For comparison of multiple outcomes commonly encountered in biomedical research, Huang et al. (2005) improved O’Brien’s (1984) rank-sum tests through the replacement of the ad hoc variance by the asymptotic variance of the test statistics. The improved tests control the Type I error rate at the desired level and gain power when the differences between the two comparison groups in each outcome variable fall into the same direction. However, they may lose power when the differences are in different directions (e.g., some are positive and some are negative). These tests and the popular Bonferroni correction failed to show important significant difference when applied to compare heart rates from a clinical trial to evaluate the effect of a procedure to remove the cardioprotective solution HTK. We propose an alternative test statistic, taking the maximum of the individual rank-sum statistics, which controls the type I error and maintains satisfactory power regardless of the directions of the differences. Simulation studies show the proposed test to be of higher power than other tests in certain alternative parameter space of interest. Furthermore, when used to analyze the heart rates data the proposed test yields more satisfactory results.
Autism spectrum disorder; Behrens-Fisher problem; Cardioprotective solution; Case-control studies; Growth hormones; Multiple outcomes; Non-parametrics; Rank-sum statistics
For comparing the distribution of two samples with multiple endpoints, O’Brien (1984) proposed rank-sum-type test statistics. Huang et al. (2005) extended these statistics to the general nonparametric Behrens-Fisher hypothesis problem and obtained improved test statistics by replacing the ad hoc variance with the asymptotic variance of the rank-sum statistics. In this paper we generalize the work of O’Brien (1984) and Huang et al. (2005) and propose a weighted rank-sum statistic. We show that the weighted rank-sum statistic is asymptotically normally distributed, permitting the computation of power, p-values and confidence intervals. We further demonstrate via simulation that the weighted rank-sum statistic is efficient in controlling the type I error rate and under certain alternatives, is more powerful than the statistics of O’Brien (1984) and Huang et al.(2005).
Asymptotic normality; Behrens-Fisher problem; Case-Control; Clinical trials; Multiple endpoints; Rank-sum statistics; Weights
We conducted a genome-wide association study of gastric cancer (GC) and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in ethnic Chinese subjects in which we genotyped 551,152 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We report a combined analysis of 2,240 GC cases, 2,115 ESCC cases, and 3,302 controls drawn from five studies. In logistic regression models adjusted for age, sex, and study, multiple variants at 10q23 had genome-wide significance for GC and ESCC independently. A notable signal was rs2274223, a nonsynonymous SNP located in PLCE1, for GC (P=8.40×1010; per allele odds ratio (OR) = 1.31) and ESCC (P=3.85×10−9; OR = 1.34). The association with GC differed by anatomic subsite. For tumors located in the cardia the association was stronger (P=4.19 × 10−15; OR= 1.57) and for those located in the noncardia stomach it was absent (P=0.44; OR=1.05). Our findings at 10q23 could provide insight into the high incidence rates of both cancers in China.
Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to be associated with multiple clinical outcomes, including osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis and colorectal cancer. In studies of vitamin D effect on disease outcome, vitamin D status is usually measured by a serum biomarker, namely 25-hydroxy vitamin D [25(OH)D]. Since the circulating 25(OH)D concentration varies from season to season and not all blood samples are collected at the same time, the disease-vitamin D relationship can be obscured if the seasonal variation is not adjusted properly. In the literature, a two-step procedure is usually adopted, with the vitamin D level adjusted for the seasonal variation being obtained in the first step, and the effect of vitamin D being assessed based on the adjusted vitamin D level at the second step. This two-step method can generate misleading results as the estimation variance arising from the first step is not taken into account in the second step analysis. We consider three alternative procedures that unify the two steps into a single model. We conduct an extensive simulation study to evaluate the performance of these methods and demonstrate their applications in a study of 25(OH)D effect on prostate cancer risk.
25-hydroxy vitamin D; partial linear model; locally weighted polynomial regression; penalized regression splines; prostate cancer; seasonal pattern; sine curve
In the presence of a commercially available Cinchona alkaloid as catalyst, the asymmetric allylic alkylation of Morita–Baylis–Hillman carbonates, with α-fluoro-β-keto esters as nucleophiles, have been successfully developed. A series of important fluorinated adducts, with chiral quaternary carbon centres containing a fluorine atom, was achieved in good yields (up to 93%), with good to excellent enantioselectivities (up to 96% ee) and moderate diastereoselectivities (up to 4:1 dr).
allylic alkylation; asymmetric catalysis; fluorine; fluoro-β-keto esters; Morita–Baylis–Hillman carbonates; natural product
Large-scale pharmaco-epidemiological studies of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) for treatment of urticaria are few, even though clinical trials showed some CHM are effective. The purpose of this study was to explore the frequencies and patterns of CHM prescriptions for urticaria by analysing the population-based CHM database in Taiwan.
