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1.  Prognostic value of HLA class I expression in patients with colorectal cancer 
Prognostic factors are useful for determination of the therapeutic strategy and follow-up examination after curative operation in cancer treatment. The immunological state of the host can influence the prognosis for cancer patients as well as the features of the cancer. Human lymphocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules have a central role in the anti-cancer immune system. Therefore, we focused on the HLA class I expression level in cancer cells to investigate its prognostic value in patients with colorectal cancer.
We reviewed the clinical pathology archives of 97 consecutive patients with stage II colorectal cancer who underwent curative operation at the Sapporo Medical University, Japan, from February 1994 to January 2005. Fifty-six high-risk patients had adjuvant chemotherapy. The cancer cell membrane immunoreactivity level for HLA class I expressed by EMR8-5 was classified into three categories (positive, dull, and negative). In this study, the cases were divided into two groups: “positive” and “dull/negative”. HLA class I expression level and clinicopathological parameters were evaluated with the Pearson χ2 test. Survival analysis was assessed by the Kaplan-Meier methods, and the differences between survival curves were analyzed using the log-rank test.
Immunohistochemical study of HLA class I revealed the following. There were 51 cases that were positive, 40 were dull, and six negative. The HLA class I expression level had no significant correlation with other clinicopathological parameters, except for gender. Univariate and multivariate analyses related to disease-free survival (DFS) revealed that tumor location, HLA expression level, and venous invasion were significant independent prognostic factors (P < 0.05). The 5-year DFS rates in HLA class I positive group and in the dull/negative group were 89% and 70%, respectively. For high-risk patients with adjuvant chemotherapy, the 5-year DFS rates in the HLA class I positive group and in the dull/negative group were 84% and 68%, respectively. For low-risk patients without the chemotherapy, the 5-year DFS rates in the HLA class I positive group and in the dull/negative group were 100% and 71%, respectively.
Our study concluded that the HLA class I expression level might be a very sensitive prognostic factor in colorectal cancer patients with stage II disease.
PMCID: PMC4336735
HLA class I; Colorectal cancer; Prognostic factor; Relapse; Disease-free survival
2.  Comprehensive review of post-liver resection surgical complications and a new universal classification and grading system 
World Journal of Hepatology  2014;6(10):745-751.
Liver resection is the gold standard treatment for certain liver tumors such as hepatocellular carcinoma and metastatic liver tumors. Some patients with such tumors already have reduced liver function due to chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, or chemotherapy-associated steatohepatitis before surgery. Therefore, complications due to poor liver function are inevitable after liver resection. Although the mortality rate of liver resection has been reduced to a few percent in recent case series, its overall morbidity rate is reported to range from 4.1% to 47.7%. The large degree of variation in the post-liver resection morbidity rates reported in previous studies might be due to the lack of consensus regarding the definitions and classification of post-liver resection complications. The Clavien-Dindo (CD) classification of post-operative complications is widely accepted internationally. However, it is hard to apply to some major post-liver resection complications because the consensus definitions and grading systems for post-hepatectomy liver failure and bile leakage established by the International Study Group of Liver Surgery are incompatible with the CD classification. Therefore, a unified classification of post-liver resection complications has to be established to allow comparisons between academic reports.
PMCID: PMC4209419  PMID: 25349645
Complication; Liver failure; Bile leakage; Renal failure; Ascites; Coagulation disorder; Surgical site infection
3.  Efficacy of Enteral Supplementation Enriched with Glutamine, Fiber, and Oligosaccharide on Mucosal Injury following Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation 
Case Reports in Oncology  2014;7(3):692-699.
The combination of glutamine, fiber and oligosaccharides (GFO) is thought to be beneficial for alleviating gastrointestinal mucosal damage caused by chemotherapy. A commercial enteral supplementation product (GFO) enriched with these 3 components is available in Japan. We performed a retrospective study to test whether oral GFO decreased the severity of mucosal injury following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Of 44 HSCT patients, 22 received GFO and 22 did not. Severity of diarrhea/mucositis, overall survival, weight loss, febrile illness/documented infection, intravenous hyperalimentation days/hospital days, engraftment, acute and chronic GVHD, and cumulative incidence of relapse were studied. Sex, age, performance status, diagnosis, disease status, and treatment variables were similar in both groups. There were fewer days of diarrhea grade 3–4 in patients receiving GFO than in those who did not (0.86 vs. 3.27 days); the same was true for days of mucositis grade 3–4 (3.86 vs. 6.00 days). Survival at day 100 was 100% in the GFO group, but only 77.3% for the patients not receiving GFO (p = 0.0091, log-rank test). Weight loss and the number of days of intravenous hyperalimentation were better in the GFO group (p < 0.001 and p = 0.0014, respectively). Although not significant, less gut bacterial translocation with Enterococcus species developed in the GFO group (p = 0.0728) than in the non-GFO group. Other outcomes were not affected. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first comparative clinical study of GFO supplementation to alleviate mucosal injury after allo-HSCT. We conclude that glutamine, fiber and oligosaccharide supplementation is an effective supportive therapy to decrease the severity of mucosal damage in HSCT.
