ResearchPad - methotrexate https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Patient-derived oral mucosa organoids as an <i>in vitro</i> model for methotrexate induced toxicity in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15720 We have recently established a protocol to grow wildtype human oral mucosa organoids. These three-dimensional structures can be maintained in culture long-term, do not require immortalization, and recapitulate the multilayered composition of the epithelial lining of the oral mucosa. Here, we validate the use of this model to study the effect of Leucovorin (LV) on Methotrexate (MTX)-induced toxicity. MTX is a chemotherapeutic agent used in the treatment of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Although effective, the use of MTX often results in severe side-effects, including oral mucositis, which is characterized by epithelial cell death. Here, we show that organoids are sensitive to MTX, and that the addition of LV reduces MTX toxicity, in both a concentration- and timing-dependent manner. Additionally, we show that a 24 hour ‘pretreatment’ with LV reduces MTX-induced cell death, suggesting that such a pretreatment could decrease mucositis in patients. Taken together, we provide the first in vitro model to study the effect of MTX on wildtype oral mucosa cells. Our findings underscore the relevance of the clinically applied LV regimen and highlight the potential of this model to further optimize modifications in dosing and timing of Leucovorin on oral mucosa cells.

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<![CDATA[Immunosuppressive treatment and the risk of diabetes in rheumatoid arthritis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c52181dd5eed0c4847973f1

Objective

Inflammation and anti-inflammatory treatments might influence the risk of diabetes. The objective of this study was to assess factors associated with incident diabetes in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods

The study population consisted of RA patients from a multi-center cohort study, Corrona. To assess risk associated with disease modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) exposure, we assessed five mutually exclusive DMARD groups. Additionally, we assessed the risk associated with body mass index (BMI, <25, 25–30, >30 kg/m2) and glucocorticoid usage. Incident cases of diabetes were confirmed through adjudication, and Cox regression models were fit to estimate the risk of incident diabetes.

Results

We identified 21,775 DMARD treatment regimens, the mean (SD) age at the index visit was 58 (13) years, disease duration 10 (10) years, and 30% used oral glucocorticoids at the time. Eighty-four incident cases of diabetes were confirmed within the treatment exposure periods. The hazard ratio (HR, 95% confidence interval) for diabetes was significantly reduced in patients receiving TNF inhibitors, HR 0.35 (0.13, 0.91), compared to patients treated with non-biologic DMARDs other than hydroxychloroquine and methotrexate. Hydroxychloroquine, methotrexate and use of other biologic DMARDs had a numerically reduced risk compared to the same group. Patients prescribed ≥7.5 mg of glucocorticoids had a HR of 2.33 (1.68, 3.22) of incident diabetes compared with patients not prescribed oral glucocorticoids. RA patients with a BMI >30 had a HR of 6.27 (2.97, 13.25) compared to patients with BMI ≤25.

Conclusion

DMARDs, glucocorticoids and obesity influenced the risk of incident diabetes in a large cohort of RA patients. Monitoring for the occurrence of diabetes should be part of routine RA management with a focus on specific subgroups.

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<![CDATA[Real-world utilization patterns of systemic immunosuppressants among US adult patients with atopic dermatitis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c644930d5eed0c484c2f855

At the time of this study, prior to the introduction of biologics in the US, systemic therapies used for the treatment of moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis included off-label immunosuppressants and corticosteroids. Immunosuppressant therapy is associated with a substantial risk of side-effects, therefore needing clinical monitoring, and is likely to incur a significant healthcare burden for patients and payers. This retrospective cohort study based on claims data measured immunosuppressant use and its associated burden among US adult patients with atopic dermatitis covered under commercial or Medicare Supplemental insurance from January 01, 2010, to September 30, 2015. Overall, based on age, gender, region, and index year, 4201 control patients with atopic dermatitis without immunosuppressant use were matched with 4204 patients treated with immunosuppressants. The majority (68.5%) of patients using immunosuppressants were non-persistent with immunosuppressant treatment during the 12-month follow-up period after a mean (standard deviation) of 88.1 (70.7) days of immunosuppressant use; 72.3% required systemic steroid rescue treatment. Immunosuppressant users had higher incidence of immunosuppressant-related clinical events than controls; in addition, a larger proportion of immunosuppressant users versus controls developed cancer (0.28% vs 0.14%, respectively; P < 0.0001). Healthcare utilization and costs associated with clinical events and monitoring were also higher for immunosuppressant users compared with controls (total costs, $9516 vs $1630, respectively; P < 0.0001; monitoring costs, $363 vs $54, respectively; P < 0.0001). This study revealed that patients treated with systemic immunosuppressants often require systemic steroids or changes to treatment. The increase in immunosuppressant-related clinical events, including the need for increased monitoring with immunosuppressant treatment, compared with controls demonstrates a substantial treatment burden and highlights the unmet need for more effective long-term therapies for atopic dermatitis with improved safety profiles and reduced monitoring requirements.

