ResearchPad - drug-research-and-development https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The effect of monetary incentive on survey response for vulnerable children and youths: A randomized controlled trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13807 In surveys non-responders may introduce bias and lower the validity of the studies. Ways to increase response rates are therefore important. The purpose of the study was to investigate if an unconditional monetary incentive can increase the response rate for vulnerable children and youths in a postal questionnaire survey.MethodsThe study was designed as a randomized controlled trial. The study population consisted of 262 children and youth who participated in an established intervention study aimed at creating networks for different groups of vulnerable children and youths. The mean age of the participants was 16.7 years (range 11–28) and 67.9% were female. The questionnaire was adapted to three different age groups and covered different aspects of the participants’ life situation, including the dimensions from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). In the follow-up survey, participants were randomly allocated to two groups that either received a €15 voucher for a supermarket together with the questionnaire or only received the questionnaire. We used Poisson regression to estimate the differences in response rate (Rate Ratio RR) between the intervention group and the control group.ResultsThe response rate was 75.5% in the intervention group and 42.9% in the control group. The response rate in the intervention group was significantly higher than in the control group when adjusting for age and gender (Rate Ratio, RR 1.73; 95% CI 1.38–2.17). We did not find any significant differences in scales scores between the two groups for the five scales of the SDQ. In stratified analyses, we found the effect of the incentive to be higher for males (RR 2.81; 95% CI 1.61–4.91) than for females (1.43; 95% CI 1.12–1.84).ConclusionsMonetary incentives can increase the response rate for vulnerable children and youths in surveys.Trial registrationThe trial was retrospectively registered at ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01741675. ]]> <![CDATA[Pooling individual participant data from randomized controlled trials: Exploring potential loss of information]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7838 Pooling individual participant data to enable pooled analyses is often complicated by diversity in variables across available datasets. Therefore, recoding original variables is often necessary to build a pooled dataset. We aimed to quantify how much information is lost in this process and to what extent this jeopardizes validity of analyses results.MethodsData were derived from a platform that was developed to pool data from three randomized controlled trials on the effect of treatment of cardiovascular risk factors on cognitive decline or dementia. We quantified loss of information using the R-squared of linear regression models with pooled variables as a function of their original variable(s). In case the R-squared was below 0.8, we additionally explored the potential impact of loss of information for future analyses. We did this second step by comparing whether the Beta coefficient of the predictor differed more than 10% when adding original or recoded variables as a confounder in a linear regression model. In a simulation we randomly sampled numbers, recoded those < = 1000 to 0 and those >1000 to 1 and varied the range of the continuous variable, the ratio of recoded zeroes to recoded ones, or both, and again extracted the R-squared from linear models to quantify information loss.ResultsThe R-squared was below 0.8 for 8 out of 91 recoded variables. In 4 cases this had a substantial impact on the regression models, particularly when a continuous variable was recoded into a discrete variable. Our simulation showed that the least information is lost when the ratio of recoded zeroes to ones is 1:1.ConclusionsLarge, pooled datasets provide great opportunities, justifying the efforts for data harmonization. Still, caution is warranted when using recoded variables which variance is explained limitedly by their original variables as this may jeopardize the validity of study results. ]]> <![CDATA[Effectiveness of the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA) in reducing intimate partner violence and hazardous alcohol use in Zambia (VATU): A randomized controlled trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N3889b1ed-7187-41ba-b4d5-94f42ba3d649

Background

Both intimate partner violence (IPV) and alcohol misuse are highly prevalent, and partner alcohol misuse is a significant contributor to women’s risk for IPV. There are few evidence-based interventions to address these problems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We evaluated the effectiveness of an evidence-based, multi-problem, flexible, transdiagnostic intervention, the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA) in reducing (a) women’s experience of IPV and (b) their male partner’s alcohol misuse among couples in urban Zambia.

