ResearchPad - dose-prediction-methods https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Survival of glioblastoma treated with a moderately escalated radiation dose—Results of a retrospective analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14700 Glioblastoma (GBM) has the highest fatality rate among primary malignant brain tumors and typically tends to recur locally just adjacent to the original tumor site following surgical resection and adjuvant radiotherapy. We conducted a study to evaluate the survival outcomes between a standard dose (≤ 60 Gy) and moderate radiation dose escalation (>60 Gy), and to identify prognostic factors for GBM. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of primary GBM patients diagnosed between 2005 and 2016 in two referral hospitals in Taiwan. They were identified from the cancer registry database and followed up from the date of diagnosis to October 2018. The progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were compared between the two dose groups, and independent factors for survival were analyzed through Cox proportional hazard model. We also affirmed the results using Cox regression with least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) approach. From our cancer registry database, 142 GBM patients were identified, and 84 of them fit the inclusion criteria. Of the 84 patients, 52 (62%) were males. The radiation dose ranged from 50.0 Gy to 66.6 Gy, but their treatment volumes were similar to the others. Fifteen (18%) patients received an escalated dose boost >60.0 Gy. The escalated group had a longer median PFS (15.4 vs. 7.9 months, p = 0.01 for log-rank test), and a longer median OS was also longer in the escalation group (33.8 vs. 12.5 months, p <0.001) than the reference group. Following a multivariate analysis, the escalated dose was identified as a significant predictor for good prognosis (PFS: hazard ratio [HR] = 0.48, 95% confidence interval [95%CI]: 0.23–0.98; OS: HR = 0.40, 95%CI: 0.21–0.78). Using the LASSO approach, we found age > 70 (HR = 1.55), diagnosis after 2010 (HR = 1.42), and a larger radiation volume (≥ 250ml; HR = 0.81) were predictors of PFS. The escalated dose (HR = 0.47) and a larger radiation volume (HR = 0.76) were identified as predictors for better OS. Following detailed statistical analysis, a moderate radiation dose escalation (> 60 Gy) was found as an independent factor affecting OS in GBM patients. In conclusion, a moderate radiation dose escalation (> 60 Gy) was an independent predictor for longer OS in GBM patients. However, prospective studies including more patients with more information, such as molecular markers and completeness of resection, are needed to confirm our findings.

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<![CDATA[Clinical role, optimal timing and frequency of serum infliximab and anti-infliximab antibody level measurements in patients with inflammatory bowel disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc1f4

Background

Serum infliximab (IFX) and antibody-to-infliximab (ATI) levels are objective parameters, that may have a great role in the therapeutic decisions during maintenance biological therapy.

Research design and methods

48 inflammatory bowel disease patients receiving maintenance IFX therapy were prospectively enrolled and divided into adequate (complete remission N = 20) and inadequate responder (partial response, loss of response, dose escalation; N = 28) groups. Blood samples were collected just before (trough level, TL) and two (W2aTL) and six weeks (W6aTL) after the administration of IFX.

Results

Single measurement of ATI titer was insufficient for predicting therapeutic response due to transient expression of ATI, however, using the three points’ measurements, significant difference has been detected between the adequate and inadequate responder group (5.0% vs 35.7%; p = 0.016). The mean value of TL was significantly higher in the adequate responder group (3.11±1.64 vs.1.19±1.11; p<0.001) without further difference on the second and sixth week. Sensitivity and specificity for predicting the therapeutic response were 85.0% and 71.4% based on the cut-off value of TL 2.0 μg/ml.

Conclusion

Simultaneous measurement of serum IFX level prior to administration of regular IFX infusion and ATI titers significantly increase the diagnostic accuracy for the therapeutic decision in patients uncertainly responding to the therapy. The measurement of W2aTL and W6aTL levels did not result in further improvement in the prediction of therapeutic response.

