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2.  Vaccine-Acquired Rotavirus in Infants with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency 
The New England journal of medicine  2010;362(4):314-319.
SUMMARY
Live pentavalent human–bovine reassortant rotavirus vaccine is recommended in the United States for routine immunization of infants. We describe three infants, two with failure to thrive, who had dehydration and diarrhea within 1 month after their first or second rotavirus immunization and subsequently received a diagnosis of severe combined immunodeficiency. Rotavirus was detected, by means of reverse-transcriptase–polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) assay, in stool specimens obtained from all three infants, and gene-sequence analysis revealed the presence of vaccine rotavirus. These infections raise concerns regarding the safety of rotavirus vaccine in severely immunocompromised patients.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0904485
PMCID: PMC4103739  PMID: 20107217
4.  Body-Mass Index and Mortality among Adults with Incident Type 2 Diabetes 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;370(3):233-244.
Background
The relation between body weight and mortality among persons with type 2 diabetes remains unresolved, with some studies suggesting decreased mortality among overweight or obese persons as compared with normal-weight persons (an “obesity paradox”).
Methods
We studied participants with incident diabetes from the Nurses’ Health Study (8970 participants) and Health Professionals Follow-up Study (2457 participants) who were free of cardiovascular disease and cancer at the time of a diagnosis of diabetes. Body weight shortly before diagnosis and height were used to calculate the body-mass index (BMI, the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters). Multivariable Cox models were used to estimate the hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for mortality across BMI categories.
Results
There were 3083 deaths during a mean period of 15.8 years of follow-up. A J-shaped association was observed across BMI categories (18.5 to 22.4, 22.5 to 24.9 [reference], 25.0 to 27.4, 27.5 to 29.9, 30.0 to 34.9, and ≥35.0) for all-cause mortality (hazard ratio, 1.29 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 1.05 to 1.59]; 1.00; 1.12 [95% CI, 0.98 to 1.29]; 1.09 [95% CI, 0.94 to 1.26]; 1.24 [95% CI, 1.08 to 1.42]; and 1.33 [95% CI, 1.14 to 1.55], respectively). This relationship was linear among participants who had never smoked (hazard ratios across BMI categories: 1.12, 1.00, 1.16, 1.21, 1.36, and 1.56, respectively) but was nonlinear among participants who had ever smoked (hazard ratios across BMI categories: 1.32, 1.00, 1.09, 1.04, 1.14, and 1.21) (P = 0.04 for interaction). A direct linear trend was observed among participants younger than 65 years of age at the time of a diabetes diagnosis but not among those 65 years of age or older at the time of diagnosis (P<0.001 for interaction).
Conclusions
We observed a J-shaped association between BMI and mortality among all participants and among those who had ever smoked and a direct linear relationship among those who had never smoked. We found no evidence of lower mortality among patients with diabetes who were overweight or obese at diagnosis, as compared with their normal-weight counterparts, or of an obesity paradox. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Diabetes Association.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1304501
PMCID: PMC3966911  PMID: 24428469
5.  Bitter Pills 
The New England journal of medicine  2010;363(19):1847-1851.
doi:10.1056/NEJMcps0904937
PMCID: PMC4098700  PMID: 21047229
6.  Cardiovascular Effects of Intensive Lifestyle Intervention in Type 2 Diabetes 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(2):145-154.
BACKGROUND
Weight loss is recommended for overweight and obese individuals with type 2 diabetes based on short-term studies, but long-term effects on cardiovascular disease remain unknown. We examined whether intensive lifestyle intervention for weight loss decreased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in overweight or obese adults with type 2 diabetes.
METHODS
We randomly assigned 5,145 overweight or obese individuals with type 2 diabetes recruited at 16 US centers to intensive lifestyle intervention (the intervention group), which promoted weight loss through decreased calorie intake and increased physical activity, or diabetes support and education (the control group). The primary outcome was the first post-randomization occurrence of a composite cardiovascular outcome (cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke, or hospitalized angina) over a planned maximum follow-up of 13.5 years.
