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Bibliography on: Publications by FHCRC Researchers

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 26 May 2024 at 01:49 Created: 

Publications by FHCRC Researchers

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center began in 1975, with critical help from Washington State's U.S. Senator Warren Magnuson. Fred Hutch quickly became the permanent home to Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, who had spent decades developing an innovative treatment for leukemia and other blood cancers. Thomas and his colleagues were working to cure cancer by transplanting human bone marrow after otherwise lethal doses of chemotherapy and radiation. At the Hutch, Thomas improved this treatment and readied it for widespread use. Since then, the pioneering procedure has saved hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide. While improving bone marrow transplantation remains central to Fred Hutch's research, it is now only part of its efforts. The Hutch is home to five scientific divisions, three Nobel laureates and more than 2,700 faculty, who collectively have published more than 10,000 scientific papers, presented here as a full bibliography.

NOTE: From 1995 to 2009 I served as the Hutch's vice president for information technology — hence my interest in the organization. Although my role was in the admin division, if you dig through this bibliography, you will find a couple of papers with me as an author.

Created with PubMed® Query: ( fhcrc[Affiliation] OR "fred hutchinson"[Affiliation] OR "Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research"[Affiliation] OR "Fred Hutch"[affiliation] ) NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

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RevDate: 2024-05-23
CmpDate: 2024-05-23

Safyan RA, Kim E, Dekker E, et al (2024)

Multidisciplinary Standards and Evolving Therapies for Patients With Pancreatic Cancer.

American Society of Clinical Oncology educational book. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Annual Meeting, 44(3):e438598.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is a challenging disease that presents at an advanced stage and results in many symptoms that negatively influence patients' quality of life and reduce their ability to receive effective treatment. Early implementation of expert multidisciplinary care with nutritional support, exercise, and palliative care for both early-stage and advanced disease promises to maintain or improve the patients' physical, social, and psychological well-being, decrease aggressive interventions at the end of life, and ultimately improve survival. Moreover, advances in treatment strategies in the neoadjuvant and metastatic setting combined with novel therapeutic agents targeting the key drivers of the disease are leading to improvements in the care of patients with pancreatic cancer. Here, we emphasize the multidisciplinary supportive and therapeutic care of patients with PDA, review current guidelines and new developments of neoadjuvant and perioperative treatments for localized disease, as well as the treatment standards and the evolving field of precision oncology and immunotherapies for advanced PDA.

RevDate: 2024-05-23
CmpDate: 2024-05-23

Fenton SE, VanderWeeler DJ, Rebbeck TR, et al (2024)

Advancing Prostate Cancer Care: Treatment Approaches to Precision Medicine, Biomarker Innovations, and Equitable Access.

American Society of Clinical Oncology educational book. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Annual Meeting, 44(3):e433138.

Genetic testing and molecular imaging have great promise in the accurate diagnosis and treatment of #prostate #cancer, but only if they can be developed and implemented to achieve equitable benefit for all men.

RevDate: 2024-05-23
CmpDate: 2024-05-23

Odebunmi OO, Hughes TD, Waters AR, et al (2024)

Findings From a National Survey of Older US Adults on Patient Willingness to Use Telehealth Services: Cross-Sectional Survey.

Journal of medical Internet research, 26:e50205 pii:v26i1e50205.

BACKGROUND: Telehealth (telemedicine and telepharmacy) services increase access to patient services and ensure continuity of care. However, few studies have assessed factors that influence patients' willingness to use telehealth services, and we sought to investigate this.

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to examine respondents' (aged between 45 and 75 years) willingness to use telehealth services (telepharmacy and telemedicine) and the correlates of the willingness to use telehealth services.

METHODS: We administered a cross-sectional national survey of 1045 noninstitutionalized US adults aged between 45 and 75 years in March and April 2021. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to identify demographic and health service use correlates of self-reported willingness to use telehealth services.

RESULTS: Overall willingness to use telemedicine was high (674/1045, 64.5%). Adults aged 55 years and older were less willing to use telemedicine (aged between 55 and 64 years: odds ratio [OR] 0.61, 95% CI 0.42-0.86; aged 65 years or older: OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.22-0.49) than those younger than 55 years. Those with a regular provider (OR 1.01, 95% CI 1-1.02) and long travel times (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.03-2.98) were more willing to use telemedicine compared to those without a regular provider and had shorter travel times, respectively. Willingness to use telemedicine services increased from 64.5% (674/1045) to 83% (867/1045) if the service was low-cost or insurance-covered, was with their existing health care provider, or was easy-to-use. Overall willingness to use telepharmacy was 76.7% (801/1045). Adults aged older than 55 years were less willing to use telepharmacy (aged between 55 and 64 years: OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.38-0.86; aged 65 years or older: OR 0.24, 95% CI 0.15-0.37) than those younger than 55 years. Those who rated pharmacy service quality higher were more willing to use telepharmacy (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.03-1.09) than those who did not.

CONCLUSIONS: Respondents were generally willing to use telehealth (telemedicine and telepharmacy) services, but the likelihood of their being willing to use telehealth decreased as they were older. For those initially unwilling (aged 55 years or older) to use telemedicine services, inexpensive or insurance-covered services were acceptable.

RevDate: 2024-05-25
CmpDate: 2024-05-23

Fisher LH, Kee JJ, Liu A, et al (2024)

SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load in the Nasopharynx at Time of First Infection Among Unvaccinated Individuals: A Secondary Cross-Protocol Analysis of 4 Randomized Trials.

JAMA network open, 7(5):e2412835.

IMPORTANCE: SARS-CoV-2 viral load (VL) in the nasopharynx is difficult to quantify and standardize across settings, but it may inform transmission potential and disease severity.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize VL at COVID-19 diagnosis among previously uninfected and unvaccinated individuals by evaluating the association of demographic and clinical characteristics, viral variant, and trial with VL, as well as the ability of VL to predict severe disease.

This secondary cross-protocol analysis used individual-level data from placebo recipients from 4 harmonized, phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine efficacy trials sponsored by Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen, and Novavax. Participants were SARS-CoV-2 negative at baseline and acquired COVID-19 during the blinded phase of the trials. The setting included the US, Brazil, South Africa, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Chile, and Mexico; start dates were July 27, 2020, to December 27, 2020; data cutoff dates were March 26, 2021, to July 30, 2021. Statistical analysis was performed from November 2022 to June 2023.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Linear regression was used to assess the association of demographic and clinical characteristics, viral variant, and trial with polymerase chain reaction-measured log10 VL in nasal and/or nasopharyngeal swabs taken at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis.

RESULTS: Among 1667 participants studied (886 [53.1%] male; 995 [59.7%] enrolled in the US; mean [SD] age, 46.7 [14.7] years; 204 [12.2%] aged 65 years or older; 196 [11.8%] American Indian or Alaska Native, 150 [9%] Black or African American, 1112 [66.7%] White; 762 [45.7%] Hispanic or Latino), median (IQR) log10 VL at diagnosis was 6.18 (4.66-7.12) log10 copies/mL. Participant characteristics and viral variant explained only 5.9% of the variability in VL. The independent factor with the highest observed differences was trial: Janssen participants had 0.54 log10 copies/mL lower mean VL vs Moderna participants (95% CI, 0.20 to 0.87 log10 copies/mL lower). In the Janssen study, which captured the largest number of COVID-19 events and variants and used the most intensive post-COVID surveillance, neither VL at diagnosis nor averaged over days 1 to 28 post diagnosis was associated with COVID-19 severity.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this study of placebo recipients from 4 randomized phase 3 trials, high variability was observed in SARS-CoV-2 VL at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis, and only a fraction was explained by individual participant characteristics or viral variant. These results suggest challenges for future studies of interventions seeking to influence VL and elevates the importance of standardized methods for specimen collection and viral load quantitation.

RevDate: 2024-05-24

Tonorezos ES, Chou JF, Moskowitz CS, et al (2024)

Risk of increased mortality in underweight survivors: A brief report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.

Pediatric blood & cancer [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Approximately 1 in 10 adult survivors of childhood cancer is underweight. Although the consequences of being overweight or obese have been well described, outcomes among childhood cancer survivors who are underweight are unknown.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether underweight status increases the risk of mortality.

PROCEDURE: Cohort study: Marginal models with generalized estimating equations to evaluate the associations between body mass index (BMI), serious or life-threatening chronic conditions, and death in the setting of long-term follow-up questionnaires and National Death Index search.

PARTICIPANTS: C.

EXPOSURE: Underweight status, defined as body mass index (BMI) < 18.5 kg/m[2] compared with ideal body weight. Based on available literature on body weight and mortality from the general population, ideal body weight was defined as BMI 22.0-24.9 kg/m[2].

MAIN OUTCOMES: Overall mortality and cancer-specific mortality.

RESULTS: Of 9454 survivors (median age 35 years old (range, 17-58), an average of 17.5 years from diagnosis), 627 (6.6%) participants were underweight at baseline or follow-up questionnaire. Of 184 deaths, 29 were among underweight survivors. Underweight status was more common among females (9.1% vs. 4.5%, p < .01) and participants with younger age at diagnosis (8.2% for < 5 years vs. 6.1% for ≥5 years, p < .01), lower household income (8.9% for < $20,000 vs. 6.0% for ≥ $20,000, p < .01), or a history of serious chronic condition (p = .05). After adjustment for these factors, in addition to prior smoking and a history of radiation therapy, the risk of all-cause mortality within two years of BMI report was increased (OR 2.85; 95% CI: 1.63-4.97; p < .01) for underweight survivors, compared with ideal-weight survivors.

CONCLUSIONS: Childhood cancer survivors who are underweight are at increased risk for late mortality that appears unrelated to smoking status, recognized chronic disease, or subsequent malignancy. Whether targeted nutritional interventions would ameliorate this risk is unknown.

RevDate: 2024-05-22
CmpDate: 2024-05-22

Kim JY, SC Partridge (2024)

Non-contrast Breast MR Imaging.

Radiologic clinics of North America, 62(4):661-678.

Considering the high cost of dynamic contrast-enhanced MR imaging and various contraindications and health concerns related to administration of intravenous gadolinium-based contrast agents, there is emerging interest in non-contrast-enhanced breast MR imaging. Diffusion-weighted MR imaging (DWI) is a fast, unenhanced technique that has wide clinical applications in breast cancer detection, characterization, prognosis, and predicting treatment response. It also has the potential to serve as a non-contrast MR imaging screening method. Standardized protocols and interpretation strategies can help to enhance the clinical utility of breast DWI. A variety of other promising non-contrast MR imaging techniques are in development, but currently, DWI is closest to clinical integration, while others are still mostly used in the research setting.

RevDate: 2024-05-22
CmpDate: 2024-05-22

Lowry KP, CC Zuiderveld (2024)

Artificial Intelligence for Breast Cancer Risk Assessment.

Radiologic clinics of North America, 62(4):619-625.

Breast cancer risk prediction models based on common clinical risk factors are used to identify women eligible for high-risk screening and prevention. Unfortunately, these models have only modest discriminatory accuracy with disparities in performance in underrepresented race and ethnicity groups. The field of artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning are rapidly advancing the field of breast cancer risk prediction with the development of mammography-based AI breast cancer risk models. Early studies suggest mammography-based AI risk models may perform better than traditional risk factor-based models with more equitable performance.

RevDate: 2024-05-22

Farhadfar N, Rashid N, Chen K, et al (2024)

Racial, Ethnic and Socioeconomic Diversity and Outcomes of Patients with Graft-versus-Host Disease: A CIBMTR Analysis.

Blood advances pii:516179 [Epub ahead of print].

Socioeconomic status (SES) and race/ethnicity have been associated with outcomes of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). Certain aspects of GVHD management such as the need for long term care, prolonged immunosuppressive treatment, and need for close follow up for complications may exacerbate disparities. Adults (≥ 18 years) reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) who underwent a first alloHCT for acute leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, or myeloproliferative neoplasm between 2008 - 2018 were included. Endpoints for those developing GVHD included overall survival (OS), transplant related mortality (TRM), and disease relapse. Models were adjusted for patient and transplant related variables. A two-sided p-value < 0.01 was considered significant. Among the 14,825 allo-HCT recipients, 6,259 (42.2%) and 6,675 (45.0%) patients developed aGVHD and cGVHD, respectively. In patients with aGVHD, non-Hispanic Blacks had increased TRM (HR 1.50, 95% CI 1.24-1.83, p=0.0001) and overall mortality (HR 1.31, 1.14-1.50, p=0.0002) compared with non-Hispanic Whites, an association that disappeared when severity of aGVHD was included in the model. Lower SES was associated with increased risk of disease relapse (p=0.0016) but not OS or TRM. In patients who developed cGVHD, race and ethnicity were not associated with OS, TRM and disease relapse. However, the highest quartile of annual household income (≥ $80,000) had improved OS (HR 0.77, 0.69-0.85, p<0.0001) and reduced TRM (HR 0.86, 0.67-0.87, p<0.0001) compared with lowest quartile, adjusting for race and ethnicity. Race/ethnicity and SES are associated with outcomes after GVHD. Optimizing health care resources available to low SES patients and strategies to minimize the risk of severe GVHD in non-Hispanic Blacks may improve long-term outcomes.

RevDate: 2024-05-24

Singal AG, Parikh ND, Shetty K, et al (2024)

Natural History of Indeterminate Liver Nodules in Patients With Advanced Liver Disease: A Multicenter Retrospective Cohort Study.

The American journal of gastroenterology pii:00000434-990000000-01151 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Indeterminate liver nodules (ILNs) are frequently encountered on diagnostic imaging after positive hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) surveillance results, but their natural history remains unclear.

METHODS: We conducted a multicenter retrospective cohort study among patients with ≥1 newly detected LI-RADS 3 (LR-3) lesion ≥1 cm or LI-RADS 4 (LR-4) lesion of any size (per LI-RADS v2018) between January 2018 and December 2019. Patients were followed with repeat imaging at each site per institutional standard of care. Multivariable Fine-Gray models were used to evaluate associations between potential risk factors and patient-level time-to-HCC diagnosis, with death and liver transplantation as competing risks.

RESULTS: Of 307 patients with ILNs, 208 had LR-3 lesions, 83 had LR-4 lesions, and 16 had both LR-3 and LR-4 lesions. HCC incidence rates for patients with LR-3 and LR-4 lesions were 110 (95% CI 70-150) and 420 (95% CI 310-560) per 1,000 person-year, respectively. In multivariable analysis, incident HCC among patients with LR-3 lesions was associated with older age, thrombocytopenia (platelet count ≤150 ×10 9 /L), and elevated serum alpha-fetoprotein levels. Among those with LR-4 lesions, incident HCC was associated with a maximum lesion diameter >1 cm. Although most patients had follow-up computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, 13.7% had no follow-up imaging and another 14.3% had follow-up ultrasound only.

DISCUSSION: ILNs have a high but variable risk of HCC, with 4-fold higher risk in patients with LR-4 lesions than those with LR-3 lesions, highlighting a need for accurate risk stratification tools and close follow-up in this population.

RevDate: 2024-05-22
CmpDate: 2024-05-22

Sun V, Thomson CA, Crane TE, et al (2024)

Baseline characteristics and recruitment for SWOG S1820: altering intake, managing bowel symptoms in survivors of rectal cancer (AIMS-RC).

Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, 32(6):371.

PURPOSE: Many survivors of rectal cancer experience persistent bowel dysfunction. There are few evidence-based symptom management interventions to improve bowel control. The purpose of this study is to describe recruitment and pre-randomization baseline sociodemographic, health status, and clinical characteristics for SWOG S1820, a trial of the Altering Intake, Managing Symptoms in Rectal Cancer (AIMS-RC) intervention.

METHODS: SWOG S1820 aimed to determine the preliminary efficacy, feasibility, and acceptability of AIMS-RC, a symptom management intervention for bowel health, comparing intervention to attention control. Survivors with a history of cancers of the rectosigmoid colon or rectum, within 6-24 months of primary treatment completion, with a post-surgical permanent ostomy or anastomosis, and over 18 years of age were enrolled. Outcomes included total bowel function, low anterior resection syndrome, quality of life, motivation for managing bowel health, self-efficacy for managing symptoms, positive and negative affect, and study feasibility and acceptability.

RESULTS: The trial completed accrual over a 29-month period and enrolled 117 participants from 34 institutions across 17 states and one US Pacific territory. At baseline, most enrolled participants reported self-imposed diet adjustments after surgery, persistent dietary intolerances, and bowel discomfort post-treatment, with high levels of constipation and diarrhea (grades 1-4).

CONCLUSIONS: SWOG S1820 was able to recruit, in a timely manner, a study cohort that is demographically representative of US survivors of rectal cancer. Baseline characteristics illustrate the connection between diet/eating and bowel symptoms post-treatment, with many participants reporting diet adjustments and persistent inability to be comfortable with dietary intake.

GOV REGISTRATION DATE: 12/19/2019.

GOV IDENTIFIER: NCT#04205955.

RevDate: 2024-05-22

Lyman GH, NM Kuderer (2024)

Artificial Intelligence in Cancer Clinical Research: II. Development and Validation of Clinical Prediction Models.

RevDate: 2024-05-23

Hoellerbauer P, Kufeld M, Arora S, et al (2024)

FBXO42 activity is required to prevent mitotic arrest, spindle assembly checkpoint activation and lethality in glioblastoma and other cancers.

NAR cancer, 6(2):zcae021.

