ResearchPad - cancer-detection-and-diagnosis https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Analytical performance of thrombospondin-1 and cathepsin D immunoassays part of a novel CE-IVD marked test as an aid in the diagnosis of prostate cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15745 The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test suffers from low specificity for the diagnosis of Prostate Cancer (PCa). We originally discovered two cancer-related proteins thrombospondin-1 (THBS1) and cathepsin D (CTSD) using a mass-spectrometry-based proteomics approach. The two serum proteins were shown to improve the diagnosis of high-grade PCa. Thus, we developed quantitative ELISAs for the determination of their concentration in human serum. Here we report their analytical performance in terms of limit of detection, specificity, precision, linearity and interferences, which were determined based on CLSI guidelines. Further, we investigated the influence of pre-analytical factors on concentration measurements. For this, blood from 4–6 donors was collected in different tubes and stored at room temperature for different times prior to centrifugation at different centrifugal forces and temperatures. Stability of THBS1 and CTSD under different storage temperatures was also evaluated. Our results show that the assays are specific, linear and sensitive enough to allow measurement of clinical samples. Precision in terms of repeatability and total within-laboratory coefficient of variation (CV) are 5.5% and 8.1% for THBS1 and 4.3% and 7.2% for CTSD, respectively. Relative laboratory-to-laboratory differences were -6.3% for THBS1 and -3% for CTSD. Both THBS1 and CTSD were stable in serum samples, with 80–120% recoveries of concentrations across donors, sample preparation and storage. In conclusion, the ELISAs as part of the novel commercial in vitro diagnostic test Proclarix are suitable for the use in clinical practice. THBS1 and CTSD can be accurately measured for their intended use independent of the lot and laboratory when conditions consistent with routine practice for PSA sampling and storage are used.

]]>
<![CDATA[The association between cervical cancer screening participation and the deprivation index of the location of the family doctor’s office]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14737 Cervical cancer screening rates are known to be strongly associated with socioeconomic status. Our objective was to assess whether the rate is also associated with an aggregated deprivation marker, defined by the location of family doctors’ offices.MethodsTo access this association, we 1) collected data from the claim database of the French Health Insurance Fund about the registered family doctors and their enlisted female patients eligible for cervical screening; 2) carried out a telephone survey with all registered doctors to establish if they were carrying out Pap-smears in their practices; 3) geotracked all the doctors’ offices in the smallest existing blocks of socioeconomic homogenous populations (IRIS census units) that were assigned a census derived marker of deprivation, the European Deprivation Index (EDI), and a binary variable of urbanization; and 4) we used a multivariable linear mixed model with IRIS as a random effect.ResultsOf 348 eligible doctors, 343 responded to the telephone survey (98.6%) and were included in the analysis, encompassing 88,152 female enlisted patients aged 25–65 years old. In the multivariable analysis (adjusted by the gender of the family doctor, the practice of Pap-smears by the doctor and the urbanization of the office location), the EDI of the doctor’s office was strongly associated with the cervical cancer screening participation rate of eligible patients (p<0.001).ConclusionThe EDI linked to the location of the family doctor’s office seems to be a robust marker to predict female patients’ participation in cervical cancer screening. ]]> <![CDATA[A simple model for glioma grading based on texture analysis applied to conventional brain MRI]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14716 Accuracy of glioma grading is fundamental for the diagnosis, treatment planning and prognosis of patients. The purpose of this work was to develop a low-cost and easy-to-implement classification model which distinguishes low-grade gliomas (LGGs) from high-grade gliomas (HGGs), through texture analysis applied to conventional brain MRI. Different combinations of MRI contrasts (T1Gd and T2) and one segmented glioma region (necrotic and non-enhancing tumor core, NCR/NET) were studied. Texture features obtained from the gray level size zone matrix (GLSZM) were calculated. An under-sampling method was proposed to divide the data into different training subsets and subsequently extract complementary information for the creation of distinct classification models. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of the models were calculated, and the best model explicitly reported. The best model included only three texture features and reached a sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of 94.12%, 88.24% and 91.18%, respectively. According to the features of the model, when the NCR/NET region was studied, HGGs had a more heterogeneous texture than LGGs in the T1Gd images, and LGGs had a more heterogeneous texture than HGGs in the T2 images. These novel results partially contrast with results from the literature. The best model proved to be useful for the classification of gliomas. Complementary results showed that the heterogeneity of gliomas depended on the MRI contrast studied. The chosen model stands out as a simple, low-cost, easy-to-implement, reproducible and highly accurate glioma classifier. Importantly, it should be accessible to populations with reduced economic and scientific resources.

