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Bibliography on: Publications by FHCRC Researchers

The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project: Providing world-wide, free access to classic scientific papers and other scholarly materials, since 1993.


ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 10 Jun 2023 at 01:43 Created: 

Publications by FHCRC Researchers

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center began in 1975, with critical help from Washington State's U.S. Senator Warren Magnuson. Fred Hutch quickly became the permanent home to Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, who had spent decades developing an innovative treatment for leukemia and other blood cancers. Thomas and his colleagues were working to cure cancer by transplanting human bone marrow after otherwise lethal doses of chemotherapy and radiation. At the Hutch, Thomas improved this treatment and readied it for widespread use. Since then, the pioneering procedure has saved hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide. While improving bone marrow transplantation remains central to Fred Hutch's research, it is now only part of its efforts. The Hutch is home to five scientific divisions, three Nobel laureates and more than 2,700 faculty, who collectively have published more than 10,000 scientific papers, presented here as a full bibliography.

NOTE: From 1995 to 2009 I served as the Hutch's vice president for information technology — hence my interest in the organization. Although my role was in the admin division, if you dig through this bibliography, you will find a couple of papers with me as an author.

Created with PubMed® Query: ( fhcrc[Affiliation] OR "fred hutchinson"[Affiliation] OR "Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research"[Affiliation] OR "Fred Hutch"[affiliation] ) NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-06-08

Espy N, Han X, Grant S, et al (2023)

Cross-protocol assessment of induction and durability of VISP/R in HIV preventive vaccine trial participants.

PLOS global public health, 3(6):e0002037.

Candidate HIV vaccines are designed to induce antibodies to various components of the HIV virus. An unintended result of these antibodies is that they may also be detected by commercial HIV diagnostic kits designed to detect an immune response to HIV acquisition. This phenomenon is known as Vaccine-Induced Seropositivity/Reactivity (VISP/R). In order to identify the vaccine characteristics associated with VISP/R, we collated the VISP/R results from 8,155 participants from 75 phase 1/2 studies and estimated the odds of VISP/R by multivariable logistic regression and 10-year estimated probability of persistence in relation to vaccine platform, HIV gag and envelope (env) gene inserts, and protein boost. Recipients of viral vectors, protein boosts, and combinations of DNA and viral-vectored vaccines had higher odds of VISP/R compared to those who received DNA-only vaccines (odds ratio, OR = 10.7, 9.1, 6.8, respectively, p<0.001). Recipients of gp140+ env gene insert (OR = 7.079, p<0.001) or gp120 env (OR = 1.508, p<0.001) had higher odds of VISP/R compared to those participants who received no env. Recipients of gp140 protein had higher odds of VISP/R than those that did not receive protein (OR = 25.155, p<0.001), and recipients of gp120 protein, had lower odds of VISP/R than those that did not receive protein (OR = 0.192, p<0.001). VISP/R persisted at 10 years in more recipients of env gene insert or protein compared to those who did not (64% vs 2%). The inclusion of gag gene in a vaccine regimen had modest effects on these odds and was confounded by other covariates. Participants receiving gp140+ gene insert or protein were most often reactive across all serologic HIV tests. Conclusions from this association analysis will provide insight into the possible impact of vaccine design on the HIV diagnostic landscape and vaccinated populations.

RevDate: 2023-06-08

Ostrin EJ, Rider NL, Alousi AM, et al (2023)

A Nasal Inflammatory Cytokine Signature Is Associated with Early Graft-versus-Host Disease of the Lung after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: Proof of Concept.

ImmunoHorizons, 7(6):421-430.

Respiratory inflammation in bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is poorly understood. Clinical criteria for early-stage BOS (stage 0p) often capture HCT recipients without BOS. Measuring respiratory tract inflammation may help identify BOS, particularly early BOS. We conducted a prospective observational study in HCT recipients with new-onset BOS (n = 14), BOS stage 0p (n = 10), and recipients without lung impairment with (n = 3) or without (n = 8) chronic graft-versus-host disease and measured nasal inflammation using nasosorption at enrollment and then every 3 mo for 1 y. We divided BOS stage 0p into impairment that did not return to baseline values (preBOS, n = 6), or transient impairment (n = 4). We tested eluted nasal mucosal lining fluid from nasosorption matrices for inflammatory chemokines and cytokines using multiplex magnetic bead immunoassays. We analyzed between-group differences using the Kruskal-Wallis method, adjusting for multiple comparisons. We found increased nasal inflammation in preBOS and therefore directly compared patients with preBOS to those with transient impairment, as this would be of greatest diagnostic relevance. After adjusting for multiple corrections, we found significant increases in growth factors (FGF2, TGF-α, GM-CSF, VEGF), macrophage activation (CCL4, TNF-α, IL-6), neutrophil activation (CXCL2, IL-8), T cell activation (CD40 ligand, IL-2, IL-12p70, IL-15), type 2 inflammation (eotaxin, IL-4, IL-13), type 17 inflammation (IL-17A), dendritic maturation (FLT3 ligand, IL-7), and counterregulatory molecules (PD-L1, IL-1 receptor antagonist, IL-10) in preBOS patients compared to transient impairment. These differences waned over time. In conclusion, a transient multifaceted nasal inflammatory response is associated with preBOS. Our findings require validation in larger longitudinal cohorts.

RevDate: 2023-06-08

Wang QL, Ma C, Yuan C, et al (2023)

Plasma 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels and Survival in Stage III Colon Cancer: Findings from CALGB/SWOG 80702 (Alliance).

Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research pii:727221 [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: To assess whether higher plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] is associated with improved outcomes in colon cancer and whether circulating inflammatory cytokines mediate such association.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Plasma samples were collected from 1,437 patients with stage III colon cancer enrolled in a phase III randomized clinical trial (CALGB/SWOG 80702) from 2010 to 2015, who were followed until 2020. Cox regressions were used to examine associations between plasma 25(OH)D and disease-free survival (DFS), overall survival (OS), and time to recurrence (TTR). Mediation analysis was performed for circulating inflammatory biomarkers of C-reactive protein (CRP), IL6, and soluble TNF receptor 2 (sTNF-R2).

RESULTS: Vitamin D deficiency [25(OH)D <12 ng/mL] was present in 13% of total patients at baseline and in 32% of Black patients. Compared with deficiency, nondeficient vitamin D status (≥12 ng/mL) was significantly associated with improved DFS, OS, and TTR (all Plog-rank<0.05), with multivariable-adjusted HRs of 0.68 (95% confidence interval, 0.51-0.92) for DFS, 0.57 (0.40-0.80) for OS, and 0.71 (0.52-0.98) for TTR. A U-shaped dose-response pattern was observed for DFS and OS (both Pnonlinearity<0.05). The proportion of the association with survival that was mediated by sTNF-R2 was 10.6% (Pmediation = 0.04) for DFS and 11.8% (Pmediation = 0.05) for OS, whereas CRP and IL6 were not shown to be mediators. Plasma 25(OH)D was not associated with the occurrence of ≥ grade 2 adverse events.

CONCLUSIONS: Nondeficient vitamin D is associated with improved outcomes in patients with stage III colon cancer, largely independent of circulation inflammations. A randomized trial is warranted to elucidate whether adjuvant vitamin D supplementation improves patient outcomes.

RevDate: 2023-06-08

Jani S, Church CD, P Nghiem (2023)

Insights into anti-tumor immunity via the polyomavirus shared across human Merkel cell carcinomas.

Frontiers in immunology, 14:1172913.

Understanding and augmenting cancer-specific immunity is impeded by the fact that most tumors are driven by patient-specific mutations that encode unique antigenic epitopes. The shared antigens in virus-driven tumors can help overcome this limitation. Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a particularly interesting tumor immunity model because (1) 80% of cases are driven by Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) oncoproteins that must be continually expressed for tumor survival; (2) MCPyV oncoproteins are only ~400 amino acids in length and are essentially invariant between tumors; (3) MCPyV-specific T cell responses are robust and strongly linked to patient outcomes; (4) anti-MCPyV antibodies reliably increase with MCC recurrence, forming the basis of a standard clinical surveillance test; and (5) MCC has one of the highest response rates to PD-1 pathway blockade among all solid cancers. Leveraging these well-defined viral oncoproteins, a set of tools that includes over 20 peptide-MHC class I tetramers has been developed to facilitate the study of anti-tumor immunity across MCC patients. Additionally, the highly immunogenic nature of MCPyV oncoproteins forces MCC tumors to develop robust immune evasion mechanisms to survive. Indeed, several immune evasion mechanisms are active in MCC, including transcriptional downregulation of MHC expression by tumor cells and upregulation of inhibitory molecules including PD-L1 and immunosuppressive cytokines. About half of patients with advanced MCC do not persistently benefit from PD-1 pathway blockade. Herein, we (1) summarize the lessons learned from studying the anti-tumor T cell response to virus-positive MCC; (2) review immune evasion mechanisms in MCC; (3) review mechanisms of resistance to immune-based therapies in MCC and other cancers; and (4) discuss how recently developed tools can be used to address open questions in cancer immunotherapy. We believe detailed investigation of this model cancer will provide insight into tumor immunity that will likely also be applicable to more common cancers without shared tumor antigens.

RevDate: 2023-06-08

Hoff FW, Qiu Y, Brown BD, et al (2023)

Valosin-containing protein (VCP/p97) is prognostically unfavorable in pediatric AML, and negatively correlates with unfolded protein response proteins IRE1 and GRP78: A report from the Children's Oncology Group.

Proteomics. Clinical applications [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the major site of protein synthesis and folding in the cell. ER-associated degradation (ERAD) and unfolded protein response (UPR) are the main mechanisms of ER-mediated cell stress adaptation. Targeting the cell stress response is a promising therapeutic approach in acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Protein expression levels of valosin-containing protein (VCP), a chief element of ERAD, were measured in peripheral blood samples from in 483 pediatric AML patients using reverse phase protein array methodology. Patients participated in the Children's Oncology Group AAML1031 phase 3 clinical trial that randomized patients to standard chemotherapy (cytarabine (Ara-C), daunorubicin, and etoposide [ADE]) versus ADE plus bortezomib (ADE+BTZ).

RESULTS: Low-VCP expression was significantly associated with favorable 5-year overall survival (OS) rate compared to middle-high-VCP expression (81% versus 63%, p < 0.001), independent of additional bortezomib treatment. Multivariable Cox regression analysis identified VCP as independent predictor of clinical outcome. UPR proteins IRE1 and GRP78 had significant negative correlation with VCP. Five-year OS in patients characterized by low-VCP, moderately high-IRE1 and high-GRP78 improved after treatment with ADE+BTZ versus ADE (66% versus 88%, p = 0.026).

Our findings suggest the potential of the protein VCP as biomarker in prognostication prediction in pediatric AML.

RevDate: 2023-06-08

Lange J, Zhao Y, Gogebakan KC, et al (2023)

Test sensitivity in a prospective cancer screening program: A critique of a common proxy measure.

Statistical methods in medical research [Epub ahead of print].

The true sensitivity of a cancer screening test, defined as the frequency with which the test returns a positive result if the cancer is present, is a key indicator of diagnostic performance. Given the challenges of directly assessing test sensitivity in a prospective screening program, proxy measures for true sensitivity are frequently reported. We call one such proxy empirical sensitivity, as it is given by the observed ratio of screen-detected cancers to the sum of screen-detected and interval cancers. In the setting of the canonical three-state Markov model for progression from preclinical onset to clinical diagnosis, we formulate a mathematical relationship for how empirical sensitivity varies with the screening interval and the mean preclinical sojourn time and identify conditions under which empirical sensitivity exceeds or falls short of true sensitivity. In particular, when the inter-screening interval is short relative to the mean sojourn time, empirical sensitivity tends to exceed true sensitivity, unless true sensitivity is high. The Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) has reported an estimate of 0.87 for the empirical sensitivity of digital mammography. We show that this corresponds to a true sensitivity of 0.82 under a mean sojourn time of 3.6 years estimated based on breast cancer screening trials. However, the BCSC estimate of empirical sensitivity corresponds to even lower true sensitivity under more contemporary, longer estimates of mean sojourn time. Consistently applied nomenclature that distinguishes empirical sensitivity from true sensitivity is needed to ensure that published estimates of sensitivity from prospective screening studies are properly interpreted.

RevDate: 2023-06-07

Sun G, Dizon DS, Szczepanek CM, et al (2023)

Crisis of the Clinical Trials Staff Attrition After the COVID-19 Pandemic.

A survey of clinical research professionals @SWOG indicate that 80% of clinical trial offices are understaffed. Addressing this is critical so progress for people with cancer continues. Read more about lessons learned in the #COVID19 pandemic and how it informs a path forward.

RevDate: 2023-06-08

Kamp K, Clark-Snustad K, Yoo L, et al (2023)

A Comprehensive Self-Management Intervention for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (CSM-IBD): Protocol for a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.

JMIR research protocols, 12:e46307 pii:v12i1e46307.

BACKGROUND: Despite pharmacological treatment, individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) experience a variety of symptoms, including abdominal pain, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Few nonmedical self-management interventions are available for people with IBD. A validated comprehensive self-management (CSM) intervention is effective for patients with irritable bowel syndrome who can have symptoms similar to those of individuals with IBD. We created a modified CSM intervention tailored to individuals with IBD (CSM-IBD). The CSM-IBD is an 8-session program delivered over 8-12 weeks with check-ins with a registered nurse.

OBJECTIVE: The primary objective of this pilot study is to determine the feasibility and acceptability of study procedures and the CSM-IBD intervention and to evaluate preliminary efficacy on quality of life and daily symptoms for a future randomized controlled trial. Additionally, we will examine the association of socioecological, clinical, and biological factors with symptoms at baseline and response to intervention.

METHODS: We are conducting a pilot randomized controlled trial of the CSM-IBD intervention. Participants aged 18-75 years who are experiencing at least 2 symptoms are eligible for inclusion. We plan to enroll 54 participants who will be randomized (2:1) into the CSM-IBD program or usual care. Patients in the CSM-IBD program will have 8 intervention sessions. Primary study outcomes include the feasibility of recruitment, randomization, and data or sample collection, as well as the acceptability of study procedures and interventions. Preliminary efficacy outcome variables include quality of life and symptoms. Outcomes data will be assessed at baseline, immediately post intervention, and 3 months post intervention. Participants in the usual care group will have access to the intervention after study participation.

RESULTS: This project is funded by the National Institutes of Nursing Research and reviewed by the University of Washington's institutional review board. Recruitment began in February 2023. As of April 2023, we have enrolled 4 participants. We expect the study to be completed by March 2025.

CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study will evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of a self-management intervention (a web-based program with weekly check-ins with a registered nurse) that aims to improve symptom management in individuals with IBD. In the long term, we aim to validate a self-management intervention to improve patient quality of life, reduce direct and indirect costs related to IBD, and be culturally appropriate and accessible, particularly in rural and underserved communities.



RevDate: 2023-06-08

Rashidi A, Gao F, Fredricks DN, et al (2023)

Analysis of Antibiotic Exposure and Development of Acute Graft-vs-Host Disease Following Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.

JAMA network open, 6(6):e2317188 pii:2805749.

IMPORTANCE: Certain antibiotic exposures have been associated with increased rates of acute graft-vs-host disease (aGVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). Since antibiotic exposure can both affect and be affected by infections, analyzing time-dependent exposure in the presence of multiple potential confounders, including prior antibiotic exposures, poses specific analytical challenges, necessitating both a large sample size and unique approaches.

OBJECTIVE: To identify antibiotics and antibiotic exposure timeframes associated with subsequent aGVHD.

This cohort study assessed allo-HCT at a single center from 2010 to 2021. Participants included all patients aged at least 18 years who underwent their first T-replete allo-HCT, with at least 6 months of follow-up. Data were analyzed from August 1 to December 15, 2022.

EXPOSURES: Antibiotics between 7 days before and 30 days after transplant.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was grade II to IV aGVHD. The secondary outcome was grade III to IV aGVHD. Data were analyzed using 3 orthogonal methods: conventional Cox proportional hazard regression, marginal structural models, and machine learning.

RESULTS: A total of 2023 patients (median [range] age, 55 [18-78] years; 1153 [57%] male) were eligible. Weeks 1 and 2 after HCT were the highest-risk intervals, with multiple antibiotic exposures associated with higher rates of subsequent aGVHD. In particular, exposure to carbapenems during weeks 1 and 2 after allo-HCT was consistently associated with increased risk of aGVHD (minimum hazard ratio [HR] among models, 2.75; 95% CI, 1.77-4.28), as was week 1 after allo-HCT exposure to combinations of penicillins with a β-lactamase inhibitor (minimum HR among models, 6.55; 95% CI, 2.35-18.20).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this cohort study of allo-HCT recipients, antibiotic choices and schedules in the early course of transplantation were associated with aGVHD rates. These findings should be considered in antibiotic stewardship programs.

RevDate: 2023-06-07

Benjet C, Zainal NH, Albor Y, et al (2023)

A Precision Treatment Model for Internet-Delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety and Depression Among University Students: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA psychiatry pii:2805591 [Epub ahead of print].

IMPORTANCE: Guided internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (i-CBT) is a low-cost way to address high unmet need for anxiety and depression treatment. Scalability could be increased if some patients were helped as much by self-guided i-CBT as guided i-CBT.

OBJECTIVE: To develop an individualized treatment rule using machine learning methods for guided i-CBT vs self-guided i-CBT based on a rich set of baseline predictors.

This prespecified secondary analysis of an assessor-blinded, multisite randomized clinical trial of guided i-CBT, self-guided i-CBT, and treatment as usual included students in Colombia and Mexico who were seeking treatment for anxiety (defined as a 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder [GAD-7] score of ≥10) and/or depression (defined as a 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-9] score of ≥10). Study recruitment was from March 1 to October 26, 2021. Initial data analysis was conducted from May 23 to October 26, 2022.

INTERVENTIONS: Participants were randomized to a culturally adapted transdiagnostic i-CBT that was guided (n = 445), self-guided (n = 439), or treatment as usual (n = 435).

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Remission of anxiety (GAD-7 scores of ≤4) and depression (PHQ-9 scores of ≤4) 3 months after baseline.

RESULTS: The study included 1319 participants (mean [SD] age, 21.4 [3.2] years; 1038 women [78.7%]; 725 participants [55.0%] came from Mexico). A total of 1210 participants (91.7%) had significantly higher mean (SE) probabilities of joint remission of anxiety and depression with guided i-CBT (51.8% [3.0%]) than with self-guided i-CBT (37.8% [3.0%]; P = .003) or treatment as usual (40.0% [2.7%]; P = .001). The remaining 109 participants (8.3%) had low mean (SE) probabilities of joint remission of anxiety and depression across all groups (guided i-CBT: 24.5% [9.1%]; P = .007; self-guided i-CBT: 25.4% [8.8%]; P = .004; treatment as usual: 31.0% [9.4%]; P = .001). All participants with baseline anxiety had nonsignificantly higher mean (SE) probabilities of anxiety remission with guided i-CBT (62.7% [5.9%]) than the other 2 groups (self-guided i-CBT: 50.2% [6.2%]; P = .14; treatment as usual: 53.0% [6.0%]; P = .25). A total of 841 of 1177 participants (71.5%) with baseline depression had significantly higher mean (SE) probabilities of depression remission with guided i-CBT (61.5% [3.6%]) than the other 2 groups (self-guided i-CBT: 44.3% [3.7%]; P = .001; treatment as usual: 41.8% [3.2%]; P < .001). The other 336 participants (28.5%) with baseline depression had nonsignificantly higher mean (SE) probabilities of depression remission with self-guided i-CBT (54.4% [6.0%]) than guided i-CBT (39.8% [5.4%]; P = .07).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Guided i-CBT yielded the highest probabilities of remission of anxiety and depression for most participants; however, these differences were nonsignificant for anxiety. Some participants had the highest probabilities of remission of depression with self-guided i-CBT. Information about this variation could be used to optimize allocation of guided and self-guided i-CBT in resource-constrained settings.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT04780542.

RevDate: 2023-06-07

Lin OM, Shen M, Li CI, et al (2023)

Lessons to inform interventions to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities within hematologic malignancies.

Cancer causes & control : CCC [Epub ahead of print].

