Genetic engineering of T cells for adoptive immunotherapy in cancer patients has shown significant promise. To ensure optimal antitumor activity and safety, the simultaneous expression of multiple genes is frequently required, and short viral-derived 2A sequences are increasingly preferred for this purpose. Concerns exist, however, that these virus-derived sequences may induce unwanted immune responses, and thus diminish persistence of the gene-modified cells after adoptive transfer. Whereas such responses were absent in immunocompromised recipients, potential immunogenicity in immunocompetent individuals remains a concern. We now address whether ex vivo T cell responses can be elicited against the most widely used 2A sequences (2A-Thosea asigna virus (TAV) or 2A-equine rhinitis virus (ERAV), specifically) in immunocompetent individuals. We used a potent ex vivo culture system previously validated to induce T cell responses even against weakly immunogenic antigens. Of the sixteen donors tested, only five released very low levels of interferon-γ in response to 2A-TAV peptide mixtures (single peptide specificity in three donors, adjacent self-antigen peptide specificity in one donor and nonspecific reactivity in one donor). None of them produced cytotoxic activity or responded to 2A-ERAV. These results suggest that exposure to viral-derived 2A sequences is unlikely to produce unwanted T cell responses in immunocompetent individuals and further supports their continued use for studies of human gene therapy.
2A sequences; polycistronic vectors; T cell gene transfer; immunogenicity
Genetic mediated physiological processes that rely on both pharmacological and nutritional principles hold great promise for the successful therapeutic targeting of reduced carbohydrate craving, body-friendly fat loss, healthy body recomposition, and overall wellness. By integrating an assembly of scientific knowledge on inheritable characteristics and environmental mediators of gene expression, we review the relationship of genes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and nutrients as they correct unwanted weight gain coupled with unhappiness. In contrast to a simple one-locus, one-mechanism focus on pharmaceuticals alone, we hypothesize that the use of nutrigenomic treatment targeting multi-physiological neurological, immunological, and metabolic pathways will enable clinicians to intercede in the process of lipogenesis by promoting lipolysis while attenuating aberrant glucose cravings. In turn, this approach will enhance wellness in a safe and predictable manner through the use of a Genetic Positioning System (GPS) Map. The GPS Map, while presently incomplete, ultimately will serve not only as a blueprint for personalized medicine in the treatment of obesity, but also for the development of strategies for reducing many harmful addictive behaviors and promoting optimal health by using substances compatible with the body’s immune system.
Chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide, however, the pathogenic factors and mechanisms are not fully understood. Pulmonary emphysema is one of the major components of COPD and is thought to result from oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, protease–antiprotease imbalance and lung epithelial (LE) cell apoptosis. In our previous studies, COPD patients were noted to have higher levels of placenta growth factor (PlGF) in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid than controls. In addition, transgenic mice overexpressing PlGF developed pulmonary emphysema and exposure to PlGF in LE cells induced apoptosis. Furthermore, intratracheal instillation of porcine pancreatic elastase (PPE) on to PlGF wild type mice induced emphysema, but not in PlGF knockout mice. Therefore, we hypothesized that PPE generates pulmonary emphysema through the upregulation of PlGF expression in LE cells. The elevation of PlGF then leads to LE cell apoptosis. In the present study, we investigated whether PPE induces PlGF expression, whether PlGF induces apoptosis and whether the downstream mechanisms of PlGF are related to LE cell apoptosis. We found that PPE increased PlGF secretion and expression both in vivo and in vitro. Moreover, PlGF-induced LE cell apoptosis and PPE-induced emphysema in the mice were mediated by c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) pathways. Given these findings, we suggest that the increase in PlGF and PlGF-induced JNK and p38 MAPK pathways contribute to PPE-induced LE cell apoptosis and emphysema. Regulatory control of PlGF and agents against its downstream signals may be potential therapeutic targets for COPD.