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<![CDATA[Epidemiology and treatment patterns of rheumatoid arthritis in a large cohort of Arab patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c23f27ed5eed0c484046fb1

Objectives

There is limited information on the epidemiology and treatment patterns of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) across the Arab region. We aim in this study to describe the demographic characteristics, clinical profile, and treatment patterns of patients of Arab ancestry with RA.

Methods

This is a cross sectional study of 895 patients with established rheumatoid arthritis enrolled from five sites (Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and United Arab Emirates). Demographic characteristics, clinical profile, and treatment patterns are compared between the five countries.

Results

The majority of our patients are women, have an average disease duration of 10 years, are married and non-smokers, with completed secondary education. We report a high (>80%) ever-use of methotrexate (MTX) and steroids among our RA population, while the ever-use of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and TNF-inhibitors average around 67% and 33%, respectively. There are variations in RA treatment use between the five country sites. Highest utilization of steroids is identified in Jordan and KSA (p-value < 0.001), while the highest ever-use of TNF-inhibitors is reported in KSA (p-value < 0.001).

Conclusion

Disparities in usage of RA treatments among Arab patients are noted across the five countries. National gross domestic product (GDP), as well as some other unique features in each country likely affect these. Developing treatment guidelines specific to this region could contribute in delivering standardized therapies to RA patients.

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<![CDATA[Reverse Chemical Genetics: Comprehensive Fitness Profiling Reveals the Spectrum of Drug Target Interactions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9daab0ee8fa60b67260

The emergence and prevalence of drug resistance demands streamlined strategies to identify drug resistant variants in a fast, systematic and cost-effective way. Methods commonly used to understand and predict drug resistance rely on limited clinical studies from patients who are refractory to drugs or on laborious evolution experiments with poor coverage of the gene variants. Here, we report an integrative functional variomics methodology combining deep sequencing and a Bayesian statistical model to provide a comprehensive list of drug resistance alleles from complex variant populations. Dihydrofolate reductase, the target of methotrexate chemotherapy drug, was used as a model to identify functional mutant alleles correlated with methotrexate resistance. This systematic approach identified previously reported resistance mutations, as well as novel point mutations that were validated in vivo. Use of this systematic strategy as a routine diagnostics tool widens the scope of successful drug research and development.

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<![CDATA[Anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies are the strongest predictor of clinically relevant radiographic progression in rheumatoid arthritis patients achieving remission or low disease activity: A post hoc analysis of a nationwide cohort in Japan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf7c4

Objectives

To determine prognostic factors of clinically relevant radiographic progression (CRRP) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) achieving remission or low disease activity (LDA) in clinical practice.

Methods

Using data from a nationwide, multicenter, prospective study in Japan, we evaluated 198 biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (bDMARD)-naïve RA patients who were in remission or had LDA at study entry after being treated with conventional synthetic DMARDs (csDMARDs). CRRP was defined as the yearly progression of modified total Sharp score (mTSS) >3.0 U. We performed a multiple logistic regression analysis to explore the factors to predict CRRP at 1 year. We used receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve to estimate the performance of relevant variables for predicting CRRP.

