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1.  Risk, responsibility, and generic drugs 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(18):1679-1681.
doi:10.1056/NEJMp1208781
PMCID: PMC4036072  PMID: 23113477
2.  Use of Reprogrammed Cells to Identify Therapy for Respiratory Papillomatosis 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(13):1220-1227.
SUMMARY
A patient with a 20-year history of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis had progressive, bilateral tumor invasion of the lung parenchyma. We used conditional reprogramming to generate cell cultures from the patient’s normal and tumorous lung tissue. Analysis revealed that the laryngeal tumor cells contained a wild-type 7.9-kb human papillomavirus virus type 11 (HPV-11) genome, whereas the pulmonary tumor cells contained a 10.4-kb genome. The increased size of the latter viral genome was due to duplication of the promoter and oncogene regions. Chemosensitivity testing identified vorinostat as a potential therapeutic agent. At 3 months after treatment initiation, tumor sizes had stabilized, with durable effects at 15 months.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1203055
PMCID: PMC4030597  PMID: 23013073
4.  Controlling Health Care Spending — The Massachusetts Experiment 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;366(17):1560-1561.
doi:10.1056/NEJMp1201261
PMCID: PMC4001784  PMID: 22494111
5.  The Reciprocity of Recognition — What Medicine Exposes about Self and Other 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(20):1878-1881.
doi:10.1056/NEJMp1210787
PMCID: PMC3999976  PMID: 23150957
6.  Nighttime Intensivist Staffing and Mortality among Critically Ill Patients 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;366(22):2093-2101.
BACKGROUND
Hospitals are increasingly adopting 24-hour intensivist physician staffing as a strategy to improve intensive care unit (ICU) outcomes. However, the degree to which nighttime intensivists are associated with improvements in the quality of ICU care is unknown.
METHODS
We conducted a retrospective cohort study involving ICUs that participated in the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) clinical information system from 2009 through 2010, linking a survey of ICU staffing practices with patient-level outcomes data from adult ICU admissions. Multivariate models were used to assess the relationship between nighttime intensivist staffing and in-hospital mortality among ICU patients, with adjustment for daytime intensivist staffing, severity of illness, and case mix. We conducted a confirmatory analysis in a second, population-based cohort of hospitals in Pennsylvania from which less detailed data were available.
RESULTS
The analysis with the use of the APACHE database included 65,752 patients admitted to 49 ICUs in 25 hospitals. In ICUs with low-intensity daytime staffing, nighttime intensivist staffing was associated with a reduction in risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio for death, 0.62; P = 0.04). Among ICUs with high-intensity daytime staffing, nighttime intensivist staffing conferred no benefit with respect to risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality (odds ratio, 1.08; P = 0.78). In the verification cohort, there was a similar relationship among daytime staffing, nighttime staffing, and in-hospital mortality. The interaction between nighttime staffing and daytime staffing was not significant (P = 0.18), yet the direction of the findings were similar to those in the APACHE cohort.
CONCLUSIONS
The addition of nighttime intensivist staffing to a low-intensity daytime staffing model was associated with reduced mortality. However, a reduction in mortality was not seen in ICUs with high-intensity daytime staffing. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMsa1201918
PMCID: PMC3979289  PMID: 22612639
7.  Combination Anastrozole and Fulvestrant in Metastatic Breast Cancer 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(5):435-444.
BACKGROUND
The aromatase inhibitor anastrozole inhibits estrogen synthesis. Fulvestrant binds and accelerates degradation of estrogen receptors. We hypothesized that these two agents in combination might be more effective than anastrozole alone in patients with hormone-receptor (HR)–positive metastatic breast cancer.
METHODS
Postmenopausal women with previously untreated metastatic disease were randomly assigned, in a 1:1 ratio, to receive either 1 mg of anastrozole orally every day (group 1), with crossover to fulvestrant alone strongly encouraged if the disease progressed, or anastrozole and fulvestrant in combination (group 2). Patients were stratified according to prior or no prior receipt of adjuvant tamoxifen therapy. Fulvestrant was administered intramuscularly at a dose of 500 mg on day 1 and 250 mg on days 14 and 28 and monthly thereafter. The primary end point was progressionfree survival, with overall survival designated as a prespecified secondary outcome.
