One of the most common hereditary craniofacial anomalies in humans are cleft lip and cleft alveolar bone with or without cleft palate. Current clinical practice, the augmentation of the persisting alveolar bone defect by using autologous bone grafts, has considerable disadvantages motivating to an intensive search for alternatives. We developed a novel therapy concept based on 3D printing of biodegradable calcium phosphate-based materials and integration of osteogenic cells allowing fabrication of patient-specific, tissue-engineered bone grafts. Objective of the present study was the in vivo evaluation of implants in a rat alveolar cleft model. Scaffolds were designed according to the defect's geometry with two different pore designs (60 degrees and 30 degrees rotated layer orientation) and produced by extrusion-based 3D plotting of a pasty calcium phosphate cement. The scaffolds filled into the artificial bone defect in the palate of adult Lewis rats, showing a good support. Half of the scaffolds were colonized with rat mesenchymal stromal cells (rMSC) prior to implantation. After 6 and 12 weeks, remaining defect width and bone formation were quantified histologically and by microCT. The results revealed excellent osteoconductive properties of the scaffolds, a significant influence of the pore geometry (60 degrees > 30 degrees), but no enhanced defect healing by pre-colonization with rMSC.View less
Background: Collectively, an estimated 5% of the population have a genetic disease. Many of them feature characteristics that can be detected by facial phenotyping. Face2Gene CLINIC is an online app for facial phenotyping of patients with genetic syndromes. DeepGestalt, the neural network driving Face2Gene, automatically prioritizes syndrome suggestions based on ordinary patient photographs, potentially improving the diagnostic process. Hitherto, studies on DeepGestalt’s quality highlighted its sensitivity in syndromic patients. However, determining the accuracy of a diagnostic methodology also requires testing of negative controls.
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate DeepGestalt's accuracy with photos of individuals with and without a genetic syndrome. Moreover, we aimed to propose a machine learning–based framework for the automated differentiation of DeepGestalt’s output on such images.
Methods: Frontal facial images of individuals with a diagnosis of a genetic syndrome (established clinically or molecularly) from a convenience sample were reanalyzed. Each photo was matched by age, sex, and ethnicity to a picture featuring an individual without a genetic syndrome. Absence of a facial gestalt suggestive of a genetic syndrome was determined by physicians working in medical genetics. Photos were selected from online reports or were taken by us for the purpose of this study. Facial phenotype was analyzed by DeepGestalt version 19.1.7, accessed via Face2Gene CLINIC. Furthermore, we designed linear support vector machines (SVMs) using Python 3.7 to automatically differentiate between the 2 classes of photographs based on DeepGestalt's result lists.
Results: We included photos of 323 patients diagnosed with 17 different genetic syndromes and matched those with an equal number of facial images without a genetic syndrome, analyzing a total of 646 pictures. We confirm DeepGestalt’s high sensitivity (top 10 sensitivity: 295/323, 91%). DeepGestalt’s syndrome suggestions in individuals without a craniofacially dysmorphic syndrome followed a nonrandom distribution. A total of 17 syndromes appeared in the top 30 suggestions of more than 50% of nondysmorphic images. DeepGestalt’s top scores differed between the syndromic and control images (area under the receiver operating characteristic [AUROC] curve 0.72, 95% CI 0.68-0.76; P<.001). A linear SVM running on DeepGestalt’s result vectors showed stronger differences (AUROC 0.89, 95% CI 0.87-0.92; P<.001).
Conclusions: DeepGestalt fairly separates images of individuals with and without a genetic syndrome. This separation can be significantly improved by SVMs running on top of DeepGestalt, thus supporting the diagnostic process of patients with a genetic syndrome. Our findings facilitate the critical interpretation of DeepGestalt’s results and may help enhance it and similar computer-aided facial phenotyping tools.View less
Background: Normothermic ex vivo liver perfusion (NEVLP) is a promising strategy to increase the donor pool in liver transplantation. Small animal models are essential to further investigate questions regarding organ preservation and reconditioning by NEVLP. A dual vessel small animal NEVLP (dNEVLP) model was developed using metamizole as a vasodilator and compared to conventional portovenous single vessel NEVLP (sNEVLP).
