Immune checkpoint molecule B7-H1 plays a decisive immune regulatory role in different pathologies including cancer, and manipulation of B7-H1 expression became an attractive approach in cancer immunotherapy. Pancreatic cancer (PDAC) is characterized by pronounced immunosuppressive environment and B7-H1 expression correlates with PDAC prognosis. However, the first attempts to diminish B7-H1 expression in patients were not so successful. This points the complicity of PDAC immunosuppressive network and requires further examinations. We investigated the effect of B7-H1 deficiency in PDAC. Our results clearly show that partial or complete B7-H1 inhibition in vivo let to reduced tumor volume and improved survival of PDAC-bearing mice. This oncological benefit is due to the abrogation of immunosuppression provided by MDSC, macrophages, DC and Treg, which resulted in simultaneous restoration of anti-tumor immune response, namely improved accumulation and functionality of effector-memory CD4 and CD8 T cells. Our results underline the potential of B7-H1 molecule to control immunosuppressive network in PDAC and provide new issues for further clinical investigations.
Background Previously, we observed that hypothermia, widely used for organ preservation, elicits mitochondrial fission in different cell types. However, temperature dependence, mechanisms and consequences of this cold-induced mitochondrial fission are unknown. Therefore, we here study cold-induced mitochondrial fission in endothelial cells, a cell type generally displaying a high sensitivity to cold-induced injury. Methods Porcine aortic endothelial cells were incubated at 4–25 °C in modified Krebs–Henseleit buffer (plus glucose to provide substrate and deferoxamine to prevent iron-dependent hypothermic injury). Results Cold-induced mitochondrial fission occurred as early as after 3 h at 4 °C and at temperatures below 21 °C, and was more marked after longer cold incubation periods. It was accompanied by the formation of unusual mitochondrial morphologies such as donuts, blobs, and lassos. Under all conditions, re-fusion was observed after rewarming. Cellular ATP content dropped to 33% after 48 h incubation at 4 °C, recovering after rewarming. Drp1 protein levels showed no significant change during cold incubation, but increased phosphorylation at both phosphorylation sites, activating S616 and inactivating S637. Drp1 receptor protein levels were unchanged. Instead of increased mitochondrial accumulation of Drp1 decreased mitochondrial localization was observed during hypothermia. Moreover, the well-known Drp1 inhibitor Mdivi-1 showed only partial protection against cold-induced mitochondrial fission. The inner membrane fusion-mediating protein Opa1 showed a late shift from the long to the fusion-incompetent short isoform during prolonged cold incubation. Oma1 cleavage was not observed. Conclusions Cold-induced mitochondrial fission appears to occur over almost the whole temperature range relevant for organ preservation. Unusual morphologies appear to be related to fission/auto-fusion. Fission appears to be associated with lower mitochondrial function/ATP decline, mechanistically unusual, and after cold incubation in physiological solutions reversible at 37 °C.
Background The optimal duration of immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapy is not well established. Active residual disease is considered prohibitive for treatment discontinuation and its detection by diagnostic CT imaging is limited. Here, we set out to determine the potential added value of 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) to identify patients at higher risk of relapse following discontinuation of ICB in advanced melanoma. Methods Metastatic melanoma patients who discontinued ICB were identified retrospectively. Eligible patients received FDG-PET and diagnostic CT within four months of ICB discontinuation. We defined morphologic response using RECIST v1.1. Complete metabolic response (CMR) was defined as uptake in tumor lesions below background, whereas any site of residual, FDG-avid disease was rated as non-CMR. The primary endpoint was time to progression (TTP) after therapy discontinuation stratified by morphologic and metabolic imaging response using Kaplan–Meier estimates and log-rank test. Results Thiry-eight patients were eligible for this analysis. Median follow-up was 37.3 months since ICB discontinuation. Median TTP in the overall cohort was not reached. A greater proportion of patients were rated as CMR in PET ( n = 34, 89.5%) as compared to complete response (CR) in CT ( n = 13, 34.2%). Median TTP was reached in patients with non-CMR (12.7 months, 95%CI 4.4-not reached) but not for patients with CMR (log-rank: p < 0.001). All patients with complete response by CT had CMR by PET. In a subset of patients excluding those with complete response by CT, TTP remained significantly different between CMR and non-CMR (log-rank: p < 0.001). Conclusion Additional FDG-PET at time of discontinuation of ICB therapy helps identify melanoma patients with a low risk of recurrence and favourable prognosis compared to CT imaging alone. Results may have clinical relevance especially for patients with residual tumor burden.