PMCID: PMC4255989  PMID: 25493082
Glutamine; Fiber; Oligosaccharide; GFO; Mucosal injury; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
4.  Risk of node metastasis of sentinel lymph nodes detected in level II/III of the axilla by single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography 
In breast cancer, single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) shows the exact anatomical location of sentinel nodes (SN). SPECT/CT mainly exposes axilla and partly exposes atypical sites of extra-axillary lymphatic drainage. The mechanism of how the atypical hot nodes are involved in lymphatic metastasis was retrospectively investigated in the present study, particularly at the level II/III region. SPECT/CT was performed in 92 clinical stage 0-IIA breast cancer patients. Sentinel lymph nodes are depicted as hot nodes in SPECT/CT. Patients were divided into two groups: With or without hot node in level II/III on SPECT/CT. The existence of metastasis in level II/III was investigated and the risk factors were identified. A total of 12 patients were sentinel lymph node biopsy metastasis positive and axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) was performed. These patients were divided into two groups: With and without SN in level II/III, and nodes in level II/III were pathologically proven. In 11 of the 92 patients, hot nodes were detected in level II/III. There was a significant difference in node metastasis depending on whether there were hot nodes in level II/III (P=0.0319). Multivariate analysis indicated that the hot nodes in level II/III and lymphatic invasion were independent factors associated with node metastasis. There were 12 SN-positive patients followed by ALND. In four of the 12 patients, hot nodes were observed in level II/III. Two of the four patients with hot nodes depicted by SPECT/CT and metastatic nodes were pathologically evident in the same lesion. Therefore, the present study indicated that the hot node in level II/III as depicted by SPECT/CT may be a risk of SN metastasis, including deeper nodes.
PMCID: PMC4186387  PMID: 25289038
breast cancer; sentinel node biopsy; single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography; atypical lymphatic drainage; level II; level III
5.  A Single Crossing-Over Event in Voltage-Sensitive Na+ Channel Genes May Cause Critical Failure of Dengue Mosquito Control by Insecticides 
The voltage-sensitive sodium (Na+) channel (Vssc) is the target site of pyrethroid insecticides. Pest insects develop resistance to this class of insecticide by acquisition of one or multiple amino acid substitution(s) in this channel. In Southeast Asia, two major Vssc types confer pyrethroid resistance in the dengue mosquito vector Aedes aegypti, namely, S989P+V1016G and F1534C. We expressed several types of Vssc in Xenopus oocytes and examined the effect of amino acid substitutions in Vssc on pyrethroid susceptibilities. S989P+V1016G and F1534C haplotypes reduced the channel sensitivity to permethrin by 100- and 25-fold, respectively, while S989P+V1016G+F1534C triple mutations reduced the channel sensitivity to permethrin by 1100-fold. S989P+V1016G and F1534C haplotypes reduced the channel sensitivity to deltamethrin by 10- and 1-fold (no reduction), respectively, but S989P+V1016G+F1534C triple mutations reduced the channel sensitivity to deltamethrin by 90-fold. These results imply that pyrethroid insecticides are highly likely to lose their effectiveness against A. aegypti if such a Vssc haplotype emerges as the result of a single crossing-over event; thus, this may cause failure to control this key mosquito vector. Here, we strongly emphasize the importance of monitoring the occurrence of triple mutations in Vssc in the field population of A. aegypti.
Author Summary
Pyrethroids are one of the major classes of insecticides that is widely used to control mosquito vectors. The target site of pyrethroids is found in the voltage-sensitive Na+ channel (Vssc) consisting of about 2100 amino acid residues. In this study we generated several types of Vssc with a single or multiple mutations, expressed in Xenopus oocytes, and examined their electrophysiological properties using two-electrode voltage clamp method. We confirmed that Aedes aegypti Vssc harboring a triple mutations exhibited extremely high levels of resistance to pyrethroid insecticides. This Vssc type can be generated by a single crossing-over event of two resistant Vssc genes that are widely distributed in Southeast Asia, one of the greatest dengue endemic areas. Our results highlight the importance of intensive monitoring for the triple mutations in Vssc in the A. aegypti mosquito.
PMCID: PMC4148226  PMID: 25166902
6.  Targeting tight junctions during epithelial to mesenchymal transition in human pancreatic cancer 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(31):10813-10824.
