Showing papers in "The New England Journal of Medicine in 2005"
TL;DR: The addition of temozolomide to radiotherapy for newly diagnosed glioblastoma resulted in a clinically meaningful and statistically significant survival benefit with minimal additional toxicity.
Abstract: methods Patients with newly diagnosed, histologically confirmed glioblastoma were randomly assigned to receive radiotherapy alone (fractionated focal irradiation in daily fractions of 2 Gy given 5 days per week for 6 weeks, for a total of 60 Gy) or radiotherapy plus continuous daily temozolomide (75 mg per square meter of body-surface area per day, 7 days per week from the first to the last day of radiotherapy), followed by six cycles of adjuvant temozolomide (150 to 200 mg per square meter for 5 days during each 28-day cycle). The primary end point was overall survival. results A total of 573 patients from 85 centers underwent randomization. The median age was 56 years, and 84 percent of patients had undergone debulking surgery. At a median follow-up of 28 months, the median survival was 14.6 months with radiotherapy plus temozolomide and 12.1 months with radiotherapy alone. The unadjusted hazard ratio for death in the radiotherapy-plus-temozolomide group was 0.63 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.52 to 0.75; P<0.001 by the log-rank test). The two-year survival rate was 26.5 percent with radiotherapy plus temozolomide and 10.4 percent with radiotherapy alone. Concomitant treatment with radiotherapy plus temozolomide resulted in grade 3 or 4 hematologic toxic effects in 7 percent of patients.
TL;DR: The evidence is recounted that atherosclerosis, the main cause of CAD, is an inflammatory disease in which immune mechanisms interact with metabolic risk factors to initiate, propagate, and activate lesions in the arterial tree.
Abstract: ecent research has shown that inflammation plays a key role in coronary artery disease (CAD) and other manifestations of atherosclerosis. Immune cells dominate early atherosclerotic lesions, their effector molecules accelerate progression of the lesions, and activation of inflammation can elicit acute coronary syndromes. This review highlights the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of atherosclerotic CAD. It will recount the evidence that atherosclerosis, the main cause of CAD, is an inflammatory disease in which immune mechanisms interact with metabolic risk factors to initiate, propagate, and activate lesions in the arterial tree. A decade ago, the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and hypertension was expected to eliminate CAD by the end of the 20th century. Lately, however, that optimistic prediction has needed revision. Cardiovascular diseases are expected to be the main cause of death globally within the next 15 years owing to a rapidly increasing prevalence in developing countries and eastern Europe and the rising incidence of obesity and diabetes in the Western world. 1 Cardiovascular diseases cause 38 percent of all deaths in North America and are the most common cause of death in European men under 65 years of age and the second most common cause in women. These facts force us to revisit cardiovascular disease and consider new strategies for prediction, prevention, and treatment.
TL;DR: Strategies to assess and enhance medication adherence (or compliance) are reviewed, to help patients adhere to prescribed treatment regimens and avoid stigmatization.
Abstract: The full benefit of many effective medications will be achieved only if patients adhere to prescribed treatment regimens. Unfortunately, applying terms such as “noncompliant” and “nonadherent” to patients who do not consume every pill at the desired time can stigmatize them in their future relationships with health care providers. This article on medication adherence (or compliance) reviews strategies to assess and enhance this important aspect of patient care.
TL;DR: In patients with NYHA class II or III CHF and LVEF of 35 percent or less, amiodarone has no favorable effect on survival, whereas single-lead, shock-only ICD therapy reduces overall mortality by 23 percent.