RESULTS
The median progression-free survival was 13.5 months in group 1 and 15.0 months in group 2 (hazard ratio for progression or death with combination therapy, 0.80; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.68 to 0.94; P = 0.007 by the log-rank test). The combination therapy was generally more effective than anastrozole alone in all subgroups, with no significant interactions. Overall survival was also longer with combination therapy (median, 41.3 months in group 1 and 47.7 months in group 2; hazard ratio for death, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.65 to 1.00; P = 0.05 by the log-rank test), despite the fact that 41% of the patients in group 1 crossed over to fulvestrant after progression. Three deaths that were possibly associated with treatment occurred in group 2. The rates of grade 3 to 5 toxic effects did not differ significantly between the two groups.
CONCLUSIONS
The combination of anastrozole and fulvestrant was superior to anastrozole alone or sequential anastrozole and fulvestrant for the treatment of HR-positive metastatic breast cancer, despite the use of a dose of fulvestrant that was below the current standard.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1201622
PMCID: PMC3951300  PMID: 22853014
8.  Association of a HOXB13 Variant with Breast Cancer 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(5):480-481.
doi:10.1056/NEJMc1205138
PMCID: PMC3926433  PMID: 22853031
9.  Randomized Phase 3 Trial of Abiraterone Acetate in Men with Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer and No Prior Chemotherapy 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;368(2):138-148.
Background
Abiraterone acetate, an androgen biosynthesis inhibitor, improves overall survival (OS) in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) post-chemotherapy. Many mCRPC patients never receive chemotherapy and thus cannot benefit from abiraterone acetate; we evaluated this agent in mCRPC patients who had not received chemotherapy.
Methods
In this double-blind study, 1088 patients were randomized 1:1 to abiraterone acetate (1000 mg) plus prednisone (5 mg twice daily) or placebo plus prednisone. Co-primary end points were radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS) and OS. Secondary end points measured clinically relevant landmarks of mCRPC progression. Patient-reported outcomes included pain progression and quality of life.
Results
The study was unblinded after a planned interim analysis (IA) at 43% of OS events. Treatment with abiraterone acetate-prednisone resulted in a 57% reduction in the risk of radiographic progression or death (hazard ratio [HR], 0.43; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.35 to 0.52; P<0.001; 13% OS events IA) and an estimated 25% decrease in the risk of death (HR, 0.75; 95% CI: 0.61 to 0.93; P=0.009; 43% OS events IA). Secondary end points supported superiority of abiraterone acetate-prednisone: time to cytotoxic chemotherapy initiation, opiate use for cancer-related pain, prostate-specific antigen progression (all P<0.001) and performance status deterioration (P=0.005). Self-reported time to pain progression and patient functional status degradation favored abiraterone acetate-prednisone (P=0.05 and P=0.003). Grade 3/4 mineralocorticoid-related adverse events and liver function test abnormalities were more common with abiraterone acetate-prednisone.
Conclusions
Abiraterone acetate produces OS and rPFS benefits, as well as significant delays in clinical deterioration and initiation of chemotherapy, in mCRPC.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1209096
PMCID: PMC3683570  PMID: 23228172
Abiraterone acetate; prednisone; metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer; androgen; CYP17
10.  Staphylococcus aureus Reactivation Osteomyelitis after 75 Years 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;366(5):10.1056/NEJMc1111493.
doi:10.1056/NEJMc1111493
PMCID: PMC3872831  PMID: 22296093
11.  Translocation Affecting Sonic Hedgehog Genes in Basal-Cell Carcinoma 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;366(23):10.1056/NEJMc1115123.
doi:10.1056/NEJMc1115123
PMCID: PMC3839666  PMID: 22670922
12.  Medication for Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder and Criminality 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(21):2006-2014.
Background
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common disorder that is associated with criminal behavior. Pharmacological treatment is available for ADHD and may reduce the risk of criminality
Methods
We gathered information on all individuals with a diagnosis of ADHD (N=25,656), their pharmacological treatment, and subsequent criminal convictions in Sweden during 2006 to 2009 using Swedish national registers. We used stratified Cox regression analyses to compare the rate of criminality while on ADHD medication, compared with the rate for the same individual while off medication.