Background In radiomic studies, several models are often trained with different combinations of feature selection methods and classifiers. The features of the best model are usually considered relevant to the problem, and they represent potential biomarkers. Features selected from statistically similarly performing models are generally not studied. To understand the degree to which the selected features of these statistically similar models differ, 14 publicly available datasets, 8 feature selection methods, and 8 classifiers were used in this retrospective study. For each combination of feature selection and classifier, a model was trained, and its performance was measured with AUC-ROC. The best-performing model was compared to other models using a DeLong test. Models that were statistically similar were compared in terms of their selected features. Results Approximately 57% of all models analyzed were statistically similar to the best-performing model. Feature selection methods were, in general, relatively unstable (0.58; range 0.35–0.84). The features selected by different models varied largely (0.19; range 0.02–0.42), although the selected features themselves were highly correlated (0.71; range 0.4–0.92). Conclusions Feature relevance in radiomics strongly depends on the model used, and statistically similar models will generally identify different features as relevant. Considering features selected by a single model is misleading, and it is often not possible to directly determine whether such features are candidate biomarkers.
Background Monoclonal antibodies acting on the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) or its receptor have changed migraine preventive treatment. Those treatments have led to reconsidering the outcomes of migraine prevention. Available data mostly considered benefits in terms of relative efficacy (percent or absolute decrease in monthly migraine days [MMDs] or headache days compared with baseline). However, not enough attention has been paid to residual MMDs and/or migraine-related disability in treated patients. In the present study, we aimed at comparing the relative and absolute efficacy of erenumab. Methods ESTEEMen was a collaborative project among 16 European headache centers which already performed real-life data collections on patients treated with erenumab for at least 12 weeks. For the present study, we performed a subgroup analysis on patients with complete data on MMDs at baseline and at weeks 9-12 of treatment. Starting from efficacy thresholds proposed by previous literature, we classified patients into 0-29%, 30-49%, 50-74%, and ≥75% responders according to MMD decrease from baseline to weeks 9-12 of treatment. For each response category, we reported the median MMDs and Headache Impact test-6 (HIT-6) scores at baseline and at weeks 9-12. We categorized the number of residual MMDs at weeks 9-12 as follows: 0-3, 4-7, 8-14, ≥15. We classified HIT-6 score into four categories: ≤49, 50-55, 56-59, and ≥60. To keep in line with the original scope of the ESTEEMen study, calculations were performed in men and women. Results Out of 1215 patients, at weeks 9-12, 381 (31.4%) had a 0-29% response, 186 (15.3%) a 30-49% response, 396 (32.6%) a 50-74% response, and 252 (20.7%) a ≥75% response; 246 patients (20.2%) had 0-3 residual MMDs, 443 (36.5%) had 4-7 MMDs, 299 (24.6%) had 8-14 MMDs, and 227 (18.7%) had ≥15 MMDs. Among patients with 50-74% response, 246 (62.1%) had 4-7 and 94 (23.7%) 8-14 residual MMDs, while among patients with ≥75% response 187 (74.2%) had 0-3 and 65 (25.8%) had 4-7 residual MMDs. Conclusions The present study shows that even patients with good relative response to erenumab may have a clinically non-negligible residual migraine burden. Relative measures of efficacy cannot be enough to thoroughly consider the efficacy of migraine prevention.
