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1.  Auditory Stimuli Mimicking Ambient Sounds Drive Temporal “Delta-Brushes” in Premature Infants 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79028.
In the premature infant, somatosensory and visual stimuli trigger an immature electroencephalographic (EEG) pattern, “delta-brushes,” in the corresponding sensory cortical areas. Whether auditory stimuli evoke delta-brushes in the premature auditory cortex has not been reported. Here, responses to auditory stimuli were studied in 46 premature infants without neurologic risk aged 31 to 38 postmenstrual weeks (PMW) during routine EEG recording. Stimuli consisted of either low-volume technogenic “clicks” near the background noise level of the neonatal care unit, or a human voice at conversational sound level. Stimuli were administrated pseudo-randomly during quiet and active sleep. In another protocol, the cortical response to a composite stimulus (“click” and voice) was manually triggered during EEG hypoactive periods of quiet sleep. Cortical responses were analyzed by event detection, power frequency analysis and stimulus locked averaging. Before 34 PMW, both voice and “click” stimuli evoked cortical responses with similar frequency-power topographic characteristics, namely a temporal negative slow-wave and rapid oscillations similar to spontaneous delta-brushes. Responses to composite stimuli also showed a maximal frequency-power increase in temporal areas before 35 PMW. From 34 PMW the topography of responses in quiet sleep was different for “click” and voice stimuli: responses to “clicks” became diffuse but responses to voice remained limited to temporal areas. After the age of 35 PMW auditory evoked delta-brushes progressively disappeared and were replaced by a low amplitude response in the same location. Our data show that auditory stimuli mimicking ambient sounds efficiently evoke delta-brushes in temporal areas in the premature infant before 35 PMW. Along with findings in other sensory modalities (visual and somatosensory), these findings suggest that sensory driven delta-brushes represent a ubiquitous feature of the human sensory cortex during fetal stages and provide a potential test of functional cortical maturation during fetal development.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079028
PMCID: PMC3823968  PMID: 24244408
2.  Surrogate endpoints for overall survival in chemotherapy and radiotherapy trials in operable and locally advanced lung cancer: a re-analysis of meta-analyses of individual patients' data 
The Lancet Oncology  2013;14(7):619-626.
Summary
Background
The gold standard endpoint in clinical trials of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for lung cancer is overall survival. Although reliable and simple to measure, this endpoint takes years to observe. Surrogate endpoints that would enable earlier assessments of treatment effects would be useful. We assessed the correlations between potential surrogate endpoints and overall survival at individual and trial levels.
Methods
We analysed individual patients' data from 15 071 patients involved in 60 randomised clinical trials that were assessed in six meta-analyses. Two meta-analyses were of adjuvant chemotherapy in non-small-cell lung cancer, three were of sequential or concurrent chemotherapy, and one was of modified radiotherapy in locally advanced lung cancer. We investigated disease-free survival (DFS) or progression-free survival (PFS), defined as the time from randomisation to local or distant relapse or death, and locoregional control, defined as the time to the first local event, as potential surrogate endpoints. At the individual level we calculated the squared correlations between distributions of these three endpoints and overall survival, and at the trial level we calculated the squared correlation between treatment effects for endpoints.
Findings
In trials of adjuvant chemotherapy, correlations between DFS and overall survival were very good at the individual level (ρ2=0·83, 95% CI 0·83–0·83 in trials without radiotherapy, and 0·87, 0·87–0·87 in trials with radiotherapy) and excellent at trial level (R2=0·92, 95% CI 0·88–0·95 in trials without radiotherapy and 0·99, 0·98–1·00 in trials with radiotherapy). In studies of locally advanced disease, correlations between PFS and overall survival were very good at the individual level (ρ2 range 0·77–0·85, dependent on the regimen being assessed) and trial level (R2 range 0·89–0·97). In studies with data on locoregional control, individual-level correlations were good (ρ2=0·71, 95% CI 0·71–0·71 for concurrent chemotherapy and ρ2=0·61, 0·61–0·61 for modified vs standard radiotherapy) and trial-level correlations very good (R2=0·85, 95% CI 0·77–0·92 for concurrent chemotherapy and R2=0·95, 0·91–0·98 for modified vs standard radiotherapy).
Interpretation
We found a high level of evidence that DFS is a valid surrogate endpoint for overall survival in studies of adjuvant chemotherapy involving patients with non-small-cell lung cancers, and PFS in those of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for patients with locally advanced lung cancers. Extrapolation to targeted agents, however, is not automatically warranted.
Funding
Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique, Ligue Nationale Contre le Cancer, British Medical Research Council, Sanofi-Aventis.
doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(13)70158-X
PMCID: PMC3732017  PMID: 23680111
3.  Neuronal differentiation distinguishes supratentorial and infratentorial childhood ependymomas 
Neuro-Oncology  2010;12(11):1126-1134.