This study was linked to and processed through the complete traditional CHM database of the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan during 2009. We calculated the frequencies and patterns of CHM prescriptions used for treatment of urticaria, of which the diagnosis was defined as the single ICD-9 Code of 708. Frequent itemset mining, as applied to data mining, was used to analyse co-prescription of CHM for patients with urticaria.
There were 37,386 subjects who visited traditional Chinese Medicine clinics for urticaria in Taiwan during 2009 and received a total of 95,765 CHM prescriptions. Subjects between 18 and 35 years of age comprised the largest number of those treated (32.76%). In addition, women used CHM for urticaria more frequently than men (female:male = 1.94:1). There was an average of 5.54 items prescribed in the form of either individual Chinese herbs or a formula in a single CHM prescription for urticaria. Bai-Xian-Pi (Dictamnus dasycarpus Turcz) was the most commonly prescribed single Chinese herb while Xiao-Feng San was the most commonly prescribed Chinese herbal formula. The most commonly prescribed CHM drug combination was Xiao-Feng San plus Bai-Xian-Pi while the most commonly prescribed triple drug combination was Xiao-Feng San, Bai-Xian-Pi, and Di-Fu Zi (Kochia scoparia).
In view of the popularity of CHM such as Xiao-Feng San prescribed for the wind-heat pattern of urticaria in this study, a large-scale, randomized clinical trial is warranted to research their efficacy and safety.
Urticaria; Chinese herbal medicine; National health insurance database; Taiwan
Cytokines may contribute to the severity of CD4 cell depletion with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, but quantitative relationships are not well defined. Serum and plasma from 181 HIV-infected individuals were tested with Millipore 30-plex Luminex cytokine assays. Within-individual correlations among cytokines were summarized by two-dimensional hierarchical cluster analysis. Associations with age, sex, race, CD4 count, and HIV viral load were determined with linear regression models. Tests for statistical significance were corrected for multiple comparisons, using a false discovery rate of 0.1. African-Americans had significantly higher levels than whites of six cytokines (IL-2, IL-5, IL-7, IL-15, fractalkine, and IFN-γ), and lower levels of MCP-1. Females had higher fractalkine levels than males. Age was not associated with levels of any cytokine. Six cytokines, including the T-helper (Th) type 1 cytokine IL-15, the Th2 cytokines IL-1ra and IL-10, the chemokines fractalkine and MCP-1, and the growth factor G-CSF were each inversely associated with CD4 count; no cytokine was directly associated with CD4 count. Fractalkine was directly associated with HIV viral load, adjusted for CD4 count. Cytokines clustered by primary function (e.g., Th1, Th2, proinflammatory, chemokines, or growth factors) whereas individuals clustered according to cytokine levels (generally high, intermediate, or low) had significantly different CD4 counts [medians (interquartile range) of 60 (17–162), 131 (62–321), and 155 (44–467), respectively; p<0.0001]. CD4 deficiency is associated with generalized increases in cytokines of various functions. Racial differences in cytokine response to HIV infection could contribute to disparities in disease progression.
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway regulates cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival, and is frequently dysregulated in esophageal and gastric cancers. Few studies have comprehensively examined the association between germline genetic variants in the EGFR pathway and risk of esophageal and gastric cancers. Based on a genome-wide association study in a Han Chinese population, we examined 3443 SNPs in 127 genes in the EGFR pathway for 1942 esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCCs), 1758 gastric cancers (GCs), and 2111 controls. SNP-level analyses were conducted using logistic regression models. We applied the resampling-based adaptive rank truncated product approach to determine the gene- and pathway-level associations. The EGFR pathway was significantly associated with GC risk (P = 2.16×10−3). Gene-level analyses found 10 genes to be associated with GC, including FYN, MAPK8, MAP2K4, GNAI3, MAP2K1, TLN1, PRLR, PLCG2, RPS6KB2, and PIK3R3 (P<0.05). For ESCC, we did not observe a significant pathway-level association (P = 0.72), but gene-level analyses suggested associations between GNAI3, CHRNE, PAK4, WASL, and ITCH, and ESCC (P<0.05). Our data suggest an association between specific genes in the EGFR signaling pathway and risk of GC and ESCC. Further studies are warranted to validate these associations and to investigate underlying mechanisms.