Results

The mean Disease Activity Score in 28 joints-erythrocyte sedimentation rate (DAS28-ESR) was 2.32 ± 0.58 at study entry. During the 1-year observation, remission or LDA persisted in 72% of the patients. CRRP was observed in 7.6% of the patients. The multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that the independent variables to predict the development of CRRP were: anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies (ACPA) positivity at baseline (OR = 15.2, 95%CI 2.64–299), time-integrated DAS28-ESR during the 1 year post-baseline (7.85-unit increase, OR = 1.83, 95%CI 1.03–3.45), and the mTSS at baseline (13-unit increase, OR = 1.22, 95%CI 1.06–1.42).

Conclusions

ACPA positivity was the strongest independent predictor of CRRP in patients with RA in remission or LDA. Physicians should recognize ACPA as a poor-prognosis factor regarding the radiographic outcome of RA, even among patients showing a clinically favorable response to DMARDs.

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<![CDATA[Anti-Drug Antibodies, Drug Levels, Interleukin-6 and Soluble TNF Receptors in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients during the First 6 Months of Treatment with Adalimumab or Infliximab: A Descriptive Cohort Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9deab0ee8fa60b68790

Objectives

With the present study we wanted to explore the impact of treatment with a tumor necrosis factor-α -inhibitor (TNFi) on levels of soluble biomarkers in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and to identify predictors of impaired drug levels and development of anti-TNFi antibodies (anti-TNFi Abs).

Methods

Blood samples from 26 patients with established RA were taken at baseline and following 6 months of treatment with adalimumab or infliximab. Samples were analyzed for levels of TNFi, interleukin (IL)-6, and soluble TNF-receptors 1 and -2 (sTNF-R1 and -2) and for presence of anti-TNFi Abs. Clinical and demographic data were recorded as well.

Results

During the initial 6 months treatment, DAS28(CRP) (Disease activity score in 28 joints using C-reactive protein) and levels of IL-6 and sTNF-R2 decreased significantly in patients without anti-TNFi Abs and in patients retaining detectable drug levels. The levels of other tested cytokines (TNF-α, TNF-β, IL-1ra, IL-1b, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12(p70), IL-13, IL-17A, IL-17F, and IL-33) were generally below detection limits. Higher baseline levels of IL-6 associated with undetectable levels of TNFi at follow-up. Anti-TNFi Abs were associated with decreased drug levels, but no predictors for anti-TNFi Ab development could be found.

Conclusion

The effect of treatment with TNFi on RA disease activity depends on levels of active drug, and by presence of anti-TNFi Abs. In patients who retain detectable drug levels, and in the absence of anti-TNFi Abs, clinical outcome is improved during treatment, and circulating levels of IL-6 and sTNF-R2 decrease. Baseline levels of IL-6 may predict depletion of TNFi and may identify patients at risk of treatment failure.

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<![CDATA[Effect of Combination Therapy on Joint Destruction in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Network Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3bab0ee8fa60b87f0f

Background

Despite significant cost differences, the comparative effect of combination treatments of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) with and without biologic agents has rarely been examined. Thus we performed a network meta-analysis on the effect of combination therapies on progression of radiographic joint erosions in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods and Findings

The following combination drug therapies compared versus single DMARD were investigated: Double DMARD: 2 DMARDs (methotrexate, sulfasalazine, leflunomide, injectable gold, cyclosporine, chloroquine, azathioprin, penicillamin) or 1 DMARD plus low dose glucocorticoid (LDGC); triple DMARD: 3 DMARDs or 2 DMARDs plus LDGC; biologic combination: 1 DMARD plus biologic agent (tumor necrosis factor α inhibitor (TNFi) or abatacept or tocilizumab or CD20 inhibitor (CD20i)). Randomized controlled trials were identified in a search of electronic archives of biomedical literature and included in a star-shaped network meta-analysis and reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement protocol. Effects are reported as standardized mean differences (SMD). The effects of data from 39 trials published in the period 1989–2012 were as follows: Double DMARD: −0.32 SMD (CI: −0.42, −0.22); triple DMARD: −0.46 SMD (CI: −0.60, −0.31); 1 DMARD plus TNFi: −0.30 SMD (CI: −0.36, −0.25); 1 DMARD plus abatacept: −0.20 SMD (CI: −0.33, −0.07); 1 DMARD plus tocilizumab: −0.34 SMD (CI: −0.48, −0.20); 1 DMARD plus CD20i: −0.32 SMD (CI: −0.40, −0.24). The indirect comparisons showed similar effects between combination treatments apart from triple DMARD being significantly better than abatacept plus methotrexate (−0.26 SMD (CI: −0.45, −0.07)) and TNFi plus methotrexate (−0.16 SMD (CI: −0.31, −0.01)).

