Background: Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is one of the most common chronic complications of diabetes and the leading cause of end-stage renal disease. Recent research has found that oxidative stress participates in the development of diabetic nephropathy. α-lipoic acid (α-LA), a powerful antioxidant, plays an important role in renal protection against DN, but the underlying mechanism remains unknown. This study modeled the renal protective effects of α-lipoic acid in streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rats and explore the underlying mechanism, which provides new theoretical bases for clinical treatment of diabetic nephropathy. Methods: The diabetic model was induced by intraperitoneal injection of STZ on Male SD and then the diabetic rats were randomly divided into two groups: untreated-diabetic group (DM group), α-LA treated-diabetic group (α-LA group), and the normal rats served as control group (NC group). After 8 weeks of STZ induction, Blood glucose (BG), Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN), Serum Creatinine (SCr) and urinary albumin excretion rate (UAER) were examined, and morphological changes were assessed by histology. The levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) were also evaluated in serum and renal cortex. Additionally, kidney mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial swelling were measured for different groups. The expression of voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) on mitochondria were evaluated by both Western blotting and Immunohistochemistry. Results: After 8 weeks induction of STZ, significant reductions in BUN, SCr, UAER (P<0.01 or P<0.05) and histological improvement were observed in the α-LA group compared to the DM group. In the serum and renal cortex of α-LA group, the content of MDA and the activities of SOC were both significantly decreased (P<0.05). Compared to the DM group, the mitochondrial membrane potential in the α-LA group was significantly increased (P<0.05) and mitochondrial swelling was reduced. Meanwhile, the expression of VDAC on mitochondrial was significantly increased (P<0.05) in the α-LA group. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that antioxidant α-LA exerts a protective role against the development of DN, and the underlying mechanism may involve effective suppression of the generation of oxidants, protection of mitochondrial function, and up-regulating of VDAC expression.
Diabetic nephropathy; reactive oxygen species; mitochondria; voltage-dependent anion channel; α-lipoic acid
Robotic surgery has been widely adopted for radical prostatectomy. We hypothesize that this change is rapidly shifting procedures away from hospitals that do not offer robotics and consequently increasing patient travel.
A population-based observational study of all prostatectomies for cancer in NY, NJ, and PA from 2000–2009 was performed using hospital discharge data. Hospital procedure volume was defined as the number of prostatectomies performed for cancer in a given year. Straight-line travel distance to treating hospital was calculated for each case. Hospitals were contacted to determine year of acquisition of first robot.
From 2000–2009, the total number of prostatectomies performed annually increased substantially. The increase occurred almost entirely at the very high volume centers (≥106 prostatectomies/year). The number of hospitals performing prostatectomy fell 37% from 2000–2009. By 2009, the 9% (21/244) of hospitals that had very high volume performed 57% of all prostatectomies, and the 35% (86/244) of hospitals with a robot performed 85% of all prostatectomies. Median travel increased 54% from 2000–2009, p<0.001. The proportion of patients traveling ≥15 miles increased from 24% to 40%, p<0.001.
Over the past decade, the number of radical prostatectomies performed has risen substantially. These procedures have been increasingly centralized at high volume centers, leading to longer patient travel distances. Few prostatectomies are now performed at hospitals that do not offer robotic surgery. Future work should focus on the impact of these trends on cancer control, functional outcomes, access to care and cost.
Though patients who receive surgery from high-volume surgeons tend to have better outcomes, black patients are less likely to receive surgery from high-volume surgeons.
Among men with localized prostate cancer, we examined whether disparities in use of high-volume urologists resulted from racial differences in patients being diagnosed by high-volume urologists and/or changing to high-volume urologists for surgery.
Retrospective cohort study from Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare data
26,058 black and white men in SEER-Medicare diagnosed with localized prostate cancer from 1995 to 2005 that underwent prostatectomy. Patients were linked to their diagnosing urologist and a treating urologist (who performed the surgery).
