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1.  Metabolomics Evaluation of Serum Markers for Cachexia and Their Intra-Day Variation in Patients with Advanced Pancreatic Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e113259.
Cancer cachexia is a multifactorial syndrome characterized by progressive loss of weight and muscle atrophy. Using metabolomics, we investigated serum markers and their intra-day variation in advanced pancreatic cancer patients with cachexia.
Patients were enrolled in two groups: those with or without cachexia. Blood samples collected at 6:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 4:30 PM, and 9:30 PM were analyzed using metabolomics, and serum levels of IL-6, TNF-α, and leptin were measured and compared between the two groups. Intra-day variation was then evaluated.
Twenty-one patients were enrolled in total. In the cachexia group (n = 9), median body weight loss rate over 6 months was greater, performance status was poorer, and anorexia was more severe than in the non-cachexia group (n = 12). Each metabolites level showed substantial intra-day variation, and some of them displayed significant differences between the two groups. Levels of paraxanthine remained markedly lower in the cohort with cachexia at all measurement points. Besides, median IL-6 and TNF-α levels appeared higher and leptin concentration appeared lower in the cachexia group, albeit without statistical significance.
Some metabolites and some serological marker levels were affected by cancer cachexia. Although paraxanthine levels were consistently lower in patients with cachexia, we identified that many metabolites indicated large intra- and inter-day variation and that it might be necessary to pay attention to intra-day variation in metabolomics research.
PMCID: PMC4239056  PMID: 25411961
2.  Ultra-early versus early salvage androgen deprivation therapy for post-prostatectomy biochemical recurrence in pT2-4N0M0 prostate cancer 
BMC Urology  2014;14(1):81.
The optimal timing of salvage androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy is controversial. We compared the outcomes of ultra-early versus early salvage ADT.
Among 855 patients undergoing radical prostatectomy at our institution between 2000 and 2012, we identified 121 with adjuvant-treatment-naïve pT2-4N0M0 prostate cancer who received salvage ADT for biochemical recurrence. These patients were divided into an ultra-early salvage ADT group (n = 51), who started salvage ADT before meeting the standardized definition of biochemical recurrence in Japan (two consecutive prostate-specific antigen [PSA] values ≥0.2 ng/ml), and an early salvage ADT group (n = 70) who started salvage ADT when they met the definition. The ultra-early ADT group consisted of those who started salvage ADT with a single PSA value ≥0.2 ng/ml (n = 30) or with two consecutive PSA values >0.1 ng/ml and rising (n = 21). The primary endpoint was biochemical recurrence after salvage ADT, defined as a single PSA value ≥0.2 ng/ml after PSA nadir following salvage ADT. Secondary endpoints were clinical metastasis and cancer-specific survival. A Cox proportional hazards model was used for multivariate analysis. The median follow-up was 65.5 months.
Biochemical recurrence occurred in one patient (2.0%) in the ultra-early group and in 12 (17.1%) in the early salvage ADT group. Multivariate analysis identified ultra-early salvage ADT and preoperative Gleason score ≤7 as independent negative predictors of biochemical recurrence after salvage ADT. Only one patient in the early salvage ADT group developed clinical metastasis to a left supraclavicular lymph node, and no patient died from prostate cancer during follow-up. The major limitations of this study were its retrospective design, selection bias, and the possibility that the ultra-early salvage ADT group may have included patients without biochemical recurrence.
Ultra-early salvage ADT was an independent negative predictor of biochemical recurrence after salvage ADT in post-prostatectomy patients. Further consideration should be given to the use of salvage ADT before meeting the current definition of biochemical recurrence.
PMCID: PMC4203971  PMID: 25323845
Androgen deprivation therapy; Biochemical recurrence; Prostate cancer; Radical prostatectomy; Salvage androgen deprivation therapy
3.  Comparison of Hepatocellular Carcinoma miRNA Expression Profiling as Evaluated by Next Generation Sequencing and Microarray 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e106314.
MicroRNA (miRNA) expression profiling has proven useful in diagnosing and understanding the development and progression of several diseases. Microarray is the standard method for analyzing miRNA expression profiles; however, it has several disadvantages, including its limited detection of miRNAs. In recent years, advances in genome sequencing have led to the development of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, which significantly advance genome sequencing speed and discovery. In this study, we compared the expression profiles obtained by next generation sequencing (NGS) with the profiles created using microarray to assess if NGS could produce a more accurate and complete miRNA profile. Total RNA from 14 hepatocellular carcinoma tumors (HCC) and 6 matched non-tumor control tissues were sequenced with Illumina MiSeq 50-bp single-end reads. Micro RNA expression profiles were estimated using miRDeep2 software. As a comparison, miRNA expression profiles for 11 out of 14 HCCs were also established by microarray (Agilent human microRNA microarray). The average total sequencing exceeded 2.2 million reads per sample and of those reads, approximately 57% mapped to the human genome. The average correlation for miRNA expression between microarray and NGS and subtraction were 0.613 and 0.587, respectively, while miRNA expression between technical replicates was 0.976. The diagnostic accuracy of HCC, p-value, and AUC were 90.0%, 7.22×10−4, and 0.92, respectively. In summary, NGS created an miRNA expression profile that was reproducible and comparable to that produced by microarray. Moreover, NGS discovered novel miRNAs that were otherwise undetectable by microarray. We believe that miRNA expression profiling by NGS can be a useful diagnostic tool applicable to multiple fields of medicine.
