clinical trials; observational research; outcomes; quality of care; efficacy; effectiveness
MRI is routinely used in the investigation of colovesical fistulae at our institute. Several papers have alluded to its usefulness in achieving the diagnosis; however, there is a paucity of literature on its imaging findings. Our objective was to quantify the MRI characteristics of these fistulae.
We selected all cases over a 4-year period with a final clinical diagnosis of colovesical fistula which had been investigated with MRI. The MRI scans were reviewed in a consensus fashion by two consultant uroradiologists. Their MRI features were quantified.
There were 40 cases of colovesical fistulae. On MRI, the fistula morphology consistently fell into three patterns. The most common pattern (71%) demonstrated an intervening abscess between the bowel wall and bladder wall. The second pattern (15%) had a visible track between the affected bowel and bladder. The third pattern (13%) was a complete loss of fat plane between the affected bladder and bowel wall. MRI correctly determined the underlying aetiology in 63% of cases.
MRI is a useful imaging modality in the diagnosis of colovesical fistulae. The fistulae appear to have three characteristic morphological patterns that may aid future diagnoses of colovesical fistulae. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first publication of the MRI findings in colovesical fistulae.
The endometria of women treated with long-term progestin-only contraceptives (LTPOCs) display abnormally enlarged, fragile blood vessels, decreased endometrial blood flow, oxidative stress, and unpredictable focal abnormal endometrial bleeding. Because human studies on the effects of LTPOC treatment are constrained for ethical and practical reasons, we assessed the suitability of nonoophorectomized guinea pigs (GPs) to best mimic the hormonal milieu of women. The present study demonstrates that treatment of GPs parallels the morphological changes following LTPOC treatment of the human endometrium and ovaries. Specifically, treatment resulted in larger hyperemic, uteri compared with controls. Histopathologic and immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated fewer endometrial glands, decreased luminal mucus, increased numbers of blood vessels, and focal hemorrhage. While increased staining for the cell mitosis marker, Ki67, was present in the zona functionalis, no such increase occurred in the basalis. Lastly, effects on vasomotor features of uterine arteries suggest changes that favor increased resistance and reduced blood flow promoting decreased ability to withstand elevations in transmural pressure.
Long-term progestin-only contraception; etonogestrel; abnormal uterine bleeding; guinea pig
Adjuvant chemotherapy (act) for non-small-cell lung cancer (nsclc) is associated with improved survival in the general population, but may be underutilized. We explored the factors associated with referral to medical oncology and subsequent use of act among all patients with resected nsclc in Ontario, Canada.
The Ontario Cancer Registry was used to identify all incident cases of nsclc diagnosed in Ontario during 2004–2006. We linked electronic records of treatment and of physician billing to identify surgery, act, and medical oncology consultation. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to evaluate factors associated with referral to medical oncology and subsequent use of act.
Among 3354 cases of nsclc resected in Ontario during 2004–2006, 1830 (55%) were seen postoperatively by medical oncology, and 1032 (31%) were treated with act. Patients more than 70 years of age were less likely than younger patients to have a consultation [odds ratio (or): 0.4; p < 0.001]. A higher proportion of cases with stage ii or iii nsclc than with stage i disease were referred (ors: 2.7, 2.0 respectively; p < 0.005). We observed substantial geographic variation in the proportion of surgical cases referred (range: 32%–88%) that was not explained by differences in case mix. Among cases referred to medical oncology, older patients (age 60–69 years, or: 0.4; age 70+ years, or: 0.1; p < 0.001) with greater comorbidity (Charlson comorbidity index: 3+; or: 0.5; p < 0.05) and a longer postoperative stay (median length of stay: 7+ days; or: 0.7; p = 0.001) were less likely to receive act. Use of act was greater in patients with stage ii or iii than with stage i disease (ors: 3.0, 2.7 respectively; p < 0.001); use also varied with geographic location (range: 46%–63%).
The initial decision to refer to medical oncology is associated with age and stage of disease, and those factors have an even greater effect on the decision to offer act. Comorbidity and postoperative length of stay were not associated with initial referral, but were associated with use of act in patients seen by medical oncology.
