Surgery (Austin & Northern Health) - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 406
Functional evaluation and practice survey to guide purchasing of intravenous cannulae
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2013-12-24)
BACKGROUND: There are wide variations in the physical designs and attributes between different brands of intravenous cannulae that makes product selection and purchasing difficult. In a systematic assessment to guide purchasing, we assessed two cannulae - Cannula P and I. We proposed that the results of in-vitro performance testing of the cannulae would be associated with preference after clinical comparison. METHODS: We designed an observer-blinded randomised head-to-head trial between the 18, 20 and 22 gauge versions of Cannula P and I. Our primary end-point was pressure (mmHg) generated during various flow rates and our secondary end-point was the force (Newton) required to slide the catheter away from the needle. This was followed by a prospective electronic survey following a two-week clinical trial period. RESULTS: The mean difference in resistance between Cannula P and I was: 307 mmHg.L-1.hr-1 (95% CI: 289-325, p < 0.001) for 22G; 135 mmHg.L-1.hr-1 (95% CI: 125-144, p < 0.001) for 20G; and 27 mmHg.L-1.hr-1 (95% CI: 26-28, p < 0.001) for 18G. The mean difference in the force needed to displace the catheter away from its needle was: 1.41 N (95% CI: 1.09-1.73, p < 0.001) for 22G; 0.19 N (95% CI: -0.04-0.41, p = 0.12) for 20G; and 1.96 N (95% CI: 1.40-2.52, p < 0.001) for 18G. After a trial period, all 16 anaesthetist who had used both cannulae preferred Cannula I to P. CONCLUSIONS: The evaluation process described here could help hospitals improve efficient product selection and purchasing decisions for intravenous cannulae.
Effectiveness of epidural versus alternate analgesia for pain relief after radical prostatectomy and correlation with biochemical recurrence in men with prostate cancer.
(Informa UK Limited, 2013)
OBJECTIVES: Our objectives were to analyze the effectiveness of epidural anesthesia in patients who underwent open retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP) at our institution over the past decade, and to examine subsequent oncologic outcomes, comparing those receiving with those not receiving epidural anesthesia. METHODS: A comprehensive database of all patients undergoing RRP from November 1996 to December 2006 was analyzed; 354 patients underwent RRP at our institution and were divided into those receiving or not receiving an epidural. An independent pain management team scoring technical success found epidural technique to be consistent. Oncological outcome was an endpoint of our study, comparing both analysis groups. We classed prostate-specific antigen (PSA) recurrence after RRP as a serum PSA ≥ 0.2 ng/mL at any stage of postoperative follow-up. Complications were recorded to 30 days using the modified Clavien system, and full statistical analyses were undertaken. RESULTS: Records were available for 239 men; we observed a decreased trend in the use of epidural for pain management, along with a decrease in average hospital stay and an overall epidural success rate of 64%. When dividing data into RRP with and without epidural, we found a median hospital stay of 7 days for patients receiving an epidural compared with 6 days for those not receiving an epidural. The differences were statistically significant (P < 0.048) and remained so after adjusting for complications (P < 0.0001). Regarding oncological outcome, PSA recurrence was further analyzed in this cohort. Percentage of recurrence was higher (14.8%) for patients receiving an epidural than for the non-epidural group (4.8%). The differences were statistically significant (P = 0.012). CONCLUSION: Epidural analgesia increased length of hospital stay and technical problems related to the epidural. Furthermore, men receiving an epidural showed an increased recurrence of PSA. In light of our findings, epidurals are probably not indicated for men undergoing RRP. However, as minimally invasive techniques are becoming more widespread, and epidural analgesia is being used less frequently, large randomized controlled trials to definitively support our hypotheses are unlikely to be undertaken.
Epiregulin gene expression as a biomarker of benefit from cetuximab in the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2014-02-04)
BACKGROUND: Anti-EGFR antibody, cetuximab, improves overall survival (OS) in K-ras wild-type chemotherapy-refractory colorectal cancer. Epidermal growth factor receptor ligand epiregulin (EREG) gene expression may further predict cetuximab benefit. METHODS: Tumour samples from a phase III clinical trial of cetuximab plus best supportive care (BSC) vs BSC alone (CO.17) were analysed for EREG mRNA gene expression. Predictive effects of high vs low EREG on OS and progression-free survival (PFS) were examined for treatment-biomarker interaction. RESULTS: Both EREG and K-ras status were ascertained in 385 (193 cetuximab, 192 BSC) tumour samples. Within the high EREG and K-ras wild-type status ('co-biomarker')-positive group (n=139, 36%), median PFS was 5.4 vs 1.9 months (hazard ratio (HR) 0.31; P<0.0001), and median OS was 9.8 vs 5.1 months (HR 0.43; P<0.001) for cetuximab vs BSC, respectively. In the rest (n=246, 64%), PFS (HR 0.82; P=0.12) and OS (HR 0.90; P=0.45) were not significantly different. Test for treatment interaction showed a larger cetuximab effect on OS (HR 0.52; P=0.007) and PFS (HR 0.49; P=0.001) in the co-biomarker-positive group. CONCLUSION: In pre-treated K-ras wild-type status colorectal cancer, patients with high EREG gene expression appear to benefit more from cetuximab therapy compared with low expression. Epiregulin as a selective biomarker requires further evaluation.
