2,410 research outputs found

    Gadolinium Concentration Analysis in Brain Phantom by X-ray Fluorescence

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    We have measured the X-ray fluorescence from gadolinium as a function of concentration and position in tumors of different sizes and shapes in a head phantom. The gadolinium fluorescence was excited with a 36 GBq Am-241 source. The fluorescence signal was detected with a CdTe detector and a multi-channel analyzer. The fluorescence peak was clearly separated from the scattered X-rays. Concentrations of 5.62–78.63 mg/ml of Gd ion were used in 1, 2, and 3 cm diameter spherical tumors and a 2 9 4 cm oblate spheroid tumor. The data show trends approaching saturation for the highest concentrations, probably due to reabsorption in the tumor. A comparison of X-ray photographic imaging and densitometer measurements to determine concentration is also presented

    Associations of NINJ2 sequence variants with incident ischemic stroke in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium

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    Background<p></p> Stroke, the leading neurologic cause of death and disability, has a substantial genetic component. We previously conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in four prospective studies from the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium and demonstrated that sequence variants near the NINJ2 gene are associated with incident ischemic stroke. Here, we sought to fine-map functional variants in the region and evaluate the contribution of rare variants to ischemic stroke risk.<p></p> Methods and Results<p></p> We sequenced 196 kb around NINJ2 on chromosome 12p13 among 3,986 European ancestry participants, including 475 ischemic stroke cases, from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, Cardiovascular Health Study, and Framingham Heart Study. Meta-analyses of single-variant tests for 425 common variants (minor allele frequency [MAF] ≥ 1%) confirmed the original GWAS results and identified an independent intronic variant, rs34166160 (MAF = 0.012), most significantly associated with incident ischemic stroke (HR = 1.80, p = 0.0003). Aggregating 278 putatively-functional variants with MAF≤ 1% using count statistics, we observed a nominally statistically significant association, with the burden of rare NINJ2 variants contributing to decreased ischemic stroke incidence (HR = 0.81; p = 0.026).<p></p> Conclusion<p></p> Common and rare variants in the NINJ2 region were nominally associated with incident ischemic stroke among a subset of CHARGE participants. Allelic heterogeneity at this locus, caused by multiple rare, low frequency, and common variants with disparate effects on risk, may explain the difficulties in replicating the original GWAS results. Additional studies that take into account the complex allelic architecture at this locus are needed to confirm these findings

    Predictions for the frequency and orbital radii of massive extrasolar planets

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    We investigate the migration of massive extrasolar planets due to gravitational interaction with a viscous protoplanetary disc. We show that a model in which planets form at 5 AU at a constant rate, before migrating, leads to a predicted distribution of planets that is a steeply rising function of log (a), where a is the orbital radius. Between 1 AU and 3 AU, the expected number of planets per logarithmic interval in orbital radius roughly doubles. We demonstrate that, once selection effects are accounted for, this is consistent with current data, and then extrapolate the observed planet fraction to masses and radii that are inaccessible to current observations. In total, about 15 percent of stars targeted by existing radial velocity searches are predicted to possess planets with masses 0.3 M_Jupiter < M_p sin (i) < 10 M_Jupiter, and radii 0.1 AU < a < 5 AU. A third of these planets (around 5 percent of the target stars) lie at the radii most amenable to detection via microlensing. A further 5-10 percent of stars could have planets at radii of 5 AU < a < 8 AU that have migrated outwards. We discuss the probability of forming a system (akin to the Solar System) in which significant radial migration of the most massive planet does not occur. About 10-15 percent of systems with a surviving massive planet are estimated to fall into this class. Finally, we note that a smaller fraction of low mass planets than high mass planets is expected to survive without being consumed by the star. The initial mass function for planets is thus predicted to rise more steeply towards small masses than the observed mass function.Comment: MNRAS, in pres

    Molecular selection of therapy in metastatic colorectal cancer: the FOCUS4 molecularly stratified RCT