Diagnosis and receipt of prostatectomy by a high-volume urologist, and changing between diagnosing and treating urologist
After adjustment for confounders, black men were as likely as white men to be diagnosed by a high-volume urologist; however, they were significantly less likely than white men to be treated by a high-volume urologist (Odds ratio 0.76, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 0.67, 0.87). For men diagnosed by a low-volume urologist, 46.0% changed urologists for their surgery. Black men were significantly less likely to change to a high-volume urologist (Relative Risk Ratio 0.61, 95%CI 0.47, 0.79). Racial differences appeared to reflect black and white patients being diagnosed by different urologists and having different rates of changing after being diagnosed by the same urologists.
Lower rates of changing to high-volume urologists for surgery among black men contribute to racial disparities in treatment by high-volume surgeons.
Prostate Cancer; Healthcare Disparities; High-volume; Provider Changing
The CD34+CD38- subset of AML cells is enriched for resistance to current chemotherapeutic agents and considered to contribute to disease progression and relapse in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) patients following initial treatment.
Chemosensitivity in phenotypically defined subsets from 34 primary AML samples was measured by flow cytometry following 48 hr in vitro treatment with gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO, Mylotarg) and the farnesyltransferase inhibitor tipifarnib/zarnestra. The DNA damage response was measured using flow cytometry, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry.
Using a previously validated in vitro minimal residual disease model, we now show that the combination of GO (10 ng/ml) and tipifarnib (5 μM) targets the CD34+CD38- subset resulting in 65% median cell loss compared to 28% and 13% CD34+CD38- cell loss in GO-treated and tipifarnib-treated cells, respectively. Using phosphokinome profiling and immunofluorescence in the TF-1a cell line, we demonstrate that the drug combination is characterised by the activation of a DNA damage response (induction of γH2A.X and thr68 phosphorylation of chk2). Higher induction of γH2AX was found in CD34+CD38- than in CD34+CD38+ patient cells. In a model system, we show that dormancy impairs damage resolution, allowing accumulation of γH2AX foci.
The chemosensitivity of the CD34+CD38- subset, combined with enhanced damage indicators, suggest that this subset is primed to favour programmed cell death as opposed to repairing damage. This interaction between tipifarnib and GO suggests a potential role in the treatment of AML.
Tipifarnib/Zarnestra; Gemtuzumab ozogamicin/ Mylotarg; AML CD34+CD38- cells; DNA damage response
To assess whether incidental screening resulting from imaging conducted for other purposes has resulted in earlier detection or better outcomes in patients with adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We used the National Cancer Database (NCDB) to assemble a cohort diagnosed with ACC from 1985 to 2007. Trends in the distribution of grouped tumor sizes were assessed with the Cochran Armitage Chi-square test. Relative 5-year survival rates were calculated for cases diagnosed through 2002.
Median survival for the full cohort (n=4,275) was 24 months. Localized ACC accounted for 43.9% of cases. No stage migration over time was noted. No statistical trends were noted in changes of tumor size over the years in patients who underwent surgery for localized disease (p=0.32). Furthermore, no improvement in 5-year survival over the time period was observed (p>0.1).
In this cohort of ACC patients – the largest reported to date – fewer than half presented with localized disease (43.9%). No shift toward lower stage nor smaller tumor size over a 22 year period was noted, despite the advent of abdominal imaging and its resulting “incidental screening” of the adrenal gland. These data are in contrast to the well-documented stage and size migration for tumors of the kidney – a neighboring retroperitoneal organ. Furthermore, no improvement in survival was noted. As such, better risk-stratifying patients with adrenal incidentalomas, while improving treatment efficacy for those with proven ACC is an essential clinical and epidemiological task.
adrenocortical carcinoma; National Cancer Database; cancer screening; stage migration
Experiences and inflammatory mediators are fundamental in the provocation of major depressive disorders (MDDs). We investigated the roles and mechanisms of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in stress-induced depression.
We used a depressive-like state mouse model induced by unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS). Depressive-like behaviors were evaluated after 4 weeks of UCMS, in the presence and absence of the iNOS inhibitor N-(3-(aminomethyl)benzyl)acetamidine (1400 W) compared with the control group. Immunohistochemistry was used to check the loss of Nissl bodies in cerebral cortex neurons. The levels of iNOS mRNA expression in the cortex and nitrites in the plasma were measured with real-time reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) and Griess reagent respectively.