Methods: Livers of male Wistar rats were perfused with erythrocyte-supplemented culture medium for six hours by either dNEVLP via hepatic artery and portal vein or portovenous sNEVLP. dNEVLP was performed either with or without metamizole treatment. Perfusion pressure and flow rates were constantly monitored. Transaminase levels were determined in the perfusate at the start and after three and six hours of perfusion. Bile secretion was monitored and bile LDH and GGT levels were measured hourly. Histopathological analysis was performed using liver and bile duct tissue samples after perfusion.
Results: Hepatic artery pressure was significantly lower in dNEVLP with metamizole administration. Compared to sNEVLP, dNEVLP with metamizole treatment showed higher bile production, lower levels of transaminases during and after perfusion as well as significantly lower necrosis in liver and bile duct tissue. Biochemical markers of bile duct injury showed the same trend.
Conclusion: Our miniaturized dNEVLP system enables normothermic dual vessel rat liver perfusion. The administration of metamizole effectively ameliorates arterial vasospasm allowing for six hours of dNEVLP, with superior outcome compared to sNEVLP.View less
Human Campylobacter infections are emerging worldwide and constitute significant health burdens. We recently showed that the immunopathological sequelae in Campylobacter jejuni-infected mice were due to Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4 dependent immune responses induced by bacterial lipooligosaccharide (LOS). Information regarding the molecular mechanisms underlying Campylobacter coli-host interactions are scarce, however. Therefore, we analyzed C. coli-induced campylobacteriosis in secondary abiotic IL-10-/- mice with and without TLR4. Mice were infected perorally with a human C. coli isolate or with a murine commensal Escherichia coli as apathogenic, non-invasive control. Independent from TLR4, C. coli and E. coli stably colonized the gastrointestinal tract, but only C. coli induced clinical signs of campylobacteriosis. TLR4-/- IL-10-/- mice, however, displayed less frequently fecal blood and less distinct histopathological and apoptotic sequelae in the colon versus IL-10-/- counterparts on day 28 following C. coli infection. Furthermore, C. coli-induced colonic immune cell responses were less pronounced in TLR4-/- IL-10-/- as compared to IL-10-/- mice and accompanied by lower pro-inflammatory mediator concentrations in the intestines and the liver of the former versus the latter. In conclusion, our study provides evidence that TLR4 is involved in mediating C. coli-LOS-induced immune responses in intestinal and extra-intestinal compartments during murine campylobacteriosis.View less
The Janus kinase (JAK) signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling pathway serves as an important downstream mediator for a variety of cytokines, hormones, and growth factors. Emerging evidence suggests JAK/STAT signaling pathway plays an important role in bone development, metabolism, and healing. In this light, pro-inflammatory cytokines are now clearly implicated in these processes as they can perturb normal bone remodeling through their action on osteoclasts and osteoblasts at both intra- and extra-articular skeletal sites. Here, we summarize the role of JAK/STAT pathway on development, homeostasis, and regeneration based on skeletal phenotype of individual JAK and STAT gene knockout models and selective inhibition of components of the JAK/STAT signaling including influences of JAK inhibition in osteoclasts, osteoblasts, and osteocytes.View less
The polyphenolic compound resveratrol has been shown to exert health-beneficial properties. Given globally emerging Campylobacter infections in humans, we addressed potential anti-pathogenic, immuno-modulatory and intestinal epithelial barrier preserving properties of synthetic resveratrol in the present preclinical intervention study applying a murine acute campylobacteriosis model. Two days following peroral C. jejuni infection, secondary abiotic IL-10-/- mice were either subjected to resveratrol or placebo via the drinking water. Whereas placebo mice suffered from acute enterocolitis at day 6 post-infection, resveratrol treatment did not only lead to improved clinical conditions, but also to less pronounced colonic epithelial apoptosis as compared to placebo application. Furthermore, C. jejuni induced innate and adaptive immune cell responses were dampened in the large intestines upon resveratrol challenge and accompanied by less colonic nitric oxide secretion in the resveratrol versus the placebo cohort. Functional analyses revealed that resveratrol treatment could effectively rescue colonic epithelial barrier function in C. jejuni infected mice. Strikingly, the disease-alleviating effects of resveratrol could additionally be found in extra-intestinal and also systemic compartments at day 6 post-infection. For the first time, our current preclinical intervention study provides evidence that peroral resveratrol treatment exerts potent disease-alleviating effects during acute experimental campylobacteriosis.View less
Purpose – Many health systems face challenges such as rising costs and lacking quality, both of which can be addressed by improving the integration of different health care sectors and professions. The purpose of this viewpoint is to present the German health care Innovation Fund (IF) initiated by the Federal Government to support the development and diffusion of integrated health care.