placenta growth factor; chronic pulmonary obstructive disease; emphysema; apoptosis
Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) limit vasodilation in response to a variety of signaling cascades by metabolizing the cyclic nucleotides cAMP and cGMP. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that NO regulates expression of PDE3A, a cGMP-inhibited PDE. Incubation of rat pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (rPaSMCs) with the NO-donor compound S-nitroso-glutathione (GSNO) increased PDE3A gene expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner. NO-donors increased PDE3A protein levels. Total and milrinone inhibitable cAMP PDE activity were increased 2.8±0.1- and 2.0±0.1-fold respectively in extracts of rPaSMCs exposed to GSNO. The effects of GSNO on PDE3A gene expression were mimicked by the soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) activators YC-1 and BAY 41-2272 and blocked by the sGC inhibitor ODQ. Incubation of rPaSMC with interleukin-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α induced PDE3A gene expression, an effect which was inhibited by L-NIL, an antagonist of NO synthase 2, or ODQ. Actinomycin D, an inhibitor of RNA polymerase, blocked the GSNO-induced increase of PDE3A mRNA levels, whereas cycloheximide, an inhibitor of protein translation, did not. These observations suggest that NO modulates PDE3A gene expression via mechanisms dependent upon cGMP synthesis and gene transcription. Prolonged exposure to NO may alter the sensitivity of vascular smooth muscle to cGMP- or cAMP-dependent vasodilators, as well as PDE isoform-selective inhibitors.
nitric oxide; cyclic guanosine monophosphate; GSNO; phosphodiesterase 3A; soluble guanylate cyclase; vasodilation
Despite the favorable outcome of most pediatric patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), there is rising concern about risks of carcinogenesis from both diagnostic and therapeutic radiation exposure for patients treated on study protocols. Although previous studies have investigated radiation exposure during treatment, radiation from post-treatment surveillance imaging may also increase the likelihood of secondary malignancies. All diagnostic imaging examinations involving ionizing radiation exposure performed for surveillance following completion of therapy were recorded for 99 consecutive pediatric patients diagnosed with HL from 2000 to 2010. Cumulative radiation dosage from these examinations and the frequency of relapse detection by these examinations were recorded. In the first 2 years following completion of therapy, patients in remission received a median of 11 examinations (range 0–26). Only 13 of 99 patients relapsed, 11 within 5 months of treatment completion. No relapse was detected by 1- or 2-view chest radiographs (n = 38 and 296, respectively), abdomen/pelvis computed tomography (CT) scans (n = 211), or positron emission tomography (PET) scans alone (n = 11). However, 10/391 (2.6%) of chest CT scans, 4/364 (1.1%) of neck CT scans, and 3/47 (6.4%) of PET/CT scans detected relapsed disease. Thus, only 17 scans (1.3%) detected relapse in a total of 1358 scans. Mean radiation dosages were 31.97 mSv for Stage 1, 37.76 mSv for Stage 2, 48.08 mSv for Stage 3, and 51.35 mSv for Stage 4 HL. Approximately 1% of surveillance imaging examinations identified relapsed disease. Given the very low rate of relapse detection by surveillance imaging stipulated by current protocols for pediatric HL patients, the financial burden of the tests themselves, the high cure rate, and risks of second malignancy from ionizing radiation exposure, modification of the surveillance strategy is recommended.
Hodgkin disease; late effects; radiology
From medical imaging perspective the robustness of a phase retrieval method is of critical importance. In this presentation we compare the robustness of two general phase retrieval methods, namely the transport of intensity equation inversion (TIE-inversion) method and the attenuation partition based (AP-based) method. We showed that the TIE-inversion method, regardless if being assisted with the Tikhonov regularization, failed to retrieve the phase maps in two experimental studies. The failure exposes this method’s weakness as being unstable against the noise. In contrast, the sample phase maps are retrieved successfully by using the AP-based method. The stark performance differences of the two methods are rooted in their different techniques dealing with the singularity problem. This comparison shows that the robust AP-based phase retrieval method will be superior to the TIE-inversion method for medical imaging applications where radiation doses are stringently limited.
