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author:("rad.i, Saba")
1.  Mast cells and the liver aging process 
It has now ascertained that the clinical manifestations of liver disease in the elderly population reflect both the cumulative effects of longevity on the liver and the generalized senescence of the organism ability to adjust to metabolic, infectious, and immunologic insults. Although liver tests are not significantly affected by age, the presentation of liver diseases such as viral hepatitis may be subtler in the elderly population than that of younger patients.
Human immunosenescence is a situation in which the immune system, particularly T lymphocyte function, deteriorates with age, while innate immunity is negligibly affected and in some cases almost up-regulated.
We here briefly review the relationships between the liver aging process and mast cells, the key effectors in a more complex range of innate immune responses than originally though.
PMCID: PMC3599827  PMID: 23496863
Mast cells; Liver; Ageing; Immunosenescence; Inflammation; Immune system
2.  Aging, cancer, and cancer vaccines 
World population has experienced continuous growth since 1400 A.D. Current projections show a continued increase - but a steady decline in the population growth rate - with the number expected to reach between 8 and 10.5 billion people within 40 years. The elderly population is rapidly rising: in 1950 there were 205 million people aged 60 or older, while in 2000 there were 606 million. By 2050, the global population aged 60 or over is projected to expand by more than three times, reaching nearly 2 billion people [1]. Most cancers are age-related diseases: in the US, 50% of all malignancies occur in people aged 65-95. 60% of all cancers are expected to be diagnosed in elderly patients by 2020 [2]. Further, cancer-related mortality increases with age: 70% of all malignancy-related deaths are registered in people aged 65 years or older [3]. Here we introduce the microscopic aspects of aging, the pro-inflammatory phenotype of the elderly, and the changes related to immunosenescence. Then we deal with cancer disease and its development, the difficulty of treatment administration in the geriatric population, and the importance of a comprehensive geriatric assessment. Finally, we aim to analyze the complex interactions of aging with cancer and cancer vaccinology, and the importance of this last approach as a complementary therapy to different levels of prevention and treatment. Cancer vaccines, in fact, should at present be recommended in association to a stronger cancer prevention and conventional therapies (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy), both for curative and palliative intent, in order to reduce morbidity and mortality associated to cancer progression.
PMCID: PMC3353870  PMID: 22510392
3.  Airway Obstruction Is Increased in Pneumocystis-Colonized Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Outpatientsâ–ż  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(11):3773-3776.
We investigated the relationship of Pneumocystis colonization, matrix metalloprotease levels in sputum, and airway obstruction in a cohort of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected outpatients. Pneumocystis-colonized subjects had worse obstruction of airways and higher levels of matrix metalloprotease-12 in sputa, suggesting that Pneumocystis colonization may be important in HIV-associated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
PMCID: PMC2772636  PMID: 19759224
4.  Outcome of HIV-associated Pneumocystis pneumonia in hospitalized patients from 2000 through 2003 
Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected persons. Epidemiology of PCP in the recent era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is not well known and the impact of HAART on outcome of PCP has been debated.
To determine the epidemiology of PCP in HIV-infected patients and examine the impact of HAART on PCP outcome.
We performed a retrospective cohort study of 262 patients diagnosed with PCP between January 2000 and December 2003 at a county hospital at an academic medical center. Death while in the hospital was the main outcome measure. Multivariate modeling was performed to determine predictors of mortality.
Overall hospital mortality was 11.6%. Mortality in patients requiring intensive care was 29.0%. The need for mechanical ventilation, development of a pneumothorax, and low serum albumin were independent predictors of increased mortality. One hundred and seven patients received HAART before hospitalization and 16 patients were started on HAART while in the hospital. HAART use either before or during hospitalization was not associated with mortality.
Overall hospital mortality and mortality predictors are similar to those reported earlier in the HAART era. PCP diagnoses in HAART users likely represented failing HAART regimens or non-compliance with HAART.
PMCID: PMC2551597  PMID: 18796158

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