Conclusion

Combination treatment of a biologic agent with 1 DMARD is not superior to 2–3 DMARDs including or excluding LDGC in preventing structural joint damage. Future randomized studies of biologic agents should be compared versus a combination of DMARDs.

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<![CDATA[Role of Key TYMS Polymorphisms on Methotrexate Therapeutic Outcome in Portuguese Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da43ab0ee8fa60b8ae88

Background

Therapeutic outcome of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients treated with methotrexate (MTX) can be modulated by thymidylate synthase (TS) levels, which may be altered by genetic polymorphisms in TS gene (TYMS). This study aims to elucidate the influence of TYMS polymorphisms in MTX therapeutic outcome (regarding both clinical response and toxicity) in Portuguese RA patients.

Methods

Clinicopathological data from 233 Caucasian RA patients treated with MTX were collected, outcomes were defined and patients were genotyped for the following TYMS polymorphisms: 1) 28 base pairs (bp) variable number tandem repeat (rs34743033); 2) single nucleotide polymorphism C>G (rs2853542); and 3) 6 bp sequence deletion (1494del6, rs34489327). Chi-square and binary logistic regression analyses were performed, using genotype and haplotype-based approaches.

Results

Considering TYMS genotypes, 3R3R (p = 0.005, OR = 2.34), 3RC3RG (p = 0.016, OR = 3.52) and 6bp− carriers (p = 0.011, OR = 1.96) were associated with non-response to MTX. Multivariate analysis confirmed the increased risk for non-response to MTX in 6bp− carriers (p = 0.016, OR = 2.74). Data demonstrated that TYMS polymorphisms were in linkage disequilibrium (p<0.00001). Haplotype multivariate analysis revealed that haplotypes harboring both 3R and 6bp− alleles were associated with non-response to MTX. Regarding MTX-related toxicity, no statistically significant differences were observed in relation to TYMS genotypes and haplotypes.

Conclusion

Our study reveals that TYMS polymorphisms could be important to help predicting clinical response to MTX in RA patients. Despite the potential of these findings, translation into clinical practice needs larger studies to confirm these evidences.

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<![CDATA[MicroRNA-21 Increases Proliferation and Cisplatin Sensitivity of Osteosarcoma-Derived Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e2ab0ee8fa60b6a081

Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone tumor and poor prognosis for osteosarcoma patients is mainly due to chemotherapy resistance. MicroRNAs are important to maintain pathophysiological mechanisms of cancer and influence cell sensitivity to chemotherapy. In this study, we tested the functions of microRNA-21 for malignant features as well as for drug resistance of osteosarcoma. We used Northern blot to measure microRNA-21 levels in osteosarcoma-derived cell lines. MicroRNA-21 activity was modulated by either expressing a sponge to decrease its activity in an osteosarcoma-derived cell line expressing high levels of microRNA-21 or by introducing pri-microRNA-21 in a cell line with low endogenous levels. Cell migration was determined in a scratch assay and cell proliferation was measured by performing growth curve analysis. Sensitivity of the cells towards chemotherapeutics was investigated by performing cell viability assays and calculating the IC50 values. While cell migration was unaffected by modulated microRNA-21 levels, microRNA-21 inhibition slowed proliferation and exogenously expressed microRNA-21 promoted this process. Modulated microRNA-21 activity failed to effect sensitivity of osteosarcoma-derived cell lines to doxorubicin or methotrexate. Contrarily, reduction of microRNA-21 activity resulted in enhanced resistance towards cisplatin while ectopic expression of microRNA-21 showed the opposite effect. Increased microRNA-21 levels repressed the expression of Sprouty2 and ectopic expression of Sprouty2 was able to largely rescue the observed effects of microRNA-21 in osteosarcoma. In summary, our data indicate that in osteosarcoma microRNA-21 expression is an important component for regulation of cell proliferation and for determining sensitivity to cisplatin.