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and aggressive brain tumor in adults. To identify genes differentially required for the viability of GBM stem-like cells (GSCs), we performed functional genomic lethality screens comparing GSCs and control human neural stem cells. Among top-scoring hits in a subset of GBM cells was the F-box-containing gene FBXO42, which was also predicted to be essential in ∼15% of cell lines derived from a broad range of cancers. Mechanistic studies revealed that, in sensitive cells, FBXO42 activity prevents chromosome alignment defects, mitotic cell cycle arrest and cell death. The cell cycle arrest, but not the cell death, triggered by FBXO42 inactivation could be suppressed by brief exposure to a chemical inhibitor of Mps1, a key spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) kinase. FBXO42's cancer-essential function requires its F-box and Kelch domains, which are necessary for FBXO42's substrate recognition and targeting by SCF (SKP1-CUL1-F-box protein) ubiquitin ligase complex. However, none of FBXO42's previously proposed targets, including ING4, p53 and RBPJ, were responsible for the observed phenotypes. Instead, our results suggest that FBOX42 alters the activity of one or more proteins that perturb chromosome-microtubule dynamics in cancer cells, which in turn leads to induction of the SAC and cell death.

RevDate: 2024-05-23

Bryce AH, Crawford ED, Agarwal N, et al (2024)

Expert Perspectives on Controversies in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Management: Narrative Review and Report of the First US Prostate Cancer Conference Part 2.

JU open plus, 2(4):.

BACKGROUND: Management strategies for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) have rapidly shifted in recent years. As novel imaging and therapeutic approaches have made their way to the clinic, providers are encountering increasingly challenging clinical scenarios, with limited guidance from the current literature.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The US Prostate Cancer Conference (USPCC) is a multidisciplinary meeting of prostate cancer experts intended to address the many challenges of prostate cancer management. At the first annual USPCC meeting, areas of controversy and consensus were identified during a 2-day meeting that included expert presentations, full-panel discussions, and postdiscussion responses to questions developed by the USPCC cochairs and session moderators.

RESULTS: This narrative review covers the USPCC expert discussion and perspectives relevant to mCRPC, including neuroendocrine/aggressive-variant prostate cancer (NEPC/AVPC). Areas of broad agreement identified among USPCC experts include the benefits of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors for patients with BRCA1/2 mutations, the use of radioligand therapy in patients with prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-positive mCRPC, and the need for clinical trials that address real-world clinical questions, including the performance of novel therapies when compared with modern standard-of-care treatment. Ongoing areas of controversy and uncertainty included the appropriateness of PARP inhibitors in patients with non-BRCA1/2 mutations, the optimal definition of PSMA positivity, and systemic therapies for patients with NEPC/AVPC after progression on platinum-based therapies.

CONCLUSIONS: The first annual USPCC meeting identified several areas of controversy in the management of mCRPC, highlighting the urgent need for clinical trials designed to facilitate treatment selection and sequencing in this heterogeneous disease state.

RevDate: 2024-05-23

Crawford ED, Bryce AH, Hussain MH, et al (2024)

Expert Perspectives on Controversies in Castration-Sensitive Prostate Cancer Management: Narrative Review and Report of the First US Prostate Cancer Conference Part 1.

JU open plus, 2(4):.

PURPOSE: Castration-sensitive prostate cancer (CSPC) is a complex and heterogeneous condition encompassing a range of clinical presentations. As new approaches have expanded management options, clinicians are left with myriad questions and controversies regarding the optimal individualized management of CSPC.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The US Prostate Cancer Conference (USPCC) multidisciplinary panel was assembled to address the challenges of prostate cancer management. The first annual USPCC meeting included experts in urology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, and nuclear medicine. USPCC co-chairs and session moderators identified key areas of controversy and uncertainty in prostate cancer management and organized the sessions with multidisciplinary presentations and discussion. Throughout the meeting, experts responded to questions prepared by chairs and moderators to identify areas of agreement and controversy.

RESULTS: The USPCC panel discussion and question responses for CSPC-related topics are presented. Key advances in CSPC management endorsed by USPCC experts included the development and clinical utilization of gene expression classifiers and artificial intelligence (AI) models for risk stratification and treatment selection in specific patient populations, the use of advanced imaging modalities in patients with clinically localized unfavorable intermediate or high-risk disease and those with biochemical recurrence, recommendations of doublet or triplet therapy for metastatic CSPC (mCSPC), and consideration of prostate and/or metastasis-directed radiation therapy in select patients with mCSPC.

CONCLUSIONS: CSPC is a diverse disease with many therapeutic options and the potential for adverse outcomes associated with either undertreatment or overtreatment. Future studies are needed to validate and clinically integrate novel technologies, including genomics, AI, and advanced imaging, to optimize outcomes among patients with CSPC.

RevDate: 2024-05-23

Wang CY, de Dieu Tapsoba J, Duggan C, et al (2024)

Generalized Linear Models with Covariate Measurement Error and Zero-Inflated Surrogates.

Mathematics (Basel, Switzerland), 12(2):.

Epidemiological studies often encounter a challenge due to exposure measurement error when estimating an exposure-disease association. A surrogate variable may be available for the true unobserved exposure variable. However, zero-inflated data are encountered frequently in the surrogate variables. For example, many nutrient or physical activity measures may have a zero value (or a low detectable value) among a group of individuals. In this paper, we investigate regression analysis when the observed surrogates may have zero values among some individuals of the whole study cohort. A naive regression calibration without taking into account a probability mass of the surrogate variable at 0 (or a low detectable value) will be biased. We developed a regression calibration estimator which typically can have smaller biases than the naive regression calibration estimator. We propose an expected estimating equation estimator which is consistent under the zero-inflated surrogate regression model. Extensive simulations show that the proposed estimator performs well in terms of bias correction. These methods are applied to a physical activity intervention study.

RevDate: 2024-05-21

Rathje K, Gagelmann N, Salit RB, et al (2024)

Anti-T-lymphocyte globulin improves GvHD-free and relapse-free survival in myelofibrosis after matched related or unrelated donor transplantation.

Bone marrow transplantation [Epub ahead of print].

Acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) are major complications of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT). In vivo T-cell depletion with anti-T-lymphocyte globulin (ATLG) as part of the conditioning regimen prior to alloHCT is frequently used as GvHD prophylaxis, but data on its role in myelofibrosis is scarce. We took advantage of an international collaborative network to investigate the impact of ATLG in myelofibrosis undergoing first alloHCT. We included 707 patients (n = 469 ATLG and n = 238 non-ATLG prophylaxis). The cumulative incidence of acute GvHD grade II-IV was 30% for the ATLG group vs. 56% for the non-ATLG group (P < 0.001). Acute GvHD grade III-IV occurred in 20% vs. 25%, respectively (P = 0.01). Incidence of mild-to-severe chronic GvHD was 49% vs. 50% (P = 0.52), while ATLG showed significantly lower rates of severe chronic GvHD (7% vs. 18%; P = 0.04). GvHD-free and relapse-free survival (GRFS) at 6 years was 45% for the ATLG group vs. 37% for the non-ATLG group (P = 0.02), driven by significantly improved GRFS of ATLG in matched related and matched unrelated donors. No significant differences in risk for relapse, non-relapse mortality, and overall survival were observed. Multivariable modeling for GRFS showed a 48% reduced risk of GvHD, relapse, or death when using ATLG.

RevDate: 2024-05-21

Geczik AM, Michels KA, Anderson GL, et al (2024)

Associations of tubal ligation and hysterectomy with serum androgen and estrogen metabolites among postmenopausal women in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study.

Cancer causes & control : CCC [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: Hysterectomy is associated with subsequent changes in circulating hormone levels, but the evidence of an association for tubal ligation is unclear. We evaluated whether circulating concentrations of androgens and estrogens differ by tubal ligation or hysterectomy status in postmenopausal women from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI)-Observational Study (OS).

METHODS: Serum androgens and estrogens were measured in 920 postmenopausal women who did not use menopausal hormone therapy at the time of blood draw, of whom 139 self-reported a history of tubal ligation and 102 reported hysterectomy (with intact ovaries). Geometric mean hormone concentrations (GMs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) associated with a history of tubal ligation or hysterectomy (ever/never), as well as time since procedures, were estimated using adjusted linear regression with inverse probability of sampling weights to account for selection.

RESULTS: Circulating levels of 12 androgen/androgen metabolites and 20 estrogen/estrogen metabolites did not differ by tubal ligation status. Among women reporting prior hysterectomy compared to women without hysterectomy, we observed lower levels of several androgens (e.g., testosterone (nmol/L): GMyes 0.46 [95% CI:0.37-0.57] vs. GMno 0.62 [95% CI:0.53-0.72]) and higher levels of estrogen metabolites, for example, 2-hydroxyestrone-3-methyl ether (GMyes 11.1 [95% CI:8.95-13.9] pmol/L vs. GMno 8.70 [95% CI:7.38-10.3]) and 4-methoxyestrone (GMyes 6.50 [95% CI:5.05-8.37] vs. GMno 4.92 [95% CI:4.00-6.05]).

CONCLUSION: While we did not observe associations between prior tubal ligation and postmenopausal circulating hormone levels, our findings support that prior hysterectomy was associated with lower circulating testosterone levels and higher levels of some estrogen metabolites, which may have implications for future hormone-related disease risks.

RevDate: 2024-05-21

Chihana R, Jin Kee J, Moodie Z, et al (2024)

Factors associated with reactogenicity to an investigational HIV vaccine regimen in HIV vaccine trials network 702.

Vaccine pii:S0264-410X(24)00598-X [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Reactogenicity informs vaccine safety, and may influence vaccine uptake. We evaluated factors associated with reactogenicity in HVTN 702, a typical HIV vaccine efficacy trial with multiple doses and products.

METHODS: HVTN 702, a phase 2b/3 double-blind placebo-controlled trial, randomized 5404 African participants aged 18-35 years without HIV to placebo, or ALVAC-HIV (vCP2438) at months 0, 1 and ALVAC-HIV (vCP2438) + Bivalent Subtype C gp120/MF59 at months 3, 6, 12 and 18. Using multivariate logistic regression, we evaluated associations between reactogenicity with clinical, sociodemographic and laboratory variables.

RESULTS: More vaccine than placebo-recipients reported local symptoms (all p < 0.001), arthralgia (p = 0.008), chills (p = 0.012) and myalgia (p < 0.001). Reactogenicity was associated with female sex at birth (ORv = 2.50, ORp = 1.81, both p < 0.001) and geographic region. Amongst vaccine-recipients, each year of age was associated with 3 % increase in reactogenicity (OR = 1.03, p = 0.002).

CONCLUSION: Vaccine receipt, female sex at birth, older age, and region may affect reactogenicity.

RevDate: 2024-05-23
CmpDate: 2024-05-23

Sinicrope FA, Nelson GD, Saberzadeh-Ardestani B, et al (2024)

Use of Deep Learning to Evaluate Tumor Microenvironmental Features for Prediction of Colon Cancer Recurrence.

Cancer research communications, 4(5):1344-1350.

UNLABELLED: Deep learning may detect biologically important signals embedded in tumor morphologic features that confer distinct prognoses. Tumor morphologic features were quantified to enhance patient risk stratification within DNA mismatch repair (MMR) groups using deep learning. Using a quantitative segmentation algorithm (QuantCRC) that identifies 15 distinct morphologic features, we analyzed 402 resected stage III colon carcinomas [191 deficient (d)-MMR; 189 proficient (p)-MMR] from participants in a phase III trial of FOLFOX-based adjuvant chemotherapy. Results were validated in an independent cohort (176 d-MMR; 1,094 p-MMR). Association of morphologic features with clinicopathologic variables, MMR, KRAS, BRAFV600E, and time-to-recurrence (TTR) was determined. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were developed to predict TTR. Tumor morphologic features differed significantly by MMR status. Cancers with p-MMR had more immature desmoplastic stroma. Tumors with d-MMR had increased inflammatory stroma, epithelial tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL), high-grade histology, mucin, and signet ring cells. Stromal subtype did not differ by BRAFV600E or KRAS status. In p-MMR tumors, multivariable analysis identified tumor-stroma ratio (TSR) as the strongest feature associated with TTR [HRadj 2.02; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.14-3.57; P = 0.018; 3-year recurrence: 40.2% vs. 20.4%; Q1 vs. Q2-4]. Among d-MMR tumors, extent of inflammatory stroma (continuous HRadj 0.98; 95% CI, 0.96-0.99; P = 0.028; 3-year recurrence: 13.3% vs. 33.4%, Q4 vs. Q1) and N stage were the most robust prognostically. Association of TSR with TTR was independently validated. In conclusion, QuantCRC can quantify morphologic differences within MMR groups in routine tumor sections to determine their relative contributions to patient prognosis, and may elucidate relevant pathophysiologic mechanisms driving prognosis.

SIGNIFICANCE: A deep learning algorithm can quantify tumor morphologic features that may reflect underlying mechanisms driving prognosis within MMR groups. TSR was the most robust morphologic feature associated with TTR in p-MMR colon cancers. Extent of inflammatory stroma and N stage were the strongest prognostic features in d-MMR tumors. TIL density was not independently prognostic in either MMR group.

RevDate: 2024-05-21
CmpDate: 2024-05-21

Ramaswami R, TS Uldrick (2024)

Reflecting the Real World of Cancer Care - The Impact of Broadening Trial Eligibility.

NEJM evidence, 3(4):EVIDe2400011.

RevDate: 2024-05-21
CmpDate: 2024-05-21

Sankar K, Redman MW, Dragnev KH, et al (2024)

Pragmaticism in Cancer Clinical Trials.

American Society of Clinical Oncology educational book. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Annual Meeting, 44(3):e100040.

Clinical trials are essential for advancing oncology treatment strategies and have contributed significantly to the decline in cancer mortality rates over the past decades. Traditional explanatory trials, focused on establishing intervention efficacy in ideal settings, often lack generalizability and may not reflect real-world patient care scenarios. Furthermore, increasing complexity in cancer clinical trial design has led to challenges such as protocol deviations, slow enrollment leading to lengthened durations of trial, and escalating costs. By contrast, pragmatic trials aim to assess intervention effectiveness in more representative patient populations under routine clinical conditions. Here, we review the principles, methodologies, challenges, and advantages of incorporating pragmatic features (PFs) into cancer clinical trials. We illustrate the application of pragmatic trial designs in oncology and discuss the QUASAR collaborative, TAPUR study, and the ongoing PRAGMATICA-LUNG trial. Although not all oncology trials may be amenable to adopting fully pragmatic designs, integration of PFs when feasible will enhance trial generalizability and real-world applicability. Project Pragmatica and similar initiatives advocate for the integration of real-world practice with clinical trials, fostering a nuanced approach to oncology research that balances efficacy and effectiveness assessments, ultimately with a goal of improving patient outcomes.

RevDate: 2024-05-21

Heldman MR, Greninger AL, JA Hill (2024)

The iciHHV-6 sense: sensing the source and relevance of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) DNA in the transplant recipient with inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6.

The Journal of infectious diseases pii:7678872 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2024-05-21

Phan T, Kumar L, Woo M, et al (2024)

Evaluation of the Tasso+ blood self-collection device for quantitation of plasma cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNAemia in adult solid organ transplant recipients (SOTr).

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

UNLABELLED: Quantitative monitoring of cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNAemia in venous blood is standard in solid organ transplant recipients (SOTr) but is limited by the need for phlebotomy facilities and personnel. The aim of the study was to evaluate the Tasso+ capillary blood (CB) self-collection device for quantitation of plasma CMV DNAemia. Thirty adult SOTr with suspected CMV DNAemia were enrolled to have a supervised Tasso+ CB sample collection within 24 h of a venous sample. CMV DNA was quantitated in paired samples by using the Abbott M2000 Real-Time qPCR instrument. The participants were provided with a study-specific survey that measured patient acceptability of the Tasso+ device compared with venipuncture. A Tasso + CB sample was successfully collected in 28/30 (93%) patients, and 44 paired samples were analyzed. Concordance for detection of CMV DNAemia above the limit of detection (LOD) was 91% (42/44), and the Tasso + CB sample was estimated to be 95% sensitive at a viral load (VL) of 308 IU/mL. Among samples with a quantifiable DNAemia result with both methods (N = 31), there was excellent correlation between methods (Spearman R[2] = 0.99). The difference in CMV VL between venous and Tasso+ CB samples was not dependent on time (P > 0.1). Of 12 who completed the survey, 11 (92%) expressed a preference for Tasso+ CB collection over venipuncture. Collection of CB with the Tasso+ device is feasible, patient-acceptable, and yields generally comparable CMV DNAemia load to standard venous samples, but with lower sensitivity. Future studies to optimize and evaluate this methodology for patient self-collected samples are warranted.

IMPORTANCE: We evaluate an FDA-cleared blood self-collection device (Tasso+) and demonstrate that it is patient-acceptable and yields a liquid blood sample with quantitative CMV DNAemia results comparable to those of standard venipuncture samples. This opens up possibilities for self-blood collection to monitor for CMV and potentially other viruses in transplant and other at-risk populations.

RevDate: 2024-05-22

Yoke LH, Boeckh M, AM Beieler (2024)

Integrating Infectious Disease Advanced Practice Providers in the Workforce: An Educational Step Forward.

Open forum infectious diseases, 11(5):ofae232.

RevDate: 2024-05-21

Kockerols C, Valk PJM, Dulucq S, et al (2024)

BCR::ABL1 digital PCR for treatment-free remission prediction in chronic myeloid leukemia patients: An individual participant data meta-analysis.