Results
Compared to non-medication periods, the criminality rate while on medication was significantly decreased by 32% (stratified Cox Regression hazard ratio: 0.68; 95 % confidence interval: 0.63-0.73) for men and 41% (hazard ratio: 0.59; 95 % confidence interval: 0.50-0.70) for women. The rate reduction remained between 17-46% in sensitivity analyses among males, including different exposures (e.g., type of treatment – stimulant and non-stimulant) and outcomes (e.g., type of crime - less severe, violent, and substance-related conviction).
Conclusions
We found statistically significant associations between ADHD medication and criminality in within-individual comparisons, with lower rates of criminality observed during periods on treatment. These findings raise the possibility that medication treatment reduces the risk of criminality among patients with ADHD.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1203241
PMCID: PMC3664186  PMID: 23171097
13.  Peripheral-Blood Stem Cells versus Bone Marrow from Unrelated Donors 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(16):10.1056/NEJMoa1203517.
BACKGROUND
Randomized trials have shown that the transplantation of filgrastim-mobilized peripheral-blood stem cells from HLA-identical siblings accelerates engraftment but increases the risks of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), as compared with the transplantation of bone marrow. Some studies have also shown that peripheral-blood stem cells are associated with a decreased rate of relapse and improved survival among recipients with high-risk leukemia.
METHODS
We conducted a phase 3, multicenter, randomized trial of transplantation of peripheral-blood stem cells versus bone marrow from unrelated donors to compare 2-year survival probabilities with the use of an intention-to-treat analysis. Between March 2004 and September 2009, we enrolled 551 patients at 48 centers. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to peripheral-blood stem-cell or bone marrow transplantation, stratified according to transplantation center and disease risk. The median follow-up of surviving patients was 36 months (interquartile range, 30 to 37).
RESULTS
The overall survival rate at 2 years in the peripheral-blood group was 51% (95% confidence interval [CI], 45 to 57), as compared with 46% (95% CI, 40 to 52) in the bone marrow group (P = 0.29), with an absolute difference of 5 percentage points (95% CI, −3 to 14). The overall incidence of graft failure in the peripheral-blood group was 3% (95% CI, 1 to 5), versus 9% (95% CI, 6 to 13) in the bone marrow group (P = 0.002). The incidence of chronic GVHD at 2 years in the peripheral-blood group was 53% (95% CI, 45 to 61), as compared with 41% (95% CI, 34 to 48) in the bone marrow group (P = 0.01). There were no significant between-group differences in the incidence of acute GVHD or relapse.
CONCLUSIONS
We did not detect significant survival differences between peripheral-blood stem-cell and bone marrow transplantation from unrelated donors. Exploratory analyses of secondary end points indicated that peripheral-blood stem cells may reduce the risk of graft failure, whereas bone marrow may reduce the risk of chronic GVHD. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute–National Cancer Institute and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00075816.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1203517
PMCID: PMC3816375  PMID: 23075175
14.  Antenatal Screening for Hypothyroidism and Childhood Cognitive Impairment 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;306(6):10.1056/NEJMoa1106104.
Background
Children born to women with low thyroid hormone levels have been reported to have decreased cognitive function.
Methods
We conducted a randomized trial in which pregnant women at a gestation of 15 weeks 6 days or less provided blood samples for measurement of thyrotropin and free thyroxine (T4). Women were assigned to a screening group (in which measurements were obtained immediately) or a control group (in which serum was stored and measurements were obtained shortly after delivery). Thyrotropin levels above the 97.5th percentile, free T4 levels below the 2.5th percentile, or both were considered a positive screening result. Women with positive findings in the screening group were prescribed 150 μg of levothyroxine per day. The primary outcome was IQ at 3 years of age in children of women with positive results, as measured by psychologists who were unaware of the group assignments.
Results
Of 21,846 women who provided blood samples (at a median gestational age of 12 weeks 3 days), 390 women in the screening group and 404 in the control group tested positive. The median gestational age at the start of levothyroxine treatment was 13 weeks 3 days; treatment was adjusted as needed to achieve a target thyrotropin level of 0.1 to 1.0 mIU per liter. Among the children of women with positive results, the mean IQ scores were 99.2 and 100.0 in the screening and control groups, respectively (difference, 0.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], −1.1 to 2.6; P = 0.40 by intention-to-treat analysis); the proportions of children with an IQ of less than 85 were 12.1% in the screening group and 14.1% in the control group (difference, 2.1 percentage points; 95% CI, −2.6 to 6.7; P = 0.39). An on-treatment analysis showed similar results.
