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1.  Dysregulated bioenergetics: a key regulator of joint inflammation 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2016;75(12):2192-2200.
This study examines the relationship between synovial hypoxia and cellular bioenergetics with synovial inflammation.
Primary rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts (RASF) were cultured with hypoxia, dimethyloxalylglycine (DMOG) or metabolic intermediates. Mitochondrial respiration, mitochondrial DNA mutations, cell invasion, cytokines, glucose and lactate were quantified using specific functional assays. RASF metabolism was assessed by the XF24-Flux Analyzer. Mitochondrial structural morphology was assessed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In vivo synovial tissue oxygen (tpO2 mmHg) was measured in patients with inflammatory arthritis (n=42) at arthroscopy, and markers of glycolysis/oxidative phosphorylation (glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), PKM2, GLUT1, ATP) were quantified by immunohistology. A subgroup of patients underwent contiguous MRI and positron emission tomography (PET)/CT imaging. RASF and human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC) migration/angiogenesis, transcriptional activation (HIF1α, pSTAT3, Notch1-IC) and cytokines were examined in the presence of glycolytic inhibitor 3-(3-Pyridinyl)-1-(4-pyridinyl)-2-propen-1-one (3PO).
DMOG significantly increased mtDNA mutations, mitochondrial membrane potential, mitochondrial mass, reactive oxygen species and glycolytic RASF activity with concomitant attenuation of mitochondrial respiration and ATP activity (all p<0.01). This was coupled with altered mitochondrial morphology. Hypoxia-induced lactate levels (p<0.01), which in turn induced basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) secretion and RASF invasiveness (all p<0.05). In vivo glycolytic markers were inversely associated with synovial tpO2 levels <20 mm Hg, in contrast ATP was significantly reduced (all p<0.05). Decrease in GAPDH and GLUT1 was paralleled by an increase in in vivo tpO2 in tumour necrosis factor alpha inhibitor (TNFi) responders. Novel PET/MRI hybrid imaging demonstrated close association between metabolic activity and inflammation. 3PO significantly inhibited RASF invasion/migration, angiogenic tube formation, secretion of proinflammatory mediators (all p<0.05), and activation of HIF1α, pSTAT3 and Notch-1IC under normoxic and hypoxic conditions.
Hypoxia alters cellular bioenergetics by inducing mitochondrial dysfunction and promoting a switch to glycolysis, supporting abnormal angiogenesis, cellular invasion and pannus formation.
PMCID: PMC5136702  PMID: 27013493
Inflammation; Fibroblasts; Rheumatoid Arthritis; TNF-alpha; Synovitis
2.  JAK-STAT and G-protein-coupled receptor signaling pathways are frequently altered in epitheliotropic intestinal T-cell lymphoma 
Leukemia  2016;30(6):1311-1319.
Epitheliotropic intestinal T-cell lymphoma (EITL, also known as type II enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma) is an aggressive intestinal disease with poor prognosis and its molecular alterations have not been comprehensively characterized. We aimed to identify actionable easy-to-screen alterations that would allow better diagnostics and/or treatment of this deadly disease. By performing whole-exome sequencing of four EITL tumor-normal pairs, followed by amplicon deep sequencing of 42 tumor samples, frequent alterations of the JAK-STAT and G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling pathways were discovered in a large portion of samples. Specifically, STAT5B was mutated in a remarkable 63% of cases, JAK3 in 35% and GNAI2 in 24%, with the majority occurring at known activating hotspots in key functional domains. Moreover, STAT5B locus carried copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity resulting in the duplication of the mutant copy, suggesting the importance of mutant STAT5B dosage for the development of EITL. Dysregulation of the JAK-STAT and GPCR pathways was also supported by gene expression profiling and further verified in patient tumor samples. In vitro overexpression of GNAI2 mutants led to the upregulation of pERK1/2, a member of MEK-ERK pathway. Notably, inhibitors of both JAK-STAT and MEK-ERK pathways effectively reduced viability of patient-derived primary EITL cells, indicating potential therapeutic strategies for this neoplasm with no effective treatment currently available.