Methods and findings

This was a single-blind, parallel-assignment randomized controlled trial in Lusaka, Zambia. Women who reported moderate or higher levels of IPV and their male partners with hazardous alcohol use were enrolled as a couple and randomized to CETA or treatment as usual plus safety checks (TAU-Plus). The primary outcome, IPV, was assessed by the Severity of Violence Against Women Scale (SVAWS) physical/sexual violence subscale, and the secondary outcome, male alcohol misuse, by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Assessors were blinded. Analyses were intent-to-treat. Primary outcome assessments were planned at post-treatment, 12 months post-baseline, and 24 months post-baseline. Enrollment was conducted between May 23, 2016, and December 17, 2016. In total, 123 couples were randomized to CETA, 125 to TAU-Plus. The majority of female (66%) and a plurality of male (48%) participants were between 18 and 35 years of age. Mean reduction in IPV (via SVAWS subscale score) at 12 months post-baseline was statistically significantly greater among women who received CETA compared to women who received TAU-Plus (−8.2, 95% CI −14.9 to −1.5, p = 0.02, Cohen’s d effect size = 0.49). Similarly, mean reduction in AUDIT score at 12 months post-baseline was statistically significantly greater among men who received CETA compared to men who received TAU (−4.5, 95% CI −6.9 to −2.2, p < 0.001, Cohen’s d effect size = 0.43). The Data and Safety Monitoring Board recommended the trial be stopped early due to treatment effectiveness following the 12-month post-baseline assessment, and CETA was offered to control participants. Limitations of the trial included the lack of a true control condition (i.e., that received no intervention), self-reported outcomes that may be subject to social desirability bias, and low statistical power for secondary IPV outcomes.

Conclusions

Results showed that CETA was more effective than TAU-Plus in reducing IPV and hazardous alcohol use among high-risk couples in Zambia. Future research and programming should include tertiary prevention approaches to IPV, such as CETA, rather than offering only community mobilization and primary prevention.

Trial registration

The trial was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02790827).

]]>
<![CDATA[Time-lapse imaging of HeLa spheroids in soft agar culture provides virtual inner proliferative activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nceafa1bd-f75c-4e08-9c15-587118f668b1

Cancer is a complex disease caused by multiple types of interactions. To simplify and normalize the assessment of drug effects, spheroid microenvironments have been utilized. Research models that involve agent measurement with the examination of clonogenic survival by monitoring culture process with image analysis have been developed for spheroid-based screening. Meanwhile, computer simulations using various models have enabled better predictions for phenomena in cancer. However, user-based parameters that are specific to a researcher’s own experimental conditions must be inputted. In order to bridge the gap between experimental and simulated conditions, we have developed an in silico analysis method with virtual three-dimensional embodiment computed using the researcher’s own samples. The present work focused on HeLa spheroid growth in soft agar culture, with spheroids being modeled in silico based on time-lapse images capturing spheroid growth. The spheroids in silico were optimized by adjusting the growth curves to those obtained from time-lapse images of spheroids and were then assigned virtual inner proliferative activity by using generations assigned to each cellular particle. The ratio and distribution of the virtual inner proliferative activities were confirmed to be similar to the proliferation zone ratio and histochemical profiles of HeLa spheroids, which were also consistent with those identified in an earlier study. We validated that time-lapse images of HeLa spheroids provided virtual inner proliferative activity for spheroids in vitro. The present work has achieved the first step toward an in silico analysis method using computational simulation based on a researcher’s own samples, helping to bridge the gap between experiment and simulation.

]]>
<![CDATA[Drug induced pancreatitis: A systematic review of case reports to determine potential drug associations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8c4889da-2d62-467b-8b66-b271dff2cf8d

Objective

A current assessment of case reports of possible drug-induced pancreatitis is needed. We systematically reviewed the case report literature to identify drugs with potential associations with acute pancreatitis and the burden of evidence supporting these associations.

Methods

A protocol was developed a priori (PROSPERO CRD42017060473). We searched MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and additional sources to identify cases of drug-induced pancreatitis that met accepted diagnostic criteria of acute pancreatitis. Cases caused by multiple drugs or combination therapy were excluded. Established systematic review methods were used for screening and data extraction. A classification system for associated drugs was developed a priori based upon the number of cases, re-challenge, exclusion of non-drug causes of acute pancreatitis, and consistency of latency.

Results

Seven-hundred and thirteen cases of potential drug-induced pancreatitis were identified, implicating 213 unique drugs. The evidence base was poor: exclusion of non-drug causes of acute pancreatitis was incomplete or poorly reported in all cases, 47% had at least one underlying condition predisposing to acute pancreatitis, and causality assessment was not conducted in 81%. Forty-five drugs (21%) were classified as having the highest level of evidence regarding their association with acute pancreatitis; causality was deemed to be probable or definite for 19 of these drugs (42%). Fifty-seven drugs (27%) had the lowest level of evidence regarding an association with acute pancreatitis, being implicated in single case reports, without exclusion of other causes of acute pancreatitis.

