Older adults with macular disease are at increased risk of memory decline and incident dementia. Low vision rehabilitation (LVR) aims to preserve independence in people with irreversible vision loss, but comorbid memory problems could limit the success of rehabilitation. This study examined whether performance on a brief memory test is related to functional outcomes among older patients undergoing LVR for macular disease.
Observational cohort study of patients receiving outpatient LVR
91 seniors (average age 80.1 years) with macular disease
Memory was assessed at baseline with a 10-word list; memory deficit was defined as immediate recall of ≤ two words. Vision-related function was measured with the 25-item Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ-25)administered at baseline and during subsequent interviews (mean length of follow up = 115 days). Linear mixed models (LMMs) were constructed to compare average trajectories of four VFQ-25 subscales: near activities, distance activities, dependency, and role difficulty.
The 29.7% of patients with memory deficit tended to decline in ability to accomplish activities that involve near vision. Controlling for age, sex, and education, the functional trajectory of participants with memory deficit differed significantly from that of participants with better memory (p=0.002), who tended to report improvements in ability to accomplish near activities.
Among older adults receiving LVR for macular disease, those with memory deficit experienced worse functional trajectories in their ability to perform specific visually mediated tasks. A brief memory screen may help explain variability in rehabilitation outcomes and identify patients who might require special accommodations.
age-related macular degeneration; comorbidity; disability; cognitive impairment
While adjuvant chemoradiation is commonly used in the United States for treatment of resected pancreatic cancer, there is no consensus on the benefit of this therapy as results from randomized trials are conflicting. We reviewed our experience in a consecutive, unselected series of patients treated with adjuvant 5-FU and radiation therapy for resected pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
86 patients with resected pancreatic adenocarcinoma who underwent adjuvant therapy from 1998–2005 were identified. Medical records were reviewed. 93% of patients were treated with external beam RT to ≥ 50.4 Gy and 91% of patients received concurrent 5-FU by continuous infusion. 45% of patients went on to receive adjuvant gemcitabine.
Median follow-up was 31 months (range 21–62) among the 20 patients still alive. Fewer than half of patients had positive (33%) or close (<1mm, 15%) resection margins. 81% of the tumors were T3; 66% had involved lymph nodes. The median overall survival (OS) for all patients was 22 months; negative lymph node status (p=0.016) was a significant prognostic factor for improved OS, while treatment with gemcitabine trended towards improved OS (p=0.080). Median disease-free survival (DFS) for all patients was 10 months, and treatment with gemcitabine (p=0.044) or any chemotherapy (p=0.047) were significant predictors of DFS. 75 patients (87%) had disease recurrence, the majority of whom recurred with peritoneal (55%) or liver (53%) metastases. Negative lymph nodes trended towards a lower rate of distant failure (p=0.060).
The median survival of this cohort is greater than that of the chemoradiation arms of the EORTC and ESPAC-1 trials, and comparable to the survival observed on the GITSG chemoradiation arm. Lymph node status and treatment with adjuvant chemotherapy were significant predictors of OS and DFS, respectively. Future survival improvements should be directed at reducing peritoneal and liver metastases. Further randomized trials are required to define the role of adjuvant therapy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
pancreatic cancer; adjuvant therapy; chemoradiation; gemcitabine; patterns of failure
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related death, and usually arises from colorectal polyps. Screening and removal of polyps reduce mortality from CRC. Colorectal polyps are known to aggregate in families; however the genetic determinants for risk of polyps are unknown. Additionally, it has been shown that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use decreases the risk of CRC and the incidence and size of polyps. In this study, we used data from the Tennessee Colorectal Polyp Study and the Tennessee-Indiana Adenoma Recurrence Study to evaluate selected genes from the prostaglandin metabolism and signaling pathways for association with risk of polyps and for interactions with NSAIDs. Our design consisted of discovery and replication phases for a total of 2,551 Caucasian polyp cases and 3,285 Caucasian controls. We performed multivariable logistic regression to test for association in both the discovery and replication phase and further examined the results with meta-analysis. We detected association signals in the genes prostaglandin E receptor 3 (PTGER3) and 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (HPGD), both strong biological candidates for influence on polyp risk. We did not observe the previously reported effects and effect modification in prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2), prostaglandin E receptor 2 (PTGER2), or prostaglandin E receptor 4 (PTGER4), although we did observe a single nucleotide polymorphism in PTGER2 associated with risk of multiple adenomas. We also observed effect modification of the HPGD signal by NSAID exposure.
Colorectal adenoma; genetic association; prostaglandin signaling; prostaglandin metabolism; NSAIDs
Background: A recent meta-analysis based on data from > 7,000 pregnancies reported an association between prenatal polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)–153 exposure and reduced birth weight. Gestational weight gain, which is associated negatively with PCB levels in maternal and cord blood, and positively with birth weight, could substantially confound this association.