Conclusions
Antenatal screening (at a median gestational age of 12 weeks 3 days) and maternal treatment for hypothyroidism did not result in improved cognitive function in children at 3 years of age. (Funded by the Wellcome Trust UK and Compagnia di San Paulo, Turin; Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN46178175.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1106104
PMCID: PMC3814060  PMID: 22316443
15.  Linezolid for Treatment of Chronic Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(16):10.1056/NEJMoa1201964.
BACKGROUND
Linezolid has antimycobacterial activity in vitro and is increasingly used for patients with highly drug-resistant tuberculosis.
METHODS
We enrolled 41 patients who had sputum-culture–positive extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis and who did not have a response to any available chemotherapeutic option during the previous 6 months. Patients were randomly assigned to linezolid therapy that started immediately or after 2 months, at a dose of 600 mg per day, without a change in their background regimen. The primary end point was the time to sputum-culture conversion on solid medium, with data censored 4 months after study entry. After confirmed sputum-smear conversion or 4 months (whichever came first), patients underwent a second randomization to continued linezolid therapy at a dose of 600 mg per day or 300 mg per day for at least an additional 18 months, with careful toxicity monitoring.
RESULTS
By 4 months, 15 of the 19 patients (79%) in the immediate-start group and 7 of the 20 (35%) in the delayed-start group had culture conversion (P = 0.001). Most patients (34 of 39 [87%]) had a negative sputum culture within 6 months after linezolid had been added to their drug regimen. Of the 38 patients with exposure to linezolid, 31 (82%) had clinically significant adverse events that were possibly or probably related to linezolid, including 3 patients who discontinued therapy. Patients who received 300 mg per day after the second randomization had fewer adverse events than those who continued taking 600 mg per day. Thirteen patients completed therapy and have not had a relapse. Four cases of acquired resistance to linezolid have been observed.
CONCLUSIONS
Linezolid is effective at achieving culture conversion among patients with treatment-refractory XDR pulmonary tuberculosis, but patients must be monitored carefully for adverse events. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Ministry of Health and Welfare, South Korea; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00727844.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1201964
PMCID: PMC3814175  PMID: 23075177
16.  Cord-Blood Engraftment with Ex Vivo Mesenchymal-Cell Coculture 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(24):2305-2315.
BACKGROUND
Poor engraftment due to low cell doses restricts the usefulness of umbilical-cord-blood transplantation. We hypothesized that engraftment would be improved by transplanting cord blood that was expanded ex vivo with mesenchymal stromal cells.
METHODS
We studied engraftment results in 31 adults with hematologic cancers who received transplants of 2 cord-blood units, 1 of which contained cord blood that was expanded ex vivo in cocultures with allogeneic mesenchymal stromal cells. The results in these patients were compared with those in 80 historical controls who received 2 units of unmanipulated cord blood.
RESULTS
Coculture with mesenchymal stromal cells led to an expansion of total nucleated cells by a median factor of 12.2 and of CD34+ cells by a median factor of 30.1. With transplantation of 1 unit each of expanded and unmanipulated cord blood, patients received a median of 8.34×107 total nucleated cells per kilogram of body weight and 1.81×106 CD34+ cells per kilogram — doses higher than in our previous transplantations of 2 units of unmanipulated cord blood. In patients in whom engraftment occurred, the median time to neutrophil engraftment was 15 days in the recipients of expanded cord blood, as compared with 24 days in controls who received unmanipulated cord blood only (P<0.001); the median time to platelet engraftment was 42 days and 49 days, respectively (P = 0.03). On day 26, the cumulative incidence of neutrophil engraftment was 88% with expansion versus 53% without expansion (P<0.001); on day 60, the cumulative incidence of platelet engraftment was 71% and 31%, respectively (P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS
Transplantation of cord-blood cells expanded with mesenchymal stromal cells appeared to be safe and effective. Expanded cord blood in combination with unmanipulated cord blood significantly improved engraftment, as compared with unmanipulated cord blood only. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00498316.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1207285
PMCID: PMC3805360  PMID: 23234514
17.  Germline Mutations in HOXB13 and Prostate-Cancer Risk 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;366(2):141-149.