PMCID: PMC4895162  PMID: 26854024
3.  Integrin α11β1 regulates cancer stromal stiffness and promotes tumorigenicity and metastasis in non-small cell lung cancer 
Oncogene  2015;35(15):1899-1908.
Integrin α11β1 is a stromal cell-specific receptor for fibrillar collagens and is overexpressed in carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). We have investigated its direct role in cancer progression by generating severe combined immune deficient (SCID) mice deficient in integrin α11 (α11) expression. The growth of A549 lung adenocarcinoma cells and two patient-derived non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) xenografts in these α11 knockout (α11−/−) mice was significantly impeded, as compared with wild-type (α11+/+) SCID mice. Orthotopic implantation of a spontaneously metastatic NCI-H460SM cell line into the lungs of α11−/− and α11+/+ mice showed significant reduction in the metastatic potential of these cells in the α11−/− mice. We identified that collagen cross-linking is associated with stromal α11 expression, and the loss of tumor stromal α11 expression was correlated with decreased collagen reorganization and stiffness. This study shows the role of integrin α11β1, a receptor for fibrillar collagen in differentiation of fibroblasts into CAFs. Furthermore, our data support an important role for α11 signaling pathway in CAFs, promoting tumor growth and metastatic potential of NSCLC cells and being closely associated with collagen cross-linking and the organization and stiffness of fibrillar collagen matrices.
PMCID: PMC4833874  PMID: 26148229
4.  Response to angiotensin blockade with irbesartan in a patient with metastatic colorectal cancer 
Annals of Oncology  2016;27(5):801-806.
Personalised oncogenomics analysis revealed potential oncogene addiction of the AP-1 transcriptional complex in a chemo-refractory and MMR-deficient tumor from a patient with metastatic colon cancer. Based on this, treatment with the angiotensin receptor agonist irbesartan was initiated to target the renin–angiotensin system upstream of the AP-1 complex, leading to a profound and durable response.
A patient suffering from metastatic colorectal cancer, treatment-related toxicity and resistance to standard chemotherapy and radiation was assessed as part of a personalized oncogenomics initiative to derive potential alternative therapeutic strategies.
Patients and methods
Whole-genome and transcriptome sequencing was used to interrogate a metastatic tumor refractory to standard treatments of a patient with mismatch repair-deficient metastatic colorectal cancer.
Integrative genomic analysis indicated overexpression of the AP-1 transcriptional complex suggesting experimental therapeutic rationales, including blockade of the renin–angiotensin system. This led to the repurposing of the angiotensin II receptor antagonist, irbesartan, as an anticancer therapy, resulting in the patient experiencing a dramatic and durable response.
This case highlights the utility of comprehensive integrative genomic profiling and bioinformatics analysis to provide hypothetical rationales for personalized treatment options.
PMCID: PMC4843189  PMID: 27022066
personalized medicine; AP-1 complex; irbesartan; chemo-refractory colon cancer; RNA expression analysis; mismatch repair defective
5.  Coral community response to bleaching on a highly disturbed reef 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:20717.
While many studies of coral bleaching report on broad, regional scale responses, fewer examine variation in susceptibility among coral taxa and changes in community structure, before, during and after bleaching on individual reefs. Here we report in detail on the response to bleaching by a coral community on a highly disturbed reef site south of mainland Singapore before, during and after a major thermal anomaly in 2010. To estimate the capacity for resistance to thermal stress, we report on: a) overall bleaching severity during and after the event, b) differences in bleaching susceptibility among taxa during the event, and c) changes in coral community structure one year before and after bleaching. Approximately two thirds of colonies bleached, however, post-bleaching recovery was quite rapid and, importantly, coral taxa that are usually highly susceptible were relatively unaffected. Although total coral cover declined, there was no significant change in coral taxonomic community structure before and after bleaching. Several factors may have contributed to the overall high resistance of corals at this site including Symbiodinium affiliation, turbidity and heterotrophy. Our results suggest that, despite experiencing chronic anthropogenic disturbances, turbid shallow reef communities may be remarkably resilient to acute thermal stress.