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<![CDATA[Highly efficient and sensitive patient-specific quality assurance for spot-scanned proton therapy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1505d5eed0c48467acb1

The purpose of this work was to develop an end-to-end patient-specific quality assurance (QA) technique for spot-scanned proton therapy that is more sensitive and efficient than traditional approaches. The patient-specific methodology relies on independently verifying the accuracy of the delivered proton fluence and the dose calculation in the heterogeneous patient volume. A Monte Carlo dose calculation engine, which was developed in-house, recalculates a planned dose distribution on the patient CT data set to verify the dose distribution represented by the treatment planning system. The plan is then delivered in a pre-treatment setting and logs of spot position and dose monitors, which are integrated into the treatment nozzle, are recorded. A computational routine compares the delivery log to the DICOM spot map used by the Monte Carlo calculation to ensure that the delivered parameters at the machine match the calculated plan. Measurements of dose planes using independent detector arrays, which historically are the standard approach to patient-specific QA, are not performed for every patient. The nozzle-integrated detectors are rigorously validated using independent detectors in regular QA intervals. The measured data are compared to the expected delivery patterns. The dose monitor reading deviations are reported in a histogram, while the spot position discrepancies are plotted vs. spot number to facilitate independent analysis of both random and systematic deviations. Action thresholds are linked to accuracy of the commissioned delivery system. Even when plan delivery is acceptable, the Monte Carlo second check system has identified dose calculation issues which would not have been illuminated using traditional, phantom-based measurement techniques. The efficiency and sensitivity of our patient-specific QA program has been improved by implementing a procedure which independently verifies patient dose calculation accuracy and plan delivery fidelity. Such an approach to QA requires holistic integration and maintenance of patient-specific and patient-independent QA.

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<![CDATA[Prediction of ultra-high-order antibiotic combinations based on pairwise interactions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52b4d5eed0c4842bcea4

Drug combinations are a promising approach to achieve high efficacy at low doses and to overcome resistance. Drug combinations are especially useful when drugs cannot achieve effectiveness at tolerable doses, as occurs in cancer and tuberculosis (TB). However, discovery of effective drug combinations faces the challenge of combinatorial explosion, in which the number of possible combinations increases exponentially with the number of drugs and doses. A recent advance, called the dose model, uses a mathematical formula to overcome combinatorial explosion by reducing the problem to a feasible quadratic one: using data on drug pairs at a few doses, the dose model accurately predicts the effect of combinations of three and four drugs at all doses. The dose model has not yet been tested on higher-order combinations beyond four drugs. To address this, we measured the effect of combinations of up to ten antibiotics on E. coli growth, and of up to five tuberculosis (TB) drugs on the growth of M. tuberculosis. We find that the dose model accurately predicts the effect of these higher-order combinations, including cases of strong synergy and antagonism. This study supports the view that the interactions between drug pairs carries key information that largely determines higher-order interactions. Therefore, systematic study of pairwise drug interactions is a compelling strategy to prioritize drug regimens in high-dimensional spaces.

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<![CDATA[Predictive genomic markers of response to VEGF targeted therapy in metastatic renal cell carcinoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c644872d5eed0c484c2e6fb

Background

First-line treatment for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) is rapidly changing. It currently includes VEGF targeted therapies (TT), multi-target tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), mTOR inhibitors, and immunotherapy. To optimize outcomes for individual patients, genomic markers of response to therapy are needed. Here, we aim to identify tumor-based genomic markers of response to VEGF TT to optimize treatment selection.

Methods

From an institutional database, primary tumor tissue was obtained from 79 patients with clear cell mRCC, and targeted sequencing was performed. Clinical outcomes were obtained retrospectively. Progression-free survival (PFS) on first-line VEGF TT was correlated to genomic alterations (GAs) using Kaplan-Meier methodology and Cox proportional hazard models. A composite model of significant GAs predicting PFS in the first-line setting was developed.

Results

Absence of VHL mutation was associated with inferior PFS on first-line VEGF TT. A trend for inferior PFS was observed with GAs in TP53 and FLT1 C/C variant. A composite model of these 3 GAs was associated with inferior PFS in a dose-dependent manner.

Conclusion

In mRCC, a composite model of TP53 mutation, wild type VHL, and FLT1 C/C variant strongly predicted PFS on first-line VEGF TT in a dose-dependent manner. These findings require external validation.