PMCID: PMC4162537  PMID: 25215888
4.  Metabolomics for Biomarker Discovery in Gastroenterological Cancer 
Metabolites  2014;4(3):547-571.
The study of the omics cascade, which involves comprehensive investigations based on genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, etc., has developed rapidly and now plays an important role in life science research. Among such analyses, metabolome analysis, in which the concentrations of low molecular weight metabolites are comprehensively analyzed, has rapidly developed along with improvements in analytical technology, and hence, has been applied to a variety of research fields including the clinical, cell biology, and plant/food science fields. The metabolome represents the endpoint of the omics cascade and is also the closest point in the cascade to the phenotype. Moreover, it is affected by variations in not only the expression but also the enzymatic activity of several proteins. Therefore, metabolome analysis can be a useful approach for finding effective diagnostic markers and examining unknown pathological conditions. The number of studies involving metabolome analysis has recently been increasing year-on-year. Here, we describe the findings of studies that used metabolome analysis to attempt to discover biomarker candidates for gastroenterological cancer and discuss metabolome analysis-based disease diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC4192679  PMID: 25003943
metabolomics; biomarker; serum; gastroenterological cancer; mass spectrometry
5.  Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor as a predictor of the response of metastatic renal cell carcinoma to tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy 
Molecular and Clinical Oncology  2014;2(6):1023-1027.
This prospective study was conducted to identify predictive markers for the response of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Patients with histologically proven RCC with at least one measurable metastatic lesion were enrolled in this study. Blood samples were collected prior to treatment and the plasma levels of 27 cytokines were measured. Tumor response was assessed 8–12 weeks after the initiation of TKI treatment. A total of 13 patients (11 men and 2 women) with a median age of 63 years received sunitinib (8 cases), sorafenib (1 case), or axitinib (4 cases). Partial response (PR) was achieved in 5 patients (38%), stable disease (SD) in 4 (30%) and progressive disease (PD) was noted in 4 (30%). The plasma granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) level in PR cases was significantly higher compared to that in SD or PD cases (P=0.012). Therefore, GM-CSF may be a predictive biomarker of the response of RCC to TKI treatment, suggesting that TKIs may exert clinical effects not only through suppression of the vascular endothelial growth factor, but also through immune system modulation.
PMCID: PMC4179789  PMID: 25279192
metastatic; renal cell carcinoma; tyrosine kinase inhibitors; granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor
6.  Whole-genome sequencing of clarithromycin resistant Helicobacter pylori characterizes unidentified variants of multidrug resistant efflux pump genes 
Gut Pathogens  2014;6:27.
Clarithromycin (CLR) is the key drug in eradication therapy of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, and widespread use of CLR has led to an increase in primary CLR-resistant H. pylori. The known mechanism of CLR resistance has been established in A2146G and A2147G mutations in the 23S rRNA gene, but evidence of the involvement of other genetic mechanisms is lacking. Using the MiSeq platform, whole-genome sequencing of the 19 clinical strains and the reference strain ATCC26695 was performed to identify single nucleotide variants (SNVs) of multi-drug resistant efflux pump genes in the CLR-resistant phenotype.
Based on sequencing data of ATCC26695, over one million sequencing reads with over 50-fold coverage were sufficient to detect SNVs, but not indels in the bacterial genome. Sequencing reads of the clinical isolates ranged from 1.82 to 10.8 million, and average coverage ranged from 90.9- to 686.3-fold, which were acceptable criteria for detecting SNVs. Utilizing the conventional approach of allele-specific PCR, point mutations in the 23S rRNA gene were detected in 12 clinical resistant isolates, but not in 7 clinical susceptible isolates. All sequencing reads of CLR-resistant strains had a G mutation in an identical position of the 23S rRNA gene. In addition, genetic variants of four gene clusters (hp0605-hp0607, hp0971-hp0969, hp1327-hp1329, and hp1489-hp1487) of TolC homologues, which have been implicated in multi-drug resistance, were examined. Specific SNVs were dominantly found in resistant strains.
Gene clusters of TolC homologues are involved in CLR susceptibility profiles in individual H. pylori strains. Whole-genome sequencing has yielded novel understanding of genotype-phenotype relationships.
