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1.  Removal of Endobronchial Malignant Mass by Cryotherapy Improved Performance Status to Receive Chemotherapy 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:369739.
Although malignant endobronchial mass (MEM) has poor prognosis, cryotherapy is reportedly a palliative treatment. Clinical data on postcryotherapy MEM patients in a university-affiliated hospital between 2007 and 2011 were evaluated. Survival curve with or without postcryotherapy chemotherapy and performance status (PS) improvement of these subjects were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method. There were 59 patients (42 males), with median age of 64 years (range, 51–76, and median performance status of 2 (interquartile range [IQR], 2-3). Postcryotherapy complications included minor bleeding (n = 12) and need for multiple procedures (n = 10), while outcomes were relief of symptoms (n = 51), improved PS (n = 45), and ability to receive chemotherapy (n = 40). The survival of patients with chemotherapy postcryotherapy was longer than that of patients without such chemotherapy (median, 534 versus 106 days; log-rank test, P = 0.007; hazard ratio, 0.25; 95% confidence interval, 0.10–0.69). The survival of patients with PS improvement postcryotherapy was longer than that of patients without PS improvement (median, 406 versus 106 days; log-rank test, P = 0.02; hazard ratio, 0.28; 95% confidence interval, 0.10–0.81). Cryotherapy is a feasible treatment for MEM. With better PS after cryotherapy, further chemotherapy becomes possible for patients to improve survival when MEM caused dyspnea and poor PS.
PMCID: PMC4212536  PMID: 25383370
2.  Comparison of the efficacy of ciclesonide with that of budesonide in mild to moderate asthma patients after step-down therapy: a randomised parallel-group study 
Inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) are widely used in asthma control. Ciclesonide (CIC) is an ICS with on-site lung activation for potent anti-inflammatory activity.
This study aimed to compare the clinical benefit of CIC with budesonide (BUD) in step-down therapy.
A total of 150 patients with mild-to-moderate asthma well controlled by a combination of ICS and long-acting β2-agonist were randomised to receive either CIC 320 μg (n=75) once daily or 2 inhalations of BUD 200 μg (n=75) twice daily for 12 weeks. The forced expiratory volume in 1s (FEV1), maximum mid-expiratory flow (MMEF) and asthma control test (ACT) scores were measured. Ranked stratification of patients and physicians was assessed.
Drug adherence was significantly higher in the CIC group than in the BUD group (76.0% vs. 58.7%, P=0.03). The FEV1 and MMEF remained stable throughout the 12-week CIC treatment. In the BUD group, FEV1 significantly decreased at weeks 4 and 12. MMEF had a higher value in the CIC group than in the BUD group. Both patients and physicians ranked CIC over BUD.
CIC is more effective and has better drug adherence than BUD as step-down treatment when asthma is well controlled by combination therapy.
PMCID: PMC4373304  PMID: 24841163
3.  CD14+S100A9+ Monocytic Myeloid-derived Suppressor Cells and Their Clinical Relevance in Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer 
Rationale: Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are a heterogeneous family of myeloid cells that suppress T-cell immunity in tumor-bearing hosts. Their clinical relevance remains unclear.
Objectives: To identify subtypes of myeloid-derived suppressor cells in patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and their clinical relevance.
Methods: CD11b+CD14− and CD11b+CD14+ cells, determined and phenotyped by fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis, in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of treatment-naive patients with advanced NSCLC were correlated with clinical data. T-cell activation in response to CD3/CD28 costimulation was determined by carboxy-fluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE) staining and ELISA analysis of IFN-γ. The percentage of CD11b+CD14+S100A9+ cells in PBMCs was correlated with and tested as a predictor for treatment response in a cohort of patients prospectively receiving first-line cisplatin-based chemotherapy.
