[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies of 146 plasma protein levels in 818 individuals revealed 56 genome-wide significant associations (28 novel) with 47 analytes. Loci associated with plasma levels of 39 proteins tested have been previously associated with various complex traits such as heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Type 2 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. These data suggest that these plasma protein levels may constitute informative endophenotypes for these complex traits. We found three potential pleiotropic genes: ABO for plasma SELE and ACE levels, FUT2 for CA19-9 and CEA plasma levels, and APOE for ApoE and CRP levels. We also found multiple independent signals in loci associated with plasma levels of ApoH, CA19-9, FetuinA, IL6r, and LPa. Our study highlights the power of biological traits for genetic studies to identify genetic variants influencing clinically relevant traits, potential pleiotropic effects, and complex disease associations in the same locus.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We develop a multivariate cure survival model to estimate lifetime patterns
of colorectal cancer screening. Screening data cover long periods of time, with
sparse observations for each person. Some events may occur before the study
begins or after the study ends, so the data are both left- and right-censored,
and some individuals are never screened (the "cured" population). We propose a
multivariate parametric cure model that can be used with left- and
right-censored data. Our model allows for the estimation of the time to
screening as well as the average number of times individuals will be screened.
We calculate likelihood functions based on the observations for each subject
using a distribution that accounts for within-subject correlation, and estimate
parameters using Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods. We apply our methods to the
estimation of lifetime colorectal cancer screening behavior in the
SEER-Medicare data set.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Importance
Vitamin D (VitD) deficiency is associated with brain structural abnormalities, cognitive decline, and incident dementia.Objective
To assess associations between VitD status and trajectories of change in subdomains of cognitive function in a cohort of ethnically diverse older adults.Design, Setting, and Participants
Longitudinal multiethnic cohort study of 382 participants in an outpatient clinic enrolled between February 2002 and August 2010 with baseline assessment and yearly follow-up visits. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) was measured, with VitD status defined as the following: deficient, less than 12 ng/mL (to convert to nanomoles per liter, multiply by 2.496); insufficient, 12 to less than 20 ng/mL; adequate, 20 to less than 50 ng/mL; or high, 50 ng/mL or higher. Subdomains of cognitive function were assessed using the Spanish and English Neuropsychological Assessment Scales. Associations were evaluated between 25-OHD levels (as continuous and categorical [deficient, insufficient, or adequate]) and trajectories of cognitive decline.Main Outcomes and Measures
Serum 25-OHD levels, cognitive function, and associations between 25-OHD levels and trajectories of cognitive decline.Results
Participants (N = 382 at baseline) had a mean (SD) age of 75.5 (7.0) years; 61.8% were women; and 41.4% were white, 29.6% African American, 25.1% Hispanic, and 3.9% other race/ethnicity. Diagnosis at enrollment included 17.5% with dementia, 32.7% with mild cognitive impairment, and 49.5% cognitively normal. The mean (SD) 25-OHD level was 19.2 (11.7) ng/mL, with 26.2% of participants being VitD deficient and 35.1% insufficient. The mean (SD) 25-OHD levels were significantly lower for African American and Hispanic participants compared with white participants (17.9 [15.8] and 17.2 [8.4] vs 21.7 [10.0] ng/mL, respectively; P < .001 for both). The mean (SD) 25-OHD levels were similarly lower in the dementia group compared with the mild cognitive impairment and cognitively normal groups (16.2 [9.4] vs 20.0 [10.3] and 19.7 [13.1] ng/mL, respectively; P = .006). The mean (SD) follow-up was 4.8 (2.5) years. Rates of decline in episodic memory and executive function among VitD-deficient (episodic memory: β = −0.04 [SE = 0.02], P = .049; executive function: β = −0.05 [SE = 0.02], P = .01) and VitD-insufficient (episodic memory: β = −0.06 [SE = 0.02], P < .001; executive function: β = −0.04 [SE = 0.02], P = .008) participants were greater than those with adequate status after controlling for age, sex, education, ethnicity, body mass index, season of blood draw, vascular risk, and apolipoprotein E4 genotype. Vitamin D status was not significantly associated with decline in semantic memory or visuospatial ability. Exclusion of participants with dementia did not substantially affect the associations between VitD status and rates of cognitive decline.Conclusions and Relevance