The polymorphism Pro12Ala in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptorγ2 gene (PPARγ2) has been reported to be associated with diabetic nephropathy (DN) in some studies, though the results remain inconclusive. To explore this relationship between PPARγ2 Pro12Ala polymorphism and the susceptibility for DN, a cumulative meta-analysis was performed in this study.
PubMed, Medline, Embase and Web of Science databases have been systematically searched to identify relevant studies. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated.
18 studies were included in this meta-analysis, involving 3,361 cases and 5,815 controls. The PPARγ2 Ala12 allele was significantly associated with decreased risk of DN based on dominant model (OR=0.778; 95%CI=0.618–0.981; Pheterogeneity=0.008; P=0.034). In the stratified analysis by ethnicity, significantly decreased risks were found among Caucasians for dominant model (OR=0.674; 95%CI=0.500–0.909; Pheterogeneity=0.079; P=0.010), while there was no significant association was found in Asians.
The results from the present meta-analysis indicated that the Pro12Ala polymorphism in PPARγ2 gene is not a risk factor for DN in type 2 diabetes (T2D). Further large and well-designed studies are needed to confirm this conclusion.
The virtual slides for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/7491348341027320.
PPARγ2; Meta-analysis; Diabetic nephropathy; Polymorphisms
Four loci have been associated with pancreatic cancer through genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Pathway-based analysis of GWAS data is a complementary approach to identify groups of genes or biological pathways enriched with disease-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) whose individual effect sizes may be too small to be detected by standard single-locus methods. We used the adaptive rank truncated product method in a pathway-based analysis of GWAS data from 3851 pancreatic cancer cases and 3934 control participants pooled from 12 cohort studies and 8 case–control studies (PanScan). We compiled 23 biological pathways hypothesized to be relevant to pancreatic cancer and observed a nominal association between pancreatic cancer and five pathways (P < 0.05), i.e. pancreatic development, Helicobacter pylori lacto/neolacto, hedgehog, Th1/Th2 immune response and apoptosis (P = 2.0 × 10−6, 1.6 × 10−5, 0.0019, 0.019 and 0.023, respectively). After excluding previously identified genes from the original GWAS in three pathways (NR5A2, ABO and SHH), the pancreatic development pathway remained significant (P = 8.3 × 10−5), whereas the others did not. The most significant genes (P < 0.01) in the five pathways were NR5A2, HNF1A, HNF4G and PDX1 for pancreatic development; ABO for H.
pylori lacto/neolacto; SHH for hedgehog; TGFBR2 and CCL18 for Th1/Th2 immune response and MAPK8 and BCL2L11 for apoptosis. Our results provide a link between inherited variation in genes important for pancreatic development and cancer and show that pathway-based approaches to analysis of GWAS data can yield important insights into the collective role of genetic risk variants in cancer.
Minimally invasive technology or laparoscopic surgery underwent a major breakthrough over the past two decades. The first experience of thoracoscopy in children was reported around 1980 for diagnosis of intrathoracic pathology and neoplasia. Up until the middle of the 1990s, the surgical community in Taiwan was still not well prepared to accept the coming era of minimally invasive surgery. In the beginning, laparoscopy was performed in only a few specialties and only relatively short or simple surgeries were considered. But now, the Taiwan's experiences over the several different clinical scenarios were dramatically increased. Therefore, we elaborated on the experience about pectus excavatum: Nuss procedure, primary spontaneous hemopneumothorax, thoracoscopic thymectomy, and empyema in Taiwan.
Salmonella enterica subsp. houtenae serovar 16:z4, z32:-- str. RKS3027 was isolated from a human in Illinois, USA. S. enterica subsp. houtenae is a facultative aerobic rod-shaped Gram-negative bacterium. Here we describe the features of this organism, together with the draft genome sequence and annotation. The 4,404,136 bp long genome (97 contigs) contains 4,335 protein-coding gene and 28 RNA genes.
