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Medicines, Volume 5, Issue 3 (September 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The genus Juniperus has attracted great interest in the scientific community since these plants [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Shugan-Jianpi Recipe on the Expression of the p38 MAPK/NF-κB Signaling Pathway in the Hepatocytes of NAFLD Rats
Medicines 2018, 5(3), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines5030106
Received: 4 August 2018 / Revised: 17 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
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Abstract
Background: In traditional Chinese medicine, the Shugan-Jianpi recipe is often used in the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This study aimed to explore the mechanism of the Shugan-Jianpi recipe in relation to rats with NAFLD induced by a high-fat diet. Methods:
[...] Read more.
Background: In traditional Chinese medicine, the Shugan-Jianpi recipe is often used in the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This study aimed to explore the mechanism of the Shugan-Jianpi recipe in relation to rats with NAFLD induced by a high-fat diet. Methods: Rats were randomly divided into eight groups: normal group (NG), model group (MG), low-dose Chaihu–Shugan–San group (L-CG), high-dose Chaihu–Shugan–San group (H-CG), low-dose Shenling–Baizhu–San group (L-SG), high-dose Shenling–Baizhu–San group (H-SG), low dose of integrated-recipes group (L-IG), and high dose of integrated-recipes group (H-IG). After 26 weeks, a lipid profile, aspartate, and alanine aminotransferases in serum were detected. The serum levels of inflammatory factors including interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) were analyzed using the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method. Hepatic pathological changes were observed with hematoxylin-eosin (HE) and oil red O staining. The expression of the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK)/nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) pathway was detected by quantitative real-time PCR and Western blotting. Results: A pathological section revealed that NAFLD rats have been successfully reproduced. Compared with the model group, each treatment group had different degrees of improvement. The Shugan-Jianpi recipe can inhibit the serum levels of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α in NAFLD rats. The expression of mRNA and a protein related to the p38 MAPK/NF-κB signaling pathway were markedly decreased as a result of the Shugan-Jianpi recipe. Conclusions: The Shugan-Jianpi recipe could attenuate NAFLD progression, and its mechanism may be related to the suppression of the p38 MAPK/NF-κB signaling pathway in hepatocytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hepatoprotective Agents from Natural Resource)
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Open AccessReview Successful Aging and Chronic Osteoarthritis
Medicines 2018, 5(3), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines5030105
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
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Abstract
Background: Aging is commonly accepted as a time period of declining heath in most cases. This review aimed to examine the research base concerning the use of the term ‘successful aging’, a process and outcome deemed desirable, but challenging to attain. A
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Background: Aging is commonly accepted as a time period of declining heath in most cases. This review aimed to examine the research base concerning the use of the term ‘successful aging’, a process and outcome deemed desirable, but challenging to attain. A second was to provide related information to demonstrate how health professionals as well as individuals can aim for a ‘successful aging’ process and outcome, despite the presence of disabling osteoarthritis. Methods: Information specifically focusing on ‘successful aging’ and the concept of improving opportunities for advancing ‘successful aging’ despite osteoarthritis was sought. Results: Among the many articles on ‘successful aging’, several authors highlight the need to include, a broader array of older adults into the conceptual framework. Moreover, conditions such as osteoarthritis should not necessarily preclude the individual from attaining a personally valued successful aging outcome. Conclusions: Pursuing more inclusive research and research designs, and not neglecting to include people with chronic osteoarthritis can potentially heighten the life quality of all aging individuals, while reducing pain and depression, among other adverse aging and disability correlates among those with osteoarthritis. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Bioactive Composition, Antioxidant Activity, and Anticancer Potential of Freeze-Dried Extracts from Defatted Gac (Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng) Seeds
Medicines 2018, 5(3), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines5030104
Received: 6 September 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
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Abstract
Background: Gac (Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng) seeds have long been used in traditional medicine as a remedy for numerous conditions due to a range of bioactive compounds. This study investigated the solvent extraction of compounds that could be responsible for antioxidant activity and
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Background: Gac (Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng) seeds have long been used in traditional medicine as a remedy for numerous conditions due to a range of bioactive compounds. This study investigated the solvent extraction of compounds that could be responsible for antioxidant activity and anticancer potential. Methods: Defatted Gac seed kernel powder was extracted with different solvents: 100% water, 50% methanol:water, 70% ethanol:water, water saturated butanol, 100% methanol, and 100% ethanol. Trypsin inhibitors, saponins, phenolics, and antioxidant activity using the 2,2’-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diammonium salt (ABTS), the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays; and anticancer potential against two melanoma cancer cell lines (MM418C1 and D24) were analysed to determine the best extraction solvents. Results: Water was best for extracting trypsin inhibitors (581.4 ± 18.5 mg trypsin/mg) and reducing the viability of MM418C1 and D24 melanoma cells (75.5 ± 1.3 and 66.9 ± 2.2%, respectively); the anticancer potential against the MM418C1 cells was highly correlated with trypsin inhibitors (r = 0.92, p < 0.05), but there was no correlation between anticancer potential and antioxidant activity. The water saturated butanol had the highest saponins (71.8 ± 4.31 mg aescin equivalents/g), phenolic compounds (20.4 ± 0.86 mg gallic acid equivalents/g), and antioxidant activity, but these measures were not related to anticancer potential. Conclusions: Water yielded a Gac seed extract, rich in trypsin inhibitors, which had high anticancer potential against two melanoma cell lines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds as New Cancer Treatments)
