Medical Education - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 1249
The cost of breast cancer recurrences.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 1992-03)
Information about the costs of recurrent breast cancer is potentially important for targeting cost containment strategies and analysing the cost-effectiveness of breast cancer control programmes. We estimated these costs by abstracting health service and consumable usage data from the medical histories of 128 patients, and valuing each of the resources used. Resource usage and costs were summarised by regarding the recurrence as a series of episodes which were categorised into five anatomical site-based groups according to the following hierarchy: visceral, central nervous system (CNS), bone, local and other. Hospital visits and investigations comprised 78% of total costs for all episodes combined, and there were significant differences between the site-based groups in the frequency of hospital visits and most investigations. Total costs were most accurately described by separate linear regression models for each group, with the natural logarithm of the cost of the episode as the dependent variable, and predictor variables including the duration of the episode, duration squared, duration cubed and a variable indicating whether the episode was fatal. Visceral and CNS episodes were associated with higher costs than the other groups and were more likely to be shorter and fatal. A fatal recurrence of duration 15.7 months (the median for our sample) was predicted to cost $10,575 (Aus + 1988; or 4,877 pounds). Reduction of the substantial costs of recurrent breast cancer is likely to be a sizable economic benefit of adjuvant systemic therapy and mammographic screening. We did not identify any major opportunities for cost containment during the management of recurrences.
The need for a large-scale trial of fibrate therapy in diabetes: the rationale and design of the Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) study. [ISRCTN64783481]
BACKGROUND: Fibrates correct the typical lipid abnormalities of type 2 diabetes mellitus, yet no study, to date, has specifically set out to evaluate the role of fibrate therapy in preventing cardiovascular events in this setting. METHODS: Subjects with type 2 diabetes, aged 50-75 years, were screened for eligibility to participate in a long-term trial of comicronized fenofibrate 200 mg daily compared with matching placebo to assess benefits of treatment on the occurrence of coronary and other vascular events. People with total cholesterol levels 3.0-6.5 mmol/L plus either a total-to-HDLc ratio > 4.0 or triglyceride level > 1.0 mmol/L with no clear indication for lipid-modifying therapy were eligible. RESULTS: A total of 9795 people were randomized into the Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) trial. All received dietary advice, followed by a 6-week single-blind placebo run-in, then a 6-week active run-in period before randomization. Participants are being followed up every 6 months for outcome events and safety assessments. The study is designed to yield at least 500 coronary events (primary endpoint: first nonfatal myocardial infarction or coronary death) over 5 years, to have 80% power to identify as statistically significant at 2P = 0.05 a 22% reduction in such events, using intention-to-treat methods. CONCLUSIONS: Type 2 diabetes is the most common endocrine disorder worldwide, and its prevalence is increasing. The current evidence about use of fibrates in type 2 diabetes, from around 2000 people treated, will increase with FIELD to evidence from around 12000. FIELD will establish the role of fenofibrate treatment in reducing cardiovascular risk in people with type 2 diabetes. The main results are expected to be available in late 2005.
The role of thallium-201 and pentavalent dimercaptosuccinic acid for staging cartilaginous tumours.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2004-11-08)
INTRODUCTION: Heterogeneity of cartilage tumours may confound accurate diagnosis and grading resulting in under and over treatment. Improved preoperative assessment of malignancy and grade would be invaluable for developing a rational plan for treatment. We examined correlations between nuclear tracer avidity and malignancy grade in cartilage tumours. METHODS: Between 1996 and 2000, 92 consecutive patients with cartilaginous tumours (50 benign, 42 non-metastatic malignant) underwent nuclear scanning. Thallium-201 (TL-201) and pentavalent dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSAV) were used as nuclear isotopes. Scanning with these agents was performed on separate days 48 hours apart. Static and SPECT images were obtained at 30 m and 4 h after injection of nuclear tracer. Pathology review was undertaken blinded to the results of the nuclear scans and correlations between histologic results and trace uptake at 4 hours examined. RESULTS: 25 patients with negative DMSAV had benign tumours. 15/17 tumours with positive TL-201 had malignant tumours. 11/13 patients with both positive DMSAV and TL-201 scans had intermediate or high grade tumours and 4 of these developed metastases. We have developed an algorithm for the management of patients with tumours that aims to avoid over treatment of low grade tumours and under treatment of high grade tumours. CONCLUSION: Functional nuclear scanning with TL-201 and DMSAV complements other imaging modalities in the management of cartilaginous tumours.