Ependymomas are glial neoplasms occurring in any location throughout the central nervous system and supposedly are derived from radial glia cells. Recent data suggest that these tumors may have different biological and clinical behaviors according to their location. Pediatric supratentorial and infratentorial ependymoma (SE and IE) were compared with respect to clinical and radiological parameters and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Neuronal markers were specifically assessed by IHC and quantitative PCR (qPCR). No single morphological or radiological characteristic was associated with location or any neuronal marker. However, there was a significant overexpression of neuronal markers in SE compared with IE: neurofilament light polypeptide 70 (NEFL)-positive tumor cells were found in 23 of 34 SE and in only 4 of 32 IE (P < .001). Among SE, 10 of 34 exhibited high expression of NEFL, defined as more than 5% positive cells. qPCR confirmed the upregulation of neuronal markers (NEFL, LHX2, FOXG1, TLX1, and NPTXR) in SE compared with IE. In addition, strong NEFL expression in SE was correlated with better progression-free survival (P = .007). Our results support the distinction of SE and IE. SEs are characterized by neuronal differentiation, which seems to be associated with better prognosis.
doi:10.1093/neuonc/noq074
PMCID: PMC3098029  PMID: 20615923
child; ependymoma; location; neurofilament; supratentorial
4.  Prognostic Factors and Morbidities After Completion Surgery in Patients Undergoing Initial Chemoradiation Therapy for Locally Advanced Cervical Cancer 
The Oncologist  2010;15(4):405-415.
The study evaluates the prognostic factors and morbidities of patients undergoing completion surgery for locally advanced-stage cervical cancer after initial chemoradiation therapy.
Learning Objectives
After completing this course, the reader will be able to: Rate the prognostic factors for overall survival in patients undergoing completion surgery after initial chemoradiation therapy (CRT) for locally advanced cervical cancer.In cervical cancer patients undergoing completion surgery, consider using laparoscopy to decrease the morbidity of the surgery.In cervical cancer patients undergoing completion surgery, use PET-CT imaging to improve detection of para-aortic involvement.
This article is available for continuing medical education credit at CME.TheOncologist.com
Purpose.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic factors and morbidities of patients undergoing completion surgery for locally advanced-stage cervical cancer after initial chemoradiation therapy (CRT).
Patients and Methods.
Patients fulfilling the following inclusion criteria were studied: stage IB2–IVA cervical carcinoma, tumor initially confined to the pelvic cavity on conventional imaging, pelvic external radiation therapy with delivery of 45 Gy to the pelvic cavity and concomitant chemotherapy (cisplatin, 40 mg/m2 per week) followed by uterovaginal brachytherapy, and completion surgery after the end of radiation therapy including at least a hysterectomy.
Results.
One-hundred fifty patients treated in 1998–2007 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Prognostic factors for overall survival in the multivariate analysis were the presence and level of nodal spread (positive pelvic nodes alone: hazard ratio [HR], 2.03; positive para-aortic nodes: HR, 5.46; p < .001) and the presence and size of residual disease (RD) in the cervix (p = .02). Thirty-seven (25%) patients had 55 postoperative complications. The risk for complications was higher with a radical hysterectomy (p = .04) and the presence of cervical RD (p = .01).
Conclusion.
In this series, the presence and size of RD and histologic nodal involvement were the strongest prognostic factors. Such results suggest that the survival of patients treated using CRT for locally advanced cervical cancer could potentially be enhanced by improving the rate of complete response in the irradiated area (cervix or pelvic nodes) and by initially detecting patients with para-aortic spread so that treatment could be adapted in such patients. The morbidity of completion surgery is high in this context.
doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2009-0295
PMCID: PMC3227965  PMID: 20332143
Chemoradiation therapy; Completion surgery; Locally advanced cervical cancer; Morbidities; Nodal involvement; Prognostic factors; Residual disease; Survival
5.  Portrait of Ependymoma Recurrence in Children: Biomarkers of Tumor Progression Identified by Dual-Color Microarray-Based Gene Expression Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(9):e12932.
Background
Children with ependymoma may experience a relapse in up to 50% of cases depending on the extent of resection. Key biological events associated with recurrence are unknown.
Methodology/Principal Findings
To discover the biology behind the recurrence of ependymomas, we performed CGHarray and a dual-color gene expression microarray analysis of 17 tumors at diagnosis co-hybridized with the corresponding 27 first or subsequent relapses from the same patient. As treatment and location had only limited influence on specific gene expression changes at relapse, we established a common signature for relapse. Eighty-seven genes showed an absolute fold change ≥2 in at least 50% of relapses and were defined as the gene expression signature of ependymoma recurrence. The most frequently upregulated genes are involved in the kinetochore (ASPM, KIF11) or in neural development (CD133, Wnt and Notch pathways). Metallothionein (MT) genes were downregulated in up to 80% of the recurrences. Quantitative PCR for ASPM, KIF11 and MT3 plus immunohistochemistry for ASPM and MT3 confirmed the microarray results. Immunohistochemistry on an independent series of 24 tumor pairs at diagnosis and at relapse confirmed the decrease of MT3 expression at recurrence in 17/24 tumor pairs (p = 0.002). Conversely, ASPM expression was more frequently positive at relapse (87.5% vs 37.5%, p = 0.03). Loss or deletion of the MT genes cluster was never observed at relapse. Promoter sequencing after bisulfite treatment of DNA from primary tumors and recurrences as well as treatment of short-term ependymoma cells cultures with a demethylating agent showed that methylation was not involved in MT3 downregulation. However, in vitro treatment with a histone deacetylase inhibitor or zinc restored MT3 expression.
Conclusions/Significance
The most frequent molecular events associated with ependymoma recurrence were over-expression of kinetochore proteins and down-regulation of metallothioneins. Metallothionein-3 expression is epigenetically controlled and can be restored in vitro by histone deacetylase inhibitors.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012932
PMCID: PMC2945762  PMID: 20885975

Results 1-5 (5)