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Open AccessArticle Oleic Acid Nanovesicles of Minoxidil for Enhanced Follicular Delivery
Medicines 2018, 5(3), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines5030103
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 11 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
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Abstract
Current topical minoxidil (MXD) formulations involve an unpleasant organic solvent which causes patient incompliance in addition to side effects in some cases. Therefore, the objective of this work was to develop an MXD formulation providing enhanced follicular delivery and reduced side effects. Oleic
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Current topical minoxidil (MXD) formulations involve an unpleasant organic solvent which causes patient incompliance in addition to side effects in some cases. Therefore, the objective of this work was to develop an MXD formulation providing enhanced follicular delivery and reduced side effects. Oleic acid, being a safer material, was utilized to prepare the nanovesicles, which were characterized for size, entrapment efficiency, polydispersity index (PDI), zeta potential, and morphology. The nanovesicles were incorporated into the emugel Sepineo® P 600 (2% w/v) to provide better longer contact time with the scalp and improve physical stability. The formulation was evaluated for in vitro drug release, ex vivo drug permeation, and drug deposition studies. Follicular deposition of the vesicles was also evaluated using a differential tape stripping technique and elucidated using confocal microscopy. The optimum oleic acid vesicles measured particle size was 317 ± 4 nm, with high entrapment efficiency (69.08 ± 3.07%), narrow PDI (0.203 ± 0.01), and a negative zeta potential of −13.97 ± 0.451. The in vitro drug release showed the sustained release of MXD from vesicular gel. The skin permeation and deposition studies revealed superiority of the prepared MXD vesicular gel (0.2%) in terms of MXD deposition in the stratum corneum (SC) and remaining skin over MXD lotion (2%), with enhancement ratios of 3.0 and 4.0, respectively. The follicular deposition of MXD was 10-fold higher for vesicular gel than the control. Confocal microscopy also confirmed the higher absorption of rhodamine via vesicular gel into hair follicles as compared to the control. Overall, the current findings demonstrate the potential of oleic acid vesicles for effective targeted skin and follicular delivery of MXD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle and Liposome based Novel Drug Delivery Systems)
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Open AccessCommunication Are Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids the Link between the Immune System and the Microbiome towards Modulating Cancer?
Medicines 2018, 5(3), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines5030102
Received: 8 August 2018 / Revised: 4 September 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
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Abstract
Three recent studies revealed synergy between immune-checkpoint inhibitors and the microbiome as a new approach in the treatment of cancer. Incidentally, there has been significant progress in understanding the role of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in modulating cancer and the immune system, as
[...] Read more.
Three recent studies revealed synergy between immune-checkpoint inhibitors and the microbiome as a new approach in the treatment of cancer. Incidentally, there has been significant progress in understanding the role of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in modulating cancer and the immune system, as well as in regulating the microbiome. Inflammation seems to be the common denominator among these seemingly unrelated biological entities—immune system, the microbiome, and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs). This commentary presents a hypothesis proposing the existence of an optimal level of LC-PUFAs that nurtures the suitable gut microbiota preventing dysbiosis. This synergy between optimal LC-PUFAs and gut microbiota helps the immune system overcome the immunosuppressive tumour microenvironment including enhancing the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors. A model on how LC-PUFAs (such as omega(n)-3 and n-6 fatty acids) forms a synergistic triad with the immune system and the microbiome in regulating inflammation to maintain homeostasis is presented. The principles underlying the hypothesis provide a basis in managing and even preventing cancer and other chronic diseases associated with inflammation. Full article
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Open AccessReview Probiotics in the Treatment of Colorectal Cancer
Medicines 2018, 5(3), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines5030101
Received: 20 August 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
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Abstract
The human microbiome plays many roles in inflammation, drug metabolism, and even the development of cancer that we are only beginning to understand. Colorectal cancer has been a focus for study in this field as its pathogenesis and its response to treatment have
[...] Read more.
The human microbiome plays many roles in inflammation, drug metabolism, and even the development of cancer that we are only beginning to understand. Colorectal cancer has been a focus for study in this field as its pathogenesis and its response to treatment have both been linked to the functioning of microbiota. This literature review evaluates the animal and human studies that have explored this relationship. By manipulating the microbiome with interventions such as probiotic administration, we may be able to reduce colorectal cancer risk and improve the safety and effectiveness of cancer therapy even though additional clinical research is still necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds as New Cancer Treatments)
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Open AccessArticle Clinical Safety of Combined Targeted and Viscum album L. Therapy in Oncological Patients
Medicines 2018, 5(3), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines5030100
Received: 20 August 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 4 September 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
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Abstract
Background: Despite improvement of tumor response rates, targeted therapy may induce toxicities in cancer patients. Recent studies indicate amelioration of adverse events (AEs) by add-on mistletoe (Viscum album L., VA) in standard oncological treatment. The primary objective of this multicenter observational
[...] Read more.
