The choice of facilitators in medical tourism.
Health Mark Q. 2018 Feb 23;:1-19
Authors: Gan LL, Frederick JR
The study identified which of the four facilitators (themselves, agents, insurers, or doctors) consumers are most likely to use when they travel for various medical procedures. A survey conducted between 2011 and 2014 yielded 964 responses. The multinomial logistic regression results showed that being 51-64 years old was positively related to going on their own or using agents to arrange for knee replacements. Having a high school education or less was positively linked to using both agents and insurers to facilitate knee replacements, whereas having a bachelor's degree was negatively associated with going on their own for stem cell therapy.
PMID: 29474154 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Effect of day 3 embryo morphometrics and morphokinetics on survival and implantation after slow freezing-thawing and after vitrification-warming: a retrospective cohort study.
Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2017 Oct 03;15(1):79
Authors: Fernandez Gallardo E, Spiessens C, D'Hooghe T, Debrock S
BACKGROUND: Morphometric and morphokinetic evaluation of in vitro cultured human embryos allows evaluation without time restriction and reduces intra- and inter-observer variability. Even though these technologies have been reported to improve the quality of cleavage stage embryo evaluation during fresh culture, possible advantages in the evaluation of cryopreserved embryos have been scarcely explored. This study aims to compare morphometric and morphokinetic parameters between slow frozen and vitrified embryos and to determine their relationship to embryo survival and implantation rate (IR) after thawing/warming.
METHODS: During fresh culture, morphometric characteristics (Total Cell Volume (TCV), symmetry, fragmentation and number of blastomeres) were measured in 286 thawed/warmed embryos. Likewise, after thawing/warming, similar morphometric characteristics were measured in 135 survived embryos. Moreover, morphokinetic parameters (time to mitosis resumption and time to compaction) were measured in 90 embryos after thawing/warming. Then, using linear regression, we investigated the differences between vitrified and slow frozen embryos and the relation of the measured characteristics to embryo survival and IR. Statistical corrections were applied to account for data clustering and for multiple testing.
RESULTS: Vitrified embryos resume mitosis and start compaction significantly earlier than slow frozen embryos. Mitosis resumption rate was 82% for vitrified and 63% for slow frozen embryos and median time to mitosis resumption was 7.6 h and 13.1 h (p = 0.02), respectively. Compaction rate was 62% in vitrified and only 23% in slow frozen embryos. Median time to compaction was 18.1 h for vitrified embryos but, for slow frozen could not be computed since less than half of the slow frozen embryos reached compaction (p = 0.0001). Moreover, intact embryos resume mitosis significantly earlier than not intact ones regardless of the freezing method (rate: 79% vs. 66%, median time: 7.6 h vs 14.6 h, respectively, p = 0.03). Regarding morphometrics, slow frozen embryos showed lower TCV and higher blastomere symmetry after thawing than vitrified embryos despite having similar blastomere number. IR was related to blastomere number at cryopreservation in slow frozen embryos, but not in vitrified ones.
CONCLUSIONS: Interestingly, vitrified/warmed embryos undergo mitosis resumption and compaction significantly earlier than slow frozen/thawed embryos. However, the clinical use of this morphokinetic parameters still remains to be investigated in larger studies.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Retrospectively registered on December 15, 2015 NCT02639715 .
PMID: 28974230 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Safety and tolerability of autologous bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells in ADPKD patients.
Stem Cell Res Ther. 2017 May 23;8(1):116
Authors: Makhlough A, Shekarchian S, Moghadasali R, Einollahi B, Hosseini SE, Jaroughi N, Bolurieh T, Baharvand H, Aghdami N
BACKGROUND: Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is a genetic ciliopathy disease characterized by progressive formation and enlargement of cysts in multiple organs. The kidneys are particularly affected and patients may eventually develop end-stage renal disease (ESRD). We hypothesize that bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BMMSCs) are renotropic and may improve kidney function via anti-apoptotic, anti-fibrotic, and anti-inflammatory effects. In this study, we aim to assess the safety and tolerability of a BMMSC infusion in ADPKD patients.