Although racial and ethnic disparities in diagnosis, treatment, and survival have been well documented within the field of hematologic malignancies, very little work has focused on testing interventions that may reduce these disparities. The aim of this commentary is to review prior work in hematologic malignancies and explore new opportunities to develop disparity-reducing interventions by drawing from evidence-based strategies that have been successfully implemented in fields related to hematologic malignancies, including oncology and solid organ transplants. Relevant literature demonstrates that patient navigation and broader insurance coverage have been shown to reduce racial and ethnic disparities among patients with solid malignancies such as colorectal and breast cancer. Evidence-based strategies that might be most applicable to the field of hematologic malignancies include patient navigation and policy changes.

RevDate: 2023-06-07

Chalaka CW, Mahurin HM, Tarabadkar E, et al (2023)

Gender disparities in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

International journal of women's dermatology, 9(2):e085.

UNLABELLED: Patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) often experience debilitating symptoms that impair health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Existing evidence for HRQoL differences with respect to gender is conflicting.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate potential gender differences in HRQoL for patients with CTCL.

METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study to assess HRQoL in patients with CTCL by partnering with the Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation to distribute an electronic survey from February to April 2019.

RESULTS: A total of 292 patient responses (66% women, mean age 57 years) were included in the analysis. Most of the cohort had early-stage (IA-IIA) (74%; 162/203) mycosis fungoides (MFs) (87%; 241/279), followed by Sézary syndrome (SS) (12%; 33/279). Women with CTCL experienced significantly worse HRQoL compared with men (Skindex-16: 51±26 vs. 36±26, P ≤ 0.001; FACT-G: 69±21 vs. 77±16, P = 0.005). This gender difference was present even when controlling for stage of disease. Women experienced worse HRQoL in all three of the Skindex-16 subscales (symptoms: β = 14.0, P ≤ 0.001; emotions: β = 15.1, P ≤ 0.001; functioning: β = 11.3, P = 0.006), but only two of the four FACT-G subscales (physical: β =-2.8, P ≤ 0.001; emotional: β = -2.0, P = 0.004).

LIMITATIONS: Due to the method of distribution of the survey, we were unable to estimate a participant response rate. Participants' diagnosis and stage were self-reported.

CONCLUSION: In this cohort women with CTCL experienced significantly worse HRQoL when compared to men. Additional studies are necessary to determine what factors contribute to this gender disparity.

RevDate: 2023-06-07

Bale S, Yang L, Alirezaei M, et al (2023)

Fusion of the molecular adjuvant C3d to cleavage-independent native-like HIV-1 Env trimers improves the elicited antibody response.

Frontiers in immunology, 14:1180959.

An effective HIV vaccine likely requires the elicitation of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) against multiple HIV-1 clades. The recently developed cleavage-independent native flexibly linked (NFL) envelope (Env) trimers exhibit well-ordered conformation and elicit autologous tier 2 NAbs in multiple animal models. Here, we investigated whether the fusion of molecular adjuvant C3d to the Env trimers can improve B- cell germinal center (GC) formation and antibody responses. To generate Env-C3d trimers, we performed a glycine-serine- based (G4S) flexible peptide linker screening and identified a linker range that allowed native folding. A 30-60- amino- acid- long linker facilitates Env-to-C3d association and achieves the secretion of well-ordered trimers and the structural integrity and functional integrity of Env and C3d. The fusion of C3d did not dramatically affect the antigenicity of the Env trimers and enhanced the ability of the Env trimers to engage and activate B cells in vitro. In mice, the fusion of C3d enhanced germinal center formation, the magnitude of Env-specific binding antibodies, and the avidity of the antibodies in the presence of an adjuvant. The Sigma Adjuvant System (SAS) did not affect the trimer integrity in vitro but contributed to altered immunogenicity in vivo, resulting in increased tier 1 neutralization, likely by increased exposure of variable region 3 (V3). Taken together, the results indicate that the fusion of the molecular adjuvant, C3d, to the Env trimers improves antibody responses and could be useful for Env-based vaccines against HIV.

RevDate: 2023-06-05

Winn M, Karra P, Freisling H, et al (2023)

Metabolic obesity phenotypes and obesity-related cancer risk in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Endocrinology, diabetes & metabolism [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Body mass index (BMI) fails to identify up to one-third of normal weight individuals with metabolic dysfunction who may be at increased risk of obesity-related cancer (ORC). Metabolic obesity phenotypes, an alternate metric to assess metabolic dysfunction with or without obesity, were evaluated for association with ORC risk.

METHODS: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey participants from 1999 to 2018 (N = 19,500) were categorized into phenotypes according to the metabolic syndrome (MetS) criteria and BMI: metabolically healthy normal weight (MHNW), metabolically unhealthy normal weight (MUNW), metabolically healthy overweight/obese (MHO) and metabolically unhealthy overweight/obese (MUO). Adjusted multivariable logistic regression models were used to evaluate associations with ORC.

RESULTS: With metabolic dysfunction defined as ≥1 MetS criteria, ORC cases (n = 528) had higher proportions of MUNW (28.2% vs. 17.4%) and MUO (62.6% vs. 60.9%) phenotypes than cancer-free individuals (n = 18,972). Compared with MHNW participants, MUNW participants had a 2.2-times higher ORC risk [OR (95%CI) = 2.21 (1.27-3.85)]. MHO and MUO participants demonstrated a 43% and 56% increased ORC risk, respectively, compared to MHNW, but these did not reach statistical significance [OR (95% CI) = 1.43 (0.46-4.42), 1.56 (0.91-2.67), respectively]. Hyperglycaemia, hypertension and central obesity were all independently associated with higher ORC risk compared to MHNW.

CONCLUSIONS: MUNW participants have a higher risk of ORC than other abnormal phenotypes, compared with MHNW participants. Incorporating metabolic health measures in addition to assessing BMI may improve ORC risk stratification. Further research on the relationship between metabolic dysfunction and ORC is warranted.

RevDate: 2023-06-07
CmpDate: 2023-06-07

Cox SN, Scott EM, Rogers JH, et al (2023)

Burden of long COVID among adults experiencing sheltered homelessness: a longitudinal cohort study in King County, WA between September 2020-April 2022.

BMC public health, 23(1):1079.

BACKGROUND: People experiencing homelessness (PEH) are at increased risk for acquiring SARS-CoV-2, but the burden of long COVID in this population is unknown.

METHODS: We conducted a matched prospective cohort study to assess the prevalence, characteristics, and impact of long COVID among sheltered PEH in Seattle, WA between September 2020-April 2022. Adults ≥ 18 years, residing across nine homeless shelters with active respiratory virus surveillance, were eligible to complete in-person baseline surveys and interval follow-up phone surveys. We included a subset of 22 COVID-19-positive cases who tested positive or inconclusive for SARS-CoV-2 and 44 COVID-19-negative controls who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2, frequency matched on age and sex. Among controls, 22 were positive and 22 were negative for one of 27 other respiratory virus pathogens. To assess the impact of COVID-19 on the risk of symptom presence at follow-up (day 30-225 post-enrollment test), we performed log-linear regression with robust standard errors, adjusting for confounding by shelter site and demographic variables determined a priori.

RESULTS: Of 53 eligible COVID-19 cases, 22 (42%) completed ≥ 1 follow-up survey. While five (23%) cases reported ≥ 1 symptom at baseline, this increased to 77% (10/13) between day 30-59 and 33% (4/12) day 90 + . The most commonly reported symptoms day 30 + were fatigue (27%) and rhinorrhea (27%), with 8 (36%) reporting symptoms that interfered with or prevented daily activities. Four (33%) symptomatic cases reported receiving medical care outside of a medical provider at an isolation facility. Of 44 controls, 12 (27%) reported any symptoms day 90 + . Risk of any symptoms at follow-up was 5.4 times higher among COVID-19 cases compared to controls (95% CI: 2.7-10.5).

CONCLUSIONS: Shelter residents reported a high prevalence of symptoms 30 + days after their SARS-CoV-2 detection, though few accessed medical care for persistent illness. The impact of COVID-19 extends beyond acute illness and may exacerbate existing challenges that marginalized populations face in maintaining their health and wellbeing.

RevDate: 2023-06-07
CmpDate: 2023-06-07

Gozzi N, Chinazzi M, Dean NE, et al (2023)

Estimating the impact of COVID-19 vaccine inequities: a modeling study.

Nature communications, 14(1):3272.

Access to COVID-19 vaccines on the global scale has been drastically hindered by structural socio-economic disparities. Here, we develop a data-driven, age-stratified epidemic model to evaluate the effects of COVID-19 vaccine inequities in twenty lower middle and low income countries (LMIC) selected from all WHO regions. We investigate and quantify the potential effects of higher or earlier doses availability. In doing so, we focus on the crucial initial months of vaccine distribution and administration, exploring counterfactual scenarios where we assume the same per capita daily vaccination rate reported in selected high income countries. We estimate that more than 50% of deaths (min-max range: [54-94%]) that occurred in the analyzed countries could have been averted. We further consider scenarios where LMIC had similarly early access to vaccine doses as high income countries. Even without increasing the number of doses, we estimate an important fraction of deaths (min-max range: [6-50%]) could have been averted. In the absence of the availability of high-income countries, the model suggests that additional non-pharmaceutical interventions inducing a considerable relative decrease of transmissibility (min-max range: [15-70%]) would have been required to offset the lack of vaccines. Overall, our results quantify the negative impacts of vaccine inequities and underscore the need for intensified global efforts devoted to provide faster access to vaccine programs in low and lower-middle-income countries.

RevDate: 2023-06-05

Lund MC, Larsen BB, Rowsey DM, et al (2023)

Using archived and biocollection samples towards deciphering the DNA virus diversity associated with rodent species in the families cricetidae and heteromyidae.

Virology, 585:42-60 pii:S0042-6822(23)00110-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Rodentia is the most speciose order of mammals, and they are known to harbor a wide range of viruses. Although there has been significant research on zoonotic viruses in rodents, research on the diversity of other viruses has been limited, especially for rodents in the families Cricetidae and Heteromyidae. In fecal and liver samples of nine species of rodents, we identify 346 distinct circular DNA viral genomes. Of these, a large portion are circular, single-stranded DNA viruses in the families Anelloviridae (n = 3), Circoviridae (n = 5), Genomoviridae (n = 7), Microviridae (n = 297), Naryaviridae (n = 4), Vilyaviridae (n = 15) and in the phylum Cressdnaviricota (n = 13) that cannot be assigned established families. We also identified two large bacteriophages of 36 and 50 kb that are part of the class Caudoviricetes. Some of these viruses are clearly those that infect rodents, however, most of these likely infect various organisms associated with rodents, their environment or their diet.

RevDate: 2023-06-07
CmpDate: 2023-06-07

Chen Y, Shankaran V, Hahn EE, et al (2023)

Underutilization or appropriate care? Assessing adjuvant chemotherapy use and survival in 3 heterogenous subpopulations with stage II/III colorectal cancer within a large integrated health system.

Journal of managed care & specialty pharmacy, 29(6):635-646.

BACKGROUND: Clinical guidelines have recommended adjuvant chemotherapy (ACT) for patients with high-risk stage II colon cancer, although the survival benefit is unclear. ACT is also recommended for patients with stage III colon cancer to reduce the risk of recurrence and mortality. For stage II/III rectal cancer, however, the role of perioperative chemotherapy (PCT, adjuvant or neoadjuvant) remains controversial, resulting in substantial variation in its use in clinical practice. OBJECTIVES: To understand real-world use and predictors of ACT or PCT use and survival outcomes in 3 heterogeneous patient groups with colorectal cancer (CRC), and to inform the evidence gap between guideline-based care and clinical practice. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study included patients with an initial stage II/III CRC diagnosis between 2008 and 2013 identified from Kaiser Permanente Southern California electronic health record databases. Patients were eligible if they were aged 18-74 years at diagnosis and received primary curative surgery. We fitted mixed effects logistic regression models to evaluate predictors of ACT receipt and Cox proportional hazards models on propensity score-matched (PS-matched) samples to assess the association between ACT/PCT receipt and survival. RESULTS: We included 1,690 patients with colon cancer (stage II: 820 and stage III: 870) and 587 patients with rectal cancer (stage II: 241 and stage III: 346). We found that 65% of patients with high-risk stage II colon cancer, 15% of those with stage III colon, and 15% of those with stage II/III rectal cancer did not receive ACT/PCT. Patients with stage II colon cancer with T4 stage (odds ratio [OR] = 5.79, 95% CI = 3.33 - 10.06) and a lower comorbidity score were more likely to receive ACT (high vs low Charlson score: OR = 0.69, 95% CI = 0.55 - 0.87). Patients with stage III rectal cancer were more likely to receive PCT than those with stage II disease (OR = 7.85, 95% CI = 2.07 - 29.74). Patients with another cancer diagnosis prior to CRC diagnosis were less likely to receive PCT (OR = 0.37, 95% CI = 0.16 - 0.85). ACT/PCT use was associated with improved overall survival among patients with high-risk stage II colon cancer (PS-matched hazard ratio [HR] = 0.42, 95% CI = 0.25 - 0.70) and those with stage III CRC (stage III colon: PS-matched HR = 0.3, 95% CI = 0.25 - 0.36; stage III rectal: PS-matched HR = 0.2, 95% CI = 0.13 - 0.31). CONCLUSIONS: We found potential underuse of appropriate chemotherapy treatment in patients with high-risk stage II colon cancer and stage III CRC. Clinicians' and providers' decisions on ACT administration may not be fully guided by the risk of recurrence and 5-year survival benefits in stage II colon cancer. DISCLOSURES: This research was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (under R37-CA218413). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

RevDate: 2023-06-05

Barnett BG, Wesselowski SR, Gordon SG, et al (2023)

A masked, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial evaluating safety and the effect on cardiac function of low-dose rapamycin in 17 healthy client-owned dogs.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 10:1168711.

INTRODUCTION: Geroscience studies of low-dose rapamycin in laboratory species have identified numerous benefits, including reversing age-related cardiac dysfunction. Cardiovascular benefits have been observed in dogs with 10 weeks of treatment, raising questions about possible benefits and adverse effects of long-term use of low-dose rapamycin. The objectives of this study were to assess the impact of 6 months of low-dose rapamycin on echocardiographic indices of cardiac function in healthy dogs and to document the occurrence of adverse events.

METHODS: Seventeen client-owned dogs aged 6-10 years, weighing 18-36 kg, and without significant systemic disease were included in a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, masked clinical trial. Low-dose rapamycin (0.025 mg/kg) or placebo was administered three times per week for 6 months. Baseline, 6-month, and 12-month evaluation included physical examination, cardiology examination, and clinicopathology. Three-month evaluation included physical examination and clinicopathology. Owners completed online questionnaires every 2 weeks.

RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences in echocardiographic parameters between rapamycin and placebo groups at 6 or 12 months. No clinically significant adverse events occurred. In 26.8% of the bi-weekly surveys owners whose dogs received rapamycin reported perceived positive changes in behavior or health, compared to 8.1% in the placebo group (p = 0.04).

DISCUSSION: While no clinically significant change in cardiac function was observed in dogs treated with low-dose rapamycin, the drug was well-tolerated with no significant adverse events.

RevDate: 2023-06-05

Tang M, Dudas G, Bedford T, et al (2023)

Fitting stochastic epidemic models to gene genealogies using linear noise approximation.

The annals of applied statistics, 17(1):1-22.

Phylodynamics is a set of population genetics tools that aim at reconstructing demographic history of a population based on molecular sequences of individuals sampled from the population of interest. One important task in phylodynamics is to estimate changes in (effective) population size. When applied to infectious disease sequences such estimation of population size trajectories can provide information about changes in the number of infections. To model changes in the number of infected individuals, current phylodynamic methods use non-parametric approaches (e.g., Bayesian curve-fitting based on change-point models or Gaussian process priors), parametric approaches (e.g., based on differential equations), and stochastic modeling in conjunction with likelihood-free Bayesian methods. The first class of methods yields results that are hard to interpret epidemiologically. The second class of methods provides estimates of important epidemiological parameters, such as infection and removal/recovery rates, but ignores variation in the dynamics of infectious disease spread. The third class of methods is the most advantageous statistically, but relies on computationally intensive particle filtering techniques that limits its applications. We propose a Bayesian model that combines phylodynamic inference and stochastic epidemic models, and achieves computational tractability by using a linear noise approximation (LNA) - a technique that allows us to approximate probability densities of stochastic epidemic model trajectories. LNA opens the door for using modern Markov chain Monte Carlo tools to approximate the joint posterior distribution of the disease transmission parameters and of high dimensional vectors describing unobserved changes in the stochastic epidemic model compartment sizes (e.g., numbers of infectious and susceptible individuals). In a simulation study, we show that our method can successfully recover parameters of stochastic epidemic models. We apply our estimation technique to Ebola genealogies estimated using viral genetic data from the 2014 epidemic in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

RevDate: 2023-06-05

Jurczak W, Elmusharaf N, Fox CP, et al (2023)

Phase I/II results of ceralasertib as monotherapy or in combination with acalabrutinib in high-risk relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Therapeutic advances in hematology, 14:20406207231173489.

BACKGROUND: Patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) have limited treatment options. Ceralasertib, a selective ataxia telangiectasia and Rad-3-related protein (ATR) inhibitor, demonstrated synergistic preclinical activity with a Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor in TP53- and ATM-defective CLL cells. Acalabrutinib is a selective BTK inhibitor approved for treatment of CLL.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate ceralasertib ± acalabrutinib in R/R CLL.

DESIGN: Nonrandomized, open-label phase I/II study.

METHODS: In arm A, patients received ceralasertib monotherapy 160 mg twice daily (BID) continuously (cohort 1) or 2 weeks on/2 weeks off (cohort 2). In arm B, patients received acalabrutinib 100 mg BID continuously (cycle 1), followed by combination treatment with ceralasertib 160 mg BID 1 week on/3 weeks off from cycle 2. Co-primary objectives were safety and pharmacokinetics. Efficacy was a secondary objective.

RESULTS: Eleven patients were treated [arm A, n = 8 (cohort 1, n = 5; cohort 2, n = 3); arm B, n = 3 (acalabrutinib plus ceralasertib, n = 2; acalabrutinib only, n = 1)]. Median duration of exposure was 3.5 and 7.2 months for ceralasertib in arms A and B, respectively, and 15.9 months for acalabrutinib in arm B. Most common grade ⩾3 treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) in arm A were anemia (75%) and thrombocytopenia (63%), with four dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) of grade 4 thrombocytopenia. No grade ⩾3 TEAEs or DLTs occurred in arm B. Ceralasertib plasma concentrations were similar when administered as monotherapy or in combination. At median follow-up of 15.1 months in arm A, no responses were observed, median progression-free survival (PFS) was 3.8 months, and median overall survival (OS) was 16.9 months. At median follow-up of 17.2 months in arm B, overall response rate was 100%, and median PFS and OS were not reached.

CONCLUSION: Ceralasertib alone showed limited clinical benefit. Acalabrutinib plus ceralasertib was tolerable with preliminary activity in patients with R/R CLL, though findings are inconclusive due to small sample size.


RevDate: 2023-06-05

Sterling MR, Grabowski DC, MJ Shen (2023)

Obtaining and Paying for Home Care-Navigating Patients Through the Complex Terrain of Home Care in the US.

JAMA internal medicine pii:2805582 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2023-06-04

Trejo MJ, Morrill KE, Klimentidis YC, et al (2023)

Examining genetic associations with hepatic steatosis in Mexican-origin adults.

Annals of hepatology pii:S1665-2681(23)00224-7 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: Various studies have identified single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and related traits, including ones located in or near the LYPLAL1, GCKR, PPP1R3B, TM6SF2, MBOAT7, and PNPLA3 genes. However, these SNPs were identified primarily in populations of European ancestry. This study examined the associations of these previously identified SNPs with hepatic steatosis in a sample of Mexican-origin adults living in Southern Arizona.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 307 Mexican-origin adults between the ages of 18 and 64 with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 kg/m2 or higher were genotyped at the following SNPs: rs12137855 (LYPLAL1), rs1260326 (GCKR), rs4240624 (PPP1R3B), rs58542926 (TM6SF2), rs641738 (MBOAT7), and rs738409 (PNPLA3). Hepatic steatosis was assessed by transient elastography (FibroScan®) with controlled attenuation parameter. Regression models examined the association between each of the six SNPs and hepatic steatosis. BMI was examined as a potential modifier of the genetic associations.

