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1.  The EORTC emotional functioning computerized adaptive test: phases I–III of a cross-cultural item bank development 
Psycho-oncology  2013;23(4):397-403.
Background
The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Group is currently developing computerized adaptive testing measures for the Quality of Life Questionnaire Core-30 (QLQ-C30) scales. The work presented here describes the development of an EORTC item bank for emotional functioning (EF), which is one of the core domains of the QLQ-C30.
Methods
According to the EORTC guidelines on module development, the development of the EF item bank comprised four phases, of which the phases I–III are reported in the present paper. Phase I involved defining the theoretical framework for the EF item bank and a literature search. Phase II included pre-defined item selection steps and a multi-stage expert review process. In phase III, feedback from cancer patients from different countries was obtained.
Results
On the basis of literature search in phase I, a list of 1750 items was generated. These were reviewed and further developed in phase II with a focus on relevance, redundancy, clarity, and difficulty. The development and selection steps led to a preliminary list of 41 items. In phase III, patient interviews (N = 41; Austria, Denmark, Italy, and the UK) were conducted with the preliminary item list, resulting in some minor changes to item wording. The final list comprised 38 items.
Discussion
The phases I–III of the developmental process have resulted in an EF item list that was well accepted by patients in several countries. The items will be subjected to larger-scale field testing in order to establish their psychometric characteristics and their fit to an item response theory model.
doi:10.1002/pon.3427
PMCID: PMC3974657  PMID: 24217943
2.  Cytokines, Fatigue, and Cutaneous Erythema in Early Stage Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Adjuvant Radiation Therapy 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:523568.
We investigated the hypothesis that patients developing high-grade erythema of the breast skin during radiation treatment could be more likely to present increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines which may lead, in turn, to associated fatigue. Forty women with early stage breast cancer who received adjuvant radiotherapy were enrolled from 2007 to 2010. Fatigue symptoms, erythema, and cytokine levels (IL-1β, IL-2, IL6, IL-8, TNF-α, and MCP-1) were registered at baseline, during treatment, and after radiotherapy completion. Seven (17.5%) patients presented fatigue without associated depression/anxiety. Grade ≥2 erythema was observed in 5 of these 7 patients. IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, and TNF-α were statistically increased 4 weeks after radiotherapy (P < 0.05). After the Heckman two-step analysis, a statistically significant influence of skin erythema on proinflammatory markers increase (P = 0.00001) was recorded; in the second step, these blood markers showed a significant impact on fatigue (P = 0.026). A seeming increase of fatigue, erythema, and proinflammatory markers was observed between the fourth and the fifth week of treatment followed by a decrease after RT. There were no significant effects of hormone therapy, breast volume, and anemia on fatigue. Our study seems to suggest that fatigue is related to high-grade breast skin erythema during radiotherapy through the increase of cytokines levels.
doi:10.1155/2014/523568
PMCID: PMC3988916  PMID: 24800238
3.  The central proline rich region of POB1/REPS2 plays a regulatory role in epidermal growth factor receptor endocytosis by binding to 14-3-3 and SH3 domain-containing proteins 
BMC Biochemistry  2008;9:21.
Background
The human POB1/REPS2 (Partner of RalBP1) protein is highly conserved in mammals where it has been suggested to function as a molecular scaffold recruiting proteins involved in vesicular traffic and linking them to the actin cytoskeleton remodeling machinery. More recently POB1/REPS2 was found highly expressed in androgen-dependent prostate cancer cell lines, while one of its isoforms (isoform 2) is down regulated during prostate cancer progression.
Results
In this report we characterize the central proline rich domain of POB1/REPS2 and we describe for the first time its functional role in receptor endocytosis. We show that the ectopic expression of this domain has a dominant negative effect on the endocytosis of activated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) while leaving transferrin receptor endocytosis unaffected. By a combination of different approaches (phage display, bioinformatics predictions, peptide arrays, mutagenic analysis, in vivo co-immunoprecipitation), we have identified two closely spaced binding motifs for 14-3-3 and for the SH3 of the proteins Amphiphysin II and Grb2. Differently from wild type, proline rich domains that are altered in these motifs do not inhibit EGFR endocytosis, suggesting that these binding motifs play a functional role in this process.
Conclusion
Our findings are relevant to the characterization of the molecular mechanism underlying the involvement of POB1/REPS2, SH3 and 14-3-3 proteins in receptor endocytosis, suggesting that 14-3-3 could work by bridging the EGF receptor and the scaffold protein POB1/REPS2.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-9-21
PMCID: PMC2494995  PMID: 18647389
4.  ELM server: a new resource for investigating short functional sites in modular eukaryotic proteins 
Nucleic Acids Research  2003;31(13):3625-3630.
Multidomain proteins predominate in eukaryotic proteomes. Individual functions assigned to different sequence segments combine to create a complex function for the whole protein. While on-line resources are available for revealing globular domains in sequences, there has hitherto been no comprehensive collection of small functional sites/motifs comparable to the globular domain resources, yet these are as important for the function of multidomain proteins. Short linear peptide motifs are used for cell compartment targeting, protein–protein interaction, regulation by phosphorylation, acetylation, glycosylation and a host of other post-translational modifications. ELM, the Eukaryotic Linear Motif server at http://elm.eu.org/, is a new bioinformatics resource for investigating candidate short non-globular functional motifs in eukaryotic proteins, aiming to fill the void in bioinformatics tools. Sequence comparisons with short motifs are difficult to evaluate because the usual significance assessments are inappropriate. Therefore the server is implemented with several logical filters to eliminate false positives. Current filters are for cell compartment, globular domain clash and taxonomic range. In favourable cases, the filters can reduce the number of retained matches by an order of magnitude or more.
PMCID: PMC168952  PMID: 12824381
5.  The EORTC emotional functioning computerized adaptive test: phases I–III of a cross-cultural item bank development 
Psycho-Oncology  2013;23(4):397-403.
Background
The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Group is currently developing computerized adaptive testing measures for the Quality of Life Questionnaire Core-30 (QLQ-C30) scales. The work presented here describes the development of an EORTC item bank for emotional functioning (EF), which is one of the core domains of the QLQ-C30.
Methods
According to the EORTC guidelines on module development, the development of the EF item bank comprised four phases, of which the phases I–III are reported in the present paper.
Phase I involved defining the theoretical framework for the EF item bank and a literature search. Phase II included pre-defined item selection steps and a multi-stage expert review process. In phase III, feedback from cancer patients from different countries was obtained.
Results
On the basis of literature search in phase I, a list of 1750 items was generated. These were reviewed and further developed in phase II with a focus on relevance, redundancy, clarity, and difficulty. The development and selection steps led to a preliminary list of 41 items. In phase III, patient interviews (N = 41; Austria, Denmark, Italy, and the UK) were conducted with the preliminary item list, resulting in some minor changes to item wording. The final list comprised 38 items.
Discussion
The phases I–III of the developmental process have resulted in an EF item list that was well accepted by patients in several countries. The items will be subjected to larger-scale field testing in order to establish their psychometric characteristics and their fit to an item response theory model.
doi:10.1002/pon.3427
PMCID: PMC3974657  PMID: 24217943

Results 1-5 (5)