Few studies have investigated the effects of exercise on modulation of host factors in cancer patients. We investigated the efficacy of chronic aerobic training on multiple host-related effector pathways in patients with solid tumours.
Patients and Methods:
Paired peripheral blood samples were obtained from 44 patients with solid tumours receiving cytotoxic therapy and synthetic erythropoietin (usual care; n=21) or usual care plus supervised aerobic training (n=23) for 12 weeks. Samples were characterised for changes in immune, cytokine and angiogenic factors, and metabolic intermediates. Aerobic training consisted of three supervised cycle ergometry sessions per week at 60% to 100% of peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak), 30–45 min per session, for 12 weeks following a nonlinear prescription.
The between-group delta change in cardiopulmonary function was +4.1 ml kg −1 min−1, favouring aerobic training (P<0.05). Significant pre–post between-group differences for five cytokine and angiogenic factors (HGF, IL-4, macrophage inflammatory protein-1β (MIP-1β), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and TNF-α) also favour the aerobic training group (P's<0.05). These reductions occurred in conjunction with nonsignificant group differences for T lymphocytes CD4+, CD8+, and CD8+/CD45RA (P<0.10). For these factors, circulating concentrations generally increased from baseline to week 12 in the aerobic training group compared with decreases or no change in the usual care group. No significant changes in any metabolic intermediates were observed.
Aerobic training alters host availability of select immune–inflammatory effectors in patients with solid tumours; larger confirmatory studies in more homogenous samples are warranted.
aerobic training; exercise; growth factors; inflammation; metabolism; immune surveillance
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common and disabling condition with
well-established heritability and environmental risk factors. Gene–environment
interaction studies in MDD have typically investigated candidate genes, though the
disorder is known to be highly polygenic. This study aims to test for interaction
between polygenic risk and stressful life events (SLEs) or childhood trauma (CT) in the
aetiology of MDD.
The RADIANT UK sample consists of 1605 MDD cases and 1064 controls with SLE data, and a
subset of 240 cases and 272 controls with CT data. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) were
constructed using results from a mega-analysis on MDD by the Psychiatric Genomics
Consortium. PRS and environmental factors were tested for association with case/control
status and for interaction between them.
PRS significantly predicted depression, explaining 1.1% of variance in phenotype
(p = 1.9 × 10−6). SLEs and CT were also associated with
MDD status (p = 2.19 × 10−4 and p = 5.12 ×
10−20, respectively). No interactions were found between PRS and SLEs.
Significant PRSxCT interactions were found (p = 0.002), but showed an
inverse association with MDD status, as cases who experienced more severe CT tended to
have a lower PRS than other cases or controls. This relationship between PRS and CT was
not observed in independent replication samples.
CT is a strong risk factor for MDD but may have greater effect in individuals with
lower genetic liability for the disorder. Including environmental risk along with
genetics is important in studying the aetiology of MDD and PRS provide a useful approach
to investigating gene–environment interactions in complex traits.
Depression; genetics; gene-environment interactions; polygenic risk scoring
•Sensory gating ratio negatively correlates with fluid intelligence.•Sensory gating correlates with continuous performance and latent inhibition tasks.•Sensory gating reflects identification and inhibition of irrelevant stimuli.•Possible evidence for bottom-up and top-down influences on sensory gating.
Sensory gating is a neurophysiological measure of inhibition that is characterised by a reduction in the P50 event-related potential to a repeated identical stimulus. The objective of this work was to determine the cognitive mechanisms that relate to the neurological phenomenon of auditory sensory gating. Sixty participants underwent a battery of 10 cognitive tasks, including qualitatively different measures of attentional inhibition, working memory, and fluid intelligence. Participants additionally completed a paired-stimulus paradigm as a measure of auditory sensory gating. A correlational analysis revealed that several tasks correlated significantly with sensory gating. However once fluid intelligence and working memory were accounted for, only a measure of latent inhibition and accuracy scores on the continuous performance task showed significant sensitivity to sensory gating. We conclude that sensory gating reflects the identification of goal-irrelevant information at the encoding (input) stage and the subsequent ability to selectively attend to goal-relevant information based on that previous identification.