PMCID: PMC4079918  PMID: 24995043
Whole-genome sequencing; Helicobacter pylori; Clarithromycin; Multidrug efflux; TolC homolog
7.  Role of Fc Receptors as a Therapeutic Target 
It has been forty years since the discovery of Fc Receptors and their function. Fc Receptors include the IgG receptors (FcγR), high-affinity IgE receptor (FcεRI), IgA and IgA/IgM receptors, and neonatal Fc receptor for IgG (FcRn). In particular, the FcγRs have been well known to play an important role in many biologic processes including those associated with the response to infection and cancer as well as in the pathogenesis of immune-mediated diseases. Both positive and negative regulatory function has ascribed to Fc receptors and FcγRs in particular which serve to establish a threshold for immune cell activation. In other cases, Fc receptors such as FcRn possess a novel structure and function by playing a major role in the transport of IgG across polarized epithelial barriers at mucosal surfaces and in the regulation of IgG half-life. These diverse functions highlight the potential effectiveness of targeting Fc receptors for therapeutic purposes. This review summarizes new information available in the therapeutic applications of this biology.
PMCID: PMC3990358  PMID: 19275696
Fc receptors; FcRn; IgG; FcγR
8.  Genetic Polymorphisms in SLC23A2 as Predictive Biomarkers of Severe Acute Toxicities after Treatment with a Definitive 5-Fluorouracil/Cisplatin-Based Chemoradiotherapy in Japanese Patients with Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
Objective: Definitive chemoradiotherapy (CRT) with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and cisplatin (CDDP) is one of the standard therapies for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC); however, inter-individual variations in clinical outcomes have yet to be investigated. In the present study, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in SLC23A2 gene were retrospectively evaluated in 49 Japanese patients with ESCC who were treated with a definitive 5-FU/CDDP-based CRT, and the predictive values for the clinical response, severe acute toxicities, and long-term survival were assessed.
Methods: A course consisted of the continuous infusion of 5-FU at 400 mg/m2/day for days 1-5 and 8-12, the infusion of CDDP at 40 mg/m2/day on days 1 and 8, and radiation at 2 Gy/day on days 1 to 5, 8 to 12, and 15 to 19, with a second course being repeated after a 2-week interval. The SLC23A2 SNPs rs2681116, rs13037458, rs1715364, rs4987219, and rs1110277 were evaluated.
Results: The rs2681116 and rs13037458 had a tendency to predict the clinical response (p=0.144 and 0.085, respectively) and long-term survival (p=0.142 and 0.056, respectively). The rs4987219 and rs1110277 correlated with severe acute leukopenia (p=0.025) and stomatitis (p=0.019), respectively.
Conclusions: Further investigations with a larger number of patients or an in vitro study are needed to confirm the predictive values of genetic polymorphisms in SLC23A2.
PMCID: PMC3936025  PMID: 24578608
esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; chemoradiotherapy; biomarker; SLC23A2; polymorphism.
9.  Quantification of Pregenomic RNA and Covalently Closed Circular DNA in Hepatitis B Virus-Related Hepatocellular Carcinoma 
Pregenomic RNA (pgRNA) is generated from covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) and plays important roles in viral genome amplification and replication. Hepatic pgRNA and cccDNA expression levels indicate viral persistence and replication activity. This study was aimed to measure hepatic pgRNA and cccDNA expression levels in various states of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Thirty-eight hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients, including 14 positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and 24 negative for HBsAg but positive for anti-hepatitis B core (anti-HBc) antibody, were enrolled in this study. In HBsAg-negative but anti-HBc-positive group, HBV-DNA was detected in 20 of 24 (83%) noncancerous liver tissues for at least two genomic regions based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. pgRNA and cccDNA expression levels in occult HBV-infected patients were significantly lower than those in HBsAg-positive patients (P < 0.001). pgRNA and cccDNA in cancerous tissues were also detected without significant difference from those in noncancerous tissues. In conclusion, cccDNA and pgRNA are detected and represented HBV replication not only in noncancerous but also in cancerous liver tissues. In addition, the replication is shown in not only patients with HBsAg-positive but also occult HBV-infected patients, suggesting the contribution to HCC development.
PMCID: PMC3880697  PMID: 24455286
10.  Predominant mucosal IL-8 mRNA expression in non-cagA Thais is risk for gastric cancer 
AIM: To study gastric mucosal interleukine-8 (IL-8) mRNA expression, the cytotoxin-associated gene A (cagA) mutation, and serum pepsinogen (PG) I/II ratio related risk in Thai gastric cancer.
METHODS: There were consent 134 Thai non-cancer volunteers who underwent endoscopic narrow band imaging examination, and 86 Thais advance gastric cancer patients who underwent endoscopic mucosal biopsies and gastric surgery. Tissue samples were taken by endoscopy with 3 points biopsies. The serum PG I, II, and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody for H. pylori were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique. The histopathology description of gastric cancer and non-cancer with H. pylori detection was defined with modified Sydney Score System. Gastric mucosal tissue H. pylori DNA was extracted and genotyped for cagA mutation. Tissue IL-8 and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) mRNA expression were conducted by real time relative quantitation polymerase chain reaction. From 17 Japanese advance gastric cancer and 12 benign gastric tissue samples, all were tested for genetic expression with same methods as well as Thai gastric mucosal tissue samples. The multivariate analysis was used for the risk study. Correlation and standardized t-test were done for quantitative data, P value < 0.05 was considered as a statistically significant.
