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1.  Early Initiation of Enteral Feeding in Oncology Patients after Outpatient Percutaneous Fluoroscopic-Guided Gastrostomy Catheter Placement 
To report the results of early enteral feeding in oncology patients following outpatient percutaneous fluoroscopic-guided gastrostomy (PFG) placement.
Materials and Methods
From January 2008 through December 2008, 121 consecutive outpatient oncology patients underwent PFG placement for nutrition. 113 patients met criteria and were fed early (after at least 3 hours). Of these patients, 5 had insufficient follow up for further analysis leaving 108 patients for outcomes analysis. After PFG placement, patients were put on low-wall suction via the PFG for one hour followed by feeding via PFG at least three hours after placement. Follow-up was obtained on the next business day. The medical records were reviewed for the outcomes of early feeding, technical aspects of the procedures, and complications.
Following PFG placement, 93% (113/121) of patients met criteria for early feeding and 91% (103/113) of these patients were fed within 5 hours of PFG insertion. The median time between the end of procedure and initiation of feeding was 4 hours (range 3-6.5 hours). The 30-day minor complication rate was 14% (15/108) and major complication rate was 0.9% (1/108). No complications were directly attributable to early feeding.
Early initiation of tube feedings following outpatient PFG placement was well tolerated in oncology patients and carried no additional risk compared with previously reported results using traditional delayed feeding protocols. Early feeding provided our patients with prompt enteral nutrition and eliminated the need for post-procedural hospital admission.
PMCID: PMC4325364  PMID: 24674218
3.  Analysis of Jatropha curcas transcriptome for oil enhancement and genic markers 
Oil-rich seeds of Jatropha curcas are being focussed as a source of bio-diesel. However, prior to its industrial use, a lot of crop improvement efforts are required in Jatropha. Availability of a large number of EST sequences of Jatropha in public domain allow identification of candidate genes for several agronomic characters including oil content in seeds. Here, we have analysed 42,477 ESTs of Jatropha spanning 22.9 Mbp for microsatellites and fatty acid metabolism related sequences. Unigene sequences were built using CAP 3 programme resulted in 12,358 contigs and 5,730 singlets. Nearly, 8 % unigenes showed presence of microsatellites, slightly over-represented compared to their occurrence in ESTs. Most of the microsatellites were either di- or tri-nucleotide repeats, while other categories of tetra-, penta- and hexa-nucleotide repeats together constituted ~4 % of total microsatellites. Assessment of functional relevance of unigenes was carried out using Blast2GO using its default settings. The overall sequence similarity level against sequences in ‘nr’ database was >80 %. A total of 931 sequences that participated in any of the pathways related to fatty acid or lipid metabolism were found at GO level 6. Among these, GO terms “Fatty acid metabolic process” and “Fatty acid biosynthetic process” were most over-represented. Overall, our work has due relevance in identifying molecular markers for the candidate genes for oil content in Jatropha seeds, and will prove to be an important reference for further studies for identification of trait specific markers in Jatropha.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12298-013-0204-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3925477  PMID: 24554848
Jatropha curcas; ESTs; Unigenes; Microsatellites; Gene ontology; Fatty acids
4.  Hepatic Arterial Embolization with Doxorubicin-Loaded Superabsorbent Polymer Microspheres in an Animal Model 
To study the pharmacokinetic profile after hepatic arterial embolization with superabsorbent microspheres (QuadraSpheres) loaded with doxorubicin.
Materials and Methods
Rabbits with hepatic VX2 tumors were treated with intra-arterial administration of QuadraSpheres loaded with doxorubicin, or transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) using doxorubicin, Lipiodol and Embospheres, or hepatic arterial infusion (HAI) of doxorubicin. Tumor specimens were evaluated by fluorescence microscopy, and plasma and tumor concentrations of doxorubicin were measured.
The peak plasma concentration of doxorubicin was lower in the QuadraSphere group (309.9 ng/ml) than in the HAI (673.4 ng/ml) or TACE (360.5 ng/ml) groups, suggesting higher tumor retention in the QuadraSphere group. Intratumoral doxorubicin levels declined to negligible levels at 1 and 3 days after treatment, respectively in the HAI and TACE groups. In the QuadraSphere groups, intratumoral doxorubicin level declined after day 1, but was still detectable at 14 days after treatment and was higher than that in the other groups at 1, 3, and 7 days. Intratumoral doxorubicin fluorescence was detected at all time points in the QuadraSphere group, but only at 1 day after treatment in the TACE group.
Hepatic arterial administration of doxorubicin-loaded QuadraSpheres enables the sustained release of doxorubicin to hepatic tumors.
PMCID: PMC4269216  PMID: 21479746
Hepatic artery embolization; Drug-eluting microspheres; Pharmacokinetics
5.  Comprehensive biomarker analysis and final efficacy results of sorafenib in the BATTLE (Biomarker-Integrated Approaches of Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer Elimination) trial 
To report the clinical efficacy of sorafenib and to evaluate biomarkers associated with sorafenib clinical benefit in the BATTLE program.
Patients and Methods
Patients with previously treated non-small–cell lung cancer (NSCLC) received sorafenib until progression or unacceptable toxicity. Eight-week disease control rate (DCR), progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) were assessed. Prespecified biomarkers included K-RAS, EGFR, and B-RAF mutations, and EGFR gene copy number. Gene expression profiles from NSCLC cell lines and patient tumor biopsies with wild-type EGFR were used to develop a sorafenib sensitivity signature (SSS).