Sensory gating; Inhibition; Electroencephalogram; Event-related potential (ERP) P50
Though cortical abnormalities have been demonstrated in moderate and severe traumatic brain injured (TBI) patients, there have been no studies examining cortical changes following blast related mild TBI (mTBI). The purpose of this study was to determine the effects and functional relevance of blast mTBI on cortical thickness in a small cohort of carefully screened blast injured US Service Members (SM). Twelve SM with mTBI acquired through blast injury were compared to 11 demographically matched control SM without TBI. Both mTBI and control participants were active duty and had completed a combat deployment. Subjects underwent MRI examination and the T1 weighted anatomic images were processed using the FreeSurfer suite of tools. Cortical thickness maps were compared between groups and examined for relationships with time since injury (TSI). Utilizing a large database of functional imaging results (BrainMap), significant regions of interest (ROI) were used to determine the behavioral profiles most consistently associated with the specific ROI. In addition, clinical variables were examined as part of post-hoc analysis of functional relevance. Group comparisons controlling for age demonstrated several significant clusters of cortical thinning for the blast injured SM. After multiple comparisons correction (False Discovery Rate (FDR)), two left hemisphere clusters remained significant (left superior temporal (STG) and frontal (SFG) gyri). No clusters were significantly correlated with TSI after FDR correction. Behavioral analysis for the STG and SFG clusters demonstrated three significant behavioral/cognitive sub-domains, each associated with audition and language. Blast injured SMs demonstrated distinct areas of cortical thinning in the STG and SFG. These areas have been previously shown to be associated with audition and language. Post-hoc analyses of clinical records demonstrated significant abnormal audiology reports for the blast injured SM suggesting that the thinning in these ROIs might be related to injury to the external auditory system rather than direct injury to the brain from the blast. It is clear that additional replication is needed in much larger cohorts. Importantly, the combination of imaging tools and methods in this study successfully demonstrated the potential to define unique ROIs and functional correlates that can be used to design future studies.
TBI; Blast Injury; Mild TBI; Cortical thickness; Cognition; Behavior; FreeSurfer; MANGO
Bleomycin–etoposid–cisplatin (BEP) chemotherapy is curative in most patients with disseminated germ cell cancer (GCC) but also associated with toxic actions and dysfunction in non-targeted tissues. We investigated changes in muscle function during BEP and the safety and efficacy of resistance training to modulate these changes.
Thirty GCC patients were randomly assigned to resistance training (resistance training group (INT), n=15) or usual care (CON, n=15) during 9 weeks of BEP therapy. Resistance training consisted of thrice weekly sessions of four exercises, 3–4 sets/exercise of 10–15 repetitions at 12–15 repetition maximum load. The primary endpoint was muscle fibre size, assessed in muscle biopsies from musculus vastus lateralis. Secondary endpoints were fibre phenotype composition, body composition, strength, blood biochemistry and patient-reported endpoints. Healthy age-matched subjects (REF, n=19) performed the same RT-programme for comparison purposes.
Muscle fibre size decreased by −322 μm2 (95% confidence interval (CI): −899 to 255; P=0.473) in the CON-group and increased by +206 μm2 (95% CI: −384 to 796; P=0.257) in the INT-group (adjusted mean difference (AMD), +625 μm2, 95% CI: −253 to 1503, P=0.149). Mean differences in type II fibre size (AMD, +823 μm2, P=0.09) and lean mass (AMD, +1.49 kg, P=0.07) in favour of the INT-group approached significance. The REF-group improved all muscular endpoints and had significantly superior changes compared with the INT-group (P<0.05).
BEP was associated with significant reduction in lean mass and strength and trends toward unfavourable changes in muscle fibre size and phenotype composition. Resistance training was safe and attenuated dysfunction in selected endpoints, but BEP blunted several positive adaptations observed in healthy controls. Thus, our study does not support the general application of resistance training in this setting but larger-scaled trials are required to confirm this finding.
germ cell cancer; chemotherapy; resistance training; skeletal muscle
Suboptimal care at the end-of-life can be due to lack of access or knowledge of patient wishes. Ambiguity is often the result of non-standardized formats. Borrowing digital technology from other industries and using existing health information infrastructure can greatly improve the completion, storage, and distribution of advance directives. We believe several simple, low-cost adaptations to regional and federal programs can raise the standard of end-of-life care.