Design/methodology/approach – This article describes the design and rationale of the IF in detail and provides first insights into its limitations, acceptance and implementation by relevant stakeholders.
Findings – In its first period, the IF offered V 1.2 billion as start-up funding for model implementation and evaluation over a period of four years (2016–2019). This period was recently extended to a second round until 2024, offering V 200 million a year as from 2020. The IF is triggering the support of relevant insurers for the development of new integrated care models. In addition, strict evaluation requirements have led to a large number of health service research projects which assess structural and process improvements and thus enable evidence-based policy decisions.
Originality/value – This article is the first of its kind to present the German IF to the international readership. The IF is a political initiative through which to foster innovations and promote integrated health care.View less
A complex inflammatory process mediated by proinflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins commonly occurs in the synovial tissue of patients with joint trauma (JT), osteoarthritis (OA), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study systematically investigated the distinct expression profile of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), its processing enzymes (COX-2), and microsomal PGES-1 (mPGES-1) as well as the corresponding prostanoid receptor subtypes (EP1-4) in representative samples of synovial tissue from these patients (JT, OA, and RA). Quantitative TaqMan®-PCR and double immunofluorescence confocal microscopy of synovial tissue determined the abundance and exact immune cell types expressing these target molecules. Our results demonstrated that PGE2 and its processing enzymes COX-2 and mPGES-1 were highest in the synovial tissue of RA, followed by the synovial tissue of OA and JT patients. Corresponding prostanoid receptor, subtypes EP3 were highly expressed in the synovium of RA, followed by the synovial tissue of OA and JT patients. These proinflammatory target molecules were distinctly identified in JT patients mostly in synovial granulocytes, in OA patients predominantly in synovial macrophages and fibroblasts, whereas in RA patients mainly in synovial fibroblasts and plasma cells. Our findings show a distinct expression profile of EP receptor subtypes and PGE2 as well as the corresponding processing enzymes in human synovium that modulate the inflammatory process in JT, OA, and RA patients.View less
Impairment of circadian rhythms impacts carcinogenesis. SMAD4, a clock-controlled gene and central component of the TGFβ canonical pathway, is frequently mutated in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA), leading to decreased survival. Here, we used an in vitro PDA model of SMAD4-positive and SMAD4-negative cells to investigate the interplay between circadian rhythms, the TGFβ canonical signaling pathway, and its impact on tumor malignancy. Our data show that TGFβ1, SMAD3, SMAD4, and SMAD7 oscillate in a circadian fashion in SMAD4-positive PDA cells, whereas altering the clock impairs the mRNA dynamics of these genes. Furthermore, the expression of the clock genes DEC1, DEC2, and CRY1 varied depending on SMAD4 status. TGFβ pathway activation resulted in an altered clock, cell-cycle arrest, accelerated apoptosis rate, enhanced invasiveness, and chemosensitivity. Our data suggest that the impact of TGFβ on the clock is SMAD4-dependent, and S MAD3, SMAD4, DEC1, and CRY1 involved in this cross-talk affect PDA patient survival.View less
Background: Due to demographic transition, multimorbidity and high numbers of medicinal products, polypharmacy rates will presumably further increase. This could lead to higher risks of potentially inappropriate medications with potential drug-drug interactions (PDDI). PDDI has already been investigated by several studies, but not for patients with indication for prophylactic implantation of a cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Thus, the objective of this analysis was to examine the frequency of PDDI in that specific group of patients and compare patients with or without PDDI regarding potential underlying factors.
