Year of publication
- A prospective randomised, open-labeled, trial comparing sirolimus-containing versus mTOR-inhibitor-free immunosuppression in patients undergoing liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma (2010)
- Background: The potential anti-cancer effects of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors are being intensively studied. To date, however, few randomised clinical trials (RCT) have been performed to demonstrate anti-neoplastic effects in the pure oncology setting, and at present, no oncology endpoint-directed RCT has been reported in the high-malignancy risk population of immunosuppressed transplant recipients. Interestingly, since mTOR inhibitors have both immunosuppressive and anti-cancer effects, they have the potential to simultaneously protect against immunologic graft loss and tumour development. Therefore, we designed a prospective RCT to determine if the mTOR inhibitor sirolimus can improve hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)-free patient survival in liver transplant (LT) recipients with a pre-transplant diagnosis of HCC. Methods: The study is an open-labelled, randomised, RCT comparing sirolimus-containing versus mTOR-inhibitor-free immunosuppression in patients undergoing LT for HCC. Patients with a histologically confirmed HCC diagnosis are randomised into 2 groups within 4-6 weeks after LT; one arm is maintained on a centre-specific mTOR-inhibitor-free immunosuppressive protocol and the second arm is maintained on a centre-specific mTOR-inhibitor-free immunosuppressive protocol for the first 4-6 weeks, at which time sirolimus is initiated. A 3-year recruitment phase is planned with a 5-year follow-up, testing HCC-free survival as the primary endpoint. Our hypothesis is that sirolimus use in the second arm of the study will improve HCC-free survival. The study is a non-commercial investigator-initiated trial (IIT) sponsored by the University Hospital Regensburg and is endorsed by the European Liver and Intestine Transplant Association; 13 countries within Europe, Canada and Australia are participating. Discussion: If our hypothesis is correct that mTOR inhibition can reduce HCC tumour growth while simultaneously providing immunosuppression to protect the liver allograft from rejection, patients should experience less post-transplant problems with HCC recurrence, and therefore could expect a longer and better quality of life. A positive outcome will likely change the standard of posttransplant immunosuppressive care for LT patients with HCC. (trial registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00355862) (EudraCT Number: 2005-005362-36)
- Impact papers on aging in 2009 (2010)
- The editorial board of Aging reviews research papers published in 2009,which they believe have or will have a significant impact on aging research.Among many others, the topics include genes that accelerate aging or incontrast promote longevity in model organisms, DNA damage responsesand telomeres, molecular mechanisms of life span extension by calorierestriction and pharmacologic interventions into aging. The emergingmessage in 2009 is that aging is not random but determined by agenetically-regulated longevity network and can be decelerated bothgenetically and pharmacologically.
- Intravenous sphingosylphosphorylcholine protects ischemic and postischemic myocardial tissue in a mouse model of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury (2010)
- HDL, through sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), exerts direct cardioprotective effects on ischemic myocardium. It remains unclear whether other HDL-associated sphingophospholipids have similar effects. We therefore examined if HDL-associated sphingosylphosphorylcholine (SPC) reduces infarct size in a mouse model of transient myocardial ischemia/reperfusion. Intravenously administered SPC dose-dependently reduced infarct size after 30 minutes of myocardial ischemia and 24 hours reperfusion compared to controls. Infarct size was also reduced by postischemic, therapeutical administration of SPC. Immunohistochemistry revealed reduced polymorphonuclear neutrophil recruitment to the infarcted area after SPC treatment, and apoptosis was attenuated as measured by TUNEL. In vitro, SPC inhibited leukocyte adhesion to TNFα-activated endothelial cells and protected rat neonatal cardiomyocytes from apoptosis. S1P3 was identified as the lysophospholipid receptor mediating the cardioprotection by SPC, since its effect was completely absent in S1P3-deficient mice. We conclude that HDL-associated SPC directly protects against myocardial reperfusion injury in vivo via the S1P3 receptor.
- Status of the Micro Vertex Detector of the Compressed Baryonic Matter Experiment (2010)
- The CBM experiment will investigate heavy-ion collisions at beam energies from 8 to 45 AGeV at the future accelerator facility FAIR. The goal of the experiment is to study the QCD phase diagram in the vincinity of the QCD critical point. To do so, CBM aims at measuring rare probes among them open charm. In order to identify those rare and short lived particles despite the rich combinatorial background generated in heavy ion collisions, a micro vertex detector (MVD) providing an unprecedented combination of high rate capability and radiation hardness, very light material budget and excellent granularity is required. In this work, we will discuss the concept of this detector and summarize the status of the R&D.
