Year of publication
- 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.
- Primary care practice-based care management for chronically ill patients (PraCMan): study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial [ISRCTN56104508] (2011)
- Background: Care management programmes are an effective approach to care for high risk patients with complex care needs resulting from multiple co-occurring medical and non-medical conditions. These patients are likely to be hospitalized for a potentially "avoidable" cause. Nurse-led care management programmes for high risk elderly patients showed promising results. Care management programmes based on health care assistants (HCAs) targeting adult patients with a high risk of hospitalisation may be an innovative approach to deliver cost-efficient intensified care to patients most in need. Methods: PraCMan is a cluster randomized controlled trial with primary care practices as unit of randomisation. The study evaluates a complex primary care practice-based care management of patients at high risk for future hospitalizations. Eligible patients either suffer from type 2 diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic heart failure or any combination. Patients with a high likelihood of hospitalization within the following 12 months (based on insurance data) will be included in the trial. During 12 months of intervention patients of the care management group receive comprehensive assessment of medical and non-medical needs and resources as well as regular structured monitoring of symptoms. Assessment and monitoring will be performed by trained HCAs from the participating practices. Additionally, patients will receive written information, symptom diaries, action plans and a medication plan to improve self-management capabilities. This intervention is addition to usual care. Patients from the control group receive usual care. Primary outcome is the number of all-cause hospitalizations at 12 months follow-up, assessed by insurance claims data. Secondary outcomes are health-related quality of life (SF12, EQ5D), quality of chronic illness care (PACIC), health care utilisation and costs, medication adherence (MARS), depression status and severity (PHQ-9), self-management capabilities and clinical parameters. Data collection will be performed at baseline, 12 and 24 months (12 months post-intervention). Discussion: Practice-based care management for high risk individuals involving trained HCAs appears to be a promising approach to face the needs of an aging population with increasing care demands. Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN56104508
- Wound healing in mice with high-fat diet- or ob gene-induced diabetes-obesity syndromes: a comparative study (2010)
- In the past, the genetically diabetic-obese diabetes/diabetes (db/db) and obese/obese (ob/ob) mouse strains were used to investigate mechanisms of diabetes-impaired wound healing. Here we determined patterns of skin repair in genetically normal C57Bl/6J mice that were fed using a high fat diet (HFD) to induce a diabetes-obesity syndrome. Wound closure was markedly delayed in HFD-fed mice compared to mice which had received a standard chow diet (CD). Impaired wound tissue of HFD mice showed a marked prolongation of wound inflammation. Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was delayed and associated with the disturbed formation of wound margin epithelia and an impaired angiogenesis in the reduced granulation tissue. Normal wound contraction was retarded and disordered. Wound disorders in obese C57Bl/6J mice were paralleled by a prominent degradation of the inhibitor of NFκB (IκB-α) in the absence of an Akt activation. By contrast to impaired wound conditions in ob/ob mice, late wounds of HFD mice did not develop a chronic inflammatory state and were epithelialized after 11 days of repair. Thus, only genetically obese and diabetic ob/ob mice finally developed chronic wounds and therefore represent a better suited experimental model to investigate diabetes-induced wound healing disorders.
- RP1 Is a Phosphorylation Target of CK2 and Is Involved in Cell Adhesion (2013)
- RP1 (synonym: MAPRE2, EB2) is a member of the microtubule binding EB1 protein family, which interacts with APC, a key regulatory molecule in the Wnt signalling pathway. While the other EB1 proteins are well characterized the cellular function and regulation of RP1 remain speculative to date. However, recently RP1 has been implicated in pancreatic cancerogenesis. CK2 is a pleiotropic kinase involved in adhesion, proliferation and anti-apoptosis. Overexpression of protein kinase CK2 is a hallmark of many cancers and supports the malignant phenotype of tumor cells. In this study we investigate the interaction of protein kinase CK2 with RP1 and demonstrate that CK2 phosphorylates RP1 at Ser236 in vitro. Stable RP1 expression in cell lines leads to a significant cleavage and down-regulation of N-cadherin and impaired adhesion. Cells expressing a Phospho-mimicking point mutant RP1-ASP236 show a marked decrease of adhesion to endothelial cells under shear stress. Inversely, we found that the cells under shear stress downregulate endogenous RP1, most likely to improve cellular adhesion. Accordingly, when RP1 expression is suppressed by shRNA, cells lacking RP1 display significantly increased cell adherence to surfaces. In summary, RP1 phosphorylation at Ser236 by CK2 seems to play a significant role in cell adhesion and might initiate new insights in the CK2 and EB1 family protein association.