Lung cancer; chemotherapy; health services research; outcomes; oncology
We evaluated clinical practice guideline (cpg) recommendations from Cancer Care Ontario’s Program in Evidence-Based Care (pebc) for molecularly targeted systemic treatments (tts) and subsequent funding decisions from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
We identified pebc cpgs on tt published before June 1, 2010, and extracted information regarding the key evidence cited in support of cpg recommendations and the effect size associated with each tt. Those variables were compared with mohltc funding decisions as of June 2011.
From 23 guidelines related to 17 tts, we identified 43 recommendations, among which 38 (88%) endorsed tt use. Among all the recommendations, 38 (88%) were based on published key evidence, with 82% (31 of 38) being supported by meta-analyses or phase iii trials. For the 38 recommendations endorsing tts, funding was approved in 28 (74%; odds ratio related to cpg recommendation: 29.9; p = 0.003). We were unable to demonstrate that recommendations associated with statistically significant improvements in overall survival [os: 14 of 16 (88%) vs. 8 of 14 (57%); p = 0.10] or disease- (dfs) or progression-free survival [pfs: 16 of 21 (76%) vs. 3 of 5 (60%); p = 0.59] were more likely to be funded than those with no significant difference. Moreover, we did not observe significant associations between funding approvals and absolute improvements of 3 months or more in os [6 of 6 (100%) vs. 3 of 6 (50%), p = 0.18] or pfs [6 of 8 (75%) vs. 10 of 12 (83%), p = 1.00].
For use of tts, most recommendations in pebc cpgs are based on meta-analyses or phase iii data, and funding decisions were strongly associated with those recommendations. Our data suggest a trend toward increased rates of funding for therapies with statistically significant improvements in os.
Medical oncology; drug funding; health policy; clinical trials
Incidental findings (IF) are becoming increasingly common due to the proliferation of imaging research. IFs can be life-changing for “healthy” volunteers. This study examined variation in IF management in UK research studies of healthy volunteers, including comparison with ethical and legal guidelines, thus providing baseline data and informing future practice.
Questionnaire of participant background [medical/non-medical; radiologist/non-radiologist; years as principal investigator (PI)], type of research (involving children or not), institutional policy, volunteer information, radiologist involvement in reporting scans and IF disclosure mechanisms. Investigator's current and perceived “ideal” practice was examined. Participants were PIs performing imaging research of healthy volunteers approved by UK ethics committees (2006–2009).
63/146 (43%) surveys completed. 54/61 (88.5%) had site-specific guidelines. Information commonly provided to volunteers should IF be found: personal data (51/62; 82%), contingency plans (54/62; 87%) and disclosure to general practitioner (GP)/treating physician (47/62; 76%). PIs used different strategies for image review. Commonest: radiologist reports research scans only when researcher suspicious of IF [15/57 (26%) compared with 5/28 (16%) in ideal practice]. Commonest ideal reporting strategy: routine reporting by specialist radiologists [9/28 (29%) compared with 8/57 (14%) in current practice]. 49/56 (87.5%) have a standardised disclosure contingency plan, usually involving GP. PIs most commonly disclosed IFs to volunteers when judged relevant (27/58; 47%), most commonly face to face (22/54; 41%), by volunteer's GP (26/60; 43%). Background of PI influenced consent, reporting and disclosure practice.
There is wide variation in handling IFs in UK imaging research. Much of the current practice contravenes the vague existing legal and ethical guidelines, and is unlikely to be in the best interests of volunteers or researchers.
The annual Eastern Canadian Colorectal Cancer Consensus Conference was held in Ottawa, Ontario, October 22–23, 2010. Health care professionals involved in the care of patients with colorectal cancer participated in presentation and discussion sessions for the purpose of developing the recommendations presented here. This consensus statement addresses current issues in the management of colorectal cancer, such as the use of epidermal growth factor inhibitors in metastatic colon cancer, the benefit of calcium and magnesium with oxaliplatin chemotherapy, the role of microsatellites in treatment decisions for stage ii colon cancer, the staging and treatment of rectal cancer, and the management of colorectal and metastatic pancreatic cancers.