]]>
<![CDATA[Epidemiology, mortality and prevalence of colorectal cancer in ulcerative colitis patients between 2010-2016 in Hungary – a population-based study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14610 The incidence and prevalence of ulcerative colitis (UC) varies geographically. The risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) and possibly some other malignancies is increased among patients with UC. It is still debated if patients with UC are at a greater risk of dying compared with the general population. Our aim was to describe the epidemiology and mortality of the Hungarian UC population from 2010 to 2016 and to analyze the associated malignancies with a special focus on CRC.MethodsThis is an observational, descriptive, epidemiological study based on the National Health Insurance Fund social security databases from 2010 to 2016. All adult patients who had at least two events in outpatient care or at least two medication prescriptions, or at least one inpatient event with UC diagnosis were analyzed. Malignancies and CRC were defined using ICD-10 codes. We also evaluated the survival of patients suffering from UC compared with the general population using a 3 to 1 matched random sample (age, gender, geography) from the full population of Hungary.ResultsWe found the annual prevalence of UC 0.24–0.34%. The incidence in 2015 was 21.7/100 000 inhabitants. Annual mortality rate was 0.019–0.023%. In this subpopulation, CRC was the most common cancer, followed by non-melanotic skin and prostate cancer. 8.5% of the UC incident subpopulation was diagnosed with CRC. 470 (33%) of the CRC patients died during the course of the study (25% of all deaths were due to CRC), the median survival was 9.6 years. UC patients had significantly worse survival than their matched controls (HR = 1.65, 95% CI: 1.56–1.75).SummaryThis is the first population-based study from Eastern Europe to estimate the different malignancies and mortality data amongst Hungarian ulcerative colitis patients. Our results revealed a significantly worse survival of patients suffering from UC compared to the general population. ]]> <![CDATA[Retrospective observational cohort study on innovation in oncology and progress in survival: How far have we gotten in the two decades of treating patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer as a single population?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13816 We assessed the impact of new antineoplastic agents on the overall survival (OS) of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (aNSCLC) patients followed up until 2012. Multivariate regression models were run for OS (outcome) and four proxies for innovation (exposure): Index (InnovInd, for SEER-Research data 1973–2012) and three levels of aggregation of Mean Medication Vintage, i.e. Overall (MMVOverall), using data aggregated at the State Level (MMVState), and using patient-level data (MMVPatient) using data from the US captured in SEER-Medicare 1991–2012. We derived Hazard ratios (HR) from Royston-Parmar models and odds ratios (OR) from a logistic regression on 1-year OS. Including 164,704 patients (median age 72 years, 56.8% stage IV, 61.8% with no comorbidities, 37.8% with adenocarcinoma, 22.9% with squamous-cell, 6.1% were censored). One-year OS improved from 0.22 in 1973 to 0.39 in 2012, in correlation with InnovInd (r = 0.97). Ten new NSCLC drugs were approved and 28 more used off-label. Regression-models results indicate that therapeutic innovation only marginally reduced the risk of dying (HROverall = 0.98 [0.98–0.98], HRMMV-Patient = 0.98 [0.97–0.98], and HRMMV-State = 0.98 [0.98–0.98], and slightly improved 1-year survival (ORMMV-Overall = 1.05 95%CI [1.04–1.05]). These results were validated with data from the Swedish National Health Data registers. Until 2013, aNSCLC patients were treated undifferentiated and the introduction of innovative therapies had statistically significant, albeit modest, effects on survival. Most treatments used off-guidelines highlight the high unmet need; however new advancements in treatment may further improve survival.

