Clinical School (St Vincent's Hospital) - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 13
Mammographic density-a review on the current understanding of its association with breast cancer
There has been considerable recent interest in the genetic, biological and epidemiological basis of mammographic density (MD), and the search for causative links between MD and breast cancer (BC) risk. This report will critically review the current literature on MD and summarize the current evidence for its association with BC. Keywords 'mammographic dens*', 'dense mammary tissue' or 'percent dens*' were used to search the existing literature in English on PubMed and Medline. All reports were critically analyzed. The data were assigned to one of the following aspects of MD: general association with BC, its relationship with the breast hormonal milieu, the cellular basis of MD, the generic variations of MD, and its significance in the clinical setting. MD adjusted for age, and BMI is associated with increased risk of BC diagnosis, advanced tumour stage at diagnosis and increased risk of both local recurrence and second primary cancers. The MD measures that predict BC risk have high heritability, and to date several genetic markers associated with BC risk have been found to also be associated with these MD risk predictors. Change in MD could be a predictor of the extent of chemoprevention with tamoxifen. Although the biological and genetic pathways that determine and perhaps modulate MD remain largely unresolved, significant inroads are being made into the understanding of MD, which may lead to benefits in clinical screening, assessment and treatment strategies. This review provides a timely update on the current understanding of MD's association with BC risk.
Cediranib in combination with fulvestrant in hormone-sensitive metastatic breast cancer: a randomized Phase II study
Hormone receptor-positive breast cancer is treated with estrogen inhibitors. Fulvestrant (FASLODEX™), an estrogen receptor (ER) antagonist with no known agonist effects, competitively binds, blocks and degrades the ER. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) may mediate resistance to ER antagonists. Cediranib is a highly potent VEGF signaling inhibitor with activity against all three VEGF receptors. This randomized Phase II study evaluated cediranib plus fulvestrant. Postmenopausal women with hormone-sensitive metastatic breast cancer were eligible. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary endpoints included objective response rate (ORR), duration of response, clinical benefit rate (CBR), safety/tolerability and pharmacokinetics (PK). Patients received cediranib 45 mg/day (n=31) or placebo (n=31) both plus fulvestrant. Demographic/baseline characteristics were well balanced. Patients treated with cediranib had a numerical advantage in PFS (hazard ratio=0.867, P=0.669; median 223 vs. 112 days, respectively) and ORR (22 vs. 8 %, respectively) vs. placebo, although not statistically significant. CBR was 42 % in both arms. The most common adverse events (AEs) in the cediranib arm were diarrhea (68 %), fatigue (61 %) and hypertension (55 %). The incidence of grade ≥ 3 AEs (68 % vs. 32 %), serious AEs (48 % vs. 13 %), discontinuation AEs (39 % vs. 10 %), and cediranib dose reductions/interruptions (74 % vs. 32 %) were higher in the cediranib arm. There was no evidence of a clinically relevant effect of cediranib on fulvestrant PK. Cediranib plus fulvestrant may demonstrate clinical activity in this population, but cediranib 45 mg was not sufficiently well tolerated. Investigation of lower doses of cediranib plus hormonal/chemotherapy could be considered.