RESULTS
The trial was stopped early based on a futility analysis when median follow-up was 9.6 years. Weight loss was greater in the intervention group than the control group throughout (8.6% vs. 0.7% at 1 year; 6.0% vs. 3.5% at study end). Intensive lifestyle intervention also produced greater reductions in hemoglobin A1c and greater initial improvements in fitness and all cardiovascular risk factors, except LDL cholesterol. The primary outcome occurred in 403 patients in the intervention group and in 418 in the control group (1.83/100 person-years and 1.92/100 person-years, respectively; hazard ratio 0.95; 95% CI 0.83 to 1.09, p=0.505).
CONCLUSION
In our study, intensive lifestyle intervention focused on weight loss did not reduce cardiovascular events in overweight or obese adults with type 2 diabetes. (Funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00017953.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1212914
PMCID: PMC3791615  PMID: 23796131
7.  Long-Term Effects of Intensive Glucose Lowering on Cardiovascular Outcomes 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;364(9):818-828.
BACKGROUND
Intensive glucose lowering has previously been shown to increase mortality among persons with advanced type 2 diabetes and a high risk of cardiovascular disease. This report describes the 5-year outcomes of a mean of 3.7 years of intensive glucose lowering on mortality and key cardiovascular events.
METHODS
We randomly assigned participants with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease or additional cardiovascular risk factors to receive intensive therapy (targeting a glycated hemoglobin level below 6.0%) or standard therapy (targeting a level of 7 to 7.9%). After termination of the intensive therapy, due to higher mortality in the intensive-therapy group, the target glycated hemoglobin level was 7 to 7.9% for all participants, who were followed until the planned end of the trial.
RESULTS
Before the intensive therapy was terminated, the intensive-therapy group did not differ significantly from the standard-therapy group in the rate of the primary outcome (a composite of nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes) (P = 0.13) but had more deaths from any cause (primarily cardiovascular) (hazard ratio, 1.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02 to 1.44) and fewer nonfatal myocardial infarctions (hazard ratio, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.66 to 0.95). These trends persisted during the entire follow-up period (hazard ratio for death, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.38; and hazard ratio for nonfatal myocardial infarction, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.70 to 0.96). After the intensive intervention was terminated, the median glycated hemoglobin level in the intensive-therapy group rose from 6.4% to 7.2%, and the use of glucose-lowering medications and rates of severe hypoglycemia and other adverse events were similar in the two groups.
CONCLUSIONS
As compared with standard therapy, the use of intensive therapy for 3.7 years to target a glycated hemoglobin level below 6% reduced 5-year nonfatal myocardial infarctions but increased 5-year mortality. Such a strategy cannot be recommended for high-risk patients with advanced type 2 diabetes. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00000620.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1006524
PMCID: PMC4083508  PMID: 21366473
8.  Coordination versus Competition in Health Care Reform 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(9):789-791.
doi:10.1056/NEJMp1306268
PMCID: PMC4083619  PMID: 23944255
9.  Deep Dermatophytosis and Inherited CARD9 Deficiency 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(18):1704-1714.
BACKGROUND
Deep dermatophytosis is a severe and sometimes life-threatening fungal infection caused by dermatophytes. It is characterized by extensive dermal and subcutaneous tissue invasion and by frequent dissemination to the lymph nodes and, occasionally, the central nervous system. The condition is different from common superficial dermatophyte infection and has been reported in patients with no known immunodeficiency. Patients are mostly from North African, consanguineous, multiplex families, which strongly suggests a mendelian genetic cause.
METHODS
We studied the clinical features of deep dermatophytosis in 17 patients with no known immunodeficiency from eight unrelated Tunisian, Algerian, and Moroccan families. Because CARD9 (caspase recruitment domain–containing protein 9) deficiency has been reported in an Iranian family with invasive fungal infections, we also sequenced CARD9 in the patients.