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<![CDATA[Determining the Lowest Optimally Effective Methotrexate Dose for Individual RA Patients Using Their Dose Response Relation in a Tight Control Treatment Approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab9ab0ee8fa60badf06

Objective

To determine the optimal methotrexate dose in individual patients and to explore whether this optimal dose and the level of disease activity at that dose could be predicted.

Methods

Data from CAMERA II trial comparing MTX and MTX with 10 mg of prednisone both in a tight control treatment strategy in early RA was used. For each patient a curve for disease activity over time was fitted and the MTX dose after which further step-up did not result in relevant improvement in disease activity anymore was determined the 'lowest optimally effective MTX dose (LOED)'. The association of demographic and clinical characteristics at baseline with this LOED and with the level of disease activity reached at LOED was studied.

Results

In 204 (100 MTX and 104 MTX with prednisone) out of 236 patients LOED could be defined. 10 mg/wk was the most prevalent LOED in patients treated with MTX and prednisone and 10 mg/wk, 20 mg/wk and 30 mg/wk in the MTX strategy. Although the specific LOED could not reliably be predicted, higher baseline disease activity, height and lower weight were associated with higher LOEDs (i.e at least 15 mg/wk). A score was presented to decide on a starting dose of 10 mg/wk or (at least) 15 mg/wk. The level of disease activity at LOED could not be reliably predicted.

Conclusion

A starting dose of 10 mg/wk might be a good choice for most patients and is frequently already the optimal dose. However, a subgroup of patient can be determined who would require higher MTX doses.

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<![CDATA[Chemotherapy Drug Induced Discoordination of Mitochondrial Life Cycle Detected by Cardiolipin Fluctuation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db28ab0ee8fa60bd0a15

Chemotherapy drugs have been prescribed for the systemic treatment of cancer. We selected three chemotherapy drugs, including methotrexate, mitomycine C and vincristine to inhibit the proliferation of HT1080 human fibrosarcoma cells in S, G2 and M phases of the cell cycle respectively. These chemotherapy drugs showed significant toxicity and growth inhibition to the cancer cells measured by MTT assay. After treated with a 50% inhibitory dosage for 48 hours, these cancer cells showed significant accumulation of cardiolipin (CL), which was a reverse trend of the nutritional deficiency induced arrest at G1 phase. The quantity of each CL species was further semi-quantitated by HPLC-ion trap mass spectrometer. Methotraxate treatment caused unique increases of acyl chain length on CL, which were the opposite of the serum starvation, mitomycine C and vincristine treatments. Although mitomycine C and vincristine have different mechanisms to induce cell cycle arrest, these two drugs displayed similar effects on decreasing chain length of CL. Continuation of CL synthesis during cell cycle arrest indicated the chemotherapy drugs resulting in the discoordination of the mitochondrial life cycle from the cell cycle and thus caused the accumulation of CL. These finding reveals that the pre-remodeling nascent CL accumulates during the methotraxate induced arrest; however, the post-remodeling mature CL accumulates during the mitomycine C and vincristine induced arrest after the synthesis phase.

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<![CDATA[Safety and Efficacy of Methotrexate in Psoriasis: A Meta-Analysis of Published Trials]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9ffab0ee8fa60b73895

Background

Methotrexate (MTX) has been used to treat psoriasis for over half a century. Even so, clinical data characterising its efficacy and safety are sparse.

Objective

In order to enhance the available evidence, we conducted two meta-analyses, one for efficacy and one for safety outcomes, respectively, according to PRISMA checklist. (Data sources, study criteria, and study synthesis methods are detailed in Methods).