Effects of Tamoxifen and oestrogen on histology and radiographic density in high and low mammographic density human breast tissues maintained in murine tissue engineering chambers
Mammographic density (MD) is a strong risk factor for breast cancer. It is altered by exogenous endocrine treatments, including hormone replacement therapy and Tamoxifen. Such agents also modify breast cancer (BC) risk. However, the biomolecular basis of how systemic endocrine therapy modifies MD and MD-associated BC risk is poorly understood. This study aims to determine whether our xenograft biochamber model can be used to study the effectiveness of therapies aimed at modulating MD, by examine the effects of Tamoxifen and oestrogen on histologic and radiographic changes in high and low MD tissues maintained within the biochamber model. High and low MD human tissues were precisely sampled under radiographic guidance from prophylactic mastectomy fresh specimens of high-risk women, then inserted into separate vascularized murine biochambers. The murine hosts were concurrently implanted with Tamoxifen, oestrogen or placebo pellets, and the high and low MD biochamber tissues maintained in the murine host environment for 3 months, before the high and low MD biochamber tissues were harvested for histologic and radiographic analyses. The radiographic density of high MD tissue maintained in murine biochambers was decreased in Tamoxifen-treated mice compared to oestrogen-treated mice (p = 0.02). Tamoxifen treatment of high MD tissue in SCID mice led to a decrease in stromal (p = 0.009), and an increase in adipose (p = 0.023) percent areas, compared to placebo-treated mice. No histologic or radiographic differences were observed in low MD biochamber tissue with any treatment. High MD biochamber tissues maintained in mice implanted with Tamoxifen, oestrogen or placebo pellets had dynamic and measurable histologic compositional and radiographic changes. This further validates the dynamic nature of the MD xenograft model, and suggests the biochamber model may be useful for assessing the underlying molecular pathways of Tamoxifen-reduced MD, and in testing of other pharmacologic interventions in a preclinical model of high MD.
Development of a hospital-based patient-reported outcome framework for lung cancer patients: a study protocol
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2018-01-11)
BACKGROUND: Patient-reported outcome (PRO) data is central to the delivery of quality health care. Establishing sustainable, reliable and cost-efficient methods for routine collection and integration of PRO data into health information systems is challenging. This protocol paper describes the design and structure of a study to develop and pilot test a PRO framework to systematically and longitudinally collect PRO data from a cohort of lung cancer patients at a comprehensive cancer centre in Australia. METHODS: Best-practice guidelines for developing registries aimed at collecting PROs informed the development of this PRO framework. Framework components included: achieving consensus on determining the purpose of the framework, the PRO measures to be included, the data collection time points and collection methods (electronic and paper), establishing processes to safeguard the quality of the data collected and to link the PRO framework to an existing hospital-based lung cancer clinical registry. Lung cancer patients will be invited to give feedback on the PRO measures (PROMs) chosen and the data collection time points and methods. Implementation of the framework will be piloted for 12 months. Then a mixed-methods approach used to explore patient and multidisciplinary perspectives on the feasibility of implementing the framework and linking it to the lung cancer clinical registry, its clinical utility, perceptions of data collection burden, and preliminary assessment of resource costs to integrate, implement and sustain the PRO framework. The PRO data set will include: a quality of life questionnaire (EORTC-QLQ-C30) and the EORTC lung cancer specific module (QLQC-LC-13). These will be collected pre-treatment (baseline), 2, 6 and 12 months post-baseline. Also, four social isolation questions (PROMIS) will be collected at baseline. DISCUSSION: Identifying and deciding on the overall purpose, clinical utility of data and which PROs to collect from patients requires careful consideration. Our study will explore how PRO data collection processes that link to a clinical data set can be developed and integrated; how PRO systems that are easy for patients to complete and professionals to use in practice can be achieved, and will provide indicative costs of developing and integrating a longitudinal PRO framework into routine hospital data collection systems. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study is not a clinical trial and is therefore not registered in any trial registry. However, it has received human research ethics approval (LNR/16/PMCC/45).