RESULTS
Four patients died, at 28, 29, 37, and 39 years of age, with clinically active deep dermatophytosis. No other severe infections, fungal or otherwise, were reported in the surviving patients, who ranged in age from 37 to 75 years. The 15 Algerian and Tunisian patients, from seven unrelated families, had a homozygous Q289X CARD9 allele, due to a founder effect. The 2 Moroccan siblings were homozygous for the R101C CARD9 allele. Both alleles are rare deleterious variants. The familial segregation of these alleles was consistent with autosomal recessive inheritance and complete clinical penetrance.
CONCLUSIONS
All the patients with deep dermatophytosis had autosomal recessive CARD9 deficiency. Deep dermatophytosis appears to be an important clinical manifestation of CARD9 deficiency. (Funded by Agence Nationale pour la Recherche and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1208487
PMCID: PMC4084693  PMID: 24131138
10.  Comparative Effectiveness of Weight-Loss Interventions in Clinical Practice 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;365(21):1959-1968.
Background
Obesity and its cardiovascular complications are extremely common medical problems, but evidence on how to accomplish weight loss in clinical practice is sparse.
Methods
We conducted a randomized, controlled trial to examine the effects of two behavioral weight-loss interventions in 415 obese patients with at least one cardiovascular risk factor. Participants were recruited from six primary care practices; 63.6% were women, 41.0% were black, and the mean age was 54.0 years. One intervention provided patients with weight-loss support remotely — through the telephone, a study-specific Web site, and e-mail. The other intervention provided in-person support during group and individual sessions, along with the three remote means of support. There was also a control group in which weight loss was self-directed. Outcomes were compared between each intervention group and the control group and between the two intervention groups. For both interventions, primary care providers reinforced participation at routinely scheduled visits. The trial duration was 24 months.
Results
At baseline, the mean body-mass index (the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) for all participants was 36.6, and the mean weight was 103.8 kg. At 24 months, the mean change in weight from baseline was −0.8 kg in the control group, −4.6 kg in the group receiving remote support only (P<0.001 for the comparison with the control group), and −5.1 kg in the group receiving in-person support (P<0.001 for the comparison with the control group). The percentage of participants who lost 5% or more of their initial weight was 18.8% in the control group, 38.2% in the group receiving remote support only, and 41.4% in the group receiving in-person support. The change in weight from baseline did not differ significantly between the two intervention groups.
Conclusions
In two behavioral interventions, one delivered with in-person support and the other delivered remotely, without face-to-face contact between participants and weight-loss coaches, obese patients achieved and sustained clinically significant weight loss over a period of 24 months. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00783315.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1108660
PMCID: PMC4074540  PMID: 22085317
11.  PTEN Mutations as a Cause of Constitutive Insulin Sensitivity and Obesity 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(11):1002-1011.
BACKGROUND
Epidemiologic and genetic evidence links type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cancer. The tumor-suppressor phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN) has roles in both cellular growth and metabolic signaling. Germline PTEN mutations cause a cancer-predisposition syndrome, providing an opportunity to study the effect of PTEN haploinsufficiency in humans.
METHODS
We measured insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function in 15 PTEN mutation carriers and 15 matched controls. Insulin signaling was measured in muscle and adipose-tissue biopsy specimens from 5 mutation carriers and 5 well-matched controls. We also assessed the effect of PTEN haploinsufficiency on obesity by comparing anthropometric indexes between the 15 patients and 2097 controls from a population-based study of healthy adults. Body composition was evaluated by means of dual-emission x-ray absorptiometry and skinfold thickness.