Results

In terms of efficacy, only eleven studies met criteria for study design and passed a Cochrane risk of bias analysis. Based on this limited dataset, 45.2% [95% confidence interval 34.1–60.0] of patients achieve PASI75 at primary endpoint (12 or 16 weeks, respectively, n = 705 patients across all studies), compared to a calculated PASI75 of 4.4 [3.5–5.6] for placebo, yielding a relative risk of 10.2 [95% C.I. 7.1–14.7]. For safety outcomes, we extended the meta-analysis to include studies employing the same dose range of MTX for other chronic inflammatory conditions, e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, in order not to maximise capture of relevant safety data. Based on 2763 patient safety years, adverse events (AEs) were found treatment limiting in 6.9 ± 1.4% (mean ± s.e.) of patients treated for six months, with an adverse effect profile largely in line with that encountered in clinical practice. Finally, in order to facilitate prospective clinical audit and to help generate long-term treatment outcomes under real world conditions, we also developed an easy to use documentation form to be completed by patients without requirement for additional staff time.

Limitations

Meta-analyses for efficacy and safety, respectively, employed non-identical selection criteria.

Conclusions

These meta-analyses summarise currently available evidence on MTX in psoriasis and should be of use to gauge whether local results broadly fall within outcomes.

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<![CDATA[Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs induce severe hematologic toxicities in lung cancer patients receiving pemetrexed plus carboplatin: A retrospective cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbaea

Purpose

As the major toxicity induced by pemetrexed plus carboplatin is severe hematologic toxicities, the aim of this study was to determine the risk factors for severe hematologic toxicities in lung cancer patients.

Methods

We retrospectively investigated data from lung cancer patients who had received pemetrexed plus carboplatin, with or without bevacizumab. This observational study was carried out at Ehime University Hospital using electronic medical records dating from July 2009 to March 2015. Severe hematologic toxicities were defined as grade 3 or 4, according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4.0.

Results

Forty-two patients were included in the study. The incidence of grade 3 or 4 hematologic toxicities during the first cycle of chemotherapy and during all cycles was 19.0% and 16.1%, respectively. Multivariate time-depend generalized estimating equations logistic regression analysis revealed that regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) was significantly associated with an increased risk of severe hematologic toxicities during all cycles (adjusted odds ratio (OR): 8.32, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.27–54.38; p = 0.03), whereas creatinine clearance of <45 mL/min was not significantly associated with an increased risk of severe hematologic toxicities during all cycles (adjusted OR: 0.91, 95% CI: 0.25–3.34; p = 0.88).

Conclusions

The results suggest that severe hematologic toxicities in patients receiving carboplatin-based pemetrexed may be significantly induced by the inhibition of renal tubular pemetrexed secretion through drug–drug interactions between NSAIDs and pemetrexed rather than through glomerular filtration of pemetrexed, even with moderate to sufficient renal function.

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<![CDATA[Folic Acid Supplementation Is Suboptimal in a National Cohort of Older Veterans Receiving Low Dose Oral Methotrexate]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9faab0ee8fa60b71bb8

Objectives

Co-prescription of folic acid in patients receiving low dose oral methotrexate is recommended because it reduces adverse events and prolongs the use of methotrexate (MTX). However, little is known about how often new users of methotrexate are co-prescribed folic acid, and what factors are associated with its use. We aimed to determine the prevalence, predictors of, and persistence of folic acid use in a population-based cohort of MTX users with rheumatic diseases.

Methods

Using a national, administrative database of patients seen through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) that included pharmacy and laboratory data, we performed an observational cohort study of veterans over 65 years old who were new users of MTX. We used log-binomial regression to identify independent predictors of folic acid use and Kaplan Meyer survival analysis to examine persistence of folic acid over time.

Results

We studied 2467 incident users of MTX. 27% of patients were not prescribed folic acid through the VHA pharmacy within 30 days of MTX initiation. Patients who did not see a rheumatologist were 23% less likely to receive folic acid compared to patients who did have a rheumatologist visit during the baseline period (RR (95% CI) 0.77 (0.72, 0.82). These results remained unchanged even after adjusting for demographic, clinical, and other factors (adjusted RR (95% CI) 0.78 (0.74, 0.85)). After 20 months, only 50% of patients continued to receive folic acid.

Conclusions

In a nationwide VHA cohort of new users of oral MTX, many patients did not receive folic acid or discontinued it over time. Rheumatologists were more likely to prescribe folic acid than other providers. These data highlight the need to improve patient safety for users of methotrexate by standardizing workflows for folic acid supplementation.