Background: Despite improvement of tumor response rates, targeted therapy may induce toxicities in cancer patients. Recent studies indicate amelioration of adverse events (AEs) by add-on mistletoe (Viscum album L., VA) in standard oncological treatment. The primary objective of this multicenter observational study was to determine the safety profile of targeted and add-on VA therapy compared to targeted therapy alone. Methods: Demographic and medical data were retrieved from the Network Oncology registry. Allocation to either control (targeted therapy) or combinational group (targeted/add-on VA) was performed. Safety-associated variables were evaluated by adjusted multivariable analyses. Results: The median age of the study population (n = 310) at first diagnosis was 59 years; 67.4% were female. In total, 126 patients (40.6%) were in the control and 184 patients (59.4%) in the combination group. Significant differences were observed between both groups with respect to overall AE frequency (χ2 = 4.1, p = 0.04) and to discontinuation of standard oncological treatment (χ2 = 4.8, p = 0.03) with lower rates in the combinational group (20.1%, 35% respectively) compared to control (30.2%, 60.5%, respectively). Addition of VA to targeted therapy significantly reduced the probability of oncological treatment discontinuation by 70% (Odds ratio (OR) 0.30, p = 0.02). Conclusions: Our results indicate a highly significant reduction of AE-induced treatment discontinuation in all-stage cancer patients when treated with VA in addition to targeted therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety of Complementary Medicines)
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Open AccessEditorial Introduction to the Medicines Special Issue on Acupuncture—Basic Research and Clinical Application
Received: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 4 September 2018
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Abstract
This Medicines special issue focuses on the further investigation, development, and modernization of acupuncture in basic research settings, as well as in clinical applications. The special issue contains 12 articles reporting latest evidence-based results of acupuncture research, and exploring acupuncture in general. Altogether
[...] Read more.
This Medicines special issue focuses on the further investigation, development, and modernization of acupuncture in basic research settings, as well as in clinical applications. The special issue contains 12 articles reporting latest evidence-based results of acupuncture research, and exploring acupuncture in general. Altogether 44 authors from all over the world contributed to this special issue. Full article
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Open AccessReview Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Properties of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis, L.): A Review
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 16 August 2018 / Accepted: 31 August 2018 / Published: 4 September 2018
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Abstract
Nowadays, there is an interest in the consumption of food without synthetic additives and rather with the use of natural preservatives. In this regard, natural extracts of the Lamiaceae family, such as rosemary, have been studied because of its bioactive properties. Several studies
[...] Read more.
Nowadays, there is an interest in the consumption of food without synthetic additives and rather with the use of natural preservatives. In this regard, natural extracts of the Lamiaceae family, such as rosemary, have been studied because of its bioactive properties. Several studies have reported that rosemary extracts show biological bioactivities such as hepatoprotective, antifungal, insecticide, antioxidant and antibacterial. It is well known that the biological properties in rosemary are mainly due to phenolic compounds. However, it is essential to take into account that these biological properties depend on different aspects. Their use in foods is limited because of their odour, colour and taste. For that reason, commercial methods have been developed for the preparation of odourless and colourless antioxidant compounds from rosemary. Owing to the new applications of natural extracts in preservatives, this review gives a view on the use of natural extract from rosemary in foods and its effect on preservative activities. Specifically, the relationship between the structure and activity (antimicrobial and antioxidant) of the active components in rosemary are being reviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants and Foods)
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Open AccessEditorial Transcranial Laser Stimulation Research—A New Helmet and First Data from Near Infrared Spectroscopy
Received: 28 August 2018 / Accepted: 31 August 2018 / Published: 3 September 2018
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Abstract
This editorial adopts a future-oriented technology. It describes a new modern helmet for transcranial laser stimulation and a way to quantify effects of this possible therapeutical method using near-infrared spectroscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Laser Medicine and Traditional Acupuncture Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle Protein Targets of Frankincense: A Reverse Docking Analysis of Terpenoids from Boswellia Oleo-Gum Resins
Received: 19 July 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
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Abstract
Background: Frankincense, the oleo-gum resin of Boswellia trees, has been used in traditional medicine since ancient times. Frankincense has been used to treat wounds and skin infections, inflammatory diseases, dementia, and various other conditions. However, in many cases, the biomolecular targets for frankincense
[...] Read more.