Objective: We sought to estimate the influence of gestational weight gain on the association between PCB-153 exposure and birth weight using a pharmacokinetic model.
Methods: We modified a recently published pharmacokinetic model and ran Monte Carlo simulations accounting for variability in physiologic parameters and their correlations. We evaluated the pharmacokinetic model by comparing simulated plasma PCB-153 levels during pregnancy to serial measurements in 10 pregnant women from another study population. We estimated the association between simulated plasma PCB-153 levels and birth weight using linear regression models.
Results: The plasma PCB-153 level profiles generated with the pharmacokinetic model were comparable to measured levels in 10 pregnant women. We estimated a 118-g decrease in birth weight (95% CI: –129, –106 g) for each 1-μg/L increase in simulated cord plasma PCB-153, compared with the 150-g decrease estimated based on the previous meta-analysis. The estimated decrease in birth weight was reduced to –6 g (95% CI: –18, 6 g) when adjusted for simulated gestational weight gain.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that associations previously noted between PCB levels and birth weight may be attributable to confounding by maternal weight gain during pregnancy.
Citation: Verner MA, McDougall R, Glynn A, Andersen ME, Clewell HJ III, Longnecker MP. 2013. Is the relationship between prenatal exposure to PCB-153 and decreased birth weight attributable to pharmacokinetics? Environ Health Perspect 121:1219–1224; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1206457
Biomarker discovery datasets created using mass spectrum protein profiling of complex mixtures of proteins contain many peaks that represent the same protein with different charge states. Correlated variables such as these can confound the statistical analyses of proteomic data. Previously we developed an algorithm that clustered mass spectrum peaks that were biologically or technically correlated. Here we demonstrate an algorithm that clusters correlated technical aliases only.
In this paper, we propose a preprocessing algorithm that can be used for grouping technical aliases in mass spectrometry protein profiling data. The stringency of the variance allowed for clustering is customizable, thereby affecting the number of peaks that are clustered. Subsequent analysis of the clusters, instead of individual peaks, helps reduce difficulties associated with technically-correlated data, and can aid more efficient biomarker identification.
This software can be used to pre-process and thereby decrease the complexity of protein profiling proteomics data, thus simplifying the subsequent analysis of biomarkers by decreasing the number of tests. The software is also a practical tool for identifying which features to investigate further by purification, identification and confirmation.
This paper introduces an improved tool for designing matched-pairs randomized trials. The tool allows the incorporation of clinical and other knowledge regarding the relative importance of variables used in matching and allows for multiple types of missing data. The method is illustrated in the context of a cluster-randomized trial. A web application and R package are introduced to implement the method and incorporate recent advances in the area.
Reweighted Mahalanobis Distance (RMD) matching incorporates user-specified weights and imputed values for missing data. Weight may be assigned to missingness indicators to match on missingness patterns. Three examples are presented, using real data from a cohort of 90 Veterans Health Administration sites that had at least 100 incident metformin users in 2007. Matching is utilized to balance seven factors aggregated at the site level. Covariate balance is assessed for 10,000 randomizations under each strategy: simple randomization, matched randomization using the Mahalanobis distance, and matched randomization using the RMD.
The RMD matching achieved better balance than simple randomization or MD randomization. In the first example, simple and MD randomization resulted in a 10% chance of seeing an absolute mean difference of greater than 26% in the percent of nonwhite patients per site; the RMD dramatically reduced that to 6%. The RMD achieved significant improvement over simple randomization even with as much as 20% of the data missing.
RMD matching provides an easy-to-use tool that incorporates user knowledge and missing data.
