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author:("koblenz, A.")
1.  Using Community Health Workers to Improve Clinical Outcomes Among People Living with HIV: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
AIDS and behavior  2013;17(9):2927-2934.
AIDS-related mortality remains a leading cause of preventable death among African-Americans. We sought to determine if community health workers could improve clinical outcomes among vulnerable African-Americans living with HIV in Miami, Florida. We recruited 91 medically indigent persons with HIV viral loads ≥1,000 and/or a CD4 cell count ≤350. Patients were randomized to a community health worker (CHW) intervention or control group. Viral load and CD4 cell count data were abstracted from electronic medical records. At 12 months, the mean VL in the intervention group was log 0.9 copies/μL lower than the control group. The CD4 counts were not significantly different among the groups. Compared to the control group, patients randomized to CHWs experienced statistically significant improvements in HIV viral load. Larger multi-site studies of longer duration are needed to determine whether CHWs should be incorporated into standard treatment models for vulnerable populations living with HIV.
doi:10.1007/s10461-013-0440-1
PMCID: PMC4184095  PMID: 23515640
Community health workers; HIV viral load; African-Americans; HIV disparities
2.  Rationale and design of the research project of the South Florida Center for the Reduction of Cancer Health Disparities (SUCCESS): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2014;15(1):299.
Background
In the United States certain minority groups, such as racial/ethnic immigrant women, are less likely than non-Hispanic White women to be screened for cervical cancer. Barriers to such care include health insurance, cost, knowledge, attitudes, health literacy, and cultural norms and practices. Among the most promising approaches to increase screening in these groups are patient navigators that can link women to sources of appropriate care. Another recent promising approach is using human papilloma virus (HPV) self-sampling. In this manuscript, we describe our National Cancer Institute-sponsored study testing such approaches among immigrant minority women.
Design
The South Florida Center for the Reduction of Cancer Health Disparities (SUCCESS) is conducting a three-arm randomized trial among Hispanic, Haitian, and African American women in Miami-Dade County. Community health workers (CHW) based in each of three communities are recruiting 200 women at each site (600 total). Eligibility criteria include women aged 30–65 years who have not had a Pap smear test in the last 3 years. Prior to randomization, all women undergo a standardized structured interview. Women randomized to public health outreach, Group 1, receive culturally tailored educational materials. Women in Group 2 receive an individualized comprehensive cervical cancer CHW-led education session followed by patient navigation to obtain the Pap smear test at community-based facilities. Women in Group 3 have the option of navigation to a Pap smear test or performing HPV self-sampling. The primary outcome is self-report of completed screening through a Pap smear test or HPV self-sampling within 6 months after enrollment.
Discussion
SUCCESS is one of the first trials testing HPV self-sampling as a screening strategy among underserved minority women. If successful, HPV self-sampling may be an important option in community outreach programs aimed at reducing disparities in cervical cancer.
Trial registration
Clinical Trials.gov # NCT02121548, registered April 21, 2014.
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-299
PMCID: PMC4127186  PMID: 25056208
Cervical cancer; Community-based participatory research; Haitian; Health disparities; Hispanic; Human papilloma virus; Immigrant; Minority; Screening
3.  Applying Spatial Analysis Tools in Public Health: An Example Using SaTScan to Detect Geographic Targets for Colorectal Cancer Screening Interventions 
Epidemiologists are gradually incorporating spatial analysis into health-related research as geocoded cases of disease become widely available and health-focused geospatial computer applications are developed. One health-focused application of spatial analysis is cluster detection. Using cluster detection to identify geographic areas with high-risk populations and then screening those populations for disease can improve cancer control. SaTScan is a free cluster-detection software application used by epidemiologists around the world to describe spatial clusters of infectious and chronic disease, as well as disease vectors and risk factors. The objectives of this article are to describe how spatial analysis can be used in cancer control to detect geographic areas in need of colorectal cancer screening intervention, identify issues commonly encountered by SaTScan users, detail how to select the appropriate methods for using SaTScan, and explain how method selection can affect results. As an example, we used various methods to detect areas in Florida where the population is at high risk for late-stage diagnosis of colorectal cancer. We found that much of our analysis was underpowered and that no single method detected all clusters of statistical or public health significance. However, all methods detected 1 area as high risk; this area is potentially a priority area for a screening intervention. Cluster detection can be incorporated into routine public health operations, but the challenge is to identify areas in which the burden of disease can be alleviated through public health intervention. Reliance on SaTScan’s default settings does not always produce pertinent results.
doi:10.5888/pcd11.130264
PMCID: PMC3965324  PMID: 24650619
4.  HPV in HIV-Infected Women: Implications for Primary Prevention 
Frontiers in Oncology  2014;4:179.
