Abstract: Sorafenib exerts modest antitumor activity in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and radiological progressive disease (rPD) does not always correspond to so-called clinical progressive disease (cPD). We evaluated 101 patients who initiated sorafenib treatment for HCC and assessed post-progression survival (PPS) using the Cox proportional hazards model. PPS was calculated from the date of the first rPD until the date of death or the last follow-up. Using Cox model analysis of the 76 patients who experienced first rPD, we identified the Child-Pugh class, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, the best antitumor response during treatment (using Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) Version 1.1) and α-fetoprotein levels as independent factors affecting PPS. When these factors were used to define scores ranging from zero to five with a cutoff value of two, PPS of patients who received best supportive care (BSC) after rPD was not statistically significantly different from that of patients who received post-rPD therapy with scores ≥2 (p = 0.220). In contrast, the PPS for the post-rPD therapy group was significantly longer compared with the BSC patients with scores <2 (p < 0.001). Patients who scored ≥2 at their first rPD were judged cPD and as candidates for BSC.
Abstract: Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is characterized by hyperphagia, obesity if food intake is not strictly controlled, abnormal body composition with decreased lean body mass and increased fat mass, decreased basal metabolic rate, short stature, low muscle tone, cognitive disability, and hypogonadism. In addition to improvements in linear growth, the benefits of growth hormone therapy on body composition and motor function in children with PWS are well established. Evidence is now emerging on the benefits of growth hormone therapy in adults with PWS. This review summarizes the current literature on growth hormone status and the use of growth hormone therapy in adults with PWS. The benefits of growth hormone therapy on body composition, muscle strength, exercise capacity, certain measures of sleep-disordered breathing, metabolic parameters, quality of life, and cognition are covered in detail along with potential adverse effects and guidelines for initiating and monitoring therapy.
Abstract: A large number of studies link H. pylori infection with a reduced risk of developing extra-gastric conditions such as allergy, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, coeliac disease and multiple sclerosis. The strength of the evidence for these protective associations is quite variable, and published studies often do not agree. This review article discusses some of the reasons for these discrepancies, and the difficulties faced when designing studies. Examples of some protective disease associations are described in detail, where the evidence is most abundant and thought to be more reliable. The most convincing of these are supported by published mechanistic data, for example with animal models,or incidence of disease exacerbation in humans following H. pylori eradication. Although controversial, this field is very important as the prevalence of H. pylori is decreasing throughout the world whilst many chronic diseases are becoming more common. These trends are likely to continue in the future, therefore it is important that we fully understand if and how H. pylori confers protection.
Abstract: Due to age dependent organ manifestation, diagnosis of Marfan syndrome (MFS) is a challenge, especially in childhood. It is important to identify children at risk of MFS as soon as possible to direct those to appropriate treatment but also to avoid stigmatization due to false diagnosis. We published the Kid-Short Marfan Score (Kid-SMS) in 2012 to stratify the pre-test probability of MFS in childhood. Hence we now evaluate the predictive performance of Kid-SMS in a new cohort of children. We prospectively investigated 106 patients who were suspected of having MFS. At baseline, children were examined according to Kid-SMS. At baseline and follow-up visit, diagnosis of MFS was established or rejected using standard current diagnostic criteria according to the revised Ghent Criteria (Ghent-2). At baseline 43 patients were identified with a risk of MFS according to Kid-SMS whereas 21 patients had Ghent-2 diagnosis of MFS. Sensitivity was 100%, specificity 77%, negative predictive value 100% and Likelihood ratio of Kid-SMS 4.3. During follow-up period, three other patients with a stratified risk for MFS were diagnosed according to Ghent-2. We confirm very good predictive performance of Kid-SMS with excellent sensitivity and negative predictive value but restricted specificity. Kid-SMS avoids stigmatization due to diagnosis of MFS and thus restriction to quality of life. Especially outpatient pediatricians and pediatric cardiologists can use it for primary assessment.
Abstract: Introduction: The submaximal exercise test (SET), which gives both a measure of exercise tolerance, as well as disease severity, should be a more robust functional and prognostic marker than the six-minute walk test (6MWT). This study aimed to determine the prognostic value of SET as predicted by the validated REVEAL (Registry to Evaluate Early and Long-Term Pulmonary Artery Hypertension Disease Management) registry risk score (RRRS). Methods: Sixty-five consecutive patients with idiopathic and associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) underwent right-heart catheterization, echocardiogram, 6MWT and a three-minute SET (Shape-HF™). Analyses explored the association between SET variables and prognosis predicted by the RRRS. Results: Although multiple SET variables correlated with the RRRS on univariate analyses, only VE/VCO2 (r = 0.57, p < 0.0001) remained an independent predictor in multivariate analysis (β = 0.05, p = 0.0371). Additionally, the VE/VCO2 was the most discriminatory (area under receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.84) in identifying the highest-risk category (RRRS ≥ 10), with an optimal cut-off of 40.6, resulting in a high sensitivity (92%) and negative-predictive value (97%), but a lower specificity (67%). Conclusion: SETs, particularly the VE/VCO2, appear to have prognostic value when compared to the RRRS. If validated in prospective trials, SET should prove superior to the 6MWT or the RRRS, with significant implications for both future clinical trials and clinical practice.
Abstract: Personalised external aortic support was first proposed in 2000 by Tal Golesworthy, an engineer with familial Marfan syndrome and an aortic root aneurysm. After putting together a research and development team, and finding a surgeon to take on the challenge to join him in this innovative approach, he was central to the manufacture of the device, custom made for his own aorta. He was the patient for the ‘first in man’ operation in 2004. Ten years later he is well and 45 other people have had their own personalised device implanted. In this account, the stepwise record of proof of principle, comparative quantification of the surgical and perioperative requirements, 10 years of results, and development and research plans for the future are presented.