Salmonella enterica; subspecies; houtenae; genome
Genome-wide association studies have identified susceptibility loci for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We conducted a meta-analysis of all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that showed nominally significant P-values in two previously published genome-wide scans that included a total of 2961 ESCC cases and 3400 controls. The meta-analysis revealed five SNPs at 2q33 with P< 5 × 10−8, and the strongest signal was rs13016963, with a combined odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.29 (1.19–1.40) and P= 7.63 × 10−10. An imputation analysis of 4304 SNPs at 2q33 suggested a single association signal, and the strongest imputed SNP associations were similar to those from the genotyped SNPs. We conducted an ancestral recombination graph analysis with 53 SNPs to identify one or more haplotypes that harbor the variants directly responsible for the detected association signal. This showed that the five SNPs exist in a single haplotype along with 45 imputed SNPs in strong linkage disequilibrium, and the strongest candidate was rs10201587, one of the genotyped SNPs. Our meta-analysis found genome-wide significant SNPs at 2q33 that map to the CASP8/ALS2CR12/TRAK2 gene region. Variants in CASP8 have been extensively studied across a spectrum of cancers with mixed results. The locus we identified appears to be distinct from the widely studied rs3834129 and rs1045485 SNPs in CASP8. Future studies of esophageal and other cancers should focus on comprehensive sequencing of this 2q33 locus and functional analysis of rs13016963 and rs10201587 and other strongly correlated variants.
Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) with intestinal perforation and cerebral hemorrhage is a very rare clinical condition. There has been no report of HSP complicated with both intestinal perforation and cerebral hemorrhage until October 2012. Here we describe a case of HSP with intestinal perforation and cerebral hemorrhage in a 5-year-old girl. Plain abdominal radiograph in the erect position showed heavy gas in the right subphrenic space with an elevated diaphragm. Partial resection of the small intestine was performed, and pathological analysis suggested chronic suppurative inflammation in all layers of the ileal wall and mesentery. Seventeen days after surgery, cerebral hemorrhage developed and the patient died.
Henoch-Schonlein purpura; Anaphylactoid purpura; Small intestine; Cerebral hemorrhage; Child
Our past researches suggested that L. barbarum exhibits direct neuroprotective and immune regulatory effects on the central nervous system, which are highly related to the events involved in the spinal cord injury, but not yet been investigated. Immune responses play an important role in the development of the pathology after secondary injury, particularly the M1 and M2 types of macrophage, on which special emphasis was laid in this study.
In our previous studies L. barbarum was administrated orally from 7 days before the injury to ensure a stabilized concentration in the blood. For clinical application, L. barbarum can only be administered after the injury. Therefore, both pre-injury and post-injury administration protocols were compared. In vivo and in vitro studies were conducted and analyzed immunohistochemically, including Western blotting.
The lesion size in the pre-treated group was much larger than that in the post-treated group. To explain this difference, we first studied the effect of L. barbarum on astrocytes, which forms the glial scar encircling the lesion. L. barbarum did not significantly affect the astrocytes. Then we studied the effect of L. barbarum on microglia/macrophages, particularly the M1 and M2 polarization. After spinal cord injury, the deleterious M1 cells dominant the early period, whereas the beneficial M2 cells dominate later. We found that in the pre-treated group L. barbarum significantly enhanced the expression of M1 cells and suppressed that of M2 cells, while in the post-treated group LBP markedly promoted the activity of M2 cells. This explained the difference between the pre- and post-treated groups.
Lycium barbarum has been wildly accepted to have beneficial effects in various central nervous system diseases. Our finding of deleterious effect of LBP administered at early period of spinal cord injury, indicates that its application should be avoided. The substantial beneficial effect of LBP when administered at later stage has an important impact for clinical application.
L. barbarum; Spinal cord injury; Macrophage; Rat
Androgens and inflammation have been implicated in the etiology of several cancers, including prostate cancer. Serum androgens have been shown to correlate with markers of inflammation and expression of inflammation-related genes.