Low VitD status was associated with accelerated decline in cognitive function domains in ethnically diverse older adults, including African American and Hispanic individuals who exhibited a high prevalence of VitD insufficiency or deficiency. It remains to be determined whether VitD supplementation slows cognitive decline.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) is an ongoing, longitudinal, multicenter study designed to develop clinical, imaging, genetic, and biochemical biomarkers for the early detection and tracking of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The initial study, ADNI-1, enrolled 400 subjects with early mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 200 with early AD, and 200 cognitively normal elderly controls. ADNI-1 was extended by a 2-year Grand Opportunities grant in 2009 and by a competitive renewal, ADNI-2, which enrolled an additional 550 participants and will run until 2015. This article reviews all papers published since the inception of the initiative and summarizes the results to the end of 2013. The major accomplishments of ADNI have been as follows: (1) the development of standardized methods for clinical tests, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers in a multicenter setting; (2) elucidation of the patterns and rates of change of imaging and CSF biomarker measurements in control subjects, MCI patients, and AD patients. CSF biomarkers are largely consistent with disease trajectories predicted by β-amyloid cascade (Hardy, J Alzheimer's Dis 2006;9(Suppl 3):151-3) and tau-mediated neurodegeneration hypotheses for AD, whereas brain atrophy and hypometabolism levels show predicted patterns but exhibit differing rates of change depending on region and disease severity; (3) the assessment of alternative methods of diagnostic categorization. Currently, the best classifiers select and combine optimum features from multiple modalities, including MRI, [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose-PET, amyloid PET, CSF biomarkers, and clinical tests; (4) the development of blood biomarkers for AD as potentially noninvasive and low-cost alternatives to CSF biomarkers for AD diagnosis and the assessment of α-syn as an additional biomarker; (5) the development of methods for the early detection of AD. CSF biomarkers, β-amyloid 42 and tau, as well as amyloid PET may reflect the earliest steps in AD pathology in mildly symptomatic or even nonsymptomatic subjects and are leading candidates for the detection of AD in its preclinical stages; (6) the improvement of clinical trial efficiency through the identification of subjects most likely to undergo imminent future clinical decline and the use of more sensitive outcome measures to reduce sample sizes. Multimodal methods incorporating APOE status and longitudinal MRI proved most highly predictive of future decline. Refinements of clinical tests used as outcome measures such as clinical dementia rating-sum of boxes further reduced sample sizes; (7) the pioneering of genome-wide association studies that leverage quantitative imaging and biomarker phenotypes, including longitudinal data, to confirm recently identified loci, CR1, CLU, and PICALM and to identify novel AD risk loci; (8) worldwide impact through the establishment of ADNI-like programs in Japan, Australia, Argentina, Taiwan, China, Korea, Europe, and Italy; (9) understanding the biology and pathobiology of normal aging, MCI, and AD through integration of ADNI biomarker and clinical data to stimulate research that will resolve controversies about competing hypotheses on the etiopathogenesis of AD, thereby advancing efforts to find disease-modifying drugs for AD; and (10) the establishment of infrastructure to allow sharing of all raw and processed data without embargo to interested scientific investigators throughout the world.
No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Balancing career and family obligations poses challenges to medical school faculty and contributes to dissatisfaction and attrition from academics. We examined the relationship between family setting and responsibilities, rank, and career and work-life satisfaction for faculty in a large U.S. medical school.
Baseline faculty surveys were analyzed from the first year of a 4-year National Institutes of Health-funded study to evaluate awareness, knowledge, attitudes, and use of family friendly policies and career satisfaction. The study focus was on the impact of family responsibilities and characteristics of the faculty position (rank, clinical vs. nonclinical, and academic series) in multivariate comparisons between primary predictors and outcomes of interest.