- LICC: L-BLP25 in patients with colorectal carcinoma after curative resection of hepatic metastases-a randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter, multinational, double-blinded phase II trial (2012)
- Background: 15-20% of all patients initially diagnosed with colorectal cancer develop metastatic disease and surgical resection remains the only potentially curative treatment available. Current 5-year survival following R0-resection of liver metastases is 28-39%, but recurrence eventually occurs in up to 70%. To date, adjuvant chemotherapy has not improved clinical outcomes significantly. The primary objective of the ongoing LICC trial (L-BLP25 In Colorectal Cancer) is to determine whether L-BLP25, an active cancer immunotherapy, extends recurrence-free survival (RFS) time over placebo in colorectal cancer patients following R0/R1 resection of hepatic metastases. L-BLP25 targets MUC1 glycoprotein, which is highly expressed in hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer. In a phase IIB trial, L-BLP25 has shown acceptable tolerability and a trend towards longer survival in patients with stage IIIB locoregional NSCLC. Methods: This is a multinational, phase II, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with a sample size of 159 patients from 20 centers in 3 countries. Patients with stage IV colorectal adenocarcinoma limited to liver metastases are included. Following curative-intent complete resection of the primary tumor and of all synchronous/metachronous metastases, eligible patients are randomized 2:1 to receive either L-BLP25 or placebo. Those allocated to L-BLP25 receive a single dose of 300 mg/m2 cyclophosphamide (CP) 3 days before first L-BLP25 dose, then primary treatment with s.c. L-BLP25 930 mug once weekly for 8 weeks, followed by s.c. L-BLP25 930 mug maintenance doses at 6-week (years 1&2) and 12-week (year 3) intervals unless recurrence occurs. In the control arm, CP is replaced by saline solution and L-BLP25 by placebo. Primary endpoint is the comparison of recurrence-free survival (RFS) time between groups. Secondary endpoints are overall survival (OS) time, safety, tolerability, RFS/OS in MUC-1 positive cancers. Exploratory immune response analyses are planned. The primary endpoint will be assessed in Q3 2016. Follow-up will end Q3 2017. Interim analyses are not planned. Discussion: The design and implementation of such a vaccination study in colorectal cancer is feasible. The study will provide recurrence-free and overall survival rates of groups in an unbiased fashion. Trial Registration EudraCT Number 2011-000218-20
- Reduced inclination of cervical spine in a novel notebook screen system - implications for rehabilitation (2011)
- BACKGROUND: Professional working at computer notebooks is associated with high requirements on the body posture in the seated position. By the high continuous static muscle stress resulting from this position at notebooks, professionals frequently working at notebooks for long hours are exposed to an increased risk of musculoskeletal complaints. Especially in subjects with back pain, new notebooks should be evaluated with a focus on rehabilitative issues. METHODS: In a field study a new notebook design with adjustable screen was analyzed and compared to standard notebook position. RESULTS: There are highly significant differences in the visual axis of individuals who are seated in the novel notebook position in comparison to the standard position. Also, differences are present between further alternative notebook positions. Testing of gender and glasses did not reveal influences. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that notebooks with adjustable screen may be used to improve the posture. Future studies may focus on patients with musculoskeletal diseases.
- Reference values and physiological characterization of a specific isolated pig kidney perfusion model (2007)
- BACKGROUND: Models of isolated and perfused kidneys are used to study the effects of drugs, hazardous or toxic substances on renal functions. Since physiological and morphological parameters of small laboratory animal kidneys are difficult to compare to human renal parameters, porcine kidney perfusion models have been developed to simulate closer conditions to the human situation, but exact values of renal parameters for different collection and perfusion conditions have not been reported so far. If the organs could be used out of regular slaughtering processes animal experiments may be avoided. METHODS: To assess renal perfusion quality, we analyzed different perfusion settings in a standardized model of porcine kidney hemoperfusion with organs collected in the operating theatre (OP: groups A-D) or in a public abattoir (SLA: group E) and compared the data to in vivo measurements in living animals (CON). Experimental groups had defined preservation periods (0, 2 and 24 hrs), one with additional albumin in the perfusate (C) for edema reduction. RESULTS: Varying perfusion settings resulted in different functional values (mean +/- SD): blood flow (RBF [ml/min*100 g]: (A) 339.9 +/- 61.1; (C) 244.5 +/- 53.5; (D) 92.8 +/- 25.8; (E) 153.8 +/- 41.5); glomerular filtration (GFR [ml/min*100 g]: (CON) 76.1 +/- 6.2; (A) 59.2 +/- 13.9; (C) 25.0 +/- 10.6; (D) 1.6 +/- 1.3; (E) 16.3 +/- 8.2); fractional sodium reabsorption (RFNa [%] (CON) 99.8 +/- 0.1; (A) 82.3 +/- 8.1; (C) 86.8 +/- 10.3; (D) 38.4 +/- 24.5; (E) 88.7 +/- 5.8). Additionally the tubular coupling-ratio of Na-reabsorption/O2-consumption was determined (TNa/O2-cons [mmol-Na/mmol- O2] (CON) 30.1; (A) 42.0, (C) 80.6; (D) 17.4; (E) 23.8), exhibiting OP and SLA organs with comparable results. CONCLUSION: In the present study functional values for isolated kidneys with different perfusion settings were determined to assess organ perfusion quality. It can be summarized that the hemoperfused porcine kidney can serve as a biological model with acceptable approximation to in vivo renal physiology, also if the organs originate from usual slaughtering processes.