Pancreatic cancer continues to be a leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide and there is an urgent need to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to reduce the mortality of patients with this disease. In pancreatic cancer, some tight junction proteins, including claudins, are abnormally regulated and therefore are promising molecular targets for diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. Claudin-4 and -18 are overexpressed in human pancreatic cancer and its precursor lesions. Claudin-4 is a high affinity receptor of Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (CPE). The cytotoxic effects of CPE and monoclonal antibodies against claudin-4 are useful as novel therapeutic tools for pancreatic cancer. Claudin-18 could be a putative marker and therapeutic target with prognostic implications for patients with pancreatic cancer. Claudin-1, -7, tricellulin and marvelD3 are involved in epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) of pancreatic cancer cells and thus might be useful as biomarkers during disease. Protein kinase C is closely related to EMT of pancreatic cancer and regulates tight junctions of normal human pancreatic duct epithelial cells and the cancer cells. This review focuses on the regulation of tight junctions via protein kinase C during EMT in human pancreatic cancer for the purpose of developing new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for pancreatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC4138461  PMID: 25152584
Tight junctions; Claudins; Tricellulin; MarvelD3; Normal human pancreatic duct epithelial cells; Pancreatic cancer; Protein kinase C; Epithelial to mesenchymal transition
7.  Co-occurrence of multiple cerebral infarctions due to hypercoagulability associated with malignancy and meningeal carcinomatosis as the initial manifestation of gastric cancer 
BMC Neurology  2014;14:160.
Meningeal carcinomatosis and hypercoagulability associated with malignancy are typical late stage complications in cancer patients. The co-occurrence of meningeal carcinomatosis and cerebral infarction related to hypercoagulability associated with malignancy in an individual as the initial manifestation of malignancy has not been previously reported.
Case presentation
Herein, we report the case of an 80-year-old patient who presented with meningeal carcinomatosis and hypercoagulability related to malignancy as the initial manifestation of occult gastric cancer. The patient displayed consciousness disturbance, mild left facial paralysis, and bilateral positive Babinski’s sign. Using brain magnetic resonance imaging, the patient was diagnosed as having acute multiple cerebral infarctions. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cytology showed adenocarcinoma and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy disclosed scirrhous gastric cancer. The patient presented with headache, fever, and meningeal irritation with a subacute course. Tuberculous or fungal meningitis was initially suspected; however, cytological evidence of adenocarcinoma in the CSF led to the diagnosis of meningeal carcinomatosis.
The comorbidity of hypercoagulability associated with malignancy and meningeal carcinomatosis should be considered in a patient presenting with multiple cerebral infarctions, progressive disturbance of consciousness, fever, and meningeal irritation.
PMCID: PMC4131164  PMID: 25103421
Multiple cerebral infarctions; Disturbance of consciousness; Meningeal irritation; Trousseau’s syndrome; Meningeal carcinomatosis; Gastric cancer
8.  Lymph node shape in computed tomography imaging as a predictor for axillary lymph node metastasis in patients with breast cancer 
The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether preoperative computed tomography (CT) is a useful modality for the diagnosis of axillary lymph node metastasis. The axillary lymph node status was examined in patients with primary breast cancer who had undergone surgery. In total, 75 patients were analyzed with preoperative contrast CT images, following which the patients underwent an intraoperative sentinel lymph node biopsy to determine possible predictors of axillary lymph node metastasis. The lymph node shape was classified into three groups, which included fat-, clear-and obscure-types. Multivariate analysis revealed that clear-type lymph nodes in preoperative contrast CT imaging may be an independent predictor of lymph node metastasis (odds ratio, 15; P=0.003). Therefore, the results indicated that preoperative CT examination is useful to predict axillary lymph node metastasis.
PMCID: PMC4079443  PMID: 25009640
breast cancer; computed tomography; lymph node shape
9.  Combination Chemotherapy of Azacitidine and Cetuximab for Therapy-Related Acute Myeloid Leukemia following Oxaliplatin for Metastatic Colorectal Cancer 
Case Reports in Oncology  2014;7(2):316-322.
Therapy-related leukemia (TRL) has been reported to occur after treatment with alkylating agents and/or topoisomerase II inhibitors. Oxaliplatin (OXP) is used as a key drug for the treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC). Cisplatin and carboplatin have been linked with TRL, but the involvement of OXP is questionable. A 74-year-old male was diagnosed with peritoneal metastasis from CRC in July 2011. The patient received nine cycles of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), leucovorin (LV), and OXP (mFOLFOX-6 regimen) and three cycles of 5-FU and LV only, resulting in a clinical complete response. However, recurrence of CRC was detected by CT within 3 months after the last course of chemotherapy. In April 2013, laboratory tests showed pancytopenia and 15% blast cells. A bone marrow examination revealed multilineage dysplasia and 20.4% myeloblasts. Cytogenetic analysis indicated a complex karyotype that included chromosome 5 and 7 abnormalities. The patient was diagnosed with TRL and treated with a combination of azacitidine (AZA) and cetuximab (Cmab) for both cancers. AZA might be useful in TRL when a patient needs to be treated simultaneously for more than one primary cancer because of its low toxicity. Moreover, Cmab is an effective therapeutic tool in TRL patients with metastatic CRC with the wild-type K-ras gene.
