimate the probability that lung nodules detected on baseline screening low-dose CT scans are malignant. (Funded by the Terry Fox Research Institute and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00751660.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1214726
PMCID: PMC3951177  PMID: 24004118
18.  Combination Anastrozole and Fulvestrant in Metastatic Breast Cancer 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(5):435-444.
BACKGROUND
The aromatase inhibitor anastrozole inhibits estrogen synthesis. Fulvestrant binds and accelerates degradation of estrogen receptors. We hypothesized that these two agents in combination might be more effective than anastrozole alone in patients with hormone-receptor (HR)–positive metastatic breast cancer.
METHODS
Postmenopausal women with previously untreated metastatic disease were randomly assigned, in a 1:1 ratio, to receive either 1 mg of anastrozole orally every day (group 1), with crossover to fulvestrant alone strongly encouraged if the disease progressed, or anastrozole and fulvestrant in combination (group 2). Patients were stratified according to prior or no prior receipt of adjuvant tamoxifen therapy. Fulvestrant was administered intramuscularly at a dose of 500 mg on day 1 and 250 mg on days 14 and 28 and monthly thereafter. The primary end point was progressionfree survival, with overall survival designated as a prespecified secondary outcome.
RESULTS
The median progression-free survival was 13.5 months in group 1 and 15.0 months in group 2 (hazard ratio for progression or death with combination therapy, 0.80; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.68 to 0.94; P = 0.007 by the log-rank test). The combination therapy was generally more effective than anastrozole alone in all subgroups, with no significant interactions. Overall survival was also longer with combination therapy (median, 41.3 months in group 1 and 47.7 months in group 2; hazard ratio for death, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.65 to 1.00; P = 0.05 by the log-rank test), despite the fact that 41% of the patients in group 1 crossed over to fulvestrant after progression. Three deaths that were possibly associated with treatment occurred in group 2. The rates of grade 3 to 5 toxic effects did not differ significantly between the two groups.
CONCLUSIONS
The combination of anastrozole and fulvestrant was superior to anastrozole alone or sequential anastrozole and fulvestrant for the treatment of HR-positive metastatic breast cancer, despite the use of a dose of fulvestrant that was below the current standard.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1201622
PMCID: PMC3951300  PMID: 22853014
19.  Colony-Stimulating Factors for Febrile Neutropenia during Cancer Therapy 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;368(12):1131-1139.
A 55-year-old, previously healthy woman received a diagnosis of diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma after the evaluation of an enlarged left axillary lymph node obtained on biopsy. She had been asymptomatic except for the presence of enlarged axillary lymph nodes, which she had found while bathing. She was referred to an oncologist, who performed a staging evaluation. A complete blood count and test results for liver and renal function and serum lactate dehydrogenase were normal. Positron-emission tomography and computed tomography (PET–CT) identified enlarged lymph nodes with abnormal uptake in the left axilla, mediastinum, and retroperitoneum. Results on bone marrow biopsy were normal. The patient’s oncologist recommends treatment with six cycles of cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone with rituximab (CHOP-R) at 21-day intervals. Is the administration of prophylactic granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) with the first cycle of chemotherapy indicated?
doi:10.1056/NEJMct1210890
PMCID: PMC3947590  PMID: 23514290
20.  ST2 as a Marker for Risk of Therapy-Resistant Graft-versus-Host Disease and Death 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(6):529-539.
Background
No plasma biomarkers are associated with the response of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) to therapy after allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation.
Methods
We compared 12 biomarkers in plasma obtained a median of 16 days after therapy initiation from 10 patients with a complete response by day 28 after therapy initiation and in plasma obtained from 10 patients with progressive GVHD during therapy. The lead biomarker, suppression of tumorigenicity 2 (ST2), was measured at the beginning of treatment for GVHD in plasma from 381 patients and during the first month after transplantation in three independent sets totaling 673 patients to determine the association of this biomarker with treatment-resistant GVHD and 6-month mortality after treatment or transplantation.
Results
Of the 12 markers, ST2 had the most significant association with resistance to GVHD therapy and subsequent death without relapse. As compared with patients with low ST2 values at therapy initiation, patients with high ST2 values were 2.3 times as likely to have treatment-resistant GVHD (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5 to 3.6) and 3.7 times as likely to die within 6 months after therapy (95% CI, 2.3 to 5.9). Patients with low ST2 values had lower mortality without relapse than patients with high ST2 values, regardless of the GVHD grade (11% vs. 31% among patients with grade I or II GVHD and 14% vs. 67% among patients with grade III or IV GVHD, P<0.001 for both comparisons). Plasma ST2 values at day 14 after transplantation were associated with 6-month mortality without relapse, regardless of the intensity of the conditioning regimen.