PMCID: PMC4753424  PMID: 26876092
6.  A Systematic Review of Distal Interphalangeal Joint Arthrodesis 
Arthrodesis of the distal interphalangeal joint of the hand is a reliable procedure for creating a painless stable joint. Numerous techniques are described within the literature for varying indications. We undertook a systematic review of all studies published within the English literature to provide a comparison of the different techniques. The published studies were predominantly of Level IV evidence. The most commonly employed techniques were Kirschner wire, headless compression screw and cerclage wires. There was no difference in infection rates. Headless compression screws appear to have increased union rates but are associated with complications not seen with other well-established and cheaper techniques. The screw diameter is often similar to or larger than the joint itself, which can result in penetration. Furthermore, they limit the available angle for achieving fusion. Other than in terms of union, there is insufficient evidence to show the headless compression screw is superior to other techniques.
PMCID: PMC4235825  PMID: 25414555
Arthrodesis; Review; Distal interphalangeal joint; Hand; Techniques
7.  Long-Term Lung Transplantation in Nonhuman Primates 
Despite advances in surgical technique and clinical care, lung transplantation still remains a short-term solution for the treatment of end-stage lung disease. To date, there has been limited experience in experimental lung transplantation using nonhuman primate models. Therefore, we have endeavored to develop a long-term, nonhuman primate model of orthotopic lung transplantation for the ultimate purpose of designing protocols to induce tolerance of lung grafts. Here, we report our initial results in developing this model and our observation that the nonhuman primate lung is particularly prone to rejection. This propensity toward rejection may be a consequence of 1) upregulated nonspecific inflammation, and 2) a larger number of pre-existing alloreactive memory T cells, leading to augmented deleterious immune responses. Our data show that triple-drug immunosuppression mimicking clinical practice is not sufficient to prevent acute rejection in nonhuman primate lung transplantation. The addition of horse-derived anti-thymocyte globulin and a monoclonal antibody to the IL-6 receptor allowed six out of six lung recipients to be free of rejection for over 120 days.
PMCID: PMC4564890  PMID: 25772308
8.  Correlation of BRAF and NRAS mutation status with outcome, site of distant metastasis and response to chemotherapy in metastatic melanoma 
British Journal of Cancer  2014;111(2):292-299.
The prognostic significance of BRAF and NRAS mutations in metastatic melanoma patients remains uncertain, with several studies reporting conflicting results, often biased by the inclusion of patients treated with BRAF and MEK (MAPK) inhibitors. We therefore interrogated a historical cohort of patients free of the confounding influence of MAPK inhibitor therapy.
Patients with available archival tissue first diagnosed with metastatic melanoma between 2002 and 2006 were analysed. Mutational analysis was performed using the OncoCarta Panel. Patient characteristics, treatment outcome and survival were correlated with BRAF/NRAS mutation status.
In 193 patients, 92 (48%) melanomas were BRAF-mutant, 39 (20%) were NRAS-mutant and 62 (32%) were wild-type for BRAF/NRAS mutations (wt). There was no difference in response to chemotherapy based on mutation status (35–37%). The distant disease-free interval (DDFI) was significantly shorter in patients with wt melanoma (27.9 months vs 35.1 for BRAF and 49.1 for NRAS) although this was not significant in multivariate analysis. Survival from stage IV melanoma diagnosis was not significantly different based on mutation status. The DDFI was significantly shorter in patients with BRAFV600K/R versus BRAFV600E melanoma in univariate and multivariate analyses.
BRAF and NRAS mutation status does not influence survival in metastatic melanoma.
PMCID: PMC4102942  PMID: 24918823
BRAF; NRAS; melanoma; prognosis; BRAF inhibitors; MEK inhibitors
9.  Consistency of response and image recognition, pulmonary nodules 
The British Journal of Radiology  2014;87(1038):20130767.
To investigate the effect of recognition of a previously encountered radiograph on consistency of response in localized pulmonary nodules.