RevDate: 2024-05-21

Alsouqi A, Ahmed G, Wang J, et al (2024)

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy in secondary central nervous system lymphoma: A multicenter analysis.

RevDate: 2024-05-20

Portuguese AJ, Yeh AC, Banerjee R, et al (2024)

Optimizing Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Multiple Myeloma: The Impact of Intensive Chemomobilization.

Transplantation and cellular therapy pii:S2666-6367(24)00413-5 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Most transplant-eligible multiple myeloma (MM) patients undergo autologous peripheral blood stem cell collection (PBSC) using G-CSF with on-demand plerixafor (G±P). Chemomobilization (CM) can be used as a salvage regimen after G±P failure or for debulking residual tumor burden ahead of autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Prior studies utilizing cyclophosphamide-based CM have not shown long-term benefit.

OBJECTIVES: At our center, intensive CM (ICM) using a PACE- or HyperCVAD-based regimen has been used to mitigate "excessive" residual disease based on plasma cell burden or MM-related biomarkers. Given the lack of efficacy of non-intensive CM, we sought to determine the impact of ICM on event-free survival (EFS), defined as death, progressive disease, or unplanned treatment escalation.

STUDY DESIGN: We performed a retrospective study of newly diagnosed MM patients who collected autologous PBSCs with the intent to proceed immediately to ASCT at our center between 7/2020 and 2/2023. Patients were excluded if they underwent a tandem autologous or sequential autologous-allogeneic transplant, had primary plasma cell leukemia, received non-ICM treatment (i.e., cyclophosphamide and/or etoposide), or had previously failed G±P mobilization. To appropriately evaluate the impact of ICM among those who potentially could have received it, we utilized a propensity score matching (PSM) approach whereby ICM patients were compared to a cohort of non-CM patients matched on pre-ASCT factors most strongly associated with the receipt of ICM.

RESULTS: Of 451 patients identified, 61 (13.5%) received ICM (PACE-based, n=45; hyper-CVAD-based, n=16). Post-ICM/pre-ASCT, 11 patients (18%) required admission for neutropenic fever and/or infection. Among 51 evaluable patients, the overall response rate was 31%; however, 46 of 55 evaluable patients (84%) saw a reduction in M-spike and/or involved FLCs. Among those evaluated with longitudinal peripheral blood flow cytometry (n=8), 5 patients (63%) cleared circulating blood PCs post-ICM. Compared to patients mobilized with non-CM, ICM patients collected a slightly greater median number of CD34[+] cells (10.8 vs 10.2 × 10⁶/kg, p=.018). The median follow-up was 30.6 months post-ASCT. In a PSM multivariable analysis, ICM was associated with significantly improved EFS (HR 0.30, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.67, p=.003), but not improved OS (HR 0.38, 95% CI 0.10 to 1.44, p=.2). ICM was associated with longer post-ASCT inpatient duration (+4.1 days, 95% CI, 2.4 to 5.8, p<.001), more febrile days (+0.96 days, 95% CI 0.50 to 1.4, p<.001), impaired platelet engraftment (HR 0.23, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.87, p=.031), more bacteremia (OR 3.41, 95% CI 1.20 to 9.31, p=.018), and increased antibiotic usage (cefepime: +2.3 doses, 95% CI 0.39 to 4.1, p=.018; vancomycin: +1.0 doses, 95% CI 0.23 to 1.8, p=.012).

CONCLUSIONS: ICM was independently associated with improved EFS in a matched analysis involving MM patients with excessive disease burden at pre-ASCT workup. This benefit came at the cost of longer inpatient duration, more febrile days, greater incidence of bacteremia, and increased antibiotic usage in the immediate post-ASCT setting. Our findings suggest that ICM could be considered for a subset of MM patients, but its use must be weighed carefully against additional toxicity.

RevDate: 2024-05-20
CmpDate: 2024-05-20

Chow EJ, Lynch JB, Zerr DM, et al (2024)

Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic: Updating Our Approach to Masking in Health Care Facilities.

Annals of internal medicine, 177(5):689.

RevDate: 2024-05-22

Snedeker J, Davis BEM, Ranjan R, et al (2024)

Reduced Levels of Lagging Strand Polymerases Shape Stem Cell Chromatin.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.

Stem cells display asymmetric histone inheritance while non-stem progenitor cells exhibit symmetric patterns in the Drosophila male germline lineage. Here, we report that components involved in lagging strand synthesis, such as DNA polymerase α and δ (Polα and Polδ), have significantly reduced levels in stem cells compared to progenitor cells. Compromising Polα genetically induces the replication-coupled histone incorporation pattern in progenitor cells to be indistinguishable from that in stem cells, which can be recapitulated using a Polα inhibitor in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, stem cell-derived chromatin fibers display a higher degree of old histone recycling by the leading strand compared to progenitor cell-derived chromatin fibers. However, upon reducing Polα levels in progenitor cells, the chromatin fibers now display asymmetric old histone recycling just like GSC-derived fibers. The old versus new histone asymmetry is comparable between stem cells and progenitor cells at both S-phase and M-phase. Together, these results indicate that developmentally programmed expression of key DNA replication components is important to shape stem cell chromatin. Furthermore, manipulating one crucial DNA replication component can induce replication-coupled histone dynamics in non-stem cells in a manner similar to that in stem cells.

RevDate: 2024-05-20

Steinbach G (2024)

The Physician's Calling and Science Promote Health Equity and Outcomes.

JAMA pediatrics pii:2818962 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2024-05-20

Rashidi A, Ebadi M, Rehman TU, et al (2024)

Multi-omics analysis of a fecal microbiota transplantation trial identifies novel aspects of acute graft-versus-host disease pathogenesis.

Cancer research communications pii:745421 [Epub ahead of print].

Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a major complication of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) associated with gut microbiota disruptions. However, whether therapeutic microbiota modulation prevents aGVHD is unknown. We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of third-party fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) administered at the peak of microbiota injury in 100 patients with acute myeloid leukemia receiving induction chemotherapy and alloHCT recipients. Despite improvements in microbiome diversity, expansion of commensals, and shrinkage of potential pathogens, aGVHD occurred more frequently after FMT than placebo. Although this unexpected finding could be explained by clinical differences between the two arms, we asked whether a microbiota explanation might be also present. To this end, we performed multi-omics analysis of pre- and post-intervention gut microbiome and serum metabolome. We found that post-intervention expansion of Faecalibacterium, a commensal genus with gut-protective and anti-inflammatory properties under homeostatic conditions, predicted a higher risk for aGVHD. Faecalibacterium expansion occurred predominantly after FMT and was due to engraftment of unique donor taxa, suggesting that donor Faecalibacterium-derived antigens might have stimulated allogeneic immune cells. Faecalibacterium and ursodeoxycholic acid (an anti-inflammatory secondary bile acid) were negatively correlated, offering an alternative mechanistic explanation. In conclusion, we demonstrate context dependence of microbiota effects where a normally beneficial bacteria may become detrimental in disease. While FMT is a broad, community-level intervention, it may need precision engineering in ecologically complex settings where multiple perturbations (e.g. antibiotics, intestinal damage, alloimmunity) are concurrently in effect.

RevDate: 2024-05-21
CmpDate: 2024-05-20

Savonen C, Wright C, Hoffman A, et al (2023)

Motivation, inclusivity, and realism should drive data science education.

F1000Research, 12:1240.

Data science education provides tremendous opportunities but remains inaccessible to many communities. Increasing the accessibility of data science to these communities not only benefits the individuals entering data science, but also increases the field's innovation and potential impact as a whole. Education is the most scalable solution to meet these needs, but many data science educators lack formal training in education. Our group has led education efforts for a variety of audiences: from professional scientists to high school students to lay audiences. These experiences have helped form our teaching philosophy which we have summarized into three main ideals: 1) motivation, 2) inclusivity, and 3) realism. 20 we also aim to iteratively update our teaching approaches and curriculum as we find ways to better reach these ideals. In this manuscript we discuss these ideals as well practical ideas for how to implement these philosophies in the classroom.

RevDate: 2024-05-19

Koehne EL, Bakaloudi DR, Ghali F, et al (2024)

Adjuvant Chemotherapy and Survival After Radical Cystectomy in Histologic Subtype Bladder Cancer.

Clinical genitourinary cancer pii:S1558-7673(24)00071-5 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: Patients with histologic subtype bladder cancer (HSBC) suffer worse outcomes than those with conventional urothelial carcinoma (UC). We sought to characterize the use of adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) in HSBC after radical cystectomy (RC) using the National Cancer Database (NCDB).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively queried the NCDB (2006-2019) for patients with non-metastatic bladder cancer (BC) who underwent RC (N = 45,797). Patients were stratified by histologic subtype and receipt of AC. Multivariable logistic regression determined associations of demographic and clinicopathologic features with receipt of AC. Multivariable Cox regression evaluated associations between receipt of any AC and overall survival (OS).

RESULTS: We identified 4,469 patients with HSBC classified as squamous, adenocarcinoma, small cell, sarcomatoid, micropapillary, or plasmacytoid. Squamous comprised 31% of the HSBC cohort, followed by small cells and micropapillary. Black patients were presented with a higher prevalence of adenocarcinoma (119/322, 37.0%). Use of AC was highest in plasmacytoid and small cell (30% each) and lowest in squamous (11%). Neuroendocrine histology was independently associated with greater odds of receiving AC (HR 1.6, 95% CI 1.37-1.87), while squamous cell histology was associated with lower odds (HR 0.61, 95% CI 0.53-0.71). On multivariable Cox regression analysis, treatment with AC was associated with significantly longer OS (HR 0.69, 95% CI 0.59-0.81) and for squamous, sarcomatoid, and micropapillary cohorts after stratified by subtype.

CONCLUSIONS: AC was variably used among patients with HSBC and was associated with OS benefit in such patients.

RevDate: 2024-05-19

Lugossy AM, Anton K, Dako F, et al (2024)

Building Radiology Equity: Themes from the 2023 RAD-AID Conference on International Radiology and Global Health.

Journal of the American College of Radiology : JACR pii:S1546-1440(24)00441-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) are significantly impacted by the global scarcity of medical imaging services. Medical imaging is an essential component for diagnosis and guided treatment, which is needed to meet the current challenges of increasing chronic diseases and preparedness for acute-care response. We present some key themes essential for improving global health equity which were discussed at the 2023 RAD-AID Conference on International Radiology and Global Health. They include: (i) capacity-building, (ii) artificial intelligence (AI), (iii) community-based patient navigation, (iv) organizational design for multidisciplinary global health strategy, (v) implementation science, and (vi) innovation. Although not exhaustive, these themes should be considered influential as we guide and expand global health radiology programs in LMICs in the coming years.

RevDate: 2024-05-19

Atallah R, Ahmed N, Ayoobkhan F, et al (2024)

TACTUM: Trends in Access to Cellular Therapies in Multiple Myeloma, Perspectives of Treating versus Referring Physicians.

Transplantation and cellular therapy pii:S2666-6367(24)00408-1 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2024-05-19

Zych MG, EM Hatch (2024)

Small spaces, big problems: The abnormal nucleoplasm of micronuclei and its consequences.

Current opinion in structural biology, 87:102839 pii:S0959-440X(24)00066-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Micronuclei (MN) form from missegregated chromatin that recruits its own nuclear envelope during mitotic exit and are a common consequence of chromosomal instability. MN are unstable due to errors in nuclear envelope organization and frequently rupture, leading to loss of compartmentalization, loss of nuclear functions, and major changes in genome stability and gene expression. However, recent work found that, even prior to rupture, nuclear processes can be severely defective in MN, which may contribute to rupture-associated defects and have lasting consequences for chromatin structure and function. In this review we discuss work that highlights nuclear function defects in intact MN, including their mechanisms and consequences, and how biases in chromosome missegregation into MN may affect the penetrance of these defects. Illuminating the nuclear environment of MN demonstrates that MN formation alone has major consequences for both the genome and cell and provides new insight into how nuclear content is regulated.

RevDate: 2024-05-18

Kim R, Tehfe M, Kavan P, et al (2024)

Pembrolizumab Plus mFOLFOX7 or FOLFIRI for Microsatellite Stable/Mismatch Repair-Proficient Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: KEYNOTE-651 Cohorts B and D.

Clinical colorectal cancer pii:S1533-0028(24)00023-9 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The phase 1b KEYNOTE-651 study evaluated pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy in microsatellite stable or mismatch repair-proficient metastatic colorectal cancer.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with microsatellite stable or mismatch repair-proficient metastatic colorectal cancer received pembrolizumab 200 mg every 3 weeks plus 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, oxaliplatin (previously untreated; cohort B) or 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan (previously treated with fluoropyrimidine plus oxaliplatin; cohort D) every 2 weeks. Primary end point was safety; investigator-assessed objective response rate per RECIST v1.1 was secondary and biomarker analysis was exploratory.

RESULTS: Thirty-one patients were enrolled in cohort B and 32 in cohort D; median follow-up was 30.2 and 33.5 months, respectively. One dose-limiting toxicity (grade 3 small intestine obstruction) occurred in cohort D. In cohort B, grade 3 or 4 treatment-related adverse events (AEs) occurred in 18 patients (58%), most commonly neutropenia and decreased neutrophil count (n = 5 each). In cohort D, grade 3 or 4 treatment-related AEs occurred in 17 patients (53%), most commonly neutropenia (n = 7). No grade 5 treatment-related AEs occurred. Objective response rate was 61% in cohort B (KRAS wildtype: 71%; KRAS mutant: 53%) and 25% in cohort D (KRAS wildtype: 47%; KRAS mutant: 6%). In both cohorts, PD-L1 combined positive score and T-cell-inflamed gene expression profiles were higher and HER2 expression was lower in responders than nonresponders. No association between tumor mutational burden and response was observed.

CONCLUSION: Pembrolizumab plus 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, oxaliplatin/5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan demonstrated an acceptable AE profile. Efficacy data appeared comparable with current standard of care (including by KRAS mutation status). Biomarker analyses were hypothesis-generating, warranting further exploration.

GOV IDENTIFIER: ClinicalTrials.gov; NCT03374254.

RevDate: 2024-05-18

Ober Shepherd BL, Scott PT, Hutter JN, et al (2024)

SARS-CoV-2 recombinant spike ferritin nanoparticle vaccine adjuvanted with Army Liposome Formulation containing monophosphoryl lipid A and QS-21: a phase 1, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, first-in-human clinical trial.

The Lancet. Microbe pii:S2666-5247(23)00410-X [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: A self-assembling SARS-CoV-2 WA-1 recombinant spike ferritin nanoparticle (SpFN) vaccine co-formulated with Army Liposomal Formulation (ALFQ) adjuvant containing monophosphoryl lipid A and QS-21 (SpFN/ALFQ) has shown protective efficacy in animal challenge models. This trial aims to assess the safety and immunogenicity of SpFN/ALFQ in a first-in-human clinical trial.

METHODS: In this phase 1, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, first-in-human clinical trial, adults were randomly assigned (5:5:2) to receive 25 μg or 50 μg of SpFN/ALFQ or saline placebo intramuscularly at day 1 and day 29, with an optional open-label third vaccination at day 181. Enrolment and randomisation occurred sequentially by group; randomisation was done by an interactive web-based randomisation system and only designated unmasked study personnel had access to the randomisation code. Adults were required to be seronegative and unvaccinated for inclusion. Local and systemic reactogenicity, adverse events, binding and neutralising antibodies, and antigen-specific T-cell responses were quantified. For safety analyses, exact 95% Clopper-Pearson CIs for the probability of any incidence of an unsolicited adverse event was computed for each group. For immunogenicity results, CIs for binary variables were computed using the exact Clopper-Pearson methodology, while CIs for geometric mean titres were based on 10 000 empirical bootstrap samples. Post-hoc, paired one-sample t tests were used to assess the increase in mean log-10 neutralising antibody titres between day 29 and day 43 (after the second vaccination) for the primary SARS-CoV-2 targets of interest. This trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04784767, and is closed to new participants.

FINDINGS: Between April 7, and June 29, 2021, 29 participants were enrolled in the study. 20 individuals were assigned to receive 25 μg SpFN/ALFQ, four to 50 μg SpFN/ALFQ, and five to placebo. Neutralising antibody responses peaked at day 43, 2 weeks after the second dose. Neutralisation activity against multiple omicron subvariants decayed more slowly than against the D614G or beta variants until 5 months after second vaccination for both dose groups. CD4[+] T-cell responses were elicited 4 weeks after the first dose and were boosted after a second dose of SpFN/ALFQ for both dose groups. Neutralising antibody titres against early omicron subvariants and clade 1 sarbecoviruses were detectable after two immunisations and peaked after the third immunisation for both dose groups. Neutralising antibody titres against XBB.1.5 were detected after three vaccinations. Passive IgG transfer from vaccinated volunteers into Syrian golden hamsters controlled replication of SARS-CoV-1 after challenge.

INTERPRETATION: SpFN/ALFQ was well tolerated and elicited robust and durable binding antibody and neutralising antibody titres against a broad panel of SARS-CoV-2 variants and other sarbecoviruses.

FUNDING: US Department of Defense, Defense Health Agency.

RevDate: 2024-05-18

Williams WB, Alam SM, Ofek G, et al (2024)

Vaccine induction of heterologous HIV-1-neutralizing antibody B cell lineages in humans.

Cell pii:S0092-8674(24)00459-8 [Epub ahead of print].