Background: Frankincense, the oleo-gum resin of Boswellia trees, has been used in traditional medicine since ancient times. Frankincense has been used to treat wounds and skin infections, inflammatory diseases, dementia, and various other conditions. However, in many cases, the biomolecular targets for frankincense components are not well established. Methods: In this work, we have carried out a reverse docking study of Boswellia diterpenoids and triterpenoids with a library of 16034 potential druggable target proteins. Results: Boswellia diterpenoids showed selective docking to acetylcholinesterase, several bacterial target proteins, and HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. Boswellia triterpenoids targeted the cancer-relevant proteins (poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1, tankyrase, and folate receptor β), inflammation-relevant proteins (phospholipase A2, epoxide hydrolase, and fibroblast collagenase), and the diabetes target 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. Conclusions: The preferential docking of Boswellia terpenoids is consistent with the traditional uses and the established biological activities of frankincense. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Potential and Medical Use of Secondary Metabolites)
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Open AccessArticle Acupuncture and Lifestyle Myopia in Primary School Children—Results from a Transcontinental Pilot Study Performed in Comparison to Moxibustion
Received: 9 August 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
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Background: Lifestyle risks for myopia are well known and the disease has become a major global public health issue worldwide. There is a relation between reading, writing, and computer work and the development of myopia. Methods: Within this prospective pilot study in 44
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Background: Lifestyle risks for myopia are well known and the disease has become a major global public health issue worldwide. There is a relation between reading, writing, and computer work and the development of myopia. Methods: Within this prospective pilot study in 44 patients aged between 6 and 12 years with myopia we compared possible treatment effects of acupuncture or moxibustion. The diopters of the right and left eye were evaluated before and after the two treatment methods. Results: Myopia was improved in 14 eyes of 13 patients (15.9%) within both complementary methods. Using acupuncture an improvement was observed in seven eyes from six patients out of 22 patients and a similar result (improvement in seven eyes from seven patients out of 22 patients) was noticed in the moxibustion group. The extent of improvement was better in the acupuncture group (p = 0.008 s., comparison before and after treatment); however, group analysis between acupuncture and moxibustion revealed no significant difference. Conclusions: Possible therapeutic aspects with the help of evidence-based complementary methods like acupuncture or moxibustion have not yet been investigated adequately in myopic patients. Our study showed that both acupuncture and moxibustion can improve myopia of young patients. Acupuncture seems to be more effective than moxibustion in treating myopia, however group analysis did not prove this trend. Therefore, further Big data studies are necessary to confirm or refute the preliminary results. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Schizophrenia and Sleep Disorders: An Introduction
Received: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 20 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
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Abstract
This editorial is an introduction to the special issue ‘Schizophrenia and Sleep Disorders’.[…] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Schizophrenia and Sleep Disorders)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Flavonoids and Other Phenolic Compounds from Medicinal Plants for Pharmaceutical and Medical Aspects: An Overview
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 25 August 2018
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Abstract
Phenolic compounds as well as flavonoids are well-known as antioxidant and many other important bioactive agents that have long been interested due to their benefits for human health, curing and preventing many diseases. This review attempts to demonstrate an overview of flavonoids and
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Phenolic compounds as well as flavonoids are well-known as antioxidant and many other important bioactive agents that have long been interested due to their benefits for human health, curing and preventing many diseases. This review attempts to demonstrate an overview of flavonoids and other phenolic compounds as the interesting alternative sources for pharmaceutical and medicinal applications. The examples of these phytochemicals from several medicinal plants are also illustrated, and their potential applications in pharmaceutical and medical aspects, especially for health promoting e.g., antioxidant effects, antibacterial effect, anti-cancer effect, cardioprotective effects, immune system promoting and anti-inflammatory effects, skin protective effect from UV radiation and so forth are highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antioxidant and Anti-aging Action of Plant Polyphenols)
Open AccessEditorial Laser Acupuncture Research: China, Austria, and Other Countries—Update 2018
Received: 15 August 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
This editorial contains an overview of the current status of published articles (pubmed) on the subject of laser acupuncture research. Ordered by country, a rough analysis is carried out. Full article
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Open AccessReview Traditional Uses of Cannabinoids and New Perspectives in the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
Received: 27 June 2018 / Revised: 7 August 2018 / Accepted: 9 August 2018 / Published: 15 August 2018
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Abstract
Recent findings highlight the emerging role of the endocannabinoid system in the control of symptoms and disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is a chronic, immune-mediated, demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system with no cure so far. It is widely reported
[...] Read more.
Recent findings highlight the emerging role of the endocannabinoid system in the control of symptoms and disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is a chronic, immune-mediated, demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system with no cure so far. It is widely reported in the literature that cannabinoids might be used to control MS symptoms and that they also might exert neuroprotective effects and slow down disease progression. This review aims to give an overview of the principal cannabinoids (synthetic and endogenous) used for the symptomatic amelioration of MS and their beneficial outcomes, providing new potentially possible perspectives for the treatment of this disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cannabinoids for Medical Use)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview The Expanding Role of Radiosurgery for Brain Metastases
Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