105 patients were eligible and randomized to receive sorafenib. Among 98 patients evaluable for 8-week DCR, the observed DCR was 58.2%. The median PFS and OS were 2.83 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.04-3.58) and 8.48 months (95% CI, 5.78-10.97), respectively. Eight-week DCR was higher in patients with wt-EGFR than patients with EGFR mutation (P=0.012), and in patients with EGFR gene copy number gain (FISH positive) versus patients FISH negative (P=0.048). In wt-EGFR tumors, the SSS was associated with improved PFS (median PFS 3.61 months in high SSS versus 1.84 months in low SSS, P=0.026) but not with 8-week DCR. Increased expression of fibroblast growth factor-1, NF-kB and hypoxia pathways were identified potential drivers of sorafenib resistance.
Sorafenib demonstrates clinical activity in NSCLC, especially with wt-EGFR. SSS was associated with improved PFS. These data identify subgroups that may derive clinical benefit from sorafenib and merit investigation in future trials. NCT00411671.
PMCID: PMC3905243  PMID: 24166906
multikinase inhibitor; non–small cell lung cancer; sorafenib; biomarkers; targeted treatment
6.  Palliative Venting Gastrostomy in Patients with Malignant Bowel Obstruction and Ascites 
Annals of surgical oncology  2012;20(2):497-505.
Fluoroscopic-guided placement of a percutaneous decompression gastrostomy tube (PDGT) is used to palliate patients with malignant bowel obstruction (MBO). We report our clinical experience in cases of MBO and ascites that were known to be technically difficult and at increased risk for complications after PDGT placement.
Between October 2005 and April 2010, a total of 89 consecutive oncology patients with MBO and ascites underwent at least one attempt at PDGT placement. We retrospectively reviewed the electronic medical record to collect demographic details, procedure information, and morbidity and mortality data. Kaplan–Meier curves were used to calculate median survival after PDGT.
Ninety-three new gastrostomy encounters occurred in 89 patients. The primary and secondary technical success rates were 72 % (67 of 93) and 77.4 % (72 of 93), respectively. Inadequate gastric distention was the reason for failure in 84.6 % (22 of 26) of the cases in which the initial PDGT attempt was unsuccessful. For ascites management, 13 patients underwent paracentesis and 78 patients underwent placement of an intraperitoneal catheter. The overall complication rate in successful placements was 13.9 %, with a major complication rate of 9.7 %. After PDGT, the median overall survival rate was 28.5 days (95 % confidence interval 20–42).
PDGT is feasible in the majority of patients with MBO and ascites, although there is an inherent risk of major complications. An intraperitoneal catheter can be used to manage ascites to facilitate PDGT.
PMCID: PMC4262403  PMID: 22965572
7.  Rabbit Hepatic Arterial Anatomy Variations: Implications on Experimental Design 
The VX2 rabbit model of liver cancer is commonly used to evaluate the efficacy of locoregional anticancer therapy and knowledge of the hepatic arterial anatomy in the rabbit is important for catheter-directed experiments.
To describe the normal anatomy and anatomic variations of the celiac axis and hepatic artery in the rabbit.
Material and Methods
Angiograms of 222 rabbits were retrospectively reviewed. The branching pattern of the celiac axis was classified and the diameters of the major branches were measured. Paired t-tests were used to compare the difference between the average sizes of arteries.
Variant celiac axis or hepatic artery anatomy was noted in 25.9% of angiograms, with the gastric branches arising from the proper hepatic artery in 23.3% of cases. The celiac axis could be successfully classified into one of five distinct branching patterns in 193 (86.9%) cases. The mean diameters of the right and left hepatic arteries were 0.67 mm (95% CI [0.64, 0.7]) and 1.25 mm (95% CI [1.19, 1.31]), respectively. The mean diameters of the medial and lateral branches of the left hepatic artery were 0.63 mm (95% CI [0.6, 0.67]) and 0.91 mm (95% CI [0.86, 0.96]), respectively. The right hepatic artery was significantly smaller than the left hepatic artery and the lateral branch of the left hepatic artery (all p-values <0.0001).
Arterial variants in the rabbit are not uncommon. The proper hepatic artery often gives origin to gastric artery branches. To facilitate superselective intra-arterial intervention, the left lateral lobe of the liver should be targeted for tumor implantation because of the significant size difference between the right and left hepatic arteries.
PMCID: PMC4262404  PMID: 24292899
rabbit; liver angiography; arterial variants; VX2 tumor; liver-directed therapy
8.  Plant Phytochemicals as Epigenetic Modulators: Role in Cancer Chemoprevention 
The AAPS Journal  2013;16(1):151-163.