13 radiologists interpreted 40 radiographs each to locate pulmonary nodules. A few days later, they again interpreted 40 radiographs. Half of the images in the second set were new. We asked the radiologists whether each image had been in the first set. We used Fisher's exact test and Kruskal–Wallis test to evaluate the correlation between recognition of an image and consistency in its interpretation. We evaluated the data using all possible recognition levels—definitely, probably or possibly included vs definitely, probably or possibly not included by collapsing the recognition levels into two and by eliminating the “possibly included” and “possibly not included” scores.
With all but one of six methods of looking at the data, there was no significant correlation between consistency in interpretation and recognition of the image. When the possibly included and possibly not included scores were eliminated, there was a borderline statistical significance (p = 0.04) with slightly greater consistency in interpretation of recognized than that of non-recognized images.
We found no convincing evidence that radiologists' recognition of images in an observer performance study affects their interpretation on a second encounter.
Advances in knowledge:
Conscious recognition of chest radiographs did not result in a greater degree of consistency in the tested interpretation than that in the interpretation of images that were not recognized.
PMCID: PMC4075557  PMID: 24697724
10.  Long-Term Safety and Efficacy of Factor IX Gene Therapy in Hemophilia B 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;371(21):1994-2004.
In patients with severe hemophilia B, gene therapy that is mediated by a novel self-complementary adeno-associated virus serotype 8 (AAV8) vector has been shown to raise factor IX levels for periods of up to 16 months. We wanted to determine the durability of transgene expression, the vector dose–response relationship, and the level of persistent or late toxicity.
We evaluated the stability of transgene expression and long-term safety in 10 patients with severe hemophilia B: 6 patients who had been enrolled in an initial phase 1 dose-escalation trial, with 2 patients each receiving a low, intermediate, or high dose, and 4 additional patients who received the high dose (2×1012 vector genomes per kilogram of body weight). The patients subsequently underwent extensive clinical and laboratory monitoring.
A single intravenous infusion of vector in all 10 patients with severe hemophilia B resulted in a dose-dependent increase in circulating factor IX to a level that was 1 to 6% of the normal value over a median period of 3.2 years, with observation ongoing. In the high-dose group, a consistent increase in the factor IX level to a mean (±SD) of 5.1±1.7% was observed in all 6 patients, which resulted in a reduction of more than 90% in both bleeding episodes and the use of prophylactic factor IX concentrate. A transient increase in the mean alanine aminotransferase level to 86 IU per liter (range, 36 to 202) occurred between week 7 and week 10 in 4 of the 6 patients in the high-dose group but resolved over a median of 5 days (range, 2 to 35) after prednisolone treatment.
In 10 patients with severe hemophilia B, the infusion of a single dose of AAV8 vector resulted in long-term therapeutic factor IX expression associated with clinical improvement. With a follow-up period of up to 3 years, no late toxic effects from the therapy were reported. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others; number, NCT00979238.)
PMCID: PMC4278802  PMID: 25409372
11.  Enhancement of spin-wave nonreciprocity in magnonic crystals via synthetic antiferromagnetic coupling 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:10153.
Spin-wave nonreciprocity arising from dipole-dipole interaction is insignificant for magnon wavelengths in the sub-100 nm range. Our micromagnetic simulations reveal that for the nanoscale magnonic crystals studied, such nonreciprocity can be greatly enhanced via synthetic antiferromagnetic coupling. The nonreciprocity is manifested as highly asymmetric magnon dispersion curves of the magnonic crystals. Furthermore, based on the study of the dependence of the nonreciprocity on an applied magnetic field, the antiparallel alignment of the magnetizations is shown to be responsible for the enhancement. Our findings would be useful for magnonic and spintronics applications.