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<![CDATA[Long term treatment with abatacept or tocilizumab does not increase Epstein-Barr virus load in patients with rheumatoid arthritis - A three years retrospective study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc6d6

Background

Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is a widely disseminated lymphotropic herpes virus implicated in benign and malignant disorders. In transplant patients, immunosuppressive drugs (cyclosporine) diminish control of EBV replication, potentially leading to lymphoproliferative disorders (LPD). Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients have impaired control of EBV infection and have EBV load ten times higher than controls. As post transplant patients, patients with RA have increased risk of developing lymphomas. Immunosuppressive drugs used to treat RA (conventional disease modifying drugs cDMARDs or biologics bDMARDs) could enhance the risk of developing LPD in RA patients. We have previously shown that long term treatment with Methotrexate and/or TNF alpha antagonists does not increase EBV load in RA. Our objective was to monitor the Epstein-Barr Virus load in RA patients treated with Abatacept (CTLA4 Ig), a T cell coactivation inhibitor, and Tocilizumab, an anti IL6 receptor antibody.

Methods

EBV load in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of 55 patients under Abatacept (in 34% associated with Methotrexate) and 35 patients under Tocilizumab (in 37% associated with Methotrexate) was monitored for durations ranging from 6 months to 3 years by real time PCR. The influences of treatment duration and disease activity score 28 (DAS28) index on EBV load were analyzed.

Results

Abatacept did not significantly modify EBV load over time. Tocilizumab significantly diminished EBV load over time. No patient (of 90) developed EBV associated lymphoma.

Conclusion

Long term treatment with Abatacept or Tocilizumab does not increase EBV load in the PBMNCs of patients with RA.

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<![CDATA[2-dimensional shear wave elastography: Interobserver agreement and factors related to interobserver discrepancy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc828

Purpose

To evaluate the interobserver reproducibility of two-dimensional shear wave elastography (2D-SWE) in measuring liver stiffness (LS) and to investigate factors related to liver 2D-SWE.

Materials and methods

A prospective study was conducted between August 2011 and August 2012 in rheumatoid arthritis patients who had been treated with methotrexate. Interobserver reproducibility of 2D-SWE was evaluated, and the relationship between interobserver difference in LS and related factors was analyzed using linear regression analyses. We considered age, sex, alanine transaminase, cholesterol, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference as clinical factors, and the mean value of standard deviation (SDM), its difference between two examiners, mean diameter of the regions of interest (ROIM), and its difference in the elasticity map as investigation factors. The cut-off value for significant factors to predict interobserver discrepancies in LS-based fibrosis stage was also inspected.

Results

In total, 176 patients were enrolled. The intraclass correlation coefficient between the two examiners was 0.784. In the univariate analysis, SDM and ROIM were independently associated with interobserver differences in LS as well as BMI, waist circumference, and the difference of ROI, but SDM and ROIM were the only ones significantly related in multivariate analysis (p<0.001 and p = 0.021, respectively). The best cut-off value for SDM in predicting interobserver discrepancy in LS-based fibrosis stage was 1.4.

Conclusions

Interobserver reproducibility of 2D-SWE for measuring LS was good and SDM was the most significantly associated factor with interobserver differences in LS and interobserver discordance in LS-based fibrosis stage.

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<![CDATA[Hepatoprotective effect of sitagliptin against methotrexate induced liver toxicity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc1fc