Results showed that the 4-week UCMS significantly induced depressive-like behaviors, including decreased sucrose preference in a sucrose preference test, increased duration of immobility in a forced swim test, and decreased hole-searching time in a locomotor activity test. Meanwhile, in the locomotor activity test, UCMS had no effect on normal locomotor activities, such as resting time, active time and total travel distance. Furthermore, the levels of iNOS mRNA expression in the cortex and nitrites in the plasma of UCMS-exposed mice were significantly increased compared with that of the control group. Neurons of cerebral cortex in UCMS-exposed mice were shrunken with dark staining, together with loss of Nissl bodies. The above-mentioned stress-related depressive-like behaviors, increase of iNOS mRNA expression in the cortex and nitrites in the plasma, and neuron damage, could be abrogated remarkably by pretreating the mice with an iNOS inhibitor (1400 W). Moreover, neurons with abundant Nissl bodies were significantly increased in the 1400 W + UCMS group.
These results support the notion that stress-related NO (derived from iNOS) may contribute to depressive-like behaviors in a mouse model, potentially concurrent with neurodegenerative effects within the cerebral cortex.
Depressive behavior; inducible nitric oxide synthase; unpredictable chronic mild stress
We sought to evaluate the survival of patients who received breast surgery prior to any other breast cancer therapy following a metastatic diagnosis. Standard treatment for stage IV breast cancer is systemic therapy without resection of the primary tumor. Registry-based studies suggest that resection of the primary tumor may improve survival in stage IV cancer. We performed a retrospective analysis using data from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Breast Cancer Outcomes Database. Patients were eligible if they had a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis at presentation with disease at a distant site and either received surgery prior to any systemic therapy or received systemic therapy only. Eligible patients who did not receive surgery were matched to those who received surgery based on age at diagnosis, ER, HER2, and number of meta-static sites. To determine whether estimates from the matched analysis were consistent with estimates that could be obtained without matching univariate and multivariable analyses of the unmatched sample were also conducted. There were 1,048 patients in the NCCN database diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer from 1997 to 2007. 609 meta-static breast cancer patients were identified as eligible for the study. Among the 551 patients who had data available for matching, 236 patients who did not receive surgery were matched to 54 patients who received surgery. Survival was similar between the groups with a median of 3.4 years in the nonsurgery group and 3.5 years in the surgery group. The groups were similar after adjusting for the presence of lung metastases and use of trastuzumab therapy (HR = 0.94, CI 0.83–1.08, P = 0.38). When matching for the variables associated with a survival benefit in previous studies, surgery was not shown to improve survival in the stage IV setting for this subset
Stage IV breast cancer; Surgery; Survival; Mastectomy
Prostate cancer screening rates are higher than colorectal cancer screening rates, despite the established benefit of screening in reducing colorectal cancer incidence and mortality.
We used data from the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to identify correlates of colorectal cancer screening among men who have undergone prostate cancer screening.
Our sample included 41,781 men aged 50 years and older who reported undergoing prostate cancer screening in the last year. More than two-thirds (69.2%) of the men were up to date with colorectal cancer screening. On multivariable analysis, men who were younger, Hispanic, less educated, not married or partnered, employed, not a veteran, did not have a personal doctor, lacked a recent medical checkup, smoked, or were sedentary were less likely to be adherent to colorectal cancer screening.
Tailored interventions targeted towards men who have already undergone prostate cancer screening may improve rates of colorectal cancer screening in a group that may be already aware of, and interested in, the benefits of cancer risk prevention. The prostate cancer screening encounter may represent a “teachable moment” to increase colorectal cancer screening rates.
Data from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network's Breast Cancer Outcomes Database were used to characterize the use of trastuzumab beyond disease progression in National Comprehensive Cancer Network centers prior to the 2009 publication supporting it use.
The role of continued trastuzumab after progression in women with human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER)-2+ metastatic breast cancer is controversial. Controlled clinical trials that establish a benefit from continued trastuzumab have been difficult to complete.