A critical roadblock to HIV vaccine development is the inability to induce B cell lineages of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) in humans. In people living with HIV-1, bnAbs take years to develop. The HVTN 133 clinical trial studied a peptide/liposome immunogen targeting B cell lineages of HIV-1 envelope (Env) membrane-proximal external region (MPER) bnAbs (NCT03934541). Here, we report MPER peptide-liposome induction of polyclonal HIV-1 B cell lineages of mature bnAbs and their precursors, the most potent of which neutralized 15% of global tier 2 HIV-1 strains and 35% of clade B strains with lineage initiation after the second immunization. Neutralization was enhanced by vaccine selection of improbable mutations that increased antibody binding to gp41 and lipids. This study demonstrates proof of concept for rapid vaccine induction of human B cell lineages with heterologous neutralizing activity and selection of antibody improbable mutations and outlines a path for successful HIV-1 vaccine development.

RevDate: 2024-05-21

Simon S, Bugos G, Prins R, et al (2024)

Sensitive bispecific chimeric T cell receptors for cancer therapy.

Research square.

The expression of a synthetic chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) to redirect antigen specificity of T cells is transforming the treatment of hematological malignancies and autoimmune diseases [1-7]. In cancer, durable efficacy is frequently limited by the escape of tumors that express low levels or lack the target antigen [8-12]. These clinical results emphasize the need for immune receptors that combine high sensitivity and multispecificity to improve outcomes. Current mono- and bispecific CARs do not faithfully recapitulate T cell receptor (TCR) function and require high antigen levels on tumor cells for recognition [13-17]. Here, we describe a novel synthetic chimeric TCR (ChTCR) that exhibits superior antigen sensitivity and is readily adapted for bispecific targeting. Bispecific ChTCRs mimic TCR structure, form classical immune synapses, and exhibit TCR-like proximal signaling. T cells expressing Bi-ChTCRs more effectively eliminated tumors with heterogeneous antigen expression in vivo compared to T cells expressing optimized bispecific CARs. The Bi-ChTCR architecture is resilient and can be designed to target multiple B cell lineage and multiple myeloma antigens. Our findings identify a broadly applicable approach for engineering T cells to target hematologic malignancies with heterogeneous antigen expression, thereby overcoming the most frequent mechanism of relapse after current CAR T therapies.

RevDate: 2024-05-18

Sheward DJ, Pushparaj P, Das H, et al (2024)

Structural basis of broad SARS-CoV-2 cross-neutralization by affinity-matured public antibodies.

Cell reports. Medicine pii:S2666-3791(24)00269-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Descendants of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant now account for almost all SARS-CoV-2 infections. The Omicron variant and its sublineages have spike glycoproteins that are highly diverged from the pandemic founder and first-generation vaccine strain, resulting in significant evasion from monoclonal antibody therapeutics and vaccines. Understanding how commonly elicited antibodies can broaden to cross-neutralize escape variants is crucial. We isolate IGHV3-53, using "public" monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from an individual 7 months post infection with the ancestral virus and identify antibodies that exhibit potent and broad cross-neutralization, extending to the BA.1, BA.2, and BA.4/BA.5 sublineages of Omicron. Deep mutational scanning reveals these mAbs' high resistance to viral escape. Structural analysis via cryoelectron microscopy of a representative broadly neutralizing antibody, CAB-A17, in complex with the Omicron BA.1 spike highlights the structural underpinnings of this broad neutralization. By reintroducing somatic hypermutations into a germline-reverted CAB-A17, we delineate the role of affinity maturation in the development of cross-neutralization by a public class of antibodies.

RevDate: 2024-05-18

Sandfort TGM, Kreniske P, Mbeda C, et al (2024)

Interest in I-PrEP and Willingness to Participate in Clinical Trials Among Men and Transfeminine Persons Who have Sex with Men in Sub-Saharan Africa: Quantitative and Qualitative Findings from HPTN 075.

AIDS and behavior [Epub ahead of print].

This study explored interest in injectable PrEP (I-PrEP) and willingness to participate in clinical trials testing new biomedical HIV prevention strategies among men and transfeminine persons who have sex with men (MSM & TGP), using data collected in the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 075 study, which took place at sites in Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa. Data result from a survey among 267 18-44 years old HIV negative participants, complemented with semi-structured interviews with 80 purposively recruited persons. Correlations coefficients were calculated to identify demographic and psychosocial factors associated with interest in I-PrEP. Qualitative interviews were analyzed using concept-driven and subsequent data-driven coding. Most surveyed participants expressed an interest in I-PrEP. Quantitatively, only being interested in other HIV prevention measures was associated with interest in I-PrEP. Qualitatively, most participants preferred I-PrEP to O-PrEP and remained interested in I-PrEP despite barriers such as the somewhat invasive nature of the procedure and potential side effects of I-PrEP. Interest in I-PrEP was driven by the possibility of avoiding sexual or HIV stigma. Access to healthcare and altruism-such as assisting in the development of new HIV prevention methods-positively impacted willingness to participate in clinical trials. With I-PrEP favored by most participants, it is potentially a critical tool to prevent HIV infection among MSM & TGP in sub-Saharan Africa, with the mitigation of stigma as a major advance. Recruitment of MSM & TGP in biobehavioral clinical trials seems feasible, with altruistic reasons and receiving I-PrEP and free medical care as major motivators.

RevDate: 2024-05-20

Ajkunic A, Sayar E, Roudier MP, et al (2024)

Assessment of TROP2, CEACAM5 and DLL3 in metastatic prostate cancer: Expression landscape and molecular correlates.

NPJ precision oncology, 8(1):104.

Therapeutic approaches targeting proteins on the surface of cancer cells have emerged as an important strategy for precision oncology. To capitalize on the potential impact of drugs targeting surface proteins, detailed knowledge about the expression patterns of the target proteins in tumor tissues is required. In castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), agents targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) have demonstrated clinical activity. However, PSMA expression is lost in a significant number of CRPC tumors. The identification of additional cell surface targets is necessary to develop new therapeutic approaches. Here, we performed a comprehensive analysis of the expression heterogeneity and co-expression patterns of trophoblast cell-surface antigen 2 (TROP2), delta-like ligand 3 (DLL3), and carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 5 (CEACAM5) in CRPC samples from a rapid autopsy cohort. We show that DLL3 and CEACAM5 exhibit the highest expression in neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC), while TROP2 is expressed across different CRPC molecular subtypes, except for NEPC. We further demonstrated that AR alterations were associated with higher expression of PSMA and TROP2. Conversely, PSMA and TROP2 expression was lower in RB1-altered tumors. In addition to genomic alterations, we show a tight correlation between epigenetic states, particularly histone H3 lysine 27 methylation (H3K27me3) at the transcriptional start site and gene body of TACSTD2 (encoding TROP2), DLL3, and CEACAM5, and their respective protein expression in CRPC patient-derived xenografts. Collectively, these findings provide insights into patterns and determinants of expression of TROP2, DLL3, and CEACAM5 with implications for the clinical development of cell surface targeting agents in CRPC.

RevDate: 2024-05-17

Othus M, Freidlin B, EL Korn (2024)

Avoiding Delays in Reporting Time-to-Event Randomized Trials: Calendar Backstops and Other Approaches.

Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology [Epub ahead of print].

New oncology therapies that extend patients' lives beyond initial expectations and improving later-line treatments can lead to complications in clinical trial design and conduct. In particular, for trials with event-based analyses, the time to observe all the protocol-specified events can exceed the finite follow-up of a clinical trial or can lead to much delayed release of outcome data. With the advent of multiple classes of oncology therapies leading to much longer survival than in the past, this issue in clinical trial design and conduct has become increasingly important in recent years. We propose a straightforward prespecified backstop rule for trials with a time-to-event analysis and evaluate the impact of the rule with both simulated and real-world trial data. We then provide recommendations for implementing the rule across a range of oncology clinical trial settings.

RevDate: 2024-05-17

Guo X, Ping J, Yang Y, et al (2024)

Large-scale alternative polyadenylation-wide association studies to identify putative cancer susceptibility genes.

Cancer research pii:745418 [Epub ahead of print].

Alternative polyadenylation (APA) modulates mRNA processing in the 3' untranslated regions (3' UTR), affecting mRNA stability and translation efficiency. Research into genetically regulated APA has the potential to provide insights into cancer risk. Herein, we conducted large alternative polyadenylation-wide association studies (APA-WAS) to investigate associations of APA levels with cancer risk. Genetic models were built to predict APA levels in multiple tissues using genotype and RNA-sequencing data from 1,337 samples from the Genotype-Tissue Expression Project. Associations of genetically predicted APA levels with cancer risk were assessed by applying the prediction models to data from large genome-wide association studies of six common cancers among European-ancestry populations, including breast, ovary, prostate, colorectum, lung, and pancreas. A total of 58 risk genes (corresponding to 76 APA sites) were associated with at least one type of cancer, including 25 genes previously not linked to cancer susceptibility. Of the identified risk APAs, 97.4% and 26.3% were supported by 3' UTR APA quantitative trait loci and co-localization analyses, respectively. Luciferase reporter assays for four selected putative regulatory 3' UTR variants demonstrated that the risk alleles of 3' UTR variants, rs324015 (STAT6), rs2280503 (DIP2B), rs1128450 (FBXO38), and rs145220637 (LDHA), significantly increased the post-transcriptional activities of their target genes compared to reference alleles. Furthermore, knockdown of the target genes confirmed their ability to promote proliferation and migration. Overall, this study provides insights into the role of APA in the genetic susceptibility to common cancers.

RevDate: 2024-05-17
CmpDate: 2024-05-17

Smith-Peavler E, Sircy LM, Nelson DE, et al (2024)

Two Methods of Measuring Cryptococcus neoformans Fungal Burden in Macrophages.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2775:211-221.

The ability of C. neoformans to survive and replicate within host phagocytes enables it to evade the immune system and allows for persistence of the infection. As such, measuring fungal burden of C. neoformans strains-and indeed how drug treatments can influence fungal burden-provides important information about C. neoformans pathogenesis. In this chapter, we describe two methods that may be used to appraise fungal burden: a standard end-point colony-formation assay for calculating the average number of yeast per host cell and a fluorescence microscopy-based method that may be used to measure changes in fungal burden in individual living macrophages in real time.

RevDate: 2024-05-19
CmpDate: 2024-05-17

Huang YH, Loftfield E, Argirion I, et al (2024)

Association of tea and coffee consumption and biliary tract cancer risk: The Biliary Tract Cancers Pooling Project.

Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.), 79(6):1324-1336.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Tea and coffee are widely consumed beverages worldwide. We evaluated their association with biliary tract cancer (BTC) incidence.

APPROACH AND RESULTS: We pooled data from 15 studies in the Biliary Tract Cancers Pooling Project to evaluate associations between tea and coffee consumption and biliary tract cancer development. We categorized participants as nondrinkers (0 cup/day), moderate drinkers (>0 and <3 cups/day), and heavy drinkers (≥3 cups/day). We estimated multivariable HRs and 95% CIs using Cox models. During 29,911,744 person-years of follow-up, 851 gallbladder, 588 intrahepatic bile duct, 753 extrahepatic bile duct, and 458 ampulla of Vater cancer cases were diagnosed. Individuals who drank tea showed a statistically significantly lower incidence rate of gallbladder cancer (GBC) relative to tea nondrinkers (HR=0.77; 95% CI, 0.64-0.91), and intrahepatic bile duct cancer (IHBDC) had an inverse association (HR=0.81; 95% CI, 0.66-1.00). However, no associations were observed for extrahepatic bile duct cancer (EHBDC) or ampulla of Vater cancer (AVC). In contrast, coffee consumption was positively associated with GBC, with a higher incidence rate for individuals consuming more coffee (HR<3 cups/day =1.29; 95% CI, 1.01-1.66; HR≥3 cups/day =1.49; 95% CI, 1.11-1.99, Ptrend=0.01) relative to coffee nondrinkers. However, there was no association between coffee consumption and GBC when restricted to coffee drinkers. There was little evidence of associations between coffee consumption and other biliary tract cancers.

CONCLUSIONS: Tea consumption was associated with a lower incidence of GBC and possibly IHBDC. Further research is warranted to replicate the observed positive association between coffee and GBC.

RevDate: 2024-05-19
CmpDate: 2024-05-17

Gelderblom HC, Corey L, DH Barouch (2024)

The potential of broadly neutralizing antibodies for HIV prevention.

Journal of the International AIDS Society, 27(5):e26257.

RevDate: 2024-05-17

Kim JH, Schulte AJ, Sarver AL, et al (2024)

Hemangiosarcoma Cells Promote Conserved Host-Derived Hematopoietic Expansion.

Cancer research communications pii:745407 [Epub ahead of print].

Hemangiosarcoma and angiosarcoma are soft-tissue sarcomas of blood vessel-forming cells in dogs and humans, respectively. These vasoformative sarcomas are aggressive and highly metastatic, with disorganized, irregular blood-filled vascular spaces. Our objective was to define molecular programs which support the niche that enables progression of canine hemangiosarcoma and human angiosarcoma. Dog-in-mouse hemangiosarcoma xenografts recapitulated the vasoformative and highly angiogenic morphology and molecular characteristics of primary tumors. Blood vessels in the tumors were complex and disorganized, and they were lined by both donor and host cells. In a series of xenografts, we observed that the transplanted hemangiosarcoma cells created exuberant myeloid hyperplasia and gave rise to lymphoproliferative tumors of mouse origin. Our functional analyses indicate that hemangiosarcoma cells generate a microenvironment that supports expansion and differentiation of hematopoietic progenitor populations. Furthermore, gene expression profiling data revealed hemangiosarcoma cells expressed a repertoire of hematopoietic cytokines capable of regulating the surrounding stromal cells. We conclude that canine hemangiosarcomas, and possibly human angiosarcomas, maintain molecular properties that provide hematopoietic support and facilitate stromal reactions, suggesting their potential involvement in promoting the growth of hematopoietic tumors.

RevDate: 2024-05-18

Wittenauer R, Shah PD, Bacci JL, et al (2024)

Locations and characteristics of pharmacy deserts in the United States: a geospatial study.

Health affairs scholar, 2(4):qxae035.

Pharmacies are important health care access points, but no national map currently exists of where pharmacy deserts are located. This cross-sectional study used pharmacy address data and Census Bureau surveys to define pharmacy deserts at the census tract level in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. We also compared sociodemographic characteristics of pharmacy desert vs non-pharmacy desert communities. Nationally, 15.8 million (4.7%) of all people in the United States live in pharmacy deserts, spanning urban and rural settings in all 50 states. On average, communities that are pharmacy deserts have a higher proportion of people who have a high school education or less, have no health insurance, have low self-reported English ability, have an ambulatory disability, and identify as a racial or ethnic minority. While, on average, pharmacies are the most accessible health care setting in the United States, many people still do not have access to them. Further, the people living in pharmacy deserts are often marginalized groups who have historically faced structural barriers to health care. This study demonstrates a need to improve access to pharmacies and pharmacy services to advance health equity.

RevDate: 2024-05-16

Ronsley R, Karvonen KA, Cole B, et al (2024)

Detection of tumor-derived cell-free DNA in cerebrospinal fluid using a clinically validated targeted sequencing panel for pediatric brain tumors.

Journal of neuro-oncology [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: Clinical sequencing of tumor DNA is necessary to render an integrated diagnosis and select therapy for children with primary central nervous system (CNS) tumors, but neurosurgical biopsy is not without risk. In this study, we describe cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) as sources for "liquid biopsy" in pediatric brain tumors.

METHODS: CSF samples were collected by lumbar puncture, ventriculostomy, or surgery from pediatric patients with CNS tumors. Following extraction, CSF-derived cfDNA was sequenced using UW-OncoPlex™, a clinically validated next-generation sequencing platform. CSF-derived cfDNA results and paired plasma and tumor samples concordance was also evaluated.

RESULTS: Seventeen CSF samples were obtained from 15 pediatric patients with primary CNS tumors. Tumor types included medulloblastoma (n = 7), atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (n = 2), diffuse midline glioma with H3 K27 alteration (n = 4), pilocytic astrocytoma (n = 1), and pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (n = 1). CSF-derived cfDNA was detected in 9/17 (53%) of samples, and sufficient for sequencing in 8/10 (80%) of extracted samples. All somatic mutations and copy-number variants were also detected in matched tumor tissue, and tumor-derived cfDNA was absent in plasma samples and controls. Tumor-derived cfDNA alterations were detected in the absence of cytological evidence of malignant cells in as little as 200 µl of CSF. Several clinically relevant alterations, including a KIAA1549::BRAF fusion were detected.

CONCLUSIONS: Clinically relevant genomic alterations are detectable using CSF-derived cfDNA across a range of pediatric brain tumors. Next-generation sequencing platforms are capable of producing a high yield of DNA alterations with 100% concordance rate with tissue analysis.

RevDate: 2024-05-16

McQuade E, Sánchez H, Hidalgo J, et al (2024)

HIV Risk Behaviors and the Use of Geosocial Networking Dating Apps among Men Who have Sex with Men and Transgender Women in Lima, Peru: a Cross-Sectional Study.

AIDS and behavior [Epub ahead of print].