METHODS: We performed a single-arm phase I clinical trial with a 12-month follow-up. This study enrolled six eligible ADPKD patients with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of 25-60 ml/min/1.73 m2. Patients received autologous cultured BMMSCs (2 × 106 cells/kg) through the cubital vein according to our infusion protocol. We investigated safety issues and kidney function during the follow-up visits, and compared the findings to baseline and 1 year prior to the intervention.
RESULTS: There were no patients lost to follow-up. We observed no cell-related adverse events (AE) and serious adverse events (SAE) after 12 months of follow-up. The mean eGFR value of 33.8 ± 5.3 ml/min/1.73 m2 1 year before cell infusion declined to 26.7 ± 3.1 ml/min/1.73 m2 at baseline (P = 0.03) and 25.8 ± 6.2 ml/min/1.73 m2 at the 12-month follow-up visit (P = 0.62). The mean serum creatinine (SCr) level of 2 ± 0.3 mg/dl 1 year before the infusion increased to 2.5 ± 0.4 mg/dl at baseline (P = 0.04) and 2.5 ± 0.6 mg/dl at the 12-month follow-up (P = 0.96). This indicated significant changes between the differences of these two periods (12 months before infusion to baseline, and 12 months after infusion to baseline) in SCr (P = 0.05), but not eGFR (P = 0.09).
CONCLUSIONS: This trial demonstrated the safety and tolerability of an intravenous transplantation of autologous BMMSCs. BMMSC efficacy in ADPKD patients should be investigated in a randomized placebo-controlled trial with a larger population, which we intend to perform.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02166489 . Registered on June 14, 2014.
PMID: 28535817 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Ocular surface analysis in hematological patients before and after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: implication for daily clinical practice.
Eye (Lond). 2017 Oct;31(10):1417-1426
Authors: Giannaccare G, Bonifazi F, Sessa M, Dan E, Arpinati M, Fresina M, Bandini G, Cavo M, Versura P, Campos EC
PurposeTo evaluate ocular surface parameters before and after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and to correlate them with clinical and transplant variables.MethodsThis is a retrospective analysis of data from 93 patients affected by hematological malignancies undergoing HSCT. Values from Ocular Surface Disease Index, Schirmer test, Break-up Time, ocular surface staining, and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction score obtained before HSCT and 3-6 months after were retrieved from charts. Diagnosis and staging of dry eye (DE) disease was performed according to Dry Eye WorkShop criteria. Graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) was classified according to the NIH criteria. Odds ratios for DE onset after HSCT were estimated for demographic, ocular, hematological and transplant variables.ResultsDE was diagnosed before HSCT in 50 (53%) of the patients, mostly of hyperevaporative profile. After HSCT, all ocular parameters significantly worsened with no change in DE profile. A 51% incident cases (22 of the 43 non-DE subjects) were reported. Increasing recipient age and female sex, higher CD34+ cells infused, donor-recipient sex mismatch (males receiving from females), related donors, and peripheral blood cells as stem cell source were associated with a significant higher incidence of DE after HSCT. Systemic chronic GVHD was diagnosed in 42% while ocular GVHD in 35.5% of the patients, which decreased to 12% when taking into account only incident cases.ConclusionsHigh DE prevalence was shown already before HSCT. A pre-HSCT ocular surface assessment is recommended for early DE diagnosis and treatment. This new protocol also influences the prevalence of ocular GVHD.
PMID: 28524885 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Antinociceptive Effect of Intrathecal Injection of Genetically Engineered Human Bone Marrow Stem Cells Expressing the Human Proenkephalin Gene in a Rat Model of Bone Cancer Pain.