Medical-image reconstruction methods and algorithms; computer-aided so; X-ray radiography and digital radiography (DR)
We present a new multifocal multiphoton microscope that employs a programmable spatial light modulator to generate dynamic multifocus arrays which can be rapidly scanned by changing the incident angle of the laser beam using a pair of galvo scanners. Using this microscope, we can rapidly select the number and the spatial density of focal points in a multifocus array, as well as the locations and shapes of arrays according to the features of the areas of interest in the field of view without any change to the hardware.
Osteoporosis is a heritable disease characterized mainly by low bone mineral density (BMD) and/or osteoporotic fractures (OF). Most genome-wide association studies on osteoporosis have focused on BMD, whereas little effort has been expended to identify genetic variants directly linked to OF. To determine whether BMD-loci are also associated with OF risk, we performed a validation study to examine 23 BMD-loci reported by recent genome-wide association studies for association with hip OF risk. Our sample consisted of 700 elderly Chinese Han subjects, 350 with hip OF and 350 healthy matched controls. We identified four BMD-loci that were significantly associated with hip OF in this Chinese population, including 7q21 (FLJ42280, P = 1.17 × 10−4 for rs4729260; P = 0.008 for rs7781370), 6p21 (MHC, P = 0.004 for rs3130340), 13q14 (TNFSF11, P = 0.012 for rs9533090; P = 0.018 for rs9594759; P = 0.020 for rs9594738; P = 0.044 for rs9594751), and 18q21 (TNFRSF11A, P = 0.015 for rs884205). The SNP rs4729260 at 7q21 remained significantly associated, even after conservative Bonferroni’s correction. Our results further highlight the importance of these loci in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis, and demonstrate that it is feasible and useful to use OF as the direct phenotype to conduct genetic studies, to enhance our understanding of the genetic architecture of osteoporosis.
Osteoporotic fractures; Genome-wide association studies; BMD; SNP
With existing techniques for mode-locking, the bandwidth of ultrashort pulses from a laser is determined primarily by the spectrum of the gain medium. Lasers with self-similar evolution of the pulse in the gain medium can tolerate strong spectral breathing, which is stabilized by nonlinear attraction to the parabolic self-similar pulse. Here we show that this property can be exploited in a fiber laser to eliminate the gain-bandwidth limitation to the pulse duration. Broad (∼200 nm) spectra are generated through passive nonlinear propagation in a normal-dispersion laser, and these can be dechirped to ∼20-fs duration.
(320.7090) Ultrafast lasers; (320.5540) Pulse shaping; (060.2320) Fiber optics amplifiers and oscillators
Central nervous system organization of masticatory muscles determines the magnitude of joint and muscle forces. Validated computer-assisted models of neuromuscular organization during biting were used to determine organization in individuals with and without temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Ninety-one individuals (47 women, 44 men) were assigned to one of four diagnostic groups based on the presence (+) or absence (-) of pain (P) and bilateral temporomandibular joint disc displacement (DD). Electromyography and bite-forces were measured during right and left incisor and molar biting. Two three-dimensional models employing neuromuscular objectives of minimization of joint loads (MJL) or muscle effort (MME) simulated biting tasks. Evaluations of diagnostic group and gender effects on choice of best-fit model were by analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey-Kramer post hoc tests, evaluations of right-left symmetry were by Chi-square and Fisher’s exact statistics, and evaluations of model accuracy were by within-subject linear regressions. MME was the best-fit during left molar biting in +DD individuals and incisor biting in men (all p < 0.03). Incisor biting symmetry in muscle organization was significantly higher (p < 0.03) in healthy individuals compared with those with TMD. Within-subject regressions showed that best-fit model errors were similar among groups: 8 to 15% (0.68 ≤ R2 ≤ 0.74). These computer-assisted models predicted muscle organization during static biting in humans with and without TMDs.
