- [11C]-L-Methionine positron emission tomography in the management of children and young adults with brain tumors (2009)
- Only a few Methyl-[11C]-l-methionine (MET) positron emission tomography (PET) studies have focused on children and young adults with brain neoplasm. Due to radiation exposure, long scan acquisition time, and the need for sedation in young children MET-PET studies should be restricted to this group of patients when a decision for further therapy is not possible from routine diagnostic procedures alone, e.g., structural imaging. We investigated the diagnostic accuracy of MET-PET for the differentiation between tumorous and non-tumorous lesions in this group of patients. Forty eight MET-PET scans from 39 patients aged from 2 to 21 years (mean 15 ± 5.0 years) were analyzed. The MET tumor-uptake relative to a corresponding control region was calculated. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) was performed to determine the MET-uptake value that best distinguishes tumorous from non-tumorous brain lesions. A differentiation between tumorous (n = 39) and non-tumorous brain lesions (n = 9) was possible at a threshold of 1.48 of relative MET-uptake with a sensitivity of 83% and a specificity of 92%, respectively. A differentiation between high grade malignant lesions (mean MET-uptake = 2.00 ± 0.46) and low grade tumors (mean MET-uptake = 1.84 ± 0.31) was not possible. There was a significant difference in MET-uptake between the histologically homogeneous subgroups of astrocytoma WHO grade II and anaplastic astrocytoma WHO grade III (P = 0.02). MET-PET might be a useful tool to differentiate tumorous from non-tumorous lesions in children and young adults when a decision for further therapy is difficult or impossible from routine structural imaging procedures alone. Keywords Brain tumor - Children - PET - Methionine - Molecular imaging
- Long term outcome of high-risk neuroblastoma patients after immunotherapy with antibody ch14.18 or oral metronomic chemotherapy (2011)
- Background: The treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma patients consists of multimodal induction therapy to achieve remission followed by consolidation therapy to prevent relapses. However, the type of consolidation therapy is still discussed controversial. We applied metronomic chemotherapy in the prospective NB90 trial and monoclonal anti-GD2-antibody (MAB) ch14.18 in the NB97 trial. Here, we present the long term outcome data of the patient cohort. Methods: A total of 334 stage 4 neuroblastoma patients one year or older were included. All patients successfully completed the induction therapy. In the NB90 trial, 99 patients received at least one cycle of the oral maintenance chemotherapy (NB90 MT, 12 alternating cycles of oral melphalan/etoposide and vincristine/cyclophosphamide). In the NB97 trial, 166 patients commenced the MAB ch14.18 consolidation therapy (six cycles over 12 months). Patients who received no maintenance therapy according to the NB90 protocol or by refusal in NB97 (n = 69) served as controls. Results: The median observation time was 11.11 years. The nine-year event-free survival rates were 41 ± 4%, 31 ± 5%, and 32 ± 6% for MAB ch14.18, NB90 MT, and no consolidation, respectively (p = 0.098). In contrast to earlier reports, MAB ch14.18 treatment improved the long-term outcome compared to no additional therapy (p = 0.038). The overall survival was better in the MAB ch14.18-treated group (9-y-OS 46 ± 4%) compared to NB90 MT (34 ± 5%, p = 0.026) and to no consolidation (35 ± 6%, p = 0.019). Multivariable Cox regression analysis revealed ch14.18 consolidation to improve outcome compared to no consolidation, however, no difference between NB90 MT and MAB ch14.18-treated patients was found. Conclusions: Follow-up analysis of the patient cohort indicated that immunotherapy with MAB ch14.18 may prevent late relapses. Finally, metronomic oral maintenance chemotherapy also appeared effective.
- Neonatology/paediatrics - guidelines on parenteral nutrition, chapter 13 (2009)
- There are special challenges in implementing parenteral nutrition (PN) in paediatric patients, which arises from the wide range of patients, ranging from extremely premature infants up to teenagers weighing up to and over 100 kg, and their varying substrate requirements. Age and maturity-related changes of the metabolism and fluid and nutrient requirements must be taken into consideration along with the clinical situation during which PN is applied. The indication, the procedure as well as the intake of fluid and substrates are very different to that known in PN-practice in adult patients, e.g. the fluid, nutrient and energy needs of premature infants and newborns per kg body weight are markedly higher than of older paediatric and adult patients. Premature infants <35 weeks of pregnancy and most sick term infants usually require full or partial PN. In neonates the actual amount of PN administered must be calculated (not estimated). Enteral nutrition should be gradually introduced and should replace PN as quickly as possible in order to minimise any side-effects from exposure to PN. Inadequate substrate intake in early infancy can cause long-term detrimental effects in terms of metabolic programming of the risk of illness in later life. If energy and nutrient demands in children and adolescents cannot be met through enteral nutrition, partial or total PN should be considered within 7 days or less depending on the nutritional state and clinical conditions.
- An Integrated Architecture for Shallow and Deep Processing (2002)
- We present an architecture for the integration of shallow and deep NLP components which is aimed at flexible combination of different language technologies for a range of practical current and future applications. In particular, we describe the integration of a high-level HPSG parsing system with different high-performance shallow components, ranging from named entity recognition to chunk parsing and shallow clause recognition. The NLP components enrich a representation of natural language text with layers of new XML meta-information using a single shared data structure, called the text chart. We describe details of the integration methods, and show how information extraction and language checking applications for realworld German text benefit from a deep grammatical analysis.