Pain Res Manag. 2017;2017:7346103
Authors: Sun Y, Tian Y, Li H, Zhang D, Sun Q
Background. This study aimed to investigate the use of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) genetically engineered with the human proenkephalin (hPPE) gene to treat bone cancer pain (BCP) in a rat model. Methods. Primary cultured hBMSCs were passaged and modified with hPPE, and the cell suspensions (6 × 106) were then intrathecally injected into a rat model of BCP. Paw mechanical withdrawal threshold (PMWT) was measured before and after BCP. The effects of hPPE gene transfer on hBMSC bioactivity were analyzed in vitro and in vivo. Results. No changes were observed in the surface phenotypes and differentiation of hBMSCs after gene transfer. The hPPE-hBMSC group showed improved PMWT values on the ipsilateral side of rats with BCP from day 12 postoperatively, and the analgesic effect was reversed by naloxone. The levels of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β and IL-6 were ameliorated, and leucine-enkephalin (L-EK) secretion was augmented, in the hPPE-engineered hBMSC group. Conclusion. The intrathecal administration of BMSCs modified with the hPPE gene can effectively relieve pain caused by bone cancer in rats and might be a potentially therapeutic tool for cancer-related pain in humans.
PMID: 28286408 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Bortezomib with lenalidomide and dexamethasone versus lenalidomide and dexamethasone alone in patients with newly diagnosed myeloma without intent for immediate autologous stem-cell transplant (SWOG S0777): a randomised, open-label, phase 3 trial.
Lancet. 2017 02 04;389(10068):519-527
Authors: Durie BG, Hoering A, Abidi MH, Rajkumar SV, Epstein J, Kahanic SP, Thakuri M, Reu F, Reynolds CM, Sexton R, Orlowski RZ, Barlogie B, Dispenzieri A
BACKGROUND: Lenalidomide plus dexamethasone is a reference treatment for patients with newly diagnosed myeloma. The combination of the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib with lenalidomide and dexamethasone has shown significant efficacy in the setting of newly diagnosed myeloma. We aimed to study whether the addition of bortezomib to lenalidomide and dexamethasone would improve progression-free survival and provide better response rates in patients with previously untreated multiple myeloma who were not planned for immediate autologous stem-cell transplant.
METHODS: In this randomised, open-label, phase 3 trial, we recruited patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma aged 18 years and older from participating Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) and National Clinical Trial Network (NCTN) institutions (both inpatient and outpatient settings). Key inclusion criteria were presence of CRAB (C=calcium elevation; R=renal impairment; A=anaemia; B=bone involvement) criteria with measurable disease (measured by assessment of free light chains), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0-3, haemoglobin concentration 9 g/dL or higher, absolute neutrophil count 1 × 103 cells per mm3 or higher, and a platelet count of 80 000/mm3 or higher. We randomly assigned (1:1) patients to receive either an initial treatment of bortezomib with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (VRd group) or lenalidomide and dexamethasone alone (Rd group). Randomisation was stratified based on International Staging System stage (I, II, or III) and intent to transplant (yes vs no). The VRd regimen was given as eight 21-day cycles. Bortezomib was given at 1·3 mg/m2 intravenously on days 1, 4, 8, and 11, combined with oral lenalidomide 25 mg daily on days 1-14 plus oral dexamethasone 20 mg daily on days 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, and 12. The Rd regimen was given as six 28-day cycles. The standard Rd regimen consisted of 25 mg oral lenalidomide once a day for days 1-21 plus 40 mg oral dexamethasone once a day on days 1, 8, 15, and 22. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival using a prespecified one-sided stratified log rank test at a significance level of 0·02. Analyses were intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00644228.