- The impact of shift work induced chronic circadian disruption on IL-6 and TNF-α immune responses (2010)
- AIM: Sleep disturbances induce proinflammatory immune responses, which might increase cardiovascular disease risk. So far the effects of acute sleep deprivation and chronic sleep illnesses on the immune system have been investigated. The particular impact of shift work induced chronic circadian disruption on specific immune responses has not been addressed so far. METHODS: Pittsburgh-Sleep-Quality-Index (PSQI) questionnaire and blood sampling was performed by 225 shift workers and 137 daytime workers. As possible markers the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-alpha and lymphocyte cell count were investigated. A medical examination was performed and biometrical data including age, gender, height, weight, waist and hip circumference and smoking habits were collected by a structured interview. RESULTS: Shift workers had a significantly higher mean PSQI score than day workers (6.73 vs. 4.66; p < 0.001). Day workers and shift workers had similar serum levels of IL-6 (2.30 vs. 2.67 resp.; p = 0.276), TNF-alpha (5.58 vs. 5.68, resp.; p = 0.841) or lymphocytes count (33.68 vs. 32.99, resp.; p = 0.404). Furthermore there were no differences in cytokine levels (IL-6 p = 0.761; TNF-alpha p = 0.759) or lymphocyte count (p = 0.593) comparing the sleep quality within the cohorts. When this calculation of sleep quality was stratified by shift and day workers irrespective of their sleep quality day workers and shift workers had similar serum levels of IL-6, TNF-alpha or lymphocytes count. Multiple linear regression analysis showed a significant correlation of lymphocytes count and smoking habits. CONCLUSION: Shift work induces chronic sleep debt. Our data reveals that chronic sleep debt might not always lead to an activation of the immune system, as we did not observe differences in lymphocyte count or level of IL-6 or TNF-alpha serum concentration between shift workers and day workers. Therefore chronic sleep restriction might be eased by a long-term compensating immune regulation which (in healthy) protects against an overstimulation of proinflammatory immune mechanisms and moderates metabolic changes, as they are known from short-term sleep deprivation or sleep related breathing disorders.
- Development and evaluation of a computer-based medical work assessment programme (2008)
- Background: There are several ways to conduct a job task analysis in medical work environments including pencil-paper observations, interviews and questionnaires. However these methods implicate bias problems such as high inter-individual deviations and risks of misjudgement. Computer-based observation helps to reduce these problems. The aim of this paper is to give an overview of the development process of a computer-based job task analysis instrument for real-time observations to quantify the job tasks performed by physicians working in different medical settings. In addition reliability and validity data of this instrument will be demonstrated. Methods: This instrument was developed in consequential steps. First, lists comprising tasks performed by physicians in different care settings were classified. Afterwards content validity of task lists was proved. After establishing the final task categories, computer software was programmed and implemented in a mobile personal computer. At least inter-observer reliability was evaluated. Two trained observers recorded simultaneously tasks of the same physician. Results: Content validity of the task lists was confirmed by observations and experienced specialists of each medical area. Development process of the job task analysis instrument was completed successfully. Simultaneous records showed adequate interrater reliability. Conclusion: Initial results of this analysis supported the validity and reliability of this developed method for assessing physicians' working routines as well as organizational context factors. Based on results using this method, possible improvements for health professionals' work organisation can be identified.
- TOFtracker: combination of time-of-flight and high-accuracy bidimensional tracking in a single gaseous detector (2012)
- A 5-gap timing RPC equipped with patterned electrodes coupled to both charge-sensitive and timing circuits yields a time accuracy of 77 ps along with a position accuracy of 38 μm. These results were obtained by calculating the straight-line fit residuals to the positions provided by a 3-layer telescope made out of identical detectors, detecting almost perpendicular cosmic-ray muons. The device may be useful for particle identification by time-of-flight, where simultaneous measurements of trajectory and time are necessary.