Discussion

Much of the case report evidence upon which drug-induced pancreatitis associations are based is tenuous. A greater emphasis on exclusion of all non-drug causes of acute pancreatitis and on quality reporting would improve the evidence base. It should be recognized that reviews of case reports, are valuable scoping tools but have limited strength to establish drug-induced pancreatitis associations.

Registration

CRD42017060473.

]]>
<![CDATA[Reporting quality and spin in abstracts of randomized clinical trials of periodontal therapy and cardiovascular disease outcomes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5a52c97b-59d0-4564-8bd9-d8b1530b3570

Objective

Poor reporting in randomized clinical trial (RCT) abstracts reduces quality and misinforms readers. Spin, a biased presentation of findings, could frequently mislead clinicians to accept a clinical intervention despite non-significant primary outcome. Therefore, good reporting practices and absence of spin enhances research quality. We aim to assess the reporting quality and spin in abstracts of RCTs evaluating the effect of periodontal therapy on cardiovascular (CVD) outcomes.

Methods

PubMed, Scopus, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), and 17 trial registration platforms were searched. Cohort, non-randomized, non-English studies, and pediatric studies were excluded. RCT abstracts were reviewed by 2 authors using the CONSORT for abstracts and spin checklists for data extraction. Cohen’s Kappa statistic was used to assess inter-rater agreement. Data on the selected RCT publication metrics were collected. Descriptive analysis was performed with non-parametric methods. Correlation analysis between quality, spin and bibliometric parameters was conducted.

Results

24 RCTs were selected for CONSORT analysis and 14 fulfilled the criteria for spin analysis. Several important RCT elements per CONSORT were neglected in the abstract including description of the study population (100%), explicitly stated primary outcome (87%), methods of randomization and blinding (100%), trial registration (87%). No RCT examined true outcomes (CVD events). A significant fraction of the abstracts appeared with at least one form of spin in the results and conclusions (86%) and claimed some treatment benefit in spite of non-significant primary outcome (64%). High-quality reporting had a significant positive correlation with reporting of trial registration (p = 0.04) and funding (p = 0.009). Spinning showed marginal negative correlation with reporting quality (p = 0.059).

Conclusion

Poor adherence to the CONSORT guidelines and high levels of data spin were found in abstracts of RCTs exploring the effects of periodontal therapy on CVD outcomes. Our findings indicate that journal editors and reviewers should consider strict adherence to proper reporting guidelines to improve reporting quality and reduce waste.

]]>
<![CDATA[A compound attributes-based predictive model for drug induced liver injury in humans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ndeb57c49-a1cc-41d4-9618-08dc56c45dac

Drug induced liver injury (DILI) is one of the key safety concerns in drug development. To assess the likelihood of drug candidates with potential adverse reactions of liver, we propose a compound attributes-based approach to predicting hepatobiliary disorders that are routinely reported to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS). Specifically, we developed a support vector machine (SVM) model with recursive feature extraction, based on physicochemical and structural properties of compounds as model input. Cross validation demonstrates that the predictive model has a robust performance with averaged 70% of both sensitivity and specificity over 500 trials. An independent validation was performed on public benchmark drugs and the results suggest potential utility of our model for identifying safety alerts. This in silico approach, upon further validation, would ultimately be implemented, together with other in vitro safety assays, for screening compounds early in drug development.

]]>
<![CDATA[Ivermectin as an adjuvant to anti-epileptic treatment in persons with onchocerciasis-associated epilepsy: A randomized proof-of-concept clinical trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N2a703e18-6320-408f-bd4d-1f677396d877

Introduction

Recent findings from onchocerciasis-endemic foci uphold that increasing ivermectin coverage reduces the epilepsy incidence, and anecdotal evidence suggests seizure frequency reduction in persons with onchocerciasis-associated epilepsy, when treated with ivermectin. We conducted a randomized clinical trial to assess whether ivermectin treatment decreases seizure frequency.