One-year outcome following biological or mechanical valve replacement for infective endocarditis
(ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD, 2015-01-15)
BACKGROUND: Nearly half of patients require cardiac surgery during the acute phase of infective endocarditis (IE). We describe the characteristics of patients according to the type of valve replacement (mechanical or biological), and examine whether the type of prosthesis was associated with in-hospital and 1-year mortality. METHODS AND RESULTS: Among 5591 patients included in the International Collaboration on Endocarditis Prospective Cohort Study, 1467 patients with definite IE were operated on during the active phase and had a biological (37%) or mechanical (63%) valve replacement. Patients who received bioprostheses were older (62 vs 54years), more often had a history of cancer (9% vs 6%), and had moderate or severe renal disease (9% vs 4%); proportion of health care-associated IE was higher (26% vs 17%); intracardiac abscesses were more frequent (30% vs 23%). In-hospital and 1-year death rates were higher in the bioprosthesis group, 20.5% vs 14.0% (p=0.0009) and 25.3% vs 16.6% (p<.0001), respectively. In multivariable analysis, mechanical prostheses were less commonly implanted in older patients (odds ratio: 0.64 for every 10years), and in patients with a history of cancer (0.72), but were more commonly implanted in mitral position (1.60). Bioprosthesis was independently associated with 1-year mortality (hazard ratio: 1.298). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with IE who receive a biological valve replacement have significant differences in clinical characteristics compared to patients who receive a mechanical prosthesis. Biological valve replacement is independently associated with a higher in-hospital and 1-year mortality, a result which is possibly related to patient characteristics rather than valve dysfunction.
High and low mammographic density human breast tissues maintain histological differential in murine tissue engineering chambers
Mammographic density (MD) is the area of breast tissue that appears radiologically white on mammography. Although high MD is a strong risk factor for breast cancer, independent of BRCA1/2 mutation status, the molecular basis of high MD and its associated breast cancer risk is poorly understood. MD studies will benefit from an animal model, where hormonal, gene and drug perturbations on MD can be measured in a preclinical context. High and low MD tissues were selectively sampled by stereotactic biopsy from operative specimens of high-risk women undergoing prophylactic mastectomy. The high and low MD tissues were transferred into separate vascularised biochambers in the groins of SCID mice. Chamber material was harvested after 6 weeks for histological analyses and immunohistochemistry for cytokeratins, vimentin and a human-specific mitochondrial antigen. Within-individual analysis was performed in replicate mice, eliminating confounding by age, body mass index and process-related factors, and comparisons were made to the parental human tissue. Maintenance of differential MD post-propagation was assessed radiographically. Immunohistochemical staining confirmed the preservation of human glandular and stromal components in the murine biochambers, with maintenance of radiographic MD differential. Propagated high MD regions had higher stromal (p = 0.0002) and lower adipose (p = 0.0006) composition, reflecting the findings in the original human breast tissue, although glands appeared small and non-complex in both high and low MD groups. No significant differences were observed in glandular area (p = 0.4) or count (p = 0.4) between high and low MD biochamber tissues. Human mammary glandular and stromal tissues were viably maintained in murine biochambers, with preservation of differential radiographic density and histological features. Our study provides a murine model for future studies into the biomolecular basis of MD as a risk factor for breast cancer.
Adolescent sexual initiation and pregnancy: what more can be learned through further analysis of the demographic and health surveys in the Philippines?
BACKGROUND: Adolescent pregnancy poses risks to the life of a young mother and her baby, and can affect their health, educational and future employment outcomes. In many low- and middle-income countries like the Philippines, the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program is among the most reliable and easily accessible sources of demographic and health data for researchers, development workers, and policymakers. Data on adolescent sexual and reproductive health (SRH) are often limited, but in the absence of other sources, there is room to make the most of the adolescent health data gathered by the DHS. The aim of this study is to explore what more can be learned about adolescent sexual initiation and pregnancy through the further analysis of demographic and health data, using DHS data from the Philippines as an example. METHODS: This study conducted trend analysis of DHS data over three survey rounds (2003, 2008 and 2013) to explore the context of adolescent sexual initiation and pregnancy over time. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression were then used to study associations between adolescent pregnancy experience and selected demographic, socioeconomic and SRH variables using data from the 2013 DHS. RESULTS: This study found that between 2003 and 2013, proportions of Filipino young women experiencing adolescent sexual initiation and adolescent pregnancy have increased. Multivariate logistic regression affirmed the protective effect of education and belonging to higher wealth quintiles on the risk of adolescent pregnancy. Ever use of contraception was positively associated with adolescent pregnancy but is likely indicative of use after a prior pregnancy, and/or other factors relating to improper/inconsistent contraceptive use. CONCLUSIONS: In the absence of reliable, easily accessible data on adolescent SRH, the DHS data can provide important insights about adolescent reproductive transitions such as sexual initiation and first pregnancy. However, there are limited variables in the datasets that could proxy for other important social determinants which prior studies have linked to adolescent SRH outcomes. There remains a need for timely and targeted collection of quantitative and qualitative data on adolescent SRH that can guide programming and policy intended to foster positive health outcomes during this crucial transition period to adulthood.