RESULTS: Participants were, on average, 45 years old and mostly female (63%) with an overall mean hepatic steatosis of 288.1 dB/m. Models showed no associations between LYPLAL1, GCKR, PPP1R3B, TM6SF2, or MBOAT7 and hepatic steatosis. Only PNPLA3 was statistically significantly associated with hepatic steatosis in both unadjusted and adjusted models (p<0.01). There was no effect modification observed with BMI.

CONCLUSIONS: SNPs associated with NAFLD in populations of European descent did not strongly contribute to hepatic steatosis in individuals of Mexican-origin, except for rs738409 (PNPLA3). Further efforts are necessary to explore additional SNPs that may be associated with NAFLD in this high-risk population.

RevDate: 2023-06-04

Kuczmarski TM, Tramontano AC, Mozessohn L, et al (2023)

Mental health disorders and survival among older patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in the USA: a population-based study.

The Lancet. Haematology pii:S2352-3026(23)00094-7 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Mental health disorders can potentially decrease quality of life and survival in patients with cancer. Little is known about the survival implications of mental health disorders in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). We aimed to evaluate the effect of pre-existing depression, anxiety, or both on survival in a US cohort of older patients with DLBCL.

METHODS: Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare (SEER-Medicare) database, we identified patients aged 67 years or older, diagnosed with DLBCL in the USA between Jan 1, 2001, and Dec 31, 2013. We used billing claims to identify patients with pre-existing depression, anxiety, or both before their DLBCL diagnosis. We compared 5-year overall survival and lymphoma-specific survival between these patients and those without pre-existing depression, anxiety, or both using Cox proportional analyses, adjusting for sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, including DLBCL stage, extranodal disease, and B symptoms.

FINDINGS: Among 13 244 patients with DLBCL, 2094 (15·8%) had depression, anxiety, or both disorders; 6988 (52·8%) were female, and 12 468 (94·1%) were White. The median follow-up for the cohort was 2·0 years (IQR 0·4-6·9 years). 5-year overall survival was 27·0% (95% CI 25·1-28·9) for patients with these mental health disorders versus 37·4% (36·5-38·3) for those with no mental health disorder (hazard ratio [HR] 1·37, 95% CI 1·29-1·44). Although survival differences between mental health disorders were modest, those with depression alone had the worst survival compared with no mental health disorder (HR 1·37, 95% CI 1·28-1·47), followed by those with depression and anxiety (1·23, 1·08-1·41), and then anxiety alone (1·17, 1·06-1·29). Individuals with these pre-existing mental health disorders also had lower 5-year lymphoma-specific survival, with depression conferring the greatest effect (1·37, 1·26-1·49) followed by those with depression and anxiety (1·25, 1·07-1·47) and then anxiety alone (1·16, 1·03-1·31).

INTERPRETATION: Pre-existing depression, anxiety, or both disorders present within 24 months before DLBCL diagnosis, worsens prognosis for patients with DLBCL. Our data underscore the need for universal and systematic mental health screening for this population, as mental health disorders are manageable, and improvements in this prevalent comorbidity might affect lymphoma-specific survival and overall survival.

FUNDING: American Society of Hematology, National Cancer Institute, Alan J Hirschfield Award.

RevDate: 2023-06-05
CmpDate: 2023-06-05

Oware K, Adiema L, Rono B, et al (2023)

Characteristics of Kenyan women using HIV PrEP enrolled in a randomized trial on doxycycline postexposure prophylaxis for sexually transmitted infection prevention.

BMC women's health, 23(1):296.

INTRODUCTION: The global incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has been rapidly increasing over the past decade, with more than one million curable STIs being acquired daily. Young women in sub-Saharan Africa have a high prevalence and incidence of both curable STIs and HIV. The use of doxycycline as a prophylaxis to prevent STIs is promising; however, clinical trials, to date, have only been conducted among men who have sex with men (MSM) in high-income settings. We describe the characteristics of participants enrolled in the first trial to determine the efficacy of doxycycline post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to reduce STI incidence among women taking daily, oral HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

METHODS: This is an open-label 1:1 randomized clinical trial on the efficacy of doxycycline PEP compared with standard of care (e.g., quarterly STI screening and treatment) to reduce incident bacterial STIs - Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, and Treponema pallidum - among Kenyan women aged ≥18 and ≤30 years. All were also taking HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). We describe the baseline characteristics, STI prevalence, and STI risk perception of participants.

RESULTS: Between February 2020 and November 2021, 449 women were enrolled. The median age was 24 years (IQR 21-27), the majority were never married (66.1%), 370 women (82.4%) reported having a primary sex partner, and 33% had sex with new partners in the three months prior to enrolment. Two-thirds (67.5%, 268 women) did not use condoms, 36.7% reported transactional sex, and 43.2% suspected their male partners of having sex with other women. Slightly less than half (45.9%, 206 women) were recently concerned about being exposed to an STI. The prevalence of STIs was 17.9%, with C. trachomatis accounting for the majority of infections. Perceived risk of STIs was not associated with the detection of an STI.

CONCLUSION: Young cisgender women using HIV PrEP in Kenya and enrolled in a trial of doxycycline postexposure prophylaxis had a high prevalence of curable STIs and represent a target population for an STI prevention intervention.

RevDate: 2023-06-03

Newman KL, Wolf CR, Logue JK, et al (2023)

Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea Are Common in Community-Acquired Acute Viral Respiratory Illness.

Digestive diseases and sciences [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are recognized sequelae of acute respiratory illness (ARI), but their prevalence is not well documented. Our study aim was to assess the incidence of GI symptoms in community ARI cases for persons of all ages and their association with clinical outcomes.

METHODS: We collected mid-nasal swabs, clinical, and symptom data from Seattle-area individuals during the 2018-2019 winter season as part of a large-scale prospective community surveillance study. Swabs were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for 26 respiratory pathogens. Likelihood of GI symptoms given demographic, clinical, and microbiological covariates were analyzed with Fisher's exact, Wilcoxon-rank-sum, and t-tests and multivariable logistic regression.

RESULTS: In 3183 ARI episodes, 29.4% had GI symptoms (n = 937). GI symptoms were significantly associated with pathogen detection, illness interfering with daily life, seeking care for the illness, and greater symptom burden (all p < 0.05). Controlling for age, > 3 symptoms, and month, influenza (p < 0.001), human metapneumovirus (p = 0.004), and enterovirus D68 (p = 0.05) were significantly more likely to be associated with GI symptoms than episodes with no pathogen detected. Seasonal coronaviruses (p = 0.005) and rhinovirus (p = 0.04) were significantly less likely to be associated with GI symptoms.

CONCLUSION: In this community-surveillance study of ARI, GI symptoms were common and associated with illness severity and respiratory pathogen detection. GI symptoms did not track with known GI tropism, suggesting GI symptoms may be nonspecific rather than pathogen-mediated. Patients presenting with GI and respiratory symptoms should have respiratory virus testing, even if the respiratory symptom is not the primary concern.

RevDate: 2023-06-05
CmpDate: 2023-06-05

Kurniansyah N, Goodman MO, Khan AT, et al (2023)

Evaluating the use of blood pressure polygenic risk scores across race/ethnic background groups.

Nature communications, 14(1):3202.

We assess performance and limitations of polygenic risk scores (PRSs) for multiple blood pressure (BP) phenotypes in diverse population groups. We compare "clumping-and-thresholding" (PRSice2) and LD-based (LDPred2) methods to construct PRSs from each of multiple GWAS, as well as multi-PRS approaches that sum PRSs with and without weights, including PRS-CSx. We use datasets from the MGB Biobank, TOPMed study, UK biobank, and from All of Us to train, assess, and validate PRSs in groups defined by self-reported race/ethnic background (Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latino, and White). For both SBP and DBP, the PRS-CSx based PRS, constructed as a weighted sum of PRSs developed from multiple independent GWAS, perform best across all race/ethnic backgrounds. Stratified analysis in All of Us shows that PRSs are better predictive of BP in females compared to males, individuals without obesity, and middle-aged (40-60 years) compared to older and younger individuals.

RevDate: 2023-06-02

Guzmán-Solís AA, Navarro MA, Ávila-Arcos MC, et al (2023)

A Glimpse into the Past: What Ancient Viral Genomes Reveal About Human History.

Annual review of virology [Epub ahead of print].

Humans have battled viruses for millennia. However, directly linking the symptomatology of disease outbreaks to specific viral pathogens was not possible until the twentieth century. With the advent of the genomic era and the development of advanced protocols for isolation, sequencing, and analysis of ancient nucleic acids from diverse human remains, the identification and characterization of ancient viruses became feasible. Recent studies have provided invaluable information about past epidemics and made it possible to examine assumptions and inferences on the origin and evolution of certain viral families. In parallel, the study of ancient viruses also uncovered their importance in the evolution of the human lineage and their key roles in shaping major events in human history. In this review, we describe the strategies used for the study of ancient viruses, along with their limitations, and provide a detailed account of what past viral infections have revealed about human history. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Virology, Volume 10 is September 2023. Please see for revised estimates.

RevDate: 2023-06-04

Baek G, Huynh P, Cunningham T, et al (2023)

Central Line Patency: Management With Normal Saline Flushes for Adult Patients With Cancer.

Clinical journal of oncology nursing, 27(3):274-280.

BACKGROUND: Central venous catheter (CVC) maintenance is critical in administering chemotherapy, transfusions, and high-frequency laboratory draws. Although normal saline (NS) flushes have been associated with similar incidences of irreversible port occlusions as heparin among adult patients with cancer and ports, additional research is needed regarding NS efficacy in other central line maintenance within large populations with cancer.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to analyze changes in reported CVC line patency via tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) administration rates in ports and other central lines because of an institutional switch from heparin to NS as preferred flushes in adult ambulatory patients with cancer.

METHODS: Retrospective data were collected from patients with ports (3,706 prepolicy, 3,402 postpolicy) and nonport CVCs (816 prepolicy, 694 postpolicy).

FINDINGS: Patients with nonport CVCs experienced similar tPA usage pre- versus postpolicy, versus an increased rate of tPA usage for ports. This policy resulted in institutional savings of $28,695.92. NS flushes are as effective as heparin for maintaining patency in ports and other CVCs for adult outpatients with cancer and address safety concerns with heparin-associated complications.

RevDate: 2023-06-02

Bennett SJ, Hunt RP, Breathett K, et al (2023)

Racial and Ethnic Differences in Self-Reported COVID-19 Exposure Risks, Concerns, and Behaviors Among Diverse Participants in the Women's Health Initiative Study.

The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences pii:7189800 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 risk are well-documented; however, few studies in older adults have examined multiple factors related to COVID-19 exposure, concerns, and behaviors or conducted race- and ethnicity- stratified analyses. The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) provides a unique opportunity to address those gaps.

METHODS: We conducted a secondary analysis of WHI data from a supplemental survey of 48,492 older adults (mean age 84 years). In multivariable-adjusted modified Poisson regression analyses, we examined predisposing factors and COVID-19 exposure risk, concerns, and behaviors. We hypothesized that women from minoritized racial or ethnic groups, compared to Non-Hispanic White women, would be more likely to report: exposure to COVID-19, a family or friend dying from COVID-19, difficulty getting routine medical care or deciding to forego care to avoid COVID-19 exposure, and having concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

RESULTS: Asian women and Non-Hispanic Black/African American women had a higher risk of being somewhat/very concerned about risk of getting COVID 19 compared to Non-Hispanic White women and each were significantly more likely than Non-Hispanic White women to report forgoing medical care to avoid COVID-19 exposure. However, Asian women were 35% less likely than Non-Hispanic White women to report difficulty getting routine medical care since March 2020 (aRR 0.65; 95% CI 0.57, 0.75).

CONCLUSIONS: We documented COVID-related racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 exposure risk, concerns, and care-related behaviors that disfavored minoritized racial and ethnic groups, particularly Non-Hispanic Black/African American women.

RevDate: 2023-06-02

Zarnegar-Lumley S, Alonzo T, Gerbing RB, et al (2023)

Characteristics and prognostic impact of IDH mutations in AML: a COG, SWOG, ECOG analysis.

Blood advances pii:496147 [Epub ahead of print].

Somatic mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) genes occur frequently in adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and less commonly in pediatric AML. The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence, co-occurring mutational profile, and prognostic significance of IDH mutations in AML across the age spectrum. Our cohort included 3,141 patients aged <1 month-88 years treated on CCG/COG (N=1872), SWOG (N=359), ECOG (N=397) trials and in Beat AML (N=333) and TCGA (N=180) genomic characterization cohorts. We retrospectively analyzed patients in four age groups (age range, N): pediatric (0-17, 1744), adolescent/young adult (AYA) (18-39, 444), intermediate-age (40-59, 640), older (≥ 60, 309). IDH mutations (IDHmut) were identified in 9.2% of the total cohort (N=288; IDH1 [N=123, 42.7%]; IDH2 [N=165, 57.3%]) and were strongly correlated with increased age: 3.4% pediatric vs 21% older, P<0.001. Outcomes were similar in IDHmut and IDH-wildtype (IDHWT) AML (event-free survival [EFS]: 35.6% vs 40.0%, P=0.368; overall survival [OS]: 50.3% vs 55.4%, P=0.196). IDH mutations frequently co-occurred with NPM1 (47.2%), DNMT3A (29.3%), and FLT3-ITD (22.4%) mutations. In patients with IDHmut AML, survival was significantly improved with co-occurring NPM1 mutation (IDHmut/NPM1mut) compared to the poor outcomes experienced by patients without (IDHmut/NPM1WT) (EFS: 55.1% vs 17.0%, P<0.001; OS: 66.5% vs 35.2%, P<0.001). Presence of DNTM3A or FLT3-ITD mutations in otherwise favorable IDHmut/NPM1mut AML led to inferior outcomes. Analysis according to age group demonstrated that IDH mutations did not abrogate the favorable prognostic impact of NPM1mut in patients younger than 60 years; older patients had poor outcomes regardless of NPM1 status. Clinical Trials: NCT00070174, NCT00372593, NCT01371981, NCT00049517, NCT00085709.

RevDate: 2023-06-02

Patel NC, Torgerson T, Thakar MS, et al (2023)

Safety and Efficacy of Hizentra® Following Pediatric Hematopoietic Cell Transplant for Treatment of Primary Immunodeficiencies.

Journal of clinical immunology [Epub ahead of print].

Primary immunodeficiency disease (PIDD) comprises a group of disorders of immune function. Some of the most severe PIDD can be treated with hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT). Hizentra® is a 20% liquid IgG product approved for subcutaneous administration in adults and children greater than 2 years of age with PIDD-associated antibody deficiency. Limited information is available on the use of Hizentra® in children following HCT for PIDD. A multicenter retrospective chart review demonstrated 37 infants and children (median age 70.1 [range 12.0 to 176.4] months) with PIDD treated by HCT who received Hizentra® infusions over a median duration of 31 (range 4-96) months post-transplant. The most common indication for HCT was IL2RG SCID (n = 16). Thirty-two patients switched from IVIG to SCIG administration, due to one or more of the following reasons: patient/caregiver (n = 17) or physician (n = 12) preference, discontinuation of central venous catheter (n = 16), desire for home infusion (n = 12), improved IgG serum levels following lower levels on IVIG (n = 10), and loss of venous access (n = 8). Serious bacterial infections occurred at a rate of 0.041 per patient-year while on therapy. Weight percentile increased by a mean of 16% during the observation period, with females demonstrating the largest gains. Mild local reactions were observed in 24%; 76% had no local reactions. One serious adverse event (death from sepsis) was reported. Hizentra® was discontinued in 15 (41%) patients, most commonly due to recovery of B cell function (n = 11). These data demonstrate that Hizentra® is a safe and effective option in children who have received HCT for PIDD.

RevDate: 2023-06-03

Chavtur C, Staubus WJ, Ho M, et al (2023)

Plasmodium 18S Ribosomal RNA Biomarker Clearance After Food and Drug Administration-Approved Antimalarial Treatment in Controlled Human Malaria Infection Trials.

Open forum infectious diseases, 10(5):ofad202.

BACKGROUND: Sensitive molecular assays, such as quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) of Plasmodium 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA), are increasingly the primary method of detecting infections in controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) trials. However, thick blood smears (TBSs) remain the main method for confirming clearance of parasites after curative treatment, in part owing to uncertainty regarding biomarker clearance rates.

METHODS: For this analysis, 18S rRNA qRT-PCR data were compiled from 127 Plasmodium falciparum-infected participants treated with chloroquine or atovaquone-proguanil in 6 CHMI studies conducted in Seattle, Washington, over the past decade. A survival analysis approach was used to compare biomarker and TBS clearance times among studies. The effect of the parasite density at which treatment was initiated on clearance time was estimated using linear regression.

RESULTS: The median time to biomarker clearance was 3 days (interquartile range, 3-5 days), while the median time to TBS clearance was 1 day (1-2 days). Time to biomarker clearance increased with the parasite density at which treatment was initiated. Parasite density did not have a significant effect on TBS clearance.

CONCLUSIONS: The Plasmodium 18S rRNA biomarker clears quickly and can be relied on to confirm the adequacy of Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments in CHMI studies at nonendemic sites.

RevDate: 2023-06-02

Fourment M, Swanepoel CJ, Galloway JG, et al (2023)

Automatic Differentiation is no Panacea for Phylogenetic Gradient Computation.

Genome biology and evolution pii:7188956 [Epub ahead of print].

Gradients of probabilistic model likelihoods with respect to their parameters are essential for modern computational statistics and machine learning. These calculations are readily available for arbitrary models via "automatic differentiation" implemented in general-purpose machine-learning libraries such as TensorFlow and PyTorch. Although these libraries are highly optimized, it is not clear if their general-purpose nature will limit their algorithmic complexity or implementation speed for the phylogenetic case compared to phylogenetics-specific code. In this paper, we compare six gradient implementations of the phylogenetic likelihood functions, in isolation and also as part of a variational inference procedure. We find that although automatic differentiation can scale approximately linearly in tree size, it is much slower than the carefully-implemented gradient calculation for tree likelihood and ratio transformation operations. We conclude that a mixed approach combining phylogenetic libraries with machine learning libraries will provide the optimal combination of speed and model exibility moving forward.

RevDate: 2023-06-01

Kachuri L, Hoffmann TJ, Jiang Y, et al (2023)

Genetically adjusted PSA levels for prostate cancer screening.

Nature medicine [Epub ahead of print].

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer remains controversial because it increases overdiagnosis and overtreatment of clinically insignificant tumors. Accounting for genetic determinants of constitutive, non-cancer-related PSA variation has potential to improve screening utility. In this study, we discovered 128 genome-wide significant associations (P < 5 × 10[-8]) in a multi-ancestry meta-analysis of 95,768 men and developed a PSA polygenic score (PGSPSA) that explains 9.61% of constitutive PSA variation. We found that, in men of European ancestry, using PGS-adjusted PSA would avoid up to 31% of negative prostate biopsies but also result in 12% fewer biopsies in patients with prostate cancer, mostly with Gleason score <7 tumors. Genetically adjusted PSA was more predictive of aggressive prostate cancer (odds ratio (OR) = 3.44, P = 6.2 × 10[-14], area under the curve (AUC) = 0.755) than unadjusted PSA (OR = 3.31, P = 1.1 × 10[-12], AUC = 0.738) in 106 cases and 23,667 controls. Compared to a prostate cancer PGS alone (AUC = 0.712), including genetically adjusted PSA improved detection of aggressive disease (AUC = 0.786, P = 7.2 × 10[-4]). Our findings highlight the potential utility of incorporating PGS for personalized biomarkers in prostate cancer screening.

RevDate: 2023-06-01

Kersten K, You R, Liang S, et al (2023)

Uptake of tumor-derived microparticles induces metabolic reprogramming of macrophages in the early metastatic lung.