human; modeling; neuromuscular; biting; temporomandibular disorders; masticatory muscles
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a type of endogenous noncoding small RNAs involved in the regulation of multiple biological processes. Recently, miR-29 was found to participate in myogenesis. However, the underlying mechanisms by which miR-29 promotes myogenesis have not been identified. We found here that miR-29 was significantly upregulated with age in postnatal mouse skeletal muscle and during muscle differentiation. Overexpression of miR-29 inhibited mouse C2C12 myoblast proliferation and promoted myotube formation. miR-29 specifically targeted Akt3, a member of the serine/threonine protein kinase family responsive to growth factor cell signaling, to result in its post-transcriptional downregulation. Furthermore, knockdown of Akt3 by siRNA significantly inhibited the proliferation of C2C12 cells, and conversely, overexpression of Akt3 suppressed their differentiation. Collectively and given the inverse endogenous expression pattern of rising miR-29 levels and decreasing Akt3 protein levels with age in mouse skeletal muscle, we propose a novel mechanism in which miR-29 modulates growth and promotes differentiation of skeletal muscle through the post-transcriptional downregulation of Akt3.
miR-29; myoblast; proliferation; differentiation; Akt3
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are well-known as materials for nanoelectronics and show great potential to be used as the sensing element in chemical and biological sensors. Recently, CNTs have been shown to be effective nanofluidic channels and the transport of substances through small diameter CNTs is intrinsically fast, selective, and operates at the single molecule level. It has been shown that the transport characteristics of semiconducting single-walled CNT (SWCNT) field effect transistor (FET) are sensitive to internal water wetting. We report here that the characteristics of semiconducting SWCNT FETs are also sensitive to the concentration, pH and ion type of ionic solution when the electrolytes are inside the CNT. Such sensitivity is not observed at the outside surface of a semiconducting SWCNT. This opens a new avenue for building new types of CNT sensor devices in which the SWCNT concurrently functions as a nanochannel and an electronic detector.
nanofluidics; nanopore; nanochannel; carbon nanotube; CNT FET; chemical and biosensor
Non-classical light sources offer a myriad of possibilities in both fundamental science and commercial applications. Single photons are the most robust carriers of quantum information and can be exploited for linear optics quantum information processing. Scale-up requires miniaturisation of the waveguide circuit and multiple single photon sources. Silicon photonics, driven by the incentive of optical interconnects is a highly promising platform for the passive optical components, but integrated light sources are limited by silicon's indirect band-gap. III–V semiconductor quantum-dots, on the other hand, are proven quantum emitters. Here we demonstrate single-photon emission from quantum-dots coupled to photonic crystal nanocavities fabricated from III–V material grown directly on silicon substrates. The high quality of the III–V material and photonic structures is emphasized by observation of the strong-coupling regime. This work opens-up the advantages of silicon photonics to the integration and scale-up of solid-state quantum optical systems.
Oas1b was previously identified as the product of the Flvr allele that confers flavivirus-specific resistance to virus-induced disease in mice by an uncharacterized, RNase L-independent mechanism. To gain insights about the mechanism by which Oas1b specifically reduces the efficiency of flavivirus replication, cellular protein interaction partners were identified and their involvement in the Oas1b-mediated flavivirus resistance mechanism was analyzed. Initial difficulties in getting the two-hybrid assay to work with full-length Oas1b led to the discovery that this Oas protein uniquely has a C-terminal transmembrane domain that targets it to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Two peptides matching to oxysterol binding protein-related protein 1L (ORP1L) and ATP binding cassette protein 3, subfamily F (ABCF3), were identified as Oas1b interaction partners in yeast two-hybrid assays, and both in vitro-transcribed/translated peptides and full-length proteins in mammalian cell lysates coimmunoprecipitated with Oas1b. Knockdown of a partner involved in Oas1b-mediated antiflavivirus activity would be expected to increase flavivirus replication but not that of other types of viruses. However, RNA interference (RNAi) knockdown of ORP1L decreased the replication of the flavivirus West Nile virus (WNV) as well as that of other types of RNA viruses. This virus-nonspecific effect may be due to the recently reported dysregulation of late endosome movement by ORP1L knockdown. Knockdown of ABCF3 protein levels increased the replication of WNV but not that of other types of RNA viruses, and this effect on WNV replication was observed only in Oas1b-expressing cells. The results suggest that Oas1b is part of a complex located in the ER and that ABCF3 is a component of the Flvr-mediated resistance mechanism.
Cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A (CIP2A) drives cellular transformation. The objective of this study was to detect the potential effects of CIP2A in renal cell carcinomas (RCCs).
A total of 107 RCC patients were involved in the study. Cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A expression was investigated by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. In vitro, we examined the expression of CIP2A and c-Myc and tested the migration and invasion capability of A498 and KRC/Y cells with scratch migration assay and Matrigel invasion assay after down-regulating CIP2A expression using siRNA.
Cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A was over-expressed in RCC tissues. Clear cell RCC showed an even higher-CIP2A expression level than papillary or chromophobe RCC did. The CIP2A immunostaining level was positively correlated with primary tumour stage, lymph node metastasis, distant metastasis, TNM stage and histological grade (all P<0.05). High-CIP2A expression implied poor survival for patients (P<0.05). Cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A depletion by siRNA down-regulated c-Myc expression and attenuated the migration and invasion of RCC cells.
Higher-CIP2A expression positively correlates with the aggressive phenotype of RCCs, and predicts poor prognosis for patients. Cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A may be a novel target for prevention and treatment of RCC metastasis and recurrence.
CIP2A; RCC; metastasis; prognosis; survival
This study explored the association between long-term epilepsy surgery outcome and changes in depressive symptoms.
Adults were enrolled between 1996 and 2001 in a multicenter prospective study to evaluate outcomes of resective epilepsy surgery. The extent of depressive symptoms and depression case status (none, mild, or moderate/severe) were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) preoperatively and 3, 12, 24, 48, and 60 months postoperatively. A mixed-model repeated-measures analysis was performed, adjusting for covariates of seizure location, gender, age, race, education, and seizure control.
Of the total 373 subjects, 256 were evaluated at baseline and 5 years after surgery. At baseline, 164 (64.1%) were not depressed, 34 (13.3%) were mildly depressed, and 58 (22.7%) had moderate to severe depression. After 5 years, 198 (77.3%) were not depressed, 20 (7.8%) were mildly depressed, and 38 (14.8%) were moderately to severely depressed. Five years after surgery, the reduction in mean change from baseline in BDI score was greater in subjects with excellent seizure control than in the fair and poor seizure control groups (p = 0.0006 and p = 0.02 respectively). Those with good seizure control had a greater reduction in BDI score than the poor seizure control group (p = 0.02) and borderline significant reduction compared with the fair seizure control group (p = 0.055).
Although study participants had initial improvement in depressive symptoms, on average, after resective surgery, only patients with good or excellent seizure control had sustained long-term improvement in mood.
This study aims at investigating the efficiency of bimodal spectroscopy in detection of
hypertrophic scar tissue on a preclinical model. Fluorescence and Diffuse Reflectance spectra were
collected from 55 scars deliberately created on ears of 20 rabbits, amongst which some received
tacrolimus injection to provide non-hypertrophic scar tissue. The spectroscopic data measured on
hypertrophic and non-hypertrophic scar tissues were used for developing our classification
algorithm. Spectral features were extracted from corrected data and analyzed to classify the scar
tissues into hypertrophic or non-hypertrophic. The Algorithm was developed using k-NN classifier and
validated by comparing to histological classification result with Leave-One-Out cross validation.