In recent years, “nutri-epigenetics,” which focuses on the influence of dietary agents on epigenetic mechanism(s), has emerged as an exciting novel area in epigenetics research. Targeting of aberrant epigenetic modifications has gained considerable attention in cancer chemoprevention research because, unlike genetic changes, epigenetic alterations are reversible and occur during early carcinogenesis. Aberrant epigenetic mechanisms, such as promoter DNA methylation, histone modifications, and miRNA-mediated post-transcriptional alterations, can silence critical tumor suppressor genes, such as transcription factors, cell cycle regulators, nuclear receptors, signal transducers, and apoptosis-inducing and DNA repair gene products, and ultimately contribute to carcinogenesis. In an effort to identify and develop anticancer agents which cause minimal harm to normal cells while effectively killing cancer cells, a number of naturally occurring phytochemicals in food and medicinal plants have been investigated. This review highlights the potential role of plant-derived phytochemicals in targeting epigenetic alterations that occur during carcinogenesis, by modulating the activity or expression of DNA methyltransferases, histone modifying enzymes, and miRNAs. We present in detail the epigenetic mode of action of various phytochemicals and discuss their potential as safe and clinically useful chemopreventive strategies.
PMCID: PMC3889536  PMID: 24307610
cancer chemoprevention; dietary agents; DNA methylation; epigenetics; histone modification; microRNA
9.  In vitro and in vivo mapping of drug release after laser ablation thermal therapy with doxorubicin-loaded hollow gold nanoshells using fluorescence and photoacoustic imaging 
Doxorubicin-loaded hollow nanoshells (Dox@PEG-HAuNS) increases the efficacy of photothermal ablation (PTA) by not only mediating efficient PTA but also through chemotherapy, and therefore have potential utility for local anticancer therapy. However, in vivo real-time monitoring of Dox release and temperature achieved during the laser ablation technique has not been previously demonstrated before. In this study, we used fluorescence optical imaging to map the release of Dox from Dox@PEG-HAuNS and photoacoustic imaging to monitor the tumor temperature achieved during near-infrared laser–induced photothermal heating in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, treatment with a 3-W laser was sufficient to initiate the release of Dox from Dox@PEG-HAuNS (1:3:1 wt/wt, 1.32×1012 particles/mL). Laser powers of 3 and 6 W achieved ablative temperatures of more than 50 °C. In 4T1 tumor–bearing nude mice that received intratumoral or intravenous injections of Dox@PEG-HAuNS, fluorescence optical imaging (emission wavelength = 600 nm, excitation wavelength = 500 nm) revealed that the fluorescence intensity in surface laser–treated tumors 24 h after treatment was significantly higher than that in untreated tumors (p=0.015 for intratumoral, p=0.008 for intravenous). Similar results were obtained using an interstitial laser to irradiate tumors following the intravenous injection of Dox@PEG-HAuNS (p=0.002 at t=24h). Photoacoustic imaging (acquisition wavelength = 800 nm) revealed that laser treatment caused a substantial increase in tumor temperature, from 37 °C to ablative temperatures of more than 50 °C. Ex vivo analysis revealed that the fluorescence intensity of laser-treated tumors was twice as high as that of untreated tumors (p=0.009). Histological analysis confirmed that intratumoral injection of Dox@PEG-HAuNS and laser treatment caused significantly more tumor necrosis compared to tumors that were not treated with laser (p<0.001). On the basis of these findings, we conclude that fluorescence optical imaging and photoacoustic imaging are promising approaches to assessing Dox release and monitoring temperature, respectively, after Dox@PEG-HAuNS–mediated thermal ablation therapy.
PMCID: PMC3853126  PMID: 23920038
targeted hollow gold nanoshells; magnetic resonance temperature imaging; photoacoustic imaging; near-infrared optical imaging; molecular imaging
10.  The BATTLE Trial: Personalizing Therapy for Lung Cancer 
Cancer discovery  2011;1(1):44-53.
Lung cancer is the leading cancer cause of mortality worldwide; large-scale trials have failed to improve clinical outcomes of patients with chemorefractory non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Following an initial equal randomization period, BATTLE adaptively randomized patients with chemorefractory NSCLC to erlotinib, vandetanib, erlotinib plus bexarotene, or sorafenib based on molecular biomarkers of NSCLC pathogenesis in fresh core needle biopsy specimens. The primary end point was disease control rate (DCR) at 8 weeks.
Of 255 patients randomly assigned to erlotinib (59 patients), vandetanib (54), erlotinib plus bexarotene (37), and sorafenib (105), 244 were eligible for the DCR analysis. Pneumothorax after lung biopsy occurred in 11.5% and treatment-related toxicities grade 3–4 in 6.5% of patients. Overall results were a 46% 8-week DCR, 1.9-month median progression-free survival, 9-month median overall survival, and 35% 1-year survival. Individual markers predicting a significantly superior DCR for a treatment included: epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation (P=0.04) for erlotinib; cyclin D1 positivity (P=0.01) or EGFR amplification (P=0.006) for erlotinib plus bexarotene; vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 positivity (P=0.05) for vandetanib; and absence of EGFR mutation (P=0.01) or of EGFR high polysomy (P=0.05) for sorafenib. A better 8-week DCR occurred with sorafenib versus all other regimens (64% versus 33%; P<0.001) among EGFR wild-type patients and versus all other regimens (61% versus 32%; P=0.11) among mutant-KRAS patients. The prespecified biomarker groups were less predictive than the individual biomarkers analyzed in this study.
The first completed biopsy-mandated study in pretreated NSCLC, BATTLE confirmed our pre-specified hypotheses regarding biomarker and targeted treatment interactions, establishing a new paradigm for personalizing therapy for patients with NSCLC. ( numbers, NCT00409968, NCT00411671, NCT00411632, NCT00410059, NCT00410189.)