Geosocial networking dating apps (GSN apps) are an increasingly widespread technology used by populations throughout the world to facilitate sexual encounters. Studies from a variety of settings suggest a possible association between GSN app use and HIV risk behaviors, including among sexual and gender minority populations such as men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TW). However, it remains unclear to what extent GSN apps play a causal role. We explored the relationship between GSN app use and sexual risk behaviors among MSM and TW in Lima, Peru by analyzing data from a multi-site cross-sectional survey assessing both general and partner-specific sexual behaviors. We performed bivariate analysis to estimate the association of GSN app use with different individual and partner-specific factors, then fit multivariable regression models adjusting for age and education. Among 741 total participants (698 MSM, 43 TW), 64% met at least one sex partner in the prior three months using a GSN app. GSN app users were significantly more likely to report engaging in HIV risk behaviors in general, including condomless receptive anal sex, group sex, transactional sex, and sex under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Having condomless anal sex with a given partner was not associated with meeting that partner via GSN app. These findings highlight GSN app users as a particularly vulnerable subpopulation among MSM and TW in Lima. GSN apps could provide a useful vehicle for targeted HIV prevention efforts for priority populations in Peru.

RevDate: 2024-05-18
CmpDate: 2024-05-16

Perofsky AC, Hansen CL, Burstein R, et al (2024)

Impacts of human mobility on the citywide transmission dynamics of 18 respiratory viruses in pre- and post-COVID-19 pandemic years.

Nature communications, 15(1):4164.

Many studies have used mobile device location data to model SARS-CoV-2 dynamics, yet relationships between mobility behavior and endemic respiratory pathogens are less understood. We studied the effects of population mobility on the transmission of 17 endemic viruses and SARS-CoV-2 in Seattle over a 4-year period, 2018-2022. Before 2020, visits to schools and daycares, within-city mixing, and visitor inflow preceded or coincided with seasonal outbreaks of endemic viruses. Pathogen circulation dropped substantially after the initiation of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders in March 2020. During this period, mobility was a positive, leading indicator of transmission of all endemic viruses and lagging and negatively correlated with SARS-CoV-2 activity. Mobility was briefly predictive of SARS-CoV-2 transmission when restrictions relaxed but associations weakened in subsequent waves. The rebound of endemic viruses was heterogeneously timed but exhibited stronger, longer-lasting relationships with mobility than SARS-CoV-2. Overall, mobility is most predictive of respiratory virus transmission during periods of dramatic behavioral change and at the beginning of epidemic waves.

RevDate: 2024-05-16
CmpDate: 2024-05-16

Flaig TW, Spiess PE, Abern M, et al (2024)

Bladder Cancer, Version 3.2024.

Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network : JNCCN, 22(4):216-225.

Bladder cancer, the sixth most common cancer in the United States, is most commonly of the urothelial carcinoma histologic subtype. The clinical spectrum of bladder cancer is divided into 3 categories that differ in prognosis, management, and therapeutic aims: (1) non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC); (2) muscle invasive, nonmetastatic disease; and (3) metastatic bladder cancer. These NCCN Guidelines Insights detail recent updates to the NCCN Guidelines for Bladder Cancer, including changes in the fifth edition of the WHO Classification of Tumours: Urinary and Male Genital Tumours and how the NCCN Guidelines aligned with these updates; new and emerging treatment options for bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)-unresponsive NMIBC; and updates to systemic therapy recommendations for advanced or metastatic disease.

RevDate: 2024-05-16
CmpDate: 2024-05-16

Riely GJ, Wood DE, Ettinger DS, et al (2024)

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Version 4.2024.

Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network : JNCCN, 22(4):249-274.

The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) provide recommendations for the treatment of patients with NSCLC, including diagnosis, primary disease management, surveillance for relapse, and subsequent treatment. The panel has updated the list of recommended targeted therapies based on recent FDA approvals and clinical data. This selection from the NCCN Guidelines for NSCLC focuses on treatment recommendations for advanced or metastatic NSCLC with actionable molecular biomarkers.

RevDate: 2024-05-16
CmpDate: 2024-05-16

Shields AF, DL Chen (2024)

Positron Emission Tomography Imaging of Tumor Proliferation and DNA Repair.

Cancer journal (Sudbury, Mass.), 30(3):170-175.

Positron emission tomography (PET) is an established tool for molecular imaging of cancers, and its role in diagnosis, staging, and phenotyping continues to evolve and expand rapidly. PET imaging of increased glucose utilization with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose is now entrenched in clinical oncology practice for improving prognostication and treatment response assessment. Additional critical processes for cancer cell survival can also be imaged by PET, helping to inform individualized treatment selections for patients by improving our understanding of cell survival mechanisms and identifying relevant active mechanisms in each patient. The critical importance of quantifying cell proliferation and DNA repair pathways for prognosis and treatment selection is highlighted by the nearly ubiquitous use of the Ki-67 index, an established histological quantitative measure of cell proliferation, and BRCA mutation testing for treatment selection. This review focuses on PET advances in imaging and quantifying cell proliferation and poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase expression that can be used to complement cancer phenotyping approaches that will identify the most effective treatments for each individual patient.

RevDate: 2024-05-16
CmpDate: 2024-05-16

Pidala J, Carpenter PA, Onstad L, et al (2024)

Study protocol: Close Assessment and Testing for Chronic Graft-vs.-Host disease (CATCH).

PloS one, 19(5):e0298026.

Chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is an immune-mediated disorder that causes significant late morbidity and mortality following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. The "Close Assessment and Testing for Chronic GVHD (CATCH)" study is a multi-center Chronic GVHD Consortium prospective, longitudinal cohort study designed to enroll patients before hematopoietic cell transplantation and follow them closely to capture the development of chronic GVHD and to identify clinical and biologic biomarkers of chronic GVHD onset. Data are collected pre-transplant and every two months through one-year post-transplant with chart review thereafter. Evaluations include clinician assessment of chronic GVHD and its manifestations, patient-reported outcomes, multiple biospecimens (blood, saliva, tears, buccal mucosa and fecal samples, biopsies of skin and mouth), laboratory testing, and medical record abstraction. This report describes the rationale, design, and methods of the CATCH study, and invites collaboration with other investigators to leverage this resource. trial registration: This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT04188912.

RevDate: 2024-05-16
CmpDate: 2024-05-16

Hoffman AM, C Wright (2024)

Ten simple rules for teaching an introduction to R.

PLoS computational biology, 20(5):e1012018.

RevDate: 2024-05-16

Bodansky A, Yu DJ, Rallistan AN, et al (2024)

Unveiling the proteome-wide autoreactome enables enhanced evaluation of emerging CAR-T therapies in autoimmunity.

The Journal of clinical investigation pii:180012 [Epub ahead of print].

Given the global surge in autoimmune diseases, it is critical to evaluate emerging therapeutic interventions. Despite numerous new targeted immunomodulatory therapies, comprehensive approaches to apply and evaluate the effects of these treatments longitudinally are lacking. Here, we leveraged advances in programmable-phage immunoprecipitation (PhIP-Seq) methodology to explore the modulation, or lack thereof, of autoantibody profiles, proteome-wide, in both health and disease. Using a custom set of over 730,000 human derived peptides, we demonstrated that each individual, regardless of disease state, possesses a distinct and complex constellation of autoreactive antibodies. For each individual, the set of resulting autoreactivites constituted a unique immunological fingerprint, or "autoreactome," that was remarkably stable over years. Using the autoreactome as a primary output, we evaluated the relative effectiveness of various immunomodulatory therapies in altering autoantibody repertoires. We found that therapies targeting B-Cell Maturation Antigen (BCMA) profoundly altered an individual's autoreactome, while anti-CD19 and CD20 therapies had minimal effects. These data both confirm that the autoreactome is comprised of autoantibodies secreted by plasma cells, and strongly suggest that BCMA or other plasma cell targeting therapies may be highly effective in treating currently refractory autoantibody mediated diseases.

RevDate: 2024-05-16
CmpDate: 2024-05-16

Banerjee R, JR Mikhael (2024)

How can we stamp out high-risk myeloma?.

Blood, 143(20):2015-2016.

RevDate: 2024-05-15
CmpDate: 2024-05-16

Han S, Phasouk K, Zhu J, et al (2024)

Optimizing deep learning-based segmentation of densely packed cells using cell surface markers.

BMC medical informatics and decision making, 24(1):124.

BACKGROUND: Spatial molecular profiling depends on accurate cell segmentation. Identification and quantitation of individual cells in dense tissues, e.g. highly inflamed tissue caused by viral infection or immune reaction, remains a challenge.

METHODS: We first assess the performance of 18 deep learning-based cell segmentation models, either pre-trained or trained by us using two public image sets, on a set of immunofluorescence images stained with immune cell surface markers in skin tissue obtained during human herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection. We then further train eight of these models using up to 10,000+ training instances from the current image set. Finally, we seek to improve performance by tuning parameters of the most successful method from the previous step.

RESULTS: The best model before fine-tuning achieves a mean Average Precision (mAP) of 0.516. Prediction performance improves substantially after training. The best model is the cyto model from Cellpose. After training, it achieves an mAP of 0.694; with further parameter tuning, the mAP reaches 0.711.

CONCLUSION: Selecting the best model among the existing approaches and further training the model with images of interest produce the most gain in prediction performance. The performance of the resulting model compares favorably to human performance. The imperfection of the final model performance can be attributed to the moderate signal-to-noise ratio in the imageset.

RevDate: 2024-05-15

Wang TP, Ahn KW, Shadman M, et al (2024)

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell infusion for large B-cell lymphoma in complete remission: a center for international blood and marrow transplant research analysis.

Leukemia [Epub ahead of print].

CD19 CAR T-cell (CAR-T) therapy is commonly administered to patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphomas (LBCL), but salvage or bridging therapy can sometimes lead to a complete response (CR) prior to infusion. Limited studies have assessed the outcomes of patients infused in CR. A total of 134 patients with LBCL in CR prior to CAR-T infusion were identified from the CIBMTR registry, with median prior lines of therapy of 3 (range 2-9). At two years post-infusion, the probability of progression-free survival was 43.5% (95% CI 34.4-52.8) and the probability of overall survival was 63.8% (95% CI 54.4-72.6). The cumulative incidence rates of non-relapse mortality and relapse/progression at two years were 9.2% (95% CI 4.5-15.4) and 47.3% (95% CI 38.2-56.6), respectively. The rate of grade 3 or higher cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS) were 2.2% and 8.2%, respectively. In summary, CAR-T in heavily pretreated patients with LBCL who are in CR following two or more lines of prior therapy demonstrate that a subset of patients may remain free of progression at two years. Additionally, the toxicity profile was impressive with very low rates of grade 3 CRS and ICANS.

RevDate: 2024-05-15

Papadimitriou N, Kim A, Kawaguchi ES, et al (2024)

Genome-wide interaction study of dietary intake of fibre, fruits, and vegetables with risk of colorectal cancer.

EBioMedicine, 104:105146 pii:S2352-3964(24)00181-6 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Consumption of fibre, fruits and vegetables have been linked with lower colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. A genome-wide gene-environment (G × E) analysis was performed to test whether genetic variants modify these associations.

METHODS: A pooled sample of 45 studies including up to 69,734 participants (cases: 29,896; controls: 39,838) of European ancestry were included. To identify G × E interactions, we used the traditional 1--degree-of-freedom (DF) G × E test and to improve power a 2-step procedure and a 3DF joint test that investigates the association between a genetic variant and dietary exposure, CRC risk and G × E interaction simultaneously.

FINDINGS: The 3-DF joint test revealed two significant loci with p-value <5 × 10[-8]. Rs4730274 close to the SLC26A3 gene showed an association with fibre (p-value: 2.4 × 10[-3]) and G × fibre interaction with CRC (OR per quartile of fibre increase = 0.87, 0.80, and 0.75 for CC, TC, and TT genotype, respectively; G × E p-value: 1.8 × 10[-7]). Rs1620977 in the NEGR1 gene showed an association with fruit intake (p-value: 1.0 × 10[-8]) and G × fruit interaction with CRC (OR per quartile of fruit increase = 0.75, 0.65, and 0.56 for AA, AG, and GG genotype, respectively; G × E -p-value: 0.029).

INTERPRETATION: We identified 2 loci associated with fibre and fruit intake that also modify the association of these dietary factors with CRC risk. Potential mechanisms include chronic inflammatory intestinal disorders, and gut function. However, further studies are needed for mechanistic validation and replication of findings.

FUNDING: National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. Full funding details for the individual consortia are provided in acknowledgments.

RevDate: 2024-05-15

Di M, Su CT, Cowan AJ, et al (2024)

Mitigating time toxicity in lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

Leukemia & lymphoma [Epub ahead of print].

The concept of time toxicity in oncology refers to the presence of frequent healthcare-related interactions that can interfere with patient well-being. In this review, we examine several manifestations of time toxicity in non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma and discuss their impact on decision-making with patients. For example, time toxicity may influence the choice of chemoimmunotherapy versus lenalidomide-rituximab in follicular lymphoma. In myeloma, it may inform the optimal dosing schedule for proteasome inhibitors and bisphosphonates. In both malignancies, varying time toxicity profiles are a key distinction between chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies and bispecific antibodies. We outline the challenges with measuring time toxicity as a trial endpoint but discuss its importance as a consideration for patient care, both in standard-of-care settings and in clinical trials. Throughout the review, we highlight strategies to lower the time toxicity of therapies in lymphoma and myeloma without compromising their efficacy or patient safety.

RevDate: 2024-05-15

Harris HR, Davis CP, KL Terry (2024)

Epidemiologic Methods to Advance Our Understanding of Ovarian Cancer Risk.

RevDate: 2024-05-15
CmpDate: 2024-05-15

Luk IS, Bridgwater CM, Yu A, et al (2024)

SRC inhibition enables formation of a growth suppressive MAGI1-PP2A complex in isocitrate dehydrogenase-mutant cholangiocarcinoma.

Science translational medicine, 16(747):eadj7685.

Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is an aggressive bile duct malignancy that frequently exhibits isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH1/IDH2) mutations. Mutant IDH (IDHm) ICC is dependent on SRC kinase for growth and survival and is hypersensitive to inhibition by dasatinib, but the molecular mechanism underlying this sensitivity is unclear. We found that dasatinib reduced p70 S6 kinase (S6K) and ribosomal protein S6 (S6), leading to substantial reductions in cell size and de novo protein synthesis. Using an unbiased phosphoproteomic screen, we identified membrane-associated guanylate kinase, WW, and PDZ domain containing 1 (MAGI1) as an SRC substrate in IDHm ICC. Biochemical and functional assays further showed that SRC inhibits a latent tumor-suppressing function of the MAGI1-protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) complex to activate S6K/S6 signaling in IDHm ICC. Inhibiting SRC led to activation and increased access of PP2A to dephosphorylate S6K, resulting in cell death. Evidence from patient tissue and cell line models revealed that both intrinsic and extrinsic resistance to dasatinib is due to increased phospho-S6 (pS6). To block pS6, we paired dasatinib with the S6K/AKT inhibitor M2698, which led to a marked reduction in pS6 in IDHm ICC cell lines and patient-derived organoids in vitro and substantial growth inhibition in ICC patient-derived xenografts in vivo. Together, these results elucidated the mechanism of action of dasatinib in IDHm ICC, revealed a signaling complex regulating S6K phosphorylation independent of mTOR, suggested markers for dasatinib sensitivity, and described a combination therapy for IDHm ICC that may be actionable in the clinic.

RevDate: 2024-05-15

Jiang MZ, Gaynor SM, Li X, et al (2024)

Whole genome sequencing based analysis of inflammation biomarkers in the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) consortium.

Human molecular genetics pii:7673535 [Epub ahead of print].

Inflammation biomarkers can provide valuable insight into the role of inflammatory processes in many diseases and conditions. Sequencing based analyses of such biomarkers can also serve as an exemplar of the genetic architecture of quantitative traits. To evaluate the biological insight, which can be provided by a multi-ancestry, whole-genome based association study, we performed a comprehensive analysis of 21 inflammation biomarkers from up to 38 465 individuals with whole-genome sequencing from the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program (with varying sample size by trait, where the minimum sample size was n = 737 for MMP-1). We identified 22 distinct single-variant associations across 6 traits-E-selectin, intercellular adhesion molecule 1, interleukin-6, lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 activity and mass, and P-selectin-that remained significant after conditioning on previously identified associations for these inflammatory biomarkers. We further expanded upon known biomarker associations by pairing the single-variant analysis with a rare variant set-based analysis that further identified 19 significant rare variant set-based associations with 5 traits. These signals were distinct from both significant single variant association signals within TOPMed and genetic signals observed in prior studies, demonstrating the complementary value of performing both single and rare variant analyses when analyzing quantitative traits. We also confirm several previously reported signals from semi-quantitative proteomics platforms. Many of these signals demonstrate the extensive allelic heterogeneity and ancestry-differentiated variant-trait associations common for inflammation biomarkers, a characteristic we hypothesize will be increasingly observed with well-powered, large-scale analyses of complex traits.

RevDate: 2024-05-15

Mo G, Lee SY, Coffey DG, et al (2024)

Long-term Remissions Following CD20-directed Chimeric Antigen Receptor Adoptive T cell Therapy.

Blood cancer discovery pii:745329 [Epub ahead of print].

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy produces high response rates in refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), but long-term data are minimal to date. Here, we present long-term follow-up of a pilot trial testing a CD20-targeting 3rd generation CAR in patients with relapsed B-cell lymphomas following cyclophosphamide-only lymphodepletion. Two of the 3 patients in the trial, with mantle cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma, had remissions lasting more than 7 years, though they ultimately relapsed. The absence of B cell aplasia in both patients suggested a lack of functional CAR T cell persistence, leading to the hypothesis that endogenous immune responses were responsible for these long remissions. Correlative immunologic analyses supported this hypothesis, with evidence of new humoral and cellular anti-tumor immune responses proximal to clinical response time points. Collectively, our results suggest that CAR T cell therapy may facilitate epitope spreading and endogenous immune response formation in lymphomas.