]]>
<![CDATA[Low LEF1 expression is a biomarker of early T-cell precursor, an aggressive subtype of T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13868 Early T-cell precursor (ETP) is the only subtype of acute T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) listed in the World Health Organization (WHO) classification of myeloid neoplasms and acute leukemia. Patients with ETP tend to have worse disease outcomes. ETP is defined by a series of immune markers. The diagnosis of ETP status can be vague due to the limitation of the current measurement. In this study, we performed unsupervised clustering and supervised prediction to investigate whether a molecular biomarker can be used to identify the ETP status in order to stratify risk groups. We found that the ETP status can be predicted by the expression level of Lymphoid enhancer binding factor 1 (LEF1) with high accuracy (AUC of ROC = 0.957 and 0.933 in two T-ALL cohorts). The patients with ETP subtype have a lower level of LEF1 comparing to the those without ETP. We suggest that incorporating the biomarker LEF1 with traditional immune-phenotyping will improve the diagnosis of ETP.

]]>
<![CDATA["Clicks, likes, shares and comments" a systematic review of breast cancer screening discourse in social media]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8d8d3073-6769-4a60-aed8-e2beb958c228

Background

Unsatisfactory participation rate at population based organised breast cancer screening is a long standing problem. Social media, with 3.2 billion users in 2019, is potentially an important site of breast cancer related discourse. Determining whether these platforms might be used as channels by screening providers to reach under-screened women may have considerable public health significance.

Objectives

By systematically reviewing original research studies on breast cancer related social media discourse, we had two aims: first, to assess the volume, participants and content of breast screening social media communication and second, to find out whether social media can be used by screening organisers as a channel of patient education.

Methods

We followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). After searching PubMed, ScienceDirect, Web of Science, Springer and Ebsco, 17 studies were found that met our criteria. A systematic narrative framework was used for data synthesis. Owing to the high degree of heterogeneity in social media channels, outcomes and measurement included in this study, a meta-analytic approach was not appropriate.

Results

The volume of breast cancer related social media discourse is considerable. The majority of participants are lay individuals as opposed to healthcare professionals or advocacy groups. The lay misunderstandings surrounding the harms and benefits of mammography is well mirrored in the content of social media discourse. Although there is criticism, breast cancer screening sentiment on the social media ranges from the neutral to the positive. Social media is suitable for offering peer emotional support for potential participants.

Conclusion

Dedicated breast screening websites operated by screening organisers would ensure much needed quality controlled information and also provide space for reliable question and answer forums, the sharing of personal experience and the provision of peer and professional support.

]]>
<![CDATA[Plasma membrane expression of G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER)/G protein-coupled receptor 30 (GPR30) is associated with worse outcome in metachronous contralateral breast cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Naf611639-dea0-4cb3-8951-2157f0424339

Background

G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER), or G protein-coupled receptor 30 (GPR30), is reported to mediate non-genomic estrogen signaling. GPR30 associates with breast cancer (BC) outcome and may contribute to tamoxifen resistance. We investigated the expression and prognostic significance of GPR30 in metachronous contralateral breast cancer (CBC) as a model of tamoxifen resistance.

Methods

Total GPR30 expression (GPR30TOT) and plasma membrane-localized GPR30 expression (GPR30PM) were analyzed by immunohistochemistry in primary (BC1; nBC1 = 559) and contralateral BC (BC2; nBC2 = 595), and in lymph node metastases (LGL; nLGL1 = 213; nLGL2 = 196). Death from BC (BCD), including BC death or death after documented distant metastasis, was used as primary end-point.