PMCID: PMC4211116  PMID: 22586319
11.  Tumor Uptake of Hollow Gold Nanospheres after Intravenous and Intra-arterial Injection: PET/CT Study in a Rabbit VX2 Liver Cancer Model 
This study was designed to investigate the intratumoral uptake of hollow gold nanospheres (HAuNS) after hepatic intra-arterial (IA) and intravenous (IV) injection in a liver tumor model.
Materials and Methods
Fifteen VX2 tumor-bearing rabbits were randomized into five groups (N=3 in each group) that received either IV 64Cu-labeled PEG-HAuNS (IV-PEG-HAuNS), IA 64Cu-labeled PEG-HAuNS (IA-PEG-HAuNS), IV cyclic peptide (RGD)-conjugated 64Cu-labeled PEG-HAuNS (IV-RGD-PEG-HAuNS), IA RGD-conjugated 64Cu-labeled PEG-HAuNS (IA-RGD-PEG-HAuNS), or IA 64Cu-labeled PEG-HAuNS with lipiodol (IA-PEG-HAuNS-lipiodol). The animals underwent PET/CT 1 hour after injection, and uptake expressed as percentage of injected dose per gram of tissue (%ID/g) was measured in tumor and major organs. The animals were euthanized 24 hours after injection, and tissues were evaluated for radioactivity.
At 1 hour after injection, animals in the IA-PEG-HAuNS-lipiodol group showed significantly higher tumor uptake (P < 0.001) and higher ratios of tumor-to-normal liver uptake (P < 0.001) than those in all other groups. The biodistribution of radioactivity 24 hours after injection showed that IA delivery of PEG-HAuNS with lipiodol resulted in the highest tumor uptake (0.33 %ID/g; P < 0.001) and tumor-to-normal liver ratio (P < 0.001) among all delivery methods. At 24 hours, the IA-RGD-PEG-HAuNS group showed higher tumor uptake than the IA-PEG-HAuNS group (0.20 %ID/g vs. 0.099 %ID/g; P < 0.001).
Adding iodized oil to IA-PEG-HAuNS maximizes nanoparticle delivery to hepatic tumors and therefore may be useful in targeted chemotherapy and photoablative therapy. PET/CT can be used to noninvasively monitor the biodistribution of radiolabeled HAuNS after IV or IA injection.
PMCID: PMC4164961  PMID: 23608932
Hollow gold nanospheres; liver tumor; intraarterial injection; PET/CT; copper-64; lipiodol
12.  A Study to Assess Knowledge and Attitude Regarding Hand Hygiene amongst Residents and Nursing Staff in a Tertiary Health Care Setting of Bhopal City 
Background: Infection due to hospital-acquired microbes is an evolving problem worldwide, and horizontal transmission of bacterial organism continues to cause a high nosocomial infection rate in health care settings. Most nosocomial infections are thought to be transmitted by the hands of health care workers.The application of hand hygiene is effective in reducing infection rates.
Objectives: To assess the level of knowledge and attitude regarding hand hygiene practices amongst the health care professionals and to identify areas of gaps in their knowledge and attitude.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study.
Result: A total 160 respondents were studied about their knowledge and attitude towards hand hygiene practices and significant difference with a p-value of 0.0025 was observed regarding most frequent source of germs responsible for health care associated infections among resident and nurses. A significant difference with p-value of 0.0001 & 0.04 was observed in colonization due to jewellery and artificial nail among the study groups. The attitude regarding correct hand hygiene practices to be followed at all times was found to be better among nurses (62.5%) as compared to residents (21.3%) which was found to be highly significant with p-value <0.001.
Conclusion: Present study highlights the need of repeated training sessions regarding hand hygiene practices among the health care workers to provide the current knowledge in the area with a behavioral change in attitudes and practices leading to reduction of nosocomial infections.
PMCID: PMC4190714  PMID: 25302193
Hand washing practices; Hand washing practices; Health care workers; Nosocomial infection; Hospital acquired microbes
13.  Performance of a low cost magnifying device, magnivisualizer, versus colposcope for detection of pre-cancer and cancerous lesions of uterine cervix 
Journal of Gynecologic Oncology  2014;25(4):282-286.
To assess the performance of a low cost magnifying device (Magnivisualizer) compared to a standard optical colposcope for detection of precancerous and cancerous lesions of the uterine cervix.
A total of 659 consecutive symptomatic women attending a gynecologic outpatient clinic underwent unaided visual inspection followed by cytology, visual inspection of the cervix using 5% acetic acid (VIA), and VIA under magnification (VIAM) with the Magnivisualizer. All women, independently of test results, were referred for colposcopic examination. Colposcopic-directed biopsies were obtained from all positive lesions and compared to positive VIAM cases.
The detection rate for VIA positive lesions was 12% (134/659), while it was 29% for VIAM positive lesions (191/659). The sensitivities of detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2 and higher lesions were 61.7% for VIA, 88.3% for VIAM, and 86.7% for colposcopy, with a specificity of 58.5% for VIA, 55.8% for VIAM, and 90.4% for colposcopy. The performance of colposcopy and VIAM was moderate (κ, 0.48; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.41 to 0.54) for detection of CIN 1 and higher lesions and excellent (κ, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.82 to 0.94) for detection of CIN 2 and higher lesions.