Methods

A proof-of-concept randomized clinical trial was conducted in the Logo health zone in the Ituri province, Democratic Republic of Congo, to compare seizure frequencies in onchocerciasis-infected persons with epilepsy (PWE) randomized to one of two treatment arms: the anti-epileptic drug phenobarbital supplemented with ivermectin, versus phenobarbital alone. The primary endpoint was defined as the probability of being seizure-free at month 4. A secondary endpoint was defined as >50% reduction in seizure frequency at month 4, compared to baseline. Both endpoints were analyzed using multiple logistic regression. In longitudinal analysis, the probability of seizure freedom during the follow-up period was assessed for both treatment arms by fitting a logistic regression model using generalized estimating equations (GEE).

Results

Ninety PWE enrolled between October and November 2017 were eligible for analysis. A multiple logistic regression analysis showed a borderline association between ivermectin treatment and being seizure-free at month 4 (OR: 1.652, 95% CI 0.975–2.799; p = 0.062). There was no significant difference in the probability of experiencing >50% reduction of the seizure frequency at month 4 between the two treatment arms. Also, treatment with ivermectin did not significantly increase the odds of being seizure-free during the individual follow-up visits.

Conclusion

Whether ivermectin has an added value in reducing the frequency of seizures in PWE treated with AED remains to be determined. A larger study in persons with OAE on a stable AED regimen and in persons with recent epilepsy onset should be considered to further investigate the potential beneficial effect of ivermectin treatment in persons with OAE.

Trial registration

Registration: www.clinicaltrials.gov; NCT03052998.

]]>
<![CDATA[Acute kidney injury and adverse renal events in patients receiving SGLT2-inhibitors: A systematic review and meta-analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N25fa93a0-706a-4469-9476-c6f8ced4ff6a

Background

Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT2is) represent a new class of oral hypoglycemic agents used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. They have a positive effect on the progression of chronic kidney disease, but there is a concern that they might cause acute kidney injury (AKI).

Methods and findings

We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of SGLT2is on renal adverse events (AEs) in randomized controlled trials and controlled observational studies. PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane library, and ClinicalTrials.gov were searched without date restriction until 27 September 2019. Data extraction was performed using a standardized data form, and any discrepancies were resolved by consensus. One hundred and twelve randomized trials (n = 96,722) and 4 observational studies with 5 cohorts (n = 83,934) with a minimum follow-up of 12 weeks that provided information on at least 1 adverse renal outcome (AKI, combined renal AE, or hypovolemia-related events) were included. In 30 trials, 410 serious AEs due to AKI were reported. SGLT2is reduced the odds of suffering AKI by 36% (odds ratio [OR] 0.64 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.53–0.78], p < 0.001). A total of 1,089 AKI events of any severity (AEs and serious AEs [SAEs]) were published in 41 trials (OR 0.75 [95% CI 0.66–0.84], p < 0.001). Empagliflozin, dapagliflozin, and canagliflozin had a comparable benefit on the SAE and AE rate. AEs related to hypovolemia were more commonly reported in SGLT2i-treated patients (OR 1.20 [95% CI 1.10–1.31], p < 0.001). In the observational studies, 777 AKI events were reported. The odds of suffering AKI were reduced in patients receiving SGLT2is (OR 0.40 [95% CI 0.33–0.48], p < 0.001). Limitations of this study are the reliance on nonadjudicated safety endpoints, discrepant inclusion criteria and baseline hypoglycemic therapy between studies, inconsistent definitions of renal AEs and hypovolemia, varying follow-up times in different studies, and a lack of information on the severity of AKI (stages I–III).

Conclusions

SGLT2is reduced the odds of suffering AKI with and without hospitalization in randomized trials and the real-world setting, despite the fact that more AEs related to hypovolemia are reported.

]]>
<![CDATA[Do open educational resources improve student learning? Implications of the access hypothesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89776cd5eed0c4847d2c7e

Open Educational Resources (OER) have been lauded for their ability to reduce student costs and improve equity in higher education. Research examining whether OER provides learning benefits have produced mixed results, with most studies showing null effects. We argue that the common methods used to examine OER efficacy are unlikely to detect positive effects based on predictions of the access hypothesis. The access hypothesis states that OER benefits learning by providing access to critical course materials, and therefore predicts that OER should only benefit students who would not otherwise have access to the materials. Through the use of simulation analysis, we demonstrate that even if there is a learning benefit of OER, standard research methods are unlikely to detect it.