Cell reports, 42(6):112582 pii:S2211-1247(23)00593-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Pre-metastatic niche formation is a critical step during the metastatic spread of cancer. One way by which primary tumors prime host cells at future metastatic sites is through the shedding of tumor-derived microparticles as a consequence of vascular sheer flow. However, it remains unclear how the uptake of such particles by resident immune cells affects their phenotype and function. Here, we show that ingestion of tumor-derived microparticles by macrophages induces a rapid metabolic and phenotypic switch that is characterized by enhanced mitochondrial mass and function, increased oxidative phosphorylation, and upregulation of adhesion molecules, resulting in reduced motility in the early metastatic lung. This reprogramming event is dependent on signaling through the mTORC1, but not the mTORC2, pathway and is induced by uptake of tumor-derived microparticles. Together, these data support a mechanism by which uptake of tumor-derived microparticles induces reprogramming of macrophages to shape their fate and function in the early metastatic lung.

RevDate: 2023-06-02

Israeli S, Krakow EF, Maiers M, et al (2023)

Trans-population graph-based coverage optimization of allogeneic cellular therapy.

Frontiers in immunology, 14:1069749.

BACKGROUND: Pre-clinical development and in-human trials of 'off-the-shelf' immune effector cell therapy (IECT) are burgeoning. IECT offers many potential advantages over autologous products. The relevant HLA matching criteria vary from product to product and depend on the strategies employed to reduce the risk of GvHD or to improve allo-IEC persistence, as warranted by different clinical indications, disease kinetics, on-target/off-tumor effects, and therapeutic cell type (T cell subtype, NK, etc.).

OBJECTIVE: The optimal choice of candidate donors to maximize target patient population coverage and minimize cost and redundant effort in creating off-the-shelf IECT product banks is still an open problem. We propose here a solution to this problem, and test whether it would be more expensive to recruit additional donors or to prevent class I or class II HLA expression through gene editing.

STUDY DESIGN: We developed an optimal coverage problem, combined with a graph-based algorithm to solve the donor selection problem under different, clinically plausible scenarios (having different HLA matching priorities). We then compared the efficiency of different optimization algorithms - a greedy solution, a linear programming (LP) solution, and integer linear programming (ILP) -- as well as random donor selection (average of 5 random trials) to show that an optimization can be performed at the entire population level.

RESULTS: The average additional population coverage per donor decrease with the number of donors, and varies with the scenario. The Greedy, LP and ILP algorithms consistently achieve the optimal coverage with far fewer donors than the random choice. In all cases, the number of randomly-selected donors required to achieve a desired coverage increases with increasing population. However, when optimal donors are selected, the number of donors required may counter-intuitively decrease with increasing population size. When comparing recruiting more donors vs gene editing, the latter was generally more expensive. When choosing donors and patients from different populations, the number of random donors required drastically increases, while the number of optimal donors does not change. Random donors fail to cover populations different from their original populations, while a small number of optimal donors from one population can cover a different population.

DISCUSSION: Graph-based coverage optimization algorithms can flexibly handle various HLA matching criteria and accommodate additional information such as KIR genotype, when such information becomes routinely available. These algorithms offer a more efficient way to develop off-the-shelf IECT product banks compared to random donor selection and offer some possibility of improved transparency and standardization in product design.

RevDate: 2023-06-02

Itell HL, Humes D, J Overbaugh (2023)

Several cell-intrinsic effectors drive type I interferon-mediated restriction of HIV-1 in primary CD4 [+] T cells.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.

Type I interferon (IFN) upregulates proteins that inhibit HIV within infected cells. Prior studies have identified IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) that impede lab-adapted HIV in cell lines, yet the ISG(s) that mediate IFN restriction in HIV target cells, primary CD4 [+] T cells, are unknown. Here, we interrogate ISG restriction of primary HIV in CD4 [+] T cells. We performed CRISPR-knockout screens using a custom library that specifically targets ISGs expressed in CD4 [+] T cells and validated top hits. Our investigation identified new HIV-restricting ISGs (HM13, IGFBP2, LAP3) and found that two previously studied factors (IFI16, UBE2L6) are IFN effectors in T cells. Inactivation of these five ISGs in combination further diminished IFN’s protective effect against six diverse HIV strains. This work demonstrates that IFN restriction of HIV is multifaceted, resulting from several effectors functioning collectively, and establishes a primary cell ISG screening model to identify both single and combinations of HIV-restricting ISGs.

RevDate: 2023-06-02

Ang D, Sugimoto J, Richards W, et al (2023)

Hospital Volume of Emergency General Surgery and its Impact on Inpatient Mortality for Geriatric Patients: Analysis From 3994 Hospitals.

The American surgeon, 89(4):996-1002.

BACKGROUND: Previous investigations have shown a positive association between hospital volume of operations and clinical outcomes. However, it is unclear whether such relationships also apply to emergency surgery. We sought to examine the association between hospital case volume and inpatient mortality for 7 common emergency general surgery (EGS) operations among geriatric patients.

METHODS: This is a population based retrospective cohort study using the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Limited Dataset Files (LDS) from 2011 to 2013. The 7 most common emergency surgeries included (1) partial colectomy, (2) small-bowel resection (SBR), (3) cholecystectomy, (4) appendectomy, (5) lysis of adhesions (LOA), (6) operative management of peptic ulcer disease (PUD), and (7) laparotomy with the primary outcome being inpatient mortality. Risk-adjusted inpatient mortality was plotted against operative volume. Subsequently an operative volume threshold was calculated using a best fit regression method. Based on these estimates, high- and low-volume hospitals were compared to examine significance of outcomes. Significance was defined as P-value < .05.

RESULTS: The final cohort comprised of 414 779 patients from 3994 hospitals. The standardized mortality ratio (SMR) for high-volume centers were lower in 6 out of 8 surgeries examined. Small-bowel resection and partial colectomy operations had a significant decrease in mortality based on a volume threshold.

CONCLUSION: We observed decreased mortality with higher surgical volume for small-bowel resection and partial colectomy operations. Such differences may be related to practice patterns during the perioperative period, as complications related to the perioperative care were significantly lower for high-volume centers.

RevDate: 2023-06-01

Lopedote P, Xue E, Chotivatanapong J, et al (2023)

Acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease in umbilical cord blood transplant recipients.

Frontiers in oncology, 13:1186503.

INTRODUCTION: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a frequent early complication post hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT), associated with high morbidity and mortality. Cord blood transplant (CBT) recipients are potentially exposed to more nephrotoxic insults, compared to patients undergoing HSCT from other donor sources. We aimed to identify risk factors for AKI in patients undergoing CBT. We also aimed to identify the impact of AKI on chronic kidney disease (CKD) and survival outcomes by one-year post-CBT.

METHODS: Adults and children who underwent a first CBT at our Institution were retrospectively evaluated. AKI was staged according to Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) definitions. Cox regression models were used to estimate the association of demographic factors and post-CBT parameters with the cause-specific hazard of AKI.

RESULTS: We identified 276 patients. Median age was 32 years, 28% (77/276) were children (<18 years) and 129 (47%) were white. A myeloablative conditioning regimen was administered to 243 patients (88%) and 248 (90%) received cyclosporine for GVHD prophylaxis. One-hundred and eighty-six patients (67%) developed AKI by day 60 post-transplant, with 72 (26%) developing severe AKI (stage 2 and 3). In a multivariable analysis, each increase in bilirubin level of 1 mg/dL was associated with a 23% increase in the risk of severe AKI (adjusted HR 1.23, 95% CI 1.13 - 1.34, p<.0001). Conversely, systemic steroid administration appeared to be protective of severe AKI (unadjusted HR 0.36, 95% CI 0.18 - 0.72, p=.004) in a univariate model . Two-hundred-forty-seven patients were evaluable at the one-year time point. Among those, 100 patients (40%) developed CKD one-year post-CBT. Severe AKI was associated with a higher hazard of non-relapse mortality (adjusted HR=3.26, 95% CI 1.65-6.45, p=.001) and overall mortality (adjusted HR=2.28, 95% CI 1.22-4.27, p=.01).

DISCUSSION: AKI is a frequent complication after CBT and is associated with worse outcomes. Questions remain as to the mechanism of the protective role of steroids on kidney function in the setting of CBT.

RevDate: 2023-06-01

Feng X, Wu WY, Onwuka JU, et al (2023)

Lung cancer risk discrimination of prediagnostic proteomics measurements compared with existing prediction tools.

Journal of the National Cancer Institute pii:7186270 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: We sought to develop a proteomics-based risk model for lung cancer and evaluate its risk-discriminatory performance in comparison with a smoking-based risk model (PLCOm2012) and a commercially available autoantibody biomarker test.

METHODS: We designed a case-control study nested in 6 prospective cohorts, including 624 lung cancer participants who donated blood samples at most 3 years prior to lung cancer diagnosis and 624 smoking-matched cancer free participants who were assayed for 302 proteins. We used 470 case-control pairs from 4 cohorts to select proteins and train a protein-based risk model. We subsequently used 154 case-control pairs from 2 cohorts to compare the risk-discriminatory performance of the protein-based model with that of the Early Cancer Detection Test (EarlyCDT)-Lung and the PLCOm2012 model using receiver operating characteristics analysis and by estimating models' sensitivity. All tests were 2-sided.

RESULTS: The area under the curve for the protein-based risk model in the validation sample was 0.75 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.70 to 0.81) compared with 0.64 (95% CI = 0.57 to 0.70) for the PLCOm2012 model (Pdifference = .001). The EarlyCDT-Lung had a sensitivity of 14% (95% CI = 8.2% to 19%) and a specificity of 86% (95% CI = 81% to 92%) for incident lung cancer. At the same specificity of 86%, the sensitivity for the protein-based risk model was estimated at 49% (95% CI = 41% to 57%) and 30% (95% CI = 23% to 37%) for the PLCOm2012 model.

CONCLUSION: Circulating proteins showed promise in predicting incident lung cancer and outperformed a standard risk prediction model and the commercialized EarlyCDT-Lung.

RevDate: 2023-06-01

Paulson KG, Ravi V, Rubin BP, et al (2023)

Incidence, demographics, and survival of malignant hemangioendothelioma in the United States.

Cancer medicine [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Malignant hemangioendothelioma is an endothelial cancer with heterogeneous clinical behavior that can range from indolent to aggressive, of which the majority are epithelioid (EHE). Its incidence and demographics have not been previously well defined in a large cohort.

METHODS: This retrospective analysis used the US Cancer Statistics National Program of Cancer Registries - Surveillance Epidemiology End Results (SEER) combined database to identify patients in the US newly diagnosed with hemangioendothelioma between the years of 2001 and 2017 (n = 1986). Survival analyses were performed on a subset of patients within the SEER-18 database with survival information available (n = 417). Outcomes included incidence, demographics of patients newly diagnosed with hemangioendothelioma, extent of disease at presentation, and overall survival.

RESULTS: The incidence of hemangioendothelioma in the US is 0.4 cases per million person-years. Although cases rose to 122 newly diagnosed in the year 2017 (90 EHE, 32 other hemangioendothelioma), incidence rates were stable. Skin and connective tissues were the most common presenting sites (33.4%), followed by liver (24.5%), lung (17.6%), and bone (12.5%). Median age at diagnosis was 55 years; 27.2% of patients were pediatric, adolescent, or young adult (<40 years). At presentation, 36.4% of patients had localized disease; 21.6% presented with regional and 41.7% with distant metastases. Observed survival at 3 years was 79.7%, 70.7%, and 46.0% for patients presenting with local, regional, and distant disease and most deaths occurred within the first 2 years.

CONCLUSIONS: Malignant hemangioendothelioma is ultra-rare but meaningfully impacts affected patients. These data may provide benchmarks for comparison of new approaches to hemangioendothelioma therapy and highlight poor survival outcomes.

RevDate: 2023-06-01

Owens L, Gogebakan KC, Menon U, et al (2023)

Short-term Endpoints for Cancer Screening Trials: Does Tumor Subtype Matter?.

Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology, 32(6):741-743.

Multicancer early detection tests are precipitating a reexamination of potential short-term endpoints for cancer screening trials. A reduction in advanced stage incidence is a prime candidate, and stage-shift models that substitute early-stage for late-stage survival have been used to predict mortality reduction due to screening. However, standard stage-shift models often ignore prognostic subtypes, effectively implying that cancers detected early also have an associated subtype shift. To illustrate the differences between mortality predictions from stage-shift models that ignore versus preserve prognostic subtype, we use ovarian cancer partitioned by histologic subtype and prostate cancer partitioned by grade. We infer general conditions under which stage-shift models that preserve prognostic subtype are likely to predict mortality reductions that differ from those that ignore subtype and examine the implications for short-term endpoints based on stage in cancer screening trials.

RevDate: 2023-06-01

Crombie JL, Jacobson CA, Redd R, et al (2023)

Prognostic value of early PET in patients with large B-cell lymphoma treated with anti-CD19 CAR T-cell therapy.

Haematologica [Epub ahead of print].

Not available.

RevDate: 2023-05-31

Prior JT, Limbert VM, Horowitz RM, et al (2023)

Establishment of isotype-switched, antigen-specific B cells in multiple mucosal tissues using non-mucosal immunization.

NPJ vaccines, 8(1):80.

Although most pathogens infect the human body via mucosal surfaces, very few injectable vaccines can specifically target immune cells to these tissues where their effector functions would be most desirable. We have previously shown that certain adjuvants can program vaccine-specific helper T cells to migrate to the gut, even when the vaccine is delivered non-mucosally. It is not known whether this is true for antigen-specific B cell responses. Here we show that a single intradermal vaccination with the adjuvant double mutant heat-labile toxin (dmLT) induces a robust endogenous, vaccine-specific, isotype-switched B cell response. When the vaccine was intradermally boosted, we detected non-circulating vaccine-specific B cell responses in the lamina propria of the large intestines, Peyer's patches, and lungs. When compared to the TLR9 ligand adjuvant CpG, only dmLT was able to drive the establishment of isotype-switched resident B cells in these mucosal tissues, even when the dmLT-adjuvanted vaccine was administered non-mucosally. Further, we found that the transcription factor Batf3 was important for the full germinal center reaction, isotype switching, and Peyer's patch migration of these B cells. Collectively, these data indicate that specific adjuvants can promote mucosal homing and the establishment of activated, antigen-specific B cells in mucosal tissues, even when these adjuvants are delivered by a non-mucosal route. These findings could fundamentally change the way future vaccines are formulated and delivered.

RevDate: 2023-05-31

Meeks JJ, Black PC, Galsky M, et al (2023)

Checkpoint Inhibitors in Urothelial Carcinoma-Future Directions and Biomarker Selection.

European urology pii:S0302-2838(23)02816-6 [Epub ahead of print].

CONTEXT: Several recent phase 2 and 3 trials have evaluated the efficacy and toxicity of checkpoint inhibitor (CPI) therapy for urothelial carcinoma (UC) in the metastatic, localized muscle-invasive UC (MIUC), upper tract UC, and non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) disease state.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the outcomes and toxicity of CPIs across the treatment landscape of UC and contextualize their application to current real-world treatment.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: We queried PubMed, Web of Science, and EMBASE databases and conference abstracts to identify prospective trials examining CPIs in UC. The primary endpoints included overall survival, recurrence-free survival, and toxicity (when available). A secondary analysis included biomarker evaluation of response.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: We identified 21 trials, 12 phase 2 and nine phase 3 trials, in which a CPI was used for metastatic UC (seven), MIUC (nine), and NMIBC (five). For first-line (1L) metastatic UC, concurrent chemotherapy with CPIs failed to show superiority. Improved overall and progression-free survival for switch maintenance avelumab (after achieving stable disease or response with induction systemic chemotherapy) has established the current standard of care for 1L metastatic UC. A single-agent CPI is a consideration for patients unable to tolerate chemotherapy. CPIs in the perioperative setting are limited to only the adjuvant treatment with nivolumab after radical surgery for MIUC in patients at a higher risk of recurrence based on pathologic stage. Only pembrolizumab is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for carcinoma in situ unresponsive to bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) in patients who are not fit for or who refuse radical cystectomy. Trials investigating CPIs in combination with multiple immune regulators, antibody drug conjugates, targeted therapies, antiangiogenic agents, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy are enrolling patients and may shape the future treatment of patients with UC.

CONCLUSIONS: CPIs have an established role across multiple states of UC, with broadened applications likely to occur in the future. Several combinations are being evaluated, while the development of predictive biomarkers and their validation may help identify patients who are most likely to respond.

PATIENT SUMMARY: Our findings highlight the broad activity of checkpoint inhibitors in urothelial carcinoma, noting the need for further investigation for the best application of combinations and patient selection to patient care.

RevDate: 2023-05-31

Loggers ET, Case AA, Chwistek M, et al (2023)

ADCC's Improving Goal Concordant Care Initiative: Implementing Primary Palliative Care Principles.

Journal of pain and symptom management pii:S0885-3924(23)00515-8 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: High-quality, timely goals of care communication (GOCC) may improve patient and caregiver outcomes and promote care that is consistent with patient preferences.

PROBLEM: Cancer patients, and their loved ones, appreciate GOCC; however, oncologists often lack formal communication training, institutional support and structures necessary to promote the delivery, documentation, and longitudinal follow-up of GOCC.

PROPOSED SOLUTION: The Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers (ADCC), representing 10 U.S. academic cancer hospitals, undertook the Improving Goal Concordant Care Initiative (IGCC). This national, 3-year implementation initiative was designed in Fall 2019 by a workgroup of quality, oncology, and palliative care leaders, as well as patient and family advisory committee members (PFAC). IGCC addresses systemic gaps by requiring four core components for participation: 1. Implementation of a formal communication skills training (CST) program, 2. Structured GOCC documentation in the electronic medical record that is visible to all clinicians, 3. Expectations regarding the timing and patientpopulations for GOCC, and 4. Implementation of a measurement framework.

METHOD: Dyads of palliative and oncology leaders committed to attend regularly scheduled, ADCC-led, virtual meetings during the design and implementation phase, incorporating PFAC feedback at every stage. Using the RE-AIM framework, we describe process and outcome evaluation measures defined by implementation and measures workgroups and collected routinely at IGCC inception, including: CST completion; trainee evaluation response rate, trainee-reported quality of CST, trainee changes in self-efficacy and distress; percent of high-priority patients participating in GOCC, and patient-reported response to the "Heard and Understood" scale (HU). IGCC's impact will be assessed via the primary outcome, receipt of goal concordant care, measured using claims-based utilization metrics near the end of life (EOLM) and followed longitudinally. Qualitative evaluations near the completion of IGCC will provide insight into perceived barriers, enabling factors, and sustainability.

OUTCOMES: Implementation of all IGCC components has begun at all sites. ADCC-wide, 35% of MD/DOs have completed CST (range by site: 8-100%). CST is highly rated; in Quarter 3, 2022, 93-100%, 90-100% and 87%-100% of respondents reported above average to excellent CST quality, likelihood to use the skills and likelihood to recommend CST to others, respectively. Clinician self-efficacy and distress ratings are expected in late 2023. All sites have identified patient populations and continue to refine automated triggers and timelines; uptake of GOCC documentation is slow. Eight of 10 sites have submitted patient-reported HU data. EOLM data are expected for all sites in early 2024.

LESSONS LEARNED: Flexibility in implementation with shared definitions, measures, and learnings about approaches optimizes the ability of all centers to collaborate and make progress in improving GOCC. Flexibility adds to the complexity of understanding intervention effectiveness, the critical intervention components and the fidelity necessary to achieve specific outcomes.

RevDate: 2023-06-01

Linden HM, DA Mankoff (2023)

Can Molecular Imaging Find a Path to Navigate Evolving Breast Cancer Treatments?.

Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, 29(11):2015-2016.

[18F]fluoroestradiol (FES) PET is an FDA-approved imaging biomarker. Like IHC, FES positivity predicts clinical benefit of endocrine therapy. In addition, FES measures the target activity in endocrine agent drug development. A recent study found that whole body tumor heterogeneity of expression predicts clinical benefit, and serial FES monitors estrogen receptor blockade and posttreatment release. See related article by Iqbal et al., p. 2075.

RevDate: 2023-05-31

Phillips NS, Stratton KL, Williams AM, et al (2023)

Late-onset Cognitive Impairment and Modifiable Risk Factors in Adult Childhood Cancer Survivors.