In low resource settings, where colposcopic facilities are not available at the community level, a simple low-cost, handheld Magnivisualizer can be considered a valid option for detection of cervical precancerous and cancerous lesions. However, it cannot replace traditional colposcopy because it has a low specificity that results in many unnecessary biopsies.
PMCID: PMC4195297  PMID: 25142620
Ambulatory care facilities; Colposcopy; Sensitivity and Specificity; Uterine cervical dysplasia; Uterine cervical neoplasms
14.  Cell-type specificity of β-actin expression and its clinicopathological correlation in gastric adenocarcinoma 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(34):12202-12211.
AIM: To investigate cell type specific distribution of β-actin expression in gastric adenocarcinoma and its correlation with clinicopathological parameters.
METHODS: β-actin is a housekeeping gene, frequently used as loading control, but, differentially expresses in cancer. In gastric cancer, an overall increased expression of β-actin has been reported using tissue disruptive techniques. At present, no histological data is available to indicate its cell type-specific expression and distribution pattern. In the present study, we analyzed β-actin expression and distribution in paired normal and tumor tissue samples of gastric adenocarcinoma patients using immunohistochemistry (IHC), a tissue non-disruptive technique as well as tissue disruptive techniques like reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blotting. Correlation of β-actin level with clinicopathological parameters was done using univariate analysis.
RESULTS: The results of this study showed significant overexpression, at both mRNA and protein level in tumor tissues as confirmed by RT-PCR (1.47 ± 0.13 vs 2.36 ± 0.16; P < 0.001) and western blotting (1.92 ± 0.26 vs 2.88 ± 0.32; P < 0.01). IHC revealed that β-actin expression is majorly distributed between epithelial and inflammatory cells of the tissues. Inflammatory cells showed a significantly higher expression compared to epithelial cells in normal (2.46 ± 0.13 vs 5.92 ± 0.23, P < 0.001), as well as, in tumor tissues (2.79 ± 0.24 vs 6.71 ± 0.14, P < 0.001). Further, comparison of immunostaining between normal and tumor tissues revealed that both epithelial and inflammatory cells overexpress β-actin in tumor tissues, however, significant difference was observed only in inflammatory cells (5.92 ± 0.23 vs 6.71 ± 0.14, P < 0.01). Moreover, combined expression in epithelial and inflammatory cells also showed significant increase (4.19 ± 0.15 vs 4.75 ± 0.14, P < 0.05) in tumor tissues. In addition, univariate analysis showed a positive correlation of β-actin level of inflammatory cells with tumor grade (P < 0.05) while epithelial cells exhibited negative correlation (P > 0.05).
CONCLUSION: In gastric cancer, β-actin showed an overall higher expression predominantly contributed by inflammatory or tumor infiltrating immune cells of the tissue microenvironment and correlates with tumor grade.
PMCID: PMC4161804  PMID: 25232253
Gastric cancer; β-actin; Immunohistochemistry; Epithelial cells; Inflammatory cells; Tumor infiltrating immune cells; Adjacent mucosa; Resection margin
15.  TWEAK causes myotube atrophy through coordinated activation of ubiquitin-proteasome system, autophagy, and caspases 
Journal of cellular physiology  2012;227(3):1042-1051.
Proinflammatory cytokine TWEAK has now emerged as a key mediator of skeletal muscle-wasting in many catabolic conditions. However, the mechanisms by which TWEAK induces muscle proteolysis remain poorly understood. Here, we have investigated the role of ubiquitin-proteasome system, autophagy, and caspases in TWEAK-induced muscle wasting. Addition of TWEAK to C2C12 myotubes stimulated the ubiquitination of myosin heavy chain (MyHC) and augmented the expression of E3 ubiquitin ligase MuRF1. Pretreatment of myotubes with proteasome inhibitors MG132 or lactacystin or knockdown of MuRF1 by RNAi blocked the TWEAK-induced degradation of MyHC and myotube atrophy. TWEAK increased the expression of several autophagy-related molecules. Moreover, the inhibitors of autophagy improved the levels of MyHC in TWEAK-treated myotubes. TWEAK also increased activity of caspases in C2C12 myotubes. Pan-caspase or caspase 3 inhibitory peptide inhibited the TWEAK-induced loss of MyHC and myotube diameter. Our study demonstrates that nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) transcription factor is essential for TWEAK-induced expression of MuRF1 and Beclin1. Furthermore, our results suggest that caspases contribute, at least in part, to the activation of NF-κB in response to TWEAK treatment. Collectively, the present study provides novel insight into the mechanisms of action of TWEAK in skeletal muscle.
PMCID: PMC4154369  PMID: 21567392
Skeletal muscle atrophy; TWEAK; Ubiquitin-proteasome system; NF-kappa B; MuRF1; Capsases; Autophagy
16.  Draft Genome Sequence of Hexachlorohexane (HCH)-Degrading Sphingobium lucknowense Strain F2T, Isolated from an HCH Dumpsite 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(4):e00788-14.
Sphingobium lucknowense F2T, isolated from the hexachlorocylcohexane (HCH) dumpsite located in Ummari village, Lucknow, India, rapidly degrades HCH isomers. Here we report the draft genome of strain F2 (4.4 Mbp), consisting of 4,910 protein coding genes with an average G+C content of 64.3%.
