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1.  A Phase II Study of Amrubicin as a Third-Line or Fourth-Line Chemotherapy for Patients With Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Hokkaido Lung Cancer Clinical Study Group Trial (HOT) 0901 
The Oncologist  2013;18(4):439-445.
The efficacy and safety of amrubicin for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer as a third- or fourth-line therapy were evaluated. Amrubicin showed significant clinical activity with manageable toxicities.
Amrubicin, a third-generation synthetic anthracycline agent, has favorable clinical activity and acceptable toxicity for the treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer. We conducted this study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of amrubicin for advanced NSCLC patients as a third- or fourth-line therapy. Eligible patients had recurrent or refractory advanced NSCLC after second- or third-line therapy. Patients received amrubicin, 35 mg/m2 i.v. on days 1–3 every 3 weeks. The primary endpoint was the disease control rate (DCR). Secondary endpoints were the overall survival (OS) time, progression-free survival (PFS) time, response rate, and toxicity profile. Of the 41 patients enrolled, 26 received amrubicin as a third-line and 15 received it as a fourth-line therapy. The median number of treatment cycles was two (range, 1–9). Objective responses were complete response (n = 0), partial response (n = 4), stable disease (n = 21), progressive disease (n = 15), and not evaluable (n = 1), resulting in a DCR of 61.0% (95% confidence interval, 46.0%–75.9%). The overall response rate was 9.8% (95% confidence interval, 0.6%–18.8%). The median PFS interval was 3.0 months, median OS time was 12.6 months, and 1-year survival rate was 53.7%. Grade 3 or 4 hematological toxicities were neutropenia (68%), anemia (12%), thrombocytopenia (12%), and febrile neutropenia (17%). Nonhematological toxicities were mild and reversible. No treatment-related deaths were observed. Amrubicin showed significant clinical activity with manageable toxicities as a third- or fourth-line therapy for patients with advanced NSCLC. This study provides relevant data for routine practice and future prospective trials evaluating third- or fourth-line treatment strategies for patients with advanced NSCLC.
doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2012-0308
PMCID: PMC3639531  PMID: 23442308
Amrubicin; Chemotherapy; Fourth line; Non-small cell lung cancer; Third line
2.  Effect of Lung Volume on Airway Luminal Area Assessed by Computed Tomography in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e90040.
Background
Although airway luminal area (Ai) is affected by lung volume (LV), how is not precisely understood. We hypothesized that the effect of LV on Ai would differ by airway generation, lung lobe, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) severity.
Methods
Sixty-seven subjects (15 at risk, 18, 20, and 14 for COPD stages 1, 2, and 3) underwent pulmonary function tests and computed tomography scans at full inspiration and expiration (at functional residual capacity). LV and eight selected identical airways were measured in the right lung. Ai was measured at the mid-portion of the 3rd, the segmental bronchus, to 6th generation of the airways, leading to 32 measurements per subject.
Results
The ratio of expiratory to inspiratory LV (LV E/I ratio) and Ai (Ai E/I ratio) was defined for evaluation of changes. The LV E/I ratio increased as COPD severity progressed. As the LV E/I ratio was smaller, the Ai E/I ratio was smaller at any generation among the subjects. Overall, the Ai E/I ratios were significantly smaller at the 5th (61.5%) and 6th generations (63.4%) and than at the 3rd generation (73.6%, p<0.001 for each), and also significantly lower in the lower lobe than in the upper or middle lobe (p<0.001 for each). And, the Ai E/I ratio decreased as COPD severity progressed only when the ratio was corrected by the LV E/I ratio (at risk v.s.stage3 p<0.001, stage1 v.s.stage3 p<0.05).
Conclusions
From full inspiration to expiration, the airway luminal area shrinks more at the distal airways compared with the proximal airways and in the lower lobe compared with the other lobes. Generally, the airways shrink more as COPD severity progresses, but this phenomenon becomes apparent only when lung volume change from inspiration to expiration is taken into account.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090040
PMCID: PMC3938549  PMID: 24587205
3.  Genome-Wide Association Study for Levels of Total Serum IgE Identifies HLA-C in a Japanese Population 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e80941.
