34 research outputs found

    Use of an orthovoltage X-ray treatment unit as a radiation research system in a small-animal cancer model

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>We explore the use of a clinical orthovoltage X-ray treatment unit as a small-animal radiation therapy system in a tumoral model of cervical cancer.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Nude mice were subcutaneously inoculated with 5 √ó 10<sup>6 </sup>HeLa cells in both lower limbs. When tumor volume approximated 200 mm<sup>3 </sup>treatment was initiated. Animals received four 2 mg/kg intraperitoneal cycles (1/week) of cisplatin and/or 6.25 mg/kg of gemcitabine, concomitant with radiotherapy. Tumors were exposed to 2.5 Gy/day nominal surface doses (20 days) of 150 kV X-rays. Lead collimators with circular apertures (0.5 to 1.5 cm diameter) were manufactured and mounted on the applicator cone to restrict the X-ray beam onto tumors. X-ray penetration and conformality were evaluated by measuring dose at the surface and behind the tumor lobe by using HS GafChromic film. Relative changes in tumor volume (RTV) and a clonogenic assay were used to evaluate the therapeutic response of the tumor, and relative weight loss was used to assess toxicity of the treatments.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>No measurable dose was delivered outside of the collimator apertures. The analysis suggests that dose inhomogeneities in the tumor reach up to ¬Ī 11.5% around the mean tumor dose value, which was estimated as 2.2 Gy/day. Evaluation of the RTV showed a significant reduction of the tumor volume as consequence of the chemoradiotherapy treatment; results also show that toxicity was well tolerated by the animals.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Results and procedures described in the present work have shown the usefulness and convenience of the orthovoltage X-ray system for animal model radiotherapy protocols.</p

    Regulatory sites for splicing in human basal ganglia are enriched for disease-relevant information

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    Genome-wide association studies have generated an increasing number of common genetic variants associated with neurological and psychiatric disease risk. An improved understanding of the genetic control of gene expression in human brain is vital considering this is the likely modus operandum for many causal variants. However, human brain sampling complexities limit the explanatory power of brain-related expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) and allele-specific expression (ASE) signals. We address this, using paired genomic and transcriptomic data from putamen and substantia nigra from 117 human brains, interrogating regulation at different RNA processing stages and uncovering novel transcripts. We identify disease-relevant regulatory loci, find that splicing eQTLs are enriched for regulatory information of neuron-specific genes, that ASEs provide cell-specific regulatory information with evidence for cellular specificity, and that incomplete annotation of the brain transcriptome limits interpretation of risk loci for neuropsychiatric disease. This resource of regulatory data is accessible through our web server, http://braineacv2.inf.um.es/

    Impact of COVID-19 on cardiovascular testing in the United States versus the rest of the world

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    Objectives: This study sought to quantify and compare the decline in volumes of cardiovascular procedures between the United States and non-US institutions during the early phase of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the care of many non-COVID-19 illnesses. Reductions in diagnostic cardiovascular testing around the world have led to concerns over the implications of reduced testing for cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality. Methods: Data were submitted to the INCAPS-COVID (International Atomic Energy Agency Non-Invasive Cardiology Protocols Study of COVID-19), a multinational registry comprising 909 institutions in 108 countries (including 155 facilities in 40 U.S. states), assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on volumes of diagnostic cardiovascular procedures. Data were obtained for April 2020 and compared with volumes of baseline procedures from March 2019. We compared laboratory characteristics, practices, and procedure volumes between U.S. and non-U.S. facilities and between U.S. geographic regions and identified factors associated with volume reduction in the United States. Results: Reductions in the volumes of procedures in the United States were similar to those in non-U.S. facilities (68% vs. 63%, respectively; p = 0.237), although U.S. facilities reported greater reductions in invasive coronary angiography (69% vs. 53%, respectively; p < 0.001). Significantly more U.S. facilities reported increased use of telehealth and patient screening measures than non-U.S. facilities, such as temperature checks, symptom screenings, and COVID-19 testing. Reductions in volumes of procedures differed between U.S. regions, with larger declines observed in the Northeast (76%) and Midwest (74%) than in the South (62%) and West (44%). Prevalence of COVID-19, staff redeployments, outpatient centers, and urban centers were associated with greater reductions in volume in U.S. facilities in a multivariable analysis. Conclusions: We observed marked reductions in U.S. cardiovascular testing in the early phase of the pandemic and significant variability between U.S. regions. The association between reductions of volumes and COVID-19 prevalence in the United States highlighted the need for proactive efforts to maintain access to cardiovascular testing in areas most affected by outbreaks of COVID-19 infection

    New genetic loci link adipose and insulin biology to body fat distribution.

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    Body fat distribution is a heritable trait and a well-established predictor of adverse metabolic outcomes, independent of overall adiposity. To increase our understanding of the genetic basis of body fat distribution and its molecular links to cardiometabolic traits, here we conduct genome-wide association meta-analyses of traits related to waist and hip circumferences in up to 224,459 individuals. We identify 49 loci (33 new) associated with waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for body mass index (BMI), and an additional 19 loci newly associated with related waist and hip circumference measures (P < 5 × 10(-8)). In total, 20 of the 49 waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for BMI loci show significant sexual dimorphism, 19 of which display a stronger effect in women. The identified loci were enriched for genes expressed in adipose tissue and for putative regulatory elements in adipocytes. Pathway analyses implicated adipogenesis, angiogenesis, transcriptional regulation and insulin resistance as processes affecting fat distribution, providing insight into potential pathophysiological mechanisms

    Effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor and angiotensin receptor blocker initiation on organ support-free days in patients hospitalized with COVID-19