Health information exchange; end of life; advance directive
Screw dislocations play an important role in materials' mechanical, electrical and optical properties. However, imaging the atomic displacements in screw dislocations remains challenging. Although advanced electron microscopy techniques have allowed atomic-scale characterization of edge dislocations from the conventional end-on view, for screw dislocations, the atoms are predominantly displaced parallel to the dislocation line, and therefore the screw displacements are parallel to the electron beam and become invisible when viewed end-on. Here we show that screw displacements can be imaged directly with the dislocation lying in a plane transverse to the electron beam by optical sectioning using annular dark field imaging in a scanning transmission electron microscope. Applying this technique to a mixed [a+c] dislocation in GaN allows direct imaging of a screw dissociation with a 1.65-nm dissociation distance, thereby demonstrating a new method for characterizing dislocation core structures.
Although screw dislocations impact on the properties of various engineering materials, their investigation on the atomic scale has been challenging. Here, the authors use optical sectioning in a scanning transmission electron microscope to achieve direct imaging of screw displacements around a screw dislocation core in GaN.
Strategies to dissect phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity of major depressive disorder (MDD) have mainly relied on subphenotypes, such as age at onset (AAO) and recurrence/episodicity. Yet, evidence on whether these subphenotypes are familial or heritable is scarce. The aims of this study are to investigate the familiality of AAO and episode frequency in MDD and to assess the proportion of their variance explained by common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP heritability).
For investigating familiality, we used 691 families with 2–5 full siblings with recurrent MDD from the DeNt study. We fitted (square root) AAO and episode count in a linear and a negative binomial mixed model, respectively, with family as random effect and adjusting for sex, age and center. The strength of familiality was assessed with intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). For estimating SNP heritabilities, we used 3468 unrelated MDD cases from the RADIANT and GSK Munich studies. After similarly adjusting for covariates, derived residuals were used with the GREML method in GCTA (genome-wide complex trait analysis) software.
Significant familial clustering was found for both AAO (ICC = 0.28) and episodicity (ICC = 0.07). We calculated from respective ICC estimates the maximal additive heritability of AAO (0.56) and episodicity (0.15). SNP heritability of AAO was 0.17 (p = 0.04); analysis was underpowered for calculating SNP heritability of episodicity.
AAO and episodicity aggregate in families to a moderate and small degree, respectively. AAO is under stronger additive genetic control than episodicity. Larger samples are needed to calculate the SNP heritability of episodicity. The described statistical framework could be useful in future analyses.
Age at onset; episodicity; familiality; GCTA; heritability; major depression
Amid a political agenda for patient-centred healthcare, shared decision-making is reported to substantially improve patient experience, adherence to treatment and health outcomes. However, observational studies have shown that shared decision-making is rarely implemented in practice. The purpose of this study was to measure the prevalence of shared decision-making in clinical encounters involving physiotherapists and patients with back pain.
Eighty outpatient encounters (comprising 40 h of data) were observed audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using the 12-item OPTION scale. The higher the score, the greater is the shared decision-making competency of the clinicians.
The mean OPTION score was 24.0 % (range 10.4–43.8 %).
Shared decision-making was under-developed in the observed back pain consultations. Clinicians’ strong desire to treat acted as a barrier to shared decision-making and further work should focus on when and how it can be implemented.
Shared decision-making; Patient involvement; OPTION instrument; Communication; Patient-centred care; Back pain
Previous research has suggested the clinical profile of individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) differs according to the presence or absence of comorbid migraine. We aimed to determine the clinical characteristics that differentiate individuals with BD with and without comorbid migraine in a large, representative, clinically well-characterised UK sample.
The lifetime clinical characteristics of 1488 individuals with BD (BPI n=1120, BPII n=368) with and without comorbid migraine were compared (n=375 vs. n=1113 respectively).