BACKGROUND
Family history is a significant risk factor for prostate cancer, although the molecular basis for this association is poorly understood. Linkage studies have implicated chromosome 17q21-22 as a possible location of a prostate-cancer susceptibility gene.
METHODS
We screened more than 200 genes in the 17q21-22 region by sequencing germline DNA from 94 unrelated patients with prostate cancer from families selected for linkage to the candidate region. We tested family members, additional case subjects, and control subjects to characterize the frequency of the identified mutations.
RESULTS
Probands from four families were discovered to have a rare but recurrent mutation (G84E) in HOXB13 (rs138213197), a homeobox transcription factor gene that is important in prostate development. All 18 men with prostate cancer and available DNA in these four families carried the mutation. The carrier rate of the G84E mutation was increased by a factor of approximately 20 in 5083 unrelated subjects of European descent who had prostate cancer, with the mutation found in 72 subjects (1.4%), as compared with 1 in 1401 control subjects (0.1%) (P = 8.5×10−7). The mutation was significantly more common in men with early-onset, familial prostate cancer (3.1%) than in those with late-onset, nonfamilial prostate cancer (0.6%) (P = 2.0×10−6).
CONCLUSIONS
The novel HOXB13 G84E variant is associated with a significantly increased risk of hereditary prostate cancer. Although the variant accounts for a small fraction of all prostate cancers, this finding has implications for prostate-cancer risk assessment and may provide new mechanistic insights into this common cancer. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1110000
PMCID: PMC3779870  PMID: 22236224
18.  Ponatinib in Refractory Philadelphia Chromosome–Positive Leukemias 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(22):2075-2088.
Background
Resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and Philadelphia chromosome–positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph-positive ALL) is frequently caused by mutations in the BCR-ABL kinase domain. Ponatinib (AP24534) is a potent oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor that blocks native and mutated BCR-ABL, including the gatekeeper mutant T315I, which is uniformly resistant to tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
Methods
In this phase 1 dose-escalation study, we enrolled 81 patients with resistant hematologic cancers, including 60 with CML and 5 with Ph-positive ALL. Ponatinib was administered once daily at doses ranging from 2 to 60 mg. Median follow-up was 56 weeks (range, 2 to 140).
Results
Dose-limiting toxic effects included elevated lipase or amylase levels and pancreatitis. Common adverse events were rash, myelosuppression, and constitutional symptoms. Among Ph-positive patients, 91% had received two or more approved tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and 51% had received all three approved tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Of 43 patients with chronic-phase CML, 98% had a complete hematologic response, 72% had a major cytogenetic response, and 44% had a major molecular response. Of 12 patients who had chronic-phase CML with the T315I mutation, 100% had a complete hematologic response and 92% had a major cytogenetic response. Of 13 patients with chronic-phase CML without detectable mutations, 100% had a complete hematologic response and 62% had a major cytogenetic response. Responses among patients with chronic-phase CML were durable. Of 22 patients with accelerated-phase or blast-phase CML or Ph-positive ALL, 36% had a major hematologic response and 32% had a major cytogenetic response.
Conclusions
Ponatinib was highly active in heavily pretreated patients with Ph-positive leukemias with resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors, including patients with the BCR-ABL T315I mutation, other mutations, or no mutations. (Funded by Ariad Pharmaceuticals and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00660920.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1205127
PMCID: PMC3777383  PMID: 23190221
19.  Genetically Distinct Subsets within ANCA-Associated Vasculitis 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(3):214-223.
BACKGROUND
Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)–associated vasculitis is a severe condition encompassing two major syndromes: granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly known as Wegener’s granulomatosis) and microscopic polyangiitis. Its cause is unknown, and there is debate about whether it is a single disease entity and what role ANCA plays in its pathogenesis. We investigated its genetic basis.