RESULTS: There is a high non cagA gene of 86.8 per cent in Thai gastric cancer although there are high yields of the East Asian type in the positive cagA. The H. pylori infection prevalence in this study is reported by combined histopathology and H. pylori IgG antibody test with 77.1% and 97.4% of sensitivity and specificity, respectively. The serum PG I/II ratio in gastric cancer is significantly lower than in the non-cancer group, P = 0.045. The serum PG I/II ratio of less than 3.0 and IL-8 mRNA expression ≥ 100 or log10 ≥ 2 are significant cut off risk differences between Thai cancer and non-cancer, P = 0.03 and P < 0.001, respectively. There is a significantly lower PGI/II ratio in Japanese than that in Thai gastric cancer, P = 0.026. Serum PG I/II ratio at cut off less than 3.0 and IL-8 mRNA expression Raw RQ > 100 or log10 > 2 are significantly difference between Thai cancer group when compared to non-cancer group, P = 0.013 and P < 0.001, respectively. In the correlation study, low PG I/II ratio does not associate with chronic atrophic gastritis severity score in Thais non-cancer cases. However, there is a trend, but not significant convert correlation between IL-8 mRNA expression level and low PG I/II ratio in Thai positive H. pylori infection. The high expression of IL-8 gene demonstrates a poorer prognosis by stage and histology.
CONCLUSION:Predominant gastric mucosal IL-8 mRNA expression level, H. pylori infection, and low PG I/II ratio are relative risks for Thai gastric cancer without correlation with cagA mutation.
PMCID: PMC3660819  PMID: 23704827
Gastric cancer; CagA mutation; Interleukine-8 mRNA expression; Helicobacter pylori; Pepsinogen I/II ratio
11.  A lipid peroxidation product 9-oxononanoic acid induces phospholipase A2 activity and thromboxane A2 production in human blood 
Lipid peroxidation products are known to cause toxicity by reacting with biologically significant proteins, but the inducing role of peroxidation products has been not noted to produce degenerative disease-related eicosanoids. Here, 9-oxononanoic acid (9-ONA), one of the major products of peroxidized fatty acids, was found to stimulate the activity of phospholipase A2 (PLA2), the key enzyme to initiate arachidonate cascade and eicosanoid production. An exposure of fresh human blood to the atmosphere at 37°C accumulated 9-ONA, increasing peroxide value and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances in the blood. The lipid peroxidation was accompanied by significant increases of PLA2 activity and thromboxane B2 (TxB2) production, which is a stable metabolite of thromboxane A2 (TxA2) and a potent agonist of platelet aggregation. These events were abolished by standing the blood under nitrogen. The addition of organically synthesized 9-ONA resumed the activity of PLA2 and the production of TxB2. Also, 9-ONA induced platelet aggregation dose-dependently. These results indicated that 9-ONA is the primary inducer of PLA2 activity and TxA2 production, and is probably followed by the development of diseases such as thrombus formation. This is the first report to find that a lipid peroxidation product, 9-ONA, stimulates the activity of PLA2.
PMCID: PMC3652295  PMID: 23704812
9-oxononanoic acid; lipid peroxidation; phospholipase A2; thromboxane A2; arachidonate cascade
12.  Intestinal Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Lentinan: Influence on IL-8 and TNFR1 Expression in Intestinal Epithelial Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e62441.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. It is unknown whether β-1,3;1,6-glucan can induce immune suppressive effects. Here, we study intestinal anti-inflammatory activity of Lentinula edodes-derived β-1,3;1,6-glucan, which is known as lentinan. Dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis mice were used to elucidate effects of lentinan in vivo. In the cellular level assessment, lentinan was added into a co-culture model consisting of intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells and LPS-stimulated macrophage RAW264.7 cells. Ligated intestinal loop assay was performed for assessing effects of lentinan on intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) in vivo. Oral administration of lentinan (100 µg/mouse) significantly ameliorated DSS-induced colitis in body weight loss, shortening of colon lengths, histological score, and inflammatory cytokine mRNA expression in inflamed tissues. Lentinan reduced interleukin (IL)-8 mRNA expression and nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation in Caco-2 cells without decreasing of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α production from RAW264.7 cells. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that surface levels of TNF receptor (TNFR) 1 were decreased by lentinan treatment. A clathrin-mediated endocytosis inhibitor, monodansylcadaverine, canceled lentinan inhibition of IL-8 mRNA expression. Moreover, lentinan inhibited TNFR1 expression in Caco-2 cells in both protein and mRNA level. Lentinan also inhibited TNFR1 mRNA expression in mouse IECs. These results suggest that lentinan exhibits intestinal anti-inflammatory activity through inhibition of IL-8 mRNA expression associated with the inhibition of NF-κB activation which is triggered by TNFR1 endocytosis and lowering of their expression in IECs. Lentinan may be effective for the treatment of gut inflammation including IBD.