PMCID: PMC4125778  PMID: 25103767
17.  Optimal Future Liver Remnant in Patients Treated with Extensive Preoperative Chemotherapy for Colorectal Liver Metastases 
Annals of surgical oncology  2013;20(8):10.1245/s10434-012-2864-7.
Patients with colorectal liver metastases (CLM) are increasingly treated with preoperative chemotherapy. Chemotherapy associated liver injury is associated with postoperative hepatic insufficiency (PHI) and mortality. The adequate minimum future liver remnant (FLR) volume in patients treated with extensive chemotherapy remains unknown.
All patients with standardized FLR >20 %, who underwent extended right hepatectomy for CLM from 1993–2011, were divided into three cohorts by chemotherapy duration: no chemotherapy (NC, n = 30), short duration (SD, ≤12 weeks, n = 78), long duration (LD, >12 weeks, n = 86). PHI and mortality were compared by using uni-/multivariate analyses. Optimal FLR for LD chemotherapy was determined using a minimum p-value approach.
A total of 194 patients met inclusion criteria. LD chemotherapy was significantly associated with PHI (NC + SD 3.7 vs. LD 16.3%, p = 0.006). Ninety-day mortality rates were 0 % in NC, 1.3 % in SD, and 2.3% in LD patients, respectively (p = 0.95). In patients with FLR >30 %, PHI occurred in only two patients (both LD, 2/20, 10 %), but all patients with FLR >30 % survived. The best cutoff of FLR for preventing PHI after chemotherapy >12 weeks was estimated as>30 %. Both LD chemotherapy (odds ratio [OR] 5.4, p = 0.004) and FLR ≤ 30 % (OR 6.3, p = 0.019) were independent predictors of PHI.
Preoperative chemotherapy >12 weeks increases the risk of PHI after extended right hepatectomy. In patients treated with long-duration chemotherapy, FLR >30 % reduces the rate of PHI and may provide enough functional reserve for clinical rescue if PHI develops.
PMCID: PMC3855465  PMID: 23377564
18.  Impact of decitabine on immunohistochemistry expression of the putative tumor suppressor genes FHIT, WWOX, FUS1 and PTEN in clinical tumor samples 
Clinical Epigenetics  2014;6(1):13.
Since tumor suppressor gene function may be lost through hypermethylation, we assessed whether the demethylating agent decitabine could increase tumor suppressor gene expression clinically. For fragile histidine triad (FHIT), WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX), fused in sarcoma-1 (FUS1) and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), immunohistochemistry scores from pre- and post-decitabine tumor biopsies (25 patients) were correlated with methylation of the long interspersed nuclear element-1 (LINE-1) repetitive DNA element (as a surrogate for global DNA methylation) and with tumor regression.
With negative staining pre-decitabine (score = 0), the number of patients converting to positive staining post-decitabine was 1 of 1 for FHIT, 3 of 6 for WWOX, 2 of 3 for FUS1 and 1 of 10 for PTEN. In tumors with low pre-decitabine tumor suppressor gene scores (≤150), expression was higher post-treatment in 8 of 8 cases for FHIT (P = 0.014), 7 of 17 for WWOX (P = 0.0547), 7 of 12 for FUS1 (P = 0.0726), and 1 of 16 for PTEN (P = 0.2034). If FHIT, WWOX and FUS1 were considered together, median pre- versus post-decitabine scores were 60 versus 100 (P = 0.0002). Overall, tumor suppressor gene expression change did not correlate with LINE-1 demethylation, although tumors converting from negative to positive had a median decrease in LINE-1 methylation of 24%, compared to 6% in those not converting (P = 0.069). Five of 15 fully evaluable patients had reductions in tumor diameter (range 0.2% to 33.4%). Of these, three had simultaneous increases in three tumor suppressor genes (including the two patients with the greatest tumor regression) compared to 2 of 10 with tumor growth (P = 0.25).
In tumors with low tumor suppressor gene expression, decitabine may be associated with increased expression of the tumor suppressor genes FHIT, FUS1, and WWOX, but not PTEN.
PMCID: PMC4094901  PMID: 25024751
Decitabine; FHIT; FUS1; WWOX; PTEN; Tumor suppressor genes; LINE-1 methylation
19.  Analysis of the efficacy of portal vein embolization for patients with extensive liver malignancy and very low future liver remnant volume including a comparison to the ALPPS approach 
Journal of the American College of Surgeons  2013;217(1):10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2013.03.004.
The primary reported indication for the Associating Liver Partition with Portal vein Ligation for Staged hepatectomy (ALPPS) technique is in patients with very low future liver remnant volumes. Given the elevated incidence of major morbidity (40%) and liver-related mortality (12%) with ALPPS, we sought to determine the safety and efficacy of percutaneous portal vein embolization (PVE) in a similar patient population.
Patients and Methods
Tumor resectability and morbidity/mortality rates were reviewed for 144 consecutive liver tumor patients with future liver remnant to body weight ratios (LR/BW) less than 0.5%. All patients were referred for preoperative percutaneous right plus segment IV PVE using embolic microspheres, with planned reassessment of the LR/BW 30 days after PVE. Post-PVE outcomes were compared to reported outcomes for ALPPS.