Most of the previously reported loci for total immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels are related to Th2 cell-dependent pathways. We undertook a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify genetic loci responsible for IgE regulation. A total of 479,940 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were tested for association with total serum IgE levels in 1180 Japanese adults. Fine-mapping with SNP imputation demonstrated 6 candidate regions: the PYHIN1/IFI16, MHC classes I and II, LEMD2, GRAMD1B, and chr13∶60576338 regions. Replication of these candidate loci in each region was assessed in 2 independent Japanese cohorts (n = 1110 and 1364, respectively). SNP rs3130941 in the HLA-C region was consistently associated with total IgE levels in 3 independent populations, and the meta-analysis yielded genome-wide significance (P = 1.07×10−10). Using our GWAS results, we also assessed the reproducibility of previously reported gene associations with total IgE levels. Nine of 32 candidate genes identified by a literature search were associated with total IgE levels after correction for multiple testing. Our findings demonstrate that SNPs in the HLA-C region are strongly associated with total serum IgE levels in the Japanese population and that some of the previously reported genetic associations are replicated across ethnic groups.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080941
PMCID: PMC3851760  PMID: 24324648
4.  Epigenetic therapy with 3-deazaneplanocin A, an inhibitor of the histone methyltransferase EZH2, inhibits growth of non-small cell lung cancer cells 
EZH2 (enhancer of zeste homolog 2) is the catalytic subunit of PRC2 (polycomb repressive complex 2), which mediates histone methyltransferase activity and functions as transcriptional repressor involved in gene silencing. EZH2 is involved in malignant transformation and biological aggressiveness of several human malignancies. We previously demonstrated that non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) also overexpress EZH2 and that high expression of EZH2 correlates with poor prognosis. Growing evidence indicates that EZH2 may be an appropriate therapeutic target in malignancies, including NSCLCs. Recently, an S-adenosyl-L homocysteine hydrolase inhibitor, 3-Deazaneplanocin A (DZNep), has been shown to deplete and inhibit EZH2. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of DZNep in NSCLC cells. Knockdown of EZH2 by small-interfering RNA (siRNA) resulted in decreased growth of four NSCLC cell lines. MTT assays demonstrated that DZNep treatment resulted in dose-dependent inhibition of proliferation in the NSCLC cell lines with a half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) ranging from 0.08 to 0.24 μM. Immortalized but non-cancerous bronchial epithelial and fibroblast cell lines were less sensitive to DZNep than the NSCLC cell lines. Soft agarose assays demonstrated that anchorage-independent growth was also reduced in all three NSCLC cell lines that were evaluated using this assay. Flow cytometry analysis demonstrated that DZNep induced apoptosis and G1 cell cycle arrest in NSCLC cells, which was partially associated with cyclin A decrease and p27Kip1 accumulation. DZNep depleted cellular levels of EZH2 and inhibited the associated histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation. These results indicated that an epigenetic therapy that pharmacologically targets EZH2 via DZNep may constitute a novel approach to treatment of NSCLCs.
doi:10.1016/j.lungcan.2012.08.003
PMCID: PMC3472089  PMID: 22925699
3-deazaneplanocin A (DZNep); polycomb-group protein; EZH2; non-small cell lung cancer; epigenetics; proliferation; apoptosis
5.  Macrolides Inhibit Fusobacterium nucleatum-Induced MUC5AC Production in Human Airway Epithelial Cells 
Fusobacterium nucleatum is one of the most common anaerobic bacteria in periodontitis and is responsible for several extraoral infections, including respiratory tract diseases. In this study, we examined whether F. nucleatum induces mucin secretion in airway epithelial cells. We also examined the effects of macrolides on F. nucleatum-induced mucus production compared with the effects of other antibiotics that exert anti-anaerobic activities. The production of MUC5AC, the major core protein of mucin secreted from the airway surface epithelium, in bronchial epithelial cells after stimulation with culture supernatants (Sup) of F. nucleatum was analyzed by performing enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and quantitative RT-PCR. The cell-signaling pathway of F. nucleatum Sup stimulation was also analyzed by Western blotting. For inhibition studies, cells were treated with azithromycin, clarithromycin, clindamycin (CLDM), and metronidazole (MTZ). The F. nucleatum Sup induced NCI-H292 cells to express MUC5AC at both the protein level and the mRNA level in both a time- and dose-dependent manner. Macrolides inhibited F. nucleatum Sup-induced MUC5AC production, while CLDM and MTZ were less effective. F. nucleatum Sup induced the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), and this induction was suppressed by macrolides. F. nucleatum Sup-induced MUC5AC production was blocked by the ERK pathway inhibitor U0126. F. nucleatum is likely to contribute to excessive mucin production, which suggests that periodontitis may correlate with the pathogenesis of chronic respiratory tract infection. Macrolides seem to reduce this mucin production and might represent an additional means of therapeutic intervention for F. nucleatum respiratory tract infections other than CLDM and MTZ.
doi:10.1128/AAC.02466-12
PMCID: PMC3623308  PMID: 23380724
6.  Paradoxical Interventricular Septal Motion as a Major Determinant of Late Gadolinium Enhancement in Ventricular Insertion Points in Pulmonary Hypertension 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66724.