Measurements and Main Results: Patients with NSCLC had a significantly higher ratio of CD11b+CD14+ cells than healthy subjects, which was correlated with poor performance status and poor response to chemotherapy. The depletion of these cells in the PBMC reversed the suppression of CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. Isolated CD11b+CD14+ cells suppressed CD8+ T-cell proliferation and IFN-γ production, and the former effect was attenuated by the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) inhibitor aminoguanidine hydrochloride, arginase inhibitor N-hydroxy-nor-l-arginine (nor-NOHA), and blocking antibodies for IL-4Rα+ and IL-10. CD11b+CD14+ cells were monocyte-like, expressing CD33+, CD15−/low, IL-4Rα+, and S100A9+ and producing iNOS, arginase, and several cytokines. The ratio of S100A9+ cells positively correlated with the suppressive ability of the CD11b+CD14+ cells, was associated with poor response to chemotherapy, and predicted shorter progression-free survival.
Conclusions: CD14+S100A9+ inflammatory monocytes in patients with NSCLC are a distinct subset of MDSCs, which suppress T cells by arginase, iNOS, and the IL-13/IL-4Rα axis. The amount of these inflammatory monocytes is associated with poor response to chemotherapy.
Clinical trial registered with (NCT 01204307).
PMCID: PMC4132576  PMID: 22955317
non–small cell lung cancer; myeloid-derived suppressor cell; S100A9; cancer immunity
4.  Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 Polymorphism (-1607G) and Disease Severity in Non-Cystic Fibrosis Bronchiectasis in Taiwan 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66265.
Bronchiectasis is characterized by an irreversible dilatation of bronchi and is associated with lung fibrosis. MMP-1 polymorphism may alter its transcriptional activity, and differentially modulate bronchial destruction and lung fibrosis.
To investigate the association of MMP-1 polymorphisms with disease severity in non-cystic fibrosis (CF) bronchiectasis patients, 51 normal subjects and 113 patients with bronchiectasis were studied. The associations between MMP-1 polymorphisms, lung function, and disease severity evaluated by high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) were analyzed.
The frequency of MMP-1(-1607G) allele was significantly higher in patients with bronchiectasis than normal subjects (70.8% vs 45.1%, p<0.01). Forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) was decreased in bronchiectasis patients with 1G/1G (1.2±0.1 L, n = 14) and 1G/2G (1.3±0.1 L, n = 66) genotypes compared to the 2G/2G genotype (1.7±0.1 L, n = 33, p<0.01). Six minute walking distance was decreased in bronchiectasis patients with 1G/1G and 1G/2G compared to that of 2G/2G genotype. Disease severity evaluated by HRCT score significantly increased in bronchiectasis patients with 1G/1G and 1G/2G genotypes compared to that of 2G/2G genotype. Bronchiectasis patients with at least one MMP-1 (-1607G) allele showed increased tendency for hospitalization. Serum levels of pro-MMP-1, active MMP-1 and TGF-β1 were significantly increased in patients with bronchiectasis with 1G/1G and 1G/2G genotype compared with 2G/2G genotype or normal subjects. Under IL-1β stimulation, peripheral blood monocytes from subjects with 1G/2G or 1G/1G genotype secreted higher levels of TGF-β1compared to subjects with 2G/2G genotype.
This is the first report to address the influence of MMP-1 polymorphisms on lung function and airway destruction in non-CF bronchiectasis patients. Bronchiectasis patients with MMP-1(-1607G) polymorphism may be more vulnerable to permanent lung fibrosis or airway destruction due to the enhanced MMP-1 and TGF-β1 activity. Upregulated MMP-1 activity results in proteolytic destruction of matrix, and leads to subsequent fibrosis.
PMCID: PMC3679085  PMID: 23776649
5.  Endobronchial Mucosa Invasion Predicts Survival in Patients with Small Cell Lung Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47613.
Current staging system for small cell lung cancer (SCLC) categorizes patients into limited- or extensive-stage disease groups according to anatomical localizations. Even so, a wide-range of survival times has been observed among patients in the same staging system. This study aimed to identify whether endobronchial mucosa invasion is an independent predictor for poor survival in patients with SCLC, and to compare the survival time between patients with and without endobronchial mucosa invasion.