RESULTS
Measures of insulin resistance were lower in the patients with a PTEN mutation than in controls (e.g., mean fasting plasma insulin level, 29 pmol per liter [range, 9 to 99] vs. 74 pmol per liter [range, 22 to 185]; P = 0.001). This finding was confirmed with the use of hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamping, showing a glucose infusion rate among carriers 2 times that among controls (P = 0.009). The patients’ insulin sensitivity could be explained by the presence of enhanced insulin signaling through the PI3K-AKT pathway, as evidenced by increased AKT phosphorylation. The PTEN mutation carriers were obese as compared with population-based controls (mean body-mass index [the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters], 32 [range, 23 to 42] vs. 26 [range, 15 to 48]; P<0.001). This increased body mass in the patients was due to augmented adiposity without corresponding changes in fat distribution.
CONCLUSIONS
PTEN haploinsufficiency is a monogenic cause of profound constitutive insulin sensitization that is apparently obesogenic. We demonstrate an apparently divergent effect of PTEN mutations: increased risks of obesity and cancer but a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes owing to enhanced insulin sensitivity. (Funded by the Wellcome Trust and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1113966
PMCID: PMC4072504  PMID: 22970944
12.  Comparative Epidemiology of Pandemic and Seasonal Influenza A in Households 
The New England journal of medicine  2010;362(23):2175-2184.
BACKGROUND
There are few data on the comparative epidemiology and virology of the pandemic 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus and cocirculating seasonal influenza A viruses in community settings.
METHODS
We recruited 348 index patients with acute respiratory illness from 14 outpatient clinics in Hong Kong in July and August 2009. We then prospectively followed household members of 99 patients who tested positive for influenza A virus on rapid diagnostic testing. We collected nasal and throat swabs from all household members at three home visits within 7 days for testing by means of quantitative reverse-transcriptase–polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) assay and viral culture. Using hemagglutination-inhibition and viral-neutralization assays, we tested baseline and convalescent serum samples from a subgroup of patients for antibody responses to the pandemic and seasonal influenza A viruses.
RESULTS
Secondary attack rates (as confirmed on RT-PCR assay) among household contacts of index patients were similar for the pandemic influenza virus (8%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3 to 14) and seasonal influenza viruses (9%; 95% CI, 5 to 15). The patterns of viral shedding and the course of illness among index patients were also similar for the pandemic and seasonal influenza viruses. In a subgroup of patients for whom baseline and convalescent serum samples were available, 36% of household contacts who had serologic evidence of pandemic influenza virus infection did not shed detectable virus or report illness.
CONCLUSIONS
Pandemic 2009 H1N1 virus has characteristics that are broadly similar to those of seasonal influenza A viruses in terms of rates of viral shedding, clinical illness, and transmissibility in the household setting.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0911530
PMCID: PMC4070281  PMID: 20558368
13.  Effects of Clopidogrel Added to Aspirin in Patients with Recent Lacunar Stroke 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(9):817-825.
Background
Lacunar infarcts are a frequent type of stroke caused mainly by cerebral small-vessel disease. The effectiveness of antiplatelet therapy for secondary prevention has not been defined.
Methods
We conducted a double-blind, multicenter trial involving 3020 patients with recent symptomatic lacunar infarcts identified by magnetic resonance imaging. Patients were randomly assigned to receive 75 mg of clopidogrel or placebo daily; patients in both groups received 325 mg of aspirin daily. The primary outcome was any recurrent stroke, including ischemic stroke and intracranial hemorrhage.
Results
The participants had a mean age of 63 years, and 63% were men. After a mean follow-up of 3.4 years, the risk of recurrent stroke was not significantly reduced with aspirin and clopidogrel (dual antiplatelet therapy) (125 strokes; rate, 2.5% per year) as compared with aspirin alone (138 strokes, 2.7% per year) (hazard ratio, 0.92; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72 to 1.16), nor was the risk of recurrent ischemic stroke (hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.63 to 1.09) or disabling or fatal stroke (hazard ratio, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.69 to 1.64). The risk of major hemorrhage was almost doubled with dual antiplatelet therapy (105 hemorrhages, 2.1% per year) as compared with aspirin alone (56, 1.1% per year) (hazard ratio, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.41 to 2.71; P<0.001). Among classifiable recurrent ischemic strokes, 71% (133 of 187) were lacunar strokes. All-cause mortality was increased among patients assigned to receive dual antiplatelet therapy (77 deaths in the group receiving aspirin alone vs. 113 in the group receiving dual antiplatelet therapy) (hazard ratio, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.14 to 2.04; P = 0.004); this difference was not accounted for by fatal hemorrhages (9 in the group receiving dual antiplatelet therapy vs. 4 in the group receiving aspirin alone).