PMCID: PMC4423564  PMID: 25950082
12.  The role of imaging in the management of primary pleural malignancies 
Cancer Imaging  2015;3(2):139-145.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare tumour, but its incidence is increasing. Imaging is invariably involved in its diagnosis, staging, and follow-up. Although there are some characteristic radiological signs, none are pathognomonic. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) have similar local staging accuracies, but have distinct limitations; MR has marginal superiority in specific areas and should probably be offered to surgical candidates. The capabilities of multidector CT await evaluation. The role of positron emission tomography (PET), and PET-CT is undefined, but will likely have a major contribution. The challenges in imaging are matched by controversies in staging and treatment, which require future close multidisciplinary and multicentre collaboration.
PMCID: PMC4448635
Malignant pleural mesothelioma; staging; imaging; CT; MRI; PET
14.  Novel Hybrid GPU–CPU Implementation of Parallelized Monte Carlo Parametric Expectation Maximization Estimation Method for Population Pharmacokinetic Data Analysis 
The AAPS Journal  2013;15(4):1212-1221.
The development of a population PK/PD model, an essential component for model-based drug development, is both time- and labor-intensive. A graphical-processing unit (GPU) computing technology has been proposed and used to accelerate many scientific computations. The objective of this study was to develop a hybrid GPU–CPU implementation of parallelized Monte Carlo parametric expectation maximization (MCPEM) estimation algorithm for population PK data analysis. A hybrid GPU–CPU implementation of the MCPEM algorithm (MCPEMGPU) and identical algorithm that is designed for the single CPU (MCPEMCPU) were developed using MATLAB in a single computer equipped with dual Xeon 6-Core E5690 CPU and a NVIDIA Tesla C2070 GPU parallel computing card that contained 448 stream processors. Two different PK models with rich/sparse sampling design schemes were used to simulate population data in assessing the performance of MCPEMCPU and MCPEMGPU. Results were analyzed by comparing the parameter estimation and model computation times. Speedup factor was used to assess the relative benefit of parallelized MCPEMGPU over MCPEMCPU in shortening model computation time. The MCPEMGPU consistently achieved shorter computation time than the MCPEMCPU and can offer more than 48-fold speedup using a single GPU card. The novel hybrid GPU–CPU implementation of parallelized MCPEM algorithm developed in this study holds a great promise in serving as the core for the next-generation of modeling software for population PK/PD analysis.
PMCID: PMC3787213  PMID: 24002801
GPU computing; modeling and simulation; Monte Carlo parametric expectation maximization method; nonlinear mixed-effect model; population data analysis
16.  Asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction with long-term clozapine treatment for schizophrenia: a multicentre cross-sectional cohort study 
Open Heart  2014;1(1):e000030.
Patients with schizophrenia treated with clozapine are at risk of acute myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy. However, there are no data on the prevalence of subclinical cardiomyopathy or its associations.
100 consecutive patients with schizophrenia treated with clozapine for >1 year and without a history of cardiac pathology (group 1), 21 controls with a history of schizophrenia treated with non-clozapine antipsychotics for >1 year (group 2) and 20 controls without schizophrenia (group 3) were studied. Comprehensive evaluation by clinical examination, ECG, transthoracic echocardiography including left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and global longitudinal strain (GLS) and biochemical profiles were performed.
Patients with schizophrenia were of similar age, but had higher body mass index (BMI), rates of smoking and hyperlipidaemia than controls. Patients with schizophrenia had received clozapine or non-clozapine antipsychotics for a mean duration of 6.8±5.3 and 9.7±6.1 years, respectively. Patients taking clozapine demonstrated globally impaired LVEF (58.3%: group 1 vs 62.2%: group 2 vs 64.8%: group 3, p<0.001) and GLS (−16.7%: group 1 vs −18.6%: group 2 vs −20.2%: group 3, p<0.001). Moreover, LVEF was <50% in 9/100 (9%) patients receiving clozapine and in non-clozapine schizophrenia patients or healthy controls, but this was not statistically significantly different (analysis of covariance, p=0.19). Univariate analysis in patients taking clozapine found that impaired LV was not predicted by high-sensitivity troponin T, but was associated with features of the metabolic syndrome (including increased triglycerides, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), high-sensitivity C reactive protein and BMI), elevated neutrophil count, elevated heart rate, smoking and N-terminal probrain natriuretic peptide. In patients taking clozapine, multivariable analysis identified elevated neutrophil count and low HDL-C as the only independent predictors of impaired GLS.