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<![CDATA[Determination of absorption dose in chemical mutagenesis in plants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c46658ad5eed0c484519ad7

Chemical mutagenesis is a useful tool for inducing mutations in plants. Seeds are often used as the material for chemical mutagenesis. The biological effect of a chemical mutagen on seeds is determined by absorption dose (the product of mutagen concentration and acting time, which starts after the mutagen is absorbed by the seeds). In practice, however, the concept of exposure dose (the product of mutagen concentration and treating time) is usually used instead because the time for absorbing mutagen is unknown. In this study, we conducted an experiment using ethyl methane sulphonate (EMS) to treat cauliflower seeds, in which five EMS concentrations (0%, 0.5%, 1.0%, 1.5% and 2.0%), three treating time lengths (4 h, 6 h and 8 h) and two pretreatments (non-presoaking and presoaking of seeds for 2 h) were set. We obtained a well-fitted nonlinear regression model for the relationship between seedling survival rate and the EMS treatment, and its marginal models for the two pretreatments. Based on the models, we determined the EMS absorption doses under the two different pretreatments and identified their 50% lethality dose (LD50). We found that presoaking could delay EMS absorption and therefore reduce the injury caused by EMS within a given treating time, but could hardly change the biological effect of EMS after it is absorbed. The conclusions about absorption dose and presoaking effect obtained in this study might be generally applicable to plant chemical mutagenesis in principle.

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<![CDATA[Competing risks of major bleeding and thrombotic events with prasugrel-based dual antiplatelet therapy after stent implantation - An observational analysis from BASKET-PROVE II]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c6dd5eed0c484bd2457

Background

Dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) prevents thrombotic events after coronary stent implantation but may induce bleedings, specifically in elderly patients. However, a competitive risk analysis is lacking.

Objectives

To assess the determinants of major bleeding and the balance between the competing risks of major bleeding and thrombotic events during prasugrel-based DAPT after stent implantation.

Methods

Overall, 2,291 patients randomized to drug-eluting or bare metal stents and treated with prasugrel 10mg/day for 1 year were followed over 2 years for major bleeding (BARC 3/5) and thrombotic events (cardiac death, myocardial infarction, definitive/probable stent thrombosis). Prasugrel dose was reduced to 5mg in patients >75 years and/or <60kg. Predictors of major bleeding and competing risks of major bleeding and thrombotic events were assessed.

Results

Two-year rates of major bleeding and thrombotic events were 2.9% and 9.0%, respectively. The only independent predictor of major bleeding was age (hazard ratio per year increase 1.05 [1.02,1.07], p<0.001). The relationship between major bleeding and age was non-linear, with lowest hazard ratios at 57 years and an exponential increase only above 65 years. In contrast, the relationship between thrombotic events and age was linear and continuously increasing with older age. While the competing risk of thrombotic events was higher than that of major bleeding in younger patients, the two risks were similar in older patients. After discontinuation of prasugrel, bleeding events leveled off in all patients, while thrombotic events continued to increase.

Conclusions

In prasugrel-based DAPT, age is the strongest risk factor for major bleeding, increasing exponentially >65 years. In younger patients, thrombotic events represent a higher risk than bleeding, while thrombotic and bleeding risks were similar in older patients. Important clinical implications relate to prasugrel dose in the elderly, duration of DAPT and the competing risk balance necessitating individualized treatment decisions.

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<![CDATA[The influence of concomitant antiepileptic drugs on lamotrigine serum concentrations in Northwest Chinese Han population with epilepsy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478ca5d5eed0c484bd3a7f

Objective

The aims of this study were to identify the influencing factors such as gender, age, dose and combinations of other antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), especially in triple combinations on the pharmacokinetic of Lamotrigine (LTG) in epilepsy patients of Northwest Chinese Han population.

Methods

Data of the LTG concentration and clinical information were analyzed retrospectively from a therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) database at the Clinical Pharmacy Laboratory of Xi’an Central Hospital between January 1, 2016 and January 1, 2018. The independent-sample t-test, one-way ANOVA analysis and Bonferroni and Tamhane T3 post-hoc test, the stepwise multivariate regression analysis were adopted by IBM SPSS, version 22.0.

Results

226 serum samples met the inclusion criteria and were evaluated. The mean LTG serum concentration was 5.48±3.83 μg/mL. There were no gender differences (P = 0.64), and there were no significant effects by age on LTG serum concentration after age stratification (3–14 years old, 14-45 years old, 45–59 years old) (P = 0.05). Multiple regression analysis showed that the daily LTG dose and co-administration of other AEDs significantly affected LTG serum concentrations. Combination with enzyme-inducer AEDs, the mean steady-state LTG concentration could be decreased by 30.73% compared with LTG monotherapy. Among enzyme-inducer AEDs, particularly strong inducer Carbamazepine (CBZ) could decrease the mean LTG concentration by 53.65%, but weak inducer AEDs such as Oxcarbazepine (OXC) and Topiramate (TPM) had no effect, Valproic acid (VPA) could increase the mean LTG concentration by 93.95%, and the inducer only partially compensated for the inhibitory effect of VPA in triple combination.