Nephrectomy for a renal metastasis of undiagnosed hepatocellular carcinoma arising from an orthotopic liver transplant undertaken for cryptogenic cirrhosis.
(The Korean Urological Association, 2013-10)
Urological involvement of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is rare; HCC arising in an orthotopic liver transplant (OLT) is exceptionally rare. Here we report the case of a 70-year-old man who was incidentally found to have metastatic HCC in the right kidney arising from his OLT undertaken for cryptogenic cirrhosis 10 years previously. Adding to the complexity of this case was the lack of an obvious liver primary HCC at the time of the radical nephrectomy, thus making the final diagnosis all but impossible. We believe this report represents the first report of HCC metastasizing to the kidney after OLT and adds to the few reports in the literature of HCC arising in transplanted livers.
Global Population Structure of the Genes Encoding the Malaria Vaccine Candidate, Plasmodium vivax Apical Membrane Antigen 1 (PvAMA1)
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-10-01)
BACKGROUND: The Plasmodium vivax Apical Membrane Antigen 1 (PvAMA1) is a promising malaria vaccine candidate, however it remains unclear which regions are naturally targeted by host immunity and whether its high genetic diversity will preclude coverage by a monovalent vaccine. To assess its feasibility as a vaccine candidate, we investigated the global population structure of PvAMA1. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: New sequences from Papua New Guinea (PNG, n = 102) were analysed together with published sequences from Thailand (n = 158), India (n = 8), Sri Lanka (n = 23), Venezuela (n = 74) and a collection of isolates from disparate geographic locations (n = 8). A total of 92 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified including 22 synonymous SNPs and 70 non-synonymous (NS) SNPs. Polymorphisms and signatures of balancing (positive Tajima's D and low FST values) selection were predominantly clustered in domain I, suggesting it is a dominant target of protective immune responses. To estimate global antigenic diversity, haplotypes comprised of (i) non-singleton (n = 40) and (ii) common (≥10% minor allele frequency, n = 23) polymorphic amino acid sites were then analysed revealing a total of 219 and 210 distinct haplotypes, respectively. Although highly diverse, the 210 haplotypes comprised of only common polymorphisms were grouped into eleven clusters, however substantial geographic differentiation was observed, and this may have implications for the efficacy of PvAMA1 vaccines in different malaria-endemic areas. The PNG haplotypes form a distinct group of clusters not found in any other geographic region. Vaccine haplotypes were rare and geographically restricted, suggesting potentially poor efficacy of candidate PvAMA1 vaccines. CONCLUSIONS: It may be possible to cover the existing global PvAMA1 diversity by selection of diverse alleles based on these analyses however it will be important to first define the relationships between the genetic and antigenic diversity of this molecule.
Longitudinal Analysis of CCR5 and CXCR4 Usage in a Cohort of Antiretroviral Therapy-Naive Subjects with Progressive HIV-1 Subtype C Infection
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-06-18)
HIV-1 subtype C (C-HIV) is responsible for most HIV-1 cases worldwide. Although the pathogenesis of C-HIV is thought to predominantly involve CCR5-restricted (R5) strains, we do not have a firm understanding of how frequently CXCR4-using (X4 and R5X4) variants emerge in subjects with progressive C-HIV infection. Nor do we completely understand the molecular determinants of coreceptor switching by C-HIV variants. Here, we characterized a panel of HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins (Envs) (n = 300) cloned sequentially from plasma of 21 antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naïve subjects who experienced progression from chronic to advanced stages of C-HIV infection, and show that CXCR4-using C-HIV variants emerged in only one individual. Mutagenesis studies and structural models suggest that the evolution of R5 to X4 variants in this subject principally involved acquisition of an "Ile-Gly" insertion in the gp120 V3 loop and replacement of the V3 "Gly-Pro-Gly" crown with a "Gly-Arg-Gly" motif, but that the accumulation of additional gp120 "scaffold" mutations was required for these V3 loop changes to confer functional effects. In this context, either of the V3 loop changes could confer possible transitional R5X4 phenotypes, but when present together they completely abolished CCR5 usage and conferred the X4 phenotype. Our results show that the emergence of CXCR4-using strains is rare in this cohort of untreated individuals with advanced C-HIV infection. In the subject where X4 variants did emerge, alterations in the gp120 V3 loop were necessary but not sufficient to confer CXCR4 usage.