Background
This study investigated the major clinical determinants of late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) at ventricular insertion points (VIPs) commonly seen in patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH).
Methods
Forty-six consecutive PH patients (mean pulmonary artery pressure ≥25 mmHg at rest) and 21 matched controls were examined. Right ventricular (RV) morphology, function and LGE mass volume at VIPs were assessed by cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR). Radial motion of the left ventricular (LV) wall and interventricular septum (IVS) was assessed by speckle-tracking echocardiography. Paradoxical IVS motion index was then calculated. Univariate and multivariate regression analysis were conducted to characterize the relationship between LGE volume at VIPs and PH-related clinical indices, including the paradoxical IVS motion index.
Results
Mean pulmonary arterial pressure (MPAP) of PH patients was 38±9 mmHg. LGE at VIPs was observed in 42 of 46 PH patients, and the LGE volume was 2.02 mL (0.47–2.99 mL). Significant correlations with LGE volume at VIPs were observed for MPAP (r = 0.50) and CMR-derived parameters [RV mass index (r = 0.53), RV end-diastolic volume index (r = 0.53), RV ejection fraction (r = −0.56), and paradoxical IVS motion index (r = 0.77)]. In multiple regression analysis, paradoxical IVS motion index alone significantly predicted LGE volume at VIPs (p<0.001).
Conclusions
LGE at VIPs seen in patients with PH appears to reflect altered IVS motion rather than elevated RV pressure or remodeling. Long-term studies would be of benefit to characterize the clinical relevance of LGE at VIPs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066724
PMCID: PMC3691198  PMID: 23826118
7.  Characteristics of stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients in the pulmonology clinics of seven Asian cities 
Background and objectives
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. We evaluated the characteristics of stable COPD patients in the pulmonology clinics of seven Asian cities and also evaluated whether the exposure to biomass fuels and dusty jobs were related to respiratory symptoms, airflow limitation, and quality of life in the COPD patients.
Methods
This cross-sectional observational study recruited 922 COPD patients from seven cities of Asia. The patients underwent spirometry and were administered questionnaires about their exposure to cigarette smoking, biomass fuels, and dusty jobs in addition to respiratory symptoms and health related quality of life.
Results
Of the patients, there appeared to be variations from city to city in the history of exposure to biomass fuels and dusty jobs and also in respiratory symptoms of cough, phlegm, wheeze, and dyspnea. These symptoms were more frequent in those COPD patients with a history of exposure to biomass fuels than without and those with a history of exposure to dusty jobs than without (P < 0.01 for all comparisons). Airflow limitation was more severe in those COPD patients with a history of exposure to biomass fuels than without (52.2% predicted versus 55.9% of post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1], P = 0.009); quality of life was poorer in those with exposure to biomass fuels than without (40.4 versus 36.2 of the St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire [SGRQ] total score, P = 0.001). Airflow limitation was more severe in those COPD patients with a history of exposure to dusty jobs than without (51.2% predicted versus 57.3% of post-bronchodilator FEV1, P < 0.001); quality of life was poorer in those with dusty jobs than without (41.0 versus 34.6 of SGRQ score, P = 0.006).
Conclusion
In Asian cities, the characteristics of COPD patients vary and the history of exposure to biomass fuels or dusty jobs was related to frequency of symptoms, severe airflow limitation, and poor quality of life.
PMCID: PMC3553655  PMID: 23378753
COPD; Asia; biomass; dust
8.  Expression of Bim, Noxa, and Puma in non-small cell lung cancer 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:286.
Background
The BH3-only members of the Bcl-2 protein family have been proposed to play a key role in the control of apoptosis and in the initiation of the apoptotic pathways. In this study, we evaluated the expression of Bim, Noxa, and Puma in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Methods
A total of 135 surgically resected NSCLCs were immunohistochemically assessed for Bim, Noxa, and Puma expression. The immunoscores were determined, and then its correlation with either the clinicopathological variables or the survival outcomes were analyzed.