Results

GPR30PM in BC2 and LGL2 were associated with increased risk of BCD (HRBC2 = 1.7, p = 0.03; HRLGL2 = 2.0; p = 0.02). In BC1 and BC2, GPR30PM associated with estrogen receptor (ER)-negativity (pBC1<0.0001; pBC2<0.0001) and progesterone receptor (PR)-negativity (pBC1 = 0.0007; pBC2<0.0001). The highest GPR30TOT and GPR30PM were observed in triple-negative BC. GPR30PM associated with high Ki67 staining in BC1 (p<0.0001) and BC2 (p<0.0001). GPR30TOT in BC2 did not associate with tamoxifen treatment for BC1. However, BC2 that were diagnosed during tamoxifen treatment were more likely to express GPR30PM than BC2 diagnosed after treatment completion (p = 0.01). Furthermore, a trend was observed that patients with GPR30PM in an ER-positive BC2 had greater benefit from tamoxifen treatment.

Conclusion

PM-localized GPR30 staining is associated with increased risk of BC death when expressed in BC2 and LGL2. Additionally, PM-localized GPR30 correlates with prognostic markers of worse outcome, such as high Ki67 and a triple-negative subtype. Therefore, PM-localized GPR30 may be an interesting new target for therapeutic exploitation. We found no clear evidence that total GPR30 expression is affected by tamoxifen exposure during development of metachronous CBC, or that GPR30 contributes to tamoxifen resistance.

]]>
<![CDATA[Renal imaging in 199 Dutch patients with Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome: Screening compliance and outcome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8accc2d5eed0c48498ff04

Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome is associated with an increased risk for renal cell carcinoma. Surveillance is recommended, but the optimal imaging method and screening interval remain to be defined. The main aim of our study was to evaluate the outcomes of RCC surveillance to get insight in the safety of annual US in these patients. Surveillance data and medical records of 199 patients with Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome were collected retrospectively using medical files and a questionnaire. These patients were diagnosed in two Dutch hospitals and data were collected until June 2014. A first screening for renal cell carcinoma was performed in 172/199 patients (86%). Follow-up data were available from 121 patients. The mean follow-up period per patient was 4.2 years. Of the patients known to be under surveillance, 83% was screened at least annually and 94% at least every two years. Thirty-eight renal cell carcinomas had occurred in 23 patients. The mean age at diagnosis of the first tumour was 51. Eighteen tumours were visualized by ultrasound. Nine small tumours (7–27 mm) were visible on MRI or CT and not detected using ultrasound. Our data indicate that compliance to renal screening is relatively high. Furthermore, ultrasound might be a sensitive, cheap and widely available alternative for MRI or part of the MRIs for detecting clinically relevant renal tumours in BHD patients,but the limitations should be considered carefully. Data from larger cohorts are necessary to confirm these observations.

]]>
<![CDATA[Tailored NEOadjuvant epirubicin, cyclophosphamide and Nanoparticle Albumin-Bound paclitaxel for breast cancer: The phase II NEONAB trial—Clinical outcomes and molecular determinants of response]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f152dd5eed0c48467ae8b

Background

This study evaluated the feasibility of achieving high response rates in stage II or III breast cancer by tailoring neoadjuvant therapy using clinical and histopathological features and the Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score. Genomic determinants of response and resistance were also explored.

Patients and outcome measures

Fifty-one patients were enrolled. The primary cohort comprised 40 patients: 15 human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2)-amplified; 15 triple-negative (TNBC); and ten hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-non-amplified tumours; with recurrence scores ≥25. Patients were treated with epirubicin and cyclophosphamide, followed by nab-paclitaxel, with the addition of trastuzumab if HER2-amplified. The primary endpoint was pathological complete response (pCR) in the breast. Pre- and post-treatment tumour samples underwent variant burden, gene and gene pathway, mutational signature profile and clonal evolution analyses.

Results

The pCR rates were: overall 55% (n = 22), HER2-amplified 80% (n = 12), triple-negative 46% (n = 7) and HR-positive, HER2-non-amplified 30% (n = 3). Grade 3 or 4 adverse events included febrile neutropenia (8%), neutropenia (18%), sensory neuropathy (5%), deranged transaminases (5%), fatigue (2%), diarrhoea (2%), and pneumothorax (2%). Molecular analyses demonstrated strong similarities between residual disease and matched primary tumour. ATM signalling pathway alterations and the presence of a COSMIC Signature 3 implied the majority of tumours contained some form of homologous repair deficiency. ATM pathway alterations were identified in the subset of TNBC patients who did not achieve pCR; Signature 3 was present in both pCR and non-pCR subgroups. Clonal evolution analyses demonstrated both persistence and emergence of chemoresistant clones.