Conclusions

There were no significant gender and age effects, but the LTG daily dose and co-administration of other AEDs significantly affected LTG serum concentration. Combination with enzyme-inducer AEDs, especially CBZ could significantly decrease LTG serum concentrations, VPA could significantly increase LTG serum concentrations, and the inducer only partially compensated for the inhibitory effect of VPA in triple combination. In the clinical setting, these findings can help to estimate LTG concentrations and adjust dosage and evaluate adverse drug reactions.

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<![CDATA[Regional variations in serotype distribution and vaccination status in children under six years of age with invasive pneumococcal disease in Germany]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa564d5eed0c484ca3c8d

Overview

The protective effect of infant pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) recommendation can be seen in Germany as a whole and in smaller regional groups. Comparisons between population-normalized geographic regions of Germany show different serotype distributions after program implementation, particularly in non-vaccine serotypes. The prior distinct differences in serotype distribution in children between the former East and former West German federal states have vanished. Children under six remain a vulnerable group, but the occurrence of vaccine-type (VT) invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in children correctly vaccinated (using a three-dose primary series plus one booster dose) with PCV13 was low (9 out of 374 cases, 2.4%). However, only 18.4% of children in Germany with IPD were correctly vaccinated with PCV13 according to the recommended schedule. Continued surveillance and better schedule adherence are essential to definitively establish the most effective PCV administration schedule.

Vaccination effects

For all PCV products used in Germany (PCV7, PCV10, and PCV13), vaccination status was the most common statistically significant predictor of infection with a particular serotype: Unvaccinated children old enough to have received at least one dose of vaccine in the PCV7 group had significantly higher odds (OR: 6.84, 95%CI: 2.66–22.06, adjusted for per capita income and residence in the northeastern federal states) of contracting VT IPD. In the PCV10 group, VT IPD had an OR of 4.52 (95% CI: 1.60–15.62, adjusted for year of infection, median household size, and residence in the southern federal states) in unvaccinated children, and in the PCV13 group, unvaccinated children continued to have higher odds (OR: 6.21, 95%CI: 3.45–11.36, adjusted for year of infection, age of child, per capita income, residence in the southern federal states, and percentage of children using public daycare) of getting vaccine-type IPD. Being unvaccinated was the most frequent significant indicator for infection with vaccine-type serotypes for each analysis group, while geographic groupings showed more limited potential to predict serotype of infection in early childhood IPD in Germany.

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<![CDATA[Exercise-induced hypoalgesia: A meta-analysis of exercise dosing for the treatment of chronic pain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5fbd5eed0c484caac27

Objective

Increasing evidence purports exercise as a first-line therapeutic for the treatment of nearly all forms of chronic pain. However, knowledge of efficacious dosing respective to treatment modality and pain condition is virtually absent in the literature. The purpose of this analysis was to calculate the extent to which exercise treatment shows dose-dependent effects similar to what is seen with pharmacological treatments.

Methods

A recently published comprehensive review of exercise and physical activity for chronic pain in adults was identified in May 2017. This report reviewed different physical activity and exercise interventions and their effectiveness in reducing pain severity and found overall modest effects of exercise in the treatment of pain. We analyzed this existing data set, focusing specifically on the dose of exercise intervention in these studies. We re-analyzed data from 75 studies looking at benefits of time of exercising per week, frequency of exercise per week, duration of intervention (in weeks), and estimated intensity of exercise.

Results

Analysis revealed a significant positive correlation with exercise duration and analgesic effect on neck pain. Multiple linear regression modeling of these data predicted that increasing the frequency of exercise sessions per week is most likely to have a positive effect on chronic pain patients.

Discussion

Modest effects were observed with one significant correlation between duration and pain effect for neck pain. Overall, these results provide insufficient evidence to conclude the presence of a strong dose effect of exercise in pain, but our modeling data provide tes predictions that can be used to design future studies to explicitly test the question of dose in specific patient populations.