Individuals with BD and comorbid migraine had a distinctive set of lifetime clinical characteristics. A multivariate model showed that consistent with previous studies those with comorbid migraine were significantly more likely to be female (OR=2.099, p=0.005) and have comorbid panic attacks (OR=1.842, p=0.004). A novel finding was that even after controlling for other differences, the individuals with BD and comorbid migraine were more likely to have a rapid cycling illness course (OR=1.888, p=0.002).
Presence of migraine was assessed using self report measures. Cross-sectional study design limits investigations of bidirectional associations between migraine and bipolar disorder.
Comorbid migraine in BD may represent a more homogenous subtype of BD with an unstable rapid cycling course. Identifying individuals with BD and comorbid migraine may be of use in a clinical setting and this subgroup could be the focus of future aetiological studies.
Bipolar disorder; Migraine; Comorbidity; Rapid cycling
The International Standards for the Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI) is routinely used to determine the levels of injury and to classify the severity of the injury. Questions are often posed to the International Standards Committee of the American Spinal Injury Association regarding the classification. The committee felt that disseminating some of the challenging questions posed, as well as the responses, would be of benefit for professionals utilizing the ISNCSCI. Case scenarios that were submitted to the committee are presented with the responses as well as the thought processes considered by the committee members. The importance of this documentation is to clarify some points as well as update the SCI community regarding possible revisions that will be needed in the future based upon some rules that require clarification.
Spinal cord injury; International Standards; Classification; Neurological level
The International Standards for the Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI) is routinely used to determine levels of injury and to classify the severity of the injury. Questions are often posed to the International Standards Committee of the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) regarding the classification. The committee felt that disseminating some of the challenging questions posed, as well as the responses, would be of benefit for professionals utilizing the ISNCSCI. Case scenarios that were submitted to the committee are presented with the responses as well as the thought processes considered by the committee members. The importance of this documentation is to clarify some points as well as update the SCI community regarding possible revisions that will be needed in the future based upon some rules that require clarification.
classification; international standards; neurological level; spinal cord injury
The visual system is now known to be composed of image-forming and non-image-forming pathways. Photoreception for the image-forming pathway begins at the rods and cones, whereas that for the non-image-forming pathway also involves intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), which express the photopigment melanopsin. In the mouse retina, the rod and cone photoreceptors become light responsive from postnatal day 10 (P10); however, the development of photosensitivity of the ipRGCs remains largely unexplored.
Here, we provide direct physiological evidence that the ipRGCs are light responsive from birth (P0) and that this photosensitivity requires melanopsin expression. Interestingly, the number of ipRGCs at P0 is over five times that in the adult retina, reflecting an initial overproduction of melanopsin-expressing cells during development. Even at P0, the ipRGCs form functional connections with the suprachiasmatic nucleus, as assessed by light-induced Fos expression.
The findings suggest that the non-image-forming pathway is functional long before the mainstream image-forming pathway during development.
Black ethnic groups have a higher breast cancer mortality than Whites. American studies have identified variations in tumour biology and unequal health-care access as causative factors. We compared tumour pathology, treatment and outcomes in three ethnic groups in young breast cancer patients treated in the United Kingdom.
Women aged ⩽40 years at breast cancer diagnosis were recruited to the POSH national cohort study (MREC: 00/06/69). Personal characteristics, tumour pathology and treatment data were collected at diagnosis. Follow-up data were collected annually. Overall survival (OS) and distant relapse-free survival (DRFS) were assessed using Kaplan–Meier curves, and multivariate analyses were performed using Cox regression.
Ethnicity data were available for 2915 patients including 2690 (91.0%) Whites, 118 (4.0%) Blacks and 87 (2.9%) Asians. Median tumour diameter at presentation was greater in Blacks than Whites (26.0 mm vs 22.0 mm, P=0.0103), and multifocal tumours were more frequent in both Blacks (43.4%) and Asians (37.0%) than Whites (28.9%). ER/PR/HER2-negative tumours were significantly more frequent in Blacks (26.1%) than Whites (18.6%, P=0.043). Use of chemotherapy was similarly high in all ethnic groups (89% B vs 88.6% W vs 89.7% A). A 5-year DRFS was significantly lower in Blacks than Asians (62.8% B vs 77.0% A, P=0.0473) or Whites (62.8 B% vs 77.0% W, P=0.0053) and a 5-year OS for Black patients, 71.1% (95% CI: 61.0–79.1%), was significantly lower than that of Whites (82.4%, 95% CI: 80.8–83.9%, W vs B: P=0.0160). In multivariate analysis, Black ethnicity had an effect on DRFS in oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive patients that is independent of body mass index, tumour size, grade or nodal status, HR: 1.60 (95% CI: 1.03–2.47, P=0.035).
