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1.  Long-term effects on carotid intima-media thickness after radiotherapy in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma 
Background
Vascular abnormalities are the predominant histologic changes associated with radiation in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). This study examined if the duration after radiotherapy correlates with the progression of carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and investigated its relationship with inflammatory markers.
Methods
One hundred and five NPC patients post-radiotherapy for more than one year and 25 healthy control subjects were examined by B-mode ultrasound for IMT measurement at the far wall of the common carotid artery (CCA). Surrogate markers including lipid profile, HbA1c, and high sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) were assessed.
Results
The IMT of CCA was significantly increased in NPC patients and carotid plaque was detected in 38 NPC patients (38/105, 36.2%). Significant risk factors for carotid plaques included age, duration after radiotherapy, and HbA1c levels. Age, duration after radiotherapy, hs-CRP, HbA1c, and platelet count positively correlated with IMT. The cut-off value of age and duration after radiotherapy for the presence of plaque was 52.5 years and 42.5 months, respectively. In NPC subjects, multiple linear regression analysis revealed that age, gender, duration after radiotherapy and platelet counts were independently associated with CCA IMT. After adjustments for age, gender and platelet counts, IMT increased in a linear manner with duration after radiotherapy.
Conclusions
Radiation-induced vasculopathy is a dynamic and progressive process due to late radiation effects. Extra-cranial color-coded duplex sonography can be part of routine follow-up in NPC patients aged ≥50 years at 40 months post-radiotherapy.
doi:10.1186/1748-717X-8-261
PMCID: PMC3827874  PMID: 24196030
Atherosclerosis; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Radiotherapy; Risk factors
2.  Oncogenic Fibulin-5 Promotes Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Cell Metastasis through the FLJ10540/AKT Pathway and Correlates with Poor Prognosis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e84218.
Background
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is known for its high metastatic potential and locoregional recurrence, although the molecular alterations that are driving NPC metastasis remain unclear at this time. This study aimed to examine the expression of fibulin-5 in NPC, correlate the results with clinicopathological variables and survival, and to investigate the role of fibulin-5 in human NPC cell lines.
Material and Methods
Standard semi-quantitative-RT-PCR, quantitative-RT-PCR, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry were used to investigate the mRNA and protein expression profiles of fibulin-5 in normal and NPC tissues. Immunohistochemistry of fibulin-5 was correlated with clinicopathological characteristics by univariate analyses. NPC cells overexpressing fibulin-5 or fibulin-5-siRNA cells were generated by stable transfection to characterize the molecular mechanisms of fibulin-5-elicited cell growth and metastasis.
Results
Our results demonstrated that fibulin-5 overexpression in NPC specimens and significantly correlated with advanced tumor metastasis indicating a poor 5-year overall survival. Fibulin-5 was mainly expressed in the nucleus in human NPC specimens and cell lines. Functionally, fibulin-5 overexpression yielded fast growth in NPC cells. In addition, fibulin-5 promotes cell metastasis in NPC cells through increased FLJ10540 and phosphor-AKT activity. In contrast, siRNA depletion of fibulin-5 suppressed FLJ10540 expression and phosphor-AKT activity. Suppression of either fibulin-5 or FLJ10540 can cause significant inhibition with regards to cell motility in NPC cells. Finally, immunohistochemical analysis of human aggressive NPC specimens showed a significant and positive correlation between fibulin-5 and FLJ10540 expression.
Conclusion
Higher fibulin-5 expression is not only an important indicator of poor survival, but also contributes to the development of new therapeutic strategies in the FLJ10540/AKT pathway for NPC treatment.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084218
PMCID: PMC3874010  PMID: 24386352
3.  Bacterial brain abscess in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma following radiotherapy: microbiology, clinical features and therapeutic outcomes 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:204.
Background
This study aimed to analyze the clinical features, causative pathogens, neuro-imaging findings, and therapeutic outcomes of bacterial brain abscess in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) following radiotherapy.
Methods
NPC patients with bacterial brain abscess were evaluated. Their clinical data were collected over a 22-year period. For comparison, the clinical features, causative pathogens, neuro-imaging findings, and therapeutic outcomes between NPC and non-NPC patients were analyzed.
Results
NPC accounted for 5.7% (12/210) of the predisposing factors, with Viridans streptococci and Staphylococcus aureus as the two most common causative pathogens. Significant statistical analysis between the two groups (NPC and non-NPC patients) included chronic otitis media (COM) as the underlying disease, post-radiation necrosis by neuro-imaging, and the temporal lobe as the most common site of brain abscesses. The fatality rate in patients with and without NPC was 16.7% and 20.7%, respectively.
Conclusions
NPC patients with bacterial brain abscess frequently have COM as the underlying disease. Neuro-imaging often reveals both post-radiation necrosis and the temporal lobe as the most common site of brain abscesses, the diagnosis of which is not always a straightforward process. Radiation necrosis can mimic brain abscess on neuro-imaging and pose significant diagnostic challenges. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for survival.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-204
PMCID: PMC3482557  PMID: 22943134
Bacterial brain abscess; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Therapeutic outcome

Results 1-3 (3)