Benefits of home-based multidisciplinary exercise and supportive care in inoperable non-small cell lung cancer - protocol for a phase II randomised controlled trial
BACKGROUND: Lung cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers, and is a leading cause of cancer mortality world-wide. Due to lack of early specific symptoms, the majority of patients present with advanced, inoperable disease and five-year relative survival across all stages of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is 14%. People with lung cancer also report higher levels of symptom distress than those with other forms of cancer. Several benefits for survival and patient reported outcomes are reported from physical activity and exercise in other tumour groups. We report the protocol for a study investigating the benefits of exercise, behaviour change and symptom self-management for patients with recently diagnosed, inoperable, NSCLC. METHODS: This multi-site, parallel-group, assessor-blinded randomised controlled trial, powered for superiority, aims to assess functional and patient-reported outcomes of a multi-disciplinary, home-based exercise and supportive care program for people commencing treatment. Ninety-two participants are being recruited from three tertiary-care hospitals in Melbourne, Australia. Following baseline testing, participants are randomised using concealed allocation, to receive either: a) 8 weeks of home-based exercise (comprising an individualised endurance and resistance exercise program and behaviour change coaching) and nurse-delivered symptom self-management intervention or b) usual care. The primary outcome is the between-group difference in the change in functional exercise capacity (six-minute walk distance) from baseline to post-program assessment. Secondary outcomes include: objective and self-reported physical activity levels, physical activity self-efficacy, behavioural regulation of motivation to exercise and resilience, muscle strength (quadriceps and grip), health-related quality of life, anxiety and depression and symptom interference. DISCUSSION: There is a lack of evidence regarding the benefit of exercise intervention for people with NSCLC, particularly in those with inoperable disease receiving treatment. This trial will contribute to evidence currently being generated in national and international trials by implementing and evaluating a home-based program including three components not yet combined in previous research, for people with inoperable NSCLC receiving active treatment and involving longer-term follow-up of outcomes. This trial is ongoing and currently recruiting. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial was prospectively registered on the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ( ACTRN12614001268639 : (4/12/14).
Limited clinical benefit for surveillance PET-CT scanning in patients with histologically transformed lymphoma in complete metabolic remission following primary therapy
The optimum follow-up of patients with transformed indolent lymphoma (TrIL) is not well defined. We sought to determine the utility of surveillance positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) in patients with TrIL achieving complete metabolic remission (CMR) after primary therapy. We performed a retrospective analysis of patients with TrIL treated at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre between 2002 and 2012 who achieved CMR after primary therapy who had ≥1 subsequent surveillance PET-CT. Of 55 patients with TrIL, 37 (67 %) received autologous stem cell transplantation as consolidation following chemoimmunotherapy. After a median follow-up of 34 (range 3-101) months, the actuarial 3-year progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 77 % (95 %CI 62-86 %) and 88 % (75-94 %), respectively. Of 180 surveillance PET-CT scans, there were 153 true negatives, 4 false positives, 1 false negative, 7 indeterminate and 15 true positives. Considering indeterminate scans as false positives, the specificity of PET-CT for detecting relapse was 94 %, sensitivity was 83 %, positive predictive value was 63 % and negative predictive value was 98 %. All seven subclinical (PET detected) relapses were of low-grade histology; in contrast, all nine relapses with diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) were symptomatic. In our cohort of patients with TrIL achieving CMR, PET-CT detected subclinical low-grade relapses but all DLBCL relapses were accompanied by clinical symptoms. Thus, surveillance imaging of patients with TrIL achieving CMR is of limited clinical benefit. PET-CT should be reserved for evaluation of clinically suspected relapse.