]]>
<![CDATA[On the value of preprints: An early career researcher perspective]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c784facd5eed0c4840072e6

Peer-reviewed journal publication is the main means for academic researchers in the life sciences to create a permanent public record of their work. These publications are also the de facto currency for career progress, with a strong link between journal brand recognition and perceived value. The current peer-review process can lead to long delays between submission and publication, with cycles of rejection, revision, and resubmission causing redundant peer review. This situation creates unique challenges for early career researchers (ECRs), who rely heavily on timely publication of their work to gain recognition for their efforts. Today, ECRs face a changing academic landscape, including the increased interdisciplinarity of life sciences research, expansion of the researcher population, and consequent shifts in employer and funding demands. The publication of preprints, publicly available scientific manuscripts posted on dedicated preprint servers prior to journal-managed peer review, can play a key role in addressing these ECR challenges. Preprinting benefits include rapid dissemination of academic work, open access, establishing priority or concurrence, receiving feedback, and facilitating collaborations. Although there is a growing appreciation for and adoption of preprints, a minority of all articles in life sciences and medicine are preprinted. The current low rate of preprint submissions in life sciences and ECR concerns regarding preprinting need to be addressed. We provide a perspective from an interdisciplinary group of ECRs on the value of preprints and advocate their wide adoption to advance knowledge and facilitate career development.

]]>
<![CDATA[Single-center retrospective study of the effectiveness and toxicity of the oral iron chelating drugs deferiprone and deferasirox]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c9900fdd5eed0c484b95e7f

Background

Iron overload, resulting from blood transfusions in patients with chronic anemias, has historically been controlled with regular deferoxamine, but its parenteral requirement encouraged studies of orally-active agents, including deferasirox and deferiprone. Deferasirox, licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2005 based upon the results of randomized controlled trials, is now first-line therapy worldwide. In contrast, early investigator-initiated trials of deferiprone were prematurely terminated after investigators raised safety concerns. The FDA declined market approval of deferiprone; years later, it licensed the drug as “last resort” therapy, to be prescribed only if first-line drugs had failed. We undertook to evaluate the long-term effectiveness and toxicities of deferiprone and deferasirox in one transfusion clinic.

Methods and findings

Under an IRB-approved study, we retrospectively inspected the electronic medical records of consented iron-loaded patients managed between 2009 and 2015 at The University Health Network (UHN), Toronto. We compared changes in liver and heart iron, adverse effects and other outcomes, in patients treated with deferiprone or deferasirox.

Results

Although deferiprone was unlicensed in Canada, one-third (n = 41) of locally-transfused patients had been switched from first-line, licensed therapies (deferoxamine or deferasirox) to regimens of unlicensed deferiprone. The primary endpoint of monitoring in iron overload, hepatic iron concentration (HIC), increased (worsened) during deferiprone monotherapy (mean 10±2–18±2 mg/g; p < 0.0003), exceeding the threshold for life-threatening complications (15 mg iron/g liver) in 50% patients. During deferasirox monotherapy, mean HIC decreased (improved) (11±1–6±1 mg/g; p < 0.0001). Follow-up HICs were significantly different following deferiprone and deferasirox monotherapies (p < 0.0000002). Addition of low-dose deferoxamine (<40 mg/kg/day) to deferiprone did not result in reductions of HIC to <15 mg/g (baseline 20±4 mg/g; follow-up, 18±4 mg/g; p < 0.2) or in reduction in the proportion of patients with HIC exceeding 15 mg/g (p < 0.2). During deferiprone exposure, new diabetes mellitus, a recognized consequence of inadequate iron control, was diagnosed in 17% patients, most of whom had sustained HICs exceeding 15 mg/g for years; one woman died after 13 months of a regimen of deferiprone and low-dose deferasirox. During deferiprone exposure, serum ALT increased over baseline in 65% patients. Mean serum ALT increased 6.6-fold (p < 0.001) often persisting for years. During deferasirox exposure, mean ALT was unchanged (p < 0.84). No significant differences between treatment groups were observed in the proportions of patients estimated to have elevated cardiac iron.

Conclusions

Deferiprone showed ineffectiveness and significant toxicity in most patients. Combination with low doses of first-line therapies did not improve the effectiveness of deferiprone. Exposure to deferiprone, over six years while the drug was unlicensed, in the face of ineffectiveness and serious toxicities, demands review of the standards of local medical practice. The limited scope of regulatory approval of deferiprone, worldwide, should restrict its exposure to the few patients genuinely unable to tolerate the two effective, first-line therapies.