PMCID: PMC4049016  PMID: 24932174
Therapy-related leukemia; Colorectal cancer; Oxaliplatin; Azacitidine; Cetuximab
10.  Successful Laparoscopic Resection of 7 mm Ovarian Mature Cystic Teratoma Associated with Anti-NMDAR Encephalitis 
Anti-NMDAR (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor) encephalitis is an immune-mediated encephalitis. It has been predominantly described in young women and is commonly associated with an ovarian teratoma. We report a case of anti-NMDAR encephalitis associated with a 7 mm ovarian teratoma that was completely resected by laparoscopic surgery. An 18-year-old woman suddenly presented with personality changes requiring her admission to the department of neurology. After that, she also showed involuntary movements, disturbance of consciousness, and central hypoventilation. As an abdominal image revealed the possibility of a right ovarian teratoma of 5 × 7 mm, a laparoscopic operation was performed. The macroscopic appearance of the right ovary did not show any abnormalities; nevertheless, we performed a partial resection of the right ovary, with reference to the image diagnosis, in order to spare the ovarian reserve. The 22 × 22 mm partially resected ovary contained an intact 5 × 7 mm cystic tumor. The pathological diagnosis was mature cystic teratoma with components of brain tissue. An anti-NMDAR-antibody test proved positive in both serum and cerebrospinal fluid 1 month after the surgery. From these results, she was diagnosed with anti-NMDAR encephalitis. By the administration of cyclophosphamide in addition to the operation, she recovered drastically without any of the symptoms shown before.
PMCID: PMC4053262  PMID: 24959363
11.  Propensity score analysis demonstrated the prognostic advantage of anatomical liver resection in hepatocellular carcinoma 
AIM: To compare the prognoses of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients that underwent anatomic liver resection (AR) or non-anatomic liver resection (NAR) using propensity score-matched populations.
METHODS: Between January 2002 and December 2010, 268 consecutive HCC patients, including 110 and 158 patients that underwent AR and NAR, respectively, were retrospectively enrolled in this study. Forty-four patients from each group were selected and matched using logistic multivariate analysis followed by propensity score analysis.
RESULTS: In the whole analysis set, the histological background of the liver, liver function, and tumor marker levels differed significantly among the groups. Although the overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival rates of the two groups did not differ significantly in the whole analysis set, the OS of the AR group was significantly longer than that of the NAR group after propensity matching (76.2 ± 6.3 mo vs 58.9 ± 6.3 mo; P = 0.0039). Although AR (HR = 0.456, P = 0.039) was found to be a prognostic factor in the univariate analysis, only vascular invasion (HR = 0.228, P = 0.002) and the hepatocyte growth factor level (HR = 52.366, P = 0.035) were subsequently found to be independent prognostic factors.
CONCLUSION: AR conveys a survival advantage over NAR in specific subpopulations of HCC patients with tumors of less than 5 cm in diameter, single tumor, and good liver function.
PMCID: PMC3964404  PMID: 24696614
Anatomical liver resection; Propensity score analysis; Hepatocellular carcinoma
12.  Pancreaticoduodenectomy for biliary tract carcinoma with situs inversus totalis: difficulties and technical notes based on two cases 
Situs inversus totalis (SIT) denotes complete right-left inversion of the thoracic and abdominal viscera. Diagnosis and surgical procedures for abdominal pathology in patients with SIT are technically more complicated because of mirror-image transposition of the visceral organs. Moreover, SIT is commonly associated with cardiovascular and hepatobiliary malformations, which make hepatobiliary-pancreatic surgery difficult. Two cases of pancreaticoduodenectomy for biliary tract carcinoma in patients with SIT are presented. Both patients had an anomaly of the hepatic artery. Advanced diagnostic imaging techniques were very important for careful preoperative planning and to prevent misunderstanding of the arrangement of the abdominal viscera. This facilitated the surgical team’s adaptation to the mirror image of the standard procedure and helped avoid intraoperative complications due to cardiovascular and hepatobiliary malformations associated with SIT. Pancreaticoduodenectomy in patients with SIT can be performed successfully with detailed preoperative assessment, use of effective techniques by the surgeon, and appropriate support by assistants.
PMCID: PMC3878620  PMID: 24341840
Biliary tract carcinoma; Cardiovascular malformation; Hepatobiliary malformation; Pancreaticoduodenectomy; Situs inversus totalis
13.  Use of the dye-guided sentinel lymph node biopsy method alone for breast cancer metastasis to avoid unnecessary axillary lymph node dissection 
For sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB), a combination of dye-guided and γ-probe-guided methods is the most commonly used technique. However, the number of institutes in which the γ-probe-guided method is able to be performed is limited, since special equipment is required for the method. In this study, SLNB with the dye-guided method alone was evaluated, and the clinicopathological characteristics were analyzed to identify any factors that were predictive of whether the follow-up axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) was able to be omitted. A total of 374 patients who underwent SLNB between 1999 and 2009 were studied. The SLN identification rate was analyzed, in addition to the false-positive and false-negative rates and the correlation between the clinicopathological characteristics and axillary lymph node metastases. The SLN was identified in 96.8% of cases, and, out of the patients who had SLN metastasis, 63.0% did not exhibit metastasis elsewhere. The sensitivity was 96.4% and the specificity was 100%. The false-negative rate was 3.6%. Univariate analyses revealed significant differences in the lymph vessel invasion (ly) status, nuclear grade (NG), maximum tumor size and the percentage of the area occupied by the tumor cells in the SLN (SLN occupation ratio) between the patients with and without non-SLN metastasis, indicating that these factors may be predictive of axillary lymph node metastasis. Multivariate analysis revealed that ly status was an independent risk factor for non-SLN metastasis. In conclusion, SLN with the dye-guided method alone provided a high detection rate. The study identified a predictive factor for axillary lymph node metastasis that may improve the patients’ quality of life.