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Abstract
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has become increasingly important in the management of brain metastases due to improving systemic disease control and rising incidence. Initial trials demonstrated SRS with whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) improved local control rates compared with WBRT alone. Concerns with WBRT associated neurocognitive
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Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has become increasingly important in the management of brain metastases due to improving systemic disease control and rising incidence. Initial trials demonstrated SRS with whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) improved local control rates compared with WBRT alone. Concerns with WBRT associated neurocognitive toxicity have contributed to a greater use of SRS alone, including for patients with multiple metastases and following surgical resection. Molecular information, targeted agents, and immunotherapy have also altered the landscape for the management of brain metastases. This review summarises current and emerging data on the role of SRS in the management of brain metastases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Perspectives in Radiotherapy Treatments)
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Open AccessReview Antioxidant Activity of Myrtus communis L. and Myrtus nivellei Batt. & Trab. Extracts: A Brief Review
Received: 30 June 2018 / Revised: 5 August 2018 / Accepted: 8 August 2018 / Published: 11 August 2018
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Abstract
Myrtus communis L. (myrtle) and Myrtus nivellei Batt. & Trab. (Saharan myrtle) have been used in folk medicine for alleviating some ailments. M. communis is largely distributed in the Mediterranean Basin, whereas M. nivellei is confined in specific zones of the central Saharan
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Myrtus communis L. (myrtle) and Myrtus nivellei Batt. & Trab. (Saharan myrtle) have been used in folk medicine for alleviating some ailments. M. communis is largely distributed in the Mediterranean Basin, whereas M. nivellei is confined in specific zones of the central Saharan mountains. The chemical composition and antioxidant activity of berry and leaf extracts isolated from myrtle are deeply documented, whereas those isolated from Saharan myrtle extracts are less studied. In both species, the major groups of constituents include gallic acid derivatives, flavonols, flavonol derivatives, and hydroxybenzoic acids. In coloured berries, anthocyanins are also present. In M. nivellei extracts are reported for some compounds not described in M. communis so far: 2-hydroxy-1,8-cineole-β-d-glucopyranoside, 2-hydroxy-1,8-cineole 2-O-α-l-arabinofuranosyl (1→6)-β-d-glucopyranoside, rugosin A, and rugosin B. Berries and leaves extracts of both species had antioxidant activity. Comparative studies of the antioxidant activity between leaf and berry myrtle extracts revealed that leaf extracts are best antioxidants, which can be assigned to the galloyl derivatives, flavonols, and flavonols derivatives, although the ratio of these groups of compounds might also have an important role in the antioxidant activity. The anthocyanins present in myrtle berries seem to possess weak antioxidant activity. The antioxidant activity of sample extracts depended on various factors: harvesting time, storage, extraction solvent, extraction type, and plant part used, among other factors. Leaf extracts of myrtle revealed to possess anti-inflammatory activity in several models used. This property has been attributed either to the flavonoids and/or hydrolysable tannins, nevertheless nonprenylated acylphloroglucinols (e.g., myrtucommulone and semimyrtucommulone) have also revealed a remarkable role in that activity. The biological activities of myrtle extracts found so far may direct its use towards for stabilizing complex lipid systems, as prebiotic in food formulations, and as novel therapeutic for the management of inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antioxidant and Anti-aging Action of Plant Polyphenols)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview Pharmacologic Treatment Options for Insomnia in Patients with Schizophrenia
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 11 August 2018
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Abstract
Background: Symptoms of sleep disorders, such as disturbances in sleep initiation and continuity, are commonly reported in patients with schizophrenia, especially in the acute phase of illness. Studies have shown that up to 80% of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia report symptoms of insomnia.
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Background: Symptoms of sleep disorders, such as disturbances in sleep initiation and continuity, are commonly reported in patients with schizophrenia, especially in the acute phase of illness. Studies have shown that up to 80% of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia report symptoms of insomnia. Sleep disturbances have been shown to increase the risk of cognitive dysfunction and relapse in patients with schizophrenia. Currently, there are no medications approved specifically for the treatment of insomnia in patients with schizophrenia. Methods: A literature search was performed through OVID and PubMed to compile publications of pharmacotherapy options studied to treat insomnia in patients with schizophrenia. Articles were reviewed from 1 January 2000 through 1 March 2018 with some additional earlier articles selected if deemed by the authors to be particularly relevant. Results: Pharmacotherapies collected from the search results that were reviewed and evaluated included melatonin, eszopiclone, sodium oxybate, and antipsychotics. Conclusions: Overall, this review confirmed that there are a few evidence-based options to treat insomnia in patients with schizophrenia, including selecting a more sedating second-generation antipsychotic such as paliperidone, or adding melatonin or eszopiclone. Further randomized controlled trials are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Schizophrenia and Sleep Disorders)
Open AccessReview Anticancer Effects of Green Tea and the Underlying Molecular Mechanisms in Bladder Cancer
Received: 9 July 2018 / Revised: 7 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
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Abstract
Green tea and green tea polyphenols (GTPs) are reported to inhibit carcinogenesis and malignant behavior in several diseases. Various in vivo and in vitro studies have shown that GTPs suppress the incidence and development of bladder cancer. However, at present, opinions concerning the