]]>
<![CDATA[A new highly sensitive real-time quantitative-PCR method for detection of BCR-ABL1 to monitor minimal residual disease in chronic myeloid leukemia after discontinuation of imatinib]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823f1d5eed0c4846393bf

Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) targeting the BCR-ABL1 fusion protein, encoded by the Philadelphia chromosome, have drastically improved the outcomes for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Although several real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RQ-PCR) kits for the detection of BCR-ABL1 transcripts are commercially available, their accuracy and efficiency in laboratory practice require reevaluation. We have developed a new in-house RQ-PCR method to detect minimal residual disease (MRD) in CML cases. MRD was analyzed in 102 patients with CML from the DOMEST study, a clinical trial to study the rationale for imatinib mesylate discontinuation in Japan. The BCR-ABL1/ABL1 ratio was evaluated using the international standard (IS) ratio, where IS < 0.1% was defined as a major molecular response. At enrollment, BCR-ABL1 transcripts were undetectable in all samples using a widely-applied RQ-PCR method performed in the commercial laboratory, BML (BML Inc., Tokyo, Japan); however, the in-house method detected the BCR-ABL1 transcripts in five samples (5%) (mean IS ratio: 0.0062 ± 0.0010%). After discontinuation of imatinib, BCR-ABL1 transcripts were detected using the in-house RQ-PCR in 21 patients (21%) that were not positive using the BML method. Nineteen samples were also tested using a commercially available RQ-PCR assay kit with a detection limit of IS ratio, 0.0032 (ODK-1201, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Tokyo, Japan). This method detected low levels of BCR-ABL1 transcripts in 14 samples (74%), but scored negative for five samples (26%) that were positive using the in-house method. From the perspective of the in-house RQ-PCR method, number of patients confirmed loss of MMR was 4. These data suggest that our new in-house RQ-PCR method is effective for monitoring MRD in CML.

]]>
<![CDATA[Potassium response and homeostasis in Mycobacterium tuberculosis modulates environmental adaptation and is important for host colonization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e93cd5eed0c48496fa58

Successful host colonization by bacteria requires sensing and response to the local ionic milieu, and coordination of responses with the maintenance of ionic homeostasis in the face of changing conditions. We previously discovered that Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) responds synergistically to chloride (Cl-) and pH, as cues to the immune status of its host. This raised the intriguing concept of abundant ions as important environmental signals, and we have now uncovered potassium (K+) as an ion that can significantly impact colonization by Mtb. The bacterium has a unique transcriptional response to changes in environmental K+ levels, with both distinct and shared regulatory mechanisms controlling Mtb response to the ionic signals of K+, Cl-, and pH. We demonstrate that intraphagosomal K+ levels increase during macrophage phagosome maturation, and find using a novel fluorescent K+-responsive reporter Mtb strain that K+ is not limiting during macrophage infection. Disruption of Mtb K+ homeostasis by deletion of the Trk K+ uptake system results in dampening of the bacterial response to pH and Cl-, and attenuation in host colonization, both in primary murine bone marrow-derived macrophages and in vivo in a murine model of Mtb infection. Our study reveals how bacterial ionic homeostasis can impact environmental ionic responses, and highlights the important role that abundant ions can play during host colonization by Mtb.

]]>
<![CDATA[Differential completeness of spontaneous adverse event reports among hospitals/clinics, pharmacies, consumers, and pharmaceutical companies in South Korea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f14f7d5eed0c48467abbe

The differential pattern and characteristics of completeness in adverse event (AE) reports generated by hospitals/clinics, pharmacies, consumer and pharmaceutical companies remain unknown. Thus, we identified the characteristics of complete AE reports, compared with those of incomplete AE reports, using a completeness score. We used Korea Institute of Drug Safety and Risk Management-Korea Adverse Event Reporting System Database (KIDS-KD) between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. The completeness score was determined out of a total of 100 points, based on the presence of information on temporal relationships, age and sex of patients, AE progress, name of reported medication, reporting group by profession, causality assessment, and informational text. AE reports were organized into four groups based on affiliation: hospitals/clinics, pharmacies, consumers, and pharmaceutical companies. Affiliations that had median completeness scores greater than 80 points were classified as ‘well-documented’ and these reports were further analyzed by logistic regression to estimate the adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. We examined 228,848 individual reports and 735,745 drug-AE combinations. The median values of the completeness scores were the highest for hospitals/clinics (95 points), followed by those for consumers (85), pharmacies (75), and manufacturers (72). Reports with causality assessment of ‘certain’, ‘probable’, or ‘possible’ were more likely to be ‘well-documented’ than reports that had causality assessments of ‘unlikely’. Serious reports of AEs were positively associated with ‘well-documented’ reports and negatively associated with hospitals/clinics.

