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1.  The effects of adding zoledronic acid to neoadjuvant chemotherapy on tumour response: exploratory evidence for direct anti-tumour activity in breast cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2010;102(7):1099-1105.
Pre-clinical studies have demonstrated synergistic anti-tumour effects of chemotherapy (CT) and zoledronic acid (ZOL). Within the AZURE trial, designed to determine whether the addition of ZOL to neoadjuvant therapy improves disease outcomes, a subgroup received neoadjuvant CT. We report a retrospective evaluation comparing pathological response in the primary tumour between treatment groups.
In total, 205 patients received neoadjuvant CT±ZOL (CT+ZOL, n=102; CT, n=103). The primary end point was pathologically assessed residual invasive tumour size (RITS) at surgery. Secondary end points were pathological complete response (pCR) rate and axillary nodal involvement. Following review of surgical pathology reports (n=195), outcome differences between groups were assessed adjusting for potential response modifiers.
Baseline characteristics and CT treatments were similar. In multivariate analysis, allowing for biological and clinical factors known to influence tumour response, the adjusted mean RITS in CT and CT+ZOL groups were 27.4 and 15.5 mm, respectively, giving a difference in means of 12 mm (95% confidence interval: 3.5–20.4 mm; P=0.006). The pCR rate was 6.9% in the CT group and 11.7% in the CT+ZOL group (P=0.146). There was no difference in axillary nodal involvement (P=0.6315).
These data suggest a possible direct anti-tumour effect of ZOL in combination with CT, warranting formal evaluation in prospective studies.
PMCID: PMC2853093  PMID: 20234364
anti-tumour activity; breast cancer; chemotherapy; neoadjuvant; pathological response; ZOL
2.  Pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage in children following heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in infancy 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2003;88(3):211-214.
Aims: To ascertain whether the reduction in nasopharyngeal carriage of vaccine serotypes induced by pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PnCV) administered to infants persists beyond the age of 2 years.
Methods: Non-randomised, unblinded controlled study of 2–5 year old children who had received three doses of heptavalent PnCV (7VPnCV) in infancy and 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine at 13 months, and unimmunised controls. Nasopharyngeal swabs were taken in summer (150 vaccinated subjects, 126 controls) and winter (143 vaccinated subjects, 188 controls). The swabs were cultured and serotyped for Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Results: Carriage rates (vaccinated subjects: 24.7% and 43.4%; controls: 27.0% and 41.0%, in summer and winter respectively) and carriage of vaccine serotypes (subjects: 10.0% and 30.0%; controls: 13.5% and 31.5%, in summer and winter respectively) were similar in the two groups.
Conclusions: Effects of vaccination in infancy on rates of nasal carriage of pneumococcus and serotype replacement in children living in a largely unvaccinated population are no longer evident by 2–5 years of age.
PMCID: PMC1719498  PMID: 12598380
3.  Primary and Booster Mucosal Immune Responses to Meningococcal Group A and C Conjugate and Polysaccharide Vaccines Administered to University Students in the United Kingdom 
Infection and Immunity  2001;69(7):4337-4341.
Meningococcal group A+C capsular polysaccharide (PS) conjugate vaccines may prime for serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) memory responses to meningococcal capsular PS. It is not known whether these vaccines induce immunological memory at the mucosal level, which may be important in reducing nasopharyngeal carriage. Mucosal immune responses to meningococcal conjugate and PS vaccines in young adults were investigated. Healthy university students were randomized to receive either a groups A+C meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MACconj, n = 100) or a group A+C meningococcal PS vaccine (MACPS, n = 95). One year after the primary immunization, both groups were randomized again to receive a MACconj or a MACPS booster vaccination. Saliva samples were collected before and 1 month after the primary and booster vaccinations. Anti-meningococcal A (MenA) and C (MenC) PS IgA and IgG antibody levels were measured by a standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. After the primary vaccination, salivary MenA and MenC IgG and MenA IgA concentrations were significantly increased after immunization with both MACconj and MACPS vaccines, but the salivary Men C IgA level was increased only after MACPS vaccine (P < 0.01). IgA responses to both serogroups were greater for MACPS than MACconj vaccine (P < 0.05), whereas no significant differences were seen for IgG responses. MenA IgG titers were higher after the MACPS booster in MACconj-primed subjects than after the MACPS primary vaccination, suggesting the presence of IgG memory. Antibody responses to a dose of either MACPS or MACconj were not significantly reduced in those previously given MACPS compared to the primary responses to those vaccines. Meningococcal A+C conjugate and PS vaccines induce significant mucosal responses in young adults. MACconj priming may induce IgG memory at the mucosal level, which is likely to be a reflection of an anamnestic serum IgG response. No evidence of mucosal hyporesponsiveness was observed after MACPS priming in this study.
PMCID: PMC98504  PMID: 11401971
4.  Swivel walkers in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1987;62(7):741-742.
Swivel walkers were used to provide low energy ambulation in 11 boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in schools for the physically handicapped in South Glamorgan. Our preliminary experience suggests that these walkers improve the quality of life and provide a useful part of the physical treatment of the condition.
PMCID: PMC1779240  PMID: 3632028

Results 1-4 (4)