Quantifying trade-offs: quality of life and quality-adjusted survival in a randomised trial of chemotherapy in postmenopausal patients with lymph node-negative breast cancer
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2004-11-29)
We evaluated quality of life (QL) and quality-adjusted survival in International Breast Cancer Study Group Trial IX, a randomised trial including 1669 eligible patients receiving tamoxifen for 5 years or three prior cycles of cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and 5-fluorouracil (CMF) followed by 57 months tamoxifen. During the time with CMF toxicity (Tox), without symptoms and toxicity (TWiST), and following relapse (Rel), patients scored their QL indicators and a utility indicator for subjective health estimation between 'perfect' and 'worst' health. Scores were averaged within Tox, TWiST and Rel and transformed to utilities. Mean durations for the three transition times were weighted with utilities to obtain mean quality-adjusted TWiST (Q-TWiST). Patients receiving CMF reported significantly worse scores for most QL domains at month 3, but less hot flushes. After completing chemotherapy, there were no differences by treatment groups. Benefits evaluated by Q-TWiST favoured the additional chemotherapy. CMF provided 3 more months of Q-TWiST for patients with ER-negative tumours, but CMF provided no benefit in Q-TWiST for patients with ER-positive tumours. Q-TWiST analysis based on patient ratings is feasible in large-scale cross-cultural clinical trials.
Terminal osteoblast differentiation, mediated by runx2 and p27(KIP1), is disrupted in osteosarcoma
(Rockefeller University Press, 2004-12-06)
The molecular basis for the inverse relationship between differentiation and tumorigenesis is unknown. The function of runx2, a master regulator of osteoblast differentiation belonging to the runt family of tumor suppressor genes, is consistently disrupted in osteosarcoma cell lines. Ectopic expression of runx2 induces p27KIP1, thereby inhibiting the activity of S-phase cyclin complexes and leading to the dephosphorylation of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein (pRb) and a G1 cell cycle arrest. Runx2 physically interacts with the hypophosphorylated form of pRb, a known coactivator of runx2, thereby completing a feed-forward loop in which progressive cell cycle exit promotes increased expression of the osteoblast phenotype. Loss of p27KIP1 perturbs transient and terminal cell cycle exit in osteoblasts. Consistent with the incompatibility of malignant transformation and permanent cell cycle exit, loss of p27KIP1 expression correlates with dedifferentiation in high-grade human osteosarcomas. Physiologic coupling of osteoblast differentiation to cell cycle withdrawal is mediated through runx2 and p27KIP1, and these processes are disrupted in osteosarcoma.
Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) study: baseline characteristics and short-term effects of fenofibrate [ISRCTN64783481]
OBJECTIVE: The Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) Study is examining the effects of long-term fibrate therapy on coronary heart disease (CHD) event rates in patients with diabetes mellitus. This article describes the trial's run-in phase and patients' baseline characteristics. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: FIELD is a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 63 centres in 3 countries evaluating the effects of fenofibrate versus placebo on CHD morbidity and mortality in 9795 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Patients were to have no indication for lipid-lowering therapy on randomization, but could start these or other drugs at any time after randomization. Follow-up in the study was to be for a median duration of not less than 5 years and until 500 major coronary events (fatal coronary heart disease plus nonfatal myocardial infarction) had occurred. RESULTS: About 2100 patients (22%) had some manifestation of cardiovascular disease (CVD) at baseline and thus high risk status. Less than 25% of patients without CVD had a (UKPDS determined) calculated 5-year CHD risk of <5%, but nearly all had a 5-year stroke risk of <10%. Despite this, half of the cohort were obese (BMI > 30), most were men, two-thirds were aged over 60 years, and substantial proportions had NCEP ATP III features of the metabolic syndrome independent of their diabetes, including low HDL (60%), high blood pressure measurement (41%), high waist measurement (65%), and raised triglycerides (52%). After a 6-week run-in period before randomisation with all participants receiving 200 mg comicronized fenofibrate, there were declines in total and LDL cholesterol (10%) and triglycerides (26%) and an increase in HDL cholesterol (6.5%). CONCLUSION: The study will show the effect of PPAR-alpha agonist action on CHD and other vascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes including substantial numbers with low to moderate CVD risk but with the various components of the metabolic syndrome. The main results of the study will be reported in late 2005.
Hair-thread tourniquet syndrome
We report a case of hair-thread tourniquet syndrome involving the labia majora of a 14-year-old autistic child. 'Hair-thread tourniquet' refers to the process whereby a thread of hair leads to the ischaemic strangulation of an appendage or other piece of tissue. Uncommonly recognized, this syndrome has gradually gained recognition since its first description in 1612. As it remains infrequent, many have attributed its aetiology to abuse or socio-cultural practices. We review the published literature on this infrequent but important paediatric condition.