Both clinical and family responsibilities for children under 18 play a major and interacting role in satisfaction with career and work-life balance. Clinical faculty respondents without children at home reported significantly greater career satisfaction and better work-life balance than their nonclinical counterparts. Nonclinical faculty respondents with children reported greater satisfaction and better balance than counterparts without family responsibilities. However, the advantage in career satisfaction and work-life balance for clinical faculty respondents disappeared for those with responsibility for young children. No gender-based differences were noted in the results or across faculty rank for respondents; however, for women, reaching associate professor resulted in greater career satisfaction.
This study suggests that both work-related factors and family responsibilities influence satisfaction with career and work-life balance, but the predictors appear to interact in complex and nuanced ways. Further research is needed to delineate more clearly these interactions and to explore other factors that may play important additional roles.
No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of Women's Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Front-of-package nutrition symbols (FOPs) are presumably readily noticeable and require minimal prior nutrition knowledge to use. Although there is evidence to support this notion, few studies have focused on Facts Up Front type symbols which are used in the US. Participants with varying levels of prior knowledge were asked to view two products and decide which was more healthful. FOPs on packages were manipulated so that one product was more healthful, allowing us to assess accuracy. Attention to nutrition information was assessed via eye tracking to determine what if any FOP information was used to make their decisions. Results showed that accuracy was below chance on half of the comparisons despite consulting FOPs. Negative correlations between attention to calories, fat, and sodium and accuracy indicated that consumers over-relied on these nutrients. Although relatively little attention was allocated to fiber and sugar, associations between attention and accuracy were positive. Attention to vitamin D showed no association to accuracy, indicating confusion surrounding what constitutes a meaningful change across products. Greater nutrition knowledge was associated with greater accuracy, even when less attention was paid. Individuals, particularly those with less knowledge, are misled by calorie, sodium, and fat information on FOPs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The overall burden of chronic disease, inflammation and cardiovascular risk increases with age. Whether the relationship between age and inflammation is impacted by presence of an adverse metabolic burden is not known.
We determined inflammatory markers in humans (336 Caucasians and 224 African Americans) and in mice, representing a spectrum of age, weight and metabolic burden.
In humans, levels of inflammatory markers increased significantly with age in subjects without the metabolic syndrome, (P=0.009 and P=0.037 for C-reactive protein, P<0.001 and P=0.001 for fibrinogen, P<0.001 and P=0.005 for serum amyloid-A, for Caucasians and African Americans, respectively). In contrast, trend patterns of inflammatory markers did not change significantly with age in subjects with metabolic syndrome in either ethnic group, except for fibrinogen in Caucasians. A composite z-score for systemic inflammation increased significantly with age in subjects without metabolic syndrome (P=0.004 and P<0.006 for Caucasians and African Americans, respectively) but not in subjects with metabolic syndrome (P=0.009 for difference in age trend between metabolic syndrome and non-metabolic syndrome). In contrast, no similar age trend was found in vascular inflammation. The findings in humans were paralleled by results in mice as serum amyloid-A levels increased across age (range 2-15 months, P<0.01) and were higher in ob/ob mice compared to control mice (P<0.001).
Presence of a metabolic challenge in mice and humans influences levels of inflammatory markers over a wide age range. Our results underscore that already at a young age, presence of a metabolic burden enhances inflammation to a level that appears to be similar to that of decades older people without metabolic syndrome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanisms by which aging and other processes can affect the structure and function of brain networks are important to understanding normal age-related cognitive decline. Advancing age is known to be associated with various disease processes, including clinically asymptomatic vascular and inflammation processes that contribute to white matter structural alteration and potential injury. The effects of these processes on the function of distributed cognitive networks, however, are poorly understood. We hypothesized that the extent of magnetic resonance imaging white matter hyperintensities would be associated with visual attentional control in healthy aging, measured using a functional magnetic resonance imaging search task. We assessed cognitively healthy older adults with search tasks indexing processing speed and attentional control. Expanding upon previous research, older adults demonstrate activation across a frontal-parietal attentional control network. Further, greater white matter hyperintensity volume was associated with increased activation of a frontal network node independent of chronological age. Also consistent with previous research, greater white matter hyperintensity volume was associated with anatomically specific reductions in functional magnetic resonance imaging functional connectivity during search among attentional control regions. White matter hyperintensities may lead to subtle attentional network dysfunction, potentially through impaired frontal-parietal and frontal interhemispheric connectivity, suggesting that clinically silent white matter biomarkers of vascular and inflammatory injury can contribute to differences in search performance and brain function in aging, and likely contribute to advanced age-related impairments in cognitive control.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment guidelines provide recommendations, but cannot account for the wide variability in patient-tumor characteristics in individual patients. We developed an online interactive decision tool to provide expert recommendations for specific patient scenarios in the first-line and maintenance settings for advanced NSCLC. We sought to determine how providing expert feedback would influence clinical decision-making.