FINDINGS: Between April, 2008, and February, 2012, we randomly assigned 525 patients at 139 participating institutions (264 to VRd and 261 to Rd). In the randomly assigned patients, 21 patients in the VRd group and 31 in the Rd group were deemed ineligible based mainly on missing, insufficient, or early or late baseline laboratory data. Median progression-free survival was significantly improved in the VRd group (43 months vs 30 months in the Rd group; stratified hazard ratio [HR] 0·712, 96% CI 0·56-0·906; one-sided p value 0·0018). The median overall survival was also significantly improved in the VRd group (75 months vs 64 months in the Rd group, HR 0·709, 95% CI 0·524-0·959; two-sided p value 0·025). The rates of overall response (partial response or better) were 82% (176/216) in the VRd group and 72% (153/214) in the Rd group, and 16% (34/216) and 8% (18/214) of patients who were assessable for response in these respective groups had a complete response or better. Adverse events of grade 3 or higher were reported in 198 (82%) of 241 patients in the VRd group and 169 (75%) of 226 patients in the Rd group; 55 (23%) and 22 (10%) patients discontinued induction treatment because of adverse events, respectively. There were no treatment-related deaths in the Rd group, and two in the VRd group.
INTERPRETATION: In patients with newly diagnosed myeloma, the addition of bortezomib to lenalidomide and dexamethasone resulted in significantly improved progression-free and overall survival and had an acceptable risk-benefit profile.
FUNDING: NIH, NCI, NCTN, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Takeda Oncology Company, and Celgene Corporation.
PMID: 28017406 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Metformin treatment reduces temozolomide resistance of glioblastoma cells.
Oncotarget. 2016 Nov 29;7(48):78787-78803
Authors: Yang SH, Li S, Lu G, Xue H, Kim DH, Zhu JJ, Liu Y
It has been reported that metformin acts synergistically with temozolomide (TMZ) to inhibit proliferation of glioma cells including glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). However, the molecular mechanism underlying how metformin exerts its anti-cancer effects remains elusive. We used a combined experimental and bioinformatics approach to identify genes and complex regulatory/signal transduction networks that are involved in restoring TMZ sensitivity of GBM cells after metformin treatment. First, we established TMZ resistant GBM cell lines and found that the resistant cells regained TMZ sensitivity after metformin treatment. We further identified that metformin down-regulates SOX2 expression in TMZ-resistant glioma cells, reduces neurosphere formation capacity of glioblastoma cells, and inhibits GBM xenograft growth in vivo. Finally, the global gene expression profiling data reveals that multiple pathways are involved in metformin treatment related gene expression changes, including fatty acid metabolism and RNA binding and splicing pathways. Our work provided insight of the mechanisms on potential synergistic effects of TMZ and metformin in the treatment of glioblastoma, which will in turn yield potentially translational value for clinical applications.
PMID: 27791206 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
A 5-day cytoreductive chemotherapy followed by haplo-identical hsct (FA5-BUCY) as a tumor-ablative regimen improved the survival of patients with advanced hematological malignancies.
Oncotarget. 2016 Nov 29;7(48):78773-78786
Authors: Yang T, Lin Q, Ren J, Chen P, Yuan X, Luo X, Liu T, Zheng J, Zheng Z, Zheng X, Chen X, Zhang L, Zheng H, Chen Z, Hua X, Le S, Li J, Chen Z, Hu J
Haplo-HSCT has been used when HLA-matched siblings are not available. Conditioning regimens aim to reduce tumor burden prior to HSCT and provide sufficient immunoablation. We report the outcome of haplo-HSCT in 63 consecutive patients from 2/2013 to 12/2015 (19 females/44 males) with high-risk or relapsed/refractory hematological malignancies (n=29-AML; 8-sAML; 19-ALL; 5-advanced-MDS; 2-CML-BC). Median age was 20 years (range: 1.1-49). Twenty-one patients achieved remission prior to transplant, while 42 did not. Patients received FA5-BUCY, i.e., 5-day salvage chemotherapy (Fludarabine/Ara-C) and conditioning (Busulfan/Cyclophosphamide). GvHD prophylaxis included ATG, CsA, MMF and short-term MTX. All patients received stem cells from bone marrow and peripheral blood, and achieved successful engraftment, except two who died before. With a median follow-up of 269 days (120-1081), 42/63 patients are still alive and disease-free. Two-year OS and RFS were similar in patients not in remission and in those in complete remission (61.3% vs 56.3%, p=0.88; 58.3% vs 56.3%, p=0.991). Non-relapse mortality and relapse incidence were 22.2% and 11.1%, respectively. Severe acute-GvHD occurred in 4/63 patients. Transplant-related mortality was low at day+100 (17.5%) and for the entire study period (20.6%). Unexpectedly, few patients experienced mild-to-moderate toxicity, and main causes of death were infection and GvHD. BM blast counts, age, and donor-recipient gender-pairs did not affect the outcome. Less chemotherapy cycles prior to HSCT might result in more favorable outcome. Thus, haplo-HSCT with FA5-BUCY appears promising for advanced disease, especially when TBI and amsacrine, used for FLAMSA, are not available and in pediatric patients for whom TBI is not recommended.