Sitagliptin is selective dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor (DPP4-I), used clinically as a new oral anti-diabetic agent. This study explored the underlying mechanisms of the hepatoprotective role of sitagliptin pretreatment against methotrexate (MTX) induced hepatotoxicity in mice. Forty mice were divided into four groups (10 mice each); control, MTX, and two sitagliptin groups (pretreated with sitagliptin 10 and 20 mg/kg/day, respectively) for five consecutive days prior to MTX injection. Results showed that MTX induced marked hepatic injury in the form of cloudy swelling, hydropic degeneration, apoptosis and focal necrosis in all hepatic zones. Biochemical analysis revealed significant increase in the serum transaminases, alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase in MTX group. Oxidative stress and depressed antioxidant system of the hepatic tissues were evident in MTX group. MTX down-regulated nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) expression and reduced its binding capacity. Additionally, MTX increased the activation and the expression of nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) and downstream inflammatory mediators. MTX induced the activation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and increased nitrite/nitrate level. Finally, hepatic cellular apoptosis was clearly obvious in MTX-intoxicated animals using TUNEL staining. Also, there was increase in the immunoexpression of pro-apoptotic protein Bax, increase in Bax and caspase-3 levels and decrease in the level of anti-apoptotic Bcl2 in liver. On the other hand, sitagliptin pretreatment significantly ameliorated all of the above mentioned biochemical, histopathological, immunohistochemical changes induced by MTX. These results provide new evidences that the hepatoprotective effect of sitagliptin is possibly mediated through modulation of Nrf2 and NF-κB signaling pathways with subsequent suppression of inflammatory and apoptotic processes.

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<![CDATA[LD-Aminopterin in the Canine Homologue of Human Atopic Dermatitis: A Randomized, Controlled Trial Reveals Dosing Factors Affecting Optimal Therapy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3aab0ee8fa60b8779d

Background

Options are limited for patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) who do not respond to topical treatments. Antifolate therapy with systemic methotrexate improves the disease, but is associated with adverse effects. The investigational antifolate LD-aminopterin may offer improved safety. It is not known how antifolate dose and dosing frequency affect efficacy in AD, but a primary mechanism is thought to involve the antifolate-mediated accumulation of 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR). However, recent in vitro studies indicate that AICAR increases then decreases as a function of antifolate concentration. To address this issue and understand how dosing affects antifolate efficacy in AD, we examined the efficacy and safety of different oral doses and schedules of LD-aminopterin in the canine model of AD.

Methods and Findings

This was a multi-center, double-blind trial involving 75 subjects with canine AD randomized to receive up to 12 weeks of placebo, once-weekly (0.007, 0.014, 0.021 mg/kg) or twice-weekly (0.007 mg/kg) LD-aminopterin. The primary efficacy outcome was the Global Score (GS), a composite of validated measures of disease severity and itch. GS improved in all once-weekly cohorts, with 0.014 mg/kg being optimal and significant (43%, P<0.01). The majority of improvement was seen by 8 weeks. In contrast, GS in the twice-weekly cohort was similar to placebo and worse than all once-weekly cohorts. Adverse events were similar across all treated cohorts and placebo.

Conclusions

Once-weekly LD-aminopterin was safe and efficacious in canine AD. Twice-weekly dosing negated efficacy despite having the same daily and weekly dose as effective once-weekly regimens. Optimal dosing in this homologue of human AD correlated with the concentration-selective accumulation of AICAR in vitro, consistent with AICAR mediating LD-aminopterin efficacy in AD.

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<![CDATA[Apoptosis Induction and Gene Expression Profile Alterations of Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Cells following Their Exposure to Bortezomib and Methotrexate]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcd4f

Mycosis fungoides (MF) and its leukemic variant Sézary syndrome (SS) comprise the majority of CTCL, a heterogenous group of non-Hodgkins lymphomas involving the skin. The CTCL’s resistance to chemotherapy and the lack of full understanding of their pathogenesis request further investigation. With the view of a more targeted therapy, we evaluated in vitro the effectiveness of bortezomib and methotrexate, as well as their combination in CTCL cell lines, regarding apoptosis induction. Our data are of clinical value and indicate that the bortezomib/methotrexate combinational therapy has an inferior impact on the apoptosis of CTCL compared to monotherapy, with bortezomib presenting as the most efficient treatment option for SS and methotrexate for MF. Using PCR arrays technology, we also investigated the alterations in the expression profile of genes related to DNA repair pathways in CTCL cell lines after treatment with bortezomib or methotrexate. We found that both agents, but mostly bortezomib, significantly deregulate a large number of genes in SS and MF cell lines, suggesting another pathway through which these agents could induce apoptosis in CTCL. Finally, we show that SS and MF respond differently to treatment, verifying their distinct nature and further emphasizing the need for discrete treatment approaches.

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