Bimodal spectroscopy showed promising results in detecting hypertrophic tissue (sensibility
90.5%, specificity 94.4%). The features used for classification were extracted from
the autofluorescence spectra collected at 4 CEFS with excitations at 360,
410, and 420 nm. This indicates the hypertrophic process may involve
change in concentration of several fluorophores (collagen, elastin and NADH) excited in this range,
or modification in volume of explored tissue layers (epidermis and dermis) due to tissue
(120.6200) Spectrometers and spectroscopic instrumentation; (300.6550) Spectroscopy, visible; (070.4790) Spectrum analysis
Murine Uromodulin-like 1 (Umodl1) encodes Ca2+-dependent EGF-like membrane-bound proteins. This study presents its novel expression in the immune and female reproductive systems. Upon stimulation by CD3/CD28 antibodies, Umodl1 showed a prompt and robust response in the proliferating CD4+ T cells, suggesting its implication in immune defense against pathogens. In ovary, Umodl1 is regulated by gonadotropins. Mice carrying extra copies of functional Umodl1 were generated by BAC transgenesis. Defects in the female reproductive system became evident from 4 months of age, manifested by reduced or diminished fertility. Histology revealed that the ovaries contained very few discernible follicles in the cortical region, and were devoid of distinguishable corpus lutea (CL). Among the multilayered preantral follicles, elevated apoptosis was observed in both the oocytes and surrounding granulosa cells (GCs). Furthermore, a high level of PPARγ indicated an abnormal adipogenesis in the mutant ovaries, which resulted in the conversion of GCs into adipocytes. By 6 months of age, all mutant mice became anovulatory. Ovarian tissues including CL, follicles of various stages and associated stromal cells were degenerated. Altered expression of AMH, follicle-stimulating hormone and other ovary-specific marker genes such as Gdf-9, Rnf35, NOHLH and Gcx-1 further demonstrated that the molecular properties of the mutant ovaries have been severely disturbed. This work presents a novel animal model for investigating the pathogenesis of premature ovarian failure or early ovarian ageing.
uromodulin-like 1; BAC transgenesis; ovarian follicle; oocyte; premature ovarian failure; gain-of-function
The presence of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is associated with increased radiosensitivity in vitro. However, the results from clinical studies regarding the radiosensitivity in NSCLC with mutant EGFR are inconclusive. We retrospectively analyzed our NSCLC patients who had been regularly followed up by imaging studies after irradiation for brain metastases, and investigated the impact of EGFR mutations on radiotherapy (RT).
Forty-three patients with brain metastases treated with RT, together with EGFR mutation status, demographics, smoking history, performance status, recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) class, tumor characteristics, and treatment modalities, were included. Radiological images were taken at 1 to 3 months after RT, and 3 to 6 months thereafter. Radiographic response was evaluated by RECIST criteria version 1.1 according to the intracranial images before and after RT. Log-rank test and Cox regression model were used to correlate EGFR mutation status and other clinical features with intracranial radiological progression-free survival (RPFS) and overall survival (OS).
The median follow-up duration was 15 months. Patients with mutant EGFR had higher response rates to brain RT than those with wild-type EGFR (80% vs. 46%; p = 0.037). Logistic regression analysis showed that EGFR mutation status is the only predictor for treatment response (p = 0.032). The median intracranial RPFS was 18 months (95% CI = 8.33-27.68 months). In Cox regression analysis, mutant EGFR (p = 0.025) and lower RPA class (p = 0.026) were associated with longer intracranial RPFS. EGFR mutation status (p = 0.061) and performance status (p = 0.076) had a trend to predict OS.
Mutant EGFR in NSCLC patients is an independent prognostic factor for better treatment response and longer intracranial RPFS following RT for brain metastases.