Conclusions
Among patients with recent lacunar strokes, the addition of clopidogrel to aspirin did not significantly reduce the risk of recurrent stroke and did significantly increase the risk of bleeding and death. (Funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and others; SPS3 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00059306.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1204133
PMCID: PMC4067036  PMID: 22931315
14.  Abatacept in B7-1–Positive Proteinuric Kidney Disease 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(25):2416-2423.
Summary
Abatacept (cytotoxic T-lymphocyte–associated antigen 4–immunoglobulin fusion protein [CTLA-4–Ig]) is a costimulatory inhibitor that targets B7-1 (CD80). The present report describes five patients who had focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) (four with recurrent FSGS after transplantation and one with primary FSGS) and proteinuria with B7-1 immunostaining of podocytes in kidney-biopsy specimens. Abatacept induced partial or complete remissions of proteinuria in these patients, suggesting that B7-1 may be a useful biomarker for the treatment of some glomerulopathies. Our data indicate that abatacept may stabilize β1-integrin activation in podocytes and reduce proteinuria in patients with B7-1–positive glomerular disease.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1304572
PMCID: PMC3951406  PMID: 24206430
15.  Somatic CALR Mutations in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms with Nonmutated JAK2 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(25):2391-2405.
BACKGROUND
Somatic mutations in the Janus kinase 2 gene (JAK2) occur in many myeloproliferative neoplasms, but the molecular pathogenesis of myeloproliferative neoplasms with nonmutated JAK2 is obscure, and the diagnosis of these neoplasms remains a challenge.
METHODS
We performed exome sequencing of samples obtained from 151 patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms. The mutation status of the gene encoding calreticulin (CALR) was assessed in an additional 1345 hematologic cancers, 1517 other cancers, and 550 controls. We established phylogenetic trees using hematopoietic colonies. We assessed calreticulin subcellular localization using immunofluorescence and flow cytometry.
RESULTS
Exome sequencing identified 1498 mutations in 151 patients, with medians of 6.5, 6.5, and 13.0 mutations per patient in samples of polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, and myelofibrosis, respectively. Somatic CALR mutations were found in 70 to 84% of samples of myeloproliferative neoplasms with nonmutated JAK2, in 8% of myelodysplasia samples, in occasional samples of other myeloid cancers, and in none of the other cancers. A total of 148 CALR mutations were identified with 19 distinct variants. Mutations were located in exon 9 and generated a +1 base-pair frameshift, which would result in a mutant protein with a novel C-terminal. Mutant calreticulin was observed in the endoplasmic reticulum without increased cell-surface or Golgi accumulation. Patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms carrying CALR mutations presented with higher platelet counts and lower hemoglobin levels than patients with mutated JAK2. Mutation of CALR was detected in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Clonal analyses showed CALR mutations in the earliest phylogenetic node, a finding consistent with its role as an initiating mutation in some patients.
CONCLUSIONS
Somatic mutations in the endoplasmic reticulum chaperone CALR were found in a majority of patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms with nonmutated JAK2. (Funded by the Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1312542
PMCID: PMC3966280  PMID: 24325359
16.  Chimeric Antigen Receptor–Modified T Cells for Acute Lymphoid Leukemia 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;368(16):1509-1518.