- Protocol TOP-Study (tacrolimus organ perfusion): a prospective randomized multicenter trial to reduce ischemia reperfusion injury in transplantation of marginal liver grafts with an ex vivo tacrolimus perfusion (2013)
- Background: Critical organ shortage results in the utilization of extended donor criteria (EDC) liver grafts. These marginal liver grafts are prone to increased ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) which may contribute to deteriorated graft function and survival. Experimental data have shown that the calcineurin inhibitor tacrolimus exerts protective effects on hepatic IRI when applied intravenously or directly as a hepatic rinse. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to examine the effects of an ex vivo tacrolimus perfusion on IRI in transplantation of EDC liver grafts. Methods/Design: The TOP-Study (tacrolimus organ perfusion) is a randomized multicenter trial comparing the ex vivo tacrolimus perfusion of marginal liver grafts with placebo. We hypothesize that a tacrolimus rinse reduces IRI, potentially improving organ survival following transplantation of EDC livers. The study includes livers with two or more EDC, according to Eurotransplant International Foundation’s definition of EDC livers. Prior to implantation, livers randomized to the treatment group are rinsed with tacrolimus at a concentration of 20 ng/ml in 1000 ml Custodiol solution and in the placebo group with Custodiol alone. The primary endpoint is the maximum serum alanine transamninase (ALT) level within the first 48 hours after surgery; however, the study design also includes a 1-year observation period following transplantation. The TOP-Study is an investigator-initiated trial sponsored by the University of Munich Hospital. Seven other German transplant centers are participating (Berlin, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Mainz, Münster, Regensburg, Tübingen) and aim to include a total of 86 patients. Discussion: Tacrolimus organ perfusion represents a promising strategy to reduce hepatic IRI following the transplantation of marginal liver grafts. This treatment may help to improve the function of EDC grafts and therefore safely expand the donor pool in light of critical organ shortage. Trial register: EudraCT number: 2010-021333-31, ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01564095
- Inhibition of neutrophil activity improves cardiac function after cardiopulmonary bypass (2007)
- Background The arterial in line application of the leukocyte inhibition module (LIM) in the cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) limits overshooting leukocyte activity during cardiac surgery. We now studied in a porcine model whether LIM may have beneficial effects on cardiac function after CPB. Methods German landrace pigs underwent CPB (60 min myocardial ischemia; 30 min reperfusion)without (group I; n=6) or with LIM (group II; n=6). The cardiac indices (CI) and cardiac function were analyzed pre and post CPB with a Swan-Ganz catheter and the cardiac function analyzer. Neutrophil labeling with technetium, scintigraphy, and histological analyses were done to track activated neutrophils within the organs. Results LIM prevented CPB-associated increase of neutrophil counts in peripheral blood. In group I, the CI significantly declined post CPB (post: 3.26 +/- 0.31; pre: 4.05 +/- 0.45 l/min/m2; p<0.01). In group II, the CI was only slightly reduced (post: 3.86 +/- 0.49; pre 4.21 +/- 1.32 l/min/m2; p=0.23). Post CPB, the intergroup difference showed significantly higher CI values in the LIM group (p<0.05) which was in conjunction with higher pre-load independent endsystolic pressure volume relationship (ESPVR) values (group I: 1.57 +/- 0.18; group II: 1.93 +/- 0.16; p<0.001). Moreover, the systemic vascular resistance and pulmonary vascular resistance were lower in the LIM group. LIM appeared to accelerate the sequestration of hyperactivated neutrophils in the spleen and to reduce neutrophil infiltration of heart and lung. Conclusions Our data provide strong evidence that LIM improves perioperative hemodynamics and cardiac function after CPB by limiting neutrophil activity and inducing accelerated sequestration of neutrophils in the spleen.
- QPRT: a potential marker for follicular thyroid carcinoma including minimal invasive variant : a gene expression, RNA and immunohistochemical study (2009)
- Background The differential diagnosis between follicular thyroid adenoma and minimal invasive follicular thyroid carcinoma is often difficult for several reasons. One major aspect is the lack of typical cytological criteria in well differentiated specimens. New marker molecules, shown by poly- or monoclonal antibodies proved helpful. Methods We performed global gene expression analysis of 12 follicular thyroid tumours (4 follicular adenomas, 4 minimal invasive follicular carcinomas and 4 widely invasive follicular carcinomas), followed by immunohistochemical staining of 149 cases. The specificity of the antibody was validated by western blot analysis Results In gene expression analysis QPRT was detected as differently expressed between follicular thyroid adenoma and follicular thyroid carcinoma. QPRT protein could be detected by immunohistochemistry in 65% of follicular thyroid carcinomas including minimal invasive variant and only 22% of follicular adenomas. Conclusion Consequently, QPRT is a potential new marker for the immunohistochemical screening of follicular thyroid nodules.