METHODS
A genomewide association study was performed in a discovery cohort of 1233 U.K. patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis and 5884 controls and was replicated in 1454 Northern European case patients and 1666 controls. Quality control, population stratification, and statistical analyses were performed according to standard criteria.
RESULTS
We found both major-histocompatibility-complex (MHC) and non-MHC associations with ANCA-associated vasculitis and also that granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis were genetically distinct. The strongest genetic associations were with the antigenic specificity of ANCA, not with the clinical syndrome. Anti–proteinase 3 ANCA was associated with HLA-DP and the genes encoding α1-antitrypsin (SERPINA1) and proteinase 3 (PRTN3) (P = 6.2×10−89, P = 5.6×10−12, and P = 2.6×10−7, respectively). Anti–myeloperoxidase ANCA was associated with HLA-DQ (P = 2.1×10−8).
CONCLUSIONS
This study confirms that the pathogenesis of ANCA-associated vasculitis has a genetic component, shows genetic distinctions between granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis that are associated with ANCA specificity, and suggests that the response against the autoantigen proteinase 3 is a central pathogenic feature of proteinase 3 ANCA–associated vasculitis. These data provide preliminary support for the concept that proteinase 3 ANCA–associated vasculitis and myeloperoxidase ANCA–associated vasculitis are distinct autoimmune syndromes. (Funded by the British Heart Foundation and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1108735
PMCID: PMC3773907  PMID: 22808956
21.  Antiretroviral Prophylaxis for HIV-1 Prevention among Heterosexual Men and Women 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(5):399-410.
Introduction
Antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) reduces the incidence of acquisition of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in men who have sex with men and is a promising approach for preventing HIV-1 in heterosexual populations.
Methods
We conducted a randomized, three-arm trial of oral antiretroviral PrEP among heterosexual couples from Kenya and Uganda in which one member was HIV-1 seronegative and the other HIV-1 seropositive. Seronegative partners were randomly assigned to once-daily tenofovir (TDF), combination emtricitabine/tenofovir (FTC/TDF), or matching placebo and followed monthly for up to 36 months. At enrollment, HIV-1 seropositive partners were not eligible for antiretroviral therapy under national guidelines. All couples received standard HIV-1 treatment and prevention services, including individual and couples risk-reduction counseling and condoms.
Results
4758 couples were enrolled; for 62%, the HIV-1 seronegative partner was male. For HIV-1 seropositive participants, the median CD4 count was 495 cells/μL (interquartile range 375–662). Of 82 post-randomization HIV-1 infections, 17 were among those assigned TDF (incidence 0.65 per 100 person-years), 13 among those assigned FTC/TDF (incidence 0.50 per 100 person-years), and 52 among those assigned placebo (incidence 1.99 per 100 person-years), indicating a 67% relative reduction in HIV-1 incidence for TDF (95% CI 44 to 81, p<0.001) and 75% for FTC/TDF (95% CI 55 to 87, p<0.001). HIV-1 protective effects of FTC/TDF and TDF were not significantly different (p=0.23), and both study medications significantly reduced HIV-1 incidence in both men and women. The rate of serious medical events was similar across the study arms.
Conclusions
Oral TDF and FTC/TDF provided substantial protection against HIV-1 acquisition in heterosexual men and women, with comparable efficacy of TDF and FTC/TDF. (Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT00557245)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1108524
PMCID: PMC3770474  PMID: 22784037
HIV-1 serodiscordant couples; pre-exposure prophylaxis; HIV-1 prevention; randomized clinical trial; Africa
22.  HLA-C–Dependent Prevention of Leukemia Relapse by Donor Activating KIR2DS1 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(9):805-816.
Background
Of the cancers treated with allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT), acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is most sensitive to natural killer (NK)–cell reactivity. The activating killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) 2DS1 has ligand specificity for HLA-C2 antigens and activates NK cells in an HLA-dependent manner. Donor-derived NK reactivity controlled by KIR2DS1 and HLA could have beneficial effects in patients with AML who undergo allogeneic HSCT.
Methods
We assessed clinical data, HLA genotyping results, and donor cell lines or genomic DNA for 1277 patients with AML who had received hematopoietic stem-cell transplants from unrelated donors matched for HLA-A, B, C, DR, and DQ or with a single mismatch. We performed donor KIR genotyping and evaluated the clinical effect of donor KIR genotype and donor and recipient HLA genotypes.