PMCID: PMC3632531  PMID: 23630633
13.  Hepatitis B virus and host factors 
PMCID: PMC3924661  PMID: 24570927
14.  Chromosome Painting In Silico in a Bacterial Species Reveals Fine Population Structure 
Molecular Biology and Evolution  2013;30(6):1454-1464.
Identifying population structure forms an important basis for genetic and evolutionary studies. Most current methods to identify population structure have limitations in analyzing haplotypes and recombination across the genome. Recently, a method of chromosome painting in silico has been developed to overcome these shortcomings and has been applied to multiple human genome sequences. This method detects the genome-wide transfer of DNA sequence chunks through homologous recombination. Here, we apply it to the frequently recombining bacterial species Helicobacter pylori that has infected Homo sapiens since their birth in Africa and shows wide phylogeographic divergence. Multiple complete genome sequences were analyzed including sequences from Okinawa, Japan, that we recently sequenced. The newer method revealed a finer population structure than revealed by a previous method that examines only MLST housekeeping genes or a phylogenetic network analysis of the core genome. Novel subgroups were found in Europe, Amerind, and East Asia groups. Examination of genetic flux showed some singleton strains to be hybrids of subgroups and revealed evident signs of population admixture in Africa, Europe, and parts of Asia. We expect this approach to further our understanding of intraspecific bacterial evolution by revealing population structure at a finer scale.
PMCID: PMC3649679  PMID: 23505045
fineSTRUCTURE; homologous recombination; phylogenetic network; human evolution; Helicobacter pylori
15.  Reduction in Non-Protein Respiratory Quotient Is Related to Overall Survival after Hepatocellular Carcinoma Treatment 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e55441.
Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) is an effective treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) that can occasionally lead to the shortening of life expectancy. We aimed to make a new and more accurate prognostic model taking into account the course of disease after TACE.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We performed a prospective cohort study involving 100 HCC patients who underwent TACE at Kobe University Hospital. Indirect calorimetry and blood biochemical examinations were performed before and 7 days after TACE. Time-dependent and time-fixed factors associated with 1-year mortality after TACE were assessed by multivariate analyses. A predictive model of 1-year mortality was established by the combination of odds ratios of these factors. Multivariate analyses showed that the ratio of non-protein respiratory quotient (npRQ) (7 days after/before TACE) and Cancer of Liver Italian Program (CLIP) score were independent factors of 1-year mortality after TACE (p = 0.014 and 0.013, respectively). Patient-specific 1-year mortality risk scores can be calculated by summarizing the individual risk scores and looking up the patient-specific risk on the graph.
The short-term reduction of npRQ was a time-dependent prognostic factor associated with overall survival in HCC patients undergoing TACE. CLIP score was a time-fixed prognostic factor associated with overall survival. Using the prediction model, which consists of the combination of time-dependent (npRQ ratio) and time-fixed (CLIP score) prognostic factors, 1-year mortality risk after TACE would be better estimated by taking into account changes during the course of disease.
PMCID: PMC3592854  PMID: 23520445
16.  Adherence to the preventive strategies for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug- or low-dose aspirin-induced gastrointestinal injuries 
Journal of Gastroenterology  2013;48(5):559-573.
As the aging of the population advances, the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and/or low-dose aspirin (LDA) is increasing. Their use is accompanied by a risk of serious complications, such as hemorrhage or perforation of the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, gastroprotective strategies upon the prescription of NSAIDs/LDA are outlined in several guidelines or recommendations. Because all NSAIDs including cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitors have cardiovascular (CV) toxicity, recent guidelines are based on not only GI risks but also CV risks of NSAID users. Assessment of the adherence to evidence-based guidelines or recommendations for the safe prescription of NSAIDs/LDA in clinical practice is an important issue. Here, we summarize randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the preventive effects of antisecretory drugs for NSAID- or LDA-induced peptic ulcers. Then, we describe preventive strategies upon the prescription of NSAIDs/LDA outlined in several guidelines or recommendations, and describe studies on adherence and outcomes of adherence to these preventive strategies. Finally, we discuss strategies to increase the adherence rate, and changing pattern of GI events associated with NSAIDs/LDA. In Japan, the preventive strategies upon the prescription of NSAIDs/LDA are expected to spread rapidly because the use of proton pump inhibitors for the prevention of recurrence of NSAID- or LDA-induced peptic ulcers and the use of COX-2 for the palliation of acute pain were recently approved under the national health insurance system. Further studies on adherence to the preventive strategies and the outcomes of adherence, which include both GI events and CV events, in the Japanese population are required.