JAMA network open, 6(5):e2316077 pii:2805444.

IMPORTANCE: Long-term survivors of childhood cancer may be at elevated risk for new neurocognitive impairment and decline as they age into adulthood.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether aging adult childhood cancer survivors report more new-onset neurocognitive impairments compared with their siblings and to identify risk factors associated with such impairments.

Participants of this cohort study included adult survivors of childhood cancer from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study and their siblings as a control group. The original cohort included survivors who received a diagnosis between January 1, 1970, and December 31, 1986, for whom longitudinal neurocognitive assessment was available. This study examined the prevalence of new-onset neurocognitive impairment between baseline (23.4 years after diagnosis) and follow-up (35.0 years after diagnosis). The analysis was performed from January 2021 to May 2022.

EXPOSURES: Cancer treatment exposures were abstracted from medical records. Chronic health conditions were graded using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.03.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was new-onset (present at follow-up, but not present at baseline) neurocognitive impairment (defined as a score in the worst 10% of the sibling cohort). Impairment was assessed using the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study Neurocognitive questionnaire. Relative risks (RRs) and 95% CIs were used to estimate associations of neurocognitive impairment with treatment and health behaviors and conditions using generalized linear models.

RESULTS: The cohort comprised 2375 survivors (mean [SD] age at evaluation, 31.8 [7.5] years; 1298 women [54.6%]) of childhood cancer, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL; 1316 participants), central nervous system (CNS) tumors (488 participants), and Hodgkin lymphoma (HL; 571 participants). A total of 232 siblings (mean [SD] age at evaluation, 34.2 [8.4] years; 134 women [57.8%]) were included. Compared with siblings, a higher proportion of survivors with no impairment in memory at baseline had new-onset memory impairment at follow-up: siblings proportion, 7.8% (95% CI, 4.3%-11.4%); ALL survivors treated with chemotherapy only, 14.0% (95% CI, 10.7%-17.4%); ALL survivors treated with cranial radiation (CRT), 25.8% (95% CI, 22.6%-29.0%); CNS tumor survivors, 34.7% (95% CI, 30.0%-39.5%); and HL survivors, 16.6% (95% CI, 13.4%-19.8%). New-onset memory impairment was associated with CRT in CNS tumor survivors (RR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.33-2.90) and alkylator chemotherapy greater than or equal to 8000 mg/m2 in ALL survivors treated without CRT (RR, 2.80; 95% CI, 1.28-6.12). Neurologic conditions mediated the impact of CRT on new-onset memory impairment in CNS survivors. Smoking, low educational attainment, and low physical activity were associated with elevated risk for new-onset memory impairment.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: These findings suggest that adult survivors of childhood cancer are at elevated risk for late-onset memory impairment related to modifiable risk factors identified early in survivorship.

RevDate: 2023-05-31

Fuller H, Iles MM, Moore JB, et al (2023)

Metabolic drivers of dysglycemia in pregnancy: ethnic-specific GWAS of 146 metabolites and 1-sample Mendelian randomization analyses in a UK multi-ethnic birth cohort.

Frontiers in endocrinology, 14:1157416.

INTRODUCTION: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is the most common pregnancy complication worldwide and is associated with short- and long-term health implications for both mother and child. Prevalence of GDM varies between ethnicities, with South Asians (SAs) experiencing up to three times the risk compared to white Europeans (WEs). Recent evidence suggests that underlying metabolic difference contribute to this disparity, but an investigation of causality is required.

METHODS: To address this, we paired metabolite and genomic data to evaluate the causal effect of 146 distinct metabolic characteristics on gestational dysglycemia in SAs and WEs. First, we performed 292 GWASs to identify ethnic-specific genetic variants associated with each metabolite (P ≤ 1 x 10-5) in the Born and Bradford cohort (3688 SA and 3354 WE women). Following this, a one-sample Mendelian Randomisation (MR) approach was applied for each metabolite against fasting glucose and 2-hr post glucose at 26-28 weeks gestation. Additional GWAS and MR on 22 composite measures of metabolite classes were also conducted.

RESULTS: This study identified 15 novel genome-wide significant (GWS) SNPs associated with tyrosine in the FOXN and SLC13A2 genes and 1 novel GWS SNP (currently in no known gene) associated with acetate in SAs. Using MR approach, 14 metabolites were found to be associated with postprandial glucose in WEs, while in SAs a distinct panel of 11 metabolites were identified. Interestingly, in WEs, cholesterols were the dominant metabolite class driving with dysglycemia, while in SAs saturated fatty acids and total fatty acids were most commonly associated with dysglycemia.

DISCUSSION: In summary, we confirm and demonstrate the presence of ethnic-specific causal relationships between metabolites and dysglycemia in mid-pregnancy in a UK population of SA and WE pregnant women. Future work will aim to investigate their biological mechanisms on dysglycemia and translating this work towards ethnically tailored GDM prevention strategies.

RevDate: 2023-05-31

VoPham T, Cravero A, Feld LD, et al (2023)

Associations of Race and Ethnicity with Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Decompensation, and Mortality in US Veterans with Cirrhosis.

Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology pii:727074 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Among patients with cirrhosis, it remains unclear whether there are racial/ethnic differences in cirrhosis complications and mortality. We examined the associations between race/ethnicity and risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), cirrhosis decompensation, and all-cause mortality overall and by cirrhosis etiology.

METHODS: US Veterans diagnosed with cirrhosis from 2001 to 2014 (n = 120,992), due to hepatitis C virus (HCV; n = 55,814), alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD; n = 36,323), hepatitis B virus (HBV; n = 1,972), nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD; n = 17,789), or other (n = 9,094), were followed through 2020 for incident HCC (n = 10,242), cirrhosis decompensation (n = 27,887), and mortality (n = 81,441). Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

RESULTS: Compared with non-Hispanic White patients, Hispanic patients had higher risk for HCC overall (aHR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.24-1.41) and by cirrhosis etiology, particularly for ALD- (aHR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.42-1.87) and NAFLD-cirrhosis (aHR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.41-2.20), whereas non-Hispanic Black patients had lower HCC risk in ALD- (aHR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.63-0.98) and NAFLD-cirrhosis (aHR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.33-0.89). Asian patients had higher HCC risk (aHR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.29-2.23), driven by HCV- and HBV-cirrhosis. Non-Hispanic Black patients had lower risk for cirrhosis decompensation overall (aHR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.68-0.74) and by cirrhosis etiology. There was lower risk for mortality among all other racial/ethnic groups compared with non-Hispanic White patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Race/ethnicity is an important predictor for risk of developing HCC, decompensation, and mortality.

IMPACT: Future research should examine factors underlying these racial/ethnic differences to inform prevention, screening, and treatment for patients with cirrhosis.

RevDate: 2023-05-30

Yarborough S, Fitzpatrick A, Schwartz SM, et al (2023)

Author Correction: Evaluation of cognitive function in the Dog Aging Project: associations with baseline canine characteristics.

Scientific reports, 13(1):8753 pii:10.1038/s41598-023-34875-5.

RevDate: 2023-05-30

Cai CR, Cornelius S, Demedis J, et al (2023)

Experiences of adult survivors of childhood cancer in a randomized cardiovascular health promotion trial: a qualitative report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.

Journal of cancer survivorship : research and practice [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: To better understand preferences and attitudes that adult-aged survivors of childhood cancer have toward survivorship care plans (SCP) and related SCP-based counseling.

METHODS: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 survivors participating in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study who were at increased risk for cardiovascular disease secondary to their original cancer treatment. All participants were part of a larger randomized clinical trial (NCT03104543) testing the efficacy of an SCP-based counseling intervention with goal-setting designed to improve control of cardiovascular risk factors (i.e., hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes). A primarily deductive thematic analysis methodology guided interpretation; coded interview segments were grouped into primary themes of facilitators, barriers, suggestions, and positive sentiments.

RESULTS: Participants described benefits of the intervention including facilitation of accountability, goal-setting, and increased knowledge of their health. Many participants also noted improved knowledge of their cancer treatment and subsequent risks, and they were interested in sharing this information with their primary care provider. However, several participants were disappointed when they did not achieve their goals or felt that they had low motivation. Participants generally wanted increased flexibility in the intervention, whether in the duration, frequency, or method of delivery.

CONCLUSIONS: The SCP-based intervention was generally well-received by those interviewed and appears promising for promoting goal-setting and accountability as part of an SCP-based intervention to improve control of cardiovascular risk factors.

Many survivors are at risk for cardiovascular disease or other potentially modifiable effects of their treatment. SCP-based interventions may facilitate improved control of these late effects.

RevDate: 2023-05-30

Glunk V, Laber S, Sinnott-Armstrong N, et al (2023)

A non-coding variant linked to metabolic obesity with normal weight affects actin remodelling in subcutaneous adipocytes.

Nature metabolism, 5(5):861-879.

Recent large-scale genomic association studies found evidence for a genetic link between increased risk of type 2 diabetes and decreased risk for adiposity-related traits, reminiscent of metabolically obese normal weight (MONW) association signatures. However, the target genes and cellular mechanisms driving such MONW associations remain to be identified. Here, we systematically identify the cellular programmes of one of the top-scoring MONW risk loci, the 2q24.3 risk locus, in subcutaneous adipocytes. We identify a causal genetic variant, rs6712203, an intronic single-nucleotide polymorphism in the COBLL1 gene, which changes the conserved transcription factor motif of POU domain, class 2, transcription factor 2, and leads to differential COBLL1 gene expression by altering the enhancer activity at the locus in subcutaneous adipocytes. We then establish the cellular programme under the genetic control of the 2q24.3 MONW risk locus and the effector gene COBLL1, which is characterized by impaired actin cytoskeleton remodelling in differentiating subcutaneous adipocytes and subsequent failure of these cells to accumulate lipids and develop into metabolically active and insulin-sensitive adipocytes. Finally, we show that perturbations of the effector gene Cobll1 in a mouse model result in organismal phenotypes matching the MONW association signature, including decreased subcutaneous body fat mass and body weight along with impaired glucose tolerance. Taken together, our results provide a mechanistic link between the genetic risk for insulin resistance and low adiposity, providing a potential therapeutic hypothesis and a framework for future identification of causal relationships between genome associations and cellular programmes in other disorders.

RevDate: 2023-05-30

Feofanova EV, Brown MR, Alkis T, et al (2023)

Whole-Genome Sequencing Analysis of Human Metabolome in Multi-Ethnic Populations.

Nature communications, 14(1):3111.

Circulating metabolite levels may reflect the state of the human organism in health and disease, however, the genetic architecture of metabolites is not fully understood. We have performed a whole-genome sequencing association analysis of both common and rare variants in up to 11,840 multi-ethnic participants from five studies with up to 1666 circulating metabolites. We have discovered 1985 novel variant-metabolite associations, and validated 761 locus-metabolite associations reported previously. Seventy-nine novel variant-metabolite associations have been replicated, including three genetic loci located on the X chromosome that have demonstrated its involvement in metabolic regulation. Gene-based analysis have provided further support for seven metabolite-replicated loci pairs and their biologically plausible genes. Among those novel replicated variant-metabolite pairs, follow-up analyses have revealed that 26 metabolites have colocalized with 21 tissues, seven metabolite-disease outcome associations have been putatively causal, and 7 metabolites might be regulated by plasma protein levels. Our results have depicted the genetic contribution to circulating metabolite levels, providing additional insights into understanding human disease.

RevDate: 2023-05-30

Guenthoer J, Lilly M, Starr TN, et al (2023)

Identification of broad, potent antibodies to functionally constrained regions of SARS-CoV-2 spike following a breakthrough infection.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(23):e2220948120.

The antiviral benefit of antibodies can be compromised by viral escape especially for rapidly evolving viruses. Therefore, durable, effective antibodies must be both broad and potent to counter newly emerging, diverse strains. Discovery of such antibodies is critically important for SARS-CoV-2 as the global emergence of new variants of concern (VOC) has compromised the efficacy of therapeutic antibodies and vaccines. We describe a collection of broad and potent neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) isolated from an individual who experienced a breakthrough infection with the Delta VOC. Four mAbs potently neutralize the Wuhan-Hu-1 vaccine strain, the Delta VOC, and also retain potency against the Omicron VOCs through BA.4/BA.5 in both pseudovirus-based and authentic virus assays. Three mAbs also retain potency to recently circulating VOCs XBB.1.5 and BQ.1.1 and one also potently neutralizes SARS-CoV-1. The potency of these mAbs was greater against Omicron VOCs than all but one of the mAbs that had been approved for therapeutic applications. The mAbs target distinct epitopes on the spike glycoprotein, three in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and one in an invariant region downstream of the RBD in subdomain 1 (SD1). The escape pathways we defined at single amino acid resolution with deep mutational scanning show they target conserved, functionally constrained regions of the glycoprotein, suggesting escape could incur a fitness cost. Overall, these mAbs are unique in their breadth across VOCs, their epitope specificity, and include a highly potent mAb targeting a rare epitope outside of the RBD in SD1.

RevDate: 2023-05-30

Wang CY, Z Feng (2023)

A Flexible Method for Diagnostic Accuracy with Biomarker Measurement Error.

Mathematics (Basel, Switzerland), 11(3):.

Diagnostic biomarkers are often measured with errors due to imperfect lab conditions or analytic variability of the assay. The ability of a diagnostic biomarker to discriminate between cases and controls is often measured by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), sensitivity, specificity, among others. Ignoring measurement error can cause biased estimation of a diagnostic accuracy measure, which results in misleading interpretation of the efficacy of a diagnostic biomarker. Existing assays available are either research grade or clinical grade. Research assays are cost effective, often multiplex, but they may be associated with moderate measurement errors leading to poorer diagnostic performance. In comparison, clinical assays may provide better diagnostic ability, but with higher cost since they are usually developed by industry. Correction for attenuation methods are often valid when biomarkers are from a normal distribution, but may be biased with skewed biomarkers. In this paper, we develop a flexible method based on skew-normal biomarker distributions to correct for bias in estimating diagnostic performance measures including AUC, sensitivity, and specificity. Finite sample performance of the proposed method is examined via extensive simulation studies. The methods are applied to a pancreatic cancer biomarker study.

RevDate: 2023-05-30

Higano CS, George DJ, Shore ND, et al (2023)

Clinical outcomes and treatment patterns in REASSURE: planned interim analysis of a real-world observational study of radium-223 in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

EClinicalMedicine, 60:101993.

BACKGROUND: Radium-223, a targeted alpha therapy, is approved to treat bone-dominant metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), based on significantly prolonged overall survival versus placebo and a favourable safety profile in the phase 3 ALSYMPCA study. ALSYMPCA was conducted when few other treatment options were available, and prospectively collected data are limited on the use of radium-223 in the current mCRPC treatment landscape. We sought to understand long-term safety and treatment patterns in men who received radium-223 in real-world clinical practice.

METHODS: REASSURE (NCT02141438) is a global, prospective, observational study of radium-223 in men with mCRPC. Primary outcomes are adverse events (AEs), including treatment-emergent serious AEs (SAEs) and drug-related AEs during and ≤30 days after radium-223 completion, grade 3/4 haematological toxicities ≤6 months after last radium-223 dose, drug-related SAEs after radium-223 therapy completion, and second primary malignancies.

FINDINGS: Data collection commenced on Aug 20, 2014, and the data cutoff date for this prespecified interim analysis was Mar 20, 2019 (median follow-up 11.5 months [interquartile range 6.0-18.6]), 1465 patients were evaluable. For second primary malignancies, 1470 patients were evaluable, 21 (1%) of whom had a total of 23 events. During radium-223 therapy, 311 (21%) of 1465 patients had treatment-emergent SAEs, and 510 (35%) had drug-related AEs. In the 6 months after completion of radium-223 therapy, 214 (15%) patients had grade 3/4 haematological toxicities. Eighty patients (5%) had post-treatment drug-related SAEs. Median overall survival was 15.6 months (95% confidence interval 14.6-16.5) from radium-223 initiation. Patient-reported pain scores declined or stabilised. Seventy (5%) patients had fractures.

INTERPRETATION: REASSURE offers insight into radium-223 use in global real-world clinical practice with currently available therapies. At this interim analysis, with a median follow-up of almost 1 year, 1% of patients had second primary malignancies, and safety and overall survival findings were consistent with clinical trial experience. Final analysis of REASSURE is due in 2024.

FUNDING: Bayer HealthCare.

RevDate: 2023-05-30

Sorey W, Krantz EM, Morris J, et al (2023)

Antiviral Prescribing Among Patients at an Ambulatory Cancer Center With Laboratory-Confirmed Influenza.

Open forum infectious diseases, 10(5):ofad254.

Among 133 cancer outpatients diagnosed with influenza between 2016 and 2018, 110 (83%) were prescribed oseltamivir. Among 109 with a known symptom onset date, 53% presented for care and 31% were prescribed oseltamivir within 48 hours. Patient/provider education and rapid diagnostics are needed to improve early oseltamivir use among cancer patients with influenza.

RevDate: 2023-05-30

Aglago EK, Kim AE, Lin Y, et al (2023)

A genetic locus within the FMN1/GREM1 gene region interacts with body mass index in colorectal cancer risk.

Cancer research pii:727007 [Epub ahead of print].

Colorectal cancer (CRC) risk can be impacted by genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors, including diet and obesity. Gene-environment (G×E) interactions can provide biological insights into the effects of obesity on CRC risk. Here, we assessed potential genome-wide G×E interactions between body mass index (BMI) and common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for CRC risk using data from 36,415 CRC cases and 48,451 controls from three international CRC consortia (CCFR, CORECT, and GECCO). The G×E tests included the conventional logistic regression using multiplicative terms (one-degree of freedom, 1DF test), the two-step EDGE method, and the joint 3DF test, each of which is powerful for detecting G×E interactions under specific conditions. BMI was associated with higher CRC risk. The two-step approach revealed a statistically significant G×BMI interaction located within the Formin 1/Gremlin 1 (FMN1/GREM1) gene region (rs58349661). This SNP was also identified by the 3DF test, with a suggestive statistical significance in the 1DF test. Among participants with the CC genotype of rs58349661, overweight and obesity categories were associated with higher CRC risk, whereas null associations were observed across BMI categories in those with the TT genotype. Using data from three large international consortia, this study discovered a locus in the FMN1/GREM1 gene region that interacts with BMI on the association with CRC risk. Further studies should examine the potential mechanisms through which this locus modifies the etiologic link between obesity and CRC.

RevDate: 2023-05-30

Sprague BL, Coley RY, Lowry KP, et al (2023)

Digital Breast Tomosynthesis versus Digital Mammography Screening Performance on Successive Screening Rounds from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium.

Radiology, 307(5):e223142.

Background Prior cross-sectional studies have observed that breast cancer screening with digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) has a lower recall rate and higher cancer detection rate compared with digital mammography (DM). Purpose To evaluate breast cancer screening outcomes with DBT versus DM on successive screening rounds. Materials and Methods In this retrospective cohort study, data from 58 breast imaging facilities in the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium were collected. Analysis included women aged 40-79 years undergoing DBT or DM screening from 2011 to 2020. Absolute differences in screening outcomes by modality and screening round were estimated during the study period by using generalized estimating equations with marginal standardization to adjust for differences in women's risk characteristics across modality and round. Results A total of 523 485 DBT examinations (mean age of women, 58.7 years ± 9.7 [SD]) and 1 008 123 DM examinations (mean age, 58.4 years ± 9.8) among 504 863 women were evaluated. DBT and DM recall rates decreased with successive screening round, but absolute recall rates in each round were significantly lower with DBT versus DM (round 1 difference, -3.3% [95% CI: -4.6, -2.1] [P < .001]; round 2 difference, -1.8% [95% CI: -2.9, -0.7] [P = .003]; round 3 or above difference, -1.2% [95% CI: -2.4, -0.1] [P = .03]). DBT had significantly higher cancer detection (difference, 0.6 per 1000 examinations [95% CI: 0.2, 1.1]; P = .009) compared with DM only for round 3 and above. There were no significant differences in interval cancer rate (round 1 difference, 0.00 per 1000 examinations [95% CI: -0.24, 0.30] [P = .96]; round 2 or above difference, 0.04 [95% CI: -0.19, 0.31] [P = .76]) or total advanced cancer rate (round 1 difference, 0.00 per 1000 examinations [95% CI: -0.15, 0.19] [P = .94]; round 2 or above difference, -0.06 [95% CI: -0.18, 0.11] [P = .43]). Conclusion DBT had lower recall rates and could help detect more cancers than DM across three screening rounds, with no difference in interval or advanced cancer rates. © RSNA, 2023 Supplemental material is available for this article. See also the editorial by Skaane in this issue.