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<![CDATA[Alteration of urinary neutrophil gelatinase–associated lipocalin as a predictor of tacrolimus-induced chronic renal allograft fibrosis in tacrolimus dose adjustments following kidney transplantation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c269729d5eed0c48470ecbb

Despite tacrolimus (TAC) drug-level monitoring, TAC-induced chronic renal allograft fibrosis remains an important problem. This study investigated the potential of urinary neutrophil gelatinase–associated lipocalin (uNGAL) as a chronic renal allograft fibrosis biomarker in a two-phase study (proof of concept and cohort). In the proof of concept stage of the study, increased TAC-doses at 3 days after dose adjustment compared with the baseline were associated with elevated uNGAL (+ΔuNGAL) and urinary interleukin 18 (IL-18), but normal serum creatinine (SCr), despite the therapeutic trough levels of TAC. In the cohort study, the patients with elevated uNGAL post-recruitment in comparison with the baseline (+ΔuNGAL) was associated with the more severe renal allograft fibrosis from renal pathology of the protocol biopsy at 12 months post kidney transplantation (post-KT). A cut-off value of uNGAL ≥ 125.2 ng/mL during a 3, 6, 9 and 12 months post-KT was associated with a higher fibrosis score, with an area under the receiver operating characteristics curve of 0.80 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.72 to 0.88, p < 0.0001) and a hazard ratio (HR) of 2.54 (95% CI 1.45 to 9.33; p < 0.001). We conclude that uNGAL is a sensitive biomarker of TAC induced subtle renal injury and TAC-induced chronic renal allograft fibrosis. We propose that uNGAL measurements, in addition to trough levels of TAC, should be used to predict TAC-induced chronic renal allograft fibrosis in the recipients of KT.

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<![CDATA[Adaptive plasticity in the gametocyte conversion rate of malaria parasites]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c256c7dd5eed0c484474e45

Sexually reproducing parasites, such as malaria parasites, experience a trade-off between the allocation of resources to asexual replication and the production of sexual forms. Allocation by malaria parasites to sexual forms (the conversion rate) is variable but the evolutionary drivers of this plasticity are poorly understood. We use evolutionary theory for life histories to combine a mathematical model and experiments to reveal that parasites adjust conversion rate according to the dynamics of asexual densities in the blood of the host. Our model predicts the direction of change in conversion rates that returns the greatest fitness after perturbation of asexual densities by different doses of antimalarial drugs. The loss of a high proportion of asexuals is predicted to elicit increased conversion (terminal investment), while smaller losses are managed by reducing conversion (reproductive restraint) to facilitate within-host survival and future transmission. This non-linear pattern of allocation is consistent with adaptive reproductive strategies observed in multicellular organisms. We then empirically estimate conversion rates of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi in response to the killing of asexual stages by different doses of antimalarial drugs and forecast the short-term fitness consequences of these responses. Our data reveal the predicted non-linear pattern, and this is further supported by analyses of previous experiments that perturb asexual stage densities using drugs or within-host competition, across multiple parasite genotypes. Whilst conversion rates, across all datasets, are most strongly influenced by changes in asexual density, parasites also modulate conversion according to the availability of red blood cell resources. In summary, increasing conversion maximises short-term transmission and reducing conversion facilitates in-host survival and thus, future transmission. Understanding patterns of parasite allocation to reproduction matters because within-host replication is responsible for disease symptoms and between-host transmission determines disease spread.

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<![CDATA[A statistical framework for radiation dose estimation with uncertainty quantification from the γ-H2AX assay]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c23ffdcd5eed0c48409419e

Over the last decade, the γ–H2AX focus assay, which exploits the phosphorylation of the H2AX histone following DNA double–strand–breaks, has made considerable progress towards acceptance as a reliable biomarker for exposure to ionizing radiation. While the existing literature has convincingly demonstrated a dose–response effect, and also presented approaches to dose estimation based on appropriately defined calibration curves, a more widespread practical use is still hampered by a certain lack of discussion and agreement on the specific dose–response modelling and uncertainty quantification strategies, as well as by the unavailability of implementations. This manuscript intends to fill these gaps, by stating explicitly the statistical models and techniques required for calibration curve estimation and subsequent dose estimation. Accompanying this article, a web applet has been produced which implements the discussed methods.

