3,331 research outputs found

    Differential chemosensitivity to antifolate drugs between RAS and BRAF melanoma cells.

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    BACKGROUND: The importance of the genetic background of cancer cells for the individual susceptibility to cancer treatments is increasingly apparent. In melanoma, the existence of a BRAF mutation is a main predictor for successful BRAF-targeted therapy. However, despite initial successes with these therapies, patients relapse within a year and have to move on to other therapies. Moreover, patients harbouring a wild type BRAF gene (including 25% with NRAS mutations) still require alternative treatment such as chemotherapy. Multiple genetic parameters have been associated with response to chemotherapy, but despite their high frequency in melanoma nothing is known about the impact of BRAF or NRAS mutations on the response to chemotherapeutic agents. METHODS: Using cell proliferation and DNA methylation assays, FACS analysis and quantitative-RT-PCR we have characterised the response of a panel of NRAS and BRAF mutant melanoma cell lines to various chemotherapy drugs, amongst them dacarbazine (DTIC) and temozolomide (TMZ) and DNA synthesis inhibitors. RESULTS: Although both, DTIC and TMZ act as alkylating agents through the same intermediate, NRAS and BRAF mutant cells responded differentially only to DTIC. Further analysis revealed that the growth-inhibitory effects mediated by DTIC were rather due to interference with nucleotide salvaging, and that NRAS mutant melanoma cells exhibit higher activity of the nucleotide synthesis enzymes IMPDH and TK1. Importantly, the enhanced ability of RAS mutant cells to use nucleotide salvaging resulted in resistance to DHFR inhibitors. CONCLUSION: In summary, our data suggest that the genetic background in melanoma cells influences the response to inhibitors blocking de novo DNA synthesis, and that defining the RAS mutation status could be used to stratify patients for the use of antifolate drugs

    Clinical trials to assess adjuvant therapeutics for severe malaria.

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    Despite potent anti-malarial treatment, mortality rates associated with severe falciparum malaria remain high. To attempt to improve outcome, several trials have assessed a variety of potential adjunctive therapeutics, however none to date has been shown to be beneficial. This may be due, at least partly, to the therapeutics chosen and clinical trial design used. Here, we highlight three themes that could facilitate the choice and evaluation of putative adjuvant interventions for severe malaria, paving the way for their assessment in randomized controlled trials. Most clinical trials of adjunctive therapeutics to date have been underpowered due to the large number of participants required to reach mortality endpoints, rendering these study designs challenging and expensive to conduct. These limitations may be mitigated by the use of risk-stratification of participants and application of surrogate endpoints. Appropriate surrogate endpoints include direct measures of pathways causally involved in the pathobiology of severe and fatal malaria, including markers of host immune and endothelial activation and microcirculatory dysfunction. We propose using circulating markers of these pathways to identify high-risk participants that would be most likely to benefit from adjunctive therapy, and further by adopting these biomarkers as surrogate endpoints; moreover, choosing interventions that target deleterious host immune responses that directly contribute to microcirculatory dysfunction, multi-organ dysfunction and death; and, finally, prioritizing where possible, drugs that act on these pathways that are already approved by the FDA, or other regulators, for other indications, and are known to be safe in target populations, including children. An emerging understanding of the critical role of the host response in severe malaria pathogenesis may facilitate both clinical trial design and the search of effective adjunctive therapeutics

    Host-Based Prognostic Biomarkers to Improve Risk Stratification and Outcome of Febrile Children in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

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    "Fever is one of the leading causes for pediatric medical consultation and the most common symptom at clinical presentation in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Most febrile episodes are due to self-limited infections, but a small proportion of children will develop life-threatening infections. The early recognition of children who have or are progressing to a critical illness among all febrile cases is challenging, and there are currently no objective and quantitative tools to do so. This results in increased morbidity and mortality among children with impending life-threatening infections, whilst contributing to the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics, overwhelming health care facilities, and harm to patients receiving avoidable antimicrobial treatment. Specific fever origin is difficult to ascertain and co-infections in LMICs are common. However, many severe infections share common pathways of host injury irrespective of etiology, including immune and endothelial activation that contribute to the pathobiology of sepsis (i.e., pathogen \"agnostic\" mechanisms of disease). Importantly, mediators of these pathways are independent markers of disease severity and outcome. We propose that measuring circulating levels of these factors can provide quantitative and objective evidence to: enable early recognition of severe infection; guide patient triage and management; enhance post-discharge risk stratification and follow up; and mitigate potential gender bias in clinical decisions. Here, we review the clinical and biological evidence supporting the clinical utility of host immune and endothelial activation biomarkers as components of novel rapid triage tests, and discuss the challenges and needs for developing and implementing such tools.

    T-type Ca 2+ channels are required for enhanced sympathetic axon growth by TNFα reverse signalling

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    Tumour necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1)-activated TNFα reverse signalling, in which membrane-integrated TNFα functions as a receptor for TNFR1, enhances axon growth from developing sympathetic neurons and plays a crucial role in establishing sympathetic innervation. Here, we have investigated the link between TNFα reverse signalling and axon growth in cultured sympathetic neurons. TNFR1-activated TNFα reverse signalling promotes Ca2+ influx, and highly selective T-type Ca2+ channel inhibitors, but not pharmacological inhibitors of L-type, N-type and P/Q-type Ca2+ channels, prevented enhanced axon growth. T-type Ca2+ channel-specific inhibitors eliminated Ca2+ spikes promoted by TNFα reverse signalling in axons and prevented enhanced axon growth when applied locally to axons, but not when applied to cell somata. Blocking action potential generation did not affect the effect of TNFα reverse signalling on axon growth, suggesting that propagated action potentials are not required for enhanced axon growth. TNFα reverse signalling enhanced protein kinase C (PKC) activation, and pharmacological inhibition of PKC prevented the axon growth response. These results suggest that TNFα reverse signalling promotes opening of T-type Ca2+ channels along sympathetic axons, which is required for enhanced axon growth

    COVID-19 risk stratification algorithms based on sTREM-1 and IL-6 in emergency department.

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    The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to surges of patients presenting to emergency departments (EDs) and potentially overwhelming health systems. We sought to assess the predictive accuracy of host biomarkers at clinical presentation to the ED for adverse outcome. Prospective observational study of PCR-confirmed COVID-19 patients in the ED of a Swiss hospital. Concentrations of inflammatory and endothelial dysfunction biomarkers were determined at clinical presentation. We evaluated the accuracy of clinical signs and these biomarkers in predicting 30-day intubation/mortality, and oxygen requirement by calculating the area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve and by classification and regression tree analysis. Of 76 included patients with COVID-19, 24 were outpatients or hospitalized without oxygen requirement, 35 hospitalized with oxygen requirement, and 17 intubated/died. We found that soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells had the best prognostic accuracy for 30-day intubation/mortality (area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.77-0.95) and IL-6 measured at presentation to the ED had the best accuracy for 30-day oxygen requirement (area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.74-0.94). An algorithm based on respiratory rate and sTREM-1 predicted 30-day intubation/mortality with 94% sensitivity and 0.1 negative likelihood ratio. An IL-6-based algorithm had 98% sensitivity and 0.04 negative likelihood ratio for 30-day oxygen requirement. sTREM-1 and IL-6 concentrations in COVID-19 in the ED have good predictive accuracy for intubation/mortality and oxygen requirement. sTREM-1- and IL-6-based algorithms are highly sensitive to identify patients with adverse outcome and could serve as early triage tools

    El trabajo educativo curricular a través del contenido del programa de la asignatura Agentes Biológicos II

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    The University of the Third Millennium is called to be an institution for the creation of consciousness in which all its processes are integrated and mutually enriching. The purpose of the research is to insert the curricular educational work through the program of the subject Biological Agents II. It is in the interest of deepening the knowledge of parasitology, acquired by the students in Biological Agents I. This paper proposes examples of how educational elements from the reality, emerging from the teaching of the content of the subject, could be used in any form of organization of education that are designed for the educational process in its modalities. The educational examples were selected from the actions normally performed by the technologist, are based on important health issues and are in line with the strategies of National Health System that professionals must meet and follow in their work area. The problems were the diagnosis in blood parasites and tissue parasites, the parasites of importance in the community and parasitic nematodes and arthropods as vectors of disease. It is concluded that incorporating the curricular educational work through the program of the subject Biological Agents II contributes to the formation of an integrated personality that brings together the scientific view of the world and patriotic and internationalist education, besides a political, ideological, aesthetics and moral education.La Universidad del tercer milenio está llamada a ser una institución creadora de conciencia, en la que todos sus procesos se integren y se enriquezcan mutuamente. El propósito de la investigación es insertar el trabajo educativo curricular a través del programa de la asignatura Agentes Biológicos II y responde al interés de profundizar en los conocimientos de parasitología adquiridos por el estudiante en Agentes Biológicos I. Este trabajo  propone ejemplos de cómo podrían utilizarse los elementos educativos provenientes de la realidad, que emergen de la enseñanza de los contenidos del tema, en cualquiera de las formas de organización de la enseñanza que se diseñen para el proceso docente-educativo en sus modalidades. Los ejemplos educativos se seleccionaron a partir de las acciones que habitualmente realiza el tecnólogo, parten de problemas importantes de salud y coinciden  con estrategias del Sistema Nacional de Salud que el profesional  debe resolver y seguir en su área de trabajo. Los problemas fueron el diagnóstico en parasitosis sanguíneas y tisulares, la parasitosis de importancia en la comunidad y la parasitosis por nemátodos y artrópodos como vectores de enfermedades. Se concluye que al incorporar el trabajo educativo curricular a través del programa de la asignatura Agentes Biológicos II se contribuye a fomentar una personalidad integral donde se unen la concepción científica del mundo y la educación patriótica e internacionalista, además de una educación política e ideológica, estética y moral

    Spalling uniaxial strength of Al2O3 at high strain rates

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    In this article research into the uniaxial tensile strength of Al2O3 monolithic ceramic is presented. The experimental procedure of the spalling of long bars is investigated from different approaches. This method is used to obtain the tensile strength at high strain rates under uniaxial conditions. Different methodologies proposed by several authors are used to obtain the tensile strength. The hypotheses needed for the experimental set-up are also checked, and the requirements of the set-up and the variables are also studied by means of numerical simulations. The research shows that the shape of the projectile is crucial to achieve successfully tests results. An experimental campaign has been carried out including high speed video and a digital image correlation system to obtain the tensile strength of alumina. Finally, a comparison of the test results provided by three different methods proposed by different authors is presented. The tensile strength obtained from the three such methods on the same specimens provides contrasting results. Mean values vary from one method to another but the trends are similar for two of the methods. The third method gives less scatter, though the mean values obtained are lower and do not follow the same trend as the other methods for the different specimens
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