Results
Patients with AML who received allografts from donors who were positive for KIR2DS1 had a lower rate of relapse than those with allografts from donors who were negative for KIR2DS1 (26.5% vs. 32.5%; hazard ratio, 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.61 to 0.96; P = 0.02). Of allografts from donors with KIR2DS1, those from donors who were homozygous or heterozygous for HLA-C1 antigens could mediate this antileukemic effect, whereas those from donors who were homozygous for HLA-C2 did not provide any advantage (24.9% with homozygosity or heterozygosity for HLA-C1 vs. 37.3% with homozygosity for HLA-C2; hazard ratio, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.28 to 0.75; P = 0.002). Recipients of KIR2DS1-positive allografts mismatched for a single HLA-C locus had a lower relapse rate than recipients of KIR2DS1-negative allografts with a mismatch at the same locus (17.1% vs. 35.6%; hazard ratio, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.20 to 0.78; P = 0.007). KIR3DS1, in positive genetic linkage disequilibrium with KIR2DS1, had no effect on leukemia relapse but was associated with decreased mortality (60.1%, vs. 66.9% without KIR3DS1; hazard ratio, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.71 to 0.96; P = 0.01).
Conclusions
Activating KIR genes from donors were associated with distinct outcomes of allogeneic HSCT for AML. Donor KIR2DS1 appeared to provide protection against relapse in an HLA-C–dependent manner, and donor KIR3DS1 was associated with reduced mortality. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1200503
PMCID: PMC3767478  PMID: 22931314
23.  Fibulin-3 as a Blood and Effusion Biomarker for Pleural Mesothelioma 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(15):1417-1427.
BACKGROUND
New biomarkers are needed to detect pleural mesothelioma at an earlier stage and to individualize treatment strategies. We investigated whether fibulin-3 in plasma and pleural effusions could meet sensitivity and specificity criteria for a robust biomarker.
METHODS
We measured fibulin-3 levels in plasma (from 92 patients with mesothelioma, 136 asbestos-exposed persons without cancer, 93 patients with effusions not due to mesothelioma, and 43 healthy controls), effusions (from 74 patients with mesothelioma, 39 with benign effusions, and 54 with malignant effusions not due to mesothelioma), or both. A blinded validation was subsequently performed. Tumor tissue was examined for fibulin-3 by immunohistochemical analysis, and levels of fibulin-3 in plasma and effusions were measured with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
RESULTS
Plasma fibulin-3 levels did not vary according to age, sex, duration of asbestos exposure, or degree of radiographic changes and were significantly higher in patients with pleural mesothelioma (105±7 ng per milliliter in the Detroit cohort and 113±8 ng per milliliter in the New York cohort) than in asbestos-exposed persons without mesothelioma (14±1 ng per milliliter and 24±1 ng per milliliter, respectively; P<0.001). Effusion fibulin-3 levels were significantly higher in patients with pleural mesothelioma (694±37 ng per milliliter in the Detroit cohort and 636±92 ng per milliliter in the New York cohort) than in patients with effusions not due to mesothelioma (212±25 and 151±23 ng per milliliter, respectively; P<0.001). Fibulin-3 preferentially stained tumor cells in 26 of 26 samples. In an overall comparison of patients with and those without mesothelioma, the receiver-operating-characteristic curve for plasma fibulin-3 levels had a sensitivity of 96.7% and a specificity of 95.5% at a cutoff value of 52.8 ng of fibulin-3 per milliliter. In a comparison of patients with early-stage mesothelioma with asbestos-exposed persons, the sensitivity was 100% and the specificity was 94.1% at a cutoff value of 46.0 ng of fibulin-3 per milliliter. Blinded validation revealed an area under the curve of 0.87 for plasma specimens from 96 asbestos-exposed persons as compared with 48 patients with mesothelioma.