Results
Immunohistochemical reactivity for Bim, Noxa, and Puma was detected in the cytoplasm of the tumor cells. Bim expression was associated with several clinicopathological factors, including sex (p < 0.001), smoking habit (p = 0.03), pathological histology (p = 0.001), pathological T stage (p = 0.03), pathological disease stage (p = 0.02), and differentiation of tumor (p < 0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed a significant correlation between low Bim expression and squamous cell carcinoma (p = 0.04), in addition to a correlation between high Bim expression and well differentiated tumors (p = 0.02). Analysis of cellular biological expression demonstrated a link between low Bim expression and high Ki67. While Noxa expression was also shown to be correlated with both smoking habit (p = 0.02) and the pathological histology (p = 0.03), there was no strong association observed between the expression and the clinical features when they were examined by a multivariate logistic regression analysis. No correlations were noted between Puma expression and any of the variables. Our analyses also indicated that the expression levels of the BH3-only proteins were not pertinent to the survival outcome.
Conclusions
The current analyses demonstrated that Bim expression in the NSCLCs was associated with both squamous cell carcinoma histology and tumor proliferation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-286
PMCID: PMC3438016  PMID: 22788963
9.  Effects of molecular structural variants on serum Krebs von den Lungen-6 levels in sarcoidosis 
Background
Serum Krebs von den Lungen-6 (KL-6), which is classified as human mucin-1 (MUC1), is used as a marker of sarcoidosis and other interstitial lung diseases. However, there remain some limitations due to a lack of information on the factors contributing to increased levels of serum KL-6. This study was designed to investigate the factors contributing to increased levels of serum KL-6 by molecular analysis.
Methods
Western blot analysis using anti-KL-6 antibody was performed simultaneously on the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and serum obtained from 128 subjects with sarcoidosis.
Results
KL-6/MUC1 in BALF showed three bands and five band patterns. These band patterns were associated with the MUC1 genotype and the KL-6 levels. KL-6/MUC1 band patterns in serum were dependent on molecular size class in BALF. Significantly increased levels of serum KL-6, serum/BALF KL-6 ratio and serum soluble interleukin 2 receptor were observed in the subjects with influx of high molecular size KL-6/MUC1 from the alveoli to blood circulation. The multivariate linear regression analysis involving potentially relevant variables such as age, gender, smoking status, lung parenchymal involvement based on radiographical stage and molecular size of KL-6/MUC1 in serum showed that the molecular size of KL-6/MUC1 in serum was significant independent determinant of serum KL-6 levels.
Conclusions
The molecular structural variants of KL-6/MUC1 and its leakage behavior affect serum levels of KL-6 in sarcoidosis. This information may assist in the interpretation of serum KL-6 levels in sarcoidosis.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-10-111
PMCID: PMC3394217  PMID: 22650152
Serum KL-6; Molecular structural variant; Sarcoidosis
10.  Efficacy and safety of inhaled formoterol 4.5 and 9 μg twice daily in Japanese and European COPD patients: Phase III study results 
Background
This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of the long-acting β2-agonist formoterol in patients with moderate-to-severe COPD.
Methods
This double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, multinational phase III study randomized patients ≥ 40 years of age with moderate-to-severe COPD to inhaled formoterol 4.5 or 9 μg twice daily (bid) via Turbuhaler® or placebo for 12 weeks. Salbutamol 100 μg/actuation via pMDI was permitted as reliever medication. The primary outcome variable was change (ratio) from baseline to treatment period in FEV1 60-min post-dose.
Results
613 patients received treatment (formoterol 4.5 μg n = 206; 9 μg n = 199; placebo n = 208); 539 (87.9%) male; 324 (52.9%) Japanese and 289 (47.1%) European. End of study increases in FEV1 60-min post-dose were significantly greater (p < 0.001 for both) with formoterol 4.5 and 9 μg bid (113% of baseline for both) than with placebo, as were all secondary outcome measures. The proportion of patients with an improvement in St George's Respiratory Questionnaire score of ≥ 4 was 50.2% for formoterol 4.5 μg (p = 0.0682 vs. placebo), 59.2% (p = 0.0004) for 9 μg, and 41.3% for placebo. Reduction in reliever medication use was significantly greater with formoterol vs. placebo (9 μg: -0.548, p < 0.001; 4.5 μg: -0.274, p = 0.027), with 9 μg being significantly superior to 4.5 μg (-0.274, p = 0.029). Formoterol was well tolerated with the incidence and type of adverse events not being different for the three groups.
Conclusions
Formoterol 4.5 μg and 9 μg bid was effective and well tolerated in patients with COPD; there was no difference between formoterol doses for the primary endpoint; however, an added value of formoterol 9 μg over 4.5 μg bid was observed for some secondary endpoints.