Conclusions

This treatment regime resulted in a high rate of pCR, demonstrating that tailored neoadjuvant therapy using a genomic recurrence score is feasible and warrants further investigation. Molecular analysis revealed few commonalities between patients. For TNBC future clinical gains will require precision medicine, potentially using DNA sequencing to identify specific targets for individuals with resistant disease.

Trial registration

Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01830244

]]>
<![CDATA[Alcohol and breast cancer risk: Middle-aged women’s logic and recommendations for reducing consumption in Australia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dca15d5eed0c48452a756

Background

We aimed to understand the factors shaping alcohol consumption patterns in middle-aged women (45–64), and to identify participant-driven population- and policy-level strategies that may be used to addresses alcohol consumption and reduce breast cancer risk.

Methods

Semi-structured interviews (n = 35) were conducted with ‘middle-aged’ women conversant in English and living in South Australia with no history of breast cancer diagnosis. Data were deductively coded using a co-developed framework including variables relevant to our study objectives. Women were asked about their current level of awareness of the association between alcohol and breast cancer risk, and their personal recommendations for how to decrease consumption in middle-aged Australian women.

Results

Women discussed their previous efforts to decrease consumption, which we drew on to identify preliminary recommendations for consumption reduction. We identified a low level of awareness of alcohol and breast cancer risk, and confusion related to alcohol as a risk for breast cancer, but not always causing breast cancer. Participants suggested that education and awareness, through various means, may help to reduce consumption.

Conclusions

Participants’ description of strategies used to reduce their own consumption lead us to suggest that campaigns might focus on the more salient and immediate effects of alcohol (e.g. on physical appearance and mental health) rather than longer-term consequences. Critical considerations for messaging include addressing the personal, physical and social pleasures that alcohol provides, and how these may differ across socio-demographics.

]]>
<![CDATA[A natural history model for planning prostate cancer testing: Calibration and validation using Swedish registry data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1520d5eed0c48467ae2e

Recent prostate cancer screening trials have given conflicting results and it is unclear how to reduce prostate cancer mortality while minimising overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Prostate cancer testing is a partially observable process, and planning for testing requires either extrapolation from randomised controlled trials or, more flexibly, modelling of the cancer natural history. An existing US prostate cancer natural history model (Gulati et al, Biostatistics 2010;11:707-719) did not model for differences in survival between Gleason 6 and 7 cancers and predicted too few Gleason 7 cancers for contemporary Sweden. We re-implemented and re-calibrated the US model to Sweden. We extended the model to more finely describe the disease states, their time to biopsy-detectable cancer and prostate cancer survival. We first calibrated the model to the incidence rate ratio observed in the European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) together with age-specific cancer staging observed in the Stockholm PSA (prostate-specific antigen) and Biopsy Register; we then calibrated age-specific survival by disease states under contemporary testing and treatment using the Swedish National Prostate Cancer Register. After calibration, we were able to closely match observed prostate cancer incidence trends in Sweden. Assuming that patients detected at an earlier stage by screening receive a commensurate survival improvement, we find that the calibrated model replicates the observed mortality reduction in a simulation of ERSPC. Using the resulting model, we predicted incidence and mortality following the introduction of regular testing. Compared with a model of the current testing pattern, organised 8 yearly testing for men aged 55–69 years was predicted to reduce prostate cancer incidence by 14% and increase prostate cancer mortality by 2%. The model is open source and suitable for planning for effective prostate cancer screening into the future.

]]>
<![CDATA[Preliminary results of identification and quantification of paclitaxel and its metabolites in human meconium from newborns with gestational chemotherapeutic exposure]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe5dd5eed0c484e5b96b

Objective

Cancer diagnosis during pregnancy occurs in 1 out of 1000 pregnancies with common malignancies including breast and hematological cancers. Fetal exposure to currently utilized agents is poorly described. We directly assessed fetal exposure by screening meconium from 23 newborns whose mothers had undergone treatment for cancer during pregnancy.