Abstract: background Sudden death from cardiac causes remains a leading cause of death among patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). Treatment with amiodarone or an implantable cardioverter–defibrillator (ICD) has been proposed to improve the prognosis in such patients. methods We randomly assigned 2521 patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) class II or III CHF and a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of 35 percent or less to conventional therapy for CHF plus placebo (847 patients), conventional therapy plus amiodarone (845 patients), or conventional therapy plus a conservatively programmed, shockonly, single-lead ICD (829 patients). Placebo and amiodarone were administered in a double-blind fashion. The primary end point was death from any cause. results The median LVEF in patients was 25 percent; 70 percent were in NYHA class II, and 30 percent were in class III CHF. The cause of CHF was ischemic in 52 percent and nonischemic in 48 percent. The median follow-up was 45.5 months. There were 244 deaths (29 percent) in the placebo group, 240 (28 percent) in the amiodarone group, and 182 (22 percent) in the ICD group. As compared with placebo, amiodarone was associated with a similar risk of death (hazard ratio, 1.06; 97.5 percent confidence interval, 0.86 to 1.30; P=0.53) and ICD therapy was associated with a decreased risk of death of 23 percent (0.77; 97.5 percent confidence interval, 0.62 to 0.96; P=0.007) and an absolute decrease in mortality of 7.2 percentage points after five years in the overall population. Results did not vary according to either ischemic or nonischemic causes of CHF, but they did vary according to the NYHA class. conclusions In patients with NYHA class II or III CHF and LVEF of 35 percent or less, amiodarone has no favorable effect on survival, whereas single-lead, shock-only ICD therapy reduces overall mortality by 23 percent.
TL;DR: Patients with glioblastoma containing a methylated MGMT promoter benefited from temozolomide, whereas those who did not have a methylation of theMGMT promoter did notHave such a benefit and were assigned to only radiotherapy.
Abstract: background Epigenetic silencing of the MGMT (O 6 -methylguanine–DNA methyltransferase) DNArepair gene by promoter methylation compromises DNA repair and has been associated with longer survival in patients with glioblastoma who receive alkylating agents. methods We tested the relationship between MGMT silencing in the tumor and the survival of patients who were enrolled in a randomized trial comparing radiotherapy alone with radiotherapy combined with concomitant and adjuvant treatment with temozolomide. The methylation status of the MGMT promoter was determined by methylation-specific polymerase-chain-reaction analysis. results The MGMT promoter was methylated in 45 percent of 206 assessable cases. Irrespective of treatment, MGMT promoter methylation was an independent favorable prognostic factor (P<0.001 by the log-rank test; hazard ratio, 0.45; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.32 to 0.61). Among patients whose tumor contained a methylated MGMT promoter, a survival benefit was observed in patients treated with temozolomide and radiotherapy; their median survival was 21.7 months (95 percent confidence interval, 17.4 to 30.4), as compared with 15.3 months (95 percent confidence interval, 13.0 to 20.9) among those who were assigned to only radiotherapy (P=0.007 by the log-rank test). In the absence of methylation of the MGMT promoter, there was a smaller and statistically insignificant difference in survival between the treatment groups. conclusions Patients with glioblastoma containing a methylated MGMT promoter benefited from temozolomide, whereas those who did not have a methylated MGMT promoter did not have such a benefit.
TL;DR: Olanzapine was the most effective in terms of the rates of discontinuation, and the efficacy of the conventional antipsychotic agent perphenazine appeared similar to that of quetiapine, risperidone, and ziprasidone.