Asymptomatic mild LV impairment is common in patients with schizophrenia receiving long-term clozapine treatment and is associated with neutrophilia and low HDL-C.
PMCID: PMC4195917  PMID: 25332789
18.  CT features and quantification of the characteristics of adrenocortical carcinomas on unenhanced and contrast-enhanced studies 
Clinical radiology  2011;67(1):38-46.
To describe the morphological and contrast-agent washout characteristics of adrenocortical carcinomas (ACCs) on computed tomography (CT).
Forty-one patients with histopathologically proven ACCs were retrospectively evaluated. The morphological characteristics of the ACCs were documented and compared with surgical and histopathological findings. The percentage of contrast agent enhancement washout (PEW) and relative PEW (RPEW) were calculated for 17 patients who had the combination of unenhanced, portal venous, and 15 min delayed phase images.
Characteristic imaging findings of ACCs included large size (38 of 41 tumours were >6 cm), well-defined margin with a thin enhancing rim (25 patients), and central stellate area of low attenuation on contrast-enhanced CT images (21 patients). Tumour extension into the inferior vena cava (IVC) with associated thrombus was identified on CT in six (14.6%) patients. Of 17 tumours evaluated, 12 (71%) had a PEW value of ≤60%, and 14 (82%) had an RPEW value of ≤40%.
Large size, a well-defined margin with a thin enhancing rim, central low attenuation, and a predilection for extension into the IVC are typical morphological characteristics of ACC on CT. The contrast-washout characteristics of ACCs, in concordance with their malignant nature, share those of non-adenomas rather than adenomas.
PMCID: PMC3889671  PMID: 21783181
19.  Structural basis for ribosomal 16S rRNA cleavage by the cytotoxic domain of colicin E3 
Nature structural & molecular biology  2010;17(10):1241-1246.
The toxin colicin E3 targets the 30S subunit of bacterial ribosomes and cleaves a phosphodiester bond in the decoding center. We present the crystal structure of the 70S ribosome in complex with the cytotoxic domain of colicin E3 (E3-rRNase). The structure reveals how the rRNase domain of colicin binds to the A site of the decoding center in the 70S ribosome and cleaves 16S rRNA between A1493 and G1494. The cleavage mechanism involves the concerted action of conserved residues Glu62 and His58 of the cytotoxic domain of colicin E3 that activate the 16S rRNA for 2′ OH induced hydrolysis. Conformational changes observed for E3-rRNase, 16S rRNA and Helix 69 of 23S rRNA suggest that a dynamic binding platform is required for colicin E3 binding and function.
PMCID: PMC3755339  PMID: 20852642
20.  Validation of motion correction techniques for liver CT perfusion studies 
The British Journal of Radiology  2012;85(1016):e514-e522.
Motion in images potentially compromises the evaluation of temporally acquired CT perfusion (CTp) data; image registration should mitigate this, but first requires validation. Our objective was to compare the relative performance of manual, rigid and non-rigid registration techniques to correct anatomical misalignment in acquired liver CTp data sets.
17 data sets in patients with liver tumours who had undergone a CTp protocol were evaluated. Each data set consisted of a cine acquisition during a breath-hold (Phase 1), followed by six further sets of cine scans (each containing 11 images) acquired during free breathing (Phase 2). Phase 2 images were registered to a reference image from Phase 1 cine using two semi-automated intensity-based registration techniques (rigid and non-rigid) and a manual technique (the only option available in the relevant vendor CTp software). The performance of each technique to align liver anatomy was assessed by four observers, independently and blindly, on two separate occasions, using a semi-quantitative visual validation study (employing a six-point score). The registration techniques were statistically compared using an ordinal probit regression model.
306 registrations (2448 observer scores) were evaluated. The three registration techniques were significantly different from each other (p=0.03). On pairwise comparison, the semi-automated techniques were significantly superior to the manual technique, with non-rigid significantly superior to rigid (p<0.0001), which in turn was significantly superior to manual registration (p=0.04).