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    Complex trials with innovative designs are becoming increasingly common and offer the potential to improve patient outcomes in a shorter time frame. There is evidence that patients with colorectal cancer fall into different subgroups with varying responsiveness to therapy, and that this variation is linked to genetic biomarkers. To the best of our knowledge, FOCUS4 was the first molecularly stratified trial in metastatic colorectal cancer and remains one of the first umbrella trial designs to be launched globally. Objectives To identify novel therapies that improve disease control within the molecular subgroup of metastatic colorectal cancer in which the novel therapies were expected to be most effective. Design This was a Phase II/III molecularly stratified umbrella trial that used adaptive statistical methodology to decide which subtrial should close early; new subtrials were added as protocol amendments. Setting The maintenance setting following 16 weeks of first-line combination chemotherapy. Participants Patients with newly diagnosed metastatic colorectal cancer were registered, and central laboratory testing was used to stratify their tumour into molecular subtypes. Following 16 weeks of first-line therapy, patients with stable or responding disease were eligible for randomisation into either a molecularly stratified subtrial or the non-stratified FOCUS4-N trial. Interventions Of the 20 drug combinations that were explored for inclusion in the platform trial, three molecularly targeted subtrials were activated: FOCUS4-B (PIK3CA mutation or PTEN overexpression) – aspirin versus placebo; FOCUS4-C (TP53 and RAS mutation) – adavosertib (AstraZeneca Ltd, Cambridge, UK) versus active monitoring; and FOCUS4-D (BRAF-PIK3CA-RAS wild type) – AZD8931 versus placebo. A non-stratified subtrial was also carried out: FOCUS4-N – capecitabine versus active monitoring. Main outcome measures The main outcome measure was progression-free survival from the time of randomisation to progression, comparing the intervention with active monitoring/placebo. Toxicity and overall survival data were collected in all randomised patients, and quality of life (using EuroQol-5 Dimensions) data were collected in FOCUS4-N only. Results Between January 2014 and October 2020, 1434 patients were registered from 88 hospitals in the UK. Successful biomarker testing was completed in 1291 out of 1382 samples (93%), and 908 out of 1315 patients (69%) completing 16 weeks of first-line therapy were eligible for randomisation, with 361 randomly allocated to a subtrial. FOCUS4-B evaluated aspirin versus placebo in the PIK3CA-mutant/ PTEN -loss subgroup, but recruited only six patients, so was closed for futility. FOCUS4-C evaluated adavosertib versus active monitoring in 67 patients in the RAS + TP53 double-mutant subgroup and met its primary end point, showing an improvement in progression-free survival (median 3.61 vs. 1.87 months; hazard ratio 0.35, 95% confidence interval 0.18 to 0.68; p = 0022). FOCUS4-D evaluated AZD8931 in 32 patients in the BRAF-PIK3CA-RAS wild-type subgroup and showed no benefit, so was discontinued after the first interim analysis. FOCUS4-N evaluated capecitabine monotherapy versus active monitoring in 254 patients and met its primary end point, showing improvement in progression-free survival (hazard ratio 0.40, 95% confidence interval 0.21 to 0.75; p &lt; 0.0001). Limitations FOCUS4-C and FOCUS4-N were closed early owing to COVID-19, so did not accrue their planned recruitment numbers. Conclusions Adaptive stratified medicine studies are feasible in common cancers but present challenges. Capecitabine monotherapy is an effective maintenance therapy. Wee1 inhibition using adavosertib shows significant clinical activity, notably in left-sided colorectal cancer. Trial registration This trial was registered as ISRCTN90061546. Funding This project was jointly funded by the Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) programme, a MRC and National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) partnership, and Cancer Research UK. This will be published in full in Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation; Vol. 9, No. 9. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information

    Experiences of running a stratified medicine adaptive platform trial: Challenges and lessons learned from 10 years of the FOCUS4 trial in metastatic colorectal cancer