Despite equal access to health care, young Black women in the United Kingdom have a significantly poorer outcome than White patients. Black ethnicity is an independent risk factor for reduced DRFS particularly in ER-positive patients.
breast cancer; prognosis; ethnicity
Response of invasive breast cancer to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) is variable, and prediction of response is imperfect. We aimed to ascertain whether tissue stiffness in breast cancers, as assessed by shear-wave elastography (SWE) before treatment, is associated with response.
We retrospectively compared pre-treatment tumour mean tissue stiffness, with post-treatment Residual Cancer Burden (RCB) scores and its components in 40 women with breast cancer treated by NAC using Pearson's correlation coefficient (CC), a general linear model and multiple linear regression. Subgroup analysis was carried out for luminal, HER2-positive and basal immuno-histochemical subtypes.
Statistically significant correlations were shown between stiffness and RCB scores and between stiffness and percentage tumour cellularity. The correlation between stiffness and percentage cellularity was strongest (CC 0.35 (P<0.0001) compared with CC 0.23 (P=0.004) for the RCB score). The results of a general linear model show that cellularity and RCB score maintain independent relationships with stiffness. By multiple linear regression, only cellularity maintained a significant relationship with stiffness.
Pre-treatment tumour stiffness measured by SWE, has a statistically significant relationship with pathological response of invasive breast cancer to NAC.
shear-wave ultrasound; response; breast cancer; neoadjuvant chemotherapy
Sedentary behavior and impaired cardiovascular reserve capacity are common late effects of cancer therapy emphasizing the need for effective strategies to increase physical activity (PA) in cancer survivors. We examined the efficacy of a 12-month exercise-based rehabilitation program on self-reported PA, cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2peak), strength, and patient-reported outcomes.
Patients and methods
Two hundred fourteen post-treatment cancer survivors were randomly assigned to a 12-month rehabilitation program consisting of individual (x3) and group-based (x6) counseling in combination with once weekly high-intensity group-based exercise training (the Copenhagen Physical Activity after Cancer Treatment, PACT; n = 108) or to a health evaluation program (HE, n = 106). Study outcomes were assessed at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months.
After 12 months, the percentage of patients reporting meeting PA goal behavior (≥3 h/week) was significantly increased in the PACT group versus the HE group (70.4% versus 43.4%, P = 0.001). Repeated measures analyses indicated a statistically significant improvement in VO2peak (l min−1) in favour of PACT (treatment effect ratio = 1.04; 95% confidence interval 1.00–1.07; P = 0.032). Significant between group differences were also observed for strength (P < 0.001), depression (P = 0.020) and mental health (P = 0.040).
A 12-month exercise-based rehabilitation program is an effective strategy to promote PA and improve VO2peak in cancer survivors.
cancer survivors; cardiorespiratory fitness; exercise; physical activity behavior; rct; rehabilitation
A 61-year-old man presented with jaundice, and subsequently underwent an extended left hepatectomy and pancreaticoduodenectomy for a cholangiocarcinoma invading the head of the pancreas. The patient developed sepsis due to a biliary leak at the hepaticojejunostomy. We describe the original use of a biodegradable stent, deployed via percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography into the Roux limb, resulting in good drainage and resolution of sepsis. The chief benefit of this procedure is the lack of need for subsequent removal as well as purported reduced biofilm accumulation. We believe this to be the first reported case of this type and the literature surrounding the subject is also discussed.