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Green tea and green tea polyphenols (GTPs) are reported to inhibit carcinogenesis and malignant behavior in several diseases. Various in vivo and in vitro studies have shown that GTPs suppress the incidence and development of bladder cancer. However, at present, opinions concerning the anticancer effects and preventive role of green tea are conflicting. In addition, the detailed molecular mechanisms underlying the anticancer effects of green tea in bladder cancer remain unclear, as these effects are regulated by several cancer-related factors. A detailed understanding of the pathological roles and regulatory mechanisms at the molecular level is necessary for advancing treatment strategies based on green tea consumption for patients with bladder cancer. In this review, we discuss the anticancer effects of GTPs on the basis of data presented in in vitro studies in bladder cancer cell lines and in vivo studies using animal models, as well as new treatment strategies for patients with bladder cancer, based on green tea consumption. Finally, on the basis of the accumulated data and the main findings, we discuss the potential usefulness of green tea as an antibladder cancer agent and the future direction of green tea-based treatment strategies for these patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds as New Cancer Treatments)
Open AccessPerspective The Role of Cannabis within an Emerging Perspective on Schizophrenia
Received: 10 June 2018 / Revised: 6 July 2018 / Accepted: 31 July 2018 / Published: 8 August 2018
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Abstract
Background: Approximately 0.5% of the population is diagnosed with some form of schizophrenia, under the prevailing view that the pathology is best treated using pharmaceutical medications that act on monoamine receptors. Methods: We briefly review evidence on the impact of environmental forces, particularly
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Background: Approximately 0.5% of the population is diagnosed with some form of schizophrenia, under the prevailing view that the pathology is best treated using pharmaceutical medications that act on monoamine receptors. Methods: We briefly review evidence on the impact of environmental forces, particularly the effect of autoimmune activity, in the expression of schizophrenic profiles and the role of Cannabis therapy for regulating immunological functioning. Results: A review of the literature shows that phytocannabinoid consumption may be a safe and effective treatment option for schizophrenia as a primary or adjunctive therapy. Conclusions: Emerging research suggests that Cannabis can be used as a treatment for schizophrenia within a broader etiological perspective that focuses on environmental, autoimmune, and neuroinflammatory causes of the disorder, offering a fresh start and newfound hope for those suffering from this debilitating and poorly understood disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cannabinoids for Medical Use)
Open AccessArticle Individual Differences in Responsiveness to Acupuncture: An Exploratory Survey of Practitioner Opinion
Received: 3 July 2018 / Revised: 28 July 2018 / Accepted: 31 July 2018 / Published: 6 August 2018
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Abstract
Background: Previous research has considered the impact of personal and situational factors on treatment responses. This article documents the first phase of a four-stage project on patient characteristics that may influence responsiveness to acupuncture treatment, reporting results from an exploratory practitioner survey. Methods:
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Background: Previous research has considered the impact of personal and situational factors on treatment responses. This article documents the first phase of a four-stage project on patient characteristics that may influence responsiveness to acupuncture treatment, reporting results from an exploratory practitioner survey. Methods: Acupuncture practitioners from various medical professions were recruited through professional organisations to complete an online survey about their demographics and attitudes as well as 60 questions on specific factors that might influence treatment. They gave categorical (“Yes”, “No”, and “Don’t know”) and free-text responses. Quantitative and qualitative (thematic) analyses were then conducted. Results: There were more affirmative than negative or uncertain responses overall. Certain characteristics, including ability to relax, exercise and diet, were most often considered relevant. Younger and male practitioners were more likely to respond negatively. Limited support was found for groupings between characteristics. Qualitative data provide explanatory depth. Response fatigue was evident over the course of the survey. Conclusions: Targeting and reminders may benefit uptake when conducting survey research. Practitioner characteristics influence their appreciation of patient characteristics. Factors consistently viewed as important included ability to relax, exercise and diet. Acupuncture practitioners may benefit from additional training in certain areas. Surveys may produce more informative results if reduced in length and complexity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Total Polyphenol Content and Antioxidant Capacity of Rosehips of Some Rosa Species
Received: 30 June 2018 / Revised: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 31 July 2018 / Published: 4 August 2018
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Abstract
Background: Rosehips, the fruits of Rosa species, are well known for their various health benefits like strengthening the immune system and treating digestive disorders. Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cell regenerative effects are also among their health enhancing impacts. Rosehips are rich in compounds having
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Background: Rosehips, the fruits of Rosa species, are well known for their various health benefits like strengthening the immune system and treating digestive disorders. Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cell regenerative effects are also among their health enhancing impacts. Rosehips are rich in compounds having antioxidant properties, like vitamin C, carotenoids, and phenolics. Methods: Total polyphenol content (Folin-Ciocalteu’s method), and in vitro total antioxidant capacity (ferric-reducing ability of plasma, FRAP) in rosehips of four Rosa species (R. canina, R. gallica, R. rugosa, R. spinosissima) were determined and compared. Ripe fruits were harvested at two locations. Water and ethanolic extracts of dried fruit flesh were analyzed. Results:R. spinosissima had the highest total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity, significantly higher than the other investigated Rosa species. Both parameters were reported in decreasing order for R. spinosissima > R. canina > R. rugosa > R. gallica. Ethanolic extracts of rosehips showed higher phenolic content and antioxidant activity than water extracts. Antioxidant properties were influenced by the growing site of Rosa species. Conclusions: This study indicates that R. spinosissima exhibited the greatest phenolic and antioxidant content, and therefore can be used as a reliable source of natural antioxidants, and serve as a suitable species for further plant breeding activities. Furthermore, investigations of various Rosa species for their antioxidant properties may draw more attention to their potential as functional foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antioxidant and Anti-aging Action of Plant Polyphenols)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Hochuekkito (Buzhongyiqitang) on Nasal Cavity Colonization of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Murine Model
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 24 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Abstract