Epidermal growth factor receptor; Non-small cell lung cancer; Brain metastases; Radiotherapy
Prostate specific promoters are frequently employed in gene mediated molecular imaging and therapeutic vectors to diagnose and treat castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) that emerges from hormone ablation therapy. Many of the conventional prostate specific promoters rely on the androgen axis to drive gene expression. However, considering the cancer heterogeneity and varying androgen receptor status, we herein evaluated the utility of prostate specific enhancing sequence (PSES), an androgen-independent promoter in CRPC. The PSES is a fused enhancer derived from the prostate specific antigen (PSA) and prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) gene regulatory region. We augmented the activity of PSES by the two-step transcriptional amplification (TSTA) system to drive the expression of imaging reporter genes for either bioluminescent or positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. The engineered PSES-TSTA system exhibits greatly elevated transcriptional activity, androgen-independency and strong prostate specificity, verified in cell culture and preclinical animal experimentations. These advantageous features of PSES-TSTA elicit superior gene expression capability for CRPC in comparison to the androgen-dependent PSA promoter driven system. In preclinical settings, we demonstrated robust PET imaging capacity of PSES-TSTA in a castrated prostate xenograft model. Moreover, intravenous administrated PSES-TSTA bioluminescent vector correctly identified tibial bone marrow metastases in 9 out of 9 animals while NaF- and FDG-PET was unable to detect the lesions. Taken together, this study demonstrated that the promising utility of a potent, androgen-independent and prostate cancer-specific expression system in directing gene-based molecular imaging in CRPC even in the context of androgen deprivation therapy.
androgen independent; castration resistant; molecular imaging; bone metastasis; two step transcriptional amplification
To introduce a version of the Lyman normal-tissue complication probability (NTCP) model adapted to incorporate censored time-to-toxicity data and clinical risk factors, and to apply the generalized model to analysis of radiation pneumonitis (RP) risk.
Methods and Materials
Medical records and radiation treatment plans were reviewed retrospectively for 576 patients with non-small cell lung cancer treated with radiotherapy. The time to severe (grade ≥ 3) RP was computed, with event times censored at last follow-up for patients not experiencing this endpoint. The censored time-to-toxicity data were analyzed using the standard and generalized Lyman models with patient smoking status taken into account.
The generalized Lyman model with patient smoking status taken into account produced NTCP estimates up to 27 percentage points different than from the model based on dose-volume factors alone. The generalized model also predicted that 8% of the expected cases of severe RP were unobserved because of censoring. The estimated volume parameter for lung was not significantly different from n = 1, corresponding to mean lung dose.
NTCP models historically have been based solely on dose-volume effects and binary (yes/no) toxicity data. Our results demonstrate that inclusion of non-dosimetric risk factors and censored time-to-event data can markedly affect the predictions of outcome made using NTCP models.
Lyman model; NTCP; lung cancer; radiation pneumonitis; smoking
With existing techniques for mode-locking, the bandwidth of ultrashort pulses from a laser is determined primarily by the spectrum of the gain medium. Lasers with self-similar evolution of the pulse in the gain medium can tolerate strong spectral breathing, which is stabilized by nonlinear attraction to the parabolic self-similar pulse. Here we show that this property can be exploited in a fiber laser to eliminate the gain-bandwidth limitation to the pulse duration. Broad (~200 nm) spectra are generated through passive nonlinear propagation in a normal-dispersion laser, and these can be dechirped to ~20-fs duration.
The dog leukocyte antigen (DLA) system contains many of the functional genes of the immune system, thereby making it a candidate region for involvement in immune-mediated disorders. A number of studies have identified associations between specific DLA class II haplotypes and canine immune hemolytic anemia, thyroiditis, immune polyarthritis, type I diabetes mellitus, hypoadrenocorticism, systemic lupus erythematosus-related disease complex, necrotizing meningoencephalitis (NME) and anal furunculosis. These studies have relied on sequencing approximately 300 bases of exon 2 of each of the DLA class II genes: DLA-DRB1, DLA-DQA1 and DLA-DQB1. An association (odds ratio = 4.29) was identified by this method between Weimaraner dogs with hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD) and DLA-DRB1*01501.