CONCLUSIONS
Plasma fibulin-3 levels can distinguish healthy persons with exposure to asbestos from patients with mesothelioma. In conjunction with effusion fibulin-3 levels, plasma fibulin-3 levels can further differentiate mesothelioma effusions from other malignant and benign effusions. (Funded by the Early Detection Research Network, National Institutes of Health, and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1115050
PMCID: PMC3761217  PMID: 23050525
24.  Tolvaptan in Patients with Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(25):2407-2418.
BACKGROUND
The course of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is often associated with pain, hypertension, and kidney failure. Preclinical studies indicated that vasopressin V2-receptor antagonists inhibit cyst growth and slow the decline of kidney function.
METHODS
In this phase 3, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 3-year trial, we randomly assigned 1445 patients, 18 to 50 years of age, who had ADPKD with a total kidney volume of 750 ml or more and an estimated creatinine clearance of 60 ml per minute or more, in a 2:1 ratio to receive tolvaptan, a V2-receptor antagonist, at the highest of three twice-daily dose regimens that the patient found tolerable, or placebo. The primary outcome was the annual rate of change in the total kidney volume. Sequential secondary end points included a composite of time to clinical progression (defined as worsening kidney function, kidney pain, hypertension, and albuminuria) and rate of kidney-function decline.
RESULTS
Over a 3-year period, the increase in total kidney volume in the tolvaptan group was 2.8% per year (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.5 to 3.1), versus 5.5% per year in the placebo group (95% CI, 5.1 to 6.0; P<0.001). The composite end point favored tolvaptan over placebo (44 vs. 50 events per 100 follow-up-years, P = 0.01), with lower rates of worsening kidney function (2 vs. 5 events per 100 person-years of follow-up, P<0.001) and kidney pain (5 vs. 7 events per 100 person-years of follow-up, P = 0.007). Tolvaptan was associated with a slower decline in kidney function (reciprocal of the serum creatinine level, −2.61 [mg per milliliter]−1 per year vs. −3.81 [mg per milliliter]−1 per year; P<0.001). There were fewer ADPKD-related adverse events in the tolvaptan group but more events related to aquaresis (excretion of electrolyte-free water) and hepatic adverse events unrelated to ADPKD, contributing to a higher discontinuation rate (23%, vs. 14% in the placebo group).
CONCLUSIONS
Tolvaptan, as compared with placebo, slowed the increase in total kidney volume and the decline in kidney function over a 3-year period in patients with ADPKD but was associated with a higher discontinuation rate, owing to adverse events. (Funded by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization; TEMPO 3:4 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00428948.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1205511
PMCID: PMC3760207  PMID: 23121377
25.  Lenalidomide after Stem-Cell Transplantation for Multiple Myeloma 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;366(19):1770-1781.
BACKGROUND
Data are lacking on whether lenalidomide maintenance therapy prolongs the time to disease progression after autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation in patients with multiple myeloma.
METHODS
Between April 2005 and July 2009, we randomly assigned 460 patients who were younger than 71 years of age and had stable disease or a marginal, partial, or complete response 100 days after undergoing stem-cell transplantation to lenalidomide or placebo, which was administered until disease progression. The starting dose of lenalidomide was 10 mg per day (range, 5 to 15).
RESULTS
The study-drug assignments were unblinded in 2009, when a planned interim analysis showed a significantly longer time to disease progression in the lenalidomide group. At unblinding, 20% of patients who received lenalidomide and 44% of patients who received placebo had progressive disease or had died (P<0.001); of the remaining 128 patients who received placebo and who did not have progressive disease, 86 crossed over to lenalidomide. At a median follow-up of 34 months, 86 of 231 patients who received lenalidomide (37%) and 132 of 229 patients who received placebo (58%) had disease progression or had died. The median time to progression was 46 months in the lenalidomide group and 27 months in the placebo group (P<0.001). A total of 35 patients who received lenalidomide (15%) and 53 patients who received placebo (23%) died (P=0.03). More grade 3 or 4 hematologic adverse events and grade 3 non-hematologic adverse events occurred in patients who received lenalidomide (P<0.001 for both comparisons). Second primary cancers occurred in 18 patients who received lenalidomide (8%) and 6 patients who received placebo (3%).
CONCLUSIONS
Lenalidomide maintenance therapy, initiated at day 100 after hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation, was associated with more toxicity and second cancers but a significantly longer time to disease progression and significantly improved overall survival among patients with myeloma. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00114101.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1114083
PMCID: PMC3744390  PMID: 22571201

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