Background: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are largely preceded by colonization with MRSA. Hochuekkito is the formula composing 10 herbal medicines in traditional Kampo medicine to treat infirmity and to stimulate immune functions. We evaluated the efficacy of hochuekkito extract (HET) against MRSA
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Background: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are largely preceded by colonization with MRSA. Hochuekkito is the formula composing 10 herbal medicines in traditional Kampo medicine to treat infirmity and to stimulate immune functions. We evaluated the efficacy of hochuekkito extract (HET) against MRSA colonization using a nasal infection murine model. Methods: We evaluated the effects of HET as follows: (1) the growth inhibition by measuring turbidity of bacterial culture in vitro, (2) the nasal colonization of MRSA by measuring bacterial counts, and (3) the splenocyte proliferation in mice orally treated with HET by the 3H-thymidine uptake assay. Results: HET significant inhibited the growth of MRSA. The colony forming unit (CFU) in the nasal fluid of HET-treated mice was significantly lower than that of HET-untreated mice. When each single crude drug—Astragali radix, Bupleuri radix, Zingiberis rhizoma, and Cimicifugae rhizome—was removed from hochuekkito formula, the effect of the formula significantly weakened. The uptake of 3H-thymidine into murine splenocytes treated with HET was significantly higher than that from untreated mice. The effects of the modified formula described above were also significantly weaker than those of the original formula. Conclusions: Hochuekkito is effective for the treatment of MRSA nasal colonization in the murine model. We suggest HET as the therapeutic candidate for effective therapy on nasal cavity colonization of MRSA in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antioxidant and Anti-aging Action of Plant Polyphenols)
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Open AccessReview Behavioral, Psychiatric, and Cognitive Adverse Events in Older Persons Treated with Glucocorticoids
Received: 3 July 2018 / Revised: 26 July 2018 / Accepted: 30 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Abstract
Background: Since the introduction of glucocorticoids (GCs) in the physician’s pharmacological arsenal, it has been known that they are a cause of behavioral or psychiatric adverse events (BPAE), as well as of cognitive problems. To the best of our knowledge, the relationship between
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Background: Since the introduction of glucocorticoids (GCs) in the physician’s pharmacological arsenal, it has been known that they are a cause of behavioral or psychiatric adverse events (BPAE), as well as of cognitive problems. To the best of our knowledge, the relationship between these adverse events and GCs in older persons has never been evaluated, except through case-reports or series with few cases. In this paper, a review of the literature regarding BPAEs and cognitive disorders in older people treated with CSs is undertaken. Methods: A comprehensive literature search for BPAEs was carried out on the three main bibliographic databases: EMBASE, MEDLINE and PsycINFO (NICE HDAS interface). Emtree terms were: Steroid, steroid therapy, mental disease, mania, delirium, agitation, depression, behavior change, dementia, major cognitive impairment, elderly. The search was restricted to all clinical studies and case reports with focus on the aged (65+ years) published in any language since 1998. Results: Data on the prevalence of the various BPAEs in older patients treated with GCs were very scarse, consisting mainly of case reports and of series with small numbers of patients. It was hence not possible to perform any statistical evaluation of the data (including meta-analysis). Amongst BPAEs, he possibility that delirium can be induced by GCs has been recently been questioned. Co-morbidities and polypharmacy were additional risk factors for BPAEs in older persons. Conclusions: Data on BPAEs in older persons treated with GCs, have several unmet needs that need to be further evaluated with appropriately designed studies. Full article
Open AccessReview The Current Status of the Pharmaceutical Potential of Juniperus L. Metabolites
Received: 4 July 2018 / Revised: 16 July 2018 / Accepted: 20 July 2018 / Published: 31 July 2018
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Abstract
Background: Plants and their derived natural compounds possess various biological and therapeutic properties, which turns them into an increasing topic of interest and research. Juniperus genus is diverse in species, with several traditional medicines reported, and rich in natural compounds with potential for
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Background: Plants and their derived natural compounds possess various biological and therapeutic properties, which turns them into an increasing topic of interest and research. Juniperus genus is diverse in species, with several traditional medicines reported, and rich in natural compounds with potential for development of new drugs. Methods: The research for this review were based in the Scopus and Web of Science databases using terms combining Juniperus, secondary metabolites names, and biological activities. This is not an exhaustive review of Juniperus compounds with biological activities, but rather a critical selection taking into account the following criteria: (i) studies involving the most recent methodologies for quantitative evaluation of biological activities; and (ii) the compounds with the highest number of studies published in the last four years. Results: From Juniperus species, several diterpenes, flavonoids, and one lignan were emphasized taking into account their level of activity against several targets. Antitumor activity is by far the most studied, being followed by antibacterial and antiviral activities. Deoxypodophyllotoxin and one dehydroabietic acid derivative appears to be the most promising lead compounds. Conclusions: This review demonstrates the Juniperus species value as a source of secondary metabolites with relevant pharmaceutical potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Potential and Medical Use of Secondary Metabolites)
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Open AccessCase Report Takotsubo as Initial Manifestation of Non-Myopathic Cardiomyopathy Due to the Titin Variant c.1489G > T
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 20 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
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Abstract
Background: Whether patients with subclinical cardiomyopathy (CMP) are more prone to experience Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) than patients without CMP, is unknown. We present a patient with TTS as the initial manifestation of a hitherto unrecognized genetic CMP. Method: case report. Results