Consensus guideline; colorectal cancer; rectal cancer; pancreatic cancer; microsatellites; egfri
This paper is the first attempt to accurately describe the hematological parameters for any African breed of cattle, by capturing the changes in these parameters over the first 12 months of an animal’s life using a population-based sample of calves reared under field conditions and natural disease challenge. Using a longitudinal study design, a stratified clustered random sample of newborn calves was recruited into the IDEAL study and monitored at 5-weekly intervals until 51 weeks of age. The blood cell analysis performed at each visit included: packed cell volume; red cell count; red cell distribution width; mean corpuscular volume; mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration; hemoglobin concentration; white cell count; absolute lymphocyte, eosinophil, monocyte, and neutrophil counts; platelet count; mean platelet volume; and total serum protein. The most significant age-related change in the red cell parameters was a rise in red cell count and hemoglobin concentration during the neonatal period. This is in contrast to what is reported for other ruminants, including European cattle breeds where the neonatal period is marked by a fall in the red cell parameters. There is a need to establish breed-specific reference ranges for blood parameters for indigenous cattle breeds. The possible role of the postnatal rise in the red cell parameters in the adaptability to environmental constraints and innate disease resistance warrants further research into the dynamics of blood cell parameters of these breeds.
Hematology; East African; Zebu; Calves; Longitudinal study
The purpose of this study was to test a novel, dual tumour vascular endothelial cell (VEC)- and tumour cell-targeting factor VII-targeted Sn(IV) chlorin e6 photodynamic therapy (fVII-tPDT) by targeting a receptor tissue factor (TF) as an alternative treatment for chemoresistant breast cancer using a multidrug resistant (MDR) breast cancer line MCF-7/MDR.
The TF expression by the MCF-7/MDR breast cancer cells and tumour VECs in MCF-7/MDR tumours from mice was determined separately by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry using anti-human or anti-murine TF antibodies. The efficacy of fVII-tPDT was tested in vitro and in vivo and was compared with non-targeted PDT for treatment of chemoresistant breast cancer. The in vitro efficacy was determined by a non-clonogenic assay using crystal violet staining for monolayers, and apoptosis and necrosis were assayed to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. The in vivo efficacy of fVII-tPDT was determined in a nude mouse model of subcutaneous MCF-7/MDR tumour xenograft by measuring tumour volume.
To our knowledge, this is the first presentation showing that TF was expressed on tumour VECs in chemoresistant breast tumours from mice. The in vitro efficacy of fVII-tPDT was 12-fold stronger than that of ntPDT for MCF-7/MDR cancer cells, and the mechanism of action involved induction of apoptosis and necrosis. Moreover, fVII-tPDT was effective and safe for the treatment of chemoresistant breast tumours in the nude mouse model.
We conclude that fVII-tPDT is effective and safe for the treatment of chemoresistant breast cancer, presumably by simultaneously targeting both the tumour neovasculature and chemoresistant cancer cells. Thus, this dual-targeting fVII-tPDT could also have therapeutic potential for the treatment of other chemoresistant cancers.
ligand-targeted photodynamic therapy; factor VII; tissue factor; chemoresistant breast cancer; neovascular- and cancer cell-targeting photodynamic therapy
Incidental findings found in “healthy” volunteers during research imaging are common and have important implications for study design and performance, particularly in the areas of informed consent, subjects' rights, clinical image analysis and disclosure. In this study, we aimed to determine current practice and regulations concerning information that should be given to research subjects when obtaining consent, reporting of research images, who should be informed about any incidental findings and the method of disclosure. We reviewed all UK, European and international humanitarian, legal and ethical agencies' guidance. We found that the guidance on what constitutes incidental pathology, how to recognise it and what to do about it is inconsistent between agencies, difficult to find and less complete in the UK than elsewhere. Where given, guidance states that volunteers should be informed during the consent process about how research images will be managed, whether a mechanism exists for identifying incidental findings, arrangements for their disclosure, the potential benefit or harm and therapeutic options. The effects of incidentally discovered pathology on the individual can be complex and far-reaching. Radiologist involvement in analysis of research images varies widely; many incidental findings might therefore go unrecognised. In conclusion, guidance on the management of research imaging is inconsistent, limited and does not address the interests of volunteers. Improved standards to guide management of research images and incidental findings are urgently required.
Outcomes research; health services; breast cancer; chemotherapy; supportive care
Early use of nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) may reduce lung damage, but it is not clear how many extremely preterm infants can be cared for without mechanical ventilation on the first days after delivery.
To describe our experience of nCPAP in infants born at <27 weeks' gestation and to determine the chance of reintubation of this group of extremely preterm infants.