In the National Comprehensive Cancer Center Network (NCCN) Breast Cancer Outcomes Database, we identified women treated with trastuzumab for metastatic or relapsed HER-2+ breast cancer at eight NCCN centers who subsequently progressed. Patients were eligible for this analysis if they initiated treatment at an NCCN institution between July 1997 and December 2004, received trastuzumab-containing treatment, and progressed while on therapy. We calculated the proportion of patients who received trastuzumab after progression, and in a multivariate analysis assessed the association of patient and provider characteristics with continued trastuzumab therapy.
Our final cohort consisted of 218 women who experienced disease progression while on trastuzumab-containing therapy. Of these, 168 (77%) continued trastuzumab. Of these, 36 patients (17%) received therapy as part of a clinical trial. The only factors significantly associated with continuation of trastuzumab beyond progression were the presence of bone metastases and more recent year of development of progressive disease.
Prior to the availability of any high-quality evidence supporting this practice, over three quarters of patients treated with trastuzumab for HER-2+ metastatic breast cancer at eight NCCN centers continued therapy beyond progression. Further work is needed to understand how physicians adopt new treatments when there is ambiguity surrounding their benefit.
Due to the complexity of emotions in suicide notes and the subtle nature of sentiments, this study proposes a fusion approach to tackle the challenge of sentiment classification in suicide notes: leveraging WordNet-based lexicons, manually created rules, character-based n-grams, and other linguistic features. Although our results are not satisfying, some valuable lessons are learned and promising future directions are identified.
fusion; dependency parsing; character n-grams
PSA doubling time (PSADT) is commonly used as an indication for salvage androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for PSA failure following RT. Previously, we had shown that PSADT of <12 months is an important predictor of distant metastasis following 3DCRT using the ASTRO definition of BF. We sought to determine if this approach is still valid using the Phoenix definition.
Eligible patients included 432 men with T1-3N0M0 prostate cancer who demonstrated PSA failure after completing definitive 3DCRT or IMRT from 1989–2005. Endpoints included freedom from distant metastasis (FDM), cause-specific survival (CSS) and overall survival (OS). PSADT was stratified by 0–6, 6–12, 12–18, 18–24, and >24 months. The median follow-up was 95 months (6–207 months).
The 7 year FDM, CSS, and OS rates for the entire group were 73%, 77% and 52%, respectively. 7 year FDM was 50% for PSADT <6 months vs. 83% for PSADT >6 months (p=0.0001). 7 year CSS was 61% for PSADT <6 and 85% for PSADT >6 (p=0.0001). 7 year OS was 47% for PSADT <6 and 53% for PSADT >6 (p=0.04). The proportion of men with BF receiving salvage ADT with a PSADT <6 months was 59%, 6–12 was 45%, 12–18 was 42%, 18–24 was 36%, >24 was 28%. ADT was associated with improved 7 year CSS (68% vs. 46%, p=0.015). Of the 314 men with PSADT >6 months, 124 received ADT and 190 were observed. With a median follow-up of 38 months from BF, there was no demonstrable benefit to ADT in the 7 year CSS (87% vs. 79%, respectively; p=0.758). Independent predictors of FDM were PSADT (p<0.0001), GS (p=0.011), and the use of initial ADT (p=0.005).
PSADT remains a significant predictor of clinical failure and CSS for men treated with 3DCRT or IMRT who fail according to the Phoenix definition. Immediate use of ADT in patients with PSADT <6 months is significantly associated with improved CSS, although the benefit is less apparent in patients with longer PSADT. These results further refine the role of PSADT in predicting which patients may benefit from salvage ADT and those who may be observed expectantly.