RevDate: 2024-05-14

Zhou T, Zhang R, Jia D, et al (2024)

GAGE-seq concurrently profiles multiscale 3D genome organization and gene expression in single cells.

Nature genetics [Epub ahead of print].

The organization of mammalian genomes features a complex, multiscale three-dimensional (3D) architecture, whose functional significance remains elusive because of limited single-cell technologies that can concurrently profile genome organization and transcriptional activities. Here, we introduce genome architecture and gene expression by sequencing (GAGE-seq), a scalable, robust single-cell co-assay measuring 3D genome structure and transcriptome simultaneously within the same cell. Applied to mouse brain cortex and human bone marrow CD34[+] cells, GAGE-seq characterized the intricate relationships between 3D genome and gene expression, showing that multiscale 3D genome features inform cell-type-specific gene expression and link regulatory elements to target genes. Integration with spatial transcriptomic data revealed in situ 3D genome variations in mouse cortex. Observations in human hematopoiesis unveiled discordant changes between 3D genome organization and gene expression, underscoring a complex, temporal interplay at the single-cell level. GAGE-seq provides a powerful, cost-effective approach for exploring genome structure and gene expression relationships at the single-cell level across diverse biological contexts.

RevDate: 2024-05-14

Boonyaratanakornkit J, Wang Q, Nader A, et al (2024)

The effect of gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease and diarrhea on the pharmacokinetic profile of sotrovimab in hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients.

The Journal of infectious diseases pii:7667555 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are utilized broadly to treat cancer and infectious diseases, and mAb exposure (serum concentration over time) is one predictor of overall treatment efficacy. Herein, we present findings from a clinical trial evaluating the pharmacokinetics (PK) of the long-acting mAb sotrovimab targeting SARS-CoV-2 in hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients.

METHODS: All participants received an intravenous infusion of sotrovimab within one week prior to initiating the pre-transplant preparative regimen. The serum concentration of sotrovimab was measured longitudinally for up to 24 weeks post-transplant.

RESULTS: Compared to non-HCT participants, we found that mAb clearance was 10% and 26% higher in autologous and allogeneic HCT recipients, respectively. Overall sotrovimab exposure was approximately 15% lower in HCT recipients compared to non-HCT recipients. Exposure was significantly reduced in HCT recipients who developed diarrhea and lower gastrointestinal (GI) graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) post-transplant.

CONCLUSIONS: These data show that sotrovimab exposure may be reduced in HCT recipients, possibly related to increased GI clearance in patients with GVHD. This phenomenon has implications for dose selection and duration of efficacy with sotrovimab and potentially other mAbs in this vulnerable patient population. Thus, mAb dose regimens developed in non-HCT populations may have to be optimized when applied to HCT populations.

RevDate: 2024-05-14

Epplein M, McCall SJ, Wang F, et al (2024)

Prevalence of the cagA Virulence Factor Varies by Race among H. pylori-infected Patients Undergoing Upper Endoscopy.

Clinical and translational gastroenterology pii:01720094-990000000-00259 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: We designed a race-conscious study to assess the presence of Helicobacter pylori (Hp) virulence factor cagA in a retrospective cohort of patients with active Hp infection.

METHODS: We compared cagA status by race in gastric tissue samples from 473 patients diagnosed with active Hp infection from 2015-2019.

RESULTS: Hp+ Black patients were two times more likely to be cagA+ than Hp+ White patients (82% vs. 36%, P < .0001).

DISCUSSION: Presence of cagA is common among endoscopy patients with active Hp infection; appropriate testing and treatment of Hp can both reduce gastric cancer risk and address health disparities.

RevDate: 2024-05-14

Kirchhoff AC, Waters AR, Liu Q, et al (2024)

Health insurance among survivors of childhood cancer following affordable care act implementation.

Journal of the National Cancer Institute pii:7671104 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased private non-employer health insurance options, expanded Medicaid eligibility, and provided pre-existing health conditions protections. We evaluated insurance coverage among long-term adult survivors of childhood cancer pre/post-ACA implementation.

METHODS: Using the multicenter Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, we included participants from two cross-sectional surveys: pre-ACA (2007-2009; survivors: N = 7,505; siblings: N = 2,175) and post-ACA (2017-2019; survivors: N = 4,030; siblings: N = 987). A subset completed both surveys (1,840 survivors; 646 siblings). Multivariable regression models compared post-ACA insurance coverage and type (private/public/uninsured) between survivors and siblings and identified associated demographic and clinical factors. Multinomial models compared gaining and losing insurance vs staying the same among survivors and siblings who participated in both surveys.

RESULTS: The proportion with insurance was higher post-ACA (survivors pre-ACA 89.1% to post-ACA 92.0% [+2.9%]; siblings pre-ACA 90.9% to post-ACA 95.3% [+4.4%]). Post-ACA insurance coverage was greater among those age 18-25 (survivors: 15.8% vs < 2.3% ages 26+; siblings +17.8% vs < 4.2% ages 26+). Survivors were more likely to have public insurance than siblings post-ACA (18.4% vs 6.9%; odds ratios [OR]=1.7, 95%CI 1.1-2.6). Survivors with severe chronic conditions (OR = 4.7, 95%CI 3.0-7.3) and those living in Medicaid expansion states (OR = 2.4, 95%CI 1.7-3.4) had increased odds of public insurance coverage post-ACA. Among the subset completing both surveys, low/mid income survivors (<$60,000) experienced both insurance losses and gains in reference to highest household income survivors (≥$100,000), relative to odds of keeping the same insurance status.

CONCLUSIONS: Post-ACA, more childhood cancer survivors and siblings had health insurance, although disparities remain in coverage.

RevDate: 2024-05-16
CmpDate: 2024-05-14

Blanco-Melo D, Campbell MA, Zhu H, et al (2024)

A novel approach to exploring the dark genome and its application to mapping of the vertebrate virus fossil record.

Genome biology, 25(1):120.

BACKGROUND: Genomic regions that remain poorly understood, often referred to as the dark genome, contain a variety of functionally relevant and biologically informative features. These include endogenous viral elements (EVEs)-virus-derived sequences that can dramatically impact host biology and serve as a virus fossil record. In this study, we introduce a database-integrated genome screening (DIGS) approach to investigate the dark genome in silico, focusing on EVEs found within vertebrate genomes.

RESULTS: Using DIGS on 874 vertebrate genomes, we uncover approximately 1.1 million EVE sequences, with over 99% originating from endogenous retroviruses or transposable elements that contain EVE DNA. We show that the remaining 6038 sequences represent over a thousand distinct horizontal gene transfer events across 10 virus families, including some that have not previously been reported as EVEs. We explore the genomic and phylogenetic characteristics of non-retroviral EVEs and determine their rates of acquisition during vertebrate evolution. Our study uncovers novel virus diversity, broadens knowledge of virus distribution among vertebrate hosts, and provides new insights into the ecology and evolution of vertebrate viruses.

CONCLUSIONS: We comprehensively catalog and analyze EVEs within 874 vertebrate genomes, shedding light on the distribution, diversity, and long-term evolution of viruses and reveal their extensive impact on vertebrate genome evolution. Our results demonstrate the power of linking a relational database management system to a similarity search-based screening pipeline for in silico exploration of the dark genome.

RevDate: 2024-05-16

Jones DC, Elz AE, Hadadianpour A, et al (2024)

Cell Simulation as Cell Segmentation.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.

Single-cell spatial transcriptomics promises a highly detailed view of a cell's transcriptional state and microenvironment, yet inaccurate cell segmentation can render this data murky by misattributing large numbers of transcripts to nearby cells or conjuring nonexistent cells. We adopt methods from ab initio cell simulation to rapidly infer morphologically plausible cell boundaries that preserve cell type heterogeneity. Benchmarking applied to datasets generated by three commercial platforms show superior performance and computational efficiency of this approach compared with existing methods. We show that improved accuracy in cell segmentation aids greatly in detection of difficult to accurately segment tumor infiltrating immune cells such as neutrophils and T cells. Lastly, through improvements in our ability to delineate subsets of tumor infiltrating T cells, we show that CXCL13-expressing CD8+ T cells tend to be more closely associated with tumor cells than their CXCL13-negative counterparts in data generated from renal cell carcinoma patient samples. Proseg is available under at open source license at https://github.com/dcjones/proseg.

RevDate: 2024-05-15

Jia G, Ping J, Guo X, et al (2024)

Genome-wide association analyses of breast cancer in women of African ancestry identify new susceptibility loci and improve risk prediction.

Nature genetics, 56(5):819-826.

We performed genome-wide association studies of breast cancer including 18,034 cases and 22,104 controls of African ancestry. Genetic variants at 12 loci were associated with breast cancer risk (P < 5 × 10[-8]), including associations of a low-frequency missense variant rs61751053 in ARHGEF38 with overall breast cancer (odds ratio (OR) = 1.48) and a common variant rs76664032 at chromosome 2q14.2 with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) (OR = 1.30). Approximately 15.4% of cases with TNBC carried six risk alleles in three genome-wide association study-identified TNBC risk variants, with an OR of 4.21 (95% confidence interval = 2.66-7.03) compared with those carrying fewer than two risk alleles. A polygenic risk score (PRS) showed an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.60 for the prediction of breast cancer risk, which outperformed PRS derived using data from females of European ancestry. Our study markedly increases the population diversity in genetic studies for breast cancer and demonstrates the utility of PRS for risk prediction in females of African ancestry.

RevDate: 2024-05-15
CmpDate: 2024-05-13

Aubert M, Haick AK, Strongin DE, et al (2024)

Gene editing for latent herpes simplex virus infection reduces viral load and shedding in vivo.

Nature communications, 15(1):4018.

Anti-HSV therapies are only suppressive because they do not eliminate latent HSV present in ganglionic neurons, the source of recurrent disease. We have developed a potentially curative approach against HSV infection, based on gene editing using HSV-specific meganucleases delivered by adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors. Gene editing performed with two anti-HSV-1 meganucleases delivered by a combination of AAV9, AAV-Dj/8, and AAV-Rh10 can eliminate 90% or more of latent HSV DNA in mouse models of orofacial infection, and up to 97% of latent HSV DNA in mouse models of genital infection. Using a pharmacological approach to reactivate latent HSV-1, we demonstrate that ganglionic viral load reduction leads to a significant decrease of viral shedding in treated female mice. While therapy is well tolerated, in some instances, we observe hepatotoxicity at high doses and subtle histological evidence of neuronal injury without observable neurological signs or deficits. Simplification of the regimen through use of a single serotype (AAV9) delivering single meganuclease targeting a duplicated region of the HSV genome, dose reduction, and use of a neuron-specific promoter each results in improved tolerability while retaining efficacy. These results reinforce the curative potential of gene editing for HSV disease.

RevDate: 2024-05-13

Giguere R, Balán IC, Kutner BA, et al (2024)

History of Rectal Product Use and Country of Residence Influence Preference for Rectal Microbicide Dosage Forms Among Young Sexual and Gender Minorities: A Multi-country Trial Comparing Placebo Douche, Suppository, and Insert Products.

AIDS and behavior [Epub ahead of print].

The DESIRE Study (MTN-035) explored product preference among three placebo rectal microbicide (RM) formulations, a rectal douche (RD), a suppository, and an insert, among 210 sexually active transgender people and men who have sex with men in five counties: the United States, Peru, Thailand, South Africa, and Malawi. Participants used each product prior to receptive anal sex (RAS) for 1 month, following a randomly assigned sequence, then selected their preferred product via computer assisted self-interview. In-depth interviews examined reasons for preference. We compared product preference and prior product use by country to explore whether geographic location and experience with the similar products impacted preference. A majority in the United States (56%) and Peru (58%) and nearly half in South Africa (48%) preferred the douche. Most in Malawi (59%) preferred the suppository, while half in Thailand (50%) and nearly half in South Africa (47%) preferred the insert. Participants who preferred the douche described it as quick and easy, already routinized, and serving a dual purpose of cleansing and protecting. Those who preferred the insert found it small, portable, discreet, with quick dissolution. Those who preferred the suppository found the size and shape acceptable and liked the added lubrication it provided. Experience with product use varied by country. Participants with RD experience were significantly more likely to prefer the douche (p = 0.03). Diversifying availability of multiple RM dosage forms can increase uptake and improve HIV prevention efforts globally.

RevDate: 2024-05-13

Necchi A, Roumiguié M, Kamat AM, et al (2024)

Pembrolizumab monotherapy for high-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer without carcinoma in situ and unresponsive to BCG (KEYNOTE-057): a single-arm, multicentre, phase 2 trial.

The Lancet. Oncology pii:S1470-2045(24)00178-5 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The KEYNOTE-057 trial evaluated activity and safety of pembrolizumab in patients with BCG-unresponsive high-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer who were ineligible for or declined radical cystectomy. In cohort A (patients with carcinoma in situ, with or without papillary tumours) of the KEYNOTE-057 study, pembrolizumab monotherapy led to a complete response rate of 41% at 3 months, and 46% of responders maintained a response lasting at least 12 months. Here, we evaluate pembrolizumab monotherapy in cohort B of patients with papillary tumours without carcinoma in situ.

METHODS: KEYNOTE-057 is a single-arm, phase 2 study in 54 sites (hospitals and cancer centres) in 14 countries. Cohort B eligible patients were aged 18 years and older, had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2, and had BCG-unresponsive high-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer with papillary tumours (high-grade Ta or any-grade T1) without carcinoma in situ. Transurethral resection of bladder tumour within 12 weeks of first pembrolizumab dose was required. Patients received pembrolizumab 200 mg intravenously every 3 weeks for a maximum of 35 cycles. Primary endpoint was 12-month disease-free survival of high-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer or progressive disease as assessed by cystoscopy, cytology, and central pathology and radiology review. Activity was assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of the study drug and had a baseline evaluation. Safety was assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of the study drug. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02625961, and is ongoing.

FINDINGS: Between April 12, 2016, and June 17, 2021, 132 patients (104 [79%] men and 28 [21%] women) who had received a median of ten (IQR 9-15) previous BCG instillations were enrolled into cohort B of the study. Patients received a median of 10 cycles (IQR 6-27) of pembrolizumab. At data cutoff date, Oct 20, 2022, median follow-up was 45·4 months (IQR 36·4-59·3) and five (4%) of 132 patients remained on treatment. The 12-month disease-free survival was 43·5% (95% CI 34·9-51·9). Treatment-related adverse events occurred in 97 (73%) of 132 patients; 19 (14%) had a grade 3 or 4 treatment-related adverse event; the most common grade 3 or 4 treatment-related adverse events were colitis (in three [2%] patients) and diarrhoea (in two [2%]). 17 (13%) of 132 patients experienced serious treatment-related adverse events, of which colitis (three patients [2%]) was most common. No treatment-related deaths occurred.

INTERPRETATION: Pembrolizumab monotherapy showed antitumour activity and manageable toxicity in patients with BCG-unresponsive high-risk Ta or T1 bladder cancer without carcinoma in situ and could potentially be a suitable treatment option for patients who decline or are ineligible for radical cystectomy. Findings will need to be confirmed in a randomised controlled trial.

FUNDING: Merck Sharp & Dohme.

RevDate: 2024-05-13

Schwartz LF, Stratton KL, Leisenring WM, et al (2024)

Adverse Childhood Experiences, Resilience, and Cardiovascular Disease in Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer: A Report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.

Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology pii:745337 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs: e.g., abuse, neglect and/or household dysfunction experienced before age 18) and resilience on risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) has not previously been investigated in adult survivors of childhood cancer.

METHODS: We conducted a nested case-control study among long-term, adult-aged survivors of childhood cancer from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS). Self-report questionnaires ascertained ACEs and resilience, and scores were compared between cases with serious/life-threatening CVD and controls without CVD matched on demographic and cardiotoxic treatment factors.

RESULTS: Among 95 cases and 261 controls, the mean ACE score was 1.4 for both groups; 53.4% of survivors endorsed ≥1 ACE. There was no association between ACEs or resilience and CVD in adjusted models.

CONCLUSIONS: ACEs and resilience do not appear to contribute to CVD risk for adult survivors of childhood cancer with cardiotoxic treatment exposures.

IMPACT: Although not associated with CVD in this population, ACEs are associated with serious health issues in other populations. Therefore, future studies could investigate effects of ACEs on other health outcomes affecting childhood cancer survivors.

RevDate: 2024-05-13

Pholsena TN, Lewis FM, Phillips F, et al (2024)

Advanced parental cancer and adolescents: Parenting issues and challenges.

Palliative & supportive care pii:S1478951524000774 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: An estimated 609,820 child-rearing adults in 2023 died from advanced cancer, affecting 153,675 dependent children. Although children are known to suffer significant distress when a parent is diagnosed with cancer, few studies have described parents' views of their adolescent's behavioral response to their advanced cancer or what the parent did to interpret or manage that response.

OBJECTIVES: To describe patient-reported concerns about their adolescent and how they responded to their adolescent's behavior.

METHODS: Single occasion interviews were administered to 6 adolescent-rearing parents with Stage IV cancer. Interviews were analyzed using inductive content analysis by trained coders. Trustworthiness of results was protected through peer debriefing, coding to consensus, and maintaining an audit trail.

