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1.  Lymphocyte Subsets Show Different Response Patterns to In Vivo Bound Natalizumab—A Flow Cytometric Study on Patients with Multiple Sclerosis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e31784.
Natalizumab is an effective monoclonal antibody therapy for the treatment of relapsing- remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and interferes with immune cell migration into the central nervous system by blocking the α4 subunit of very-late activation antigen-4 (VLA-4). Although well tolerated and very effective, some patients still suffer from relapses in spite of natalizumab therapy or from unwanted side effects like progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). In search of a routine-qualified biomarker on the effectiveness of natalizumab therapy we applied flow cytometry and analyzed natalizumab binding to α4 and α4 integrin surface levels on T-cells, B-cells, natural killer (NK) cells, and NKT cells from 26 RRMS patients under up to 72 weeks of therapy. Four-weekly infusions of natalizumab resulted in a significant and sustained increase of lymphocyte-bound natalizumab (p<0.001) which was paralleled by a significant decrease in detectability of the α4 integrin subunit on all lymphocyte subsets (p<0.001). We observed pronounced natalizumab accumulations on T and B cells at single measurements in all patients who reported clinical disease activity (n = 4). The natalizumab binding capacity of in vitro saturated lymphocytes collected during therapy was strongly diminished compared to treatment-naive cells indicating a therapy-induced reduction of α4. Summing up, this pilot study shows that flow cytometry is a useful method to monitor natalizumab binding to lymphocytes from RRMS patients under therapy. Investigating natalizumab binding provides an opportunity to evaluate the molecular level of effectiveness of natalizumab therapy in individual patients. In combination with natalizumab saturation experiments, it possibly even provides a means of studying the feasability of patient-tailored infusion intervals. A routine-qualified biomarker on the basis of individual natalizumab saturation on lymphocyte subsets might be an effective tool to improve treatment safety.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031784
PMCID: PMC3282779  PMID: 22363732
2.  Impact of UGT2B7 His268Tyr polymorphism on the outcome of adjuvant epirubicin treatment in breast cancer 
Introduction
Epirubicin is a common adjuvant treatment for breast cancer. It is mainly eliminated after glucuronidation through uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase 2B7 (UGT2B7). The present study aimed to describe the impact of the UGT2B7His268Tyr polymorphism on invasive disease-free survival in breast cancer patients after epirubicin treatment.
Methods
This is a pharmacogenetic study based on samples collected from 745 breast cancer patients of the Austrian Tumor of breast tissue: Incidence, Genetics, and Environmental Risk factors (TIGER) cohort who did not present metastases at baseline. This cohort included 205 women with epirubicin-based combination chemotherapy, 113 patients having received chemotherapy without epirubicin and 427 patients having received no chemotherapy at all. Of the epirubicin-treated subgroup, 120 were subsequently treated with tamoxifen. For all women UGT2B7His268Tyr was genotyped. Invasive disease-free survival was assessed using Kaplan-Meier and Cox's proportional hazard regression analysis.
Results
Among the 205 epirubicin-treated patients, carriers of two UGT2B7268Tyr alleles had a mean invasive disease-free survival of 8.6 (95% confidence interval (CI) 7.9 to 9.3) years as compared to 7.5 (95% CI 6.9 to 8.0) years in carriers of at least one UGT2B7268His allele (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 2.64 (95% CI 1.22 to 5.71); P = 0.014). In addition, the impact of the UGT2B7His268Tyr polymorphism became even more pronounced in patients subsequently treated with tamoxifen (adjusted HR = 5.22 (95% CI 1.67 to 26.04); P = 0.015) whereas no such difference in invasive disease-free survival was observed in patients not receiving epirubicin.
Conclusions
Breast cancer patients carrying the UGT2B7268Tyr/Tyr genotype may benefit most from adjuvant epirubicin-based chemotherapy. These results warrant confirmation in further studies.
doi:10.1186/bcr2894
PMCID: PMC3218946  PMID: 21658222
3.  Supplementation with 200 mg/Day Docosahexaenoic Acid from Mid-Pregnancy through Lactation Improves the Docosahexaenoic Acid Status of Mothers with a Habitually Low Fish Intake and of Their Infants 
Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism  2008;52(2):157-166.
Background/Aims
The supply of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6ω–3), important for fetal/infant neurodevelopment, depends on the maternal fatty acid (FA) status, which may be marginal in central Europe. Therefore, we investigated the effect of a daily vitamin/mineral supplement with and without 200 mg DHA from mid-pregnancy through lactation on the DHA concentrations in maternal and infant red blood cell phospholipids (RBC%), and in breast milk FA (%).
Methods
At 21 weeks’ gestation, 144 women were enrolled into a randomised, double-blind clinical trial receiving daily: (1) a basic vitamin-mineral supplement (Vit/Min group), (2) Vit/Min plus 4.5 g fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS group), or (3) Vit/Min plus 4.5 g FOS plus 200 mg fish oil-derived DHA (DHA-FOS group). FAs were determined by capillary gas-liquid chromatography.
Results
While maternal RBC-DHA% at enrolment was not different, at 37 weeks gestation, and 3 months after delivery RBC-DHA% were significantly higher in the DHA-FOS group. The breast milk DHA% was twice as high in the DHA-FOS group (0.50%) than in the two others (0.25 %) (p < 0.001), and the ratio ARA/DHA in the DHA-FOS group was 1.0 ± 0.43, in the others 2.1 ± 0.43 (p < 0.001). The RBC-DHA% of the infants in the DHA-FOS group was also significantly higher, and correlated significantly with maternal RBC-DHA% before and 3 months after delivery.
Conclusions
In central Europe, a dose of 200 mg/day DHA from mid-pregnancy through lactation seems appropriate to improve the DHA status of mothers and infants.
doi:10.1159/000129651
PMCID: PMC2790529  PMID: 18446020
Supplements; Docosahexaenoic acid; Pregnancy; Lactation; Concentration; Erythrocytes; Breast milk

Results 1-3 (3)