PMCID: PMC3654181  PMID: 23460386
Adherence; Preventive strategy; Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug; Low-dose aspirin; Gastrointestinal injury
17.  TNF-α -857C>T Genotype is Predictive of Clinical Response after Treatment with Definitive 5-Fluorouracil/cisplatin-based Chemoradiotherapy in Japanese Patients with Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
Background: Genotypes of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and its surface receptors, TNFRSF1A and TNFRSF1B, have been examined in terms of the progression, metastasis, clinical efficacy, and prognosis of various cancers; however, little is known about their effects on clinical outcome in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). In this study, TNF-α and TNFRSF1A genotypes were retrospectively evaluated in terms of predicting clinical response, long-term survival, and severe acute toxicities in 46 male Japanese ESCC patients treated with definitive 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)/cisplatin (CDDP)-based chemoradiotherapy (CRT).
Methods: A course consisted of the continuous infusion of 5-FU at 400 mg/m2/day for days 1-5 and 8-12, the infusion of CDDP at 40 mg/m2/day on days 1 and 8, and radiation at 2 Gy/day on days 1-5, 8-12, and 15-19, with a second course being repeated after a 2-week interval. The TNF-α -1031T>C (rs1799964), -863C>A (rs1800630), -857C>T (rs1799724), -308G>A (rs1800629), -238G>A (rs361525), TNFRSF1A -609G>T (rs4149570), and 36A>G (rs767455) genotypes were evaluated.
Results: The TNF-α -857C>T genotype was found to be predictive of clinical response, i.e., complete response or not (P = 0.010, Fisher's exact test), but had no effect on long-term survival (CC-857 vs. CT-857 + TT-857, P = 0.072, Fisher's exact test, P = 0.070, Log-rank test).
Conclusions: The TNF-α -857C>T genotype was found to be predictive of clinical response and was more likely to predict long-term survival in Japanese ESCC patients receiving definitive 5-FU/CDDP-based CRT. Further clinical investigations with a larger number of patients or experiments in vitro should be performed to assess the predictive value of this genotype following CRT.
PMCID: PMC3804799  PMID: 24151445
esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; chemoradiotherapy; clinical response; prognosis; tumor necrosis factor.
18.  Alteration of non-protein respiratory quotient after hepatocellular carcinoma treatment can be related to des-γ-carboxy prothrombin before treatment 
SpringerPlus  2012;1:55.
Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) is an effective treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) that would occasionally lead to energy malnutrition through therapeutic hypoxic stress. We aimed to clarify the correlation between the energy malnutrition after TACE and low tolerability for hypoxia of non-tumoral liver before TACE.
We performed a prospective cohort study involving 100 HCC patients who underwent TACE at Kobe University Hospital. Indirect calorimetry was performed before and 7 days after TACE, and non-protein respiratory quotient (npRQ) as an indicator of the energy malnutrition was measured. Blood biochemical examinations were also performed before TACE. As an indicator of hypoxic marker, des-γ-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) was measured before TACE. The correlation between npRQ ratio (7 days after/before TACE) and DCP (before TACE) was statistically examined. Spearman’s correlation coefficient test showed that npRQ ratio (Day 7/Day 0) was significantly related to DCP (Day 0) (p=0.0481, r=-0.2033). On the other hand, npRQ ratio (Day 7/Day 0) was not related to alpha fetoprotein (Day 0) (p=0.6254, r=-0.0494).
The npRQ reduction after TACE was related to a high value of DCP before TACE. The energy malnutrition after TACE would originate from low tolerability for hypoxia of non-tumoral liver. The HCC patients with a high value of DCP before TACE would clinically have a high risk of the energy malnutrition after TACE.
PMCID: PMC3725920  PMID: 23961374
Des-γ-carboxy prothrombin; Energy malnutrition; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Hypoxic stress; Indirect calorimetry; Non-protein respiratory quotient; Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization
19.  Principles of Quality Controlled Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection with Appropriate Dissection Level and High Quality Resected Specimen 
Clinical Endoscopy  2012;45(4):362-374.
Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) has enabled en bloc resection of early stage gastrointestinal tumors with negligible risk of lymph node metastasis, regardless of tumor size, location, and shape. However, ESD is a relatively difficult technique compared with conventional endoscopic mucosal resection, requiring a longer procedure time and potentially causing more complications. For safe and reproducible procedure of ESD, the appropriate dissection of the ramified vascular network in the level of middle submucosal layer is required to reach the avascular stratum just above the muscle layer. The horizontal approach to maintain the appropriate depth for dissection beneath the vascular network enables treatment of difficult cases with large vessels and severe fibrosis. The most important aspect of ESD is the precise evaluation of curability. This approach can also secure the quality of the resected specimen with enough depth of the submucosal layer.