RESULTS: The core construct that explained study data was Being There without Taking Over, comprised of 4 domains: Struggling to Read My Child, Attempting to Talk with My Child about My Cancer, Trying to Maintain Optimism, and Understanding My Child.

CONCLUSIONS: Parents were deeply concerned about the impact of their advanced cancer on their adolescent but were unable to distinguish between cancer-related distress and adolescent angst. They feared initiating cancer-related discussions and struggled with their own feelings of guilt and parental inadequacy but did not turn to professionals for help.

SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: Adolescent-rearing patients with advanced disease need to be triaged into services that offer a framework from which parents can interpret their child's behavior and learn ways to have adolescent-appropriate conversations about the cancer. Such services should also help parents gain skills to manage feelings of parental inadequacy and guilt. In the absence of services, parents struggle and do not know how to interpret and respond to their adolescent's cancer-related behavior.

RevDate: 2024-05-13

Chlebowski RT, Aragaki AK, Pan K, et al (2024)

Breast cancer incidence and mortality by metabolic syndrome and obesity: The Women's Health Initiative.

Cancer [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: In the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) randomized trial, dietary intervention significantly reduced breast cancer mortality, especially in women with more metabolic syndrome (MetS) components. Therefore, this study investigated the associations of MetS and obesity with postmenopausal breast cancer after long-term follow-up in the WHI clinical trials.

METHODS: A total of 68,132 postmenopausal women, without prior breast cancer and with normal mammogram, were entered into WHI randomized clinical trials; 63,330 women with an entry MetS score comprised the study population. At entry, body mass index (BMI) was determined; MetS score (0, 1-2, and 3-4) included the following: (1) high waist circumference (≥88 cm), (2) high blood pressure (systolic ≥130 mm Hg and/or diastolic ≥85 mm Hg, or hypertension history), (3) high-cholesterol history, and (4) diabetes history. Study outcomes included breast cancer incidence, breast cancer mortality, deaths after breast cancer, and results by hormone receptor status.

RESULTS: After a >20-year mortality follow-up, a higher MetS score (3-4), adjusted for BMI, was significantly associated with more poor prognosis, estrogen receptor (ER)-positive, progesterone receptor (PR)-negative cancers (p = .03), 53% more deaths after breast cancer (p < .001), and 44% higher breast cancer mortality (p = .03). Obesity status, adjusted for MetS score, was significantly associated with more good prognosis, ER-positive, PR-positive cancers (p < .001), more total breast cancers (p < .001), and more deaths after breast cancer (p < .001), with higher breast cancer mortality only in women with severe obesity (BMI, ≥35 kg/m[2]; p < .001).

CONCLUSIONS: MetS and obesity status have independent, but differential, adverse associations with breast cancer receptor subtypes and breast cancer mortality risk. Both represent separate targets for breast cancer prediction and prevention strategies.

RevDate: 2024-05-11

Miranda RN, Amador C, Chan JKC, et al (2024)

5TH EDITION OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION CLASSIFICATION OF TUMORS OF THE HEMATOPOIETIC AND LYMPHOID TISSUES.

Modern pathology : an official journal of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, Inc pii:S0893-3952(24)00092-9 [Epub ahead of print].

This review focuses on mature T-cell, NK cell, and stroma-derived neoplasms in the 5[th] edition of the World Health Organization (WHO) classification of hematolymphoid tumors (WHO-HEM5), including changes from the revised 4[th] edition (WHO-HEM4R). Overall, information has expanded, primarily due to advancements in genomic understanding. The updated classification adopts a hierarchical format. The updated classification relies on a multidisciplinary approach, incorporating insights from a diverse group of pathologists, clinicians, and geneticists. Indolent NK-cell lymphoproliferative disorder of the gastrointestinal tract, EBV-positive nodal T- and NK-cell lymphoma, and several stroma-derived neoplasms of lymphoid tissues have been newly introduced or included. The review also provides guidance on how the WHO-HEM5 can be applied in routine clinical practice.

RevDate: 2024-05-13
CmpDate: 2024-05-11

Watanabe R, Miura N, Kurata M, et al (2024)

Unveiling the Genomic Landscape of Intraductal Carcinoma of the Prostate Using Spatial Gene Expression Analysis.

International journal of molecular sciences, 25(9):.

Intraductal carcinoma of the prostate (IDCP) has recently attracted increasing interest owing to its unfavorable prognoses. To effectively identify the IDCP-specific gene expression profile, we took a novel approach of characterizing a typical IDCP case using spatial gene expression analysis. A formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sample was subjected to Visium CytAssist Spatial Gene Expression analysis. IDCP within invasive prostate cancer sites was recognized as a distinct cluster separate from other invasive cancer clusters. Highly expressed genes defining the IDCP cluster, such as MUC6, MYO16, NPY, and KLK12, reflected the aggressive nature of high-grade prostate cancer. IDCP sites also showed increased hypoxia markers HIF1A, BNIP3L, PDK1, and POGLUT1; decreased fibroblast markers COL1A2, DCN, and LUM; and decreased immune cell markers CCR5 and FCGR3A. Overall, these findings indicate that the hypoxic tumor microenvironment and reduced recruitment of fibroblasts and immune cells, which reflect morphological features of IDCP, may influence the aggressiveness of high-grade prostate cancer.

RevDate: 2024-05-13
CmpDate: 2024-05-11

Wakabayashi N, Yagishita Y, Joshi T, et al (2024)

Dual Deletion of Keap1 and Rbpjκ Genes in Liver Leads to Hepatomegaly and Hypercholesterolemia.

International journal of molecular sciences, 25(9):.

The hepatic deletion of Rbpjκ (Rbpj[F/F]::AlbCre) in the mouse leads to exhibition of the Alagille syndrome phenotype during early postnatal liver development with hyperlipidemia and cholestasis due to attenuated disruption of NOTCH signaling. Given the roles of NRF2 signaling in the regulation of lipid metabolism and bile ductal formation, it was anticipated that these symptoms could be alleviated by enhancing NRF2 signaling in the Rbpj[F/F]::AlbCre mouse by hepatic deletion of Keap1 in compound Keap1[F/F]::Rbpj[F/F]::AlbCre mice. Unexpectedly, these mice developed higher hepatic and plasma cholesterol levels with more severe cholestatic liver damage during the pre-weaning period than in the Rbpj[F/F]::AlbCre mice. In addition, hypercholesterolemia and hepatic damage were sustained throughout the growth period unlike in the Rbpj[F/F]::AlbCre mouse. These enhanced abnormalities in lipid metabolism appear to be due to NRF2-dependent changes in gene expression related to cholesterol synthetic and subsequent bile acid production pathways. Notably, the hepatic expression of Cyp1A7 and Abcb11 genes involved in bile acid homeostasis was significantly reduced in Keap1[F/F]::Rbpj[F/F]::AlbCre compared to Rbpj[F/F]::AlbCre mice. The accumulation of liver cholesterol and the weakened capacity for bile excretion during the 3 pre-weaning weeks in the Keap1[F/F]::Rbpj[F/F]::AlbCre mice may aggravate hepatocellular damage level caused by both excessive cholesterol and residual bile acid toxicity in hepatocytes. These results indicate that a tuned balance of NOTCH and NRF2 signaling is of biological importance for early liver development after birth.

RevDate: 2024-05-13
CmpDate: 2024-05-11

Johnson AM, Zhou C, Haviland M, et al (2024)

Evaluation of a walking school bus program: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, 21(1):55.

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a walking school bus intervention on children's active commuting to school.

METHODS: We conducted a randomized controlled trial (RCT) in Houston, Texas (Year 1) and Seattle, Washington (Years 2-4) from 2012 to 2016. The study had a two-arm, cluster randomized design comparing the intervention (walking school bus and education materials) to the control (education materials) over one school year October/November - May/June). Twenty-two schools that served lower income families participated. Outcomes included percentage of days students' active commuting to school (primary, measured via survey) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA, measured via accelerometry). Follow-up took place in May or June. We used linear mixed-effects models to estimate the association between the intervention and outcomes of interest.

RESULTS: Total sample was 418 students [Mage=9.2 (SD = 0.9) years; 46% female], 197 (47%) in the intervention group. The intervention group showed a significant increase compared with the control group over time in percentage of days active commuting (β = 9.04; 95% CI: 1.10, 16.98; p = 0.015) and MVPA minutes/day (β = 4.31; 95% CI: 0.70, 7.91; p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings support implementation of walking school bus programs that are inclusive of school-age children from lower income families to support active commuting to school and improve physical activity.

TRAIL REGISTRATION: This RCT is registered at clinicaltrials.gov (NCT01626807).

RevDate: 2024-05-13
CmpDate: 2024-05-10

Ortblad KF, Kuo AP, Mogere P, et al (2024)

Low selection of HIV PrEP refills at private pharmacies among clients who initiated PrEP at public clinics: findings from a mixed-methods study in Kenya.

BMC health services research, 24(1):618.

BACKGROUND: In Africa, the delivery of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) at public healthcare clinics is challenged by understaffing, overcrowding, and HIV-associated stigma, often resulting in low PrEP uptake and continuation among clients. Giving clients the option to refill PrEP at nearby private pharmacies, which are often more convenient and have shorter wait times, may address these challenges and improve PrEP continuation.

METHODS: This mixed methods study used an explanatory sequential design. At two public clinics in Kiambu County, Kenya, clients ≥ 18 years initiating PrEP were given the option to refill PrEP at the clinic where they initiated for free or at one of three nearby private pharmacies for 300 Kenyan Shillings (~ $3 US Dollars). The providers at these pharmacies (pharmacists and pharmaceutical technologists) were trained in PrEP service delivery using a prescribing checklist and provider-assisted HIV self-testing, both with remote clinician oversight. Clients were followed up to seven months, with scheduled refill visits at one, four, and seven months. The primary outcomes were selection of pharmacy-based PrEP refills and PrEP continuation. Following pilot completion, 15 in-depth interviews (IDIs) with clients who refilled PrEP were completed. We used descriptive statistics and thematic analysis to assess study outcomes.

RESULTS: From November 2020 to November 2021, 125 PrEP clients were screened and 106 enrolled. The majority (59%, 63/106) of clients were women and the median age was 31 years (IQR 26-38 years). Over 292 client-months of follow-up, 41 clients (39%) refilled PrEP; only three (3%) at a participating pharmacy. All clients who completed IDIs refilled PrEP at clinics. The reasons why clients did not refill PrEP at pharmacies included: a preference for clinic-delivered PrEP services (i.e., pre-existing relationships, access to other services), concerns about pharmacy-delivered PrEP services (i.e., mistrust, lower quality care, costs), and lack of knowledge of this refill location.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that clients who initiate PrEP at public clinics in Kenya may have already overcome barriers to clinic-delivered PrEP services and prefer PrEP access there. To reach new populations that could benefit from PrEP, a stand-alone model of pharmacy-delivered PrEP services may be needed.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04558554 [registered: June 5, 2020].

RevDate: 2024-05-10

Goetz MP, Toi M, Huober J, et al (2024)

Abemaciclib plus a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor as initial therapy for HR+, HER2- advanced breast cancer: Final overall survival results of MONARCH 3.

Annals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology pii:S0923-7534(24)00139-X [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: In MONARCH 2, the addition of abemaciclib to fulvestrant significantly improved both progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients with HR+, HER2- advanced breast cancer (ABC) with disease progression on prior endocrine therapy (ET). In MONARCH 3, the addition of abemaciclib to a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor (NSAI) as initial therapy for HR+, HER2- ABC significantly improved PFS. Here, we present the prespecified final OS results for MONARCH 3.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: MONARCH 3 is a randomized, double-blind, phase 3 study of abemaciclib plus NSAI (anastrozole or letrozole) versus placebo plus NSAI in postmenopausal women with HR+, HER2- ABC without prior systemic therapy in the advanced setting. The primary objective was investigator-assessed PFS; OS was a gated secondary endpoint, and chemotherapy-free survival (CFS) was an exploratory endpoint.

RESULTS: A total of 493 women were randomized 2:1 to receive abemaciclib plus NSAI (n = 328) or placebo plus NSAI (n = 165). After a median follow-up of 8.1 years, there were 198 OS events (60.4%) in the abemaciclib arm and 116 (70.3%) in the placebo arm (hazard ratio, 0.804; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.637-1.015; P = 0.0664, non-significant). Median OS was 66.8 versus 53.7 months for abemaciclib versus placebo. In the subgroup with visceral disease (sVD), there were 113 OS events (65.3%) in the abemaciclib arm and 65 (72.2%) in the placebo arm (hazard ratio, 0.758; 95% CI, 0.558-1.030; P = 0.0757, non-significant). Median OS was 63.7 months versus 48.8 months for abemaciclib versus placebo. The previously demonstrated PFS benefit was sustained, and CFS numerically improved with the addition of abemaciclib. No new safety signals were observed.

CONCLUSION: Abemaciclib combined with an NSAI resulted in clinically meaningful improvement in median OS (ITT: 13.1 months; sVD: 14.9 months) in patients with HR+ HER2- ABC; however, statistical significance was not reached.

RevDate: 2024-05-10

Andrews JS, Boonyaratanakornkit JB, Krusinska E, et al (2024)

Assessment of the Impact of RNase in Patients With Severe Fatigue Related to Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection (PASC): A Randomized Phase 2 Trial of RSLV-132.

Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America pii:7668392 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA and RNA debris persist in viral reservoirs for weeks to months following infection, potentially triggering interferon production and chronic inflammation. RSLV-132 is a biologic drug composed of catalytically active human RNase1 fused to human IgG1 Fc and is designed to remain in circulation and digest extracellular RNA. We hypothesized that removal of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA from latent reservoirs may improve inflammation, neuroinflammation, and fatigue associated with post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC).

METHODS: This was a phase 2, double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial in participants with a 24-week history of PASC and severe fatigue. The primary endpoint of the trial assessed the impact of 6 intravenous doses of RSLV-132 on the mean change from baseline at day 71 in the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Fatigue Short Form 7a (PROMIS Fatigue SF 7a).

RESULTS: A statistically significant difference on day 71 was not observed with respect to the primary or secondary endpoints. This was likely due to a placebo response that increased during the trial. Statistically significant improvement in fatigue as measured by the PROMIS Fatigue SF 7a, Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-Fatigue), and Physicians Global Assessment (PGA) instruments were observed earlier in the trial, with women demonstrating greater responses to RSLV-132 than men.

CONCLUSION: While fatigue was not statistically significantly improved at Day 71, earlier timepoints revealed statistically significant improvement in fatigue and physician global assessment. The data suggest eliminating latent viral RNA by increasing serum RNase activity may improve fatigue in PASC patients. Women may respond better to this approach than men. Future studies will aim to confirm these findings.

RevDate: 2024-05-10

Muffly L, Liang EC, Dolan JG, et al (2024)

How I Use Next Generation Sequencing-MRD to Plan Approach and Prevent Relapse after HCT for Children and Adults with ALL.

Blood pii:516077 [Epub ahead of print].

Measurable residual disease (MRD) evaluation by multiparameter flow cytometry (MFC) or quantitative PCR methods is an established standard of care for assessing risk of relapse prior to or after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Next generation sequencing (NGS)-MRD has emerged as a highly effective approach that allows detection of lymphoblasts at a level of fewer than 1 in 106 nucleated cells, increasing sensitivity of ALL detection by 2-3 logs. Early studies have shown superior results compared with MFC and suggest that NGS-MRD may allow determination of patients in whom reduced toxicity transplant preparative approaches could be deployed without sacrificing outcomes. Many centers/study groups have implemented immune modulation approaches based on MRD measurements that have resulted in improved outcomes. Challenges remain with NGS-MRD, as it is not commercially available in many countries and interpretation of results can be complex. Through patient case review, discussion of relevant studies, and detailed expert opinion we share our approach to NGS-MRD testing prior to and after HCT in pediatric and adult ALL. Improved pre-HCT risk classification and post-HCT monitoring for relapse in bone marrow and less invasive peripheral blood monitoring by NGS-MRD may lead to alternative approaches to prevent relapse in patients undergoing this challenging procedure.

RevDate: 2024-05-12
CmpDate: 2024-05-10

Anderson LJ, Paulsen L, Miranda G, et al (2024)

Neuromuscular electrical stimulation for physical function maintenance during hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: Study protocol.

PloS one, 19(5):e0302970.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is a common life-saving treatment for hematologic malignancies, though can lead to long-term functional impairment, fatigue, muscle atrophy, with decreased quality of life. Although traditional exercise has helped reduce these effects, it is inconsistently recommended and infrequently maintained, and most patients remain sedentary during and after treatment. There is need for alternative rehabilitation strategies, like neuromuscular electrical stimulation, that may be more amenable to the capabilities of hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. Patients receiving autologous HCT are being enroled in a randomized controlled trial with 1:1 (neuromuscular electrical stimulation:sham) design stratified by diagnosis and sex. Physical function, body composition, quality of life, and fatigue are assessed prior to hematopoietic stem cell transplant (prior to initiating preparatory treatment) and 24±5 days post hematopoietic stem cell transplant (Follow-up 1); physical function and quality of life are also assessed 6-months post hematopoietic stem cell transplant (Follow-up 2). The primary outcome is between-group difference in the 6-minute walk test change scores (Follow-up 1-Pre-transplant; final enrolment goal N = 23/group). We hypothesize that 1) neuromuscular electrical stimulation will attenuate hematopoietic stem cell transplant-induced adverse effects on physical function, muscle mass, quality of life, and fatigue compared to sham at Follow-up 1, and 2) Pre-transplant physical function will significantly predict fatigue and quality of life at Follow-up 2. We will also describe feasibility and acceptability of neuromuscular electrical stimulation during hematopoietic stem cell transplant. This proposal will improve rehabilitative patient care and quality of life by determining efficacy and feasibility of a currently underutilized therapeutic strategy aimed at maintaining daily function and reducing the impact of a potent and widely used cancer treatment. This trial is registered with clinicaltrials.gov (NCT04364256).