]]>
<![CDATA[Association between commercial funding of Canadian patient groups and their views about funding of medicines: An observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c706777d5eed0c4847c7095

Background

Patient groups represent the interest of their members when it comes to drug funding. Many patient groups receive grants from pharmaceutical companies that make products being considered for funding. This research examines whether there is an association between the positions that Canadian groups take about the products and conflicts of interest with the companies.

Methods

The Common Drug Review (CDR) and panCanadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR) make recommendations to Canadian provincial and federal drug plans about funding particular drug-indications. Both utilize input from patient groups in making their recommendations. Patient group submissions are available from both organizations and these submissions contain statements about conflicts of interest. Views of the patient groups, with and without a conflict with the company making the drug under consideration and without any conflicts at all, were assessed and then compared with the recommendations from CDR and pCODR.

Results

There was a total of 222 reports for drug-indications. There were 372 submissions from 93 different patient groups. Groups declared a total of 1896 conflicts with drug companies in 324 (87.1%) individual submissions. There were 268 submissions where groups declared a conflict with the company making the product or said they had no conflict. Irrespective of whether there was a conflict, the views of patient groups about the drug-indications under consideration were the same. There was no statistically significant difference between views of patient groups and the recommendations from CDR and/or pCODR.

Conclusions

The large majority of patient groups making submissions about funding of particular drug-indications had conflicts with the companies making the products and their views about the products were almost always positive. This association between funding and views needs to be further investigated to determine if a true cause and effect exists.

]]>
<![CDATA[Surgical management of intraocular lens dislocation: A meta-analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe14d5eed0c484e5b438

Purpose

To compare the efficacy and safety of intraocular lens (IOL) repositioning and IOL exchange for the treatment of patients with IOL dislocation.

Methods

We systematically searched for relevant publications in English or Chinese in MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, WHO International Clinical Trial Registration Platform, Clinical Trial.gov, China Biology Medicine Database, China National Knowledge Infrastructure Database and grey literature sources. Study quality was assessed using the STROBE template for observational studies and the Cochrane template for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Data were meta-analyzed using RevMan 5.3.

Results

The review included 14 English-language studies reporting 1 RCT and 13 retrospective case series involving 1,082 eyes. Average follow-up time was 13.7 months. Pooled analysis of 10 studies showed that the two procedures had a similarly effect on best corrected visual acuity (MD -0.00, 95%CI: -0.08 to 0.08, P = 0.99). Pooled analysis of nine studies showed no significant difference in incidence of IOL redislocation (RR 2.12, 95%CI 0.85 to 5.30, P = 0.11); pooled analysis of seven studies showed greater extent of incidence of cystoid macular edema in IOL exchange (RR 0.47, 95%CI 0.21 to 1.30, P = 0.06). Pooled analysis of three studies showed greater extent of incidence of anterior vitrectomy in IOL exchange (RR 0.11, 95%CI 0.04 to 0.33, P<0.0001). Pooled analysis of two studies showed greater postoperative spherical equivalents in IOL repositioning (MD 1.02, 95%CI 0.51 to 1.52, P<0.0001). pooled analysis suggested no significant differences between the two procedures in terms of intraocular pressure, endothelial cell density, surgically induced astigmatism, or incidence of retinal detachment, intraocular hemorrhage or pupillary block.

Conclusion

IOL repositioning and exchange are safe and effective procedures for treating IOL dislocation. Neither procedure significantly affects best corrected visual acuity and IOL redislocation. IOL exchange was superior to repositioning in terms of postoperative SE, but IOL repositioning was associated with lower incidence of anterior vitrectomy, potentially lower incidence of cystoid macular edema.

]]>
<![CDATA[Efficient design and analysis of randomized controlled trials in rare neurological diseases: An example in Guillain-Barré syndrome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe48d5eed0c484e5b7f7

Background

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) pose specific challenges in rare and heterogeneous neurological diseases due to the small numbers of patients and heterogeneity in disease course. Two analytical approaches have been proposed to optimally handle these issues in RCTs: covariate adjustment and ordinal analysis. We investigated the potential gain in efficiency of these approaches in rare and heterogeneous neurological diseases, using Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) as an example.