Abstract: background The relative effectiveness of second-generation (atypical) antipsychotic drugs as compared with that of older agents has been incompletely addressed, though newer agents are currently used far more commonly. We compared a first-generation antipsychotic, perphenazine, with several newer drugs in a double-blind study. methods A total of 1493 patients with schizophrenia were recruited at 57 U.S. sites and randomly assigned to receive olanzapine (7.5 to 30 mg per day), perphenazine (8 to 32 mg per day), quetiapine (200 to 800 mg per day), or risperidone (1.5 to 6.0 mg per day) for up to 18 months. Ziprasidone (40 to 160 mg per day) was included after its approval by the Food and Drug Administration. The primary aim was to delineate differences in the overall effectiveness of these five treatments. results Overall, 74 percent of patients discontinued the study medication before 18 months (1061 of the 1432 patients who received at least one dose): 64 percent of those assigned to olanzapine, 75 percent of those assigned to perphenazine, 82 percent of those assigned to quetiapine, 74 percent of those assigned to risperidone, and 79 percent of those assigned to ziprasidone. The time to the discontinuation of treatment for any cause was significantly longer in the olanzapine group than in the quetiapine (P<0.001) or risperidone (P=0.002) group, but not in the perphenazine (P=0.021) or ziprasidone (P=0.028) group. The times to discontinuation because of intolerable side effects were similar among the groups, but the rates differed (P=0.04); olanzapine was associated with more discontinuation for weight gain or metabolic effects, and perphenazine was associated with more discontinuation for extrapyramidal effects. conclusions The majority of patients in each group discontinued their assigned treatment owing to inefficacy or intolerable side effects or for other reasons. Olanzapine was the most effective in terms of the rates of discontinuation, and the efficacy of the conventional antipsychotic agent perphenazine appeared similar to that of quetiapine, risperidone, and ziprasidone. Olanzapine was associated with greater weight gain and increases in measures of glucose and lipid metabolism.
TL;DR: Elotinib can prolong survival in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer after first-line or second-line chemotherapy, and five percent of patients discontinued erlot inib because of toxic effects.
Abstract: Patients with stage IIIB or IV non–small-cell lung cancer, with performance status from 0 to 3, were eligible if they had received one or two prior chemotherapy regimens. The patients were stratified according to center, performance status, response to prior chemotherapy, number of prior regimens, and prior platinum-based therapy and were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive oral erlotinib, at a dose of 150 mg daily, or placebo. results The median age of the 731 patients who underwent randomization was 61.4 years; 49 percent had received two prior chemotherapy regimens, and 93 percent had received platinum-based chemotherapy. The response rate was 8.9 percent in the erlotinib group and less than 1 percent in the placebo group (P<0.001); the median duration of the response was 7.9 months and 3.7 months, respectively. Progression-free survival was 2.2 months and 1.8 months, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.61, adjusted for stratification categories; P<0.001). Overall survival was 6.7 months and 4.7 months, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.70; P<0.001), in favor of erlotinib. Five percent of patients discontinued erlotinib because of toxic effects. conclusions Erlotinib can prolong survival in patients with non–small-cell lung cancer after firstline or second-line chemotherapy.
TL;DR: Tastuzumab combined with paclitaxel after doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide improves outcomes among women with surgically removed HER2-positive breast cancer.
Abstract: Background We present the combined results of two trials that compared adjuvant chemotherapy with or without concurrent trastuzumab in women with surgically removed HER2-positive breast cancer. Methods The National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project trial B-31 compared doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by paclitaxel every 3 weeks (group 1) with the same regimen plus 52 weeks of trastuzumab beginning with the first dose of paclitaxel (group 2). The North Central Cancer Treatment Group trial N9831 compared three regimens: doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by weekly paclitaxel (group A), the same regimen followed by 52 weeks of trastuzumab after paclitaxel (group B), and the same regimen plus 52 weeks of trastuzumab initiated concomitantly with paclitaxel (group C). The studies were amended to include a joint analysis comparing groups 1 and A (the control group) with groups 2 and C (the trastuzumab group). Group B was excluded because trastuzumab was not given concurrently with paclit...
McGill University1, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich2, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust3, Autonomous University of Barcelona4, Geelong Hospital5, University of Marburg6, University of Edinburgh7, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul8, National Taiwan University9, University of Copenhagen10, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center11, Russian Academy12, University of Düsseldorf13, University of Hamburg14, University of British Columbia15, University of Bern16, Hoffmann-La Roche17, Université libre de Bruxelles18, Harvard University19
TL;DR: One year of treatment with trastuzumab after adjuvant chemotherapy significantly improves disease-free survival among women with HER2-positive breast cancer.
