133 research outputs found

    Automatic Illustration of Short Texts via Web Images

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    In this paper we propose a totally unsupervised and automatic illustration method, which aims to find onto the Web a set of images to illustrate the content of an input short text. The text is modelled as a semantic space and a set of relevant keywords is extracted. We compare and discuss different methods to create semantic representations by keyword extraction. Keywords are used to query Google Image Search engine for a list of relevant images. We also extract information from the Web pages that include the retrieved images, to create an Image Semantic Space, which is compared to the Text Semantic Space in order to rank the list of retrieved images. Tests showed that our method achieves very good results, which overcome those obtained by using a state-of-the-art application. Furthermore we developed a Web tool to test our system and evaluate results within the Internet community

    Biologic targeting in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases

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    The etiology of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has not yet been clarified and immunosuppressive agents which nonspecifically reduce inflammation and immunity have been used in the conventional therapies for IBD. Evidence indicates that a dysregulation of mucosal immunity in the gut of IBD causes an overproduction of inflammatory cytokines and trafficking of effector leukocytes into the bowel, thus leading to an uncontrolled intestinal inflammation. Under normal situations, the intestinal mucosa is in a state of “controlled” inflammation regulated by a delicate balance of proinflammatory (tumor necrosis factor [TNF-α], interferon-gamma [IFN-γ], interleukin-1 [IL-1], IL-6, IL-12 and anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4, IL-10, IL-11). The mucosal immune system is the central effector of intestinal inflammation and injury, with cytokines playing a central role in modulating inflammation. Cytokines may therefore be a logical target for inflammatory bowel disease therapy using specific cytokine inhibitors. Biotechnology agents targeted against TNF, leukocyte adhesion, Th1 polarization, T cell activation, nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB), and other miscellaneous therapies are being evaluated as potential therapies for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. In this context, infliximab and adalimumab are currently the only biologic agents approved in Europe for the treatment of inflammatory Crohn’s disease. Other anti-TNF biologic agents have emerged, including CDP571, certolizumab pegol, etanercept, onercept. However, ongoing research continues to generate new biologic agents targeted at specific pathogenic mechanism involved in the inflammatory process. Lymphocyte-endothelial interactions mediated by adhesion molecules are important in leukocyte migration and recruitment to sites of inflammation, and selective blockade of these adhesion molecules is a novel and promising strategy to treat Crohn’s disease. Therapeutics agents to inhibit leukocyte trafficking include natalizumab (approved for use in Crohn’s disease in USA), MLN-02, and ISIS 2302. Other agents being investigated for the treatment of Crohn’s disease include inhibitors of T cell activation, proinflammatory cytokine receptors, Th1 polarization, growth hormone, and growth factors. Agents being investigated for treatment of ulcerative colitis include many of those mentioned above. Controlled clinical trials are currently being conducted, exploring the safety and efficacy of old and new biologic agents, and the search certainly will open new and exciting perspective on the development of therapies for inflammatory bowel disease. A review is made of the main areas of research exploring the mechanisms associated with the pathogenesis of IBD, providing advances in the agents currently in use, and identifying a host of new therapeutic biologic targets

    Timing of proper introduction, optimization and maintenance of anti-TNF therapy in IBD: Results from a Delphi consensus

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    Background: Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) with a rapidly growing worldwide incidence. The last decades presented rapid progress in pharmacological treatment leading in many cases to clinical and endoscopic remission, including biological treatment with anti-TNF agents. Aim: The exact timing of introduction, optimization and maintenance of anti-TNF therapy in IBDs is not thoroughly covered in current guidelines. Methods: We used the Delphi panel methodology to gather the IBD experts' views and achieve consensus for clinical recommendations on introducing and maintaining anti-TNF therapy for patients with IBDs. Results: Twelve recommendations achieved a high level of consensus in two assessment rounds by 52 (1st round) and 47 (2nd round) IBD experts. Conclusion: In many clinical situations, the early use of anti-TNF therapy is recommended. Nowadays, the cost-efficacy profile of anti-TNF biosimilars makes them the first-line drug in a substantial proportion of patients, thus providing the opportunity to increase access to biological therapy

    Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak on Anesthesiologist Assistance for Endoscopic Procedures

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    Background/Aims: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has modified the activities of endoscopy units worldwide. Herein, we investigated the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on anesthesiologist assistance for endoscopic procedures in Lombardy, Italy. Methods: A questionnaire concerning anesthesiologist assistance provided from October 26 to December 6, 2020, in comparison with the same period in 2019, was sent to endoscopic units in Lombardy. Results: Approximately 54% (34/63) of the units responded. A reduction in the number of all endoscopies (-33.5%; 18792 in 2020 vs. 28264 in 2019) and anesthesiologist-assisted endoscopies (-15.3%; 2652 in 2020 vs. 3132 in 2019) was reported. A greater reduction in anesthesiologist assistance was observed in government community units (-29.5%) than in academic (-14%) and private community units (-4.6%). Among all units, 85% reported a reduction in anesthesiologist assistance; 65% observed a delay/cancellation of procedures; 59%, a restricted patient selection; 17%, the need to transfer some patients to other hospitals; and 32%, a related worsening of procedure quality. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic compromised the anesthesiologist assistance for endoscopic procedures in Lombardy, which worsened the procedure quality mainly in government community units. The COVID-19 “stress test” suggests a more balanced allocation of anesthesiologic resources in the future

    Results from the 2nd Scientific Workshop of the ECCO (I): Impact of mucosal healing on the course of inflammatory bowel disease

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    AbstractOver the past years, mucosal healing has emerged as a major therapeutic goal in clinical trials in inflammatory bowel diseases. Accumulating evidence indicates that mucosal healing may change the natural course of the disease by decreasing the need for surgery and reducing hospitalization rates in both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Mucosal healing may also prevent the development of long-term disease complications, such as bowel damage in Crohn's disease and colorectal cancer in ulcerative colitis. Histologic healing may be the ultimate therapeutic goal in ulcerative colitis, whereas its impact on the course of Crohn's disease is unknown. Complete mucosal healing may be required before considering drug withdrawal. Targeting early Crohn's disease is more effective than approaches aimed at healing mucosa in longstanding disease. Several questions remain to be answered: should mucosal healing be systematically used in clinical practice? Should we optimize therapies to achieve mucosal healing? What is the degree of intestinal healing that is required to change the disease course? Large prospective studies addressing these issues are needed

    Personalize, participate, predict, and prevent: 4Ps in inflammatory bowel disease

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    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), is a complex, immune-mediated, disorder which leads to several gastrointestinal and systemic manifestations determining a poor quality of life, disability, and other negative health outcomes. Our knowledge of this condition has greatly improved over the last few decades, and a comprehensive management should take into account both biological (i.e., disease-related, patient-related) and non-biological (i.e., socioeconomic, cultural, environmental, behavioral) factors which contribute to the disease phenotype. From this point of view, the so called 4P medicine framework, including personalization, prediction, prevention, and participation could be useful for tailoring ad hoc interventions in IBD patients. In this review, we discuss the cutting-edge issues regarding personalization in special settings (i.e., pregnancy, oncology, infectious diseases), patient participation (i.e., how to communicate, disability, tackling stigma and resilience, quality of care), disease prediction (i.e., faecal markers, response to treatments), and prevention (i.e., dysplasia through endoscopy, infections through vaccinations, and post-surgical recurrence). Finally, we provide an outlook discussing the unmet needs for implementing this conceptual framework in clinical practice