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<![CDATA[Relationships between intensity, duration, cumulative dose, and timing of smoking with age at menopause: A pooled analysis of individual data from 17 observational studies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c06f032d5eed0c484c6d377

Background

Cigarette smoking is associated with earlier menopause, but the impact of being a former smoker and any dose-response relationships on the degree of smoking and age at menopause have been less clear. If the toxic impact of cigarette smoking on ovarian function is irreversible, we hypothesized that even former smokers might experience earlier menopause, and variations in intensity, duration, cumulative dose, and age at start/quit of smoking might have varying impacts on the risk of experiencing earlier menopause.

Methods and findings

A total of 207,231 and 27,580 postmenopausal women were included in the cross-sectional and prospective analyses, respectively. They were from 17 studies in 7 countries (Australia, Denmark, France, Japan, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States) that contributed data to the International collaboration for a Life course Approach to reproductive health and Chronic disease Events (InterLACE). Information on smoking status, cigarettes smoked per day (intensity), smoking duration, pack-years (cumulative dose), age started, and years since quitting smoking was collected at baseline. We used multinomial logistic regression models to estimate multivariable relative risk ratios (RRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations between each smoking measure and categorised age at menopause (<40 (premature), 40–44 (early), 45–49, 50–51 (reference), and ≥52 years). The association with current and former smokers was analysed separately. Sensitivity analyses and two-step meta-analyses were also conducted to test the results. The Bayesian information criterion (BIC) was used to compare the fit of the models of smoking measures.

Overall, 1.9% and 7.3% of women experienced premature and early menopause, respectively. Compared with never smokers, current smokers had around twice the risk of experiencing premature (RRR 2.05; 95% CI 1.73–2.44) (p < 0.001) and early menopause (1.80; 1.66–1.95) (p < 0.001). The corresponding RRRs in former smokers were attenuated to 1.13 (1.04–1.23; p = 0.006) and 1.15 (1.05–1.27; p = 0.005). In both current and former smokers, dose-response relationships were observed, i.e., higher intensity, longer duration, higher cumulative dose, earlier age at start smoking, and shorter time since quitting smoking were significantly associated with higher risk of premature and early menopause, as well as earlier menopause at 45–49 years. Duration of smoking was a strong predictor of age at natural menopause. Among current smokers with duration of 15–20 years, the risk was markedly higher for premature (15.58; 11.29–19.86; p < 0.001) and early (6.55; 5.04–8.52; p < 0.001) menopause. Also, current smokers with 11–15 pack-years had over 4-fold (4.35; 2.78–5.92; p < 0.001) and 3-fold (3.01; 2.15–4.21; p < 0.001) risk of premature and early menopause, respectively. Smokers who had quit smoking for more than 10 years had similar risk as never smokers (1.04; 0.98–1.10; p = 0.176). A limitation of the study is the measurement errors that may have arisen due to recall bias.

Conclusions

The probability of earlier menopause is positively associated with intensity, duration, cumulative dose, and earlier initiation of smoking. Smoking duration is a much stronger predictor of premature and early menopause than others. Our findings highlight the clear benefits for women of early smoking cessation to lower their excess risk of earlier menopause.

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<![CDATA[Development of a prediction model for late urinary incontinence, hematuria, pain and voiding frequency among irradiated prostate cancer patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b600f86463d7e3af00e5a8b

Background and purpose

Incontinence, hematuria, voiding frequency and pain during voiding are possible side effects of radiotherapy among patients treated for prostate cancer. The objective of this study was to develop multivariable NTCP models for these side effects.

Material and methods

This prospective cohort study was composed of 243 patients with localized or locally advanced prostate cancer (stage T1-3). Genito-urinary (GU) toxicity was assessed using a standardized follow-up program. The GU toxicity endpoints were scored using the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 3.0 (CTCAE 3.0) scoring system. The full bladder and different anatomical subregions within the bladder were delineated. A least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) logistic regression analysis was used to analyze dose volume effects on the four individual endpoints.

Results

In the univariable analysis, urinary incontinence was significantly associated with dose distributions in the trigone (V55-V75, mean). Hematuria was significantly associated with the bladder wall dose (V40-V75, mean), bladder dose (V70-V75), cardiovascular disease and anticoagulants use. Pain during urinating was associated with the dose to the trigone (V50-V75, mean) and with trans transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). In the final multivariable model urinary incontinence was associated with the mean dose of the trigone. Hematuria was associated with bladder wall dose (V75) and cardiovascular disease, while pain during urinating was associated with trigone dose (V75) and TURP. No significant associations were found for increase in voiding frequency.