Semi-automated registration techniques achieved superior alignment of liver anatomy compared with the manual technique. We hope this will translate into more reliable CTp analyses.
PMCID: PMC3587085  PMID: 22374283
21.  Prospective randomised evaluation of traditional Chinese medicine combined with chemotherapy: a randomised phase II study of wild toad extract plus gemcitabine in patients with advanced pancreatic adenocarcinomas 
British Journal of Cancer  2012;107(3):411-416.
An intravenous formulated extract of the venom of the wild toad Bufo bufo gargarizans Cantor or Bufo melanostictus Schneider, huachansu, is currently used in China for the treatment of lung, liver, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers. We performed a randomised, single-blinded, phase II clinical study of huachansu plus gemcitabine versus placebo plus gemcitabine in patients with locally advanced and/or metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinomas.
Patients with tissue-proven locally advanced and/or metastatic pancreatic adenocarinoma were randomly assigned to receive either gemcitabine 1000 mg m−2 on days 1, 8, and 15 with huachansu 20 ml m−2 daily for 21 days (arm A) or placebo (arm B); treatment cycles were 28 days in length. Primary end point was 4-month progression-free overall survival (PFS); secondary end points were objective radiographical response rate (ORR), time to progression (TTP), and toxicity.
A total of 80 subjects were enrolled; 76 patients were evaluable (received at least 1 week therapy). Median overall survival was 160 days for arm A and 156 days for arm B (P=0.339); ORR was 9 and 3% in arms A and B, respectively (P=0.332), median TTP was 98 and 115 days, respectively (P=0.825); the median 4-month PFS was 99 and 98 days, respectively (P=0.679).
Huachansu when combined with gemcitabine did not improve the outcome of patients with locally advanced and/or metastatic pancreatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC3405220  PMID: 22782343
huachansu; gemcitabine; pancreatic cancer; traditional Chinese medicine
22.  Yttrium-90 internal pair production imaging using first generation PET/CT provides high-resolution images for qualitative diagnostic purposes 
The British Journal of Radiology  2012;85(1015):1018-1019.
Yttrium-90 (90Y) internal pair production can be imaged by positron emission tomography (PET)/CT and is superior to bremsstrahlung single-photon emission CT/CT for evaluating hepatic 90Y microsphere biodistribution. We illustrate a case of 90Y imaging using first generation PET/CT technology, producing high-quality images for qualitative diagnostic purposes.
PMCID: PMC3474067  PMID: 21976634
23.  Trends in subtrochanteric, diaphyseal, and distal femur fractures, 1984–2007 
Osteoporosis International  2011;23(6):1721-1726.
The incidence of non-hip femur fractures increased between 1984 and 2007, with an increase in the rates for women after 1996.
Recent reports have suggested that non-hip femur fractures may be decreasing over time, similar to proximal femur fractures.
Incidence rates for non-hip femur fractures among Olmsted County, Minnesota, residents were assessed before and after 1995 when the oral bisphosphonate, alendronate, was approved in the USA.
From 1984 to 2007, 727 non-hip femur fractures were observed in 690 Olmsted County residents (51% female [median age, 71.6 years] and 49% male [21.4 years]). Altogether, 20% of the fractures were subtrochanteric, 51% were diaphyseal, and 29% involved the distal femur. Causes included severe trauma in 51%, minimal to moderate trauma in 34%, and pathologic causes in 15%. The overall age- and sex-adjusted annual incidence of first non-hip femur fracture was 26.7 per 100,000 (25.0 per 100,000 for women and 26.6 per 100,000 for men). Incidence rates increased with age and were greater in women than men. Between 1984–1995 and 1996–2007, age-adjusted rates increased significantly for women (20.4 vs. 28.7 per 100,000; p=0.002) but not for men (22.4 vs. 29.5 per 100,000; p=0.202).
The incidence of first non-hip femur fractures rose between 1984 and 2007, with an increase in the rates for women after 1995.