The mitochondrial enzyme 25-hydroxyvitamin D 1α-hydroxylase, which is encoded by the CYP27B1 gene, converts 25OHD to the biological active form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D). Renal 1α-hydroxylase activity is the principal determinant of the circulating 1,25(OH)2D concentration and enzyme activity is tightly regulated by several factors. Fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23) decreases serum 1,25(OH)2D concentrations by suppressing CYP27B1 mRNA abundance in mice. In extra-renal tissues, 1α-hydroxylase is responsible for local 1,25(OH)2D synthesis, which has important paracrine actions, but whether FGF-23 regulates CYP27B1 gene expression in extra-renal tissues is unknown. We sought to determine whether FGF-23 regulates CYP27B1 transcription in the kidney and whether extra-renal tissues are target sites for FGF-23-induced suppression of CYP27B1. In HEK293 cells transfected with the human CYP27B1 promoter, FGF-23 suppressed promoter activity by 70%, and the suppressive effect was blocked by CI-1040, a specific inhibitor of extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2. To examine CYP27B1 transcriptional activity in vivo, we crossed fgf-23 null mice with mice bearing the CYP27B1 promoter-driven luciferase transgene (1α-Luc). In the kidney of FGF-23 null/1α-Luc mice, CYP27B1 promoter activity was increased by 3-fold compared to that in wild-type/1α-Luc mice. Intraperitoneal injection of FGF-23 suppressed renal CYP27B1 promoter activity and protein expression by 26% and 60% respectively, and the suppressive effect was blocked by PD0325901, an ERK1/2 inhibitor. These findings provide evidence that FGF-23 suppresses CYP27B1 transcription in the kidney. Furthermore, we demonstrate that in FGF-23 null/1α-Luc mice, CYP27B1 promoter activity and mRNA abundance are increased in several extra-renal sites. In the heart of FGF-23 null/1α-Luc mice, CYP27B1 promoter activity and mRNA were 2- and 5-fold higher, respectively, than in control mice. We also observed a 3- to 10-fold increase in CYP27B1 mRNA abundance in the lung, spleen, aorta and testis of FGF-23 null/1α-Luc mice. Thus, we have identified novel extra-renal target sites for FGF-23-mediated regulation of CYP27B1.
A solid phase recombinant-immunoblot-assay(RIBA) is often used to determine the specificity of antibody to hepatitis-C-virus(anti-HCV). The RIBA result is recorded as positive, negative or indeterminate. The interpretation of RIBA indeterminate reactivity and its significance to patients and blood donors are unclear. We attempted to address the clinical relevance of RIBA-indeterminate reactions in the context of the natural history of HCV infection in a prospectively followed cohort of anti-HCV positive blood donors.
STUDY-DESIGN AND METHODS
Donor demographics, HCV exposure history, humoral and cell-mediated immunity(CMI) to HCV were compared in 15 RIBA-indeterminates, 9 chronic-HCV-carriers and 8 spontaneously-recovered subjects. Serum samples were tested for the presence of anti-HCV by a liquid phase Luciferase-Immunoprecipitation-System(LIPS) assay. CMI was assessed by IFN-γ-ELISpot assay.
In the quantitative LIPS assay, the sum of antibody responses to 6 HCV-antigens showed significant (p<0.001) step-wise diminution progressing downward from chronic-carriers to spontaneously-recovered to RIBA-indeterminates. CMI responses in RIBA-indeterminates were similar to spontaneously-recovered subjects, and greater than chronic-carriers and negative controls (p<0.008). A parenteral risk factor was identified in 13% of RIBA-indeterminates as compared with 89% of chronic-carriers and 87% of spontaneously-recovered subjects. On average, donors in the RIBA-indeterminate group were older than the other groups.
The combined CMI and LIPS results suggest that persistent RIBA-indeterminate reactions generally represent waning anti-HCV responses in persons who have recovered from a remote HCV infection. In such cases, detectable antibody may ultimately disappear leaving no residual serologic evidence of prior HCV infection, as previously reported in a minority of long-term HCV-recovered subjects.
HCV; RIBA indeterminate; HCV infection spontaneously recovered; Chronic HCV infection; RIBA 3.0; Cell-mediated immunity; IFNγ; Luciferase immunoprecipitation system (LIPS) assay
Background.A total of 738 volunteer blood donors who were positive for anti–hepatitis C virus (HCV) were assessed for risk factors and outcomes for up to 15 years within the study and up to 54 years from the estimated onset of infection.
Methods.A third-generation recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA) was performed to distinguish true from false anti-HCV reactivity. Findings of HCV polymerase chain reaction classified subjects as having chronic HCV infection or as having recovered. Liver biopsy specimens were staged by Ishak fibrosis score and graded by histologic activity index.
Results.Of 738 anti-HCV–positive subjects, 469 (64%) had positive RIBA results, 217 (29%) had negative results, and 52 (7%) had indeterminate results. Primary independent risk factors were injection drug use (odds ratio [OR], 35.0; P < .0001), blood transfusion (OR, 9.9; P < .0001), and intranasal cocaine use, including 79 “snorters” who repeatedly denied injection drug use or blood transfusion (OR, 8.5; P < .0001). Classification and regression tree and random forest analyses confirmed these risk factors. A total of 384 RIBA-positive donors (82%) were HCV RNA positive; of these, liver biopsy specimens from 185 (48%) showed no fibrosis in 33%, mild fibrosis in 52%, bridging fibrosis in 12%, and cirrhosis in 2% a mean duration of 25 years after infection. Analysis of 63 repeat biopsy specimens showed that 8% progressed ≥2 Ishak stages over 5 years (mean progression, 0.06 Ishak stages/year).