Trial registration
NCT00628862 (ClinicalTrials.gov); D5122C00001 (AstraZeneca Study code).
doi:10.1186/1471-2466-11-51
PMCID: PMC3233513  PMID: 22085439
11.  Virtual bronchoscopic navigation combined with endobronchial ultrasound to diagnose small peripheral pulmonary lesions: a randomised trial 
Thorax  2011;66(12):1072-1077.
Background
Bronchoscopy using endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) can help to diagnose small peripheral pulmonary lesions. However, although biopsy sites can be confirmed, a bronchoscope cannot be guided in EBUS. Virtual bronchoscopic navigation (VBN) can guide a bronchoscope with virtual images, but its value has not been confirmed.
Methods
This prospective multicentre study examines the value of VBN-assisted EBUS for diagnosing small peripheral pulmonary lesions. 199 patients with small peripheral pulmonary lesions (diameter ≤30 mm) were randomly assigned to VBN-assisted (VBNA) or non-VBN-assisted (NVBNA) groups. A bronchoscope was introduced into the target bronchus of the VBNA group using the VBN system. Sites of specimen sampling were verified using EBUS with a guide sheath under fluoroscopy.
Results
The diagnostic yield was higher for the VBNA than for the NVBNA group (80.4% vs 67.0%; p=0.032). The duration of the examination and time elapsed until the start of sample collection were reduced in the VBNA compared with the NVBNA group (median (range), 24.0 (8.7–47.0) vs 26.2 (11.6–58.6) min, p=0.016) and 8.1 (2.8–39.2) vs 9.8 (2.3–42.3) min, p=0.045, respectively). The only adverse event was mild pneumothorax in a patient from the NVBNA group.
Conclusions
The diagnostic yield for small peripheral pulmonary lesions is increased when VBN is combined with EBUS.
Clinical trial number
UMIN000000569.
doi:10.1136/thx.2010.145490
PMCID: PMC3221323  PMID: 21749984
Diagnostic bronchoscopy; lung cancer; navigational bronchoscopy; solitary pulmonary nodule; transbronchial biopsy
12.  Polymorphisms in the sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin-8 (Siglec-8) gene are associated with susceptibility to asthma 
Sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin-8 (Siglec-8) promotes the apoptosis of eosinophils and inhibits FcɛRI-dependent mediator release from mast cells. We investigated the genetic association between sequence variants in Siglec-8 and diagnosis of asthma, total levels of serum IgE (tIgE), and diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) in diverse populations. The effect of sequence variants on Siglec-8 glycan ligand-binding activity was also examined. Significant association with asthma was observed for SNP rs36498 (odds ratios (OR), 0.69, P=8.8 × 10−5) among African Americans and for SNP rs10409962 (Ser/Pro) in the Japanese population (OR, 0.69, P=0.019). Supporting this finding, we observed association between SNP rs36498 and current asthma among Brazilian families (P=0.013). Significant association with tIgE was observed for SNP rs6509541 among African Americans (P=0.016), and replicated among the Brazilian families (P=0.02). In contrast, no association was observed with EE in Caucasians. By using a synthetic polymer decorated with 6′-sulfo-sLex, a known Siglec-8 glycan ligand, we did not find any differences between the ligand-binding activity of HEK293 cells stably transfected with the rs10409962 risk allele or the WT allele. However, our association results suggest that the Siglec8 gene may be a susceptibility locus for asthma.
doi:10.1038/ejhg.2009.239
PMCID: PMC2987348  PMID: 20087405
sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin-8 (Siglec8); polymorphisms; asthma; eosinophilic esophagitis
14.  The Role of Catalase in Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):183.
Background
Catalase is preferentially expressed in bronchiolar and alveolar epithelial cells, and acts as an endogenous antioxidant enzyme in normal lungs. We thus postulated epithelial damage would be associated with a functional deficiency of catalase during the development of lung fibrosis.
Methods
The present study evaluates the expression of catalase mRNA and protein in human interstitial pneumonias and in mouse bleomycin-induced lung injury. We examined the degree of bleomycin-induced inflammation and fibrosis in the mice with lowered catalase activity.
Results
In humans, catalase was decreased at the levels of activity, protein content and mRNA expression in fibrotic lungs (n = 12) compared to control lungs (n = 10). Immunohistochemistry revealed a decrease in catalase in bronchiolar epithelium and abnormal re-epithelialization in fibrotic areas. In C57BL/6J mice, catalase activity was suppressed along with downregulation of catalase mRNA in whole lung homogenates after bleomycin administration. In acatalasemic mice, neutrophilic inflammation was prolonged until 14 days, and there was a higher degree of lung fibrosis in association with a higher level of transforming growth factor-β expression and total collagen content following bleomycin treatment compared to wild-type mice.