A retrospective, observational study examined the period from November 2002 to October 2003, when efforts were made to extubate infants to nCPAP at the earliest opportunity. Data were collected on all infants born at <27 weeks' and gestation admitted to The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital, London, UK. The chance of an individual infant requiring reintubation within 48 h of delivery was estimated, calculating the predictive probability using a Bayesian approach, and oxygen requirements at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age were examined.
60 infants, 34 inborn and 26 ex utero transfers, were admitted; 7 infants admitted 24 h after birth were excluded and 5 died within 48 h. The mean birth weight was 788 g and the gestational age was 25.3 weeks. Extubation was attempted on day 1 in 21 of 52 infants on ventilators and was successful in 14; and on day 2 in 14 of 35 and successful in 10 of infants extubated within 48 h of delivery survived to discharge. 5 of 23 infants on mechanical ventilation at 48 h of age were on air at 36 weeks postmenstrual age, and 12 of 26 of those were on nCPAP at 48 h of age. The probability of an individual baby remaining on nCPAP was 66% (95% CI 46% to 86%) on day 1 and 80% (95% CI 60% to 99%) on day 2. The smallest infant to be successfully extubated was 660 g and the youngest gestational age was 23.8 weeks.
Extremely preterm infants can be extubated to nCPAP soon after delivery, with a reasonable probability of not requiring immediate reintubation.
Observational studies indicate that physical activity (pa) is strongly associated with improved disease outcomes in colon cancer survivors, but a randomized controlled trial is needed to determine whether the association is causal and whether new policies to promote exercise are justified.
The co.21 Colon Health and Life-Long Exercise Change (challenge) trial undertaken by the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group (ncic ctg) is designed to determine the effects of a structured pa intervention on outcomes for survivors of high-risk stage ii or iii colon cancer who have completed adjuvant therapy within the previous 2–6 months.
Trial participants (n = 962) will be stratified by centre, disease stage, body mass index, and performance status, and will be randomly assigned to a structured pa intervention or to general health education materials. The pa intervention will consist of a behavioural support program and supervised pa sessions delivered over a 3-year period, beginning with regular face-to-face sessions and tapering to less frequent face-to-face or telephone sessions. The primary endpoint is disease-free survival. Important secondary endpoints include multiple patient-reported outcomes, objective physical functioning, biologic correlative markers, and an economic analysis.
Cancer survivors and cancer care professionals are interested in the potential role of PA to improve multiple disease-related outcomes, but a randomized controlled trial is needed to provide compelling evidence to justify changes in health care policies and practice.
Behavioural oncology; cancer survivor; disease-free survival; exercise; lifestyle; physical activity; quality of life; survivorship
We describe an unusual pathway of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcriptase resistance during therapy with tenofovir-emtricitabine, characterized initially by the mutations K70E and M184V and later by K70G and M184V, with the two mutations coexisting on the same viral genome. Phenotypic resistance to lamivudine, emtricitabine, abacavir, didanosine, and tenofovir was observed, whereas susceptibility to zidovudine and stavudine was preserved.
A guanidine-based antibody avidity assay for the identification of recently acquired human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection was evaluated. The kinetics of maturation of antibody avidity were determined prospectively in 23 persons undergoing acute seroconversion followed for up to 1,075 days. Avidity indices (AI) of ≤0.75 and ≤0.80 reproducibly identified seroconversion within the previous 125 (95% confidence interval [CI], 85 to 164) and 142 (95% CI, 101 to 183) days, respectively. To validate the assay, 432 serum samples from newly diagnosed patients were tested by both the avidity assay and the detuned assay. Results were highly concordant (kappa value for agreement, 0.85). The avidity assay was subsequently used to screen 134 consecutive newly diagnosed patients, including 55/134 (41%) infected with non-B subtypes (A, C, D, G, CRF01, CRF02, CRF06, CRF13, and CRF16). In this cohort, 25/79 (32%) persons with the B subtype and 7/55 (13%) with non-B subtypes showed an AI of ≤0.75, and there were 16/25 (64%) and 3/7 (43%) persons, respectively, with a documented history of acute seroconversion illness within the predicted seroconversion interval. An AI of ≤0.75 was also observed for four patients (three with the B subtype and one with a non-B subtype) who presented with AIDS-defining conditions. In multivariate analysis, an AI of ≤0.75 was associated with younger age, higher HIV-1 plasma RNA load, and being born in the United Kingdom or Ireland rather than in Africa but not with gender, ethnicity, risk group, HIV-1 subtype, or CD4 counts. In conclusion, HIV antibody avidity testing provides a reliable method for identifying recently acquired HIV-1 infection. Results are affected by advanced disease and should therefore be interpreted in the context of other clinical parameters.