Study design

Meconium was collected from newborns whose mothers were diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy and underwent chemotherapy in the second or third trimester as part of the Cancer and Pregnancy Registry. We conducted screening of 23 meconium samples for chemotherapeutics and known metabolites of chemotherapeutics by liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS). Putative identification of paclitaxel and/or its metabolites was made in 8 screened samples. In positively screened samples, we quantified paclitaxel, 3’-p-hydroxypaclitaxel, and 6α-hydroxypaclitaxel by stable isotope dilution-LC-HRMS.

Results

Mean (standard deviation) levels of paclitaxel in positively screened samples were 399.9 (248.6) pg/mg in meconium samples from newborn born to mothers that underwent chemotherapy during pregnancy. 3’-p-hydroxypaclitaxel and 6α-hydroxypaclitaxel mean levels were 105.2 (54.6) and 113.4 (48.9) pg/mg meconium, respectively.

Conclusion

Intact paclitaxel, 3’-p-hydroxypaclitaxel, and 6α-hydroxypaclitaxel were detected in meconium, providing unambiguous confirmation of human fetal exposure. Variability in meconium levels between individuals may indicate a potential for reducing fetal exposure based on timing, dosing, and individual characteristics. This preliminary study may provide an approach for examining the effects of cancer diagnosis during pregnancy on other outcomes by providing a measure of direct fetal exposure.

]]>
<![CDATA[Reproductive characteristics modify the association between global DNA methylation and breast cancer risk in a population-based sample of women]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1484d5eed0c48467a21a

DNA methylation has been implicated in breast cancer aetiology, but little is known about whether reproductive history and DNA methylation interact to influence carcinogenesis. This study examined modification of the association between global DNA methylation and breast cancer risk by reproductive characteristics. A population-based case-control study assessed reproductive history in an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Global DNA methylation was measured from white blood cell DNA using luminometric methylation assay (LUMA) and pyrosequencing assay (long interspersed elements-1 (LINE-1). We estimated adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) among 1 070 breast cancer cases and 1 110 population-based controls. Effect modification was assessed on additive and multiplicative scales. LUMA methylation was associated with elevated breast cancer risk across all strata (comparing the highest to the lowest quartile), but estimates were higher among women with age at menarche ≤12 years (OR = 2.87, 95%CI = 1.96–4.21) compared to >12 years (OR = 1.66, 95%CI = 1.20–2.29). We observed a 2-fold increase in the LUMA methylation-breast cancer association among women with age at first birth >23 years (OR = 2.62, 95%CI = 1.90–3.62) versus ≤23 years (OR = 1.32, 95% CI = 0.84–2.05). No modification was evident for parity or lactation. Age at menarche and age at first birth may be modifiers of the association between global DNA methylation and breast cancer risk.

]]>
<![CDATA[Perceptions of cervical cancer prevention on Twitter uncovered by different sampling strategies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b269dd5eed0c484289d78

Introduction

Cervical cancer prevention is possible through use of the HPV vaccine and Pap tests, yet the vaccine remains underutilized.

Methods

We obtained publicly-available Twitter data from 2014 using three sampling strategies (top-ranked, simple random sample, and topic model) based on key words related to cervical cancer prevention. We conducted a content analysis of 100 tweets from each of the three samples and examined the extent to which the narratives and frequency of themes differed across samples.

Results

Advocacy-related tweets constituted the most prevalent theme to emerge across all three sample types, and were most frequently found in the top-ranked sample. A random sample detected the same themes as topic modeling, but the relative frequency of themes identified from topic modeling fell in-between top-ranked and random samples.

Discussion

Variations in themes uncovered by different sampling methods suggest it is useful to qualitatively assess the relative frequency of themes to better understand the breadth and depth of social media conversations about health.

Conclusions

Future studies using social media data should consider sampling methods to uncover a wider breadth of conversations about health on social media.