RevDate: 2023-05-29

Prater KE, Green KJ, Mamde S, et al (2023)

Human microglia show unique transcriptional changes in Alzheimer's disease.

Nature aging [Epub ahead of print].

Microglia, the innate immune cells of the brain, influence Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression and are potential therapeutic targets. However, microglia exhibit diverse functions, the regulation of which is not fully understood, complicating therapeutics development. To better define the transcriptomic phenotypes and gene regulatory networks associated with AD, we enriched for microglia nuclei from 12 AD and 10 control human dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (7 males and 15 females, all aged >60 years) before single-nucleus RNA sequencing. Here we describe both established and previously unrecognized microglial molecular phenotypes, the inferred gene networks driving observed transcriptomic change, and apply trajectory analysis to reveal the putative relationships between microglial phenotypes. We identify microglial phenotypes more prevalent in AD cases compared with controls. Further, we describe the heterogeneity in microglia subclusters expressing homeostatic markers. Our study demonstrates that deep profiling of microglia in human AD brain can provide insight into microglial transcriptional changes associated with AD.

RevDate: 2023-05-29

Banerjee R, Williams L, JR Mikhael (2023)

Should I stay or should I go (to transplant)? Managing insufficient responses to induction in multiple myeloma.

Blood cancer journal, 13(1):89.

RevDate: 2023-05-28

Prentice RL, Vasan S, Tinker LF, et al (2023)

Metabolomics-Based Biomarker for Dietary Fat and Associations with Chronic Disease Risk in Postmenopausal Women[1].

The Journal of nutrition pii:S0022-3166(23)70114-4 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) randomized, controlled Dietary Modification (DM) trial of a low-fat dietary pattern suggested intervention benefits related to breast cancer, coronary heart disease (CHD), and diabetes. Here we use WHI observational data for the further insight into the chronic disease implications of adopting this type of low-fat dietary pattern.

OBJECTIVES: We aim to use our earlier work on metabolomics-based biomarkers of carbohydrate and protein to develop a fat intake biomarker by subtraction; to use the resulting biomarker to develop calibration equations that adjusts self-reported fat intake for measurement error; and to study associations of biomarker-calibrated fat intake with chronic disease risk in WHI cohorts. Corresponding studies for specific fatty acids will follow separately.

METHODS: Prospective disease association results are presented using WHI cohorts of postmenopausal women, aged 50-79 when enrolled at 40 U.S. clinical centers. Biomarker equations were developed using an embedded human feeding study (n=153). Calibration equations were developed using a WHI nutritional biomarker study (n=436). Calibrated intakes were associated with cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes incidence in WHI cohorts (n=81,954) over an approximate 20-year follow-up period.

RESULTS: A biomarker for fat density was developed by subtracting protein, carbohydrate, and alcohol densities from one. A calibration equation was developed for fat density. Hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for 20% higher fat density were 1.16 (1.06, 1.27) for breast cancer, 1.13 (1.02, 1.26) for CHD, and 1.19 (1.13, 1.26) for diabetes, in substantial agreement with findings from the DM trial. With control for additional dietary variables, especially fiber, fat density was no longer associated with CHD, with HR (95% confidence interval) of 1.00 (0.88, 1.13), while that for breast cancer was 1.11 (1.00, 1.24).

CONCLUSIONS: WlHI observational data support prior DM trial findings of low-fat dietary pattern benefits in this population of postmenopausal U.S. women. This study is registered with identifier: NCT00000611.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Zafar A, Huang CY, Lo M, et al (2023)

Intensity of cyclophosphamide-based bridging therapy before CAR-T therapy in myeloma.

Transplantation and cellular therapy pii:S2666-6367(23)01299-X [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Patients receiving autologous chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapies for multiple myeloma (MM) may require bridging therapy (BT) before CAR-T infusion to maintain some level of disease control. Alkylators such as cyclophosphamide (Cy) are often used as parts of BT regimens, either in high-intensity regimens such as modified hyperCVAD or once-weekly regimens such as KCd. However, there is no consensus around the optimal BT alkylator dose intensity in MM.

METHODS: We performed a single-center analysis of all instances of BT before planned autologous CAR-T for MM during a 5-year period ending April 2022. We classified bridging regimens into three cohorts: (1) hyperfractionated Cy (HyperCy) with inpatient Cy every 12-24 hours or as continuous intravenous infusions, (2) less intensive Cy dosing (WeeklyCy) such as KPd or KCd, and (3) NonCy, where no alkylators were used in BT. Demographic, disease-related, and treatment-related characteristics were collected for all patients. The three BT cohorts were compared using Fisher's exact tests, Kruskal-Wallis tests, and log-rank tests where appropriate.

RESULTS: We identified 70 discrete BT instances among 64 unique patients: 29 (41%) with HyperCy, 23 (33%) with WeeklyCy, and 18 (26%) with NonCy. Median total levels of Cy dosing during BT were 2100 mg/m[2], 615 mg/m[2], and 0 mg/m[2] respectively. Age, number of prior lines, triple-class refractory status, presence of high-risk cytogenetics, extramedullary disease, bone marrow plasma cell burden, involved free light chain (iFLC) kinetics before collection, and other measures of disease aggressiveness were comparable between cohorts. iFLC levels rose ≥25% and ≥100 mg/L during BT (approximating progressive disease) in comparable proportions (p=0.25) between cohorts: 52% HyperCy, 39% WeeklyCy, and 28% NonCy. All BT instances without subsequent CAR-T were due to manufacturing failures. Among 61 instances of bridging followed by CAR-T, vein-to-vein times were slightly longer (p = 0.03) with HyperCy (45 days) vs WeeklyCy (39 days) and NonCy (46.5 days). Neutrophil recovery timeframes were similar between cohorts, but platelet recovery took longer with HyperCy (64 days) vs WeeklyCy (42 days) and NonCy (12 days). PFS was comparable between cohorts, but median OS was not: 15.3 months with HyperCy versus 30.0 months with WeeklyCy and not reached with NonCy.

DISCUSSION: In our retrospective analysis of BT before CAR-T therapy in MM, HyperCy did not result in superior disease control than WeeklyCy despite a threefold higher dose of Cy. In contrast, HyperCy was associated with longer post-CAR-T platelet recovery and worsened OS despite comparable measurements of disease aggressiveness and tumor burden. Study limitations include our small sample size as well as confounding from gestalt markers of MM aggressiveness that might have led both to poorer outcomes as well as physicians' decisions to prescribe HyperCy. Given the rarity of objective disease responses to chemotherapy in relapsed/refractory MM, our analysis suggests that hyperfractionated Cy regimens do not outperform once-weekly Cy regimens for most patients who require BT before CAR-T therapy.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

D H Gates E, Hippe DS, Vesselle HJ, et al (2023)

Independent Association of Metabolic Tumor Response on FDG-PET with Pulmonary Toxicity Following Risk-Adaptive Chemoradiation for Unresectable Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Inherent Radiosensitivity or Immune Response?.

Radiotherapy and oncology : journal of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology pii:S0167-8140(23)00258-X [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: In the context of a phase II trial of risk-adaptive chemoradiation, we evaluated whether tumor metabolic response could serve as a correlate of treatment sensitivity and toxicity.

METHODS: Forty-five patients with AJCCv7 stage IIB-IIIB NSCLC enrolled on the FLARE-RT phase II trial (NCT02773238). [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET-CT images were acquired prior to treatment and after 24 Gy during week 3. Patients with unfavorable on-treatment tumor response received concomitant boosts to 74 Gy total over 30 fractions rather than standard 60 Gy. Metabolic tumor volume and mean standardized uptake value (SUVmean) were calculated semi-automatically. Risk factors of pulmonary toxicity included concurrent chemotherapy regimen, adjuvant anti-PDL1 immunotherapy, and lung dosimetry. Incidence of CTCAE v4 grade 2+ pneumonitis was analyzed using the Fine-Gray method with competing risks of metastasis or death. Peripheral germline DNA microarray sequencing measured predefined candidate genes from distinct pathways: 96 DNA repair, 53 immunology, 38 oncology, 27 lung biology.

RESULTS: Twenty-four patients received proton therapy, 23 received ICI, 26 received carboplatin-paclitaxel, and 17 pneumonitis events were observed. Pneumonitis risk was significantly higher for patients with COPD (HR 3.78 [1.48,9.60], p=0.005), those treated with immunotherapy (HR 2.82 [1.03,7.71], p=0.043) but not with carboplatin-paclitaxel (HR 1.98 [0.71,5.54], p=0.19). Pneumonitis rates were similar among selected patients receiving 74 Gy radiation vs 60 Gy (p=0.33), proton therapy vs photon (p=0.60), or with higher lung dosimetric V20 (p=0.30). Patients in the upper quartile decrease in SUVmean (>39.7%) were at greater risk for pneumonitis (HR 4.00 [1.54,10.44], p=0.005) and remained significant in multivariable analysis (HR 3.34 [1.12,9.10], p=0.018). Germline DNA gene alterations in immunology pathways were most frequently associated with pneumonitis.

CONCLUSION: Tumor metabolic response as measured by mean SUV is associated with increased pneumonitis risk in a clinical trial cohort of NSCLC patients independent of treatment factors. This may be partially attributed to patient-specific differences in immunogenicity.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Watanabe R, Miura N, Kurata M, et al (2023)

Spatial Gene Expression Analysis Reveals Characteristic Gene Expression Patterns of De Novo Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer Coexisting with Androgen Receptor Pathway Prostate Cancer.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(10): pii:ijms24108955.

Neuroendocrine prostate carcinoma (NEPC) accounts for less than 1% of prostate neoplasms and has extremely poorer prognosis than the typical androgen receptor pathway-positive adenocarcinoma of the prostate (ARPC). However, very few cases in which de novo NEPC and APRC are diagnosed simultaneously in the same tissue have been reported. We report herein a 78-year-old man of de novo metastatic NEPC coexisting with ARPC treated at Ehime University Hospital. Visium CytAssist Spatial Gene Expression analysis (10× genetics) was performed using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples. The neuroendocrine signatures were upregulated in NEPC sites, and androgen receptor signatures were upregulated in ARPC sites. TP53, RB1, or PTEN and upregulation of the homologous recombination repair genes at NEPC sites were not downregulated. Urothelial carcinoma markers were not elevated. Meanwhile, Rbfox3 and SFRTM2 levels were downregulated while the levels of the fibrosis markers HGF, HMOX1, ELN, and GREM1 were upregulated in the tumor microenvironment of NEPC. In conclusion, the findings of spatial gene expression analysis in a patient with coexisting ARPC and de novo NEPC are reported. The accumulation of cases and basic data will help with the development of novel treatments for NEPC and improve the prognosis of patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Clavero E, Sanchez-Maldonado JM, Macauda A, et al (2023)

Polymorphisms within Autophagy-Related Genes as Susceptibility Biomarkers for Multiple Myeloma: A Meta-Analysis of Three Large Cohorts and Functional Characterization.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(10): pii:ijms24108500.

Multiple myeloma (MM) arises following malignant proliferation of plasma cells in the bone marrow, that secrete high amounts of specific monoclonal immunoglobulins or light chains, resulting in the massive production of unfolded or misfolded proteins. Autophagy can have a dual role in tumorigenesis, by eliminating these abnormal proteins to avoid cancer development, but also ensuring MM cell survival and promoting resistance to treatments. To date no studies have determined the impact of genetic variation in autophagy-related genes on MM risk. We performed meta-analysis of germline genetic data on 234 autophagy-related genes from three independent study populations including 13,387 subjects of European ancestry (6863 MM patients and 6524 controls) and examined correlations of statistically significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; p < 1 × 10[-9]) with immune responses in whole blood, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) from a large population of healthy donors from the Human Functional Genomic Project (HFGP). We identified SNPs in six loci, CD46, IKBKE, PARK2, ULK4, ATG5, and CDKN2A associated with MM risk (p = 4.47 × 10[-4]-5.79 × 10[-14]). Mechanistically, we found that the ULK4rs6599175 SNP correlated with circulating concentrations of vitamin D3 (p = 4.0 × 10[-4]), whereas the IKBKErs17433804 SNP correlated with the number of transitional CD24[+]CD38[+] B cells (p = 4.8 × 10[-4]) and circulating serum concentrations of Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein (MCP)-2 (p = 3.6 × 10[-4]). We also found that the CD46rs1142469 SNP correlated with numbers of CD19[+] B cells, CD19[+]CD3[-] B cells, CD5[+]IgD[-] cells, IgM[-] cells, IgD[-]IgM[-] cells, and CD4[-]CD8[-] PBMCs (p = 4.9 × 10[-4]-8.6 × 10[-4]) and circulating concentrations of interleukin (IL)-20 (p = 0.00082). Finally, we observed that the CDKN2Ars2811710 SNP correlated with levels of CD4[+]EMCD45RO[+]CD27[-] cells (p = 9.3 × 10[-4]). These results suggest that genetic variants within these six loci influence MM risk through the modulation of specific subsets of immune cells, as well as vitamin D3[-], MCP-2[-], and IL20-dependent pathways.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Wang Z, Peters BA, Bryant M, et al (2023)

Gut microbiota, circulating inflammatory markers and metabolites, and carotid artery atherosclerosis in HIV infection.

Microbiome, 11(1):119.

BACKGROUND: Alterations in gut microbiota have been implicated in HIV infection and cardiovascular disease. However, how gut microbial alterations relate to host inflammation and metabolite profiles, and their relationships with atherosclerosis, have not been well-studied, especially in the context of HIV infection. Here, we examined associations of gut microbial species and functional components measured by shotgun metagenomics with carotid artery plaque assessed by B-mode carotid artery ultrasound in 320 women with or at high risk of HIV (65% HIV +) from the Women's Interagency HIV Study. We further integrated plaque-associated microbial features with serum proteomics (74 inflammatory markers measured by the proximity extension assay) and plasma metabolomics (378 metabolites measured by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry) in relation to carotid artery plaque in up to 433 women.

RESULTS: Fusobacterium nucleatum, a potentially pathogenic bacteria, was positively associated with carotid artery plaque, while five microbial species (Roseburia hominis, Roseburia inulinivorans, Johnsonella ignava, Odoribacter splanchnicus, Clostridium saccharolyticum) were inversely associated with plaque. Results were consistent between women with and without HIV. Fusobacterium nucleatum was positively associated with several serum proteomic inflammatory markers (e.g., CXCL9), and the other plaque-related species were inversely associated with proteomic inflammatory markers (e.g., CX3CL1). These microbial-associated proteomic inflammatory markers were also positively associated with plaque. Associations between bacterial species (especially Fusobacterium nucleatum) and plaque were attenuated after further adjustment for proteomic inflammatory markers. Plaque-associated species were correlated with several plasma metabolites, including the microbial metabolite imidazole-propionate (ImP), which was positively associated with plaque and several pro-inflammatory markers. Further analysis identified additional bacterial species and bacterial hutH gene (encoding enzyme histidine ammonia-lyase in ImP production) associated with plasma ImP levels. A gut microbiota score based on these ImP-associated species was positively associated with plaque and several pro-inflammatory markers.

CONCLUSION: Among women living with or at risk of HIV, we identified several gut bacterial species and a microbial metabolite ImP associated with carotid artery atherosclerosis, which might be related to host immune activation and inflammation. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Graham SE, Clarke SL, Wu KH, et al (2023)

Author Correction: The power of genetic diversity in genome-wide association studies of lipids.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Shi J, Shiraishi K, Choi J, et al (2023)

Genome-wide association study of lung adenocarcinoma in East Asia and comparison with a European population.

Nature communications, 14(1):3043.

Lung adenocarcinoma is the most common type of lung cancer. Known risk variants explain only a small fraction of lung adenocarcinoma heritability. Here, we conducted a two-stage genome-wide association study of lung adenocarcinoma of East Asian ancestry (21,658 cases and 150,676 controls; 54.5% never-smokers) and identified 12 novel susceptibility variants, bringing the total number to 28 at 25 independent loci. Transcriptome-wide association analyses together with colocalization studies using a Taiwanese lung expression quantitative trait loci dataset (n = 115) identified novel candidate genes, including FADS1 at 11q12 and ELF5 at 11p13. In a multi-ancestry meta-analysis of East Asian and European studies, four loci were identified at 2p11, 4q32, 16q23, and 18q12. At the same time, most of our findings in East Asian populations showed no evidence of association in European populations. In our studies drawn from East Asian populations, a polygenic risk score based on the 25 loci had a stronger association in never-smokers vs. individuals with a history of smoking (Pinteraction = 0.0058). These findings provide new insights into the etiology of lung adenocarcinoma in individuals from East Asian populations, which could be important in developing translational applications.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Rashidi A, Ebadi M, Rehman TU, et al (2023)

Randomized Double-Blind Phase II Trial of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Versus Placebo in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation and AML.

Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: Gut microbiota injury in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) recipients and patients with AML has been associated with adverse clinical outcomes. Previous studies in these patients have shown improvements in various microbiome indices after fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). However, whether microbiome improvements translate into improved clinical outcomes remains unclear. We examined this question in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II trial.

METHODS: Two independent cohorts of allogeneic HCT recipients and patients with AML receiving induction chemotherapy were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive standardized oral encapsulated FMT versus placebo upon neutrophil recovery. After each course of antibacterial antibiotics, patients received a study treatment. Up to three treatments were administered within 3 months. The primary end point was 4-month all-cause infection rate. Patients were followed for 9 months.

RESULTS: In the HCT cohort (74 patients), 4-month infection density was 0.74 and 0.91 events per 100 patient-days in FMT and placebo arms, respectively (infection rate ratio, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.48 to 1.42; P = .49). In the AML cohort (26 patients), 4-month infection density was 0.93 in the FMT arm and 1.25 in the placebo arm, with an infection rate ratio of 0.74 (95% CI, 0.32 to 1.71; P = .48). Unique donor bacterial sequences comprised 25%-30% of the fecal microbiota after FMT. FMT improved postantibiotic recovery of microbiota diversity, restored several depleted obligate anaerobic commensals, and reduced the abundance of expanded genera Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Veillonella, and Dialister.

CONCLUSION: In allogeneic HCT recipients and patients with AML, third-party FMT was safe and ameliorated intestinal dysbiosis, but did not decrease infections. Novel findings from this trial will inform future development of FMT trials.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Gadgeel SM, Miao J, Riess JW, et al (2023)

Phase II study of docetaxel and trametinib in patients with KRAS mutation positive recurrent non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (SWOG S1507, NCT-02642042).

Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research pii:727002 [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: Efficacy of MEK inhibitors in KRAS+ NSCLC may differ based on specific KRAS mutations and co-mutations. Our hypothesis was that docetaxel and trametinib would improve activity in KRAS+ NSCLC and specifically in KRAS G12C NSCLC.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: S1507 is a single arm phase II assessing the response rate (RR) with docetaxel plus trametinib in recurrent KRAS+ NSCLC and secondarily in the G12C subset. The accrual goal was 45 eligible patients with at least 25 with G12C mutation. The design was 2-stage design to rule out a 17% RR, within the overall population at the 1-sided 3% level and within the G12C subset at the 5% level.

RESULTS: Between July 18, 2016 and March 15, 2018, 60 patients were enrolled with 53 eligible and 18 eligible in the G12C cohort. The RR was 34% (95%CI- 22-48) overall and 28% (95%CI- 10-53) in G12C. Median PFS and OS were 4.1 and 3.3 months and 10.9 and 8.8 months, overall and in the subset, respectively. Common toxicities were fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, rash, anemia, mucositis, neutropenia. Among 26 patients with known status for TP53 (10+ve) and STK11 (5+ve), OS (HR:2.85, 95%CI 1.16-7.01) and RR (0% vs. 56%, p = 0.004) were worse in patients with TP53 mutated versus wild type cancers.