Conclusions.Injection drug use and blood transfusion before 1990 are dominant risk factors for HCV acquisition; intranasal cocaine use may be a surreptitious route of parenteral spread. After a mean of 25 years of HCV infection, histologic outcomes were relatively mild: 85% had no or mild fibrosis, and only 2% had cirrhosis. Nearly one-fifth spontaneously recovered.
Doxorubicin chemotherapy is associated with cardiomyopathy. Dexrazoxane reduces cardiac damage during treatment with doxorubicin in children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). We aimed to establish the long-term effect of dexrazoxane on the subclinical state of cardiac health in survivors of childhood high-risk ALL 5 years after completion of doxorubicin treatment.
Between January, 1996, and September, 2000, children with high-risk ALL were enrolled from nine centres in the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Patients were assigned by block randomisation to receive ten doses of 30 mg/m² doxorubicin alone or the same dose of doxorubicin preceded by 300 mg/m² dexrazoxane. Treatment assignment was obtained through a telephone call to a centralised registrar to conceal allocation. Investigators were masked to treatment assignment but treating physicians and patients were not; however, investigators, physicians, and patients were masked to study serum cardiac troponin-T concentrations and echocardiographic measurements. The primary endpoints were late left ventricular structure and function abnormalities as assessed by echocardiography; analyses were done including all patients with data available after treatment completion. This trial has been completed and is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00165087.
100 children were assigned to doxorubicin (66 analysed) and 105 to doxorubicin plus dexrazoxane (68 analysed). 5 years after the completion of doxorubicin chemotherapy, mean left ventricular fractional shortening and end-systolic dimension Z scores were significantly worse than normal for children who received doxorubicin alone (left ventricular fractional shortening: −0·82, 95% CI −1·31 to −0·33; end-systolic dimension: 0·57, 0·21–0·93) but not for those who also received dexrazoxane (−0·41, −0·88 to 0·06; 0·15, −0·20 to 0·51). The protective effect of dexrazoxane, relative to doxorubicin alone, on left ventricular wall thickness (difference between groups: 0·47, 0·46–0·48) and thickness-to-dimension ratio (0·66, 0·64–0·68) were the only statistically significant characteristics at 5 years. Subgroup analysis showed dexrazoxane protection (p=0·04) for left ventricular fractional shortening at 5 years in girls (1·17, 0·24–2·11), but not in boys (−0·10, −0·87 to 0·68). Similarly, subgroup analysis showed dexrazoxane protection (p=0·046) for the left ventricular thickness-to-dimension ratio at 5 years in girls (1·15, 0·44–1·85), but not in boys (0·19, −0·42 to 0·81). With a median follow-up for recurrence and death of 8·7 years (range 1·3–12·1), event-free survival was 77% (95% CI 67–84) for children in the doxorubicin-alone group, and 76% (67–84) for children in the doxorubicin plus dexrazoxane group (p=0·99).
Dexrazoxane provides long-term cardioprotection without compromising oncological efficacy in doxorubicin-treated children with high-risk ALL. Dexrazoxane exerts greater long-term cardioprotective effects in girls than in boys.
US National Institutes of Health, Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation, University of Miami Women’s Cancer Association, Lance Armstrong Foundation, Roche Diagnostics, Pfizer, and Novartis.
Based on existing data and previous work, a series of studies is proposed as a basis toward a pragmatic early step in transforming toxicity testing. These studies were assembled into a data-driven framework that invokes successive tiers of testing with margin of exposure (MOE) as the primary metric. The first tier of the framework integrates data from high-throughput in vitro assays, in vitro-to-in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE) pharmacokinetic modeling, and exposure modeling. The in vitro assays are used to separate chemicals based on their relative selectivity in interacting with biological targets and identify the concentration at which these interactions occur. The IVIVE modeling converts in vitro concentrations into external dose for calculation of the point of departure (POD) and comparisons to human exposure estimates to yield a MOE. The second tier involves short-term in vivo studies, expanded pharmacokinetic evaluations, and refined human exposure estimates. The results from the second tier studies provide more accurate estimates of the POD and the MOE. The third tier contains the traditional animal studies currently used to assess chemical safety. In each tier, the POD for selective chemicals is based primarily on endpoints associated with a proposed mode of action, whereas the POD for nonselective chemicals is based on potential biological perturbation. Based on the MOE, a significant percentage of chemicals evaluated in the first 2 tiers could be eliminated from further testing. The framework provides a risk-based and animal-sparing approach to evaluate chemical safety, drawing broadly from previous experience but incorporating technological advances to increase efficiency.
in vitro and altenatives; biotransformation and toxicokinetics; predictive toxicology; risk assessment; safety evaluation; exposure.
Dexrazoxane reduces the risk of anthracycline-related cardiotoxicity. In a study of children with Hodgkin lymphoma, the addition of dexrazoxane may have been associated with a higher risk for developing second malignant neoplasms (SMNs) including acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). We determined the incidence of SMNs in children and adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who were treated with dexrazoxane.