Background In severe cases, SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), often treated by extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). During ECMO therapy, anticoagulation is crucial to prevent device-associated thrombosis and device failure, however, it is associated with bleeding complications. In COVID-19, additional pathologies, such as endotheliitis, may further increase the risk of bleeding complications. To assess the frequency of bleeding events, we analyzed data from the German COVID-19 autopsy registry (DeRegCOVID). Methods The electronic registry uses a web-based electronic case report form. In November 2021, the registry included N = 1129 confirmed COVID-19 autopsy cases, with data on 63 ECMO autopsy cases and 1066 non-ECMO autopsy cases, contributed from 29 German sites. Findings The registry data showed that ECMO was used in younger male patients and bleeding events occurred much more frequently in ECMO cases compared to non-ECMO cases (56% and 9%, respectively). Similarly, intracranial bleeding (ICB) was documented in 21% of ECMO cases and 3% of non-ECMO cases and was classified as the immediate or underlying cause of death in 78% of ECMO cases and 37% of non-ECMO cases. In ECMO cases, the three most common immediate causes of death were multi-organ failure, ARDS and ICB, and in non-ECMO cases ARDS, multi-organ failure and pulmonary bacterial ± fungal superinfection, ordered by descending frequency. Interpretation Our study suggests the potential value of autopsies and a joint interdisciplinary multicenter (national) approach in addressing fatal complications in COVID-19.
Extracellular vesicle (EV) secretion is a highly conserved evolutionary trait in all organisms in the three domains of life. The packaging and release of EVs appears to be a bulk-flow process which takes place mainly under extreme conditions. EVs participate in horizontal gene transfer, which supports the survival of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes. In higher eukaryotes, almost all cells secrete a heterogeneous population of EVs loaded with various biomolecules. EV secretion is typically higher in cancer microenvironments, promoting tumor progression and metastasis. EVs are now recognized as additional mediators of autocrine and paracrine communication in health and disease. In this context, proteins and RNAs have been studied the most, but extracellular vesicle DNA (EV-DNA) has started to gain in importance in the last few years. In this review, we summarize new findings related to the loading mechanism(s), localization, and post-shedding function of EV-DNA. We also discuss the feasibility of using EV-DNA as a biomarker when performing a liquid biopsy, at the same time emphasizing the lack of data from clinical trials in this regard. Finally, we outline the potential of EV-DNA uptake and its interaction with the host genome as a promising tool for understanding the mechanisms of cancer evolution.
The Global Campaign against Headache, as a collaborative activity with the World Health Organization (WHO), was formally launched in Copenhagen in March 2004. In the month it turns 18, we review its activities and achievements, from initial determination of its strategic objectives, through partnerships and project management, knowledge acquisition and awareness generation, to evidence-based proposals for change justified by cost-effectiveness analysis.
Background The multi-receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor pazopanib is approved for the treatment of advanced soft-tissue sarcoma and has also shown activity in other sarcoma subtypes. However, its clinical efficacy is highly variable, and no reliable predictors exist to select patients who are likely to benefit from this drug. Patients and methods We analysed the molecular profiles and clinical outcomes of patients with pazopanib-treated sarcoma enrolled in a prospective observational study by the German Cancer Consortium, DKTK MASTER, that employs whole-genome/exome sequencing and transcriptome sequencing to inform the care of young adults with advanced cancer across histology and patients with rare cancers. Results Among 109 patients with available whole-genome/exome sequencing data, there was no correlation between clinical parameters, specific genetic alterations or mutational signatures and clinical outcome. In contrast, the analysis of a subcohort of 62 patients who underwent molecular analysis before pazopanib treatment and had transcriptome sequencing data available showed that mRNA levels of NTRK3 (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.53, p = 0.021), IGF1R (HR = 1.82, p = 0.027) and KDR (HR = 0.50, p = 0.011) were independently associated with progression-free survival (PFS). Based on the expression of these multi-receptor tyrosine kinase genes, i.e. the features NTRK3-high, IGF1R-low and KDR-high, we developed a pazopanib efficacy predictor that stratified patients into three groups with significantly different PFS (p < 0.0001). Application of the pazopanib efficacy predictor to an independent cohort of patients with pazopanib-treated sarcoma from DKTK MASTER (n = 43) confirmed its potential to separate patient groups with significantly different PFS (p = 0.02), whereas no such association was observed in patients with sarcoma from DKTK MASTER (n = 97) or The Cancer Genome Atlas sarcoma cohort (n = 256) who were not treated with pazopanib. Conclusion A score based on the combined expression of NTRK3, IGF1R and KDR allows the identification of patients with sarcoma and with good, intermediate and poor outcome following pazopanib therapy and warrants prospective investigation as a predictive tool to optimise the use of this drug in the clinic.