Prostate Cancer; Prostate Specific Antigen; IMRT; PSA Doubling Time; Biochemical Failure; Phoenix Definition
In light of the problems of low recognition efficiency, high false rates and poor localization accuracy in traditional pipeline security detection technology, this paper proposes a type of hierarchical leak detection and localization method for use in natural gas pipeline monitoring sensor networks. In the signal preprocessing phase, original monitoring signals are dealt with by wavelet transform technology to extract the single mode signals as well as characteristic parameters. In the initial recognition phase, a multi-classifier model based on SVM is constructed and characteristic parameters are sent as input vectors to the multi-classifier for initial recognition. In the final decision phase, an improved evidence combination rule is designed to integrate initial recognition results for final decisions. Furthermore, a weighted average localization algorithm based on time difference of arrival is introduced for determining the leak point’s position. Experimental results illustrate that this hierarchical pipeline leak detection and localization method could effectively improve the accuracy of the leak point localization and reduce the undetected rate as well as false alarm rate.
leak detection; leak point localization; hierarchical; pipeline monitoring; sensor networks
In the title compound, C14H15NO2, the dihedral angle between the two benzene rings is 71.10 (5)°. In the crystal, molecules are linked by intermolecular N—H⋯O, and O—H⋯N hydrogen bonds into a chain running parallel to the b axis.
Prospective randomized trials have demonstrated a survival benefit for nephrectomy in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma treated with immunotherapy. These data have been extrapolated to support cytoreductive nephrectomy in the targeted therapy era as well. However, the likelihood that patients with metastatic kidney cancer who undergo nephrectomy will receive systemic treatment postoperatively remains poorly defined. We present a multi-institutional experience evaluating the utilization of systemic therapy in patients undergoing cytoreductive nephrectomy.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
141 patients who underwent cytoreductive nephrectomy between 1990 and 2008 were identified from our Institutional Kidney Cancer Registries. Kaplan Meier analyses and Cox regression models were used to assess the impact of clinicopathological and perioperative variables on patients’ subsequent receipt of systemic therapy and postoperative survival.
Overall, 98/141 patients (69.5%) received postoperative systemic treatment, at a median of 2.5 months (range 0.1–61.5) after nephrectomy. In this group, 52 (53%) patients received immunotherapy, 34 (35%) targeted agents, and 12 (12%) other regimens. By contrast, 43 patients (30.5%) did not receive systemic therapy, because of rapid disease progression (n=13, 30%), decision for surveillance by medical oncology (n=9, 21%), patient refusal (n=10, 23%), perioperative mortality (n=8, 19%), and unknown reasons in three patients (7.0%). Median survival following cytoreductive nephrectomy was 16.7 months (range 0–120). The risk of death after surgery correlated with the number of metastatic sites (p=0.012) and symptoms (p=0.001) at presentation, poor performance status (p=0.001), high tumor grade (p=0.006), and presence of sarcomatoid features (p<0.024).
Nearly one-third of patients undergoing cytoreductive nephrectomy did not receive systemic treatment. While some were electively observed or declined therapy, others did not receive treatment due to rapidly progressive disease. Further investigation is warranted to identify those patients at highest risk for rapid post-operative disease progression who might benefit instead from an initial approach to treatment with systemic therapy.
renal cell carcinoma; metastases; nephrectomy; systemic therapy; targeted therapy
The study used a convenience sample of patients undergoing surveillance following curative treatment for localized cancer who completed a paper survey to estimate the maximum copayment patients are willing to pay for better treatment outcomes. Results suggest that patients may be less willing to pay high copayments for treatments with modest benefit. In addition, sociodemographic factors such as education and employment status were associated with willingness to pay.
Cost sharing, intended to control the “overuse” of health care resources, may also reduce use of necessary services. The influence of cost on the treatment choices of patients with life-threatening illness, such as cancer, is unknown.
A convenience sample of patients undergoing surveillance following curative treatment for localized cancer completed a paper survey that included three scenarios to elicit the maximum copayment they would be willing to pay for better treatment outcomes. Scenario A described a treatment for a curable cancer in terms of recurrence risk. Scenarios B and C described treatments for noncurable cancer in terms of the 2-year survival probability and median life expectancy.
The sample (n = 60) was 78% female, 83% aged <65 years, and 58% college graduates. Thirteen percent reported making financial sacrifices to pay for treatment. Patients were willing to pay higher copayments for more effective treatments (p < .05 for all three scenarios). In scenario B, patients who were employed demonstrated a greater willingness to pay (WTP) (odds ratio [OR], 12.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.0–80.4), when controlling for efficacy. In scenario C, college graduates showed greater WTP (OR, 5.0; 95% CI, 1.2–20.9) and patients who reported previous financial sacrifices showed lower WTP (OR, 0.2; 95% CI, 0.04–0.6).
