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1.  A population-based cohort study of chest x-ray screening in smokers: lung cancer detection findings and follow-up 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:18.
Case-control studies of mass screening for lung cancer (LC) by chest x-rays (CXR) performed in the 1990s in scarcely defined Japanese target populations indicated significant mortality reductions, but these results are yet to be confirmed in western countries. To ascertain whether CXR screening decreases LC mortality at community level, we studied a clearly defined population-based cohort of smokers invited to screening. We present here the LC detection results and the 10-year survival rates.
The cohort of all smokers of > 10 pack-years resident in 50 communities of Varese, screening-eligible (n = 5,815), in July 1997 was invited to nonrandomized CXR screening. Self-selected participants (21% of cohort) underwent screening in addition to usual care; nonparticipants received usual care. The cohort was followed-up until December 2010. Kaplan-Meier LC-specific survival was estimated in participants, in nonparticipants, in the whole cohort, and in an uninvited, unscreened population (control group).
Over the initial 9.5 years of study, 67 LCs were diagnosed in screening participants (51% were screen-detected) and 178 in nonparticipants. The rates of stage I LC, resectability and 5-year survival were nearly twice as high in participants (32% stage I; 48% resected; 30.5% 5-year survival) as in nonparticipants (17% stage I; 27% resected; 13.5% 5-year survival). There were no bronchioloalveolar carcinomas among screen-detected cancers, and median volume doubling time of incidence screen-detected LCs was 80 days (range, 44-318), suggesting that screening overdiagnosis was minimal. The 10-year LC-specific survival was greater in screening participants than in nonparticipants (log-rank, p = 0.005), and greater in the whole cohort invited to screening than in the control group (log-rank, p = 0.001). This favourable long-term effect was independently related to CXR screening exposure.
In the setting of CXR screening offered to a population-based cohort of smokers, screening participants who were diagnosed with LC had more frequently early-stage resectable disease and significantly enhanced long-term LC survival. These results translated into enhanced 10-year LC survival, independently related to CXR screening exposure, in the entire population-based cohort. Whether increased long-term LC-specific survival in the cohort corresponds to mortality reduction remains to be evaluated.
Trial registration number
PMCID: PMC3315414  PMID: 22251777
Lung cancer; Chest x-ray screening; Population-based; Cohort study; volunteer effect; Survival; Community
2.  Volunteer effect and compromised randomization in the Mayo Project of screening for lung cancer 
It has been confirmed recently that the volunteer effect in lung cancer screening is characterized by higher lung cancer mortality risk in self-selected screening participants. The Mayo Lung Project, the most influential trial of screening for lung cancer ever completed, was conducted in nonvolunteer Mayo Clinic outpatients, with a peculiar study design that rendered the randomization vulnerable to the volunteer effect. Of all nonvolunteers randomized in the Mayo Lung Project, only those allocated in the screened group were asked consent to participate in the trial. The final Mayo Lung Project report stated that 655 randomized nonvolunteers refused screening and were excluded from the study, thus documenting violation of the rule that no selection should occur after randomization. The long-term follow-up of the Mayo Lung Project showed an enigmatic result which has never been explained: the lung cancer mortality was 13% higher in the screening intervention group than in the control group [4.4 (95% CI 3.9–4.9) vs. 3.9 (95% CI 3.5–4.4) per 1,000 person-years; P = 0.09]. Such overrepresented mortality is consistent with the volunteer effect and supports the concept that the Mayo Lung Project randomization was compromised by the post-randomization self-selection of participant nonvolunteers.
PMCID: PMC3018594  PMID: 20972608
Compromised randomization; Lung cancer screening; Mayo lung project; Volunteer effect
3.  Evaluation of Hepcidin Isoforms in Hemodialysis Patients by a Proteomic Approach Based on SELDI-TOF MS 
The hepatic iron regulator hormone hepcidin consists, in its mature form, of 25 amino acids, but two other isoforms, hepcidin-20 and hepcidin-22, have been reported, whose biological meaning remains poorly understood. We evaluated hepcidin isoforms in sera from 57 control and 54 chronic haemodialysis patients using a quantitative proteomic approach based on SELDI-TOF-MS. Patients had elevated serum levels of both hepcidin-25 and hepcidin-20 as compared to controls (geometric means: 7.52 versus 4.69 nM, and 4.06 versus 1.76 nM, resp., P < .05 for both). The clearance effects of a single dialysis session by different dialysis techniques and membranes were also investigated, showing an average reduction by 51.3% ± 29.2% for hepcidin-25 and 34.2% ± 28.4% for hepcidin-20 but only minor differences among the different dialysis modalities. Measurement of hepcidin isoforms through MS-based techniques can be a useful tool for better understanding of their biological role in hemodialysis patients and other clinical conditions.
PMCID: PMC2857619  PMID: 20414466
4.  Comparison of Oxidative Properties, Light Absorbance, and Total and Elemental Mass Concentration of Ambient PM2.5 Collected at 20 European Sites 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2005;114(5):684-690.
It has been proposed that the redox activity of particles may represent a major determinant of their toxicity. We measured the in vitro ability of ambient fine particles [particulate matter with aerodynamic diameters ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5)] to form hydroxyl radicals (•OH) in an oxidant environment, as well as to deplete physiologic antioxidants (ascorbic acid, glutathione) in the naturally reducing environment of the respiratory tract lining fluid (RTLF). The objective was to examine how these toxicologically relevant measures were related to other PM characteristics, such as total and elemental mass concentration and light absorbance.
Gravimetric PM2.5 samples (n = 716) collected over 1 year from 20 centers participating in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey were available. Light absorbance of these filters was measured with reflectometry. PM suspensions were recovered from filters by vortexing and sonication before dilution to a standard concentration. The oxidative activity of these particle suspensions was then assessed by measuring their ability to generate •OH in the presence of hydrogen peroxide, using electron spin resonance and 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline-N-oxide as spin trap, or by establishing their capacity to deplete antioxidants from a synthetic model of the RTLF.
Results and Conclusion
PM oxidative activity varied significantly among European sampling sites. Correlations between oxidative activity and all other characteristics of PM were low, both within centers (temporal correlation) and across communities (annual mean). Thus, no single surrogate measure of PM redox activity could be identified. Because these novel measures are suggested to reflect crucial biologic mechanisms of PM, their use may be pertinent in epidemiologic studies. Therefore, it is important to define the appropriate methods to determine oxidative activity of PM.
PMCID: PMC1459920  PMID: 16675421
air pollution; antioxidant depletion; ascorbate; black smoke; elemental analysis; fine particle; glutathione; hydroxy radical formation; oxidative stress; reactive oxidant species; reflectance

Results 1-4 (4)