PMCID: PMC3881064  PMID: 24396425
axillary lymph node dissection; breast cancer; dye-guided method; sentinel lymph node biopsy; prediction of lymph node metastasis
14.  Restless “Lower Back” in a Patient with Parkinson’s Disease 
Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements  2013;3:tre-03-195-4313-2.
In restless legs syndrome (RLS), the isolated involvement of other body parts in the absence of leg involvement is rare.
Case report
We report an 82-year-old male with a 1-year history of Parkinson’s disease (PD) who developed an abnormal sensation limited to his “lower back.” He fulfilled the four essential RLS criteria, with the major caveat that the criteria were applied in a modified manner to his lower back rather than his legs. The administration of a dopamine agonist completely eliminated his symptoms.
Our patient’s “restless lower back” may be a variant of RLS. Clinicians should pay attention to restlessness in other body parts in addition to the legs.
PMCID: PMC3822403  PMID: 24255803
Restless lower back; Parkinson's disease; restless legs syndrome
15.  Does Pramipexole Treatment Improve Headache in Patients with Concomitant Migraine and Restless Legs Syndrome? 
Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements  2013;3:tre-03-176-4234-1.
Recent studies have suggested a strong link between migraines and restless legs syndrome (RLS). It is possible that these disorders share a dopaminergic dysfunction in the hypothalamic A11 nucleus that contributes to this association. However, there have been no clinical studies to evaluate the effect of dopaminergic treatment on migraine symptoms in patients with concomitant migraines and RLS.
We present an illustrative patient with concomitant RLS and migraine who showed improvement in her headache frequency and RLS symptoms following immediate-release pramipexole (P-IR) treatment and provide review results from the medical records of patients who experienced both migraines and RLS in our previous cross-sectional study.
Ten patients (nine patients from the previously completed single-center study) received P-IR treatment were included in the study. RLS symptoms improved markedly in all of the subjects. Five out of the 10 patients (50%) reported improvement in migraine headaches. Of these five patients, four (80%) had reported morning headaches before P-IR treatment.
Our results indicate that the identification of RLS in migraine patients is clinically significant and that dopaminergic treatment may improve both migraines, particularly morning headache (80% improvement in this study), and RLS symptoms. However, further clinical studies are warranted to verify our results.
PMCID: PMC3779820  PMID: 24116342
Pramipexole; migraine; restless legs syndrome; dopaminergic dysfunction; morning headache
16.  Heat shock enhances the expression of cytotoxic granule proteins and augments the activities of tumor-associated antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes 
Cell Stress & Chaperones  2012;17(6):757-763.
Focal inflammation causes systemic fever. Cancer hyperthermia therapy results in shrinkage of tumors by various mechanisms, including induction of adaptive immune response. However, the physiological meaning of systemic fever and mechanisms of tumor shrinkage by hyperthermia have not been completely understood. In this study, we investigated how heat shock influences the adaptive immune system. We established a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) clone (#IM29) specific for survivin, one of the tumor-associated antigens (TAAs), from survivin peptide-immunized cancer patients’ peripheral blood, and the CTL activities were investigated in several temperature conditions (37–41 °C). Cytotoxicity and IFN-γ secretion of CTL were greatest under 39 °C condition, whereas they were minimum under 41 °C. To address the molecular mechanisms of this phenomenon, we investigated the apoptosis status of CTLs, expression of CD3, CD8, and TCRαβ by flow cytometry, and expression of perforin, granzyme B, and Fas ligand by western blot analysis. The expression of perforin and granzyme B were upregulated under temperature conditions of 39 and 41 °C. On the other hand, CTL cell death was induced under 41 °C condition with highest Caspase-3 activity. Therefore, the greatest cytotoxicity activity at 39 °C might depend on upregulation of cytotoxic granule proteins including perforin and granzyme B. These results suggest that heat shock enhances effector phase of the adaptive immune system and promotes eradication of microbe and tumor cells.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12192-012-0348-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3468674  PMID: 22777894
Heat shock; CTL; Perforin; Survivin
17.  Probable rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, nocturnal disturbances and quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease: a case-controlled study using the rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder screening questionnaire 
BMC Neurology  2013;13:18.
Increasing evidence provides a clear association between rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorders (RBD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), but the clinical features that determine the co-morbidity of RBD and PD are not yet fully understood.