Abstract: background Trastuzumab, a recombinant monoclonal antibody against HER2, has clinical activity in advanced breast cancer that overexpresses HER2. We investigated its efficacy and safety after excision of early-stage breast cancer and completion of chemotherapy. methods This international, multicenter, randomized trial compared one or two years of trastuzumab given every three weeks with observation in patients with HER2-positive and either node-negative or node-positive breast cancer who had completed locoregional therapy and at least four cycles of neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy. results Data were available for 1694 women randomly assigned to two years of treatment with trastuzumab, 1694 women assigned to one year of trastuzumab, and 1693 women assigned to observation. We report here the results only of treatment with trastuzumab for one year or observation. At the first planned interim analysis (median follow-up of one year), 347 events (recurrence of breast cancer, contralateral breast cancer, second nonbreast malignant disease, or death) were observed: 127 events in the trastuzumab group and 220 in the observation group. The unadjusted hazard ratio for an event in the trastuzumab group, as compared with the observation group, was 0.54 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.43 to 0.67; P<0.0001 by the log-rank test, crossing the interim analysis boundary), representing an absolute benefit in terms of disease-free survival at two years of 8.4 percentage points. Overall survival in the two groups was not significantly different (29 deaths with trastuzumab vs. 37 with observation). Severe cardiotoxicity developed in 0.5 percent of the women who were treated with trastuzumab. conclusions One year of treatment with trastuzumab after adjuvant chemotherapy significantly improves disease-free survival among women with HER2-positive breast cancer. (clinicaltrials.gov number, NCT 00045032.)
TL;DR: Intensive diabetes therapy has long-term beneficial effects on the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with type 1 diabetes, and changes between treatment groups remained significant after adjusting for these factors.
Abstract: BACKGROUND Intensive diabetes therapy aimed at achieving near normoglycemia reduces the risk of microvascular and neurologic complications of type 1 diabetes. We studied whether the use of intensive therapy as compared with conventional therapy during the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) affected the long-term incidence of cardiovascular disease. METHODS The DCCT randomly assigned 1441 patients with type 1 diabetes to intensive or conventional therapy, treating them for a mean of 6.5 years between 1983 and 1993. Ninety-three percent were subsequently followed until February 1, 2005, during the observational Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications study. Cardiovascular disease (defined as nonfatal myocardial infarction, stroke, death from cardiovascular disease, confirmed angina, or the need for coronary-artery revascularization) was assessed with standardized measures and classified by an independent committee. RESULTS During the mean 17 years of follow-up, 46 cardiovascular disease events occurred in 31 patients who had received intensive treatment in the DCCT, as compared with 98 events in 52 patients who had received conventional treatment. Intensive treatment reduced the risk of any cardiovascular disease event by 42 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 9 to 63 percent; P=0.02) and the risk of nonfatal myocardial infarction, stroke, or death from cardiovascular disease by 57 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 12 to 79 percent; P=0.02). The decrease in glycosylated hemoglobin values during the DCCT was significantly associated with most of the positive effects of intensive treatment on the risk of cardiovascular disease. Microalbuminuria and albuminuria were associated with a significant increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease, but differences between treatment groups remained significant (P< or =0.05) after adjusting for these factors. CONCLUSIONS Intensive diabetes therapy has long-term beneficial effects on the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with type 1 diabetes.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors reported the case of a patient with EGFR-mutant, gefitinib-responsive, advanced non-small-cell lung cancer who had a relapse after two years of complete remission.
Abstract: Mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene have been identified in specimens from patients with non-small-cell lung cancer who have a response to anilinoquinazoline EGFR inhibitors. Despite the dramatic responses to such inhibitors, most patients ultimately have a relapse. The mechanism of the drug resistance is unknown. Here we report the case of a patient with EGFR-mutant, gefitinib-responsive, advanced non-small-cell lung cancer who had a relapse after two years of complete remission during treatment with gefitinib. The DNA sequence of the EGFR gene in his tumor biopsy specimen at relapse revealed the presence of a second point mutation, resulting in threonine-to-methionine amino acid change at position 790 of EGFR. Structural modeling and biochemical studies showed that this second mutation led to gefitinib resistance.