We studied 432 consecutive patients with SCLC based on histological examination of biopsy specimens or on fine-needle aspiration cytology, and received computed tomography and bone scan for staging. All the enrolled patients were assessed for endobronchial mucosa invasion by bronchoscopic and histological examination. Survival days were compared between patients with or without endobronchial mucosa invasion and the predictors of decreased survival days were investigated.
84% (364/432) of SCLC patients had endobronchial mucosal invasion by cancer cells at initial diagnosis. Endobronchial mucosal involvement (Hazard ratio [HR], 2.01; 95% Confidence Interval [CI], 1.30–3.10), age (HR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.03–1.06), and extensive stage (HR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.06–1.84) were independent contributing factors for shorter survival time, while received chemotherapy (HR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.25–0.42) was an independent contributing factor better outcome. The survival days of SCLC patients with endobronchial involvement were markedly decreased compared with patients without (median 145 vs. 290, p<0.0001). Among SCLC patients of either limited (median 180 vs. 460, p<0.0001) or extensive (median 125 vs. 207, p<0.0001) stages, the median survival duration for patients with endobronchial mucosal invasion was shorter than those with intact endobronchial mucosa, respectively.
Endobronchial mucosal involvement is an independent prognostic factor for SCLC patients and associated with decreased survival days.
PMCID: PMC3464219  PMID: 23056644
6.  Feasibility of Bispectral Index-Guided Propofol Infusion for Flexible Bronchoscopy Sedation: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e27769.
There are safety issues associated with propofol use for flexible bronchoscopy (FB). The bispectral index (BIS) correlates well with the level of consciousness. The aim of this study was to show that BIS-guided propofol infusion is safe and may provide better sedation, benefiting the patients and bronchoscopists.
After administering alfentanil bolus, 500 patients were randomized to either propofol infusion titrated to a BIS level of 65-75 (study group) or incremental midazolam bolus based on clinical judgment to achieve moderate sedation. The primary endpoint was safety, while the secondary endpoints were recovery time, patient tolerance, and cooperation.
The proportion of patients with hypoxemia or hypotensive events were not different in the 2 groups (study vs. control groups: 39.9% vs. 35.7%, p = 0.340; 7.4% vs. 4.4%, p = 0.159, respectively). The mean lowest blood pressure was lower in the study group. Logistic regression revealed male gender, higher American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status, and electrocautery were associated with hypoxemia, whereas lower propofol dose for induction was associated with hypotension in the study group. The study group had better global tolerance (p<0.001), less procedural interference by movement or cough (13.6% vs. 36.1%, p<0.001; 30.0% vs. 44.2%, p = 0.001, respectively), and shorter time to orientation and ambulation (11.7±10.2 min vs. 29.7±26.8 min, p<0.001; 30.0±18.2 min vs. 55.7±40.6 min, p<0.001, respectively) compared to the control group.
BIS-guided propofol infusion combined with alfentanil for FB sedation provides excellent patient tolerance, with fast recovery and less procedure interference.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials. gov NCT00789815
PMCID: PMC3223212  PMID: 22132138
7.  An outcome analysis of self-expandable metallic stents in central airway obstruction: a cohort study 
Self-expandable metallic stents (SEMSs) have provided satisfactory management of central airway obstruction. However, the long-term benefits and complications of this management modality in patients with benign and malignant obstructing lesions after SEMS placement are unclear. We performed this cohort study to analyze the outcomes of Ultraflex SEMSs in patients with tracheobronchial diseases.
Of 149 patients, 72 with benign and 77 with malignant tracheobronchial disease received 211 SEMSs (benign, 116; malignant, 95) and were retrospectively reviewed in a tertiary hospital.
The baseline characteristics of patients who received SEMS implantation for benign conditions and those who underwent implantation for malignant conditions were significantly different. These characteristics included age (mean, 63.9 vs. 58; p < 0.01), gender (male, 62% vs. 90%; p < 0.0001), smoking (47% vs. 85%; p < 0.0001), forced expiratory volume in 1 second (mean, 0.9 vs. 1.47 L/s; p < 0.0001), follow-up days after SEMS implantation (median; 429 vs. 57; p < 0.0001), and use of covered SEMS (36.2% vs. 94.7%; p < 0.0001). Symptoms improved more after SEMS implantation in patients with benign conditions than in those with malignant conditions (76.7% vs. 51.6%; p < 0.0001). The overall complication rate after SEMS implantation in patients with benign conditions was higher than that in patients with malignancy (42.2% vs. 21.1%; p = 0.001). Successful management of SEMS migration, granulation tissue formation, and SEMS fracture occurred in 100%, 81.25%, and 85% of patients, respectively.