Docetaxel plus cetuximab as second-line treatment for docetaxel-refractory oesophagogastric cancer: the AGITG ATTAX2 trial
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2013-03-05)
BACKGROUND: Cetuximab can reverse chemotherapy resistance in colorectal cancer. This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of the combination of docetaxel and cetuximab as a second-line treatment in docetaxel-refractory oesophagogastric cancer. METHODS: Patients received docetaxel 30 mg m(-2) on days 1 and 8, every 3 weeks and cetuximab 400 mg m(-2) on day 1, then 250 mg m(-2) weekly. Biomarker mutation analysis was performed. RESULTS: A total of 38 patients were enrolled. Response rates were PR 6% (95% CI 2-19%), s.d. 43% (95% CI 28-59%). Main grade 3/4 toxicities were febrile neutropenia, anorexia, nausea, diarrhoea, stomatitis, and acneiform rash. Median progression-free and overall survival were 2.1 and 5.4 months, respectively. A landmark analysis showed a trend to improved survival times with increased grade of acneiform rash. No KRAS, BRAF or PIK3CA mutations were observed. CONCLUSION: Cetuximab and docetaxel achieve modest responses rates, but maintain comparable survival times to other salvage regimens with low rates of toxicity.
Allosteric Modulation of the HIV-1 gp120-gp41 Association Site by Adjacent gp120 Variable Region 1 (V1) N-Glycans Linked to Neutralization Sensitivity
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-04-01)
The HIV-1 gp120-gp41 complex, which mediates viral fusion and cellular entry, undergoes rapid evolution within its external glycan shield to enable escape from neutralizing antibody (NAb). Understanding how conserved protein determinants retain functionality in the context of such evolution is important for their evaluation and exploitation as potential drug and/or vaccine targets. In this study, we examined how the conserved gp120-gp41 association site, formed by the N- and C-terminal segments of gp120 and the disulfide-bonded region (DSR) of gp41, adapts to glycan changes that are linked to neutralization sensitivity. To this end, a DSR mutant virus (K601D) with defective gp120-association was sequentially passaged in peripheral blood mononuclear cells to select suppressor mutations. We reasoned that the locations of suppressors point to structural elements that are functionally linked to the gp120-gp41 association site. In culture 1, gp120 association and viral replication was restored by loss of the conserved glycan at Asn¹³⁶ in V1 (T138N mutation) in conjunction with the L494I substitution in C5 within the association site. In culture 2, replication was restored with deletion of the N¹³⁹INN sequence, which ablates the overlapping Asn¹⁴¹-Asn¹⁴²-Ser-Ser potential N-linked glycosylation sequons in V1, in conjunction with D601N in the DSR. The 136 and 142 glycan mutations appeared to exert their suppressive effects by altering the dependence of gp120-gp41 interactions on the DSR residues, Leu⁵⁹³, Trp⁵⁹⁶ and Lys⁶⁰¹. The 136 and/or 142 glycan mutations increased the sensitivity of HIV-1 pseudovirions to the glycan-dependent NAbs 2G12 and PG16, and also pooled IgG obtained from HIV-1-infected individuals. Thus adjacent V1 glycans allosterically modulate the distal gp120-gp41 association site. We propose that this represents a mechanism for functional adaptation of the gp120-gp41 association site to an evolving glycan shield in a setting of NAb selection.
A multisite blinded study for the detection of BRAF mutations in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded malignant melanoma
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2013-04-15)
Melanoma patients with BRAF mutations respond to treatment with vemurafenib, thus creating a need for accurate testing of BRAF mutation status. We carried out a blinded study to evaluate various BRAF mutation testing methodologies in the clinical setting. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded melanoma samples were macrodissected before screening for mutations using Sanger sequencing, single-strand conformation analysis (SSCA), high resolution melting analysis (HRM) and competitive allele-specific TaqMan® PCR (CAST-PCR). Concordance of 100% was observed between the Sanger sequencing, SSCA and HRM techniques. CAST-PCR gave rapid and accurate results for the common V600E and V600K mutations, however additional assays are required to detect rarer BRAF mutation types found in 3-4% of melanomas. HRM and SSCA followed by Sanger sequencing are effective two-step strategies for the detection of BRAF mutations in the clinical setting. CAST-PCR was useful for samples with low tumour purity and may also be a cost-effective and robust method for routine diagnostics.