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Background: Whether patients with subclinical cardiomyopathy (CMP) are more prone to experience Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) than patients without CMP, is unknown. We present a patient with TTS as the initial manifestation of a hitherto unrecognized genetic CMP. Method: case report. Results: At age 55 after the unexpected death of her father, a now 61-year-old female had developed precordial pressure. Work-up revealed moderately reduced systolic function, dyskinesia of the interventricular septum, and indications for a TTS. Coronary angiography was normal but ventriculography showed TTS. Cardiac MRI confirmed reduced systolic function and TTS. TTS resolved without treatment and sequelae. At age 57 atrial fibrillation was recorded. After deterioration of systolic function at age 59 dilated CMP was diagnosed. Despite application of levosimendan, sacubitril, valsartan, and ivabradine, complete remission could not be achieved. Upon genetic work-up by means of a gene panel, the heterozygous mutation c.1489G > T (p. E497X) in exon 9 of the titin gene was detected and made responsible for the phenotype. Neurological work-up precluded involvement of the skeletal muscles. The further course was complicated by ventricular arrhythmias, requiring implantation of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Conclusions: previously subclinical CMP may initially manifest as TTS. Since patients with titin CMP are at risk of developing ventricular arrhythmias and thus to experience sudden cardiac death, appropriate anti-arrhythmic therapy needs to be established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene-therapeutic Strategies in Cardiovascular Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Inhibition of Homophilic Interactions and Ligand Binding of the Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products by Heparin and Heparin-Related Carbohydrate Structures
Received: 14 June 2018 / Revised: 8 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
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Abstract
Background: Heparin and heparin-related sulphated carbohydrates inhibit ligand binding of the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE). Here, we have studied the ability of heparin to inhibit homophilic interactions of RAGE in living cells and studied how heparin related structures interfere with
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Background: Heparin and heparin-related sulphated carbohydrates inhibit ligand binding of the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE). Here, we have studied the ability of heparin to inhibit homophilic interactions of RAGE in living cells and studied how heparin related structures interfere with RAGE–ligand interactions. Methods: Homophilic interactions of RAGE were studied with bead aggregation and living cell protein-fragment complementation assays. Ligand binding was analyzed with microwell binding and chromatographic assays. Cell surface advanced glycation end product binding to RAGE was studied using PC3 cell adhesion assay. Results: Homophilic binding of RAGE was mediated by V1- and modulated by C2-domain in bead aggregation assay. Dimerisation of RAGE on the living cell surface was inhibited by heparin. Sulphated K5 carbohydrate fragments inhibited RAGE binding to amyloid β-peptide and HMGB1. The inhibition was dependent on the level of sulfation and the length of the carbohydrate backbone. α-d-Glucopyranosiduronic acid (glycyrrhizin) inhibited RAGE binding to advanced glycation end products in PC3 cell adhesion and protein binding assays. Further, glycyrrhizin inhibited HMGB1 and HMGB1 A-box binding to heparin. Conclusions: Our results show that K5 polysaccharides and glycyrrhizin are promising candidates for RAGE targeting drug development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Hypoglicemic and Hypolipedimic Effects of Ganoderma lucidum in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats
Received: 30 June 2018 / Revised: 17 July 2018 / Accepted: 19 July 2018 / Published: 28 July 2018
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Abstract
Background:Ganoderma lucidum (Leyss. Ex. Fr) Karst is a basidiomycete mushroom that has been used for many years as a food supplement and medicine. In Brazil, National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) classified Ganoderma lucidum as a nutraceutical product. The objective of the present
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Background:Ganoderma lucidum (Leyss. Ex. Fr) Karst is a basidiomycete mushroom that has been used for many years as a food supplement and medicine. In Brazil, National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) classified Ganoderma lucidum as a nutraceutical product. The objective of the present work was to observe the effects of an extract from Ganoderma lucidum in rats treated with streptozotocin, and an agent that induces diabetes. Method: Male Wistar rats were obtained from the animal lodging facilities of both University Nove de Julho (UNINOVE) and Lusiada Universitary Center (UNILUS) with approval from the Ethics Committee for Animal Research. Animals were separated into groups: (1) C: Normoglycemic control water; (2) CE: Normoglycemic control group that received hydroethanolic extract (GWA); (3) DM1 + GWA: Diabetic group that received extract GWA; and (4) DM1: Diabetic group that received water. The treatment was evaluated over a 30-day period. Food and water were weighted, and blood plasma biochemical analysis performed. Results: G. lucidum extract contained beta-glucan, proteins and phenols. Biochemical analysis indicated a decrease of plasma glycemic and lipid levels in DM rats induced with streptozotocin and treated with GWA extract. Histopathological analysis from pancreas of GWA-treated DM animals showed preservation of up to 50% of pancreatic islet total area when compared to the DM control group. In plasma, Kyn was present in diabetic rats, while in treated diabetic rats more Trp was detected. Conclusion: Evaluation from G. lucidum extract in STZ-hyperglycemic rats indicated that the extract possesses hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activities. Support: Proj. CNPq 474681/201. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antidiabetic Drugs from Natural Resources)
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Open AccessReview Evolution of Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy in Lung Cancer and Birmingham’s (UK) Experience
Received: 26 June 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 21 July 2018 / Published: 23 July 2018
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Abstract
Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) has taken a pivotal role in early lung cancer management particularly in the medically inoperable patients. Retrospective studies have shown this to be well tolerated with comparable results to surgery and no significant increase in toxicity. Paucity of randomized
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Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) has taken a pivotal role in early lung cancer management particularly in the medically inoperable patients. Retrospective studies have shown this to be well tolerated with comparable results to surgery and no significant increase in toxicity. Paucity of randomized evidence has dictated initiation of several trials to provide good quality evidence to steer future practice. This review summaries salient developments in lung SABR, comparisons to surgery and other platforms and our local experience at University Hospitals Birmingham, UK of lung SABR since its initiation in June 2013. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Perspectives in Radiotherapy Treatments)
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