Methods: Cross-sectional data analyses were performed using data of the prospective EU-CERT-ICD study that primarily aimed to assess ICD effectiveness in Europe. Self-reported baseline medication data of patients from Germany and Switzerland were used. Patients who reported to take at least two drugs simultaneously for at least 80 days were defined as population at risk. By means of a publicly available interaction checker, we analyzed the medication data regarding occurrence and characteristics of PDDI categorized as minor, moderate, and major PDDI. The analyses were done using descriptive methods and chi square testing.
Results: The total population (n = 524) and the population at risk (n = 383) were rather similar with an average age of 64 years and about 80% male. PDDIs were found for 296 patients (in 57% of total population vs. 77% of population at risk). The moderate PDDI category was most frequently with 268 affected patients. Comparing patients with and without any PDDI, the proportion of patients with place of residence in Germany varied distinctly (93% vs. 78%). The frequency of any PDDI for the total population was twice as high in Germany as in Switzerland (p value < 0.001).
Conclusions: PDDIs were frequently observed in this selected patient population and differed markedly between German and Swiss patients. The results should lead to higher awareness of polypharmacy and PDDIs. Adequate cooperation between health care providers should be promoted and new technologies such as drug interaction information systems or digital patient files used.
Trial registration: The EU-CERT-ICD study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02064192).View less
Background: Digital health technologies hold promise to enhance patient-related outcomes, to support health care staff by reducing their workload, and to improve the coordination of care. As key users of digital health technologies, health care workers are crucial to enable a meaningful digital transformation of health care. Digital health literacy and digital skills should become prerequisite competencies for health professionals to facilitate the implementation and leverage the potential of digital technologies to improve health.
Objective: We aimed to assess European medical students' perceived knowledge and opinions toward digital health, the status of digital health implementation in medical education, and the students' most pressing needs.
Methods: The explanatory design of our mixed methods study was based on an online, anonymous, self-administered survey targeted toward European medical students. A linear regression analysis was used to identify the influence of the year of medical studies on the responses. Additional analysis was performed by grouping the responses by the self-evaluated frequency of eHealth technology use. Written responses to four qualitative questions in the survey were analyzed using an inductive approach.
Results: The survey received a total of 451 responses from 39 European countries, and there were respondents for every year of medical studies. The majority of respondents saw advantages in the use of digital health. While 40.6% (183/451) felt prepared to work in a digitized health care system, more than half (240/451, 53.2%) evaluated their eHealth skills as poor or very poor. Medical students considered lack of education to be the reason for this, with 84.9% (383/451) agreeing or strongly agreeing that more digital health education should be implemented in the medical curriculum. Students demanded introductory and specific eHealth courses covering data management, ethical aspects, legal frameworks, research and entrepreneurial opportunities, role in public health and health systems, communication skills, and practical training. The emphasis lay on tailoring learning to future job requirements and interprofessional education.
Conclusions: This study shows a lack of digital health-related formats in medical education and a perceived lack of digital health literacy among European medical students. Our findings indicate a gap between the willingness of medical students to take an active role by becoming key players in the digital transformation of health care and the education that they receive through their faculties.View less
Purpose: We aimed to evaluate the correlation between PSMA uptake and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) PI-RADS of simultaneous [68Ga]Ga-PSMA-11 PET/MRI regarding PI-RADS version 2.0 and 2.1 respectively and compared the difference between these two versions.