Five lung cancer experts selected treatment for 96 different patient cases based on tumor-specific features. These data were used to develop an online decision tool. Participant physicians entered variables for their patient scenario with treatment choices, and then received expert treatment recommendations for that scenario. To determine the impact on decision-making, users were asked whether the expert feedback impacted their original plan.
A total of 442 individual physicians, of which 88% were from outside the USA, entered 653 cases, with report on impact in 389 cases. Expert feedback affected treatment choice in 73% of cases (23% changed, 50% confirmed decisions). For cases with EGFR mutation or ALK fusion, all experts selected targeted therapy while 51% and 58% of participants did not. Greater variability was seen between experts and participants for cases involving EGFR or ALK wild-type tumors. Participants were 2.5-fold more likely to change to expert recommended therapy for ALK fusions than for EGFR mutations (P = 0.017).
This online tool for treatment decision-making resulted in a positive influence on clinician's decisions. This approach offers opportunities for improving quality of care and meets an educational need in application of new therapeutic paradigms.
No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Journal of thoracic oncology: official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Ketoconazole is a well-known CYP17-targeted systemic treatment for castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). However, most of the published data has been in the pre-chemotherapy setting; its efficacy in the post-chemotherapy setting has not been as widely described. Chemotherapy-naïve patients treated with attenuated doses of ketoconazole (200-300 mg three times daily) had PSA response rate (>50% decline) of 21-62%. We hypothesized that low-dose ketoconazole would likewise possess efficacy and tolerability in the CRPC post-chemotherapy state.
Men with CRPC and performance status 0-3, adequate organ function and who had received prior docetaxel were treated with low-dose ketoconazole (200 mg orally three times daily) and hydrocortisone (20 mg PO qAM and 10 mg PO qPM) until disease progression. Primary endpoint was PSA response rate (>50% reduction from baseline) where a rate of 25% was to be considered promising for further study (versus a null rate of <5%); 25 patients were required. Secondary endpoints included PSA response >30% from baseline, progression-free survival (PFS), duration of stable disease and evaluation of adverse events (AEs).
Thirty patients were accrued with median age of 72 years (range 55-86) and median pre-treatment PSA of 73 ng ml(-1) (range 7-11,420). Twenty-nine patients were evaluable for response and toxicity. PSA response (>50% reduction) was seen in 48% of patients; PSA response (>30% reduction) was seen in 59%. Median PFS was 138 days; median duration of stable disease was 123 days. Twelve patients experienced grade 3 or 4 AEs. Of the 17 grade 3 AEs, only 3 were attributed to treatment. None of the two grade 4 AEs were considered related to treatment.
In docetaxel pre-treated CRPC patients, low-dose ketoconazole and hydrocortisone is a well-tolerated, relatively inexpensive and clinically active treatment option. PSA response to low-dose ketoconazole appears historically comparable to that of abiraterone in this patient context. A prospective, randomized study of available post-chemotherapy options is warranted to assess comparative efficacy.
Preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nutrition information on packaged foods supplies information that aids consumers in meeting the recommendations put forth in the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans such as reducing intake of solid fats and added sugars. It is important to understand how food label use is related to dietary intake. However, prior work is based only on self-reported use of food labels, making it unclear if subjective assessments are biased toward motivational influences. We assessed food label use using both self-reported and objective measures, stage-of-change, and dietary quality in a sample of 392 stratified by income. Self-reported food label use was assessed using a questionnaire. Objective use was assessed using a mock shopping task in which participants viewed food labels and decided which foods to purchase. Eye movements were monitored to assess attention to nutrition information on the food labels. Individuals paid attention to nutrition information when selecting foods to buy. Self-reported and objective measures of label use showed some overlap with each other (r=0.29, p<0.001), and both predicted dietary quality (p<0.001 for both). Stage of change diminished the predictive power of subjective (p<0.09), but not objective (p<0.01), food label use. These data show both self-reported and objective measures of food label use are positively associated with dietary quality. However, self-reported measures appear to capture a greater motivational component of food label use than do more objective measures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Motivation
Diseases that progress slowly are often studied by observing cohorts at different stages of disease for short periods of time. The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) follows elders with various degrees of cognitive impairment, from normal to impaired. The study includes a rich panel of novel cognitive tests, biomarkers, and brain images collected every 6 months for as long as 6 years. The relative timing of the observations with respect to disease pathology is unknown. We propose a general semiparametric model and iterative estimation procedure to estimate simultaneously the pathological timing and long-term growth curves. The resulting estimates of long-term progression are fine-tuned using cognitive trajectories derived from the long-term “Personnes Agées Quid” study.
We demonstrate with simulations that the method can recover long-term disease trends from short-term observations. The method also estimates temporal ordering of individuals with respect to disease pathology, providing subject-specific prognostic estimates of the time until onset of symptoms. When the method is applied to ADNI data, the estimated growth curves are in general agreement with prevailing theories of the Alzheimer's disease cascade. Other data sets with common outcome measures can be combined using the proposed algorithm.
Software to fit the model and reproduce results with the statistical software R is available as the grace package. ADNI data can be downloaded from the Laboratory of NeuroImaging.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Previous work examining normal controls from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) identified substantial biological heterogeneity. We hypothesized that ADNI mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subjects would also exhibit heterogeneity with possible clinical implications.
ADNI subjects diagnosed with amnestic MCI (n = 138) were clustered based on baseline magnetic resonance imaging, cerebrospinal fluid, and serum biomarkers. The clusters were compared with respect to longitudinal atrophy, cognitive trajectory, and time to conversion.
Four clusters emerged with distinct biomarker patterns: The first cluster was biologically similar to normal controls and rarely converted to Alzheimer's disease (AD) during follow-up. The second cluster had characteristics of early Alzheimer's pathology. The third cluster showed the most severe atrophy but barely abnormal tau levels and a substantial proportion converted to clinical AD. The fourth cluster appeared to be pre-AD and nearly all converted to AD.
Subjects with MCI who were clinically similar showed substantial heterogeneity in biomarkers.
No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
Erlotinib marginally improves survival when administered continuously with gemcitabine to patients with advanced pancreatic cancer; however, preclinical data suggest that there is antagonism between chemotherapy and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors when these are delivered concurrently. We tested a pharmacodynamic separation approach for erlotinib plus gemcitabine and interrogated EGFR signaling intermediates as potential surrogates for the efficacy of this strategy.
Patients with measurable, previously untreated locally advanced unresectable or metastatic pancreatic cancer were treated with gemcitabine 1000 mg/m(2) as an intravenous infusion over 30-min on days 1, 8, 15 and erlotinib 150 mg/day on days 2-5, 9-12, 16-26 of each 28-day cycle. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS); secondary endpoints included RECIST objective response rate (ORR) and safety. The study was terminated after thirty patients due to funding considerations.
The median PFS was 2.07 months (95% CI; 1.87-5.50 months) and the ORR was 11%. No unexpected safety signals were seen: the most common grade 3 or higher adverse events were neutropenia (23%), lymphopenia (23%), and fatigue (13%). Patients with mutant plasma Kirsten rat sarcoma virus (KRAS) had significantly lower median PFS (1.8 vs. 4.6 months, p = 0.014) and overall survival (3.0 vs. 10.5 months, p = 0.003) than those without detected plasma KRAS mutations.
Although pharmacodynamically separated erlotinib and gemcitabine were feasible and tolerable in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, no signal for increased efficacy was seen in this molecularly unselected cohort. Detection of a KRAS mutation in circulating cell-free DNA was a strong predictor of survival.
No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · International Journal of Clinical Oncology