Between 1996 and 2010, the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute ALL Consortium conducted three consecutive multicenter trials for children with newly diagnosed ALL. In the first (1996–2000), high risk patients were randomly assigned to receive doxorubicin (30 mg/m2/dose, cumulative dose 300mg/m2) preceded by dexrazoxane (300 mg/m2/dose, 10 doses), or the same dose of doxorubicin without dexrazoxane, during induction and intensification phases. In subsequent trials (2000–2005 and 2005–2010), all high risk and very high risk patients received doxorubicin preceded by dexrazoxane. Cases of SMNs were collected prospectively and were pooled for analysis. The frequency and 5-year cumulative incidence (CI) of SMNs were determined for patients who had received dexrazoxane.
Among 553 patients treated with dexrazoxane (1996–2000, N=101; 2000–2005, N=196; and 2005–2010, N=256), the number of SMNs observed by protocol was 0 (median follow-up 9.6 years), 0 (median follow-up 5.2 years), and 1 (median follow-up 2.1 years). The only SMN was a case of AML, which developed in a patient with MLL-rearranged ALL 2.14 years after initial diagnosis. The overall 5-year CI of SMNs for all 553 patients was 0.24 ± 0.24%.
In a large population of children with high risk ALL who received dexrazoxane as a cardioprotectant drug, the occurrence of secondary AML was a rare event.
Physician and patient decision styles may influence breast cancer care for patients ≥ 65 years (“older”) because there is uncertainty about chemotherapy benefits in this group. We evaluate associations between decision-making styles and actual treatment.
Data were collected from women treated outside of clinical trials for newly diagnosed stage I to III breast cancer (83% response) from January 2004 through April 2011 in 75 cooperative group sites. Physicians completed a one-time mailed survey (91% response), and clinical data were abstracted from charts. Patient decision style was measured on a five-point scale. Oncologists' preference for prescribing chemotherapy was based on standardized vignettes. Regression and multiple imputation were used to assess associations between chemotherapy and other variables.
There were 1,174 women seen by 212 oncologists; 43% of women received chemotherapy. One-third of women preferred to make their own treatment decision. Patient and physician decision styles were independently associated with chemotherapy. Women who preferred less physician input had lower odds of chemotherapy than women who preferred more input (odds ratio [OR] = 0.79 per 1-point change; 95% CI, 0.65 to 0.97; P = .02) after considering covariates. Patients whose oncologists had a high chemotherapy preference had higher odds of receiving chemotherapy (OR = 2.65; 95% CI, 1.80 to 3.89; P < .001) than those who saw oncologists with a low preference.
Physicians' and older patients' decision styles are each associated with breast cancer chemotherapy use. It will be important to re-evaluate the impact of decision styles when there is greater empirical evidence about the benefits and risks of chemotherapy in older patients.
E coli asparaginase is an important component of treatment for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL); however, hypersensitivity develops in up to 30% of patients. We assessed the nadir enzyme activity and tolerability of Erwinia asparaginase, an alternative preparation, in E coli asparaginase-allergic patients.
Patients and Methods
Between 2000-2002, 215 children with newly diagnosed ALL were enrolled on Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ALL Consortium Protocol 00-01 and were to receive 30 weekly doses of intramuscular E coli asparaginase. If E coli asparaginase allergy developed, patients were switched to twice-weekly intramuscular Erwinia asparaginase (25,000 IU/m2). Nadir serum asparaginase activity (NSAA) was measured every 3 weeks.
Forty-two patients (20%) developed E coli asparaginase allergy and switched to Erwinia. Of 38 patients with evaluable samples, 34 (89%) Erwinia-treated patients had at least one therapeutic NSAA (≥ 0.1 IU/mL). The median NSAA was 0.247 IU/mL 3 days and 0.077 IU/mL 4 days after an Erwinia dose. Associated toxicities included allergy in 14 (33%) and pancreatitis in 3 patients (7%). At a median follow-up of 5.4 years, event-free survival (± standard error) of the 42 patients who switched to Erwinia was 86 ± 5% compared with 81 ± 3% for the 170 patients without E coli asparaginase allergy (p= 0.55).
Twice-weekly Erwinia asparaginase was well-tolerated and achieved a therapeutically effective NSAA in most E coli-asparaginase allergic patients. Development of E coli allergy and subsequent treatment with twice-weekly Erwinia did not adversely impact event-free survival. Erwinia asparaginase should be considered for E coli asparaginase-allergic patients.
leukemia; childhood; asparaginase; Erwinia
Spontaneous term delivery involves activation of placental corticotropin-releasing hormone and the fetal adrenal axis, but the basis for extreme preterm delivery is unknown. Our objective was to determine whether placental corticotropin-releasing hormone is activated in extreme spontaneous preterm delivery.