Background Ripretinib, a broad-spectrum KIT and platelet-derived growth factor receptor A switch-control tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is approved for the treatment of adult patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumor as ≥ fourth-line therapy. We present the efficacy and safety of ripretinib in patients with KIT-altered metastatic melanoma enrolled in the expansion phase of the ripretinib phase I study. Patients and methods Patients with KIT-altered metastatic melanoma were enrolled and treated with ripretinib at the recommended phase II dose of 150 mg once daily in 28-day cycles. Investigator-assessed responses according to Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors version 1.1 were carried out on day 1 of cycles 3, 5, 7, every three cycles thereafter, and at a final study visit. Results A total of 26 patients with KIT-altered metastatic melanoma (25 with KIT mutations, 1 with KIT-amplification) were enrolled. Patients had received prior immunotherapy (n = 23, 88%) and KIT inhibitor therapy (n = 9, 35%). Confirmed objective response rate (ORR) was 23% [95% confidence interval (CI) 9%-44%; one complete and five partial responses] with a median duration of response of 9.1 months (range, 6.9-31.3 months). Median progression-free survival (mPFS) was 7.3 months (95% CI 1.9-13.6 months). Patients without prior KIT inhibitor therapy had a higher ORR and longer mPFS (n = 17, ORR 29%, mPFS 10.2 months) than those who had received prior KIT inhibitor treatment (n = 9, ORR 11%, mPFS 2.9 months). The most common treatment-related treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) of any grade in ≥15% of patients were increased lipase, alopecia, actinic keratosis, myalgia, arthralgia, decreased appetite, fatigue, hyperkeratosis, nausea, and palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome. There were no grade ≥4 treatment-related TEAEs. Conclusions In this phase I study, ripretinib demonstrated encouraging efficacy and a well-tolerated safety profile in patients with KIT-altered metastatic melanoma, suggesting ripretinib may have a clinically meaningful role in treating these patients.
Visual discrimination of tissue during surgery can be challenging since different tissues appear similar to the human eye. Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) removes this limitation by associating each pixel with high-dimensional spectral information. While previous work has shown its general potential to discriminate tissue, clinical translation has been limited due to the method’s current lack of robustness and generalizability. Specifically, the scientific community is lacking a comprehensive spectral tissue atlas, and it is unknown whether variability in spectral reflectance is primarily explained by tissue type rather than the recorded individual or specific acquisition conditions. The contribution of this work is threefold: (1) Based on an annotated medical HSI data set (9059 images from 46 pigs), we present a tissue atlas featuring spectral fingerprints of 20 different porcine organs and tissue types. (2) Using the principle of mixed model analysis, we show that the greatest source of variability related to HSI images is the organ under observation. (3) We show that HSI-based fully-automatic tissue differentiation of 20 organ classes with deep neural networks is possible with high accuracy (> 95%). We conclude from our study that automatic tissue discrimination based on HSI data is feasible and could thus aid in intraoperative decisionmaking and pave the way for context-aware computer-assisted surgery systems and autonomous robotics.
