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1.  Adjuvant chemotherapy in elderly patients with pancreatic cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2013;110(2):313-319.
Adjuvant chemotherapy improves survival for patients with resected pancreatic cancer. Elderly patients are under-represented in Phase III clinical trials, and as a consequence the efficacy of adjuvant therapy in older patients with pancreatic cancer is not clear. We aimed to assess the use and efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy in older patients with pancreatic cancer.
We assessed a community cohort of 439 patients with a diagnosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma who underwent operative resection in centres associated with the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative.
The median age of the cohort was 67 years. Overall only 47% of all patients received adjuvant therapy. Patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy were predominantly younger, had later stage disease, more lymph node involvement and more evidence of perineural invasion than the group that did not receive adjuvant treatment. Overall, adjuvant chemotherapy was associated with prolonged survival (median 22.1 vs 15.8 months; P<0.0001). Older patients (aged ⩾70) were less likely to receive adjuvant chemotherapy (51.5% vs 29.8% P<0.0001). Older patients had a particularly poor outcome when adjuvant therapy was not delivered (median survival=13.1 months; HR 1.89, 95% CI: 1.27–2.78, P=0.002).
Patients aged ⩾70 are less likely to receive adjuvant therapy although it is associated with improved outcome. Increased use of adjuvant therapy in older individuals is encouraged as they constitute a large proportion of patients with pancreatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC3899761  PMID: 24263063
pancreatic cancer; adjuvant chemotherapy; elderly
2.  The prognostic and predictive value of serum CA19.9 in pancreatic cancer 
Annals of Oncology  2012;23(7):1713-1722.
Current staging methods for pancreatic cancer (PC) are inadequate, and biomarkers to aid clinical decision making are lacking. Despite the availability of the serum marker carbohydrate antigen 19.9 (CA19.9) for over two decades, its precise role in the management of PC is yet to be defined, and as a consequence, it is not widely used.
We assessed the relationship between perioperative serum CA19.9 levels, survival and adjuvant chemotherapeutic responsiveness in a cohort of 260 patients who underwent operative resection for PC.
By specifically assessing the subgroup of patients with detectable CA19.9, we identified potential utility at key clinical decision points. Low postoperative CA19.9 at 3 months (median survival 25.6 vs 14.8 months, P = 0.0052) and before adjuvant chemotherapy were independent prognostic factors. Patients with postoperative CA 19.9 levels >90 U/ml did not benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy (P = 0.7194) compared with those with a CA19.9 of ≤90 U/ml (median 26.0 vs 16.7 months, P = 0.0108). Normalization of CA19.9 within 6 months of resection was also an independent favorable prognostic factor (median 29.9 vs 14.8 months, P = 0.0004) and normal perioperative CA19.9 levels identified a good prognostic group, which was associated with a 5-year survival of 42%.
Perioperative serum CA19.9 measurements are informative in patients with detectable CA19.9 (defined by serum levels of >5 U/ml) and have potential clinical utility in predicting outcome and response to adjuvant chemotherapy. Future clinical trials should prioritize incorporation of CA19.9 measurement at key decision points to prospectively validate these findings and facilitate implementation.
PMCID: PMC3387824  PMID: 22241899
adjuvant chemotherapy; CA19.9; pancreatic cancer; prognosis
3.  KpnBI is the prototype of a new family (IE) of bacterial type I restriction-modification system 
Nucleic Acids Research  2004;32(18):e138.
KpnBI is a restriction-modification (R-M) system recognized in the GM236 strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae. Here, the KpnBI modification genes were cloned into a plasmid using a modification expression screening method. The modification genes that consist of both hsdM (2631 bp) and hsdS (1344 bp) genes were identified on an 8.2 kb EcoRI chromosomal fragment. These two genes overlap by one base and share the same promoter located upstream of the hsdM gene. Using recently developed plasmid R-M tests and a computer program RM Search, the DNA recognition sequence for the KpnBI enzymes was identified as a new 8 nt sequence containing one degenerate base with a 6 nt spacer, CAAANNNNNNRTCA. From Dam methylation and HindIII sensitivity tests, the methylation loci were predicted to be the italicized third adenine in the 5′ specific region and the adenine opposite the italicized thymine in the 3′ specific region. Combined with previous sequence data for hsdR, we concluded that the KpnBI system is a typical type I R-M system. The deduced amino acid sequences of the three subunits of the KpnBI system show only limited homologies (25 to 33% identity) at best, to the four previously categorized type I families (IA, IB, IC, and ID). Furthermore, their identity scores to other uncharacterized putative genome type I sequences were 53% at maximum. Therefore, we propose that KpnBI is the prototype of a new ‘type IE’ family.
PMCID: PMC524312  PMID: 15475385

Results 1-3 (3)