Conclusions

Radiation-induced urinary side effects are associated with dose distributions to different organs as risk. Given the dose effect relationships found, decreasing the dose to the trigone and bladder wall may reduce the incidence of incontinence, pain during voiding and hematuria, respectively.

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<![CDATA[Treatment patterns and steroid dose for adult minimal change disease relapses: A retrospective cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b498fa1463d7e0897c6e019

Background

In patients with adult minimal change disease (MCD), proteinuria relapse is a problem to solve. However, the optimal relapse treatment regimen remains unclear regarding steroid dose. We described the treatment pattern of adult MCD patients and evaluated the appropriate steroid dose for relapse treatment.

Methods

This retrospective multicenter cohort study included 192 patients with adult biopsy-proven MCD from 14 hospitals in Japan. The prescription pattern of immunosuppressive drugs in relapse was reviewed. To assess the association between steroid dose used for relapse and subsequent outcomes, data of patients with tapered prednisolone (PSL) dosage to <10 mg/day before the first relapse in whom the dose was subsequently increased to ≥10 mg/day were extracted and assigned to the High-PSL or Low-PSL groups, based on the median dose of 20 mg/day. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard model and propensity score analysis with multiple imputations were conducted to compare their clinical course.

Results

During a median observation period of 37.6 months, 186/192 (96.9%) patients achieved complete remission (CR) and 100 (52.1%) relapsed. The median urinary protein level at the first relapse was 3.12 g/gCr or g/day. The proportion of non-steroidal immunosuppressant use increased with relapses; cyclosporine was the most common. No significant differences were found in the second relapse, frequent relapses, or adverse events between High-PSL (n = 34) and Low-PSL (n = 36) groups. A multivariate Cox proportional hazard model revealed that the hazard ratios adjusted with propensity score for the second relapse were 0.94 (High-PSL vs. Low-PSL; 95% confidence interval, 0.42–2.10; P = 0.88) and 0.82 (PSL dose per 10 mg/day; 95% confidence interval, 0.58–1.16; P = 0.25).

Conclusions

Among patients in CR with PSL dose <10 mg/day, higher steroid dose (PSL >20 mg/day) was not associated with favorable outcomes after the first relapse as compared to lower dose (10–20 mg/day).

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<![CDATA[Favipiravir pharmacokinetics in Ebola-Infected patients of the JIKI trial reveals concentrations lower than targeted]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcf07

Background

In 2014–2015, we assessed favipiravir tolerance and efficacy in patients with Ebola virus (EBOV) disease (EVD) in Guinea (JIKI trial). Because the drug had never been used before for this indication and that high concentrations of the drugs were needed to achieve antiviral efficacy against EBOV, a pharmacokinetic model had been used to propose relevant dosing regimen. Here we report the favipiravir plasma concentrations that were achieved in participants in the JIKI trial and put them in perspective with the model-based targeted concentrations.

Methods and findings

Pre-dose drug concentrations were collected at Day-2 and Day-4 of treatment in 66 patients of the JIKI trial and compared to those predicted by the model taking into account patient’s individual characteristics. At Day-2, the observed concentrations were slightly lower than the model predictions adjusted for patient’s characteristics (median value of 46.1 versus 54.3 μg/mL for observed and predicted concentrations, respectively, p = 0.012). However, the concentrations dropped at Day-4, which was not anticipated by the model (median values of 25.9 and 64.4 μg/mL for observed and predicted concentrations, respectively, p<10−6). There was no significant relationship between favipiravir concentrations and EBOV viral kinetics or mortality.