Methods

We analyzed two published GBS trials with primary outcome ‘at least one grade improvement’ on the GBS disability scale. We estimated the treatment effect using logistic regression models with and without adjustment for prognostic factors. The difference between the unadjusted and adjusted estimates was disentangled in imbalance (random differences in baseline covariates between treatment arms) and stratification (change of the estimate due to covariate adjustment). Second, we applied proportional odds regression, which exploits the ordinal nature of the GBS disability score. The standard error of the estimated treatment effect indicated the statistical efficiency.

Results

Both trials were slightly imbalanced with respect to baseline characteristics, which was corrected in the adjusted analysis. Covariate adjustment increased the estimated treatment effect in the two trials by 8% and 18% respectively. Proportional odds analysis resulted in lower standard errors indicating more statistical power.

Conclusion

Covariate adjustment and proportional odds analysis most efficiently use the available data and ensure balance between the treatment arms to obtain reliable and valid treatment effect estimates. These approaches merit application in future trials in rare and heterogeneous neurological diseases like GBS.

]]>
<![CDATA[Supported employment: Meta-analysis and review of randomized controlled trials of individual placement and support]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe41d5eed0c484e5b7ab

Supported employment is a treatment whereby those with severe mental illness (or other disabilities) receive aid searching for competitive employment and mental health (or other) treatments concurrently. The most popular implementation of supported employment is individual placement and support (IPS). We conducted meta-analytic analyses of the randomized controlled trials of IPS. We found that subjects in IPS, compared to usual treatment conditions, had better vocational outcomes (obtained any competitive employment: RR = 1.63, 95%CI = [1.46, 1.82]; job tenure: d = 0.55, 95%CI = [0.33, 0.79]; job length: d = 0.46, 95%CI = [0.35, 0.57]; income: d = 0.48, 95%CI = [0.36, 0.59]) Non-vocational outcomes estimates, while favoring IPS, included the null (quality of life: d = 0.30, 95%CI = [-0.07, 0.67]; global functioning: d = 0.09, 95%CI = [-0.09, 0.27]; mental health: d = 0.03, 95%CI = [-0.15, 0.21]). Analysis of the expected proportion of studies with a true effect on non-vocational outcomes with d>0.2 showed some reason to expect a possible improvement for quality of life for at least some settings (Prop = 0.57, 95%CI = [0.30, 0.84]).

]]>
<![CDATA[An outbreak of HIV infection among people who inject drugs linked to injection of propofol in Taiwan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730e4d5eed0c484f382b9

Introduction

The aim of this study was to report an HIV outbreak related to propofol-injection and the impact of regulating propofol on the HIV epidemic among people who inject drugs (PWID).

Methods

A retrospective cohort study of 252 PWID who were diagnosed with an HIV infection between 2014 and 2017 in Taiwan. The propofol information was collected by routine epidemic surveillance and interviews. We linked several national databases to collect other related factors, including methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) attendance and incarceration. The serums were tested for recent infection by the LAg‐avidity EIA assay and relationship of the trains by the Phylogenetic tree analysis. Analyses were conducted using the R Surveillance package for retrospective modeling for outbreak detection. A multiple logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between propofol-injection and other related factors.

Results

There were 28 cases reported with propofol-injection, all of which were reported in Central Taiwan. A total of 11 (50%) cases among 22 propofol-injectors with serums were recent infections, which were higher than that 33 (23.4%) of non-propofol group. The phylogenetic tree indicated that 6 propofol-injectors were grouped together with the same cluster in circular. The HIV epidemic curve among PWID revealed an outbreak of 82 in 2015, which then decreased to 43 in 2016 after propofol began to be regulated as a Schedule 4 controlled drug in August 2015. In a multiple logistic regression, attendance at methadone clinics was associated with a significantly higher risk for propofol-injection (adjusted OR = 2.43, 95% CI = 0.98–5.98), and HIV reported in the year 2015 was associated with an increased risk of propofol-injection (adjusted OR = 4, 95% CI = 1.08–14.86).

Conclusions

Our data indicate that the government regulation of propofol as a controlled drug strategy was associated with significant reduction in the spread of HIV among PWID.

]]>