In the present study, a genotyping assay of 126 coding single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from across the entire DLA, spanning a region of 2.5 Mb (3,320,000–5,830,000) on CFA12, was developed and tested on Weimaraners with HOD, as well as two additional breeds with diseases associated with DLA class II: Nova Scotia duck tolling retrievers with hypoadrenocorticism and Pug dogs with NME. No significant associations were found between Weimaraners with HOD or Nova Scotia duck tolling retrievers with hypoadrenocorticism and SNPs spanning the DLA region. In contrast, significant associations were found with NME in Pug dogs, although the associated region extended beyond the class II genes. By including a larger number of genes from a larger genomic region a SNP genotyping assay was generated that provides coverage of the extended DLA region and may be useful in identifying and fine mapping DLA associations in dogs.
Canine; Inherited disorders; Major histocompatibility complex (MHC); Dog leukocyte antigen (DLA); Disease associations
Relationships among allergen-specific IgE levels, allergen exposure and asthma severity are poorly understood since sensitization has previously been evaluated as a dichotomous, rather than continuous characteristic.
Five hundred and forty-six inner-city adolescents enrolled in the Asthma Control Evaluation study underwent exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) measurement, lung function testing, and completion of a questionnaire. Allergen-specific IgE levels and blood eosinophils were quantified. Dust samples were collected from the participants’ bedrooms for quantification of allergen concentrations. Participants were followed for 12 months and clinical outcomes were tracked.
Among sensitized participants, allergen-specific IgE levels were correlated with the corresponding settled dust allergen levels for cockroach, dust mite, and mouse (r = 0.38, 0.34, 0.19, respectively; P < 0.0001 for cockroach and dust mite and P = 0.03 for mouse), but not cat (r = )0.02, P = 0.71). Higher cockroach-, mite-, mouse-, and cat-specific IgE levels were associated with higher FENO concentrations, poorer lung function, and higher blood eosinophils. Higher cat, dust mite, and mouse allergen-specific IgE levels were also associated with an increasing risk of exacerbations or hospitalization.
Allergen-specific IgE levels were correlated with allergen exposure among sensitized participants, except for cat. Allergen-specific IgE levels were also associated with more severe asthma across a range of clinical and biologic markers. Adjusting for exposure did not provide additional predictive value, suggesting that higher allergen-specific IgE levels may be indicative of both higher exposure and a greater degree of sensitization, which in turn may result in greater asthma severity.
allergen exposure; allergen-specific IgE; biomarker; childhood asthma; Inner-city Asthma Consortium
Dynamic PET image reconstruction is a challenging issue due to the low SNR and the large quantity of spatio-temporal data. We propose a robust state-space image reconstruction (SSIR) framework for activity reconstruction in dynamic PET. Unlike statistically-based frame-by-frame methods, tracer kinetic modeling is incorporated to provide physiological guidance for the reconstruction, harnessing the temporal information of the dynamic data. Dynamic reconstruction is formulated in a state-space representation, where a compartmental model describes the kinetic processes in a continuous-time system equation, and the imaging data is expressed in a discrete measurement equation. Tracer activity concentrations are treated as the state variables, and are estimated from the dynamic data. Sampled-data H∞ filtering is adopted for robust estimation. H∞ filtering makes no assumptions on the system and measurement statistics, and guarantees bounded estimation error for finite-energy disturbances, leading to robust performance for dynamic data with low SNR and/or errors. This alternative reconstruction approach could help to deal with unpredictable situations in imaging (e.g. data corruption from failed detector blocks) or inaccurate noise models. Experiments on synthetic phantom and patient PET data are performed to demonstrate feasibility of the SSIR framework, and to explore its potential advantages over frame-by-frame statistical reconstruction approaches.