In this report, we evaluated associations between 9,932 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) marking common genetic variants in 774 inflammation-related genes and four serum androgen levels (total testosterone [T], bioavailable T [BioT]; 5α-androstane-3α, 17β-diol glucuronide [3αdiol G], and 4-Androstene-3,17-dione [androstenedione]), in 560 healthy men (median age 64 years) drawn from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Baseline serum androgens were measured by radioimmunoassay. Genotypes were determined as part of the Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility Study genome-wide scan. SNP-hormone associations were evaluated using linear regression of hormones adjusted for age. Gene-based p-values were generated using an adaptive rank truncated product method.
Suggestive associations were observed for two inflammation-related genes and circulating androgen levels (false discovery rate [FDR] q-value<0.1) in both SNP and gene-based tests. Specifically, T was associated with common variants in MMP2 and CD14, with the most significant SNPs being rs893226G>T in MMP2 and rs3822356T>C in CD14 (FDR q-value=0.09 for both SNPs). Other genes implicated in either SNP or gene-based tests were IK with T and BioT, PRG2 with T, and TNFSF9 with androstenedione.
These results suggest possible cross-talk between androgen levels and inflammation pathways, but larger studies are needed to confirm these findings and to further clarify the interrelationship between inflammation and androgens and their effects on cancer risk.
Inflammation; Androgens; Genes; Testosterone; Polymorphism; Single Nucleotide
Aim. We aimed to integrate evidence from all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and assess the impact of different doses of exenatide or liraglutide on major gastrointestinal adverse events (GIAEs) in type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Methods. RCTs evaluating different doses of exenatide and liraglutide against placebo or an active comparator with treatment duration ≥4 weeks were searched and reviewed. A total of 35, 32 and 28 RCTs met the selection criteria evaluated for nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, respectively. Pairwise random-effects meta-analyses and mixed treatment comparisons (MTC) of all RCTs were performed. Results. All GLP-1 dose groups significantly increased the probability of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea relative to placebo and conventional treatment. MTC meta-analysis showed that there was 99.2% and 85.0% probability, respectively, that people with exenatide 10 μg twice daily (EX10BID) was more vulnerable to nausea and vomiting than those with other treatments. There was a 78.90% probability that liraglutide 1.2 mg once daily (LIR1.2) has a higher risk of diarrhea than other groups. A dose-dependent relationship of exenatide and liraglutide on GIAEs was observed. Conclusions. Our MTC meta-analysis suggests that patients should be warned about these GIAEs in early stage of treatment by GLP-1s, especially by EX10BID and LIR1.2, to promote treatment compliance.
The natural history of bacterial vaginosis (BV) is complex given the variability across and within women over time. This paper considers three different transition models for analyzing longitudinal BV data.
Data from the Longitudinal Study of Vaginal Flora (LSVF) was used to evaluate three transition modeling strategies: 1) A Markov regression, 2) A Markov regression with random effects, and 3) a mover-stayer model. The effect of covariates on the transition process of BV, defined as a Nugent score of 7-10, was estimated using a logistic regression parameterization. Models were compared using various model assessment techniques. We analyzed a subset of women completing all 5 visits (n = 1,731) as well as the complete data (n = 3,626), where one or more visit measurements were missing.
The Markov regression model had a poor fit to the data. A random-effects or mover-stayer model accounted for additional unexplained heterogeneity and had a better fit to the data. Across all models, douching was significantly associated with BV fluctuation. In the mover-stayer model, both douching and number of sexual partners were associated with persisting with (λ11=0.90, p<0.001; λ12= −0.41, p<0.03, respectively) or without (λ01= −0.73, p<0.001; λ02= −0.33, p=0.023, respectively) BV across all visits. Using a random effects model, we demonstrated that an individual propensity to initiate BV was positively associated with their propensity to resolve BV.
Transition models that account for additional heterogeneity provide an attractive approach for describing the effect of covariates on the natural history of BV.
In an analysis of 31,717 cancer cases and 26,136 cancer-free controls drawn from 13 genome-wide association studies (GWAS), we observed large chromosomal abnormalities in a subset of clones from DNA obtained from blood or buccal samples. Mosaic chromosomal abnormalities, either aneuploidy or copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity, of size >2 Mb were observed in autosomes of 517 individuals (0.89%) with abnormal cell proportions between 7% and 95%. In cancer-free individuals, the frequency increased with age; 0.23% under 50 and 1.91% between 75 and 79 (p=4.8×10−8). Mosaic abnormalities were more frequent in individuals with solid-tumors (0.97% versus 0.74% in cancer-free individuals, OR=1.25, p=0.016), with a stronger association for cases who had DNA collected prior to diagnosis or treatment (OR=1.45, p=0.0005). Detectable clonal mosaicism was common in individuals for whom DNA was collected at least one year prior to diagnosis of leukemia compared to cancer-free individuals (OR=35.4, p=3.8×10−11). These findings underscore the importance of the role and time-dependent nature of somatic events in the etiology of cancer and other late-onset diseases.