The Immediate Post-Operative Radiograph is an Unreliable Measure of Coronal Plane Alignment in Total Knee Replacement.
BACKGROUND: Restoration of a neutral mechanical axis is a primary goal of total knee replacement (TKR). A mechanical axis within 3° of neutral has been correlated with improved implant longevity, function, and patient satisfaction. We hypothesize that the immediate post-operative radiograph is an unreliable method of measuring alignment following TKR surgery. METHODS: Seventy-five consecutive patients had supine X-rays performed on day two post-operatively followed by standing long-leg radiographs (LLRs) 6 weeks post-operatively. Correlation was sought between the mechanical axis measured on the LLR and surrogate markers of alignment on the post-operative X-ray including component alignment and an estimation of anatomical alignment using the available length of femoral and tibial shafts. Inter- and intra-observer reliabilities were assessed. RESULTS: The mean mechanical axis on the LLR was 180.5 (SD 3.0, range 175.1-187.1). Mean offset between anatomical axis and mechanical axis was 6.4°. The mean anatomical axis measured on the short-leg X-ray was 174.9 (SD 2.4, range 169.5-181.3). Mechanical axis on the LLR was compared to the anatomical axis measured on the short-leg radiograph (SLR) + 6° with an interclass correlation coefficient of 0.588 (p < 0.001). The level of disagreement between the short- and long-leg X-rays was assessed using the Bland-Altman method and demonstrated clinically important discrepancies of 5 or more degrees in 9% of cases. Inter- and intra-observer agreements were high on all measures (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: The long-leg weight bearing X-ray is an essential tool to accurately assess coronal plane alignment post TKR. While the immediate post-operative X-ray taken supine provides useful information to the surgeon on any immediate complications, our results indicate that it cannot be relied upon to determine correct restoration of the mechanical axis.
Effect of 6 months of hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery in adults with type 1 diabetes: a randomised controlled trial protocol
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2018-06-01)
INTRODUCTION: Manual determination of insulin dosing largely fails to optimise glucose control in type 1 diabetes. Automated insulin delivery via closed-loop systems has improved glucose control in short-term studies. The objective of the present study is to determine the effectiveness of 6 months' closed-loop compared with manually determined insulin dosing on time-in-target glucose range in adults with type 1 diabetes. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This open-label, seven-centre, randomised controlled parallel group clinical trial will compare home-based hybrid closed-loop versus standard diabetes therapy in Australia. Adults aged ≥25 years with type 1 diabetes using intensive insulin therapy (via multiple daily injections or insulin pump, total enrolment target n=120) will undertake a run-in period including diabetes and carbohydrate-counting education, clinical optimisation and baseline data collection. Participants will then be randomised 1:1 either to 26 weeks of MiniMed 670G hybrid closed-loop system therapy (Medtronic, Northridge, CA, USA) or continuation of their current diabetes therapy. The hybrid closed-loop system delivers insulin automatically to address basal requirements and correct to target glucose level, while bolus doses for meals require user initiation and carbohydrate estimation. Analysis will be intention to treat, with the primary outcome time in continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) target range (3.9-10.0 mmol/L) during the final 3 weeks of intervention. Secondary outcomes include: other CGM parameters, HbA1c, severe hypoglycaemia, psychosocial well-being, sleep, cognition, electrocardiography, costs, quality of life, biomarkers of vascular health and hybrid closed-loop system performance. Semistructured interviews will assess the expectations and experiences of a subgroup of hybrid closed-loop users. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study has Human Research Ethics Committee approval. The study will be conducted in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki and Good Clinical Practice. Results will be disseminated at scientific conferences and via peer-reviewed publications. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ACTRN12617000520336; Pre-results.