Conclusions

Favipiravir plasma concentrations in the JIKI trial failed to achieve the target exposure defined before the trial. Furthermore, the drug concentration experienced an unanticipated drop between Day-2 and Day-4. The origin of this drop could be due to severe sepsis conditions and/or to intrinsic properties of favipiravir metabolism. Dose-ranging studies should be performed in healthy volunteers to assess the concentrations and the tolerance that could be achieved with high doses.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02329054

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<![CDATA[Activation of the PI3K/mTOR Pathway following PARP Inhibition in Small Cell Lung Cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3dab0ee8fa60b88a3c

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an aggressive malignancy with limited treatment options. We previously found that PARP is overexpressed in SCLC and that targeting PARP reduces cell line and tumor growth in preclinical models. However, SCLC cell lines with PI3K/mTOR pathway activation were relatively less sensitive to PARP inhibition. In this study, we investigated the proteomic changes in PI3K/mTOR and other pathways that occur following PAPR inhibition and/or knockdown in vitro and in vivo. Using reverse-phase protein array, we found the proteins most significantly upregulated following treatment with the PARP inhibitors olaparib and rucaparib were in the PI3K/mTOR pathway (p-mTOR, p-AKT, and pS6) (p≤0.02). Furthermore, amongst the most significantly down-regulated proteins were LKB1 and its targets AMPK and TSC, which negatively regulate the PI3K pathway (p≤0.042). Following PARP knockdown in cell lines, phosphorylated mTOR, AKT and S6 were elevated and LKB1 signaling was diminished. Global ATP concentrations increased following PARP inhibition (p≤0.02) leading us to hypothesize that the observed increased PI3K/mTOR pathway activation following PARP inhibition results from decreased ATP usage and a subsequent decrease in stress response signaling via LKB1. Based on these results, we then investigated whether co-targeting with a PARP and PI3K inhibitor (BKM-120) would work better than either single agent alone. A majority of SCLC cell lines were sensitive to BKM-120 at clinically achievable doses, and cMYC expression was the strongest biomarker of response. At clinically achievable doses of talazoparib (the most potent PARP inhibitor in SCLC clinical testing) and BKM-120, an additive effect was observed in vitro. When tested in two SCLC animal models, a greater than additive interaction was seen (p≤0.008). The data presented here suggest that combining PARP and PI3K inhibitors enhances the effect of either agent alone in preclinical models of SCLC, warranting further investigation of such combinations in SCLC patients.

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<![CDATA[Modeling the efficacy profiles of UV-light activated corneal collagen crosslinking]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc599

Objective

Analysis of the crosslink time, depth and efficacy profiles of UV-light-activated corneal collagen crosslinking (CXL).

Methods

A modeling system described by a coupled dynamic equations are numerically solved and analytic formulas are derived for the crosslinking time (T*) and crosslinking depth (z*). The z-dependence of the CXL efficacy is numerically produced to show the factors characterizing the profiles.

Results

Optimal crosslink depth (z*) and maximal CXL efficacy (Ceff) have opposite trend with respective to the UV light intensity and RF concentration, where z* is a decreasing function of the riboflavin concentration (C0). In comparison, Ceff is an increasing function of C0 and the UV exposure time (for a fixed UV dose), but it is a decreasing function of the UV light intensity. CXL efficacy is a nonlinear increasing function of [C0/I0]-0.5 and more accurate than that of the linear theory of Bunsen Roscoe law. Depending on the UV exposure time and depth, the optimal intensity ranges from 3 to 30 mW/cm2 for maximal CXL efficacy. For steady state (with long exposure time), low intensity always achieves high efficacy than that of high intensity, when same dose is applied on the cornea.

Conclusions

The crosslinking depth (z*) and the crosslinking time (T*) have nonlinear dependence on the UV light dose and the efficacy of corneal collagen crosslinking should be characterized by both z* and the efficacy profiles. A nonlinear scaling law is needed for more accurate protocol.

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<![CDATA[Open-Source Syringe Pump Library]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae7ab0ee8fa60bbe090

This article explores a new open-source method for developing and manufacturing high-quality scientific equipment suitable for use in virtually any laboratory. A syringe pump was designed using freely available open-source computer aided design (CAD) software and manufactured using an open-source RepRap 3-D printer and readily available parts. The design, bill of materials and assembly instructions are globally available to anyone wishing to use them. Details are provided covering the use of the CAD software and the RepRap 3-D printer. The use of an open-source Rasberry Pi computer as a wireless control device is also illustrated. Performance of the syringe pump was assessed and the methods used for assessment are detailed. The cost of the entire system, including the controller and web-based control interface, is on the order of 5% or less than one would expect to pay for a commercial syringe pump having similar performance. The design should suit the needs of a given research activity requiring a syringe pump including carefully controlled dosing of reagents, pharmaceuticals, and delivery of viscous 3-D printer media among other applications.

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