PMCID: PMC3521937  PMID: 23251883
Endoscopic submucosal dissection; Gastro intestinal neoplasms; Quality control; Dissection level; Vessel network
20.  1,635 Endoscopic submucosal dissection cases in the esophagus, stomach, and colorectum: complication rates and long-term outcomes 
Surgical Endoscopy  2012;27(3):1000-1008.
Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) enables en bloc resection of early gastrointestinal neoplasms; however, most ESD articles report small series, with short-term outcomes performed by multiple operators on single organ. We assessed short- and long-term treatment outcomes following ESD for early neoplasms throughout the gastrointestinal tract.
We performed a longitudinal cohort study in single tertiary care referral center. A total of 1,635 early gastrointestinal neoplasms (stomach 1,136; esophagus 138; colorectum 361) were treated by ESD by single operator. Outcomes were complication rates, en bloc R0 resection rates, and long-term overall and disease-specific survival rates at 3 and 5 years for both guideline and expanded criteria for ESD.
En bloc R0 resection rates were: stomach: 97.1 %; esophagus: 95.7 %; colorectum: 98.3 %. Postoperative bleeding and perforation rates respectively were: stomach: 3.6 and 1.8 %; esophagus: 0 and 0 %; colorectum: 1.7 and 1.9 %. Intra criteria resection rates were: stomach: 84.9 %; esophagus: 81.2 %; colorectum: 88.6 %. Three-year survival rates for lesions meeting Japanese ESD guideline/expanded criteria were for all organ-combined: 93.4/92.7 %. Five-year rates were: stomach: 88.1/84.6 %; esophagus: 81.6/57.3 %; colorectum: 94.3/100 %. Median follow-up period was 53.4 (range, 0.07–98.6) months. Follow-up rate was 94 % (1,020/1,085). There was no recurrence or disease-related death.
In this large series by single operator, ESD was associated with high curative resection rates and low complication rates across the gastrointestinal tract. Disease-specific and overall long-term prognosis for patients with lesions within intra criteria after curative resection appeared to be excellent.
PMCID: PMC3572381  PMID: 23052530
Endoscopic submucosal dissection; Complication; Postoperative; Prognosis; Neoplasms
21.  Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Change Vascularity 
Case Reports in Urology  2012;2012:654617.
Several molecular targeted agents have been approved for clinical use for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). A case of a 32-year-old woman with mRCC is presented. These tumors could change vascularity by administration of molecular agents. We could select a drug timely based on findings of computed tomography. To our knowledge, this is the first report that tumor's character change induced by molecular targeted agents can be detected and the efficacy of molecular targeted agents can be predicted.
PMCID: PMC3437274  PMID: 22970402
22.  Clinical utility of protein induced by vitamin K absence in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection 
Biomedical Reports  2012;1(1):122-128.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a leading cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). α-fetoprotein (AFP) is a common tumor marker for the diagnosis of HCC, although not for protein induced by the absence of vitamin K or antagonist-II (PIVKA-II). The present study aimed to evaluate the role of PIVKA-II in the diagnosis of HCC in HBV-infected Vietnamese patients. A total of 166 consecutive HBV-infected Vietnamese patients were enrolled, including 41 HCC, 43 liver cirrhosis (LC), 26 chronic hepatitis (CH) and 56 asymptomatic carriers (ASC). AFP was examined using ELISA, while PIVKA-II was analyzed using Eitest PIVKA-II. The cut-off level of AFP and PIVKA-II was 20 ng/ml and 40 mAU/ml, respectively. Although the markers, AFP (344±356 ng/ml) and PIVKA-II (16,200±25,386 mAU/ml), were the highest in the HCC groups, only PIVKA-II in HCC was significantly higher compared to the other groups (P<0.001). The univariate analysis demonstrated that age over 50, male, genotype C, AFP and PIVKA-II were risk factors of LC and HCC. Results of the receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis showed that PIVKA-II was more sensitive to HCC compared to AFP. Moreover, PIVKA-II was strongly correlated with the portal venous thrombosis in HCC, as opposed to AFP. Results of the multivariate analysis demonstrated that PIVKA-II was the strongest independent risk factor of LC and HCC. In conclusion, PIVKA-II is likely to be a better marker for the diagnosis of HCC in chronic HBV-infected Vietnamese patients.