]]>
<![CDATA[Impact of early headache neuroimaging on time to malignant brain tumor diagnosis: A retrospective cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df332d5eed0c484580ea5

Background

Neuroimaging for headaches is both common and costly. While the costs are well quantified, little is known about the benefit in terms of diagnosing pathology. Our objective was to determine the role of early neuroimaging in the identification of malignant brain tumors in individuals presenting to healthcare providers with headaches.

Methods

This was a retrospective cohort study using administrative claims data (2001–2014) from a US insurer. Individuals were included if they had an outpatient visit for headaches and excluded for prior headache visits, other neurologic conditions, neuroimaging within the previous year, and cancer. The exposure was early neuroimaging, defined as neuroimaging within 30 days of the first headache visit. A propensity score-matched group that did not undergo early neuroimaging was then created. The primary outcome was frequency of malignant brain tumor diagnoses and median time to diagnosis within the first year after the incident headache visit. The secondary outcome was frequency of incidental findings.

Results

22.2% of 180,623 individuals had early neuroimaging. In the following year, malignant brain tumors were found in 0.28% (0.23–0.34%) of the early neuroimaging group and 0.04% (0.02–0.06%) of the referent group (P<0.001). Median time to diagnosis in the early neuroimaging group was 8 (3–19) days versus 72 (39–189) days for the referent group (P<0.001). Likely incidental findings were discovered in 3.17% (3.00–3.34%) of the early neuroimaging group and 0.66% (0.58–0.74%) of the referent group (P<0.001).

Conclusions

Malignant brain tumors in individuals presenting with an incident headache diagnosis are rare and early neuroimaging leads to a small reduction in the time to diagnosis.

]]>
<![CDATA[The Apparent Diffusion Coefficient (ADC) is a useful biomarker in predicting metastatic colon cancer using the ADC-value of the primary tumor]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633946d5eed0c484ae63d7

Purpose

To investigate the role of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) as a potential imaging biomarker to predict metastasis (lymph node metastasis and distant metastasis) in colon cancer based on the ADC-value of the primary tumor.

Methods

Thirty patients (21M, 9F) were included retrospectively. All patients received a 1.5T MRI of the colon including T2 and DWI sequences. ADC maps were calculated for each patient. An expert reader manually delineated all colon tumors to measure mean ADC and histogram metrics (mean, min, max, median, standard deviation (SD), skewness, kurtosis, 5th-95th percentiles) were calculated. Advanced colon cancer was defined as lymph node mestastasis (N+) or distant metastasis (M+). The student Mann Whitney U-test was used to assess the differences between the ADC means of early and advanced colon cancer. To compare the accuracy of lymph node metastasis (N+) prediction based on morpholigical criteria versus ADC-value of the primary tumor, two blinded readers, determined the lymph node metastasis (N0 vs N+) based on morphological criteria. The sensitivity and specificity in predicting lymph node metastasis was calculated for both readers and for the ADC-value of the primary tumor, with histopathology results as the gold standard.

Results

There was a significant difference between the mean ADC-value of advanced versus early tumors (p = 0.002). The optimal cut off value was 1179 * 10−3 mm2/s with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.83 and a sensitivity and specificity of 81% and 86% respectively to predict advanced tumors. Histogram analyses did not add any significant additional value.

The sensitivity and specificity for the prediction of lymph node metastasis based on morphological criteria were 40% and 63% for reader 1 and 30% and 88% for reader 2 respectively. The primary tumor ADC-value using 1.179 * 10−3 mm2/s as threshold had a 100% sensitivity and specificity in predicting lymph node metastasis.

Conclusion

The ADC-value of the primary tumor has the potential to predict advanced colon cancer, defined as lymph node metastasis or distant metastasis, with lower ADC values significantly associated with advanced tumors. Furthermore the ADC-value of the primary tumor increases the prediction accuracy of lymph node metastasis compared with morphological criteria.