TL;DR: Genetic evidence and in vitro functional studies indicate that V617F gives hematopoietic precursors proliferative and survival advantages and a high proportion of patients with myeloproliferative disorders carry a dominant gain-of-function mutation of JAK2.
Abstract: background Polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, and idiopathic myelofibrosis are clonal myeloproliferative disorders arising from a multipotent progenitor. The loss of heterozygosity (LOH) on the short arm of chromosome 9 (9pLOH) in myeloproliferative disorders suggests that 9p harbors a mutation that contributes to the cause of clonal expansion of hematopoietic cells in these diseases. methods We performed microsatellite mapping of the 9pLOH region and DNA sequencing in 244 patients with myeloproliferative disorders (128 with polycythemia vera, 93 with essential thrombocythemia, and 23 with idiopathic myelofibrosis). results Microsatellite mapping identified a 9pLOH region that included the Janus kinase 2 ( JAK2 )
TL;DR: It is estimated that each year in the United States there are 190,600 cases of acute lung injury, which are associated with 74,500 deaths and 3.6 million hospital days, considerably higher than previous reports have suggested.
Abstract: BACKGROUND Acute lung injury is a critical illness syndrome consisting of acute hypoxemic respiratory failure with bilateral pulmonary infiltrates that are not attributed to left atrial hypertension. Despite recent advances in our understanding of the mechanism and treatment of acute lung injury, its incidence and outcomes in the United States have been unclear. METHODS We conducted a prospective, population-based, cohort study in 21 hospitals in and around King County, Washington, from April 1999 through July 2000, using a validated screening protocol to identify patients who met the consensus criteria for acute lung injury. RESULTS A total of 1113 King County residents undergoing mechanical ventilation met the criteria for acute lung injury and were 15 years of age or older. On the basis of this figure, the crude incidence of acute lung injury was 78.9 per 100,000 person-years and the age-adjusted incidence was 86.2 per 100,000 person-years. The in-hospital mortality rate was 38.5 percent. The incidence of acute lung injury increased with age from 16 per 100,000 person-years for those 15 through 19 years of age to 306 per 100,000 person-years for those 75 through 84 years of age. Mortality increased with age from 24 percent for patients 15 through 19 years of age to 60 percent for patients 85 years of age or older (P<0.001). We estimate that each year in the United States there are 190,600 cases of acute lung injury, which are associated with 74,500 deaths and 3.6 million hospital days. CONCLUSIONS Acute lung injury has a substantial impact on public health, with an incidence in the United States that is considerably higher than previous reports have suggested.
TL;DR: Patients with moderate-to-severe active ulcerative colitis treated with infliximab at weeks 0, 2, and 6 and every eight weeks thereafter were more likely to have a clinical response at weeks 8, 30, and 54 than were those receiving placebo.
Abstract: Background Infliximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody directed against tumor necrosis factor α, is an established treatment for Crohn's disease but not ulcerative colitis. Methods Two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies — the Active Ulcerative Colitis Trials 1 and 2 (ACT 1 and ACT 2, respectively) — evaluated the efficacy of infliximab for induction and maintenance therapy in adults with ulcerative colitis. In each study, 364 patients with moderate-to-severe active ulcerative colitis despite treatment with concurrent medications received placebo or infliximab (5 mg or 10 mg per kilogram of body weight) intravenously at weeks 0, 2, and 6 and then every eight weeks through week 46 (in ACT 1) or week 22 (in ACT 2). Patients were followed for 54 weeks in ACT 1 and 30 weeks in ACT 2. Results In ACT 1, 69 percent of patients who received 5 mg of infliximab and 61 percent of those who received 10 mg had a clinical response at week 8, as compared with 37 percent of those who received placebo (P<0...
TL;DR: Intensive lipid-lowering therapy with 80 mg of atorvastatin per day in patients with stable CHD provides significant clinical benefit beyond that afforded by treatment with 10 mg of least-in- LDL cholesterol levels per day, with a greater incidence of elevated aminotransferase levels.