The performance of the new Abbott real-time human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) assay for HIV-1 RNA load determination in plasma was compared to that of the Abbott LCx HIV-1 RNA quantitative assay following automated RNA isolation by the Abbott m1000 extractor. The measured viral loads of 89 clinical specimens differed by mean 0.19 log10 copies/ml (95% confidence interval, 0.12 to 0.26 log10 copies/ml). Although the difference in viral load determinations was positively skewed in favor of the LCx assay, it did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.42). Results were linearly associated (R2 = 0.94) and strongly correlated (R = 0.96). Good performance was observed with HIV-1 subtypes other than B and circulating recombinant forms, although results obtained with two subtype G specimens and one H specimen showed a more substantial difference.
OBJECTIVE: Nurse-led prostate clinics (NPCs) have proved to be a highly effective method of assessing patients with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and most urology units now run such clinics. However, it was not known whether they are cost-effective and this analysis ansWers that question. PATIENTS AND METHODS: During one year, a trained urology nurse assessed 1,080 patients in our NPC following GP referral using a standard pro forma. Costs included those incurred for the salary of a grade D nurse at 30 min per patient, all investigations, indirect charges and overheads. This was compared to the cost of seeing all patients in clinic directly, either by a consultant, staff grade urologist or registrar. Of these 1,080 patients, 350 were sent back to their GPs after NPC assessment. RESULTS: The NPC cost of 44.25 pounds per patient compared favourably with an average medical out-patient clinic cost of 50.46 pounds per patient, yielding an actual annual saving of 6,706.80 pounds. Since a third of the patients assessed in the NPC were sent directly back to primary care, saving the cost of a medical follow-up appointment, the true savings in secondary care were 17,661.00 pounds (50.46 x 350pounds), giving a total annual saving of 24,367.80 pounds. CONCLUSIONS: A nurse-led shared-care prostate clinic is a cost effective, thorough and speedy method of assessing men presenting with suspected bladder outflow obstruction. The approach used has a wider generic, cost-benefit potential for the NHS.
There have been many reports that high soya-based diets reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. This effect may be due to the presence of high levels of isoflavones derived from the soya bean, particularly genistein which has been shown to be a protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) inhibitor and have both oestrogenic and anti-oestrogenic properties. We have examined the effect of genistein and a number of novel synthetic analogues on both normal (IEC6, IEC18) and transformed (SW620, HT29) intestinal epithelial cell lines. Responses were compared to those elicited by oestradiol, the anti-oestrogen tamoxifen, and the tyrosine kinase inhibitor tyrphostin. Genistein and tamoxifen were potent inhibitors of cell proliferation. Of seven novel isoflavones tested, none were more potent inhibitors than genistein, and all displayed similar relative activities across the different cell lines. In addition to inhibiting cell proliferation, cell death via apoptosis was observed when the cells were exposed to the isoflavones and all but one exhibited PTK inhibitory activity. These data suggest that by reducing proliferation and inducing apoptosis, possibly due in part to PTK inhibition, isoflavones may have a role in protecting normal intestinal epithelium from tumour development (reducing the risk) and may reduce colonic tumour growth. © 1999 Cancer Research Campaign
genistein; isoflavones; epithelial cell; intestine; apoptosis
OBJECTIVE--To assess the effectiveness of decontamination procedures in general practice. DESIGN--Anonymous postal questionnaire survey of 600 general practitioners randomly selected from the national register. SETTING--General practices throughout the United Kingdom. SUBJECTS--382 General practitioners, a response rate of 65%. RESULTS--186 General practitioners had autoclaves but 125 used hot water disinfectors or chemical disinfectants to reprocess instruments. 22% (474/2132) Of high risk instruments were inadequately decontaminated. Decontamination was performed by the practice nurse or receptionist in 306 practices. Knowledge of treatment of spillages of blood fluids was uncertain, and only 114 general practitioners used effective methods for dealing with spillages. CONCLUSIONS--A comprehensive central code of practice for control of infection is needed for primary health care staff.