We evaluated the characteristics of nocturnal disturbances and other motor and non-motor features related to RBD in patients with PD and the impact of RBD on their quality of life. Probable RBD (pRBD) was evaluated using the Japanese version of the RBD screening questionnaire (RBDSQ-J).
A significantly higher frequency of pRBD was observed in PD patients than in the controls (RBDSQ-J ≥ 5 or ≥ 6: 29.0% vs. 8.6%; 17.2% vs. 2.2%, respectively). After excluding restless legs syndrome and snorers in the PD patients, the pRBD group (RBDSQ-J≥5) showed higher scores compared with the non-pRBD group on the Parkinson’s disease sleep scale-2 (PDSS-2) total and three-domain scores. Early morning dystonia was more frequent in the pRBD group. The Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39) domain scores for cognition and emotional well-being were higher in the patients with pRBD than in the patients without pRBD. There were no differences between these two groups with respect to the clinical subtype, disease severity or motor function. When using a cut-off of RBDSQ-J = 6, a similar trend was observed for the PDSS-2 and PDQ-39 scores. Patients with PD and pRBD had frequent sleep onset insomnia, distressing dreams and hallucinations. The stepwise linear regression analysis showed that the PDSS-2 domain “motor symptoms at night”, particularly the PDSS sub-item 6 “distressing dreams”, was the only predictor of RBDSQ-J in PD.
Our results indicate a significant impact of RBD co-morbidity on night-time disturbances and quality of life in PD, particularly on cognition and emotional well-being. RBDSQ may be a useful tool for not only screening RBD in PD patients but also predicting diffuse and complex clinical PD phenotypes associated with RBD, cognitive impairment and hallucinations.
PMCID: PMC3575252  PMID: 23394437
Parkinson’s disease; Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder; Cognition; Quality of life; Nocturnal problems
18.  Dysfunction of nodes of Ranvier: a mechanism for anti-ganglioside antibody-mediated neuropathies 
Experimental Neurology  2011;233(1):534-542.
Autoantibodies against gangliosides GM1 or GD1a are associated with acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) and acute motor-sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN), whereas antibodies to GD1b ganglioside are detected in acute sensory ataxic neuropathy (ASAN). These neuropathies have been proposed to be closely related and comprise a continuous spectrum, although the underlying mechanisms, especially for sensory nerve involvement, are still unclear. Antibodies to GM1 and GD1a have been proposed to disrupt the nodes of Ranvier in motor nerves via complement pathway. We hypothesized that the disruption of nodes of Ranvier is a common mechanism whereby various anti-ganglioside antibodies found in these neuropathies lead to nervous system dysfunction. Here, we show that the IgG monoclonal anti-GD1a/GT1b antibody injected into rat sciatic nerves caused deposition of IgG and complement products on the nodal axolemma and disrupted clusters of nodal and paranodal molecules predominantly in motor nerves, and induced early reversible motor nerve conduction block. Injection of IgG monoclonal anti-GD1b antibody induced nodal disruption predominantly in sensory nerves. In an ASAN rabbit model associated with IgG anti-GD1b antibodies, complement-mediated nodal disruption was observed predominantly in sensory nerves. In an AMAN rabbit model associated with IgG anti-GM1 antibodies, complement attack of nodes was found primarily in motor nerves, but occasionally in sensory nerves as well. Periaxonal macrophages and axonal degeneration were observed in dorsal roots from ASAN rabbits and AMAN rabbits. Thus, nodal disruption may be a common mechanism in immune-mediated neuropathies associated with autoantibodies to gangliosides GM1, GD1a, or GD1b, providing an explanation for the continuous spectrum of AMAN, AMSAN, and ASAN.
PMCID: PMC3268874  PMID: 22178332
node of Ranvier; acute motor axonal neuropathy; acute sensory ataxic neuropathy; ganglioside; autoantibody
19.  Alterations in the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-v-Akt pathway in gastric cancer 
AIM: To investigate human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-v-Akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog signaling pathway.
METHODS: We analyzed 231 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded gastric cancer tissue specimens from Japanese patients who had undergone surgical treatment. The patients’ age, sex, tumor location, depth of invasion, pathological type, lymph node metastasis, and pathological stage were determined by a review of the medical records. Expression of HER2 was analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) using the HercepTestTM kit. Standard criteria for HER2 positivity (0, 1+, 2+, and 3+) were used. Tumors that scored 3+ were considered HER2-positive. Expression of phospho Akt (pAkt) was also analyzed by IHC. Tumors were considered pAkt-positive when the percentage of positive tumor cells was 10% or more. PI3K, catalytic, alpha polypeptide (PIK3CA) mutations in exons 1, 9 and 20 were analyzed by pyrosequencing. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection was analyzed by in situ hybridization targeting EBV-encoded small RNA (EBER) with an EBER-RNA probe. Microsatellite instability (MSI) was analyzed by polymerase chain reaction using the mononucleotide markers BAT25 and BAT26.