We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of breast cancer by genotyping 528,173 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 1,145 cases of invasive breast cancer among postmenopausal white women, and 1,142 controls. We identified a set of four SNPs in intron 2 of FGFR2, a tyrosine kinase receptor previously shown to be amplified and/or over-expressed in some breast cancers, as highly associated with breast cancer and we confirmed this association in 1,776 cases and 2,072 controls from three additional studies. In both association testing and ancestral recombination graph analysis, FGFR2 haplotypes were associated with risk of breast cancer. Across the four studies the association with all four SNPs was highly statistically significant (Ptrend for the most strongly associated SNP, rs1219648 = 1.1 × 10−10; population attributable risk = 16%). Four SNPs at other chromosomal loci most strongly associated with breast cancer in the initial GWAS were not associated with risk in the three replication studies. Our summary results from the GWAS are freely available online in a form that should speed the identification of additional loci conferring risk.
Serum measurements of cytokines, mediators of various B cell and T cell activities, are important markers of inflammation and immune dysregulation. We assessed the reproducibility of serum cytokine measurements over a five-year period among participants in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO).
Levels of 13 cytokines [interleukin (IL) 1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p70, IL-13, interferon-gamma (IFNγ), granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα)] in stored sera from three collections (study baseline, +1 yr, and +5 yr) among 28 randomly selected PLCO participants were measured using a high-sensitivity Luminex xMap-based multiplex panel. Within- and between-subject components of variance were estimated from random effects models and were used to calculate the coefficient of variation (CV) and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for analytes with <30% of samples below the limit of detection (LOD). Spearman correlation coefficients between measurements of the same analyte over time and between analytes were also calculated.
Among the six cytokines with <30% of samples below the LOD, we observed excellent reproducibility for IL-6, IL-7, IL-13, and TNFα (ICC ≥ 0.73), and fair to good reproducibility for IL-8 (ICC = 0.55) and IL-10 (ICC = 0.60). Spearman correlation coefficients comparing paired measurements of each cytokine at baseline and at +5 yr were high (ρ ≥ 0.74) with the exception of IL-10 (ρ = 0.44).
These results suggest that measurements of most of the cytokines evaluated in this study were highly reproducible over a five-year period.
cytokines; inflammation; variability; serum; cancer
Since Bechara et al. pioneered its development, the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) has been widely applied to elucidate decision behavior and medial prefrontal function. Although most decision makers can hunch the final benefits of IGT, ventromedial prefrontal lesions generate a myopic choice pattern. Additionally, the Iowa group developed a revised IGT (inverted IGT, iIGT) to confirm the IGT validity. Each iIGT trial was generated from the trial of IGT by multiplying by a “−” to create an inverted monetary value. Thus, bad decks A and B in the IGT become good decks iA and iB in the iIGT; additionally, good decks C and D in the IGT become bad decks iC and iD in the iIGT. Furthermore, IGT possessed mostly the gain trials, and iIGT possessed mainly the loss trials. Therefore, IGT is a frequent-gain–based task, and iIGT is a frequent-loss–based task. However, a growing number of IGT-related studies have identified confounding factors in IGT (i.e., gain-loss frequency), which are demonstrated by the prominent deck B phenomenon (PDB phenomenon). Nevertheless, the mirrored PDB phenomenon and guiding power of gain-loss frequency in iIGT have seldom been reexamined. This experimental finding supports the prediction based on gain-loss frequency. This study identifies the mirrored PDB phenomenon. Frequent small losses override occasional large gains in deck iB of the iIGT. Learning curve analysis generally supports the phenomenon based on gain-loss frequency rather than final outcome. In terms of iIGT and simple versions of iIGT, results of this study demonstrate that high-frequency loss, rather than a satisfactory final outcome, dominates the preference of normal decision makers under uncertainty. Furthermore, normal subjects prefer “no immediate punishment” rather than “final reward” under uncertainty.