]]>
<![CDATA[Aberrant FAM64A mRNA expression is an independent predictor of poor survival in pancreatic cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59ff04d5eed0c484135981

FAM64A, a marker of cell proliferation, has been investigated as a potential biomarker in several cancers. In the present study, we examined the value of FAM64A expression in the diagnosis and prognosis of pancreatic cancer through bioinformatics analysis of data obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. The diagnostic value of FAM64A expression in pancreatic cancer tissue was deteremined through receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, and based on the obtained cut-off value, patients were divided into two groups (high FAM64A expression and low FAM64A expression). Chi-square and Fisher exact tests were applied to identify associations between FAM64A expression and clinical features. Moreover, the effect of FAM64A expression in the survival of pancreatic cancer patients was observed by Kaplan-Meier and Cox analyses. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) was performed using the TCGA dataset. Our results showed that high FAM64A expression in pancreatic cancer was associated with survival status, overall survival (OS), and recurrence. The area under the ROC curve was 0.736, which indicated modest diagnostic value. Patients with higher FAM64A expression had significantly shorter OS and recurrence-free survival (RFS) times. Multivariate survival analysis demonstrated that high FAM64A expression was an independent risk factor for OS and RFS. GSEA identified mitotic spindles, myc targets, MTORC1 signaling, G2M checkpoint, E2F targets, DNA repair, glycolysis and unfolded protein response as differentially enriched with the high FAM64A expression phenotype. In conclusion, high FAM64A mRNA expression is an independent risk factor for poor prognosis in pancreatic cancer.

]]>
<![CDATA[Screening-based approach to discover effective platinum-based chemotherapies for cancers with poor prognosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59ff02d5eed0c4841358d8

Drug combinations are extensively used to treat cancer and are often selected according to complementary mechanisms. Here, we describe a cell-based high-throughput screening assay for identification of synergistic combinations between broadly applied platinum-based chemotherapeutics and drugs from a library composed of 1280 chemically and pharmacologically diverse (mostly FDA approved) compounds. The assay was performed on chemoresistant cell lines derived from lung (A549) and pancreatic (PANC-1) carcinoma, where platinum-based combination regimens are currently applied though with limited success. The synergistic combinations identified during the screening were validated by synergy quantification using the combination index method and via high content fluorescent microscopy analysis. New promising synergistic combinations discovered using this approach include compounds currently not used as anticancer drugs, such as cisplatin or carboplatin with hycanthone and cisplatin with spironolactone in pancreatic carcinoma, and carboplatin and deferoxamine in non-small cell lung cancer. Strong synergy between cisplatin or carboplatin and topotecan in PANC-1 cells, compared to A549 cells, suggests that this combination, currently used in lung cancer treatment regimens, could be applied to pancreatic carcinoma as well. Several drugs used to treat diseases other than cancer, including pyrvinium pamoate, auranofin, terfenadine and haloprogin, showed strong cytotoxicity on their own and synergistic interactions with platinum drugs. This study demonstrates that non-obvious drug combinations that would not be selected based on complementary mechanisms can be identified via high-throughput screening.

]]>
<![CDATA[Characterisation and validation of Mel38; A multi-tissue microRNA signature of cutaneous melanoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633964d5eed0c484ae65d3

Background

Histopathologic examination of melanocytic neoplasms can be challenging and subjective, with no specific circulating or tissue-based biomarkers currently available. Recently, a circulating 38-microRNA profile of melanoma (Mel38) was described. In this study, Mel38 expression and its impact on downstream mRNA regulation in solid tissue is examined.

Methods

Mel38 was applied to archival, clinically-annotated, solid-tissue genomic datasets representing benign naevi, primary and metastatic melanoma. Statistical analysis of the signature in relation to disease status, patient outcome and molecular pathways was performed.

Results

Mel38 is able to stratify genomic data from solid tissue biopsies on the basis of disease status and differences in melanoma-specific survival. Experimentally-verified messenger-RNA targets of Mel38 also exhibit prognostic expression patterns and represent key molecular pathways and events in melanoma development and progression.

Conclusion

The Mel38 microRNA profile may have diagnostic and prognostic utility in solid tissue as well as being a robust circulating biomarker of melanoma.

]]>