This pilot study suggests that patients may be less willing to pay high copayments for treatments with modest benefit. Even among this relatively young, affluent, and educated population, demographic variables were related to WTP. Larger studies in more diverse populations should be conducted to better understand how cost may influence treatment decisions and cancer treatment outcomes.
Our purpose was to evaluate the impact of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction on the timing of chemotherapy.
We included Stage I–III breast cancer patients from eight National Comprehensive Cancer Network institutions for whom guidelines recommended chemotherapy. Surgery type was categorized as breast conserving surgery (BCS), mastectomy alone, mastectomy with immediate reconstruction (M+IR), or mastectomy with delayed reconstruction (M+DR). A Cox regression analysis was used to assess the association between surgery type and timing of chemotherapy initiation.
Of the 3,643 patients, only 5.1% received it ≥ 8 weeks from surgery. In the multivariate analysis, higher stage, Caucasian and Hispanic race/ethnicity, lower body-mass index and absence of comorbid conditions were all significantly associated with earlier time to chemotherapy. There was also significant interaction between age, surgery and chemotherapy delivery. Among women <60, time to chemotherapy was shorter for all surgery types compared to M+IR (statistical significant for all surgery types in the youngest age group and for BCS in women 40 – <50 years old). In contrast, among women ≥60, time to chemotherapy was shorter among women receiving M+IR or M+DR compared with those undergoing BCS or mastectomy alone, a difference that was statistically significant for the M+IR vs. BCS comparison.
Immediate post-mastectomy breast reconstruction does not appear to lead to omission of chemotherapy, but it is associated with a modest, but statistically significant, delay in initiating treatment. For most, it is unlikely that this delay has any clinical significance.
breast reconstruction; breast cancer; chemotherapy; NCCN
Evc is essential for Indian Hedgehog (Hh) signalling in the cartilage growth plate. The gene encoding Evc2 is in close proximity in divergent orientation to Evc and mutations in both human genes lead to the chondrodysplasia Ellis-van Creveld syndrome.
Bioinformatic analysis reveals that the Evc and Evc2 genes arose through a duplication event early in metazoan evolution and were subsequently lost in arthropods and nematodes. Here we demonstrate that Evc2 is essential for Hh pathway activation in response to the Smo agonist purmorphamine. A yeast two-hybrid screen using Evc as bait identified Evc2 as an Evc binding partner and we confirmed the interaction by immunoprecipitation. We developed anti-Evc2 antibodies and show that Evc2 and Evc co-localize at the basal body and also on primary cilia. In transfected cells, basal body and cilia localization is observed when Evc and Evc2 constructs are co-transfected but not when either construct is transfected individually. We show that Evc and Evc2 are cilia transmembrane proteins, the C-terminus for both being intracellular and Evc2, but not Evc, having an extracellular portion. Furthermore, Evc is absent at the basal body in Evc2 null cells. Using Western blots of cytoplasmic and nuclear protein, we also demonstrate that full length Evc2 but not Evc, is located in the nucleus.
We demonstrate for the first time that Evc2 is a positive regulator of the Hh signalling pathway and that it is located at the basal body of primary cilia. We show that the presence of Evc and Evc2 at the basal body and cilia membrane is co-dependent. In addition, Evc2, but not Evc, is present in the cell nucleus suggesting movement of Evc2 between the cilium and nucleus.
Many patients with localized node-negative renal cell carcinoma (RCC) are elderly with competing comorbidities. Their overall survival benefit after surgical treatment is unknown. We reviewed cases in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database to evaluate the impact of kidney cancer versus competing causes of death in patients with localized RCC and develop a comprehensive nomogram to quantitate survival differences.
We identified individuals with localized, surgically treated clear-cell, papillary, or chromophobe RCC in SEER (1988 through 2003). We used Fine and Gray competing risks proportional hazards regressions to predict 5-year probabilities of three competing mortality outcomes: kidney cancer death, other cancer death, and noncancer death.