1506 mothers delivering at less than 28 weeks gestation were enrolled. Each mother/infant pair was assigned to the category that described the primary reason for hospitalization. Observers who had no knowledge of patient categorization assessed placenta microbiology, histology, and CRH expression. These were correlated with the primary reason for hospitalization.
Among infants delivered at <28 weeks gestation, spontaneous (versus induced) delivery was associated with less placental corticotropin-releasing hormone expression and more frequent signs of placental inflammation and infection.
Inflammation and infection, rather than premature activation of the fetal adrenal axis, should be the major focus of research to prevent extremely preterm human birth.
preterm delivery; corticotropin-releasing hormone; inflammation
Diet and exercise interventions have been tested in cancer survivors as a means to reduce late effects and comorbidity, but few have assessed adherence and health outcomes long term.
Between July 2005 and May 2007, the Reach Out to Enhance Wellness (RENEW) trial accrued 641 locoregionally staged, long-term (≥ 5 years from diagnosis) colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer survivors in the United States (21 states), Canada, and the United Kingdom. All participants were sedentary (< 150 minutes of physical activity [PA] a week), overweight or obese (body mass index, 25 to 40 kg/m2), and over age 65 years. The trial tested a diet-exercise intervention delivered via mailed print materials and telephone counseling. RENEW used a wait-list control, cross-over design (ie, participants received the year-long intervention immediately or after a 1-year delay), which allowed the opportunity to assess program efficacy (previously reported primary outcome), durability, and reproducibility (reported herein). Measures included diet quality (DQ), PA, BMI, and physical function (PF).
No significant relapse was observed in the immediate-intervention arm for DQ, PA, and BMI; however, rates of functional decline increased when the intervention ceased. From year 1 to year 2, significant improvements were observed in the delayed-intervention arm; mean change scores in behaviors and BMI and PF slopes were as follows: DQ score, 5.2 (95% CI, 3.4 to 7.0); PA, 45.8 min/wk (95% CI, 26.9 to 64.6 min/wk); BMI, −0.56 (95% CI, −0.75 to −0.36); and Short Form-36 PF, −1.02 versus −5.52 (P < .001 for all measures). Overall, both arms experienced significant improvements in DQ, PA, and BMI from baseline to 2-year follow-up (P < .001).
Older cancer survivors respond favorably to lifestyle interventions and make durable changes in DQ and PA that contribute to sustained weight loss. These changes positively reorient functional decline trajectories during intervention delivery.
The physiological control of feeding behavior involves modulation of the intake inhibitory effects of gastrointestinal satiation signaling via endogenous hindbrain leptin receptor (LepR) and glucagon-like-peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) activation.
Design and Results
Using a variety of dose-combinations of hindbrain delivered (4th icv) leptin and the GLP-1R agonist exendin-4, experiments demonstrate that hindbrain LepR and GLP-1R signaling interact to control food intake and body weight in an additive fashion. In addition, the maximum intake suppressive response that could be achieved by 4th icv leptin alone in non-obese rats (~33%) was shown to be further suppressed when exendin-4 was co-administered. Importantly, it was determined that the interaction between hindbrain LepR signaling and GLP-1R signaling is relevant to endogenous food intake control, as hindbrain GLP-1R blockade by the selective antagonist exendin-(9–39) attenuated the intake inhibitory effects of hindbrain leptin delivery.
Collectively, the findings reported here show that hindbrain LepR and GLP-1R activation interact in at least an additive fashion to control food intake and body weight. As evidence is accumulating that combination pharmacotherapies offer greater sustained food intake and body weight suppression in obese individuals when compared to mono-drug therapies or lifestyle modifications alone, these findings highlight the need for further examination of combined CNS GLP-1R and LepR signaling as a potential drug target for obesity treatment.
leptin; GLP-1; food intake; NTS; exendin-4; exendin-9; synergy; additivity; obesity
To identify generalizable ways that comorbidity affects older adults’ experiences in a health service program directed toward an index condition and to develop a framework to assist clinicians in approaching comorbidity in the design, delivery, and evaluation of such interventions.
A qualitative data content analysis of interview transcripts to identify themes related to comorbidity.
An outpatient low-vision rehabilitation program for macular disease.
In 2007/08, 98 individuals undergoing low-vision rehabilitation and their companions provided 624 semistructured interviews that elicited perceptions about barriers and facilitators of successful program participation.