To test the hypothesis that high circulating concentrations of maternal anti-angiogenic factors are associated with increased risk of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS).
This is a nested case-control study of nulliparous women who delivered less than 37 weeks of gestation within the Calcium for Preeclampsia Prevention (CPEP) trial. The study included 116 women with preeclampsia or gestational hypertension and 323 normotensive controls. Soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt1), placental growth factor [PlGF] and soluble endoglin [sEng] in maternal serum were measured at 21–32 weeks of gestation.
Preterm infants born to hypertensive mothers were more likely to develop RDS (22.5 % versus 20.9%, P=0.03). After adjustment for gestational age at delivery, the odds ratio for the relationship between hypertension in pregnancy and RDS was 2.18 (95% C.I. 1.08, 4.39). In hypertensive pregnancies women whose infants developed RDS had significantly higher circulating mean sFlt1 levels during mid-pregnancy (21–32 weeks of gestation) even after adjustment for gestational age at delivery (21,516 pg/mL versus 7,000 pg/mL, P = 0.01).
Preterm preeclampsia and gestational hypertension, characterized by high circulating levels of sFlt1, are associated with a twofold increased risk of RDS in infants delivered before 37 weeks. Among women with these hypertensive pregnancies circulating sFlt1 concentrations during mid-pregnancy were substantially higher in women whose infants developed RDS.
anti-angiogenic; soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1; sVEGF R1; sFlt1; placental growth factor; PlGF; soluble endoglin; sEng; respiratory distress syndrome; RDS; neonate; preterm; preeclampsia; gestational hypertension
Genetic variants in inflammation-related genes have been associated with biliary stones and biliary tract cancers in previous studies.
To follow-up on these findings, we examined 35 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) in 5 genes related to inflammation (IL8, NFKBIL, RNASEL, TNF, and VEGFA) in 456 participants with incident biliary tract cancer cases (262 gallbladder, 141 extrahepatic bile duct, 53 ampulla of Vater), 982 participants with biliary stones, and 860 healthy controls in a population–based case–control study in Shanghai, China.
Suggestive associations were observed for SNPs in VEGFA with biliary stones, IL8 with gallbladder and ampulla of Vater cancers, and RNASEL with ampulla of Vater cancer (false discovery rate≤0.2).
These findings provide additional support for the role of inflammation in biliary stones and biliary tract cancer risk and need further validation.
Biliary tract cancer; Biliary stones; Inflammation; Genetic susceptibility
Vitamin D compounds inhibit prostate tumorigenesis experimentally, but epidemiological data are inconsistent with respect to prostate cancer risk, with some studies suggesting non-significant positive associations.
The 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]-prostate cancer relation was examined in a nested case-control study within the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study of 50–69 year old Finnish men. We matched 1,000 controls to 1,000 cases diagnosed during up to 20 years of follow-up based on age (± 1 year) and blood collection date (± 30 days). Conditional multivariate logistic regression models estimated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). All statistical significance testing was two-sided.
Cases had non-significantly 3% higher serum 25(OH)D(P=0.19). ORs (95% CIs) for increasing season-specific quintiles of 25(OH)D concentrations were 1.00 (reference), 1.29 (0.95–1.74), 1.34 (1.00–1.80), 1.26 (0.93–1.72), and 1.56(1.15–2.12)(Ptrend=0.01). Analyses based on pre-specified clinical categories and season-adjusted values yielded similar results. These findings appeared stronger for aggressive disease (OR [95% CI] for fifth quintile of serum 25(OH)D=1.70 [1.05–2.76]), and among men with greater physical activity (1.85 (1.26–2.72), Ptrend=0.002), higher serum total cholesterol (2.09 (1.36–3.21), Ptrend=0.003) or alpha-tocopherol (2.00 (1.30–3.07), Ptrend=0.01), higher intakes of total calcium (1.82 (1.20–2.76), Ptrend=0.01) or vitamin D (1.69 (1.04–2.75), Ptrend=0.08), or those who had received the trial alpha-tocopherol supplements (1.74 (1.15–2.64), Ptrend=0.006).
Our findings indicate that men with higher vitamin D blood levels are at increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
Greater caution is warranted with respect to recommendations for high-dose vitamin D supplementation and higher population target blood levels.
serum; vitamin D; prostate cancer; risk; cohort