Summary
Chimeric antigen receptor–modified T cells with specificity for CD19 have shown promise in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). It remains to be established whether chimeric antigen receptor T cells have clinical activity in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Two children with relapsed and refractory pre–B-cell ALL received infusions of T cells transduced with anti-CD19 antibody and a T-cell signaling molecule (CTL019 chimeric antigen receptor T cells), at a dose of 1.4×106 to 1.2×107 CTL019 cells per kilogram of body weight. In both patients, CTL019 T cells expanded to a level that was more than 1000 times as high as the initial engraftment level, and the cells were identified in bone marrow. In addition, the chimeric antigen receptor T cells were observed in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), where they persisted at high levels for at least 6 months. Eight grade 3 or 4 adverse events were noted. The cytokine-release syndrome and B-cell aplasia developed in both patients. In one child, the cytokine-release syndrome was severe; cytokine blockade with etanercept and tocilizumab was effective in reversing the syndrome and did not prevent expansion of chimeric antigen receptor T cells or reduce anti-leukemic efficacy. Complete remission was observed in both patients and is ongoing in one patient at 11 months after treatment. The other patient had a relapse, with blast cells that no longer expressed CD19, approximately 2 months after treatment. Chimeric antigen receptor–modified T cells are capable of killing even aggressive, treatment-refractory acute leukemia cells in vivo. The emergence of tumor cells that no longer express the target indicates a need to target other molecules in addition to CD19 in some patients with ALL.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1215134
PMCID: PMC4058440  PMID: 23527958
17.  The Role of the NIH in Nurturing Clinician-Scientists 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;368(24):2249-2251.
doi:10.1056/NEJMp1302969
PMCID: PMC3686559  PMID: 23675642
18.  A Pharmacogenetic versus a Clinical Algorithm for Warfarin Dosing 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(24):2283-2293.
BACKGROUND
The clinical utility of genotype-guided (pharmacogenetically based) dosing of warfarin has been tested only in small clinical trials or observational studies, with equivocal results.
METHODS
We randomly assigned 1015 patients to receive doses of warfarin during the first 5 days of therapy that were determined according to a dosing algorithm that included both clinical variables and genotype data or to one that included clinical variables only. All patients and clinicians were unaware of the dose of warfarin during the first 4 weeks of therapy. The primary outcome was the percentage of time that the international normalized ratio (INR) was in the therapeutic range from day 4 or 5 through day 28 of therapy.
RESULTS
At 4 weeks, the mean percentage of time in the therapeutic range was 45.2% in the genotype-guided group and 45.4% in the clinically guided group (adjusted mean difference, [genotype-guided group minus clinically guided group], −0.2; 95% confidence interval, −3.4 to 3.1; P=0.91). There also was no significant between-group difference among patients with a predicted dose difference between the two algorithms of 1 mg per day or more. There was, however, a significant interaction between dosing strategy and race (P=0.003). Among black patients, the mean percentage of time in the therapeutic range was less in the genotype-guided group than in the clinically guided group. The rates of the combined outcome of any INR of 4 or more, major bleeding, or thromboembolism did not differ significantly according to dosing strategy.
CONCLUSIONS
Genotype-guided dosing of warfarin did not improve anticoagulation control during the first 4 weeks of therapy. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others; COAG ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00839657.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1310669
PMCID: PMC3942158  PMID: 24251361
19.  ERCC1 Isoform Expression and DNA Repair in Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;368(12):1101-1110.
BACKGROUND
The excision repair cross-complementation group 1 (ERCC1) protein is a potential prognostic biomarker of the efficacy of cisplatin-based chemotherapy in non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Although several ongoing trials are evaluating the level of expression of ERCC1, no consensus has been reached regarding a method for evaluation.