A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 study of trebananib (AMG 386) in combination with FOLFIRI in patients with previously treated metastatic colorectal carcinoma
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2013-02-19)
BACKGROUND: This phase 2 study evaluated trebananib (AMG 386), an investigational peptide-Fc fusion protein that neutralises the interaction between angiopoietins-1/2 and the Tie2 receptor, plus FOLFIRI as second-line treatment for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. METHODS: Patients had adenocarcinoma of the colon or rectum with progression within 6 months of receiving only one prior fluoropyrimidine/oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy regimen for metastatic disease. All patients received FOLFIRI and were randomised 2:1 to also receive intravenous trebananib 10 mg kg(-1) once weekly (QW) (Arm A) or placebo QW (Arm B). The primary end point was investigator-assessed progression-free survival (PFS). RESULTS: One hundred and forty-four patients were randomised (Arms A/B, n=95/49). Median PFS in Arms A and B was 3.5 and 5.2 months (hazard ratio (HR) 1.23; 95% CI, 0.81-1.86; P=0.33) and median overall survival (OS) was 11.9 and 8.8 months, respectively (HR 0.90; 95% CI; 0.53-1.54; P=0.70). Objective response rate (ORR) was 14% and 0% in Arms A and B, respectively. Incidence of grade ≥3 adverse events was similar between treatment arms (Arm A, 61%; Arm B, 65%) and included pulmonary embolism (1%/4%), deep vein thrombosis (5%/2%), and hypertension (1%/0%). CONCLUSION: Administration of trebananib plus FOLFIRI did not prolong PFS compared with placebo plus FOLFIRI. Toxicities were manageable and consistent with those known for FOLFIRI and trebananib.
Quantitative threefold allele-specific PCR (QuanTAS-PCR) for highly sensitive JAK2 V617F mutant allele detection
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2013-04-24)
BACKGROUND: The JAK2 V617F mutation is the most frequent somatic change in myeloproliferative neoplasms, making it an important tumour-specific marker for diagnostic purposes and for the detection of minimal residual disease. Sensitive quantitative assays are required for both applications, particularly for the monitoring of minimal residual disease, which requires not only high sensitivity but also very high specificity. METHODS: We developed a highly sensitive probe-free quantitative mutant-allele detection method, Quantitative Threefold Allele-Specific PCR (QuanTAS-PCR), that is performed in a closed-tube system, thus eliminating the manipulation of PCR products. QuantTAS-PCR uses a threefold approach to ensure allele-specific amplification of the mutant sequence: (i) a mutant allele-specific primer, (ii) a 3'dideoxy blocker to suppress false-positive amplification from the wild-type template and (iii) a PCR specificity enhancer, also to suppress false-positive amplification from the wild-type template. Mutant alleles were quantified relative to exon 9 of JAK2. RESULTS: We showed that the addition of the 3'dideoxy blocker suppressed but did not eliminate false-positive amplification from the wild-type template. However, the addition of the PCR specificity enhancer near eliminated false-positive amplification from the wild-type allele. Further discrimination between true and false positives was enabled by using the quantification cycle (Cq) value of a single mutant template as a cut-off point, thus enabling robust distinction between true and false positives. As 10,000 JAK2 templates were used per replicate, the assay had a sensitivity of 1/10(-4) per replicate. Greater sensitivity could be reached by increasing the number of replicates analysed. Variation in replicates when low mutant-allele templates were present necessitated the use of a statistics-based approach to estimate the load of mutant JAK2 copies. QuanTAS-PCR showed comparable quantitative results when validated against a commercial assay. CONCLUSIONS: QuanTAS-PCR is a simple, cost-efficient, closed-tube method for JAK2 V617F mutation quantification that can detect very low levels of the mutant allele, thus enabling analysis of minimal residual disease. The approach can be extended to the detection of other recurrent single nucleotide somatic changes in cancer.
Negative selection of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia cells using a bifunctional rosette-based antibody cocktail
BACKGROUND: High purity of tumour samples is a necessity for accurate genetic and expression analysis and is usually achieved by positive selection in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). RESULTS: We adapted a bifunctional rosette-based antibody cocktail for negative selection of B-cells for isolating CLL cells from peripheral blood (PB). PB samples from CLL patients were split into aliquots. One aliquot of each sample was enriched by density gradient centrifugation (DGC), while the other aliquot of each sample was incubated with an antibody cocktail for B-cell enrichment prior to DGC (RS+DGC). The purity of CLL cells after DGC averaged 74.1% (range: 15.9 - 97.4%). Using RS+DGC, the purity averaged 93.8% (range: 80.4 - 99.4%) with 23 of 29 (79%) samples showing CLL purities above 90%. RNA extracted from enriched CLL cells was of appropriately high quality for microarray analysis. CONCLUSION: This study confirms the use of a bifunctional rosette-based antibody cocktail as an effective method for the purification of CLL cells from peripheral blood.