We identified 30,801 cases of localized RCC (median age, 62 years; median tumor size, 4.5 cm). Five-year probabilities of kidney cancer death, other cancer death, and noncancer death were 4%, 7%, and 11%, respectively. Age was strongly predictive of mortality and most predictive of nonkidney cancer deaths (P < .001). Increasing tumor size was related to death from RCC and inversely related to noncancer deaths (P < .001). Racial differences in outcomes were most pronounced for nonkidney cancer deaths (P < .001). Men were more likely to die than women from all causes (P < .002). This nomogram integrates commonly available factors into a useful tool for comparing competing risks of death.
Management of localized RCC must consider competing causes of mortality, particularly in elderly populations. Effective decision making requires treatment trade-off calculations. We present a tool to quantitate competing causes of mortality in patients with localized RCC.
Cost-sharing, intended to control the “over-use” of healthcare resources, may also reduce utilization of necessary services. The influence of cost on the treatment choices of patients with life-threatening illness such as cancer is unknown.
A convenience sample of patients undergoing surveillance following curative treatment for localized cancer completed a paper survey that included three scenarios to elicit the maximum co-payment they would be willing to pay for improved treatment outcomes. Scenario A described a treatment for a curable cancer in terms of recurrence risk. Scenarios B and C described treatments for non-curable cancer in terms of 2-year survival and median life expectancy. .
The sample (n=60) was 78% female, 83% age <65, and 58% college graduates. 13% reported making financial sacrifices to pay for treatment. Patients were willing to pay higher co-payments for more effective treatments (p<0.05 for all three scenarios). In Scenario B, patients who were employed demonstrated a greater willingness to pay (WTP) (OR 12.6, 95% CI 2.0–80.4), when controlling for efficacy. In Scenario C, college graduates showed greater WTP (OR 5.0, 95% CI 1.2–20.9) and patients who reported previous financial sacrifices showed lower WTP (OR 0.2, 95% CI 0.04–0.6).
This pilot study suggests patients may be less willing to pay high co-payments for treatments with modest benefit. Even among this relatively young, affluent and educated population, demographic variables were related to WTP. Larger studies in more diverse populations should be conducted to better understand how cost may influence treatment decisions and cancer treatment outcomes.
Cost of Illness; Chemotherapy; Cost Sharing; Cancer; Health Care Costs
For large-scale wireless sensor networks (WSNs) with a minority of anchor nodes, multi-hop localization is a popular scheme for determining the geographical positions of the normal nodes. However, in practice existing multi-hop localization methods suffer from various kinds of problems, such as poor adaptability to irregular topology, high computational complexity, low positioning accuracy, etc. To address these issues in this paper, we propose a novel Multi-hop Localization algorithm based on Grid-Scanning (MLGS). First, the factors that influence the multi-hop distance estimation are studied and a more realistic multi-hop localization model is constructed. Then, the feasible regions of the normal nodes are determined according to the intersection of bounding square rings. Finally, a verifiably good approximation scheme based on grid-scanning is developed to estimate the coordinates of the normal nodes. Additionally, the positioning accuracy of the normal nodes can be improved through neighbors’ collaboration. Extensive simulations are performed in isotropic and anisotropic networks. The comparisons with some typical algorithms of node localization confirm the effectiveness and efficiency of our algorithm.
wireless sensor networks; multi-hop localization; feasible region; grid-scanning
The 2009 swine-origin influenza virus (S-OIV) H1N1 pandemic has caused more than 18,000 deaths worldwide. Vaccines against the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza virus are useful for preventing infection and controlling the pandemic. The kinetics of the immune response following vaccination with the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza vaccine need further investigation.