CONCLUSIONS: RRs were significantly improved in the overall population. Contrary to pre-clinical studies, the combination showed no improvement in efficacy in G12C patients. Co-mutations may influence therapeutic efficacy of KRAS directed therapies and are worthy of further evaluation.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Lustberg MB, Kuderer NM, Desai A, et al (2023)

Mitigating long-term and delayed adverse events associated with cancer treatment: implications for survivorship.

Nature reviews. Clinical oncology [Epub ahead of print].

Despite the importance of chemotherapy-associated adverse events in oncology practice and the broad range of interventions available to mitigate them, limited systematic efforts have been made to identify, critically appraise and summarize the totality of evidence on the effectiveness of these interventions. Herein, we review the most common long-term (continued beyond treatment) and late or delayed (following treatment) adverse events associated with chemotherapy and other anticancer treatments that pose major threats in terms of survival, quality of life and continuation of optimal therapy. These adverse effects often emerge during and continue beyond the course of therapy or arise among survivors in the months and years following treatment. For each of these adverse effects, we discuss and critically evaluate their underlying biological mechanisms, the most commonly used pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment strategies, and evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for their appropriate management. Furthermore, we discuss risk factors and validated risk-assessment tools for identifying patients most likely to be harmed by chemotherapy and potentially benefit from effective interventions. Finally, we highlight promising emerging supportive-care opportunities for the ever-increasing number of cancer survivors at continuing risk of adverse treatment effects.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Little P, Liu S, Zhabotynsky V, et al (2023)

A computational method for cell type-specific expression quantitative trait loci mapping using bulk RNA-seq data.

Nature communications, 14(1):3030.

Mapping cell type-specific gene expression quantitative trait loci (ct-eQTLs) is a powerful way to investigate the genetic basis of complex traits. A popular method for ct-eQTL mapping is to assess the interaction between the genotype of a genetic locus and the abundance of a specific cell type using a linear model. However, this approach requires transforming RNA-seq count data, which distorts the relation between gene expression and cell type proportions and results in reduced power and/or inflated type I error. To address this issue, we have developed a statistical method called CSeQTL that allows for ct-eQTL mapping using bulk RNA-seq count data while taking advantage of allele-specific expression. We validated the results of CSeQTL through simulations and real data analysis, comparing CSeQTL results to those obtained from purified bulk RNA-seq data or single cell RNA-seq data. Using our ct-eQTL findings, we were able to identify cell types relevant to 21 categories of human traits.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Parks CG, Pettinger M, de Roos AJ, et al (2023)

Life events, caregiving, and risk of autoimmune rheumatic diseases in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study.

Arthritis care & research [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Growing evidence suggests psychosocial stressors may increase risk of developing autoimmune disease. We examined stressful life events and caregiving in relation to incident Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study cohort.

METHODS: The sample of post-menopausal women included 211 incident RA or SLE cases reported within 3 years after enrollment, confirmed by use of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (i.e., Probable RA/SLE), and 76,648 non-cases. Baseline questionnaires asked about life events in the past year, caregiving, and social support. We used Cox regression models to calculate Hazard Ratios (HR) and 95% Confidence Intervals (CI), adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, occupational class, education, pack-years smoking and BMI.

RESULTS: Incident RA/SLE was associated with having 3 or more life events (e.g., age-adjusted HR 1.70; 95%CI 1.14, 2.53; ptrend =0.0026). Elevated HRs were noted for physical (2.48; 1.02, 6.04) and verbal (1.34; 0.89, 2.02) abuse (ptrend =0.0614), 2 or more interpersonal events (1.23, 95%CI 0.87, 1.73; ptrend =0.2403), financial stress (1.22; 95%CI 0.90, 1.64), and caregiving 3 or more days per week (1.25; 95%CI 0.87, 1.81; ptrend =0.2571). Results were similar excluding women with baseline symptoms of depression or moderate to severe joint pain in the absence of diagnosed arthritis.

DISCUSSION: Our findings support the idea that diverse stressors may increase risk of developing probable RA or SLE in post-menopausal women, supporting the need for further studies in autoimmune rheumatic diseases including childhood adverse events, life event trajectories, and modifying psychosocial and socioeconomic factors. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Neuhouser ML, Pettinger M, Tinker LF, et al (2022)

Associations of Biomarker-Calibrated Healthy Eating Index-2010 Scores with Chronic Disease Risk and Their Dependency on Energy Intake and Body Mass Index in Postmenopausal Women.

The Journal of nutrition, 152(12):2808-2817.

BACKGROUND: Prior studies examined associations between the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) and chronic disease risk based on self-reported diet without measurement error correction.

OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to test associations between biomarker calibration of the food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ)-derived HEI-2010 with incident cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, and type 2 diabetes (T2D) among Women's Health Initiative (WHI) participants.

METHODS: Data were derived from WHI postmenopausal women (n = 100,374) aged 50-79 y at enrollment (1993-1998) at 40 US clinical centers, linked to nutritional biomarker substudies and outcomes over subsequent decades of follow-up. Baseline or year 1 FFQ-derived HEI-2010 scores were calibrated with nutritional biomarkers and participant characteristics (e.g., BMI) for systematic measurement error correction. Calibrated data were then used in HR models examining associations with incidence of CVD (total, subtypes, mortality), cancer (total, subtypes, mortality), and T2D in WHI participants with approximately 2 decades of follow-up. Models were multivariable-adjusted with further adjustment for BMI and doubly labeled water (DLW)-calibrated energy.

RESULTS: Multivariable-adjusted HRs modeled a 20% increment in HEI-2010 score in relation to outcomes. HRs were modest using uncalibrated HEI-2010 scores (HRs = 0.91-1.09). Using biomarker-calibrated HEI-2010, 20% increments in scores yielded multivariable-adjusted HRs (95% CIs) of 0.75 (0.60, 0.93) for coronary heart disease; 0.75 (0.61, 0.91) for myocardial infarction; 0.96 (0.92, 1.01) for stroke; 0.88 (0.75, 1.02) for CVD mortality; 0.81 (0.70, 0.94) for colorectal cancer; 0.81 (0.74, 0.88) for breast cancer; 0.79 (0.73, 0.87) for cancer mortality; and 0.45 (0.36-0.55) for T2D. Except for cancer mortality and T2D incidence, results became null when adjusted for DLW-calibrated energy intake and BMI.

CONCLUSIONS: Biomarker calibration of FFQ-derived HEI-2010 was associated with lower CVD and cancer incidence and mortality and lower T2D incidence in postmenopausal women. Attenuation after adjustment with BMI and DLW-calibrated energy suggests that energy intake and/or obesity are strong drivers of diet-related chronic disease risk in postmenopausal women. The Women's Health Initiative is registered at at NCT00000611.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Praiss AM, Miller A, Smith J, et al (2023)

Carboplatin dosing in the treatment of ovarian cancer: An NRG oncology group study.

Gynecologic oncology, 174:213-223 pii:S0090-8258(23)00252-4 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of using National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines to estimate renal function on carboplatin dosing and explore adverse effects associated with a more accurate estimation of lower creatinine clearance (CrCl).

METHODS: Retrospective data were obtained for 3830 of 4312 patients treated on GOG182 (NCT00011986)-a phase III trial of platinum-based chemotherapy for advanced-stage ovarian cancer. Carboplatin dose per patient on GOG182 was determined using the Jelliffe formula. We recalculated CrCl to determine dosing using Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) and Cockcroft-Gault (with/without NCCN recommended modifications) formulas. Associations between baseline CrCl and toxicity were described using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). Sensitivity and positive predictive values described the model's ability to discriminate between subjects with/without the adverse event.

RESULTS: AUC statistics (range, 0.52-0.64) showed log(CrClJelliffe) was not a good predictor of grade ≥3 adverse events (anemia, thrombocytopenia, febrile neutropenia, auditory, renal, metabolic, neurologic). Of 3830 patients, 628 (16%) had CrCl <60 mL/min. Positive predictive values for adverse events ranged from 1.8%-15%. Using the Cockcroft-Gault, Cockcroft-Gault with NCCN modifications, and MDRD (instead of Jelliffe) formulas to estimate renal function resulted in a >10% decrease in carboplatin dosing in 16%, 32%, and 5.2% of patients, respectively, and a >10% increase in carboplatin dosing in 41%, 9.6% and 12% of patients, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The formula used to estimate CrCl affects carboplatin dosing. Estimated CrCl <60 mL/min (by Jelliffe) did not accurately predict adverse events. Efforts continue to better predict renal function. Endorsing National Cancer Institute initiatives to broaden study eligibility, our data do not support a minimum threshold CrCl <60 mL/min as an exclusion criterion from clinical trials.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Itell HL, Humes D, J Overbaugh (2023)

Several cell-intrinsic effectors drive type I interferon-mediated restriction of HIV-1 in primary CD4[+] T cells.

Cell reports, 42(6):112556 pii:S2211-1247(23)00567-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Type I interferon (IFN) upregulates proteins that inhibit HIV within infected cells. Prior studies have identified IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) that impede lab-adapted HIV in cell lines, yet the ISG(s) that mediate IFN restriction in HIV target cells, primary CD4[+] T cells, are unknown. Here, we interrogate ISG restriction of primary HIV in CD4[+] T cells by performing CRISPR-knockout screens with a custom library that specifically targets ISGs expressed in CD4[+] T cells. Our investigation identifies previously undescribed HIV-restricting ISGs (HM13, IGFBP2, LAP3) and finds that two factors characterized in other HIV infection models (IFI16 and UBE2L6) mediate IFN restriction in T cells. Inactivation of these five ISGs in combination further diminishes IFN's protective effect against diverse HIV strains. This work demonstrates that IFN restriction of HIV is multifaceted, resulting from several effectors functioning collectively, and establishes a primary cell ISG screening model to identify both single and combinations of HIV-restricting ISGs.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Russell ML, Simon N, Bradley P, et al (2023)

Statistical inference reveals the role of length, GC content, and local sequence in V(D)J nucleotide trimming.

eLife, 12: pii:85145.

To appropriately defend against a wide array of pathogens, humans somatically generate highly diverse repertoires of B cell and T cell receptors (BCRs and TCRs) through a random process called V(D)J recombination. Receptor diversity is achieved during this process through both the combinatorial assembly of V(D)J-genes and the junctional deletion and insertion of nucleotides. While the Artemis protein is often regarded as the main nuclease involved in V(D)J recombination, the exact mechanism of nucleotide trimming is not understood. Using a previously published TCRβ repertoire sequencing data set, we have designed a flexible probabilistic model of nucleotide trimming that allows us to explore various mechanistically interpretable sequence-level features. We show that local sequence context, length, and GC nucleotide content in both directions of the wider sequence, together, can most accurately predict the trimming probabilities of a given V-gene sequence. Because GC nucleotide content is predictive of sequence-breathing, this model provides quantitative statistical evidence regarding the extent to which double-stranded DNA may need to be able to breathe for trimming to occur. We also see evidence of a sequence motif that appears to get preferentially trimmed, independent of GC-content-related effects. Further, we find that the inferred coefficients from this model provide accurate prediction for V- and J-gene sequences from other adaptive immune receptor loci. These results refine our understanding of how the Artemis nuclease may function to trim nucleotides during V(D)J recombination and provide another step toward understanding how V(D)J recombination generates diverse receptors and supports a powerful, unique immune response in healthy humans.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Im A, Pusic I, Onstad L, et al (2023)

Patient-reported treatment response in chronic graft-versus-host disease.

Haematologica [Epub ahead of print].

Chronic graft vs. host disease (GVHD) treatment response is assessed using NIH Consensus criteria in clinical trials, and by clinician assessment in routine practice. Patient-reported treatment response is central to the experience of chronic GVHD manifestations as well as treatment benefit and toxicity, but how they correlate with clinician- or NIH-responses has not been well studied. We aimed to characterize 6-month patient-reported response, determine associated chronic GVHD baseline organ features and changes, and evaluate which patientreported quality of life and chronic GVHD symptom burden measures correlated with patientreported response. From two nationally representative Chronic GVHD Consortium prospective observational studies, 382 subjects were included in this analysis. Patient and clinician responses were categorized as improved (completely gone, very much better, moderately better, a little better) vs. not improved (about the same, a little worse, moderately worse, very much worse). At 6 months, 270 (71%) patients perceived chronic GVHD improvement, while 112 (29%) perceived no improvement. Patient-reported response had limited correlation with either clinician-reported (kappa 0.37) or NIH chronic GVHD response criteria (kappa 0.18). Notably, patient-reported response at 6 months was significantly associated with subsequent failure-free survival. In multivariate analysis, NIH responses in eye, mouth, and lung had significant association with 6-month patient-reported response, as well as a change in Short Form 36 general health and role physical domains and Lee Symptom Score skin and eye changes. Based on these findings, patient-reported responses should be considered as an important complementary endpoint in chronic GVHD clinical trials and drug development.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Heath J, Chour W, Choi J, et al (2022)

Large libraries of single-chain trimer peptide-MHCs enable rapid antigen-specific CD8+ T cell discovery and analysis.

Research square.

CD8 + cytotoxic T cell responses against viral infection represent a major element of the adaptive immune response. We describe the development of a peptide antigen - major histompatibility complex (pMHC) library representing the full SARS-CoV-2 viral proteome, and comprised of 634 pMHC multimers representing the A*02.01, A*24.02, and B*07.02 HLA alleles, as well as specific antigens associated with the cytomegalovirus (CMV). These libraries were used to capture non-expanded CD8 + T cells from blood samples collected from 64 infected individuals, and then analyzed using single cell RNA-seq. The discovery and characterization of antigen-specific CD8 [+] T cell clonotypes typically involves the labor-intensive synthesis and construction of peptide-MHC tetramers. We adapted single-chain trimer (SCT) technologies into a high throughput platform for pMHC library generation, showing that hundreds can be rapidly prepared across multiple Class I HLA alleles. We used this platform to explore the impact of peptide and SCT template mutations on protein expression yield, thermal stability, and functionality. SCT libraries were an efficient tool for identifying T cells recognizing commonly reported viral epitopes. We then constructed SCT libraries designed to capture SARS-CoV-2 specific CD8 [+] T cells from COVID-19 participants and healthy donors. The immunogenicity of these epitopes was validated by functional assays of T cells with cloned TCRs captured using SCT libraries. These technologies should enable the rapid analyses of peptide-based T cell responses across several contexts, including autoimmunity, cancer, or infectious disease.

RevDate: 2023-05-24

Lawson MB, ET Oluyemi (2023)

Leveraging Area Deprivation to Improve Breast Cancer Outcomes.

Journal of the American College of Radiology : JACR pii:S1546-1440(23)00343-5 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2023-05-24

Savage T, Sun Q, Bell-Brown A, et al (2023)

Association between patient, clinic, and geographical-level factors and 1-year surveillance colonoscopy adherence.

Clinical and translational gastroenterology pii:01720094-990000000-00157 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Surveillance colonoscopy 1-year after surgical resection for patients with stages I-III colorectal cancer (CRC) is suboptimal and data on factors associated with lack of adherence are limited. Using surveillance colonoscopy data from Washington state, we aimed to determine the patient, clinic, and geographical factors associated with adherence.

METHODS: Using administrative insurance claims linked to Washington (WA) cancer registry data we conducted a retrospective cohort study of adult patients diagnosed with stage I-III CRC between 2011 and 2018 with continuous insurance for at least 18 months after diagnosis. We determined the adherence rate to 1-year surveillance colonoscopy and conducted logistic regression analysis to identify factors associated with completion.

RESULTS: Of 4,481 stage I-III CRC patients identified, 55.8% completed a 1-year surveillance colonoscopy. The median time to colonoscopy completion was 370 days. On multivariate analysis, older age, higher stage CRC, Medicare insurance or multiple insurance carriers, higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score and living without a partner were significantly associated with decreased adherence to 1-year surveillance colonoscopy. Among 29 eligible clinics, 51% (n=15) reported lower than expected surveillance colonoscopy rates based on patient mix.

CONCLUSION: Surveillance colonoscopy 1-year after surgical resection is sub-optimal in WA state. Patient and clinic factors, but not geographic factors (Area Deprivation Index), were significantly associated with surveillance colonoscopy completion. This data will inform the development of patient and clinic level interventions to address an important quality of care issue across Washington.

RevDate: 2023-05-24

Cohen KW, De Rosa SC, Fulp WJ, et al (2023)

A first-in-human germline-targeting HIV nanoparticle vaccine induced broad and publicly targeted helper T cell responses.

Science translational medicine, 15(697):eadf3309.

The engineered outer domain germline targeting version 8 (eOD-GT8) 60-mer nanoparticle was designed to prime VRC01-class HIV-specific B cells that would need to be matured, through additional heterologous immunizations, into B cells that are able to produce broadly neutralizing antibodies. CD4 T cell help will be critical for the development of such high-affinity neutralizing antibody responses. Thus, we assessed the induction and epitope specificities of the vaccine-specific T cells from the IAVI G001 phase 1 clinical trial that tested immunization with eOD-GT8 60-mer adjuvanted with AS01B. Robust polyfunctional CD4 T cells specific for eOD-GT8 and the lumazine synthase (LumSyn) component of eOD-GT8 60-mer were induced after two vaccinations with either the 20- or 100-microgram dose. Antigen-specific CD4 T helper responses to eOD-GT8 and LumSyn were observed in 84 and 93% of vaccine recipients, respectively. CD4 helper T cell epitope "hotspots" preferentially targeted across participants were identified within both the eOD-GT8 and LumSyn proteins. CD4 T cell responses specific to one of these three LumSyn epitope hotspots were observed in 85% of vaccine recipients. Last, we found that induction of vaccine-specific peripheral CD4 T cells correlated with expansion of eOD-GT8-specific memory B cells. Our findings demonstrate strong human CD4 T cell responses to an HIV vaccine candidate priming immunogen and identify immunodominant CD4 T cell epitopes that might improve human immune responses either to heterologous boost immunogens after this prime vaccination or to other human vaccine immunogens.

RevDate: 2023-05-24

Dwyer ER, Holt SK, Wolff EM, et al (2023)

Patient-centered outcomes of telehealth for the care of rural-residing patients with urologic cancer.

Cancer [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Patients residing in rural areas with urologic cancers confront significant obstacles in obtaining oncologic care. In the Pacific Northwest, a sizeable portion of the population lives in a rural county. Telehealth offers a potential access solution.

METHODS: Patients receiving urologic care through telehealth or an in-person appointment at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, Washington, were surveyed to assess appointment-related satisfaction and travel costs. Patients' residences were classified as rural or urban based on their self-reported ZIP code. Median patient satisfaction scores and appointment-related travel costs were compared by rural versus urban residence within telehealth and in-person appointment groups using Wilcoxon signed-rank or χ[2] testing.

RESULTS: A total of 1091 patients seen for urologic cancer care between June 2019 and April 2022 were included, 28.7% of which resided in a rural county. Patients were mostly non-Hispanic White (75%) and covered by Medicare (58%). Among rural-residing patients, telehealth and in-person appointment groups had the same median satisfaction score (61; interquartile ratio, 58, 63). More rural-residing than urban-residing patients in the telehealth appointment groups strongly agreed that "Considering the cost and time commitment of my appointment, I would choose to meet with my provider in this setting in the future" (67% vs. 58%, p = .03). Rural-residing patients with in-person appointments carried a higher financial burden than those with telehealth appointments (medians, $80 vs. $0; p <.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Appointment-related costs are high among rural-residing patients traveling for urologic oncologic care. Telehealth provides an affordable solution that does not compromise patient satisfaction.

RevDate: 2023-05-24

Srinivasan J, Vasudev A, Shasha C, et al (2023)

The initial age-associated decline in early T-cell progenitors reflects fewer pre-thymic progenitors and altered signals in the bone marrow and thymus microenvironments.

Aging cell [Epub ahead of print].