The interviews revealed five broad themes about comorbidity: (i) “good days, bad days,” reflecting participants’ fluctuating health status during the program because of concurrent medical problems; (ii) “communication barriers.” which were sometimes due to participant impairments and sometimes situational; (iii) “overwhelmed,” which encompassed pragmatic and emotional concerns of participants and caregivers; (iv) “delays,” which referred to the tendency of comorbidities to delay progress in the program and to confer added inconvenience during lengthy appointments; and (v) value of companion involvement in overcoming some barriers imposed by comorbid conditions.
This study provides a taxonomy and conceptual framework for understanding consequences of comorbidity in the experience of individuals receiving a health service. If confirmed in individuals receiving interventions for other index diseases, the framework suggests actionable items to improve care and facilitate research involving older adults.
health services research; clinical medicine; aging; patient-centered; multicomponent intervention
Transfusion-associated microchimerism (TA-MC), the persistence of significant levels of donor leukocytes in blood recipients for prolonged periods, has been demonstrated following non-leukoreduced and leukoreduced transfusion to patients with severe traumatic injury. Development of TA-MC has not been rigorously studied in settings that do not involve massive trauma where the blood is leukoreduced and irradiated.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS
A cohort of 409 prospectively followed medical and surgical adult and pediatric female recipients of leukoreduced and mostly irradiated allogeneic red blood cell and platelet transfusions were evaluated to determine development of TA-MC. Four and eight-week post-transfusion samples were analyzed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for Y-chromosome sequences in leukocyte DNA, the marker for microchimeric cells in female blood recipients. Repeat testing was performed on Y-chromosome positive samples to confirm microchimerism (MC), and subsequent post-transfusion samples were tested to investigate persistence of MC.
On initial testing, forty of 207 (19%) adult and forty-four of 202 (22%) pediatric female blood recipients demonstrated low level MC. On repeat testing of these and additional specimens, twelve (3%) recipients demonstrated low level transient MC, but none had persistent TA-MC similar to that seen in transfused trauma patients.
Persistence of MC was not demonstrated in adult and pediatric recipients of leukoreduced and mostly irradiated blood components. The risk of TA-MC appears to be dependent on the clinical setting and is rare other than in patients sustaining severe traumatic injury.
microchimerism; transfusion; irradiation; pediatric; blood recipients
In September 2010, the Cancer and Aging Research Group, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Aging, conducted the first of three planned conferences to discuss research methodology to generate the highest quality research in older adults with cancer and then disseminate these findings among those working in the fields of cancer and aging. Conference speakers discussed the current level of research evidence in geriatric oncology, outlined the current knowledge gaps, and put forth principles for research designs and strategies that would address these gaps within the next 10 years. It was agreed that future oncology research trials that enroll older adults should include: 1) improved standardized geriatric assessment of older oncology patients, 2) substantially enhanced biological assessment of older oncology patients, 3) specific trials for the most vulnerable and/or those older than 75 years, and 4) research infrastructure that specifically targets older adults and substantially strengthened geriatrics and oncology research collaborations. This initial conference laid the foundation for the next two meetings, which will address the research designs and collaborations needed to enhance therapeutic and intervention trials in older adults with cancer.
Locus of control (LOC) is a psychological construct reflecting the degree to which one perceives circumstances to be controlled by personal actions (internal LOC) versus outside factors (external LOC). Because LOC could influence a patient's medical decision-making and health behaviors, our objective is to describe the association between an increasing number of co-existing conditions and LOC in older adults.
Cross-sectional study using survey data from the North Carolina Established Population for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (NC EPESE) dataset.
SETTING and PARTICIPANTS
Community-dwelling older adults aged 68 and older (N=3,212).
Nine common medical conditions were assessed by self-report. LOC was measured by standard questionnaire. Analyses adjusted for demographics, functional status (self-reported activities of daily living), cognition (Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire), and depression score (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale).
A higher number of chronic conditions was associated with external LOC (β=0.37, p<0.001). This relationship persisted after adjustment for age, race, sex, functional status, cognition, and depression (β=0.17, p <0.0001). Most individual conditions were not associated with LOC, although vision impairment (p<0.001) and arthritis (p<0.05) were associated with more internal LOC.
These results suggest that medically complex patients tend to exhibit a more external LOC, meaning that they perceive little personal control over circumstances and environment. Clinicians should be aware of this tendency, as external LOC may impede an older adult's willingness to engage in the considerable task of managing multiple chronic conditions.
Multimorbidity; locus of control; medical decision-making; older adults
Mass spectrometry (MS) has evolved to become the primary high throughput tool for proteomics based biomarker discovery. Until now, multiple challenges in protein MS data analysis remain: large-scale and complex data set management; MS peak identification, indexing; and high dimensional peak differential analysis with the concurrent statistical tests based false discovery rate (FDR). “Turnkey” solutions are needed for biomarker investigations to rapidly process MS data sets to identify statistically significant peaks for subsequent validation.