Background: There is growing evidence that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women might have a different human papillomavirus (HPV) type distribution in cervical dysplasia specimens as compared to the general population. This has implications for primary prevention.
Objective: We aimed to obtain preliminary data on the HPV genotypes prevalent in histological samples of HIV-infected women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 3/CIS of the cervix in Miami, FL, USA.
Methods: Retrospective data were collected on HIV-infected women referred to the University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Hospital colposcopy clinic between years 2000 and 2008. The histology slides of CIN 3/CIS biopsies underwent pathological review and sections were cut from these archived specimens for HPV DNA extraction. HPV genotyping was then performed using the GeneSquare™ HPV genotyping assay. We report on our first set of 23 samples.
Results: Eight high-risk HPV types were detected. Types in decreasing order of frequency were 16, 35, 45, 52, 59, 31, 58, and 56. Most cases had multiple infections. HPV type 16 was the most common (45%) followed by HPV-35 and -45 with equal frequency (40%). No samples contained HPV-18.
Conclusion: Our preliminary results suggest that cervical dysplasia specimens of HIV-infected women more likely (55%) contain non-16 and -18 high-risk HPV types. We show that this held true for histologically confirmed severe dysplasia and carcinoma-in situ. Epidemiological studies guide vaccine development, therefore HPV type prevalence in CIS and invasive cervical cancer among HIV-infected women should be more rigorously explored to ensure that this highly vulnerable population receives appropriate primary prevention.
doi:10.3389/fonc.2014.00179
PMCID: PMC4130182  PMID: 25161956
HPV; HIV; CIN; cervical cancer
5.  Knowledge of HPV Among United States Hispanic Women: Opportunities and Challenges for Cancer Prevention 
Journal of health communication  2010;15(0 3):10.1080/10810730.2010.522695.
In the United States, Hispanic women contribute disproportionately to cervical cancer incidence and mortality. This disparity, which primarily reflects lack of access to, and underutilization of, routine Pap smear screening may improve with increased availability of vaccines to prevent Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection, the principal cause of cervical cancer. However, limited research has explored known determinants of HPV vaccine acceptability among Hispanic women. The current study examines two such determinants, HPV awareness and knowledge, using data from the 2007 Health Interview National Trends Survey (HINTS) and a cross-section of callers to the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Cancer Information Service (CIS). Study data indicate that HPV awareness was high in both samples (69.5% and 63.8% had heard of the virus) but that knowledge of the virus and its association with cervical cancer varied between the two groups of women. The CIS sample, which was more impoverished and less acculturated than their HINTS counterparts, were less able to correctly identify that HPV causes cervical cancer (67.1% vs. 78.7%) and that it is a prevalent sexually transmitted infection (STI; 66.8% vs. 70.4%). Such findings imply that future research may benefit from disaggregating data collected with Hispanics to reflect important heterogeneity in this population subgroup’s ancestries, levels of income, educational attainment, and acculturation. Failing to do so may preclude opportunity to understand, as well as to attenuate, cancer disparity.
doi:10.1080/10810730.2010.522695
PMCID: PMC3858859  PMID: 21154081
6.  HPV Knowledge and Vaccine Acceptability Among Hispanic Fathers 
The purpose of this study was to examine human papillomavirus (HPV) knowledge and vaccine acceptability in a convenience sample of immigrant Hispanic men, many of whom are parents of adolescents. Data on 189 male callers were collected from the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service Spanish-language call center. Most participants were willing to vaccinate their adolescent son (87.5 %) or daughter (78.8 %) against HPV. However, among this sample, awareness of HPV was low and knowledge of key risk factors varied. These findings can help guide the development of culturally informed educational efforts aimed at increasing informed decision-making about HPV vaccination among Hispanic fathers.
doi:10.1007/s10935-013-0297-0
PMCID: PMC3801294  PMID: 23377881
Human papillomavirus (HPV); HPV vaccine acceptability; Hispanic men; HPV knowledge
7.  Burden of Human Papillomavirus among Haitian Immigrants in Miami, Florida: Community-Based Participatory Research in Action 
Journal of Oncology  2012;2012:728397.