An analysis of the utilisation of chemoprophylaxis against Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia in patients with malignancy receiving corticosteroid therapy at a cancer hospital
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2005-03-14)
Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) is associated with high mortality in immunocompromised patients without human immunodeficiency virus infection. However, chemoprophylaxis is highly effective. In patients with solid tumours or haematologic malignancy, several risk factors for developing PCP have been identified, predominantly corticosteroid therapy. The aims of this study were to identify the potentially preventable cases of PCP in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy at a tertiary care cancer centre and to estimate the frequency of utilisation of chemoprophylaxis in these patients. Two retrospective reviews were performed. Over a 10-year period, 14 cases of PCP were identified: no cases were attributable to failed chemoprophylaxis, drug allergy or intolerance. During a 6-month period, 73 patients received high-dose corticosteroid therapy (> or =25 mg prednisolone or > or =4 mg dexamethasone daily) for > or =4 weeks. Of these, 22 (30%) had haematologic malignancy, and 51 (70%) had solid tumours. Fewer patients with solid tumours received prophylaxis compared to patients with haematologic malignancy (3.9 vs 63.6%, P<0.0001). Guidelines for PCP chemoprophylaxis in patients with haematologic malignancy or solid tumours who receive corticosteroid therapy are proposed. Successful primary prevention of PCP in this population will require a multifaceted approach targeting the suboptimal prescribing patterns for chemoprophylaxis.
Serine protease inhibitors serpina1 and serpina3 are down-regulated in bone marrow during hematopoietic progenitor mobilization.
(Rockefeller University Press, 2005-04-04)
Mobilization of hematopoietic progenitor cells into the blood involves a massive release of neutrophil serine proteases in the bone marrow. We hypothesize that the activity of these neutrophil serine proteases is regulated by the expression of naturally occurring inhibitors (serpina1 and serpina3) produced locally within the bone marrow. We found that serpina1 and serpina3 were transcribed in the bone marrow by many different hematopoietic cell populations and that a strong reduction in expression occurred both at the protein and mRNA levels during mobilization induced by granulocyte colony-stimulating factor or chemotherapy. This decreased expression was restricted to the bone marrow as serpina1 expression was maintained in the liver, leading to no change in plasma concentrations during mobilization. The down-regulation of serpina1 and serpina3 during mobilization may contribute to a shift in the balance between serine proteases and their inhibitors, and an accumulation of active neutrophil serine proteases in bone marrow extravascular fluids that cleave and inactivate molecules essential to the retention of hematopoietic progenitor cells within the bone marrow. These data suggest an unexpected role for serpina1 and serpina3 in regulating the bone marrow hematopoietic microenvironment as well as influencing the migratory behavior of hematopoietic precursors.
Platypnea-orthodeoxia associated with a fenestrated atrial septal aneurysm: case report.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2005-09-13)
BACKGROUND: Platypnea-orthodeoxia describes the condition of combined dyspnea and hypoxia respectively, whilst in the upright position, which improves in the recumbent position. CASE REPORT: We present a case of platypnea-orthodeoxia due to a fenestrated atrial septal defect associated with an atrial septal aneurysm. Due to the fenestrated nature of the atrial septal defect, surgical rather than percutaneous correction was performed. CONCLUSION: A high index of suspicion is required to diagnose the syndrome of platypnea-orthodeoxia. Careful echocardiographic evaluation is required to identify the syndrome, and to determine suitability for percutaneous repair.
Reduced cortical inhibition in a mouse model of familial childhood absence epilepsy
(National Acad Sciences, 2007)
Mutations in the GABA(A) receptor gamma2 subunit are associated with childhood absence epilepsy and febrile seizures. To understand better the molecular basis of absence epilepsy in man, we developed a mouse model harboring a gamma2 subunit point mutation (R43Q) found in a large Australian family. Mice heterozygous for the mutation demonstrated behavioral arrest associated with 6-to 7-Hz spike-and-wave discharges, which are blocked by ethosuximide, a first-line treatment for absence epilepsy in man. Seizures in the mouse showed an abrupt onset at around age 20 days corresponding to the childhood nature of this disease. Reduced cell surface expression of gamma2(R43Q) was seen in heterozygous mice in the absence of any change in alpha1 subunit surface expression, ruling out a dominant-negative effect. GABA(A)-mediated synaptic currents recorded from cortical pyramidal neurons revealed a small but significant reduction that was not seen in the reticular or ventrobasal thalamic nuclei. We hypothesize that a subtle reduction in cortical inhibition underlies childhood absence epilepsy seen in humans harboring the R43Q mutation.