RevDate: 2024-05-10

Stjepić V, Nakamura M, Hui J, et al (2024)

Two Septin complexes mediate actin dynamics during cell wound repair.

Cell reports, 43(5):114215 pii:S2211-1247(24)00543-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Cells have robust wound repair systems to prevent further damage or infection and to quickly restore cell cortex integrity when exposed to mechanical and chemical stress. Actomyosin ring formation and contraction at the wound edge are major events during closure of the plasma membrane and underlying cytoskeleton during cell wound repair. Here, we show that all five Drosophila Septins are required for efficient cell wound repair. Based on their different recruitment patterns and knockdown/mutant phenotypes, two distinct Septin complexes, Sep1/Sep2/Pnut and Sep4/Sep5/Pnut, are assembled to regulate actin ring assembly, contraction, and remodeling during the repair process. Intriguingly, we find that these two Septin complexes have different F-actin bending activities. In addition, we find that Anillin regulates the recruitment of only one of two Septin complexes upon wounding. Our results demonstrate that two functionally distinct Septin complexes work side by side to discretely regulate actomyosin ring dynamics during cell wound repair.

RevDate: 2024-05-13
CmpDate: 2024-05-10

Bhatt NS, Goodman P, Leisenring WM, et al (2024)

Chronic Health Conditions and Longitudinal Employment in Survivors of Childhood Cancer.

JAMA network open, 7(5):e2410731.

IMPORTANCE: Employment is an important factor in quality of life and provides social and economic support. Longitudinal data on employment and associations with chronic health conditions for adult survivors of childhood cancer are lacking.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate longitudinal trends in employment among survivors of childhood cancer.

Retrospective cohort study of 5-year cancer survivors diagnosed at age 20 years or younger between 1970 and 1986 enrolled in the multi-institutional Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS). Sex-stratified employment status at baseline (2002 to 2004) and follow-up (2014 to 2016) was compared with general population rates from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System cohort. Data were analyzed from July 2021 to June 2022.

EXPOSURES: Cancer therapy and preexisting and newly developed chronic health conditions.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Standardized prevalence ratios of employment (full-time or part-time, health-related unemployment, unemployed, not in labor force) among adult (aged ≥25 years) survivors between baseline and follow-up compared with the general population. Longitudinal assessment of negative employment transitions (full-time to part-time or unemployed at follow-up).

RESULTS: Female participants (3076 participants at baseline; 2852 at follow-up) were a median (range) age of 33 (25-53) years at baseline and 42 (27-65) years at follow-up; male participants (3196 participants at baseline; 2557 at follow-up) were 33 (25-54) and 43 (28-64) years, respectively. The prevalence of full-time or part-time employment at baseline and follow-up was 2215 of 3076 (71.3%) and 1933 of 2852 (64.8%) for female participants and 2753 of 3196 (85.3%) and 2079 of 2557 (77.3%) for male participants, respectively, with declining standardized prevalence ratios over time (female participant baseline, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.98-1.03; follow-up, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.90-0.98; P < .001; male participant baseline, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.94-0.97; follow-up, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.89-0.95; P = .02). While the prevalence of health-related unemployment increased (female participants, 11.6% to 17.2%; male participants, 8.1% to 17.1%), the standardized prevalence ratio remained higher than the general population and declined over time (female participant baseline, 3.78; 95% CI, 3.37-4.23; follow-up, 2.23; 95% CI, 1.97-2.51; P < .001; male participant baseline, 3.12; 95% CI, 2.71-3.60; follow-up, 2.61; 95% CI, 2.24-3.03; P = .002). Among survivors employed full-time at baseline (1488 female participants; 1933 male participants), 285 female participants (19.2%) and 248 male participants (12.8%) experienced a negative employment transition (median [range] follow-up, 11.5 [9.4-13.8] years). Higher numbers and grades of chronic health conditions were significantly associated with these transitions.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this retrospective analysis of adult survivors of childhood cancer, significant declines in employment and increases in health-related unemployment among cancer survivors compared with the general population were identified. A substantial portion of survivors in the midcareer age range fell out of the workforce. Awareness among clinicians, caregivers, and employers may facilitate clinical counseling and occupational provisions for supportive work accommodations.

RevDate: 2024-05-13

Crook ZR, Sevilla GP, Young P, et al (2024)

CYpHER: Catalytic extracellular targeted protein degradation with high potency and durable effect.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.

Many disease-causing proteins have multiple pathogenic mechanisms, and conventional inhibitors struggle to reliably disrupt more than one. Targeted protein degradation (TPD) can eliminate the protein, and thus all its functions, by directing a cell's protein turnover machinery towards it. Two established strategies either engage catalytic E3 ligases or drive uptake towards the endolysosomal pathway. Here we describe CYpHER (CatalYtic pH-dependent Endolysosomal delivery with Recycling) technology with potency and durability from a novel catalytic mechanism that shares the specificity and straightforward modular design of endolysosomal uptake. By bestowing pH-dependent release on the target engager and using the rapid-cycling transferrin receptor as the uptake receptor, CYpHER induces endolysosomal target delivery while re-using drug, potentially yielding increased potency and reduced off-target tissue exposure risks. The TfR-based approach allows targeting to tumors that overexpress this receptor and offers the potential for transport to the CNS. CYpHER function was demonstrated in vitro with EGFR and PD-L1, and in vivo with EGFR in a model of EGFR-driven non-small cell lung cancer.

RevDate: 2024-05-13

Belmont L, Contreras M, Cartwright-Acar CH, et al (2024)

Functional genomics screens reveal a role for TBC1D24 and SV2B in antibody-dependent enhancement of dengue virus infection.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.

Dengue virus (DENV) can hijack non-neutralizing IgG antibodies to facilitate its uptake into target cells expressing Fc gamma receptors (FcgR) - a process known as antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of infection. Beyond a requirement for FcgR, host dependency factors for this non-canonical infection route remain unknown. To identify cellular factors exclusively required for ADE, here, we performed CRISPR knockout screens in an in vitro system permissive to infection only in the presence of IgG antibodies. Validating our approach, a top hit was FcgRIIa, which facilitates binding and internalization of IgG-bound DENV but is not required for canonical infection. Additionally, we identified host factors with no previously described role in DENV infection, including TBC1D24 and SV2B, both of which have known functions in regulated secretion. Using genetic knockout and trans-complemented cells, we validated a functional requirement for these host factors in ADE assays performed with monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal sera in multiple cell lines and using all four DENV serotypes. We show that knockout of TBC1D24 or SV2B impaired binding of IgG-DENV complexes to cells without affecting FcgRIIa expression levels. Thus, we identify cellular factors beyond FcgR that are required for ADE of DENV infection. Our findings represent a first step towards advancing fundamental knowledge behind the biology of ADE that can ultimately be exploited to inform vaccination and therapeutic approaches.

RevDate: 2024-05-10

Cohen M, SA Graf (2024)

Could protein kinase inhibitors become a next generation pharmacotherapy for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?.

RevDate: 2024-05-10

Kampouri E, Little JS, Crocchiolo R, et al (2024)

Human herpesvirus-6, HHV-8 and parvovirus B19 after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant: the lesser-known viral complications.

Current opinion in infectious diseases [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Viral infections continue to burden allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients. We review the epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of human herpesvirus (HHV)-6, HHV-8 and parvovirus B19 following HCT.

RECENT FINDINGS: Advances in HCT practices significantly improved outcomes but impact viral epidemiology: post-transplant cyclophosphamide for graft-versus-host disease prevention increases HHV-6 reactivation risk while the impact of letermovir for CMV prophylaxis - and resulting decrease in broad-spectrum antivirals - is more complex. Beyond the well established HHV-6 encephalitis, recent evidence implicates HHV-6 in pneumonitis. Novel less toxic therapeutic approaches (brincidofovir, virus-specific T-cells) may enable preventive strategies in the future. HHV-8 is the causal agent of Kaposi's sarcoma, which is only sporadically reported after HCT, but other manifestations are possible and not well elucidated. Parvovirus B19 can cause severe disease post-HCT, frequently manifesting with anemia, but can also be easily overlooked due to lack of routine screening and ambiguity of manifestations.

SUMMARY: Studies should establish the contemporary epidemiology of HHV-6, and other more insidious viruses, such as HHV-8 and parvovirus B19 following HCT and should encompass novel cellular therapies. Standardized and readily available diagnostic methods are key to elucidate epidemiology and optimize preventive and therapeutic strategies to mitigate the burden of infection.

RevDate: 2024-05-11

Xu Y, Miller CP, Tykodi SS, et al (2024)

Signaling crosstalk between tumor endothelial cells and immune cells in the microenvironment of solid tumors.

Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, 12:1387198.

Tumor-associated endothelial cells (TECs) are crucial mediators of immune surveillance and immune escape in the tumor microenvironment (TME). TECs driven by angiogenic growth factors form an abnormal vasculature which deploys molecular machinery to selectively promote the function and recruitment of immunosuppressive cells while simultaneously blocking the entry and function of anti-tumor immune cells. TECs also utilize a similar set of signaling regulators to promote the metastasis of tumor cells. Meanwhile, the tumor-infiltrating immune cells further induce the TEC anergy by secreting pro-angiogenic factors and prevents further immune cell penetration into the TME. Understanding the complex interactions between TECs and immune cells will be needed to successfully treat cancer patients with combined therapy to achieve vasculature normalization while augmenting antitumor immunity. In this review, we will discuss what is known about the signaling crosstalk between TECs and tumor-infiltrating immune cells to reveal insights and strategies for therapeutic targeting.

RevDate: 2024-05-10
CmpDate: 2024-05-10

Bouras E, Gill D, Zuber V, et al (2024)

Identification of potential mediators of the relationship between body mass index and colorectal cancer: a Mendelian randomization analysis.

International journal of epidemiology, 53(3):.

BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third-most-common cancer worldwide and its rates are increasing. Elevated body mass index (BMI) is an established risk factor for CRC, although the molecular mechanisms behind this association remain unclear. Using the Mendelian randomization (MR) framework, we aimed to investigate the mediating effects of putative biomarkers and other CRC risk factors in the association between BMI and CRC.

METHODS: We selected as mediators biomarkers of established cancer-related mechanisms and other CRC risk factors for which a plausible association with obesity exists, such as inflammatory biomarkers, glucose homeostasis traits, lipids, adipokines, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), sex hormones, 25-hydroxy-vitamin D, smoking, physical activity (PA) and alcohol consumption. We used inverse-variance weighted MR in the main univariable analyses and performed sensitivity analyses (weighted-median, MR-Egger, Contamination Mixture). We used multivariable MR for the mediation analyses.

RESULTS: Genetically predicted BMI was positively associated with CRC risk [odds ratio per SD (5 kg/m2) = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.08-1.24, P-value = 1.4 × 10-5] and robustly associated with nearly all potential mediators. Genetically predicted IGF1, fasting insulin, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, smoking, PA and alcohol were associated with CRC risk. Evidence for attenuation was found for IGF1 [explained 7% (95% CI: 2-13%) of the association], smoking (31%, 4-57%) and PA (7%, 2-11%). There was little evidence for pleiotropy, although smoking was bidirectionally associated with BMI and instruments were weak for PA.

CONCLUSIONS: The effect of BMI on CRC risk is possibly partly mediated through plasma IGF1, whereas the attenuation of the BMI-CRC association by smoking and PA may reflect confounding and shared underlying mechanisms rather than mediation.

RevDate: 2024-05-11
CmpDate: 2024-05-10

Luo K, Taryn A, Moon EH, et al (2024)

Gut microbiota, blood metabolites, and left ventricular diastolic dysfunction in US Hispanics/Latinos.

Microbiome, 12(1):85.

BACKGROUND: Left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD) is an important precursor of heart failure (HF), but little is known about its relationship with gut dysbiosis and microbial-related metabolites. By leveraging the multi-omics data from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), a study with population at high burden of LVDD, we aimed to characterize gut microbiota associated with LVDD and identify metabolite signatures of gut dysbiosis and incident LVDD.

RESULTS: We included up to 1996 Hispanic/Latino adults (mean age: 59.4 years; 67.1% female) with comprehensive echocardiography assessments, gut microbiome, and blood metabolome data. LVDD was defined through a composite criterion involving tissue Doppler assessment and left atrial volume index measurements. Among 1996 participants, 916 (45.9%) had prevalent LVDD, and 212 out of 594 participants without LVDD at baseline developed incident LVDD over a median 4.3 years of follow-up. Using multivariable-adjusted analysis of compositions of microbiomes (ANCOM-II) method, we identified 7 out of 512 dominant gut bacterial species (prevalence > 20%) associated with prevalent LVDD (FDR-q < 0.1), with inverse associations being found for Intestinimonas_massiliensis, Clostridium_phoceensis, and Bacteroide_coprocola and positive associations for Gardnerella_vaginali, Acidaminococcus_fermentans, Pseudomonas_aeruginosa, and Necropsobacter_massiliensis. Using multivariable adjusted linear regression, 220 out of 669 circulating metabolites with detection rate > 75% were associated with the identified LVDD-related bacterial species (FDR-q < 0.1), with the majority being linked to Intestinimonas_massiliensis, Clostridium_phoceensis, and Acidaminococcus_fermentans. Furthermore, 46 of these bacteria-associated metabolites, mostly glycerophospholipids, secondary bile acids, and amino acids, were associated with prevalent LVDD (FDR-q < 0.1), 21 of which were associated with incident LVDD (relative risk ranging from 0.81 [p = 0.001, for guanidinoacetate] to 1.25 [p = 9 × 10[-5], for 1-stearoyl-2-arachidonoyl-GPE (18:0/20:4)]). The inclusion of these 21 bacterial-related metabolites significantly improved the prediction of incident LVDD compared with a traditional risk factor model (the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC] = 0.73 vs 0.70, p = 0.001). Metabolite-based proxy association analyses revealed the inverse associations of Intestinimonas_massilliensis and Clostridium_phoceensis and the positive association of Acidaminococcus_fermentans with incident LVDD.

CONCLUSION: In this study of US Hispanics/Latinos, we identified multiple gut bacteria and related metabolites linked to LVDD, suggesting their potential roles in this preclinical HF entity. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2024-05-11
CmpDate: 2024-05-09

Grauwet K, Berger T, Kann MC, et al (2024)

Stealth transgenes enable CAR-T cells to evade host immune responses.

Journal for immunotherapy of cancer, 12(5):.

BACKGROUND: Adoptive cell therapy, such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy, has improved patient outcomes for hematological malignancies. Currently, four of the six FDA-approved CAR-T cell products use the FMC63-based αCD19 single-chain variable fragment, derived from a murine monoclonal antibody, as the extracellular binding domain. Clinical studies demonstrate that patients develop humoral and cellular immune responses to the non-self CAR components of autologous CAR-T cells or donor-specific antigens of allogeneic CAR-T cells, which is thought to potentially limit CAR-T cell persistence and the success of repeated dosing.

METHODS: In this study, we implemented a one-shot approach to prevent rejection of engineered T cells by simultaneously reducing antigen presentation and the surface expression of both Classes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) via expression of the viral inhibitors of transporter associated with antigen processing (TAPi) in combination with a transgene coding for shRNA targeting class II MHC transactivator (CIITA). The optimal combination was screened in vitro by flow cytometric analysis and mixed lymphocyte reaction assays and was validated in vivo in mouse models of leukemia and lymphoma. Functionality was assessed in an autologous setting using patient samples and in an allogeneic setting using an allogeneic mouse model.

RESULTS: The combination of the Epstein-Barr virus TAPi and an shRNA targeting CIITA was efficient and effective at reducing cell surface MHC classes I and II in αCD19 'stealth' CAR-T cells while retaining in vitro and in vivo antitumor functionality. Mixed lymphocyte reaction assays and IFNγ ELISpot assays performed with T cells from patients previously treated with autologous αCD19 CAR-T cells confirm that CAR T cells expressing the stealth transgenes evade allogeneic and autologous anti-CAR responses, which was further validated in vivo. Importantly, we noted anti-CAR-T cell responses in patients who had received multiple CAR-T cell infusions, and this response was reduced on in vitro restimulation with autologous CARs containing the stealth transgenes.

CONCLUSIONS: Together, these data suggest that the proposed stealth transgenes may reduce the immunogenicity of autologous and allogeneic cellular therapeutics. Moreover, patient data indicate that repeated doses of autologous FMC63-based αCD19 CAR-T cells significantly increased the anti-CAR T cell responses in these patients.

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ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

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In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

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Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

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In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

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Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

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When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

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Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

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With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.

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Cancer is the generic name for more than 100 diseases in which cells begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled manner. Usually, when cells get too old or damaged, they die and new cells take their place. Cancer begins when genetic changes impair this orderly process so that some cells start to grow uncontrollably. The Emperor of All Maladies is a "biography" of cancer — from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. This is a must read book for anyone with an interest in cancer. R. Robbins

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Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg.

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ESP now offers a large collection of user-selected side-by-side timelines (e.g., all science vs. all other categories, or arts and culture vs. world history), designed to provide a comparative context for appreciating world events.

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