Conclusions
Taken together, these findings demonstrate diminished catalase expression and activity in human pulmonary fibrosis and suggest the protective role of catalase against bleomycin-induced inflammation and subsequent fibrosis.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-11-183
PMCID: PMC3022724  PMID: 21190578
15.  Characterisation of phenotypes based on severity of emphysema in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Thorax  2007;62(11):932-937.
Background
Airflow limitation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is caused by a mixture of small airway disease and emphysema, the relative contributions of which may vary among patients. Phenotypes of COPD classified purely based on severity of emphysema are not well defined and may be different from the classic phenotypes of “pink puffers” and “blue bloaters”.
Methods
To characterise clinical phenotypes based on severity of emphysema, 274 subjects with COPD were recruited, excluding those with physician‐diagnosed bronchial asthma. For all subjects a detailed interview of disease history and symptoms, quality of life (QOL) measurement, blood sampling, pulmonary function tests before and after inhalation of salbutamol (0.4 mg) and high‐resolution CT scanning were performed.
Results
Severity of emphysema visually evaluated varied widely even among subjects with the same stage of disease. No significant differences were noted among three groups of subjects classified by severity of emphysema in age, smoking history, chronic bronchitis symptoms, blood eosinophil count, serum IgE level or bronchodilator response. However, subjects with severe emphysema had significantly lower body mass index (BMI) and poorer QOL scores, evaluated using St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), than those with no/mild emphysema (mean (SD) BMI 21.2 (0.5) vs 23.5 (0.3) kg/m2, respectively; SGRQ total score 40 (3) vs 28 (2), respectively; p<0.001 for both). These characteristics held true even if subjects with the same degree of airflow limitation were chosen.
Conclusions
The severity of emphysema varies widely even in patients with the same stage of COPD, and chronic bronchitis symptoms are equally distributed irrespective of emphysema severity. Patients with the phenotype in which emphysema predominates have lower BMI and poorer health‐related QOL.
doi:10.1136/thx.2006.072777
PMCID: PMC2117136  PMID: 17573447
16.  Genetic variants in mannose receptor gene (MRC1) confer susceptibility to increased risk of sarcoidosis 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:151.
Background
Mannose receptor (MR) is a member of the C-type lectin receptor family involved in pathogen molecular-pattern recognition and thought to be critical in shaping host immune response. The aim of this study was to investigate potential associations of genetic variants in the MRC1 gene with sarcoidosis.
Methods
Nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), encompassing the MRC1 gene, were genotyped in a total of 605 Japanese consisting of 181 sarcoidosis patients and 424 healthy controls.
Results
Suggestive evidence of association between rs691005 SNP and risk of sarcoidosis was observed independent of sex and age in a recessive model (P = 0.001).
Conclusions
These results suggest that MRC1 is an important candidate gene for sarcoidosis. This is the first study to imply that genetic variants in MRC1, a major member of the C-type lectin, contribute to the development of sarcoidosis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-151
PMCID: PMC2987761  PMID: 21029423
17.  Comparison of the Pharmacodynamics of Biapenem in Bronchial Epithelial Lining Fluid in Healthy Volunteers Given Half-Hour and Three-Hour Intravenous Infusions▿  
The time above the MIC (T>MIC) is the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) parameter that correlates with the therapeutic efficacy of beta-lactam antibiotics. A prolonged infusion can provide plasma drug concentrations that remain above the MIC for a long period. The objective of this study was to compare the PK/PD parameters in bronchial epithelial lining fluid (ELF) of biapenem given as 0.5-h and 3-h infusions by using bronchoscopic microsampling (BMS). Six healthy adult volunteers received 0.5-h and 3-h infusions of 0.3 g of biapenem with a washout interval. BMS was performed repeatedly from 0.5 to 24 h after biapenem administration in order to determine the pharmacokinetics in bronchial ELF. The subjects received intravenous biapenem with the same regimens again and then underwent bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) at the end of infusion in order to determine the concentration of the drug in alveolar ELF. The percentages (means ± standard deviations) of T>MIC in bronchial ELF at MICs from 0.25 to 4 μg/ml ranged from zero to 34.6% ± 5.2% after the 0.5-h infusion and from 5.1% ± 5.6% to 52.2% ± 17.0% after the 3-h infusion. The percentage of T>MIC in bronchial ELF after the 3-h infusion tended to be higher than that after the 0.5-h infusion. The concentrations of the drug in alveolar ELF after 0.5-h and 3-h infusions were 3.5 ± 1.2 μg/ml and 1.3 ± 0.3 μg/ml, respectively. The present results support the use of prolonged infusions of beta-lactam antibiotics and may provide critical information for successful treatment of lower respiratory tract infections based on PK/PD parameters in bronchial ELF.