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    BACKGROUND: Complex innovative design trials are becoming increasingly common and offer potential for improving patient outcomes in a faster time frame. FOCUS4 was the first molecularly stratified trial in metastatic colorectal cancer and it remains one of the first umbrella trial designs to be launched globally. Here, we aim to describe lessons learned from delivery of the trial over the last 10 years. METHODS: FOCUS4 was a Phase II/III molecularly stratified umbrella trial testing the safety and efficacy of targeted therapies in metastatic colorectal cancer. It used adaptive statistical methodology to decide which sub-trial should close early, and new therapies were added as protocol amendments. Patients with newly diagnosed metastatic colorectal cancer were registered, and central laboratory testing was used to stratify their tumour into molecular subtypes. Following 16 weeks of first-line therapy, patients with stable or responding disease were eligible for randomisation into either a molecularly stratified sub-trial (FOCUS4-B, C or D) or non-stratified FOCUS4-N. The primary outcome for all studies was progression-free survival comparing the intervention with active monitoring/placebo. At the close of the trial, feedback was elicited from all investigators through surveys and interviews and consolidated into a series of recommendations and lessons learned for the delivery of similar future trials. RESULTS: Between January 2014 and October 2020, 1434 patients were registered from 88 UK hospitals. Of the 20 drug combinations that were explored for inclusion in the platform trial, three molecularly targeted sub-trials were activated: FOCUS4-D (February 2014-March 2016) evaluated AZD8931 in the BRAF-PIK3CA-RAS wildtype subgroup; FOCUS4-B (February 2016-July 2018) evaluated aspirin in the PIK3CA mutant subgroup and FOCUS4-C (June 2017-October 2020) evaluated adavosertib in the RAS+TP53 double mutant subgroup. FOCUS4-N was active throughout and evaluated capecitabine monotherapy versus a treatment break. A total of 361 (25%) registered patients were randomised into a sub-trial. Feedback on the experiences of delivery of FOCUS4 could be grouped into three main areas of challenge: funding/infrastructure, biomarker testing procedures and trial design efficiencies within which 20 recommendations are summarised. CONCLUSION: Adaptive stratified medicine platform studies are feasible in common cancers but present challenges. Our stakeholder feedback has helped to inform how these trial designs can succeed and answer multiple questions efficiently, providing resource is adequate

    Development and Validation of Risk Prediction Models for Cardiovascular Events in Black Adults: The Jackson Heart Study Cohort

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    Cardiovascular risk assessment is a fundamental component of prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, commonly used prediction models have been formulated in primarily or exclusively white populations. Whether risk assessment in black adults is dissimilar to that in white adults is uncertain

    Serosorting Is Associated with a Decreased Risk of HIV Seroconversion in the EXPLORE Study Cohort

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    Background: Seroadaptation strategies such as serosorting and seropositioning originated within communities of men who have sex with men (MSM), but there are limited data about their effectiveness in preventing HIV transmission when utilized by HIV-negative men. Methodology/Principal Findings: Data from the EXPLORE cohort of HIV-negative MSM who reported both seroconcordant and serodiscordant partners were used to evaluate serosorting and seropositioning. The association of serosorting and seropositioning with HIV seroconversion was evaluated in this cohort of high risk MSM from six U.S. cities. Serosorting was independently associated with a small decrease in risk of HIV seroconversion (OR = 0.88; 95%CI, 0.81–0.95), even among participants reporting $10 partners. Those who more consistently practiced serosorting were more likely to be white (p = 0.01), have completed college (p =,0.0002) and to have had 10 or more partners in the six months before the baseline visit (p = 0.01) but did not differ in age, reporting HIV-infected partners, or drug use. There was no evidence of a seroconversion effect with seropositioning (OR 1.02, 95%CI, 0.92–1.14). Significance: In high risk HIV uninfected MSM who report unprotected anal intercourse with both seroconcordant and serodiscordant partners, serosorting was associated with a modest decreased risk of HIV infection. To maximize any potential benefit, it will be important to increase accurate knowledge of HIV status, through increased testing frequency
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