Here we present an efficient and effective solution, which provides experimental biologists easy access to “cloud” computing capabilities to analyze MS data. The web portal can be accessed at http://transmed.stanford.edu/ssa/.
Presented web application supplies large scale MS data online uploading and analysis with a simple user interface. This bioinformatic tool will facilitate the discovery of the potential protein biomarkers using MS.
We present a new method for whole slide darkfield imaging. Whole Slide Imaging (WSI), also sometimes called virtual slide or virtual microscopy technology, produces images that simultaneously provide high resolution and a wide field of observation that can encompass the entire section, extending far beyond any single field of view. For example, a brain slice can be imaged so that both overall morphology and individual neuronal detail can be seen. We extended the capabilities of traditional whole slide systems and developed a prototype system for darkfield internal reflection illumination (DIRI). Our darkfield system uses an ultra-thin light-emitting diode (LED) light source to illuminate slide specimens from the edge of the slide. We used a new type of side illumination, a variation on the internal reflection method, to illuminate the specimen and create a darkfield image. This system has four main advantages over traditional darkfield: (1) no oil condenser is required for high resolution imaging (2) there is less scatter from dust and dirt on the slide specimen (3) there is less halo, providing a more natural darkfield contrast image, and (4) the motorized system produces darkfield, brightfield and fluorescence images. The WSI method sometimes allows us to image using fewer stains. For instance, diaminobenzidine (DAB) and fluorescent staining are helpful tools for observing protein localization and volume in tissues. However, these methods usually require counter-staining in order to visualize tissue structure, limiting the accuracy of localization of labeled cells within the complex multiple regions of typical neurohistological preparations. Darkfield imaging works on the basis of light scattering from refractive index mismatches in the sample. It is a label-free method of producing contrast in a sample. We propose that adapting darkfield imaging to WSI is very useful, particularly when researchers require additional structural information without the use of further staining.
We isolated and characterized two human monoclonal antibodies to the envelope E2 protein of hepatitis C virus (HCV). Lymphoblastoid cell lines stably producing antibodies were obtained by immortalizing peripheral blood mononuclear cells of a patient with chronic hepatitis C using Epstein-Barr virus. Screening for antibody-positive clones was carried out by immunofluorescence with Huh7 cells expressing the E2 protein of HCV strain H (genotype 1a) isolated from the same patient. Isotype of resulting antibodies, #37 and #55, was IgG1/kappa and IgG1/lambda, respectively. Epitope mapping revealed that #37 and #55 recognize conformational epitopes spanning amino acids 429 to 652 and 508 to 607, respectively. By immunofluorescence using virus-infected Huh7.5 cells as targets both antibodies were reactive with all of the nine different HCV genotypes/subtypes tested. The antibodies showed a different pattern of immuno-staining; while #37 gave granular reactions mostly located in the periphery of the nucleus, #55 gave diffuse staining throughout the cytoplasm. Both antibodies were shown by immuno-gold electron microscopy to bind to intact viral particles. In a neutralization assay (focus-forming unit reduction using chimeric infectious HCV containing structural proteins derived from genotypes 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 4a, 5a, 6a, and 7a), #55 inhibited the infection of all HCV genotypes tested but genotype 7a to a lesser extent. #37 did not neutralize any of these viruses. As a broadly cross-neutralizing human antibody, #55 may be useful for passive immunotherapy of HCV infection.
Family history is a risk factor for colon cancer and guidelines recommend initiating colonoscopy screening at age 40 in individuals with affected relatives. Racial differences exist in colon cancer incidence and mortality which could be related to variations in screening of increased risk individuals.
Baseline data from 41830 participants in the Southern Community Cohort Study were analyzed to determine the proportion of colonoscopy procedures in individuals with strong family histories of colon cancer, and whether differences existed based on race.
In participants with multiple affected first degree relatives (FDR) or relatives diagnosed before age 50, 27.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] 23.5%–31.1%) of African-Americans reported a colonoscopy within the past 5 years compared to 43.1% (37.0%–49.2%) of white participants (p-value < 0.0001). In these individuals, African-Americans had an odds ratio of 0.51 (0.38–0.68) of having undergone recommended screening procedures compared to white participants after adjusting for age, gender, education, income, insurance status, total number of FDR, and time since last medical visit. African-Americans reporting multiple affected first degree relatives or relatives diagnosed before age 50, who had ever undergone endoscopy were less likely to report a personal history of colon polyps (OR = 0.29; 0.20–0.42) when compared to whites with similar family histories.
African-Americans with first-degree relatives affected with colon cancer are less likely to undergo colonoscopy screening compared to whites with affected relatives. Increased efforts need to be directed at identifying and managing underserved populations who might be at increased risk for colon cancer based on their family history.