- Correlation of inflammatory and proangiogenic cytokines from undiluted vitreous samples with spectral domain OCT scans, in untreated branch retinal vein occlusion (2013)
- Purpose: To assess the levels of inflammatory and angiogenic cytokines in undiluted vitreous from treatment-naïve patients with macular edema secondary to nonischemic branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO), with flow cytometric bead array (CBA) and to correlate the results with subjective and multiple spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) parameters. Methods: A total of 43 eyes from 43 patients (mean age 69.7 years, 23 male) were divided into groups of new, "fresh" (n = 28; mean duration after onset 4.1 months) and older BRVO (n = 15; 11.6 months). Because of macular edema, these patients underwent an intravitreal therapy combining a single-site 23 g core vitrectomy with bevacizumab and dexamethasone. Undiluted vitreous was then analyzed for interleukin-6 (IL-6), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and vascular endothelial growth factor isoform A (VEGF-A) levels with CBA and correlated with visual acuity (VA), clinical parameters of BRVO (type and perfusion status), and morphologic parameters, such as central macular thickness, central retinal thickness, thickness of the neurosensory retina, thickness of the serous retinal detachment, and the disruption of the ellipsoid line (photoreceptor inner and outer segments) and the external limiting membrane, as measured with SD-OCT. Twenty-eight undiluted vitreous samples from patients with idiopathic, nonuveitis vitreous floaters served as the controls. Results: The mean IL-6 was 23.2 pg/mL (standard deviation, ±48.8), MCP-1 was 602.6 (±490.3), and VEGF-A was 161.8 (±314.3), and this was higher than in the control group, which had a mean IL-6 of 6.2 ± 3.4 pg/mL (P = 0.17), MCP-1 of 253.2 ± 73.5 (P < 0.0000001), and VEGF-A of 7.0 ± 4.9 (P < 0.003). In all BRVO samples, IL-6 correlated positively with MCP-1 and VEGF-A (correlation coefficient r = 0.79 and r = 0.46, respectively). VEGF-A was the only cytokine to correlate significantly with SD-OCT parameters (thickness of the neurosensory retina r = 0.31; disruption of the ellipsoid line r = 0.33). In the older BRVO group, there was a positive correlation between cytokines (IL-6 with MCP-1, r = 0.77; Il-6 with VEGF-A, r = 0.68; MCP-1 and VEGF-A, r = 0.68), whereas only IL-6 correlated with MCP-1 in the fresh group (r = 0.8). Conclusion: The inflammatory markers and VEGF-A were elevated in the vitreous fluid of patients with BRVO, and these correlated with one another. VEGF-A was more often correlated with the morphologic changes assessed by SD-OCT, whereas the inflammatory markers had no significant influence on SD-OCT changes.
- SNEV is an evolutionarily conserved splicing factor whose oligomerization is necessary for spliceosome assembly (2005)
- We have isolated the human protein SNEV as downregulated in replicatively senescent cells. Sequence homology to the yeast splicing factor Prp19 suggested that SNEV might be the orthologue of Prp19 and therefore might also be involved in pre-mRNA splicing. We have used various approaches including gene complementation studies in yeast using a temperature sensitive mutant with a pleiotropic phenotype and SNEV immunodepletion from human HeLa nuclear extracts to determine its function. A human–yeast chimera was indeed capable of restoring the wild-type phenotype of the yeast mutant strain. In addition, immunodepletion of SNEV from human nuclear extracts resulted in a decrease of in vitro pre-mRNA splicing efficiency. Furthermore, as part of our analysis of protein–protein interactions within the CDC5L complex, we found that SNEV interacts with itself. The self-interaction domain was mapped to amino acids 56–74 in the protein's sequence and synthetic peptides derived from this region inhibit in vitro splicing by surprisingly interfering with spliceosome formation and stability. These results indicate that SNEV is the human orthologue of yeast PRP19, functions in splicing and that homo-oligomerization of SNEV in HeLa nuclear extract is essential for spliceosome assembly and that it might also be important for spliceosome stability.
- Genome sequence of the necrotrophic plant pathogen Pythium ultimum reveals original pathogenicity mechanisms and effector repertoire (2010)
- Background: Pythium ultimum (P. ultimum) is a ubiquitous oomycete plant pathogen responsible for a variety of diseases on a broad range of crop and ornamental species. Results: The P. ultimum genome (42.8 Mb) encodes 15,290 genes and has extensive sequence similarity and synteny with related Phytophthora species, including the potato blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Whole transcriptome sequencing revealed expression of 86% of genes, with detectable differential expression of suites of genes under abiotic stress and in the presence of a host. The predicted proteome includes a large repertoire of proteins involved in plant pathogen interactions although surprisingly, the P. ultimum genome does not encode any classical RXLR effectors and relatively few Crinkler genes in comparison to related phytopathogenic oomycetes. A lower number of enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism were present compared to Phytophthora species, with the notable absence of cutinases, suggesting a significant difference in virulence mechanisms between P. ultimum and more host specific oomycete species. Although we observed a high degree of orthology with Phytophthora genomes, there were novel features of the P. ultimum proteome including an expansion of genes involved in proteolysis and genes unique to Pythium. We identified a small gene family of cadherins, proteins involved in cell adhesion, the first report in a genome outside the metazoans. Conclusions: Access to the P. ultimum genome has revealed not only core pathogenic mechanisms within the oomycetes but also lineage specific genes associated with the alternative virulence and lifestyles found within the pythiaceous lineages compared to the Peronosporaceae.