Materials and methods: We retrospectively analyzed a total of forty-six patients with biopsy-proven prostate cancer who underwent simultaneous [68Ga]Ga-PSMA-11 PET/MRI. We classified the lesions regarding PI-RADS version 2.0 and 2.1, peripheral zone (PZ), and transitional zone (TZ), respectively. Based on regions of interest (ROI), standardized uptake values maximum (SUVmax), and corresponding lesion-to-background ratios (LBR) of SUVmax of each category, PI-RADS score 1 to 5, were measured. A comparison between PI-RADS version 2.0 and PI-RADS version 2.1 was performed.
Results: A total of 215 focal prostate lesions were analyzed, including two subgroups, 125 TZ and 90 PZ. Data are reported as median and interquartile range (IQR). Regarding PI-RADS version 2.1, TZ SUVmax of each category were 1.5 (0.5, 1.9), 1.9 (0.8, 2.3), 3.3 (2.1, 4.6), 4.2 (3.1, 5.7), 7.3 (5.2, 9.7). PZ SUVmax of each category were 1.0 (0.8, 1.6), 2.5 (1.5, 3.2), 3.3 (1.9, 4.5), 4.3 (3.0, 5.4), 7.4 (5.0, 9.3). Regarding the inter-reader agreement of the overall PI-RADS assessment category, the kappa value was 0.723 for version 2.0 and 0.853 for version 2.1.
Conclusion: Revisions of PI-RADS version 2.1 results in variations in lesions classification. Lesions with the PI-RADS category of 3, 4, and 5 present relatively higher intraprostatic PSMA uptake, while lesions with the PI-RADS category of 1 and 2 present relatively lower and similar uptake. Version 2.1 has higher inter-reader reproducibility than version 2.0.View less
The microenvironment plays a vital role in the tumor recurrence of neuroblastoma. This research aimed at exploring prognostic genes that are involved in neuroblastoma microenvironment. We used "estimate" R package to calculate the immune/stromal/ESTIMATE scores of each sample of ArrayExpress dataset E-MTAB-8248 based on the ESTIMATE algorithm. Then we found that immune/stromal/ESTIMATE scores were not correlated with age/chromosome 11q, but tumor stage, MYCN gene amplifications, and chromosome 1p. Samples were then divided into high- and low-score groups, and 280 common differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified. 64 potential prognostic genes were harvested through overall survival analysis from the common DEGs. 14 prognostic genes (ABCA6, SEPP1, SLAMF8, GPR171, ABCA9, ARHGAP15, IL7R, HLA-DPB1, GZMA, GPR183, CCL19, ITK, FGL2, and CD1C) were obtained after screening in two independent cohorts. GO and KEGG analysis discovered that common DEGs and 64 potential prognostic genes are mainly involved in T-cell activation, lymphocyte activation regulation, leukocyte migration, and the interaction of cytokines and cytokine receptors. Correlation analysis showed that all prognostic genes were negatively correlated with MYCN amplification. Cox analysis identified 5 independent prognostic genes (ARHGAP15, ABCA9, CCL19, SLAMF8, and CD1C).View less
Algeria is the largest country in Africa, located close to the Mediterranean coastal area, where nutrients consumption varies widely. Local data on selenium composition of foods are not available. We postulated a close correlation between selenium status predictions from food consumption analysis with a quantitative analysis of circulating biomarkers of selenium status. Population characteristics were recorded from 158 participants and dietary selenium intake was calculated by 24-h recall. The average total plasma selenium was 92.4 ± 18.5 µg/L and the mean of selenium intake was 62.7 µg/day. The selenoprotein P concentration was 5.5 ± 2.0 mg/L and glutathione peroxidase 3 activity was 247.3 ± 41.5 U/L. A direct comparison of the dietary-derived selenium status to the circulating selenium biomarkers showed no significant interrelation. Based on absolute intakes of meat, potato and eggs, a model was deduced that outperforms the intake composition-based prediction from all food components significantly (DeLong's test, p = 0.029), yielding an area under the curve of 82%. Selenium status prediction from food intake remains a challenge. Imprecision of survey method or information on nutrient composition makes extrapolating selenium intake from food data providing incorrect insights into the nutritional status of a given population, and laboratory analyses are needed for reliable information.View less