Conclusions
ST2 levels measured at the initiation of therapy for GVHD and during the first month after transplantation improved risk stratification for treatment-resistant GVHD and death without relapse after transplantation. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1213299
PMCID: PMC3943357  PMID: 23924003
22.  Macrophage Accumulation in Atherosclerosis 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(24):2352-2353.
doi:10.1056/NEJMcibr1312709
PMCID: PMC3934498  PMID: 24328470
24.  Insecticidal Bed Nets and Filariasis Transmission in Papua New Guinea 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(8):10.1056/NEJMoa1207594.
BACKGROUND
Global efforts to eliminate lymphatic filariasis are based on the annual mass administration of antifilarial drugs to reduce the microfilaria reservoir available to the mosquito vector. Insecticide-treated bed nets are being widely used in areas in which filariasis and malaria are coendemic.
METHODS
We studied five villages in which five annual mass administrations of antifilarial drugs, which were completed in 1998, reduced the transmission of Wuchereria bancrofti, one of the nematodes that cause lymphatic filariasis. A total of 21,899 anopheles mosquitoes were collected for 26 months before and 11 to 36 months after bed nets treated with long-lasting insecticide were distributed in 2009. We evaluated the status of filarial infection and the presence of W. bancrofti DNA in anopheline mosquitoes before and after the introduction of insecticide-treated bed nets. We then used a model of population dynamics to estimate the probabilities of transmission cessation.
RESULTS
Village-specific rates of bites from anopheline mosquitoes ranged from 6.4 to 61.3 bites per person per day before the bed-net distribution and from 1.1 to 9.4 bites for 11 months after distribution (P<0.001). During the same period, the rate of detection of W. bancrofti in anopheline mosquitoes decreased from 1.8% to 0.4% (P = 0.005), and the rate of detection of filarial DNA decreased from 19.4% to 14.9% (P = 0.13). The annual transmission potential was 5 to 325 infective larvae inoculated per person per year before the bed-net distribution and 0 after the distribution. Among all five villages with a prevalence of microfilariae of 2 to 38%, the probability of transmission cessation increased from less than 1.0% before the bed-net distribution to a range of 4.9 to 95% in the 11 months after distribution.
CONCLUSIONS
Vector control with insecticide-treated bed nets is a valuable tool for W. bancrofti elimination in areas in which anopheline mosquitoes transmit the parasite. (Funded by the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Institutes of Health.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1207594
PMCID: PMC3835352  PMID: 23964936
25.  Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Latin America 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(8):10.1056/NEJMoa1212628.
BACKGROUND
The eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) viruses are pathogens that infect humans and horses in the Americas. Outbreaks of neurologic disease in humans and horses were reported in Panama from May through early August 2010.
METHODS
We performed antibody assays and tests to detect viral RNA and isolate the viruses in serum samples from hospitalized patients. Additional cases were identified with enhanced surveillance.
RESULTS
A total of 19 patients were hospitalized for encephalitis. Among them, 7 had confirmed EEE, 3 had VEE, and 1 was infected with both viruses; 3 patients died, 1 of whom had confirmed VEE. The clinical findings for patients with EEE included brain lesions, seizures that evolved to status epilepticus, and neurologic sequelae. An additional 99 suspected or probable cases of alphavirus infection were detected during active surveillance. In total, 13 cases were confirmed as EEE, along with 11 cases of VEE and 1 case of dual infection. A total of 50 cases in horses were confirmed as EEE and 8 as VEE; mixed etiologic factors were associated with 11 cases in horses. Phylogenetic analyses of isolates from 2 cases of equine infection with the EEE virus and 1 case of human infection with the VEE virus indicated that the viruses were of enzootic lineages previously identified in Panama rather than new introductions.
CONCLUSIONS
Cases of EEE in humans in Latin America may be the result of ecologic changes that increased human contact with enzootic transmission cycles, genetic changes in EEE viral strains that resulted in increased human virulence, or an altered host range. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación, Panama.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1212628
PMCID: PMC3839813  PMID: 23964935

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