Percutaneous PVE was successfully performed in 141 of the 144 study patients (97.9%). Adequate regeneration was observed in 139 patients (98.5%) with median post-PVE LR/BW rising from 0.33% to 0.52% (p<0.0001), representing a per-patient median regeneration of 62% (range: 0.3 – 379%). In total, 104 patients underwent extended right hepatectomy (n=102) or right hepatectomy (n=2). The remaining 40 patients (27.8%) were not resectable due to short-interval disease progression (27 patients, 18.5%), insufficient liver regeneration (5 patients, 3.5%), and medical comorbidities (8 patients, 5.6%). After resection, the following outcomes were observed: major morbidity: 33.0% (34/104), liver insufficiency: 12.5% (13/104), and 90-day liver-related mortality: 5.8% (6/104). These oncologic and technical results compare favorably to those of ALPPS.
Based on its ability to select oncologically resectable patients and superior safety and efficacy profiles, percutaneous right+segment IV PVE and interval surgery remains the standard of care for patients with very low future liver remnant volumes.
PMCID: PMC3880191  PMID: 23632095
20.  Safety and Immunogenicity of a Live Oral Recombinant Cholera Vaccine VA1.4: A Randomized, Placebo Controlled Trial in Healthy Adults in a Cholera Endemic Area in Kolkata, India 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e99381.
A live oral cholera vaccine VA 1.4 developed from a non-toxigenic Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor strain using ctxB gene insertion was further developed into a clinical product following cGMP and was evaluated in a double-blind randomized placebo controlled parallel group two arm trial with allocation ratio of 1∶1 for safety and immunogenicity in men and women aged 18–60 years from Kolkata, India.
A lyophilized dose of 1.9×109 CFU (n = 44) or a placebo (n = 43) reconstituted with a diluent was administered within 5 minutes of drinking 100 ml of a buffer solution made of sodium bicarbonate and ascorbic acid and a second dose on day 14.
The vaccine did not elicit any diarrhea related adverse events. Other adverse events were rare, mild and similar in two groups. One subject in the vaccine group excreted the vaccine strain on the second day after first dose. The proportion of participants who seroconverted (i.e. had 4-folds or higher rise in reciprocal titre) in the vaccine group were 65.9% (95% CI: 50.1%–79.5%) at both 7 days (i.e. after 1st dose) and 21 days (i.e. after 2nd dose). None of the placebo recipients seroconverted. Anti-cholera toxin antibody was detected in very few recipients of the vaccine.
This study demonstrates that VA 1.4 at a single dose of 1.9×109 is safe and immunogenic in adults from a cholera endemic region. No additional benefit after two doses was seen.
Trial Registration
Clinical Trials Registry-India, National Institute of Medical Statistics (Indian Council of Medical Research) CTRI/2012/04/002582
PMCID: PMC4077646  PMID: 24983989
21.  Enhanced ROCK Activation in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2013;65(6):1592-1602.
Rho-kinases (ROCKs) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular and renal disorders. We recently showed that ROCKs could regulate the differentiation of murine TH17 cells and production of IL-17 and IL-21, two cytokines associated with SLE. The goal of this study was to assess ROCK activation in human TH17 cells and evaluate ROCK activity in SLE patients.
An ELISA-based ROCK activity assay was employed to evaluate ROCK activity in human cord blood CD4+ T cells differentiated under TH0 or TH17 conditions. We then performed a cross-sectional analysis of 28 SLE patients and 25 healthy matched controls. ROCK activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) lysates was assessed by ELISA. Cytokine and chemokine profiles were analyzed via ELISA.
Human cord blood CD4+ T cells differentiated under TH17 conditions expressed higher levels of ROCK activity than CD4+ T cells stimulated under TH0 conditions. Production of IL-17 and IL-21 was furthermore inhibited by addition of a ROCK inhibitor. SLE PBMCs expressed significantly higher levels of ROCK activity as compared to healthy controls, 1.25 vs. 0.56, respectively (p=0.0015). Sixteen (57%) SLE patients expressed high ROCK levels (OD450>1). Disease duration, lymphocyte count, and azathioprine use were significant independent predictors of ROCK activity in multivariable analyses.
Consistent with previous results in the murine system, increased ROCK activation was associated with TH17 differentiation. Enhanced ROCK activity was furthermore observed in a subgroup of SLE patients. These data support the concept that the ROCK pathway could represent an important therapeutic target for SLE.
PMCID: PMC3672311  PMID: 23508371
Cancer chemoprevention by phytochemicals may be one of the most feasible approaches for cancer control. Phytochemicals obtained from vegetables, fruits, spices, teas, herbs and medicinal plants, such as terpenoids and other phenolic compounds, have been proven to suppress experimental carcinogenesis in various organs in pre-clinical models. Recent studies have indicated that mechanisms underlying chemopreventive potential may be a combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune-enhancing, and hormone modulation effects, with modification of drug metabolizing enzymes, influence on cell cycle and cell differentiation, induction of apoptosis, suppression of proliferation and angiogenesis playing roles in the initiation and secondary modification stages of neoplastic development. Specific features of prostate cancer, such as high prevalence and long latency period provides ample opportunities for chemopreventive agents to work at various stages of disease progression. Finally, suitable populations with appropriate risk factors, including the presence of pre-malignant lesions and genetic predispositions, need to be well characterized for future chemopreventive interventions. Here we review naturally occurring dietary terpenoids as useful agents for prostate cancer chemoprevention with reference to their classes and sources.
