NEWS & ANALYSIS Oncologists hit by sequester budget cuts to the cost of purchasing and administering cancer drugs are hoping that the potentially devastating impact on Medicare cancer patients will force a quick legislative fix in Congress.
PRACTICE & POLICY S. Yousuf Zafar, Amy P. Abernethy;ONCOLOGY Vol. 27 No. 4 Just as high-quality research has focused on limiting the physical toxicity resulting from successful treatment, future research should focus on mitigating the negative effects of financial toxicity without affecting disease-related outcomes.
Now is a critical moment for all involved in caring for cancer patients to engage in this national policy debate; numerous cancer advocacy organizations have already joined the effort to oppose the sequester cuts to oncology drugs. More »
Four of the nation’s cancer organizations--including the COA and ASCO--believe that the sequestration cuts will impact the treatment of cancer patients on Medicare and have sent letters to Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services. More »
Oncologists hit by sequester budget cuts to the cost of purchasing and administering cancer drugs are hoping that the potentially devastating impact on Medicare cancer patients will force a quick legislative fix in Congress. More »
In this interview we discuss the dissemination of research results, clinical trials, and other oncology news using social media, as well as what type of media oncologists use, and how useful and relevant this type of information is for most oncologists. More »
Organizations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the World Health Organization are looking for ways to engage adults and teenagers online in discussions about HIV prevention, testing, and treatment. More »
A genome-wide association study (GWAS) for circulating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) biomarkers could identify genetic determinants of biomarker levels and COPD susceptibility.|To identify genetic variants of circulating protein biomarkers and novel genetic determinants of COPD.|GWAS was performed for two pneumoproteins, Clara cell secretory protein (CC16) and surfactant protein D (SP-D), and five systemic inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, IL-6, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor-) in 1,951 subjects with COPD. For genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (P < 1 10(-8)), association with COPD susceptibility was tested in 2,939 cases with COPD and 1,380 smoking control subjects. The association of candidate SNPs with mRNA expression in induced sputum was also elucidated.|Genome-wide significant susceptibility loci affecting biomarker levels were found only for the two pneumoproteins. Two discrete loci affecting CC16, one region
Our previous report showed that platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and related genes were upregulated in a Syrian hamster model and could be detected in all human cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) tissues. We therefore hoped that PDGF could be used as a diagnostic and prognostic marker. We analyzed 78 samples of human CCA and adjacent tissues for PDGF and related gene expression, and localized PDGF protein expression. The mechanism of anti-cancer drugs on PDGF and related genes or proteins in CCA cell lines (OCA17, M156, and KKU100) was studied through MTT cell viability assay, quantitative real-time PCR, and immunoblotting. Mutagenesis of the PDGFRA coding region was analyzed. Moreover, the PDGFRA in sera of CCA patients and healthy controls was investigated. PDGFA was found to be upregulated in CCA tissue (84.6 %). Positive PDGFA immunohistochemical staining was significantly correlated with status (P = 0.000), stage of CCA (P = 0.013), metastasis (P = 0.017), and short survival rate (P =
Marie Unna Hereditary Hypotrichosis 1 (MUHH1; OMIM 146550), a rare monogenic condition characterized by the development of sparse, twisted hair or complete hair loss, is the consequence of mutations located in the hairless (HR) gene. We have identified a 68-year-old Hungarian woman affected by alopecia universalis and limb deformities of all four extremities. Direct sequencing of the coding regions of the HR gene revealed a novel missense mutation in the third exon of the HR gene (c.974G/A, p.Gly325Asp). The affected family member carried the mutation in a heterozygous form, while the only available, clinically unaffected family member (the son of the patient) and the unrelated controls carried the wild type sequence. The association between the presence of HR gene mutations and the development of alopecia is well-established, however, further studies are needed to elucidate the putative role of this novel HR mutation in the development of limb deformities.
It remains uncertain if differences in mortality risk exist among the sulfonylureas, especially in patients with documented coronary artery disease (CAD). The purpose of this study was to assess the overall mortality risk of the individual sulfonylureas versus metformin in a large cohort of patients with type 2 diabetes.|A retrospective cohort study was conducted using an academic health centre enterprise-wide electronic health record (EHR) system to identify 23 915 patients with type 2 diabetes who initiated monotherapy with metformin (N = 12774), glipizide (N = 4325), glyburide (N = 4279) or glimepiride (N = 2537), 18 years of age, with and without a history of CAD, and not on insulin or a non-insulin injectable at baseline. The patients were followed for mortality by documentation in the EHR and Social Security Death Index. Multivariable Cox models with propensity analysis were used to compare cohorts.|An increase in overall mortality risk was observed in the entire cohort with
Mountain sickness (MS) occurs among humans visiting or inhabiting high altitude environments. We conducted genetic analyses of the AKT3, ANGPTL4, eNOS3 and VEGFA genes in lowland (Han) and highland (Tibetan) Chinese. Ten single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were evaluated in Han and Tibetan patients with acute (A) and chronic (C) MS. We compared 74 patients with AMS to 79 Han unaffected with MS, as well as 48 CMS patients to 31 unaffected Tibetans. The ten SNPs studied are AKT3 (rs4590656, rs2291409), ANGPTL4 (rs1044250), eNOS3 (rs1007311, rs1799983) and VEGFA (rs79469752, rs13207351, rs28357093, rs1570360, rs3025039). Direct sequencing was used to identify individual genotypes for these SNPs. Hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (Hct), and red blood cell count (RBC) were found to be significantly associated with the AKT3 SNP (rs4590656), Hb was found to be associated with the eNOS3 SNP (rs1007311), and RBC was found to be significantly associated with the VEGFA SNP (rs1570360) in Tibetan
Promise in the future, a disease could be ranked into genetic categories, allowing bespoke tailoring of medicine to maximize therapeutic effects and to reduce the potential for adverse drug response. This new feature requires for health professionals to have competencies not only for the basic skills of their discipline, but also for the understanding on why, when, and how that knowledge should be applied to improve personalized therapies for their patients. Current opinion on basic competences of health professions includes knowledge and skills on two fundamental features: (1) genetics of disease, to allow the understanding and the identification of diseases associated to genetic variations, and to facilitate the development of new genomic tests; and (2) ethical, social and economical implications that are fundamental to identify those factors that might contribute to a successful integration of pharmacogenomics into international health and public policy.|Briefly, we described (1)