The genealogy of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and the genus Hepacivirus remains elusive despite numerous recently discovered animal hepaciviruses (HVs). Viruses from evolutionarily ancient mammals might elucidate the HV macro-evolutionary patterns. Here, we investigated sixty-seven two-toed and nine three-toed sloths from Costa Rica for HVs using molecular and serological tools. A novel sloth HV was detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in three-toed sloths (2/9, 22.2%; 95% confidence interval (CI), 5.3-55.7). Genomic characterization revealed typical HV features including overall polyprotein gene structure, a type 4 internal ribosomal entry site in the viral 5'-genome terminus, an A-U-rich region and X-tail structure in the viral 3'-genome terminus. Different from other animal HVs, HV seropositivity in two-toed sloths was low at 4.5 per cent (3/67; CI, 1.0-12.9), whereas the RT-PCR-positive three-toed sloths were seronegative. Limited cross-reactivity of the serological assay implied exposure of seropositive two-toed sloths to HVs of unknown origin and recent infections in RT-PCR-positive animals preceding seroconversion. Recent infections were consistent with only 9 nucleotide exchanges between the two sloth HVs, located predominantly within the E1/E2 encoding regions. Translated sequence distances of NS3 and NS5 proteins and host comparisons suggested that the sloth HV represents a novel HV species. Event- and sequence distance-based reconciliations of phylogenies of HVs and of their hosts revealed complex macro-evolutionary patterns, including both long-term evolutionary associations and host switches, most strikingly from rodents into sloths. Ancestral state reconstructions corroborated rodents as predominant sources of HV host switches during the genealogy of extant HVs. Sequence distance comparisons, partial conservation of critical amino acid residues associated with HV entry and selection pressure signatures of host genes encoding entry and antiviral protein orthologs were consistent with HV host switches between genetically divergent mammals, including the projected host switch from rodents into sloths. Structural comparison of HCV and sloth HV E2 proteins suggested conserved modes of hepaciviral entry. Our data corroborate complex macro-evolutionary patterns shaping the genus Hepacivirus, highlight that host switches are possible across highly diverse host taxa, and elucidate a prominent role of rodent hosts during the Hepacivirus genealogy.View less
Purpose: An expansion of selection criteria for deceased organ transplantation already exists to manage the current donor shortage. Comparable evaluation of risk factors for living donors should be investigated to improve this issue.
Patients and methods: Our retrospective single-centre study analysed 158 patients with living kidney transplants performed between February 2006 and June 2012. We investigated the influence of donor risk factors (RF) including body mass index over 30 kg/m2, age >60 years, active nicotine abuse and arterial hypertension on postoperative kidney function with focus on the recipients. This was measured for long-term survival and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in a 5-year follow-up.
Results: Overall, out of 158 living donors, 84 donors were identified to have no risk factors, whereas 74 donors had at least one risk factor. We noted a significant higher delayed graft function (p=0.042) in the first 7 days after transplantation, as well as lower GFR of recipients of allografts with risk factors in the first-year after transplantation. In our long-term results, there was no significant difference in the functional outcome (graft function, recipient and graft survival) between recipients receiving kidneys from donors with no and at least one risk factors. In the adjusted analysis of subgroups of different risk factors, recipients of donors with "age over 60 years" at time of transplantation had a decreased transplant survival (p=0.014).