Background. Haitian immigrant women residing in Little Haiti, a large ethnic enclave in Miami-Dade County, experience the highest cervical cancer incidence rates in South Florida. While this disparity primarily reflects lack of access to screening with cervical cytology, the burden of human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes virtually all cases of cervical cancer worldwide, varies by population and may contribute to excess rate of disease. Our study examined the prevalence of oncogenic and nononcogenic HPV types and risk factors for HPV infection in Little Haiti. Methods. As part of an ongoing community-based participatory research initiative, community health workers recruited study participants between 2007 and 2008, instructed women on self-collecting cervicovaginal specimens, and collected sociodemographic and healthcare access data. Results. Of the 242 women who contributed adequate specimens, the overall prevalence of HPV was 20.7%, with oncogenic HPV infections (13.2% of women) outnumbering nononcogenic infections (7.4%). Age-specific prevalence of oncogenic HPV was highest in women 18–30 years (38.9%) although the prevalence of oncogenic HPV does not appear to be elevated relative to the general U.S. population. The high prevalence of oncogenic types in women over 60 years may indicate a substantial number of persistent infections at high risk of progression to precancer.
doi:10.1155/2012/728397
PMCID: PMC3349262  PMID: 22619675
8.  Cervical Cancer Prevention: New Tools and Old Barriers 
Cancer  2010;116(11):2531-2542.
Cervical cancer is the second most common female tumor worldwide and its incidence is disproportionately high (>80%) in the developing world. In the U.S., where Pap tests have reduced the annual incidence to approximately 11,000 cervical cancers, more than 60% of cases occur in medically-underserved populations as part of a complex of diseases linked to poverty, race/ethnicity, and/or health disparities. Because carcinogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) infections cause virtually all cervical cancer, two new approaches for cervical cancer prevention have emerged: 1) HPV vaccination to prevent infections in younger women (≤18 years old) and 2) carcinogenic HPV detection in older women (≥30 years old). Together, HPV vaccination and testing, if used in an age-appropriate manner, have the potential to transform cervical cancer prevention particularly among underserved populations. Yet significant barriers of access, acceptability, and adoption to any cervical cancer prevention strategy remain. Without understanding and addressing these obstacles, these promising new tools for cervical cancer prevention may be futile. We share our experiences in the delivery of cervical cancer prevention strategies to U.S. populations experiencing high cervical cancer burden: African-American women in South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi; Haitian immigrant women in Miami; Hispanic women in the U.S.-Mexico Border; Sioux/Native American women in the Northern Plains; white women in the Appalachia; and Vietnamese-American women in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our goal is to inform future research and outreach efforts to reduce the burden of cervical cancer in underserved populations.
doi:10.1002/cncr.25065
PMCID: PMC2876205  PMID: 20310056
9.  Analysis of partner of inscuteable (mPins) expression in the developing mouse eye 
Molecular Vision  2008;14:2575-2596.
Purpose
Asymmetric cell division (ACD) is the fundamental mechanism underlying the generation of cellular diversity in invertebrates and vertebrates. During Drosophila neuroblast division, this process involves stabilization of the apical complex and interaction between the Inscuteable (Insc) and Partner of inscuteable (Pins) proteins. Both cell-intrinsic factors and cell–cell interactions seem to contribute to cell fate decisions in the retina. The Pins protein is known to play a major role in the asymmetric segregation of cell fate determinants during development of the central nervous system in general, but its role in asymmetric cell divisions and retinoblast cell fate has never been explored. The primary aim of this study was to determine the spatial distribution and time course of mouse homolog of Drosophila Partner of Inscuteable (mPins) expression in the developing and adult mouse eye.
Methods
The expression pattern of mPins was studied in the mouse eye from embryonic (E) stage E11.5 until adulthood, by semiquantitative RT–PCR, in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemistry. In addition, variations in mRNA and protein levels for mPins were analyzed in the developing postnatal and adult lens, by semiquantitative RT–PCR, western blot analysis, in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemistry.