RESULTS: HER2 expression levels of 0, 1+, 2+ and 3+ were found in 167 (72%), 32 (14%), 12 (5%) and 20 (8.7%) samples, respectively. HER2 overexpression (IHC 3+) significantly correlated with intestinal histological type (15/20 vs 98 /205, P = 0.05). PIK3CA mutations were present in 20 cases (8.7%) and significantly correlated with MSI (10/20 vs 9/211, P < 0.01). The mutation frequency was high (21%) in T4 cancers and very low (6%) in T2 cancers. Mutations in exons 1, 9 and 20 were detected in 5 (2%), 9 (4%) and 7 (3%) cases, respectively. Two new types of PIK3CA mutation, R88Q and R108H, were found in exon1. All PIK3CA mutations were heterozygous missense single-base substitutions, the most common being H1047R (6/20, 30%) in exon20. Eighteen cancers (8%) were EBV-positive and this positivity significantly correlated with a diffuse histological type (13/18 vs 93/198, P = 0.04). There were 7 cases of lymphoepithelioma-like carcinomas (LELC) and 6 of those cases were EBV-positive (percent/EBV: 6/18, 33%; percent/all LELC: 6/7, 86%). pAkt expression was positive in 119 (53%) cases but showed no correlation with clinicopathological characteristics. pAkt expression was significantly correlated with HER2 overexpression (16/20 vs 103/211, P < 0.01) but not with PIK3CA mutations (12/20 vs 107/211, P = 0.37) or EBV infection (8/18 vs 103/211, P = 0.69). The frequency of pAkt expression was higher in cancers with exon20 mutations (100%) than in those with exon1 (40%) or exon9 (56%) mutations. One case showed both HER2 overexpression and EBV infection and 3 cases showed both PIK3CA mutations and EBV infection. However, no cases showed both PIK3CA mutations and HER2 overexpression. One EBV-positive cancer with PIK3CA mutation (H1047R) was MSI-positive. Three of these 4 cases were positive for pAkt expression. In survival analysis, pAkt expression significantly correlated with a poor prognosis (hazard ratio 1.75; 95%CI: 1.12-2.80, P = 0.02).
CONCLUSION: HER2 expression, PIK3CA mutations and EBV infection in gastric cancer were characterized. pAkt expression significantly correlates with HER2 expression and with a poor prognosis.
PMCID: PMC3516204  PMID: 23236232
Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2; Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; Catalytic; Alpha polypeptide; Epstein-Barr virus; Akt; Gastric cancer
20.  Recurrent aseptic meningitis in association with Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease: case report and literature review 
BMC Neurology  2012;12:112.
Kikuchi Fujimoto disease (KFD), or histiocytic necrotising lymphadenitis, is a benign and self-limiting condition characterised by primarily affecting the cervical lymph nodes. Recurrent aseptic meningitis in association with KFD is extremely rare and remains a diagnostic challenge.
Case presentation
We report a 28-year-old man who presented 7 episodes of aseptic meningitis associated with KFD over the course of 7 years. Histopathological findings of enlarged lymph nodes led to the diagnosis of KFD. The patient’s headache and lymphadenopathy spontaneously resolved without any sequelae.
A diagnosis of KFD should be considered when enlarged cervical lymph nodes are observed in patients with recurrent aseptic meningitis. A long-term prognosis remains uncertain, and careful follow-up is preferred.
PMCID: PMC3570427  PMID: 23020225
Recurrent aseptic meningitis; Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease; Histiocytic necrotising lymphadenitis; SLE
21.  Low-dose steroid pretreatment ameliorates the transient impairment of liver regeneration 
AIM: To determine if liver regeneration (LR) could be disturbed following radiofrequency (RF) ablation and whether modification of LR by steroid administration occurs.
METHODS: Sham operation, partial hepatectomy (PH), and partial hepatectomy with radiofrequency ablation (PHA) were performed on adult Fisher 344 rats. We investigated the recovery of liver volume, DNA synthetic activities, serum cytokine/chemokine levels and signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 DNA-binding activities in the nucleus after the operations. Additionally, the effects of steroid (dexamethasone) pretreatment in the PH group (S-PH) and the PHA group (S-PHA) were compared.
RESULTS: The LR after PHA was impaired, with high serum cytokine/chemokine induction compared to PH, although the ratio of the residual liver weight to body weight was not significantly different. Steroid pretreatment disturbed LR in the S-PH group. On the other hand, low-dose steroid pretreatment improved LR and suppressed tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α elevation in the S-PHA group, with recovery of STAT3 DNA-binding activity. On the other hand, low-dose steroid pretreatment improved LR and suppressed TNF-α elevation in the S-PHA group, with recovery of STAT3 DNA-binding activity.
CONCLUSION: LR is disturbed after RF ablation, with high serum cytokine/chemokine induction. Low-dose steroid administration can improve LR after RF ablation with TNF-α suppression.