Patients who received SEMS implantation owing to benign conditions had worse lung function and were older than those who received SEMS for malignancies. There was higher complication rate in patients with benign conditions after a longer follow-up period owing to the nature of the underlying diseases.
PMCID: PMC3090328  PMID: 21477303
8.  Extravascular Lung Water Correlates Multiorgan Dysfunction Syndrome and Mortality in Sepsis 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(12):e15265.
This study was designated to investigate whether increased extravascular lung water index (EVLWI) may correlate multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and mortality in sepsis.
We designed a prospective cohort study in an intensive care unit of a tertiary care hospital. Sixty-seven patients with severe sepsis were included. Data were used to determine an association between EVLWI and the development of MODS and mortality. These connections were determined by the multiple logistic regression, plotting the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and by Spearman test.
EVLWI levels were higher in MODS patients on day 1 (median (IQR), 18(12.8–23.9) ml/kg, n = 38, p<0.0001) than in those without (median (IQR), 12.4 (7.9–16.3) ml/kg, n = 29) and day 3 (median (IQR), 17.8 (11.2–22.8) ml/kg, n = 29, p = 0.004) than in those without (median (IQR), 12.4 (8.0–16.3) ml/kg, n = 29). EVLWI was used as an independent predictor of the development of MODS (odds ratio, 1.6; p = 0.005; 95% confidence interval, 1.2∼2.2) during ICU stay. The area under the ROC curve showed that EVLWI levels could predict MODS (0.866) and mortality (0.881) during ICU stay. Meanwhile, the higher of SOFA score, the more EVLWI was found on day 1 (r = 0.7041, p<0.0001) and day 3 (r = 0.7732, p<0.0001).
Increased EVLWI levels correlates development of MODS and mortality during the patients' ICU stay. Further more, the potential of novel treatment in severe sepsis with lung injury may develop.
PMCID: PMC3002976  PMID: 21187890
9.  Persistence of lung inflammation and lung cytokines with high-resolution CT abnormalities during recovery from SARS 
Respiratory Research  2005;6(1):42.
During the acute phase of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), mononuclear cells infiltration, alveolar cell desquamation and hyaline membrane formation have been described, together with dysregulation of plasma cytokine levels. Persistent high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) abnormalities occur in SARS patients up to 40 days after recovery.
To determine further the time course of recovery of lung inflammation, we investigated the HRCT and inflammatory profiles, and coronavirus persistence in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of 12 patients at recovery at 60 and 90 days.
At 60 days, compared to normal controls, SARS patients had increased cellularity of BALF with increased alveolar macrophages (AM) and CD8 cells. HRCT scores were increased and correlated with T-cell numbers and their subpopulations, and inversely with CD4/CD8 ratio. TNF-α, IL-6, IL-8, RANTES and MCP-1 levels were increased. Viral particles in AM were detected by electron microscopy in 7 of 12 SARS patients with high HRCT score. On day 90, HRCT scores improved significantly in 10 of 12 patients, with normalization of BALF cell counts in 6 of 12 patients with repeat bronchoscopy. Pulse steroid therapy and prolonged fever were two independent factors associated with delayed resolution of pneumonitis, in this non-randomized, retrospective analysis.
Resolution of pneumonitis is delayed in some patients during SARS recovery and may be associated with delayed clearance of coronavirus, Complete resolution may occur by 90 days or later.
PMCID: PMC1156954  PMID: 15888207
SARS; alveolar macrophages; T lymphocyte; coronavirus; cytokines; bronchoalveolar lavage

Results 1-9 (9)