doi:10.1128/AAC.01578-08
PMCID: PMC2704648  PMID: 19380601
18.  Prolonged survival of patients with lung adenocarcinoma expressing XAGE-1b and HLA class I antigens 
XAGE-1b is a cancer/testis antigen that has been shown to be expressed at a significant frequency and to be immunogenic in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In the present study, we investigated correlations between XAGE-1b expression and NSCLC patient survival. XAGE-1b expression was examined immunohistochemically using USO9-13, an anti-XAGE-1b monoclonal antibody, in 121 NSCLCs (83 adenocarcinomas and 38 other histological types). XAGE-1b expression was observed in 27 (32.5%) adenocarcinoma specimens. In the other histological types, positive staining was observed in only 1 specimen. HLA class I expression in these samples was assessed previously. XAGE-1b expression had no correlation with overall survival. However, both XAGE-1b and HLA class I expression correlated with prolonged survival (P = 0.019). Moreover, expression of XAGE-1b combined with down-regulated HLA class I expression correlated with poor survival (P = 0.01). The density of cancer nest-infiltrating CD8+ T-cells in tumors expressing both XAGE-1b and HLA class I was higher than that in other groups. The findings suggest that XAGE-1b and HLA class I expression elicited a CD8+ T-cell response against minimal residual disease after surgery and resulted in prolonged survival of NSCLC patients.
PMCID: PMC2935781  PMID: 18752338
human; non-small cell lung cancer; XAGE-1; HLA class I antigen; immunohistochemistry; prognosis
19.  Effects of replacing metformin with pioglitazone on glycemic control in japanese patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus: A 12-week, open-label, prospective study 
Background: Insulin resistance is a critical aspect of the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus and is also associated with other risk factors for cardiovascular disease (eg, dyslipidemia and hypertension). Accordingly, insulin resistance is a possible target for lowering plasma glucose concentration and preventing diabetic macroangiopathy. Biguanides, such as metformin, and thiazolidinediones (TZDs), such as pioglitazone, improve insulin resistance.
Objectives: The aims of this study were to assess the effects of replacing a biguanide with a TZD on glycemic control in patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus, and also to identify the factors affecting interpatient variation in the effects of treatment change.
Methods: This was a 12-week, open-label, prospective study in which previously prescribed metformin (500 or 750 mg/d) was replaced with pioglitazone (15 or 30 mg/d) in patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus. Patients with a glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) concentration >7% despite treatment with diet, exercise, and hypoglycemic agents other than TZDs were eligible for the study. Patients who never received TZDs were also eligible for inclusion. Vital signs, metabolic parameters, and arterial stiffness were assessed at baseline and after 12 weeks of treatment with pioglitazone. The primary end point was change in HbA1c concentration after replacing metformin with pioglitazone. Tolerability was assessed by medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests (aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase).
Results: Twenty-one Japanese patients (15 women, 6 men; mean [SD] age, 61.8 [8.4] years; body mass index, 25.5 [3.0] kg/m2) were included in the study. HbA1c concentration was not significantly changed from baseline after 12 weeks of pioglitazone treatment (8.0% [0.7%] vs 8.2% [0.7%]). Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) concentration also was not significantly changed after the replacement of treatment (156 [27] vs 144 [30] mg/dL). In addition, the resistin concentration did not change significantly from baseline after 12 weeks of pioglitazone treatment (6.6 [3.8] vs 6.4 [3.6] ng/mL). In contrast, significant improvement from baseline was observed in triglyceride (TG) concentrations (157 [109] vs 117 [68] mg/dL; P = 0.003), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (55 [12] vs 61 [16] mg/dL; P = 0.016), remnant-like particle cholesterol (6.6 [6.0] vs 5.3 [3.5] mg/dL; P = 0.048), and serum adiponectin (8.8 [4.3] vs 23.3 [11.7] μg/mL; P < 0.001). Pulse wave velocity was also significantly improved (1730 [361] vs 1622 [339] m/sec; P = 0.009). Changes in HbA1c were significantly correlated with serum fasting insulin concentration at baseline in the patients not receiving insulin preparations (r = -0.635, P = 0.013). The percentage change in serum adiponectin concentration was correlated with the percentage changes in HbA1c and FPG concentrations (HbA1c, r = -0.518, P = 0.019; FPG, r = -0.594, P = 0.006). Body weight was significantly increased after treatment (62.6 [11.9] vs 65.5 [12.2] kg; P < 0.001). Mild edema was reported in 5 patients. One patient discontinued treatment due to an increase in serum creatine kinase activity to ~6.6 times the upper limit of normal.