METHODS
We used the 8F1 antibody to measure the level of expression of ERCC1 protein by means of immunohistochemical analysis in a validation set of samples obtained from 494 patients in two independent phase 3 trials (the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group JBR.10 and the Cancer and Leukemia Group B 9633 trial from the Lung Adjuvant Cisplatin Evaluation Biology project). We compared the results of repeated staining of the entire original set of samples obtained from 589 patients in the International Adjuvant Lung Cancer Trial Biology study, which had led to the initial correlation between the absence of ERCC1 expression and platinum response, with our previous results in the same tumors. We mapped the epitope recognized by 16 commercially available ERCC1 antibodies and investigated the capacity of the different ERCC1 isoforms to repair platinum-induced DNA damage.
RESULTS
We were unable to validate the predictive effect of immunostaining for ERCC1 protein. The discordance in the results of staining for ERCC1 suggested a change in the performance of the 8F1 antibody since 2006. We found that none of the 16 antibodies could distinguish among the four ERCC1 protein isoforms, whereas only one isoform produced a protein that had full capacities for nucleotide excision repair and cisplatin resistance.
CONCLUSIONS
Immunohistochemical analysis with the use of currently available ERCC1 antibodies did not specifically detect the unique functional ERCC1 isoform. As a result, its usefulness in guiding therapeutic decision making is limited. (Funded by Eli Lilly and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1214271
PMCID: PMC4054818  PMID: 23514287
20.  Airway Mucus Function and Dysfunction 
The New England journal of medicine  2010;363(23):2233-2247.
doi:10.1056/NEJMra0910061
PMCID: PMC4048736  PMID: 21121836
21.  APOL1 Risk Variants, Race, and Progression of Chronic Kidney Disease 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(23):2183-2196.
BACKGROUND
Among patients in the United States with chronic kidney disease, black patients are at increased risk for end-stage renal disease, as compared with white patients.
METHODS
In two studies, we examined the effects of variants in the gene encoding apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) on the progression of chronic kidney disease. In the African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK), we evaluated 693 black patients with chronic kidney disease attributed to hypertension. In the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) study, we evaluated 2955 white patients and black patients with chronic kidney disease (46% of whom had diabetes) according to whether they had 2 copies of high-risk APOL1 variants (APOL1 high-risk group) or 0 or 1 copy (APOL1 low-risk group). In the AASK study, the primary outcome was a composite of end-stage renal disease or a doubling of the serum creatinine level. In the CRIC study, the primary outcomes were the slope in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and the composite of end-stage renal disease or a reduction of 50% in the eGFR from baseline.
RESULTS
In the AASK study, the primary outcome occurred in 58.1% of the patients in the APOL1 high-risk group and in 36.6% of those in the APOL1 low-risk group (hazard ratio in the high-risk group, 1.88; P<0.001). There was no interaction between APOL1 status and trial interventions or the presence of baseline proteinuria. In the CRIC study, black patients in the APOL1 high-risk group had a more rapid decline in the eGFR and a higher risk of the composite renal outcome than did white patients, among those with diabetes and those without diabetes (P<0.001 for all comparisons).
CONCLUSIONS
Renal risk variants in APOL1 were associated with the higher rates of end-stage renal disease and progression of chronic kidney disease that were observed in black patients as compared with white patients, regardless of diabetes status. (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1310345
PMCID: PMC3969022  PMID: 24206458
22.  Intellectual Impairment in Children with Blood Lead Concentrations below 10 µg per Deciliter 
The New England journal of medicine  2003;348(16):1517-1526.
BACKGROUND
Despite dramatic declines in children’s blood lead concentrations and a lowering of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s level of concern to 10 µg per deciliter (0.483 µmol per liter), little is known about children’s neurobehavioral functioning at lead concentrations below this level.
METHODS
We measured blood lead concentrations in 172 children at 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, and 60 months of age and administered the Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scale at the ages of 3 and 5 years. The relation between IQ and blood lead concentration was estimated with the use of linear and nonlinear mixed models, with adjustment for maternal IQ, quality of the home environment, and other potential confounders.