Conclusion: Thus, a careful expansion for selection criteria for living donors with critical evaluation could be possible, but especially the age of the donors could be a limited risk factor.View less
Leishmaniasis is a protozoal infection transmitted by a sandfly vector. In Germany, leishmaniasis of the mucous membranes is a rare condition and usually due to extension of local skin disease into the mucosal tissue via direct extension, bloodstream or lymphatics. We report a case of endonasal leishmaniasis in a female German resident who presented in a university hospital with nasal obstruction. Histology of the left nasal septum biopsy was suggestive of leishmaniasis. The molecular detection of DNA was positive for leishmania infantum. The patient was successfully treated as a case of mucocutaneous leishmaniasis receiving liposomal amphotericin follow up visits showed significant improvement with no recurrence.View less
Clinical trials demonstrated that CD19+ chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells can be highly effective against a number of malignancies. However, the complete risk profile of CAR T-cells could not be defined in the initial trials. Currently, there is emerging evidence derived from post approval studies in CD19+ CAR T-cells demonstrating both short-term and medium-term effects, which were unknown at the time of regulatory approval. Here, we review the incidence and the current management of CD19+ CAR T-cell complications. We highlight frequently occurring events, such as cytokine release syndrome, immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome, cardiotoxicity, pulmonary toxicity, metabolic complications, secondary macrophage-activation syndrome, and prolonged cytopenia. Furthermore, we present evidence supporting the hypothesis that CAR T-cell-mediated toxicities can involve any other organ system and we discuss the potential risk of long-term complications. Finally, we discuss recent pre-clinical and clinical data shedding new light on the pathophysiology of CAR T-cell-related complications.View less
Methemoglobin (MetHb) is a hemoglobin (Hb) derivative with the heme iron in ferric state (Fe3+), unable to deliver oxygen. Quantification of methemoglobin is a very important diagnostic parameter in hypoxia. Recently, novel hemoglobin microparticles (Hb-MP) with a narrow size distribution around 700 nm, consisting of cross-linked Hb were proposed as artificial oxygen carriers. The cross-linking of Hb by glutaraldehyde (GA) generates a certain amount of MetHb. Due to the strong light scattering, quantitative determination of MetHb in Hb-MP suspensions by common spectrophotometry is not possible. Here, we demonstrate that 1H2O NMR relaxometry is a perfect tool for direct measurement of total Hb and MetHb concentrations in Hb-MP samples. The longitudinal relaxation rate 1/T1 shows a linear increase with increasing MetHb concentration, whereas the transverse relaxation rate 1/T2 linearly increases with the total Hb concentration. In both linear regressions the determination coefficient (R2) is higher than 0.99. The method does not require time-consuming pretreatment or digestion of the particles and is not impaired by light scattering. Therefore, it can be established as the method of choice for the quality control of Hb-MP and similar hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers in the future.View less
Purpose: There is no standard of care for recurrent high-grade glioma. Treatment strategies include reresection, reirradiation, systemic agents, intratumoral thermotherapy using magnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles (“nanotherapy”), and tumor treating fields. Only a small number of patients are eligible for reresection, and because many patients receive a full course of radiation therapy, there is fear of reirradiation-induced morbidity. Modern radiation techniques have resulted in greater acceptance of reirradiation. In this work we retrospectively analyzed patients who had undergone reirradiation of high-grade glioma at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
Methods and Materials: All patients treated with reirradiation for recurrent high-grade glioma in our department from January 1997 to February 2014 were analyzed in this study. In total, 198 patients were included. The primary endpoint was overall survival after recurrence.
Results: One hundred ninety-eight patients were identified. Median time from first radiation therapy to reirradiation was 14 months. Median follow-up from the first day of reirradiation to last contact or death was 7 months. Median overall survival after relapse was 7 months for the overall cohort. For glioblastoma, median overall survival after relapse was 6 months and for grade 3 gliomas 14 months. Treatment was generally well tolerated. Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events grade 3 toxicity was observed in 5.1% patients and grade 4 toxicity in 2.5%. No patient developed grade 5 toxicity. The likelihood of developing severe toxicity (Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events grade 3 or 4) was not significantly higher in the group of patients who received reirradiation in the first 14 months after initial radiation therapy. Patients who received a higher biologically effective dose to the tumor also did not have a significantly higher rate of severe acute toxicity.
Conclusions: The prognosis of recurrent high-grade glioma remains dismal. Reirradiation is often tolerable even after early recurrence (<14 months) and with higher doses (eg, 49.4 Gy/3.8 Gy) in selected patients.View less