Biodegradable stent; Pancreaticoduodenectomy; Pancreatic leak
Phenotypic sex in salmonids is determined primarily by a genetic male heterogametic system; yet, sex reversal can be accomplished via hormonal treatment. In Tasmanian Atlantic salmon aquaculture, to overcome problems associated with early sexual maturation in males, sex-reversed females are crossed with normal females to produce all female stock. However, phenotypic distinction of sex-reversed females (neo-males) from true males is problematic. We set out to identify genetic markers that could make this distinction. Microsatellite markers from chromosome 2 (Ssa02), to which the sex-determining locus (SEX) has been mapped in two Scottish Atlantic salmon families, did not predict sex in a pilot study of seven families. A TaqMan 64 SNP genome-wide scan suggested SEX was on Ssa06 in these families, and this was confirmed by microsatellite markers. A survey of 58 families in total representing 38 male lineages in the SALTAS breeding program found that 34 of the families had SEX on Ssa02, in 22 of the families SEX was on Ssa06, and two of the families had a third SEX locus, on Ssa03. A PCR test using primers designed from the recently published sdY gene is consistent with Tasmanian Atlantic salmon having a single sex-determining gene that may be located on at least three linkage groups.
Atlantic salmon; sex loci; genetic mapping; sdY; jumping gene
Inflammation of human bronchial epithelia (HBE) activates the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress transducer inositolrequiring enzyme 1 (IRE1)α, resulting in IRE1α-mediated cytokine production. Previous studies demonstrated ubiquitous expression of IRE1α and gut-restricted expression of IRE1β.We found that IRE1β is also expressed in HBE, is absent in human alveolar cells, and is upregulated in cystic fibrosis and asthmatic HBE. Studies with Ire1β−/− mice and Calu-3 airway epithelia exhibiting IRE1β knockdown or overexpression revealed that IRE1β is expressed in airway mucous cells, is functionally required for airway mucin production, and this function is specific for IRE1β vs. IRE1α. IRE1β-dependent mucin production is mediated, at least in part, by activation of the transcription factor X-box binding protein-1 (XBP-1) and the resulting XBP-1-dependent transcription of anterior gradient homolog 2, a gene implicated in airway and intestinal epithelial mucin production. These novel findings suggest that IRE1β is a potential mucous cell-specific therapeutic target for airway diseases characterized by mucin overproduction.
GSK2336805 is a hepatitis C virus NS5A inhibitor in clinical development for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection. This was a single-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, two-period crossover study in healthy adults to evaluate the effects of a single 150-mg dose of GSK2336805 on echocardiographic measures of contractility. GSK2336805 had no effect on ejection fraction, and there was no significant correlation between GSK2336805 plasma concentration and ejection fraction. (This study has been registered at Clinicaltrials.gov under registration no. NCT01424540.)
GSK2336805 is an orally bioavailable hepatitis C virus (HCV) inhibitor working through an NS5A-mediated mechanism. This first-time-in-human study was conducted to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, metabolism, and efficacy of GSK2336805 in healthy subjects and subjects infected with HCV genotype 1. We performed a three-part, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in 46 healthy subjects and 23 HCV-infected subjects. After an overnight fast, healthy subjects received GSK2336805 as 10 mg, 30 mg, 30 mg plus food, and 60 mg in a single dose and 10 mg (7 days), 30 mg (7 days), and 75 mg (14 days) in a once-daily multiple dose. Subjects with HCV received GSK2336805 as a 1- to 120-mg single dose. In subjects with HCV, reductions in HCV RNA were observed within 4 h and a single dose of GSK2336805 of ≥10 mg resulted in a statistically significant ≥2-log reduction in HCV RNA compared with placebo at 24 h postdose. GSK2336805 was readily absorbed in all subjects, and the half-life (t1/2) was suitable for once-daily dosing. Administration of GSK2336805 with food had no effect on plasma GSK2336805 exposure; however, absorption was delayed, with a median tmax (time to maximum concentration of drug in serum) of 4.5 versus 2.0 h. Twenty subjects who received GSK2336805 experienced mild to moderate adverse events; none were serious. GSK2336805 was well tolerated and exhibited rapid, significant antiviral activity after a single dose in HCV-infected subjects. These results support the conduct of further studies evaluating GSK2336805 administered once daily for longer durations in combination with peginterferon, ribavirin, and other direct-acting antivirals. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT01277692.)