PMID: 27705929 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
High-dose chemotherapy with autologous haemopoietic stem cell transplantation for newly diagnosed primary CNS lymphoma: a prospective, single-arm, phase 2 trial.
Lancet Haematol. 2016 Aug;3(8):e388-97
Authors: Illerhaus G, Kasenda B, Ihorst G, Egerer G, Lamprecht M, Keller U, Wolf HH, Hirt C, Stilgenbauer S, Binder M, Hau P, Edinger M, Frickhofen N, Bentz M, Möhle R, Röth A, Pfreundschuh M, von Baumgarten L, Deckert M, Hader C, Fricker H, Valk E, Schorb E, Fritsch K, Finke J
BACKGROUND: High-dose methotrexate-based chemotherapy is standard for primary CNS lymphoma, but most patients relapse. High-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation (HCT-ASCT) is supposed to overcome the blood-brain barrier and eliminate residual disease in the CNS. We aimed to investigate the safety and efficacy of HCT-ASCT in patients with newly diagnosed primary CNS lymphoma.
METHODS: In this prospective, single-arm, phase 2 trial, we recruited patients aged 18-65 years with newly diagnosed primary CNS lymphoma and immunocompetence, with no limitation on clinical performance status, from 15 hospitals in Germany. Patients received five courses of intravenous rituximab 375 mg/m(2) (7 days before first high-dose methotrexate course and then every 10 days) and four courses of intravenous high-dose methotrexate 8000 mg/m(2) (every 10 days) and then two courses of intravenous rituximab 375 mg/m(2) (day 1), cytarabine 3 g/m(2) (days 2 and 3), and thiotepa 40 mg/m(2) (day 3). 3 weeks after the last course, patients commenced intravenous HCT-ASCT (rituximab 375 mg/m(2) [day 1], carmustine 400 mg/m(2) [day 2], thiotepa 2 × 5 mg/kg [days 3 and 4], and infusion of stem cells [day 7]), irrespective of response status after induction. We restricted radiotherapy to patients without complete response after HCT-ASCT. The primary endpoint was complete response at day 30 after HCT-ASCT in all registered eligible patients who received at least 1 day of study treatment. This trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00647049.
FINDINGS: Between Jan 18, 2007, and May 23, 2011, we recruited 81 patients, of whom two (2%) were excluded, therefore we included 79 (98%) patients in the analysis. All patients started induction treatment; 73 (92%) commenced HCT-ASCT. 61 (77·2% [95% CI 66·1-86·6]) patients achieved a complete response. During induction treatment, the most common grade 3 toxicity was anaemia (37 [47%]) and the most common grade 4 toxicity was thrombocytopenia (50 [63%]). During HCT-ASCT, the most common grade 3 toxicity was fever (50 [68%] of 73) and the most common grade 4 toxicity was leucopenia (68 [93%] of 73). We recorded four (5%) treatment-related deaths (three [4%] during induction and one [1%] 4 weeks after HCT-ASCT).
INTERPRETATION: HCT-ASCT with thiotepa and carmustine is an effective treatment option in young patients with newly diagnosed primary CNS lymphoma, but further comparative studies are needed.
FUNDING: University Hospital Freiburg and Amgen.
PMID: 27476790 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]