Results
We detected mPins mRNA at early stages of mouse embryonic eye development, particularly in the neuroblastic layer. In early postnatal development, mPins mRNA was still detected in the neuroblastic layer, but also began to be detectable in the ganglion cell layer. Thereafter, mPins mRNA was found throughout the retina. This pattern was maintained in differentiated adult retina. Immunohistochemical studies showed that mPins protein was present in the neuroblastic layer and the ganglion cell layer during the early stages of postnatal retinal development. At these stages, mPins protein was colocalized with Numb protein, a marker of the ACD. At later postnatal stages, mPins protein was present in all retinal nuclear layers and in the inner plexiform layer. It continued to be detected in these layers in the differentiated retina; the outer plexiform layer and the photoreceptor inner segments also began to display positive immunostaining for mPins. In the adult retina, mPins was also detected in the retinal pigment epithelium and choroidal melanocytes. Throughout development, mPins protein was detected in nonretinal tissues, including the cornea, ciliary body, and lens. We focused our attention on lens development and showed that mPins protein was first detected at E14.5. The most striking results obtained concerned the lens, in which mPins protein distribution switched from the anterior to the posterior region of the lens during embryonic development. Interestingly, in the postnatal and adult lens, mPins protein was detected in all lens cells and fibers.
Conclusions
We provide the first demonstration that mPins protein is expressed from embryonic stages until adulthood in the mouse eye. These results suggest that mPins plays important roles in eye development. This work provides preliminary evidence strongly supporting a role for mPins in the asymmetric division of retinoblasts, and in the structure and functions of adult mouse retina. However, the link between the presence of mPins in different ocular compartments and the possible occurrence of asymmetric cell divisions in these compartments remains to be clarified. Further studies are required to elucidate the in vitro and in vivo functions of mPins in the developing and adult human eye.
PMCID: PMC2613078  PMID: 19122831
10.  Metastasis of choroidal melanoma to the contralateral choroid, orbit, and eyelid. 
A 52-year-old woman was found to have a small juxtapapillary pigmented lesion in the choroid of the left eye. This lesion remained clinically stationary for one year, but subsequent growth prompted enucleation of the eye. The tumour was diagnosed histologically as a choroidal malignant melanoma of mixed cell type. Approximately 52 months later the patient developed proptosis of the contralateral (right) eye. Orbital ultrasonography showed a large mass in the right orbit, which was confirmed by needle biopsy to be a melanoma. In addition the patient was found to have metastatic melanoma to the choroid, right lower eyelid area, and liver. The development of simultaneous orbital, choroidal, and eyelid metastases from a contralateral choroidal melanoma is of ophthalmic interest and appears to be unique.
Images
PMCID: PMC1041482  PMID: 3390423
11.  The proteins of the messenger RNA binding site of Escherichia coli ribosomes. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1981;9(14):3465-3481.
Oligo(U) derivatives with [14C]-4-(N-2-chloroethyl-N-methylamino)benzaldehyde attached to 3'-end cis-diol group via acetal bond, p(Up)n-1UCHRCl as well as with [14C]-4-(N-2-chloroethyl-N-methylamino)benzylamine attached to 5'-phosphate via amide bond, ClRCH2NHpU(pU)6 were used to modify 70S E. coli ribosomes near mRNA binding centre. Within ternary complex with ribosome and tRNAPhe all reagents covalently bind to ribosome the extent of modification being 0.1-0.4 mole/mole 70S. p(Up)n-1UCHRCl alkylates either 30S (n=5,7) or both subunits (n=6,8). rRNA is preferentially modified within 30S subunit. ClRCH2NHpU(pU)6 alkylates both subunits the proteins being mainly modified. The distribution of the label among proteins differ for various reagents. S4, S5, S7, S9, S11, S13, S15, S18 and S21 are found to be alkylated within 30S subunit, proteins L1, L2, L6, L7/L12, L19, L31 and L32 are modified in the 50S subunit. Most proteins modified within 30S subunit are located at the "head" of this subunit and proteins modified within 50S subunit are located at the surface of the contact between this subunit and the "head" of 30S subunit at the model of Stoffler.
PMCID: PMC327364  PMID: 7024914

Results 1-11 (11)