58 volunteers were vaccinated with a 2009 A/H1N1 pandemic influenza monovalent split-virus vaccine (15 µg, single-dose). The sera were collected before Day 0 (pre-vaccination) and on Days 3, 5, 10, 14, 21, 30, 45 and 60 post vaccination. Specific antibody responses induced by the vaccination were analyzed using hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). After administration of the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza vaccine, specific and protective antibody response with a major subtype of IgG was sufficiently developed as early as Day 10 (seroprotection rate: 93%). This specific antibody response could maintain for at least 60 days without significant reduction. Antibody response induced by the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza vaccine could not render protection against seasonal H1N1 influenza (seroconversion rate: 3% on Day 21). However, volunteers with higher pre-existing seasonal influenza antibody levels (pre-vaccination HI titer ≥1∶40, Group 1) more easily developed a strong antibody protection effect against the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza vaccine as compared with those showing lower pre-existing seasonal influenza antibody levels (pre-vaccination HI titer <1∶40, Group 2). The titer of the specific antibody against the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza was much higher in Group 1 (geometric mean titer: 146 on Day 21) than that in Group 2 (geometric mean titer: 70 on Day 21).
Recipients could gain sufficient protection as early as 10 days after vaccine administration. The protection could last at least 60 days. Individuals with a stronger pre-existing seasonal influenza antibody response may have a relatively higher potential for developing a stronger humoral immune response after vaccination with the 2009 A/H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine.
It is increasingly important for investigators to efficiently and effectively access, interpret, and analyze the data from diverse biological, literature, and annotation sources in a unified way. The heterogeneity of biomedical data and the lack of metadata are the primary sources of the difficulty for integration, presenting major challenges to effective search and retrieval of the information. As a proof of concept, the Prostate Cancer Ontology (PCO) is created for the development of the Prostate Cancer Information System (PCIS). PCIS is applied to demonstrate how the ontology is utilized to solve the semantic heterogeneity problem from the integration of two prostate cancer related database systems at the Fox Chase Cancer Center. As the results of the integration process, the semantic query language SPARQL is applied to perform the integrated queries across the two database systems based on PCO.
Data Integration; Ontology; Knowledge Sharing; Semantic Heterogeneity
Primary androgen deprivation therapy (PADT) is frequently used as a sole modality of treatment in men with localized prostate cancer, despite a lack of clinical trial data supporting its use.
To measure the impact of treatment with PADT compared to observation on overall survival in men with organ-confined prostate cancer.
Design, setting, and participants
The design was for an observational cohort from Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Medicare data. The cohort consisted of 16 535 men aged 65–80 yr at diagnosis with organ-confined well-differentiated or moderately differentiated prostate cancer who survived >1 yr past diagnosis and did not undergo treatment with prostatectomy or radiation therapy within 6 mo of diagnosis. They were diagnosed between 1991 and 1999 and followed until death or until the end of the study period (December 31, 2002).
Study subjects were selected to receive PADT alone if they received luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonists or bilateral orchiectomy in the first 6 mo after diagnosis, and they were selected to be observed if they did not have claims for PADT during the same interval.
Results and limitations
After adjusting for potential confounders (ie, tumor characteristics, comorbidities, and demographics), patients who received ADT had a worse overall survival rate than patients who were observed (hazard ratio: 1.20; 95% confidence interval: 1.13–1.27).
In observational studies there may be unmeasured differences between the treated and untreated groups. The SEER database does not provide information on prostate-specific antigen levels.
This large, population-based study suggests that PADT did not improve survival in men with localized prostate cancer, but it suggests that PADT may instead result in worse outcomes compared with observation. Patients and physicians should be cognizant of the potential long-term side effects of ADT in a patient population for which expectant observation is an acceptable treatment strategy.
Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) which is a member of matrix metalloproteinases family that normally remodel the extracellular matrix, has been shown to play an important role in both animal models of cerebral ischemia and human stroke. The expression of MMP-9 is elevated after cerebral ischemia which is involved in accelerating matrix degradation, disrupting the blood-brain barrier, increasing the infarct size and relating to hemorrhagic transformation. Recently, many drugs, such as tetracycline derivatives, cyclooxygenase inhibitors, ACEI inhibitors and AT1 receptor blockers, etc., have been found to attenuate the elevated expression levels of MMP-9 after ischemia and to reduce the damage of cerebral ischemic. This article reviews the physiological features of MMP-9 and its important role in the genesis, propagation, and therapeutics of cerebral ischemic diseases.
Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9); cerebral ischemia; regulation; therapeutical target.