RESULTS
The blood lead concentration was inversely and significantly associated with IQ. In the linear model, each increase of 10 µg per deciliter in the lifetime average blood lead concentration was associated with a 4.6-point decrease in IQ (P=0.004), whereas for the subsample of 101 children whose maximal lead concentrations remained below 10 µg per deciliter, the change in IQ associated with a given change in lead concentration was greater. When estimated in a nonlinear model with the full sample, IQ declined by 7.4 points as lifetime average blood lead concentrations increased from 1 to 10 µg per deciliter.
CONCLUSIONS
Blood lead concentrations, even those below 10 µg per deciliter, are inversely associated with children’s IQ scores at three and five years of age, and associated declines in IQ are greater at these concentrations than at higher concentrations. These findings suggest that more U.S. children may be adversely affected by environmental lead than previously estimated.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa022848
PMCID: PMC4046839  PMID: 12700371
23.  Bending the Cost Curve in Cancer Care 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;364(21):2060-2065.
doi:10.1056/NEJMsb1013826
PMCID: PMC4042405  PMID: 21612477
24.  Voided Midstream Urine Culture and Acute Cystitis in Premenopausal Women 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(20):1883-1891.
BACKGROUND
The cause of acute uncomplicated cystitis is determined on the basis of cultures of voided midstream urine, but few data guide the interpretation of such results, especially when gram-positive bacteria grow.
METHODS
Women from 18 to 49 years of age with symptoms of cystitis provided specimens of midstream urine, after which we collected urine by means of a urethral catheter for culture (catheter urine). We compared microbial species and colony counts in the paired specimens. The primary outcome was a comparison of positive predictive values and negative predictive values of organisms grown in midstream urine, with the presence or absence of the organism in catheter urine used as the reference.
RESULTS
The analysis of 236 episodes of cystitis in 226 women yielded 202 paired specimens of midstream urine and catheter urine that could be evaluated. Cultures were positive for uropathogens in 142 catheter specimens (70%), 4 of which had more than one uropathogen, and in 157 midstream specimens (78%). The presence of Escherichia coli in midstream urine was highly predictive of bladder bacteriuria even at very low counts, with a positive predictive value of 102 colony-forming units (CFU) per milliliter of 93% (Spearman’s r = 0.944). In contrast, in midstream urine, enterococci (in 10% of cultures) and group B streptococci (in 12% of cultures) were not predictive of bladder bacteriuria at any colony count (Spearman’s r = 0.322 for enterococci and 0.272 for group B streptococci). Among 41 episodes in which enterococcus, group B streptococci, or both were found in midstream urine, E. coli grew from catheter urine cultures in 61%.
CONCLUSIONS
Cultures of voided midstream urine in healthy premenopausal women with acute uncomplicated cystitis accurately showed evidence of bladder E. coli but not of enterococci or group B streptococci, which are often isolated with E. coli but appear to rarely cause cystitis by themselves. (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1302186
PMCID: PMC4041367  PMID: 24224622
25.  clinical practice 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(16):1537-1543.
This Journal feature begins with a case vignette highlighting a common clinical problem. Evidence supporting various strategies is then presented, followed by a review of formal guidelines, when they exist. The article ends with the author’s clinical recommendations.
A 62-year-old healthy woman presents for routine care. She has no history of fracture, but she is worried about osteoporosis because her mother had a hip fracture at 72 years of age. She exercises regularly and has taken over-the-counter calcium carbonate at a dose of 1000 mg three times a day since her menopause at 54 years of age. This regimen provides 1200 mg of elemental calcium per day. She eats a healthy diet with multiple servings of fruits and vegetables and consumes one 8-oz serving of low-fat yogurt and one glass of low-fat milk almost every day. She recently heard that calcium supplements could increase her risk of cardiovascular disease and wants your opinion about whether or not she should receive them. What would you advise?
doi:10.1056/NEJMcp1210380
PMCID: PMC4038300  PMID: 24131178

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