Conclusions: Replacement of metformin with pioglitazone did not produce significant differences in HbA1c and FPG concentrations from baseline after 12 weeks of treatment in these patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, the replacement was effective in a subset of patients whose serum insulin concentrations were high or whose serum adiponectin concentrations were sensitive to TZDs. In addition, the replacement was associated with significant improvements in TG, HDL-C, serum adiponectin concentration, pulse wave velocity, and body weight increase from baseline.
doi:10.1016/j.curtheres.2008.08.005
PMCID: PMC3969936  PMID: 24692813
insulin resistance; metformin; pioglitazone; Japanese
20.  Bronchiolar chemokine expression is different after single versus repeated cigarette smoke exposure 
Respiratory Research  2008;9(1):7.
Background
Bronchioles are critical zones in cigarette smoke (CS)-induced lung inflammation. However, there have been few studies on the in vivo dynamics of cytokine gene expression in bronchiolar epithelial cells in response to CS.
Methods
We subjected C57BL/6J mice to CS (whole body exposure, 90 min/day) for various periods, and used laser capture microdissection to isolate bronchiolar epithelial cells for analysis of mRNA by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.
Results
We detected enhanced expression of keratinocyte-derived chemokine (KC), macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) by bronchial epithelial cells after 10 consecutive days of CS exposure. This was mirrored by increases in neutrophils and KC, MIP-2, TNF-α, and IL-1β proteins in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. The initial inhalation of CS resulted in rapid and robust upregulation of KC and MIP-2 with concomitant DNA oxidation within 1 hr, followed by a return to control values within 3 hrs. In contrast, after CS exposure for 10 days, this initial surge was not observed. As the CS exposure was extended to 4, 12, 18 and 24 weeks, the bronchiolar KC and MIP-2 expression and their levels in BAL fluid were relatively dampened compared to those at 10 days. However, neutrophils in BAL fluid continuously increased up to 24 weeks, suggesting that neutrophil accumulation as a result of long-term CS exposure became independent of KC and MIP-2.
Conclusion
These findings indicate variable patterns of bronchiolar epithelial cytokine expression depending on the duration of CS exposure, and that complex mechanisms govern bronchiolar molecular dynamics in vivo.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-9-7
PMCID: PMC2248575  PMID: 18208591
21.  Clinical benefit of readministration of gefitinib for initial gefitinib-responders with non-small cell lung cancer 
BMC Cancer  2007;7:51.
Background
Gefitinib, an oral agent of epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, has a certain efficacy against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Several predictive factors of gefitinib sensitivity have been well described. However, few studies have investigated the clinical features of gefitinib-responders. In the present study, we analyzed the response and disease progression of primary and metastatic lesions to gefitinib in responders and the results of gefitinib readministration following temporary cessation of gefitinib upon progression of initial gefitinib treatment and other treatments.
Method
We retrospectively evaluated the clinical courses of 27 NSCLC patients who received gefitinib and achieved either a complete or partial response.
Results
The best-response rate and disease-control rate against the initial chemotherapy for the gefitinib-responders were 27.3% and 77.3%, respectively. Favorable efficacy was observed in the primary lesion and metastases to the lung, liver and brain, while there was no obvious effect on bone metastasis. The primary lesion and intrapulmonary metastasis were the sites of major recurrence. Median progression-free survival was 13.8 months, median duration of gefitinib treatment was 17.0 months and median overall survival was 29.2 months. Some of the patients who experienced disease progression after responding to gefitinib were again sensitive to readministration of gefitinib following temporary cessation of gefitinib and other treatments.
Conclusion
Patients may still be expected to have prolonged survival if they once responded to gefitinib and then underwent various subsequent treatments followed by readministration of gefitinib. These findings might provide valuable information for the management of gefitinib-responders.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-7-51
PMCID: PMC1838917  PMID: 17374153
22.  AUTHORS' REPLY 
Thorax  1993;48(5):582.
PMCID: PMC464536

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