PMCID: PMC3297049  PMID: 22408349
Liver regeneration; Radiofrequency ablation; Steroid; Tumor necrosis factor; Hepatectomy
22.  The Molecular Pathogenesis and Clinical Implications of Hepatocellular Carcinoma 
The prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is affected by tumoral factors and liver functions; therefore it is often difficult to select the appropriate therapeutic methods for HCC. Recently, two global phase III trials showed that sorafenib, which is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, improved the prognosis of patients with advanced HCC. As a new therapeutic strategy for HCC, sorafenib is expected to expand the indication for HCC in the future. However, it alone is insufficient for the molecular-targeted treatment of HCC because the signaling pathway exists not only in cancer cells but also in normal cells. Recently, cancer stem cells (CSCs) have attracted attention as a novel therapeutic target for HCC. There is now much evidence that stem cell properties such as self-renewal, unlimited proliferation, and differentiation are highly relevant to cancer recurrence and the drug resistance of HCC. In this review, we describe the molecular pathogenesis and the current state and future development of molecular- and CSC-therapeutic targeted agents for HCC, citing various reports.
PMCID: PMC3235480  PMID: 22187659
23.  Vascular endothelial growth factor 165b expression in stromal cells and colorectal cancer 
AIM: To characterize the implications of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A in stromal cells and colorectal cancer and the expression of VEGF-A splice variants.
METHODS: VEGF-A expression in tumor and stromal cells from 165 consecutive patients with colorectal cancer was examined by immunohistochemistry. The association between VEGF-A expression status and clinicopathological factors was investigated. Twenty fresh-frozen samples were obtained for laser capture microdissection to analyze the splice variants of VEGF-A.
RESULTS: VEGF-A was expressed in 53.9% and 42.4% of tumor and stromal cells, respectively. VEGF-A expression in tumor cells (t-VEGF-A) was associated with advanced clinical stage (stage 0, 1/9; stage 1, 2/16; stage 2, 32/55; stage 3, 38/66; stage 4, 16/19, P < 0.0001). VEGF-A expression in stromal cells (s-VEGF-A) increased in the earlier clinical stage (stage 0, 7/9; stage 1, 6/16; stage 2, 33/55; stage 3, 22/66; stage 4, 5/19; P = 0.004). Multivariate analyses for risk factors of recurrence showed that only s-VEGF-A expression was an independent risk factor for recurrence (relative risk 0.309, 95% confidence interval 0.141-0.676, P = 0.0033). The five-year disease-free survival (DFS) rates of t-VEGF-A-positive and -negative cases were 51.4% and 62.9%, respectively. There was no significant difference in t-VEGF-A expression status. The five-year DFS rates of s-VEGF-A-positive and -negative cases were 73.8% and 39.9%, respectively. s-VEGF-A-positive cases had significantly better survival than s-VEGF-A-negative cases (P = 0.0005). Splice variant analysis revealed that t-VEGF-A was mainly composed of VEGF165 and that s-VEGF-A included both VEGF165 and VEGF165b. In cases with no venous invasion (v0), the level of VEGF165b mRNA was significantly higher (v0 204.5 ± 122.7, v1 32.5 ± 36.7, v2 2.1 ± 1.7, P = 0.03). The microvessel density tended to be lower in cases with higher VEGF165b mRNA levels.
CONCLUSION: s-VEGF-A appears be a good prognostic factor for colorectal cancer and includes VEGF165 and VEGF165b.
PMCID: PMC3235629  PMID: 22171127
Colorectal cancer; Vascular endothelial growth factor-A; Vascular endothelial growth factor 165; Microvascular density; Stromal cell
24.  Apathy and Anhedonia in Parkinson's Disease 
ISRN Neurology  2011;2011:219427.
Depression, apathy, and anhedonia are often comorbid in patients with Parkinson's disease. Since the morbid states of apathy and anhedonia are complicated, these symptoms are often difficult to diagnose. Several therapeutic methods for apathy and anhedonia are considered effective. However, the validity of these methods has not been established. Similar to depression, apathy and anhedonia clearly affect the quality of life of patients and their families. Therefore, accurate diagnoses of morbid states in the early stage of the disease and corresponding appropriate treatments should be given high priority.
PMCID: PMC3263557  PMID: 22389809
25.  Sleep Disturbances Associated with Parkinson's Disease 
Parkinson's Disease  2011;2011:219056.
Sleep disturbances are common problems affecting the quality life of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and are often underestimated. The causes of sleep disturbances are multifactorial and include nocturnal motor disturbances, nocturia, depressive symptoms, and medication use. Comorbidity of PD with sleep apnea syndrome, restless legs syndrome, rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, or circadian cycle disruption also results in impaired sleep. In addition, the involvement of serotoninergic, noradrenergic, and cholinergic neurons in the brainstem as a disease-related change contributes to impaired sleep structures. Excessive daytime sleepiness is not only secondary to nocturnal disturbances or dopaminergic medication but may also be due to independent mechanisms related to impairments in ascending arousal system and the orexin system. Notably, several recent lines of evidence suggest a strong link between rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder and the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as PD. In the present paper, we review the current literature concerning sleep disorders in PD.
PMCID: PMC3159123  PMID: 21876839

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