Zusammenfassung Einleitung (Über)sterblichkeit und verlorene Lebensjahre sind wichtige Maße für gesundheitliche Risiken durch die Corona-Pandemie. Das Ziel dieses Beitrags ist es, methodische Faktoren zu benennen, die die Berechnung der Sterblichkeit beeinflussen, und auf mögliche Fehlinterpretationen von verlorenen Lebensjahren hinzuweisen. Methodik Standardisierte Mortalitätsratios (SMRs) können für den Vergleich von Sterblichkeiten verwendet werden (z. B. bedeutet ein SMR von 1,015 eine Übersterblichkeit von 1,5%, ein SMR von 0,990 eine Untersterblichkeit von 1,0%). In dieser Studie werden SMRs als Assoziationsmaße für die Sterblichkeit in Deutschland mit unterschiedlicher Methodik für das Jahr 2020 berechnet. Insbesondere wird der Einfluss unterschiedlicher Datenquellen und Referenzperioden untersucht. Ferner wird geprüft, welchen Einfluss es auf die berechnete Sterblichkeit hat, die steigende Lebenserwartung zu berücksichtigen. Darüber hinaus werden publizierte Ergebnisse zu verlorenen Lebensjahren kritisch diskutiert. Ergebnisse Die Nutzung aktueller Daten des Statistischen Bundesamts vom Januar 2022, in denen die Sterblichkeit für 5-Jahres-Altersgruppen berichtet wird, führt zu höheren SMR-Werten als die Nutzung vorläufiger Daten vom Februar 2021 mit 20-Jahres-Altersklassen (SMR=0,997, 95% Konfidenzintervall (KI): 0,995–0,999 versus SMR=0,976 (95% KI: 0,974–0,978)). Die Wahl des Referenzzeitraums hat großen Einfluss auf die berechnete Sterblichkeit (für Männer: SMR=1,024 (95% KI: 1,022–1,027) mit 2019 als Referenzjahr versus SMR=0,998 (95% KI: 0,996–1,001) mit 2016 bis 2019 als Referenzzeitraum). Analysen, in denen bei der Berechnung erwarteter Sterbefälle die sinkende Mortalität in den Jahren 2016 bis 2019 in das Jahr 2020 fortgeschrieben wird, führen zu deutlich höheren SMR-Werten (für Männer SMR=1,024 (95% KI: 1,021–1,026) mit, und SMR=0,998 (95% KI: 0,996–1,001) ohne Fortschreibung der sinkenden Mortalität). Zahlen zu pandemiebedingten verlorenen Lebensjahren pro an COVID-19 Verstorbenem sind mit Vorsicht zu interpretieren: Eine Berechnung aus der in Sterbetafeln angegebenen verbleibenden Lebenszeit führt zu irreführenden Ergebnissen. Schlussfolgerung Bei Berechnung zur Sterblichkeit und zu verlorenen Lebensjahren während der Pandemie sind eine Reihe methodischer Annahmen zu treffen, die erheblichen Einfluss auf die Ergebnisse haben und bei der Interpretation der Ergebnisse beachtet werden müssen.
Background In the past, radiographic imaging was of minor relevance in the diagnosis of periprosthetic joint infections (PJI). Since metal artefact reduction sequences (MARS) are available, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become a promising diagnostic tool for the evaluation of hip arthroplasty implants. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of MARS-MRI in comparison to established diagnostic tools to distinguish between aseptic failure and PJI. Methods From July 2018 to September 2019, 33 patients classified as having an aseptic joint effusion were recruited into the study. The group included 22 women and 11 men with a mean age of 70.4 ± 13.7 (42–88) years. In the same period, 12 patients were classified as having a PJI. The group consisted of 9 women and 3 men with a mean age of 72.5 ± 10.6 (54–88) years. MARS-MRI was conducted using the optimized parameters at 1.5 T in a coronal and axial STIR (short-tau-inversion recovery), a non-fat-saturated T2 in coronal view and a non-fat-saturated T1 in transverse view in 45 patients with painful hip after total hip arthroplasty (THA). Normally distributed continuous data were shown as mean ± standard deviation (SD) and compared using student's t-test. Non-normally distributed continuous data were shown as mean and compared using the Mann–Whitney U test. Results Synovial layering and muscle edema were significant features of periprosthetic joint infection, with sensitivities of 100% and specifities of 63.0—75.0%. The combined specifity and sensitivity levels of synovial layering and muscular edema was 88.0% and 90.0%. Granulomatous synovitis was a significant feature for aseptic failure, with 90.0% sensitivity and 57.0% specifity. Conclusion MARS-MRI is as suitable as standard diagnostic tools to distinguish between aseptic failure and PJI in patients with THA. Further studies with larger patient numbers have to prove whether MARS-MRI could be integral part of PJI diagnostic.