PMCID: PMC4019960  PMID: 18508447
Terpenoids; cancer chemoprevention; biomarkers; prostate cancer
23.  Chamomile Confers Protection against Hydrogen Peroxide-Induced Toxicity through Activation of Nrf2-Mediated Defense Response 
Phytotherapy research : PTR  2012;27(1):118-125.
Oxidative stress plays an important role in the development of various human diseases. Aqueous chamomile extract is used as herbal medicine, in the form of tea, demonstrated to possess antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties. We demonstrate the cytoprotective effects of chamomile on hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced cellular damage in macrophage RAW 264.7 cells. Pretreatment of cells with chamomile markedly attenuated H2O2-induced cell viability loss in a dose-dependent manner. The mechanisms by which chamomile-protected macrophages from oxidative stress was through the induction of several antioxidant enzymes including NAD (P)H:quinone oxidoreductase, superoxide dismutase, and catalase and increase nuclear accumulation of the transcription factor Nrf2 and its binding to antioxidant response elements. Furthermore, chamomile dose-dependently reduced H2O2-mediated increase in the intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species. Our results, for the first time, demonstrate that chamomile has protective effects against oxidative stress and might be beneficial to provide defense against cellular damage.
PMCID: PMC4019961  PMID: 22511316
chamomile; macrophages; phase II enzymes; oxidative stress; antioxidant defense
24.  Plant flavone apigenin inhibits HDAC and remodels chromatin to induce growth arrest and apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells: In vitro and in vivo study 
Molecular carcinogenesis  2011;51(12):952-962.
Apigenin (4′,5,7,-trihydroxyflavone), an anticancer agent, selectively toxic to cancer cells induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis through mechanisms that have not been fully elucidated. Our studies indicate that apigenin-mediated growth inhibitory responses are due to inhibition of class I histone deacetylases (HDACs) in prostate cancer cells. Treatment of PC-3 and 22Rv1 cells with apigenin (20–40μM) resulted in the inhibition of HDAC enzyme activity, specifically HDAC1 and HDAC3 at the protein and message level. Apigenin-mediated HDAC inhibition resulted in global histone H3 and H4 acetylation, as well as localized hyperacetylation of histone H3 on the p21/waf1 promoter. A corresponding increase was observed in p21/waf1 and bax protein and mRNA expression after apigenin exposure, consistent with the use of HDAC inhibitor, trichostatin A. The downstream events demonstrated cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis in both cancer cells. Studies of PC-3 xenografts in athymic nude mice further demonstrated that oral intake of apigenin at doses of 20 and 50μg/mouse/day over an 8-week period resulted in a marked reduction in tumor growth, HDAC activity, and HDAC1 and HDAC3 protein expression at both doses of apigenin. An increase in p21/waf1 expression was observed in apigenin-fed mice, compared to the control group. Furthermore, apigenin intake caused a significant decrease in bcl2 expression with concomitant increase in bax, shifting the bax/bcl2 ratio in favor of apoptosis. Our findings confirm for the first time that apigenin inhibits class I HDACs, particularly HDAC1 and HDAC3 and its exposure results in reversal of aberrant epigenetic events that promote malignancy.
PMCID: PMC4019962  PMID: 22006862
prostate cancer; apigenin; epigenetics; histone modification; chromatin remodeling
25.  High-fat diet increases NF-κB signaling in the prostate of reporter mice 
The Prostate  2011;71(2):147-156.
High-fat diet (HFD) is considered as a major risk factor for benign prostatic diseases and cancer in the Western world. Studies have shown an association between oxidative stress and prostatic diseases. NF-κB has been implicated in stress response and is deregulated in prostrate disorders; therefore, we sought to determine whether HFD could induce oxidative stress in the prostate which could contribute to prostatic diseases.
Transgenic NF-κB-Luc-Tag mice were either fed with regular diet (RD) or HFD for 12 weeks. Serial, non-invasive molecular imaging was performed to study NF-κB activation in the whole body, and in various organs including thymus, spleen, and prostate. Western blotting was used to determine the expression of NF-κB, its upstream and downstream targets in the prostate.
Two-fold increase in whole body NF-κB activity in vivo and 2–3 fold up-regulated prostate NF-κB activity ex vivo were observed after HFD intake compared with RD controls. HFD-induced NF-κB activity was elevated remarkably in the abdominal cavity, thymus, spleen, and prostate with increase in prostrate weight. In the prostrate, an increase in the protein expression of gp91phox, p22phox, and p47phox NADPH oxidase subunits was observed suggesting the involvement of HFD in causing oxidative stress. Nuclear extracts from the prostrate tissue showed an increased expression of p65/RelA that corresponded with elevated cytosolic levels of p-IκBα, along with increased expression of downstream targets of NF-κB, nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2.
Our findings suggest that HFD-mediated oxidative stress and deregulation of NADPH oxidase leads to NF-κB activation in the prostrate.
PMCID: PMC4019972  PMID: 20632379
oxidative stress; high-fat diet; prostate; obesity; NF-κB

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