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.
- Topographic embedding of MOR18-2 in the mouse olfactory bulb (2014)
- Poster presentation at 1st International Workshop on Odor Spaces. Mice are exceptional in their ability to capture their chemical environment, mapping the olfactory world into a basic sensory representation with over one thousand different types of chemical sensors, that is, olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs). OSNs of each type converge in the olfactory bulb onto exclusive distinct physiological areas called glomeruli. The glomeruli constitute the first relay station of olfactory stimulus representation in the mouse brain. Thus, the stimulus induced glomerular input pattern spatially embodies an important part of the sensory representation in the olfactory bulb. Still, topographic organization principles (chemotopy, tunotopy) are under debate. One reason might be that investigation are, due to experimental limitations, only performed on stimuli sets in the size of one hundred odors. But this represents only a tiny snapshot of the vast amount of molecules in the olfactory world and topographic relationships might be disguised in the incomplete representation of molecular receptive ranges (MRR). Therefore we investigated the problem with the MOR18-2 glomerulus as point of reference: First we determined it's MRR. Then, based on a measurement set covering this MRR, we elucidated the topographic embedding. It shows that MOR18-2 is embedded in a hierarchy of patchy tunotopic domains.
- 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
- 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.
- HER2 and ESR1 mRNA expression levels and response to neoadjuvant trastuzumab plus chemotherapy in patients with primary breast cancer (2013)
- Introduction: Recent data suggest that benefit from trastuzumab and chemotherapy might be related to expression of HER2 and estrogen receptor (ESR1). Therefore, we investigated HER2 and ESR1 mRNA levels in core biopsies of HER2-positive breast carcinomas from patients treated within the neoadjuvant GeparQuattro trial. Methods: HER2 levels were centrally analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC), silver in-situ hybridization (SISH) and qRT-PCR in 217 pretherapeutic formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) core biopsies. All tumors had been HER2-positive by local pathology and had been treated with neoadjuvant trastuzumab/ chemotherapy in GeparQuattro. Results: Only 73% of the tumors (158 of 217) were centrally HER2-positive (cHER2-positive) by IHC/SISH, with cHER2-positive tumors showing a significantly higher pCR rate (46.8% vs. 20.3%, p<0.0005). HER2 status by qRT-PCR showed a concordance of 88.5% with the central IHC/SISH status, with a low pCR rate in those tumors that were HER2-negative by mRNA analysis (21.1% vs. 49.6%, p<0.0005). The level of HER2 mRNA expression was linked to response rate in ESR1-positive tumors, but not in ESR1-negative tumors. HER2 mRNA expression was significantly associated with pCR in the HER2-positive/ESR1-positive tumors (p=0.004), but not in HER2-positive/ESR1-negative tumors. Conclusions: Only patients with cHER2-positive tumors - irrespective of the method used - have an increased pCR rate with trastuzumab plus chemotherapy. In patients with cHER2-negative tumors the pCR rate is comparable to the pCR rate in the non-trastuzumab treated HER-negative population. Response to trastuzumab is correlated to HER2 mRNA levels only in ESR1-positive tumors. This study adds further evidence to the different biology of both subsets within the HER2-positive group.
- Sex-stratified genome-wide association studies including 270,000 individuals show sexual dimorphism in genetic loci for anthropometric traits (2013)
- Men and women differ substantially regarding height, weight, and body fat. Interestingly, previous work detecting genetic effects for waist-to-hip ratio, to assess body fat distribution, has found that many of these showed sex-differences. However, systematic searches for sex-differences in genetic effects have not yet been conducted. Therefore, we undertook a genome-wide search for sexually dimorphic genetic effects for anthropometric traits including 133,723 individuals in a large meta-analysis and followed promising variants in further 137,052 individuals, including a total of 94 studies. We identified seven loci with significant sex-difference including four previously established (near GRB14/COBLL1, LYPLAL1/SLC30A10, VEGFA, ADAMTS9) and three novel anthropometric trait loci (near MAP3K1, HSD17B4, PPARG), all of which were significant in women, but not in men. Of interest is that sex-difference was only observed for waist phenotypes, but not for height or body-mass-index. We found no evidence for sex-differences with opposite effect direction for men and women. The PPARG locus is of specific interest due to its link to diabetes genetics and therapy. Our findings demonstrate the importance of investigating sex differences, which may lead to a better understanding of disease mechanisms with a potential relevance to treatment options.
- Measurement of the quasi free np → npπ+π− and np → ppπ−π0 reactions at 1.25 GeV with HADES (2014)
- We present the results of two-pion production in tagged quasi-free np collisions at a deutron incident beam energy of 1.25 GeV/c measured with the High-Acceptance Di-Electron Spectrometer (HADES) installed at GSI. The specific acceptance of HADES allowed for the first time to obtain high-precision data on π+π− and π−π0 production in np collisions in a region corresponding to large transverse momenta of the secondary particles. The obtained differential cross section data provide strong constraints on the production mechanisms and on the various baryon resonance contributions (∆∆, N(1440), N(1520), ∆(1600)). The invariant mass and angular distributions from the np → npπ+π −and np → ppπ−π0 reactions are compared with different theoretical model predictions.
- Domain organization of long signal peptides of single-pass integral membrane proteins reveals multiple functional capacity (2008)
- Targeting signals direct proteins to their extra- or intracellular destination such as the plasma membrane or cellular organelles. Here we investigated the structure and function of exceptionally long signal peptides encompassing at least 40 amino acid residues. We discovered a two-domain organization ("NtraC model") in many long signals from vertebrate precursor proteins. Accordingly, long signal peptides may contain an N-terminal domain (N-domain) and a C-terminal domain (C-domain) with different signal or targeting capabilities, separable by a presumably turn-rich transition area (tra). Individual domain functions were probed by cellular targeting experiments with fusion proteins containing parts of the long signal peptide of human membrane protein shrew-1 and secreted alkaline phosphatase as a reporter protein. As predicted, the N-domain of the fusion protein alone was shown to act as a mitochondrial targeting signal, whereas the C-domain alone functions as an export signal. Selective disruption of the transition area in the signal peptide impairs the export efficiency of the reporter protein. Altogether, the results of cellular targeting studies provide a proof-of-principle for our NtraC model and highlight the particular functional importance of the predicted transition area, which critically affects the rate of protein export. In conclusion, the NtraC approach enables the systematic detection and prediction of cryptic targeting signals present in one coherent sequence, and provides a structurally motivated basis for decoding the functional complexity of long protein targeting signals.