Background: Although the inclusion of patients' preferences and needs is essential for therapy adherence, the assessment of patient-reported outcome measures in clinical trials is often neglected. Therefore, the aim of this study was to quantify several patient-reported outcome measures in psoriasis patients undergoing systemic therapy in a real-life clinical setting. Methods: This clinical trial has been designed as a prospective, multiarm study to investigate the treatment satisfaction, adherence to therapy, quality of life, and clinical response in a real-life clinical setting during the initial six months of treatment with apremilast, methotrexate and fumaric acids in 80 patients suffering from plaque psoriasis. Results: The treatment satisfaction for the three systemic therapies was rated "sufficient" with a mean (±SD) Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication (TSQM) score of 275.0 (±62.7). Most potential for improvement was seen in the "effectiveness" domain (54.3 ± 21.5). The highest treatment satisfaction level in all four domains (convenience, effectiveness, global satisfaction, side-effects) was seen in the methotrexate group with a mean TSQM score of 306.3 ± 50.9, followed by apremilast (267.1 ± 61.6) and fumaric acids (254.9 ± 65.0; p = 0.005). Analysis of the TSQM revealed a considerable discrepancy between patient-reported clinical response and the actual Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) reduction. This applies equally to the patient- versus physician-reported side-effects. Conclusions: This real-life study demonstrates that an adequate assessment of antipsoriatic drugs by PASI-reduction alone is not sufficient and underlines the importance of patient-reported outcome measures not only in clinical trials, but also for improved patient care.
The toxicity of peroxynitrite, ONOO-, is directed by carbon dioxide via the formation of the corresponding adduct, ONOOCO2-. Entity ONOOCO2- is believed to be a highly unstable compound that primarily decomposes to nitrate and carbon dioxide, but it also undergoes fractional homolysis to generate carbonate radical anion, CO3•-, and nitrogen dioxide, NO2•, in a so-called solvent (radical) cage reaction. Recently, Koppenol et al. reviewed their proposal that ONOOCO2- is a relatively long-lived intermediate, arguing that "the solvent cage as proposed is physically not realistic". To further address whether ONOOCO2- could be a long-lived species, bond dissociation enthalpies (BDE) were calculated by the composite reference method (SMD)W1BD. Anion ONOOCO2- can exist in two conformers, s-cis-gauche and s-trans-gauche with predicted gas-phase O-O BDEs of about 10.8 and 9.5 kcal mol-1, respectively. Therefore, both conformers should have very short lifetimes. The (SMD)W1BD method was also used to evaluate the thermodynamic parameters of interest, revealing that the homolytic decomposition of ONOOCO2- is the most reasonable pathway. Moreover, previously reported experimental chemically induced dynamic nuclear polarization data also support the intermediacy of the radical cage and the formation of products CO2 and NO3- at a total yield of about 70%. Because the solvent radical cage concept for the decay of ONOO- in the presence of CO2 is supported by a variety of spectrometric methods as well as by quantum chemical calculations at high levels of theory, it provides strong evidence against the "out-of-cage" construct. For clarification of the nature of the transient UV/vis absorption(s) between 600 and 700 nm, as observed by Koppenol et al., several experimental approaches are suggested.
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