PMCID: PMC3956828  PMID: 24648907
hepatitis B virus; hepatocellular carcinoma; protein induced by vitamin K absence or antagonist-II; Vietnam
23.  Molecular Characterization of Helicobacter pylori VacA Induction of IL-8 in U937 Cells Reveals a Prominent Role for p38MAPK in Activating Transcription Factor-2, cAMP Response Element Binding Protein, and NF-κB Activation1 
Helicobacter pylori VacA induces multiple effects on susceptible cells, including vacuolation, mitochondrial damage, inhibition of cell growth, and enhanced cyclooxygenase-2 expression. To assess the ability of H. pylori to modulate the production of inflammatory mediators, we examined the mechanisms by which VacA enhanced IL-8 production by promonocytic U937 cells, which demonstrated the greatest VacA-induced IL-8 release of the cells tested. Inhibitors of p38 MAPK (SB203580), ERK1/2 (PD98059), IκBα ((E)-3-(4-methylphenylsulfonyl)-2-propenenitrile), Ca2+ entry (SKF96365), and intracellular Ca2+ channels (dantrolene) blocked VacA-induced IL-8 production. Furthermore, an intracellular Ca2+ chelator (BAPTA-AM), which inhibited VacA-activated p38 MAPK, caused a dose-dependent reduction in VacA-induced IL-8 secretion by U937 cells, implying a role for intracellular Ca2+ in mediating activation of MAPK and the canonical NF-κB pathway. VacA stimulated translocation of NF-κBp65 to the nucleus, consistent with enhancement of IL-8 expression by activation of the NF-κB pathway. In addition, small interfering RNA of activating transcription factor (ATF)-2 or CREB, which is a p38MAPK substrate and binds to the AP-1 site of the IL-8 promoter, inhibited VacA-induced IL-8 production. VacA activated an IL-8 promoter containing an NF-IL-6 site, but not a mutated AP-1 or NF-κB site, suggesting direct involvement of the ATF-2/CREB binding region or NF-κB-binding regions in VacA-induced IL-8 promoter activation. Thus, in U937 cells, VacA directly increases IL-8 production by activation of the p38 MAPK via intracellular Ca2+ release, leading to activation of the transcription factors, ATF-2, CREB, and NF-κB.
PMCID: PMC3404739  PMID: 18354227
24.  Enhanced expression of CCL20 in human Helicobacter pylori-associated gastritis 
Clinical Immunology (Orlando, Fla.)  2008;130(3):290-297.
CC chemokine ligand 20 (CCL20) attracts CC chemokine receptor 6 (CCR6)-expressing cells. Using endoscopic biopsies taken from the gastric antrum of 42 subjects infected with H. pylori and 42 uninfected subjects, mucosal CCL20 mRNA and protein levels were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. CCL19 mRNA and protein levels, as well as CCL21 mRNA levels, were also measured. The CCL20 mRNA and protein levels were significantly elevated in H. pylori-positive patients and substantially decreased after successful eradication. CCL19 and CCL21 expression levels were comparable in the H. pylori-infected and the uninfected groups. The CCL20 concentrations correlated with the degree of chronic gastritis. Immunohistochemistry and the in vitro infection assay showed that CCL20 was principally produced by the gastric epithelium. CCR6-expressing cells, including CD45RO+ memory T lymphocytes and fascin+-CD1a+ immature dendritic cells, infiltrated close to the CCL20-expressing epithelial cells. The CCL20/CCR6 interaction may be involved in the development of H. pylori-associated gastritis.
PMCID: PMC3404125  PMID: 19006683
CC chemokine ligand 20; CC chemokine receptor 6; H. pylori; Dendritic cells; cag pathogenicity island
25.  A Novel Serum Metabolomics-Based Diagnostic Approach for Colorectal Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40459.
To improve the quality of life of colorectal cancer patients, it is important to establish new screening methods for early diagnosis of colorectal cancer.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We performed serum metabolome analysis using gas-chromatography/mass-spectrometry (GC/MS). First, the accuracy of our GC/MS-based serum metabolomic analytical method was evaluated by calculating the RSD% values of serum levels of various metabolites. Second, the intra-day (morning, daytime, and night) and inter-day (among 3 days) variances of serum metabolite levels were examined. Then, serum metabolite levels were compared between colorectal cancer patients (N = 60; N = 12 for each stage from 0 to 4) and age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers (N = 60) as a training set. The metabolites whose levels displayed significant changes were subjected to multiple logistic regression analysis using the stepwise variable selection method, and a colorectal cancer prediction model was established. The prediction model was composed of 2-hydroxybutyrate, aspartic acid, kynurenine, and cystamine, and its AUC, sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were 0.9097, 85.0%, 85.0%, and 85.0%, respectively, according to the training set data. In contrast, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of CEA were 35.0%, 96.7%, and 65.8%, respectively, and those of CA19-9 were 16.7%, 100%, and 58.3%, respectively. The validity of the prediction model was confirmed using colorectal cancer patients (N = 59) and healthy volunteers (N = 63) as a validation set. At the validation set, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the prediction model were 83.1%, 81.0%, and 82.0%, respectively, and these values were almost the same as those obtained with the training set. In addition, the model displayed high sensitivity for detecting stage 0–2 colorectal cancer (82.8%).
Our prediction model established via GC/MS-based serum metabolomic analysis is valuable for early detection of colorectal cancer and has the potential to become a novel screening test for colorectal cancer.
PMCID: PMC3394708  PMID: 22792336

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