Age-related thymus involution results in decreased T-cell production, contributing to increased susceptibility to pathogens and reduced vaccine responsiveness. Elucidating mechanisms underlying thymus involution will inform strategies to restore thymopoiesis with age. The thymus is colonized by circulating bone marrow (BM)-derived thymus seeding progenitors (TSPs) that differentiate into early T-cell progenitors (ETPs). We find that ETP cellularity declines as early as 3 months (3MO) of age in mice. This initial ETP reduction could reflect changes in thymic stromal niches and/or pre-thymic progenitors. Using a multicongenic progenitor transfer approach, we demonstrate that the number of functional TSP/ETP niches does not diminish with age. Instead, the number of pre-thymic lymphoid progenitors in the BM and blood is substantially reduced by 3MO, although their intrinsic ability to seed and differentiate in the thymus is maintained. Additionally, Notch signaling in BM lymphoid progenitors and in ETPs diminishes by 3MO, suggesting reduced niche quality in the BM and thymus contribute to the early decline in ETPs. Together, these findings indicate that diminished BM lymphopoiesis and thymic stromal support contribute to an initial reduction in ETPs in young adulthood, setting the stage for progressive age-associated thymus involution.

RevDate: 2023-05-23

Reed-Perino DE, Lai M, Yu EY, et al (2023)

Re-sensitization to pembrolizumab following PSMA-CD3 T-cell redirection therapy with JNJ-081 in a patient with mismatch repair-deficient metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer: a case report.

Journal for immunotherapy of cancer, 11(5):.

While checkpoint inhibitor therapy has revolutionized the treatment landscape of some solid tumors, it has shown limited efficacy in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancers (mCRPC). A small (~3-5%) but clinically distinct subset of mCRPC tumors have a DNA mismatch repair deficiency (dMMR) and develop a hypermutation phenotype with elevated tumor mutational burden and high microsatellite instability (MSI-H). Retrospective analyses have shown dMMR/MSI-H status to be a predictive biomarker for response to pembrolizumab in prostate tumors. Here, in this report, we present a case of a patient with mCRPC harboring a somatic dMMR who had progressed on pembrolizumab after an initial response. He enrolled on a clinical trial with JNJ-081, a prostate-specific membrane antigen-CD3 bispecific T-cell engager antibody and experienced a partial response with course complicated by cytokine release syndrome. On progression, he was reinitiated on pembrolizumab and experienced an exceptional second response, with his prostate-specific antigen falling from a high of 20.01 to undetectable after 6 weeks and remaining undetectable for >11 months. To our knowledge, this represents the first reported case of bispecific T-cell engager-mediated re-sensitization to checkpoint inhibitor therapy in any cancer.

RevDate: 2023-05-23

Gersekowski K, Ibiebele TI, Doherty JA, et al (2023)

Folate intake and ovarian cancer risk among women with endometriosis: a case-control study from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium.

Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology pii:726908 [Epub ahead of print].

Background While folate intake has not been associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer overall, studies of other cancer types have suggested that high folate intake may promote carcinogenesis in pre-cancerous lesions. Women with endometriosis (a potential pre-cancerous lesion) have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer; however, whether high folate intake increases risk in this group is unknown. Methods We conducted a pooled analysis of six case-control studies from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium to investigate the association between folate intake and risk of ovarian cancer among women with and without self-reported endometriosis. We included 570 cases/558 controls with and 5,171/7,559 without endometriosis. We used logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals for the association between folate intake (dietary, supplemental, total) and ovarian cancer risk. Finally, we used Mendelian randomization (MR) to evaluate our results using genetic markers as a proxy for folate status. Results Higher dietary folate intake was associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer for women with endometriosis (OR 1.37[1.01-1.86]) but not for women without endometriosis. There was no association between supplemental folate intake and ovarian cancer risk for women with or without endometriosis. A similar pattern was seen using MR. Conclusions High dietary folate intake may be associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer among women with endometriosis. Impact Women with endometriosis with high folate diets may be at increased risk of ovarian cancer. Further research is needed on the potential cancer-promoting effects of folate in this group.

RevDate: 2023-05-23

Sharma A, Logan B, Estrada-Merly N, et al (2023)

Impact of Public Reporting of Center-Specific Survival Analysis Scores on Patient Volumes at Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Centers.

Transplantation and cellular therapy pii:S2666-6367(23)01296-4 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) reports the outcomes of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) at United States transplant centers (TC) annually through its Center-Specific Survival Analysis (CSA). The CSA compares the actual 1-year overall survival (OS) and predicted 1-year OS rate after alloHCT at each TC, which is then reported as 0 (OS as expected), -1 (OS worse than expected), or +1 (OS better than expected).

OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the impact of public reporting of TC performance on their alloHCT patient volumes.

STUDY DESIGN: Ninety-one TCs that serve adult or combined adult and pediatric populations and had CSA scores reported for 2012-2018 were included. We analyzed prior-calendar year TC volume, prior-calendar year CSA score, whether the CSA score had changed in the prior year from two years earlier, calendar year, TC type (adult only vs. combined adult and pediatric), and years of alloHCT experience for their impact on patient volumes.

RESULTS: A CSA score of -1, as compared with 0 or +1, was associated with an 8%-9% reduction in the mean TC volume (P < 0.001) in the subsequent year, adjusting for the prior year center volume. Additionally, being a TC neighboring an index TC with a -1 CSA score, was associated with a 3.5% increase in mean TC volume (P = 0.04).

CONCLUSION: Our data show that public reporting of CSA scores is associated with changes in alloHCT volumes at TCs. Additional investigation into the causes of this shift in patient volume and the impact on outcomes is ongoing.

RevDate: 2023-05-23

Song H, Sontz RA, Vance MJ, et al (2023)

High-fat diet plus HNF1A variant promotes polyps by activating β-catenin in early onset colorectal cancer.

JCI insight pii:167163 [Epub ahead of print].

The incidence of early onset colorectal cancer (EO-CRC) is rising and is poorly understood. Lifestyle factors and altered genetic background possibly contribute. Here we performed targeted exon sequencing of archived leukocyte DNA from 158 EO-CRC participants, which identified a missense mutation at p.A98V within the proximal DNA binding domain of Hepatic Nuclear Factor 1 alpha (HNF1AA98V, Rs1800574). The HNF1AA98V exhibited reduced DNA binding. To test function, the HNF1A variant was introduced into the mouse genome by CRISPR/Cas9 and the mice were placed on either a high fat (HFD) or high sugar diet (HSD). Only 1% of the HNF1A mutant mice developed polyps on normal chow; however,19% and 3% developed polyps on the HFD and HSD, respectively. RNA-Seq revealed an increase in metabolic, immune, lipid biogenesis genes and Wnt/β-catenin signaling components in the HNF1A mutant relative to the wildtype mice. Mouse polyps and colon cancers from subjects carrying the HNF1AA98V variant exhibited reduced CDX2 and elevated β-catenin proteins. We further demonstrated decreased occupancy of HNF1AA98V at the Cdx2 locus and reduced Cdx2 promoter activity compared to wildtype HNF1A. Collectively, our study shows that the HNF1AA98V variant plus HFD promotes the formation of colonic polyps by activating β-catenin via decreasing Cdx2 expression.

RevDate: 2023-05-23

Moore SM, Quirk JD, Lassiter AW, et al (2023)

Co-Clinical Imaging Metadata Information (CIMI) for Cancer Research to Promote Open Science, Standardization, and Reproducibility in Preclinical Imaging.

Tomography (Ann Arbor, Mich.), 9(3):995-1009 pii:tomography9030081.

Preclinical imaging is a critical component in translational research with significant complexities in workflow and site differences in deployment. Importantly, the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) precision medicine initiative emphasizes the use of translational co-clinical oncology models to address the biological and molecular bases of cancer prevention and treatment. The use of oncology models, such as patient-derived tumor xenografts (PDX) and genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs), has ushered in an era of co-clinical trials by which preclinical studies can inform clinical trials and protocols, thus bridging the translational divide in cancer research. Similarly, preclinical imaging fills a translational gap as an enabling technology for translational imaging research. Unlike clinical imaging, where equipment manufacturers strive to meet standards in practice at clinical sites, standards are neither fully developed nor implemented in preclinical imaging. This fundamentally limits the collection and reporting of metadata to qualify preclinical imaging studies, thereby hindering open science and impacting the reproducibility of co-clinical imaging research. To begin to address these issues, the NCI co-clinical imaging research program (CIRP) conducted a survey to identify metadata requirements for reproducible quantitative co-clinical imaging. The enclosed consensus-based report summarizes co-clinical imaging metadata information (CIMI) to support quantitative co-clinical imaging research with broad implications for capturing co-clinical data, enabling interoperability and data sharing, as well as potentially leading to updates to the preclinical Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standard.

RevDate: 2023-05-23

Kaku CI, Starr TN, Zhou P, et al (2022)

Evolution of antibody immunity following Omicron BA.1 breakthrough infection.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.

Understanding the evolution of antibody immunity following heterologous SAR-CoV-2 breakthrough infection will inform the development of next-generation vaccines. Here, we tracked SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD)-specific antibody responses up to six months following Omicron BA.1 breakthrough infection in mRNA-vaccinated individuals. Cross-reactive serum neutralizing antibody and memory B cell (MBC) responses declined by two- to four-fold through the study period. Breakthrough infection elicited minimal de novo Omicron-specific B cell responses but drove affinity maturation of pre-existing cross-reactive MBCs toward BA.1. Public clones dominated the neutralizing antibody response at both early and late time points, and their escape mutation profiles predicted newly emergent Omicron sublineages. The results demonstrate that heterologous SARS-CoV-2 variant exposure drives the evolution of B cell memory and suggest that convergent neutralizing antibody responses continue to shape viral evolution.

RevDate: 2023-05-22

Esbenshade AJ, Lu L, Friedman DL, et al (2023)

Accumulation of Chronic Disease Among Survivors of Childhood Cancer Predicts Early Mortality.

Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: Cancer survivors develop cancer and treatment-related morbidities at younger than normal ages and are at risk for early mortality, suggestive of an aging phenotype. The Cumulative Illness Rating Scale for Geriatrics (CIRS-G) is specifically designed to describe the accumulation of comorbidities over time with estimates of severity such as total score (TS) which is a sum of possible conditions weighted by severity. These severity scores can then be used to predict future mortality.

METHODS: CIRS-G scores were calculated in cancer survivors and their siblings from Childhood Cancer Survivor Study cohort members from two time points 19 years apart and members of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999 to 2004. CIRS-G metrics were analyzed using Cox proportional hazards regression to determine subsequent mortality risk.

RESULTS: In total, 14,355 survivors with a median age of 24 (IQR, 18-30) years and 4,022 siblings with a median age of 26 (IQR, 19-33) years provided baseline data; 6,138 survivors and 1,801 siblings provided follow-up data. Cancer survivors had higher median baseline TS than siblings at baseline (5.75 v 3.44) and follow-up (7.76 v 4.79), all P < .01. The mean increase in TS from baseline to follow-up was significantly steeper in cancer survivors (2.89 males and 3.18 females) vs. siblings (1.79 males and 1.69 females) and NHANES population (2.0 males and 1.94 females), all P < .01. Every point increase in baseline TS increased hazard for death by 9% (95% CI, 8 to 10) among survivors.

CONCLUSION: Application of a geriatric rating scale to characterize disease supports the hypothesis that morbidity accumulation is accelerated in young adult survivors of childhood cancer when compared with siblings and the general population.

RevDate: 2023-05-22

Yaffe ZA, Ding S, Sung K, et al (2023)

Reconstruction of a polyclonal ADCC antibody repertoire from an HIV-1 non-transmitting mother.

iScience, 26(5):106762 pii:S2589-0042(23)00839-8.

Human natural history and vaccine studies support a protective role of antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity against many infectious diseases. One setting where this has consistently been observed is in HIV-1 vertical transmission, where passively acquired ADCC activity in HIV-exposed infants has correlated with reduced acquisition risk and reduced pathogenesis in HIV+ infants. However, the characteristics of HIV-specific antibodies comprising a maternal plasma ADCC response are not well understood. Here, we reconstructed monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from memory B cells from late pregnancy in mother MG540, who did not transmit HIV to her infant despite several high-risk factors. Twenty mAbs representing 14 clonal families were reconstructed, which mediated ADCC and recognized multiple HIV Envelope epitopes. In experiments using Fc-defective variants, only combinations of several mAbs accounted for the majority of plasma ADCC of MG540 and her infant. We present these mAbs as evidence of a polyclonal repertoire with potent HIV-directed ADCC activity.

RevDate: 2023-05-22

Beresford SA, Rillamas-Sun E, Rudd K, et al (2023)

Development of an Assessment Tool to Measure Healthy Eating in Navajo Children and Their Families.

Current developments in nutrition, 7(5):100074 pii:S2475-2991(23)19947-1.

BACKGROUND: To estimate the efficacy of interventions to improve healthy eating, valid measures are essential. Although simple dietary intake tools have been developed with other populations, few have been culturally tailored and assessed for validity and reliability among Navajo.

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to develop a simple dietary intake tool tailored to Navajo culture, derive healthy eating indices, and assess their validity and reliability in Navajo children and adults and to describe the process used to develop this tool.

METHODS: A picture-sort tool using typically consumed foods was developed. Elementary school children and family members provided qualitative feedback in focus groups, used to refine the tool. Next, school-aged children and adults completed assessments at baseline and follow-up. Baseline behavior measures including child self-efficacy for fruits and vegetables (F&V) were examined for internal consistency. Healthy eating indices were derived from intake frequencies from picture sorting. The convergent validity of the indices and behavior measures for children and adults were examined. The reliability of the indices at the 2 time points was derived using Bland-Altman plots.

RESULTS: The picture-sort was refined from feedback provided by the focus groups. Baseline measures from 25 children and 18 adults were obtained. In children, a modified Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) and 2 other indices from the picture-sort were correlated with self-efficacy for eating F&V and had good reliability. In adults, the modified AHEI and 3 other indices from the picture-sort had significant correlations with adult abbreviated food frequency of F&V or obesogenic dietary index and had good reliability.

CONCLUSIONS: The Navajo foods picture-sort tool developed for Navajo children and adults is proven to be acceptable and feasible to implement. Indices derived from the tool has good convergent validity and repeatability, supporting use in evaluating dietary change interventions in Navajo, with the potential for broader use of the approach in other underserved populations.

RevDate: 2023-05-22

Mao Z, JK Lee (2023)

Expanding the landscape of TCR gene therapy targeting MAGE.

Molecular therapy oncolytics, 29:59-60 pii:S2372-7705(23)00029-3.

RevDate: 2023-05-22

Sarvari P, Rubio K, Dobersch S, et al (2023)

Editorial: Therapeutic targeting of splicing variants in cancer.

Frontiers in pharmacology, 14:1206342 pii:1206342.

RevDate: 2023-05-22

Crandall CJ, Larson JC, Schousboe JT, et al (2023)

Race and Ethnicity and Fracture Prediction Among Younger Postmenopausal Women in the Women's Health Initiative Study.

JAMA internal medicine pii:2804684 [Epub ahead of print].

IMPORTANCE: The best approach to identify younger postmenopausal women for osteoporosis screening is uncertain. The Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX), which includes self-identified racial and ethnic information, and the Osteoporosis Self-assessment Tool (OST), which does not, are risk assessment tools recommended by US Preventive Services Task Force guidelines to identify candidates for bone mineral density (BMD) testing in this age group.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the ability of FRAX vs OST to discriminate between younger postmenopausal women who do and do not experience incident fracture during a 10-year follow-up in the 4 racial and ethnic groups specified by FRAX.

This cohort study of Women's Health Initiative participants included 67 169 women (baseline age range, 50-64 years) with 10 years of follow-up for major osteoporotic fracture (MOF; including hip, clinical spine, forearm, and shoulder fracture) at 40 US clinical centers. Data were collected from October 1993 to December 2008 and analyzed between May 11, 2022, and February 23, 2023.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Incident MOF and BMD (in a subset of 4607 women) were assessed. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) for FRAX (without BMD information) and OST was calculated within each racial and ethnic category.

RESULTS: Among the 67 169 participants, mean (SD) age at baseline was 57.8 (4.1) years. A total of 1486 (2.2%) self-identified as Asian, 5927 (8.8%) as Black, 2545 (3.8%) as Hispanic, and 57 211 (85.2%) as White. During follow-up, 5594 women experienced MOF. For discrimination of MOF, AUC values for FRAX were 0.65 (95% CI, 0.58-0.71) for Asian, 0.55 (95% CI, 0.52-0.59) for Black, 0.61 (95% CI, 0.56-0.65) for Hispanic, and 0.59 (95% CI, 0.58-0.59) for White women. The AUC values for OST were 0.62 (95% CI, 0.56-0.69) for Asian, 0.53 (95% CI, 0.50-0.57) for Black, 0.58 (95% CI, 0.54-0.62) for Hispanic, and 0.55 (95% CI, 0.54-0.56) for White women. For discrimination of femoral neck osteoporosis, AUC values were excellent for OST (range, 0.79 [95% CI, 0.65-0.93] to 0.85 [95% CI, 0.74-0.96]), higher for OST than FRAX (range, 0.72 [95% CI, 0.68-0.75] to 0.74 [95% CI, 0.60-0.88]), and similar in each of the 4 racial and ethnic groups.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: These findings suggest that within each racial and ethnic category, the US FRAX and OST have suboptimal performance in discrimination of MOF in younger postmenopausal women. In contrast, for identifying osteoporosis, OST was excellent. The US version of FRAX should not be routinely used to make screening decisions in younger postmenopausal women. Future investigations should improve existing tools or create new approaches to osteoporosis risk assessment for this age group.

RevDate: 2023-05-20

Schmeusser BN, Midenberg E, Palacios AR, et al (2023)

Low Skeletal Muscle as a Risk Factor for Worse Survival in Nonmetastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma with Venous Tumor Thrombus.

Clinical genitourinary cancer pii:S1558-7673(23)00092-7 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) with tumor thrombosis often requires nephrectomy and tumor thrombectomy. As an extensive and potentially morbid operation, patient preoperative functional reserve and body composition is an important consideration. Sarcopenia is a risk factor for increased postoperative complications, systemic therapy toxicity, and death solid organ tumors, including RCC. The influence of sarcopenia in RCC patients with tumor thrombus is not well defined. This study evaluates the prognostic ability of sarcopenia regarding surgical outcomes and complications in patients undergoing surgery for RCC with tumor thrombus.

METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed patients with nonmetastatic RCC and tumor thrombus undergoing radical nephrectomy and tumor thrombectomy. Skeletal muscle index (SMI; cm[2]/m[2]) was measured on preoperative CT/MRI. Sarcopenia was defined using body mass index- and sex-stratified thresholds optimally fit via a receiver-operating characteristic analysis for survival. Associations between preoperative sarcopenia and overall (OS), cancer-specific survival (CSS), and 90-day major complications were determined using multivariable analysis.

RESULTS: 115 patients were analyzed, with median (IQR) age and body mass index of 69 (56-72) and 28.6 kg/m[2] (23.6-32.9), respectively. 96 (83.4%) of the cohort had ccRCC. Sarcopenia was associated with shorter median OS (P = .0017) and CSS (P = .0019) in Kaplan-Meier analysis. In multivariable analysis, preoperative sarcopenia was prognostic of shorter OS (HR = 3.38, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.61-7.09) and CSS (HR = 5.15, 95% CI 1.46-18.18). Notably, 1 unit increases in SMI were associated with improved OS (HR = 0.97, 95% CI 0.94-0.999) but not CSS (HR = 0.95, 95% CI 0.90-1.01). No significant relationship between preoperative sarcopenia and 90-day major surgical complications was observed in this cohort (HR = 2.04, 95% CI 0.65-6.42).

CONCLUSION: Preoperative sarcopenia was associated with decreased OS and CSS in patients surgically managed for nonmetastatic RCC and VTT, however, was not predictive of 90-day major postoperative complications. Body composition analysis has prognostic utility for patients with nonmetastatic RCC and venous tumor thrombus undergoing surgery.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.


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Cancer is the generic name for more than 100 diseases in which cells begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled manner. Usually, when cells get too old or damaged, they die and new cells take their place. Cancer begins when genetic changes impair this orderly process so that some cells start to grow uncontrollably. The Emperor of All Maladies is a "biography" of cancer — from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. This is a must read book for anyone with an interest in cancer. R. Robbins

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
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Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin (and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg).


ESP now offers a much improved and expanded collection of timelines, designed to give the user choice over subject matter and dates.


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are now being automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )