564 research outputs found

    Attitudes of healthcare professionals and drug regulators about progression-free survival as endpoint in the advanced cancer setting

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    Purpose: To describe the attitudes of healthcare professionals and drug regulators about progression-free survival (PFS) as efficacy endpoint in clinical trials with patients with advanced cancer and to explore to what extent these attitudes influence the willingness to trade between PFS and toxicity. Methods: Cross-sectional survey with regulators from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and healthcare professionals (HCP) from the “Stichting Hemato-Oncologie voor Volwassenen Nederland” (HOVON) collaborative group and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). Attitudes towards PFS were elicited using 5-point Likert items. The respondents’ willingness to trade between PFS and grade 3 or 4 (G34) toxicity was assessed using the threshold technique and quantified in terms of their maximum acceptable risk (MAR). Results: Responses were collected from 287 HCPs and 64 regulators with mainly clinical expertise. Attitudes towards PFS were often spread out in both groups and related to beliefs about PFS being a likely surrogate for clinical benefit, being an intrinsic benefit to be distinguished from OS, or on the importance given to OS. Being a regulator or holding stronger beliefs about PFS being a likely surrogate or an intrinsic benefit were associated with a higher MAR. Presence of a supportive trend in OS was stated as important but was not associated with MAR. There was agreement on the need to address bias in the adjudication of PFS and the need for improving communication to patients about meaning, strengths, and limitations of improvements in PFS. Conclusion: Attitudes towards PFS were spread out and were associated with individual differences in the willingness to trade between toxicity and PFS. There was agreement on the need to address bias in the adjudication of PFS and improving communication to patients.</p

    Systemic distribution of different low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses in chicken

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Since we were able to isolate viable virus from brain and lung of H7N1 low pathogenic avian influenza virus (LPAIV) infected chickens, we here examined the distribution of different LPAIV strains in chickens by measuring the viral AI RNA load in multiple organs. Subtypes of H5 (H5N1, H5N2), H7 (H7N1, H7N7) and H9 (H9N2), of chicken (H5N2, H7N1, H7N7, H9N2), or mallard (H5N1) origin were tested. The actual presence of viable virus was evaluated with virus isolation in organs of H7N7 inoculated chickens.</p> <p>Findings</p> <p>Viral RNA was found by PCR in lung, brain, intestine, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, heart, liver, kidney and spleen from chickens infected with chicken isolated LPAIV H5N2, H7N1, H7N7 or H9N2. H7N7 virus could be isolated from lung, ileum, heart, liver, kidney and spleen, but not from brain, which was in agreement with the data from the PCR. Infection with mallard isolated H5N1 LPAIV resulted in viral RNA detection in lung and peripheral blood mononuclear cells only.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>We speculate that chicken isolated LPAI viruses are spreading systemically in chicken, independently of the strain.</p

    Wnt3a protein reduces growth factor-driven expansion of human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells in serum-free cultures

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    Abstract Ex vivo expansion of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC) is a promising approach to improve insufficient engraftment after umbilical cord blood stem cell transplantation (UCB-SCT). Although culturing HSPC with hematopoietic cytokines results in robust proliferation, it is accompanied with extensive differentiation and loss of self-renewal capacity. Wnt signaling has been implicated in regulating HSPC fate decisions in vivo and in promoting HSPC self-renewal by inhibition of differentiation, but the effects of Wnt on the ex vivo expansion of HSPC are controversial. Here, we demonstrate that exogenous Wnt3a protein suppresses rather than promotes the expansion of UCB-derived CD34+ cells in serum free expansion cultures. The reduced expansion was also observed in cultures initiated with LinCD34+ CD38lowCD45RACD90+ cells which are highly enriched in HSC and was also observed in response to activation of beta-catenin signaling by GSK3 inhibition. The presence of Wnt3a protein during the culture reduced the frequency of multilineage CFU-GEMM and the long-term repopulation ability of the expanded HSPC. These data suggest that Wnt signaling reduces expansion of human HSPC in growth factor-driven expansion cultures by promoting differentiation of HSPC

    High-dose posaconazole for azole-resistant aspergillosis and other difficult-to-treat mould infections

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    Background: Oral follow-up therapy is problematic in moulds with reduced azole-susceptibility, such as azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus infection. Currently, only intravenous liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB) is advocated by guidelines for the treatment of azole-resistant aspergillosis infections. Preclinical research indicates that high-dose posaconazole (HD-POS) might be a feasible option provided that high drug exposure (ie POS serum through levels >3 mg/L) can be achieved and is safe. Objectives: To describe our experience with the use of oral HD-POS as treatment strategies for patients infected with pathogens with a POS MIC close to the clinical breakpoint. Patients/Methods: We review evidence supporting the use of HD-POS and describe our experience on safety and efficacy in 16 patients. In addition, we describe the adverse events (AE) observed in 25 patients with POS concentrations at the higher end of the population distribution during treatment with the licensed dose. Results: Sixteen patients were treated intentionally with HD-POS for voriconazoleresistant invasive aspergillosis (7/16), mucormycosis (4/16), salvage therapy for IA (4/16) and IA at a sanctuary site (spondylodiscitis) in 1. Grade 3- 4 AEs were observed in 6, and all of them were considered at least possibly related. Grade 3- 4 AEs were observed in 5 of the 25 patients with spontaneous high POS serum through levels considered at least possibly related using Naranjo scale. Conclusions: High-dose posaconazole is a treatment option if strict monitoring for both exposure and for AE is possible

    Inhibitory NKG2A<sup>+</sup> and absent activating NKG2C<sup>+</sup> NK cell responses are associated with the development of EBV<sup>+</sup> lymphomas

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    Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous herpesvirus, which infects over 90% of the adult human population worldwide. After primary infections, EBV is recurrently reactivating in most adult individuals. It is, however, unclear, why these EBV reactivations progress to EBV+ Hodgkin (EBV+HL) or non-Hodgkin lymphomas (EBV+nHL) only in a minority of EBV-infected individuals. The EBV LMP-1 protein encodes for a highly polymorphic peptide, which upregulates the immunomodulatory HLA-E in EBV-infected cells, thereby stimulating the inhibitory NKG2A-, but also the activating NKG2C-receptor on natural killer (NK) cells. Using a genetic-association approach and functional NK cell analyses, we now investigated, whether these HLA-E-restricted immune responses impact the development of EBV+HL and EBV+nHL. Therefore, we recruited a study cohort of 63 EBV+HL and EBV+nHL patients and 192 controls with confirmed EBV reactivations, but without lymphomas. Here, we demonstrate that in EBV+ lymphoma patients exclusively the high-affine LMP-1 GGDPHLPTL peptide variant-encoding EBV-strains reactivate. In EBV+HL and EBV+nHL patients, the high-expressing HLA-E*0103/0103 genetic variant was significantly overrepresented. Combined, the LMP-1 GGDPHLPTL and HLA-E*0103/0103 variants efficiently inhibited NKG2A+ NK cells, thereby facilitating the in vitro spread of EBV-infected tumor cells. In addition, EBV+HL and EBV+nHL patients, showed impaired pro-inflammatory NKG2C+ NK cell responses, which accelerated the in vitro EBV-infected tumor cells spread. In contrast, the blocking of NKG2A by monoclonal antibodies (Monalizumab) resulted in efficient control of EBV-infected tumor cell growth, especially by NKG2A+NKG2C+ NK cells. Thus, the HLA-E/LMP-1/NKG2A pathway and individual NKG2C+ NK cell responses are associated with the progression toward EBV+ lymphomas.</p

    Ki67 (MIB-1) as a Prognostic Marker for Clinical Decision Making Before Extended Pleurectomy Decortication in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

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    INTRODUCTION: The role of surgery for early stage malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) remains controversial. Current expert opinion is only to treat patients surgically as part of multimodality therapy. It is still challenging to identify patients who will not benefit from surgery. We specifically evaluated tumor-related parameters in combination with clinical parameters to identify prognostic markers for survival. METHODS: Clinical data of 27 consecutive patients with MPM treated with extended pleurectomy and decortication within a multimodality approach were collected and analyzed. Several tumor (immuno-)histopathologic characteristics were determined on resected tumor material, among which MTAP and Ki67 (MIB-1). Univariable and multivariable analyses served to correlate clinical and tumor-related parameters to overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). RESULTS: The median PFS (mPFS) was 15.3, and the median OS (mOS) was 26.5 months. Patients with a Ki67 score greater than 10% had a significantly shorter PFS (mPFS = 8.81 versus 25.35 mo, p = 0.001) and OS (mOS 19.7 versus 44.5 mo, p = 0.002) than those with a Ki67 score less than or equal to 10. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis for Ki67 revealed an area under the curve of 0.756 with a sensitivity of 90% and specificity of 71% for a cutoff of 10% for Ki67. Patients with loss of MTAP had a significantly shorter mPFS (9 versus 21.1 mo, p = 0.014) and mOS (19.7 versus 42.6 mo, p = 0.047) than those without MTAP loss. CONCLUSIONS: In our study, Ki67 was prognostic for OS and PFS in patients with MPM treated with extended pleurectomy/decortication in a multimodality approach. Determination of Ki67 before surgery combined with specific clinical parameters could assist in clinical decision making by identifying patients, with high Ki67, who are unlikely to benefit from surgery
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