PMCID: PMC3266989  PMID: 21909727
Aging; Incidence; Non-hip femoral fracture; Population-based study; Subtrochanteric fracture
24.  Genome-wide association study in a Chinese population identifies a susceptibility locus for type 2 diabetes at 7q32 near PAX4 
Diabetologia  2013;56(6):1291-1305.
Most genetic variants identified for type 2 diabetes have been discovered in European populations. We performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in a Chinese population with the aim of identifying novel variants for type 2 diabetes in Asians.
We performed a meta-analysis of three GWAS comprising 684 patients with type 2 diabetes and 955 controls of Southern Han Chinese descent. We followed up the top signals in two independent Southern Han Chinese cohorts (totalling 10,383 cases and 6,974 controls), and performed in silico replication in multiple populations.
We identified CDKN2A/B and four novel type 2 diabetes association signals with p < 1 × 10−5 from the meta-analysis. Thirteen variants within these four loci were followed up in two independent Chinese cohorts, and rs10229583 at 7q32 was found to be associated with type 2 diabetes in a combined analysis of 11,067 cases and 7,929 controls (pmeta = 2.6 × 10−8; OR [95% CI] 1.18 [1.11, 1.25]). In silico replication revealed consistent associations across multiethnic groups, including five East Asian populations (pmeta = 2.3 × 10−10) and a population of European descent (p = 8.6 × 10−3). The rs10229583 risk variant was associated with elevated fasting plasma glucose, impaired beta cell function in controls, and an earlier age at diagnosis for the cases. The novel variant lies within an islet-selective cluster of open regulatory elements. There was significant heterogeneity of effect between Han Chinese and individuals of European descent, Malaysians and Indians.
Our study identifies rs10229583 near PAX4 as a novel locus for type 2 diabetes in Chinese and other populations and provides new insights into the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-013-2874-4) contains peer-reviewed but unedited supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
PMCID: PMC3648687  PMID: 23532257
Chinese; Diabetes; East Asians; Genetics; Genome-wide association study
25.  ABCB1 polymorphism predicts escitalopram dose needed for remission in major depression 
Translational Psychiatry  2012;2(11):e198-.
The ATP-binding cassette family of transporter proteins, subfamily B (MDR/TAP), member 1 (ABCB1) (P-glycoprotein) transporter is a key component of the blood–brain barrier. Many antidepressants are subject to ABCB1 efflux. Functional polymorphisms of ABCB1 may influence central nervous system bioavailability of antidepressants subject to efflux. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at rs1045642 (C3435T) of ABCB1 have been associated with efflux pump efficiency. This may explain part of the interindividual variation in antidepressant dose needed to remit. Individuals (N=113) with DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition) major depressive disorder (MDD) were treated with escitalopram (ESC) or venlafaxine (VEN) over 8 weeks. The17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale was assessed serially, blind to genotype. SNP rs1045642 of ABCB1 along with two SNPs previously reported to be in linkage disequilibrium with it (rs2032582 and rs1128503) were genotyped. Demographic features, clinical features, P450 metabolizer status and 5-HTTLPR (serotonin-transporter-linked promoter region) genotype were controlled for. Carriers of rs1045642 TT needed on average 11 mg of ESC to remit, whereas TC and CC carriers required 24 and 19 mg, respectively (P=0.0001). This equates to a 2.0- (95% confidence interval=1.5–3.4; P<0.001) fold greater ESC dose needed to remit for C carriers compared with TT carriers at rs1045642. Of VEN-treated subjects carrying TT genotype at rs1045642, 73.3% remitted compared with 12.5% for CC genotype (odds ratio=6.69; 95% confidence interval=1.72–25.9, P=0.006). These data suggest that antidepressant dose needed to remit can be predicted by an ABCB1 SNP. This has the potential clinical translation implications for dose selection and remission from MDD.
PMCID: PMC3565756  PMID: 23188198
ABCB1; pharmacogenetics; antidepressant; major depression; blood–brain barrier; P-glycoprotein

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