Abstract: background Previous trials have demonstrated that lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels below currently recommended levels is beneficial in patients with acute coronary syndromes. We prospectively assessed the efficacy and safety of lowering LDL cholesterol levels below 100 mg per deciliter (2.6 mmol per liter) in patients with stable coronary heart disease (CHD). methods A total of 10,001 patients with clinically evident CHD and LDL cholesterol levels of less than 130 mg per deciliter (3.4 mmol per liter) were randomly assigned to double-blind therapy and received either 10 mg or 80 mg of atorvastatin per day. Patients were followed for a median of 4.9 years. The primary end point was the occurrence of a first major cardiovascular event, defined as death from CHD, nonfatal non–procedure-related myocardial infarction, resuscitation after cardiac arrest, or fatal or nonfatal stroke. results The mean LDL cholesterol levels were 77 mg per deciliter (2.0 mmol per liter) during treatment with 80 mg of atorvastatin and 101 mg per deciliter (2.6 mmol per liter) during treatment with 10 mg of atorvastatin. The incidence of persistent elevations in liver aminotransferase levels was 0.2 percent in the group given 10 mg of atorvastatin and 1.2 percent in the group given 80 mg of atorvastatin (P<0.001). A primary event occurred in 434 patients (8.7 percent) receiving 80 mg of atorvastatin, as compared with 548 patients (10.9 percent) receiving 10 mg of atorvastatin, representing an absolute reduction in the rate of major cardiovascular events of 2.2 percent and a 22 percent relative reduction in risk (hazard ratio, 0.78; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.69 to 0.89; P<0.001). There was no difference between the two treatment groups in overall mortality. conclusions Intensive lipid-lowering therapy with 80 mg of atorvastatin per day in patients with stable CHD provides significant clinical benefit beyond that afforded by treatment with 10 mg of atorvastatin per day. This occurred with a greater incidence of elevated aminotransferase levels.
TL;DR: From an analysis of the effect of obesity on longevity, it is concluded that the steady rise in life expectancy during the past two centuries may soon come to an end.
Abstract: Forecasts of life expectancy are an important component of public policy that influence age-based entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Although the Social Security Administration recently raised its estimates of how long Americans are going to live in the 21st century, current trends in obesity in the United States suggest that these estimates may not be accurate. From our analysis of the effect of obesity on longevity, we conclude that the steady rise in life expectancy during the past two centuries may soon come to an end.
TL;DR: Advances in knowledge of the causes and management of the anemia of chronic disease are discussed.
Abstract: New therapeutic strategies have emerged along with our understanding that disturbances of iron homeostasis, impaired proliferation of erythroid progenitor cells, and blunted erythropoietin response occur in anemia of chronic disease. This review discusses advances in our knowledge of the causes and management of the condition.
TL;DR: Emotional stress can precipitate severe, reversible left ventricular dysfunction in patients without coronary disease andaggerated sympathetic stimulation is probably central to the cause of this syndrome.
Abstract: background Reversible left ventricular dysfunction precipitated by emotional stress has been reported, but the mechanism remains unknown. methods We evaluated 19 patients who presented with left ventricular dysfunction after sudden emotional stress. All patients underwent coronary angiography and serial echocardiography; five underwent endomyocardial biopsy. Plasma catecholamine levels in 13 patients with stress-related myocardial dysfunction were compared with those in 7 patients with Killip class III myocardial infarction. results The median age of patients with stress-induced cardiomyopathy was 63 years, and 95 percent were women. Clinical presentations included chest pain, pulmonary edema, and cardiogenic shock. Diffuse T-wave inversion and a prolonged QT interval occurred in most patients. Seventeen patients had mildly elevated serum troponin I levels, but only 1 of 19 had angiographic evidence of clinically significant coronary disease. Severe left ventricular dysfunction was present on admission (median ejection fraction, 0.20; interquartile range, 0.15 to 0.30) and rapidly resolved in all patients (ejection fraction at two to four weeks, 0.60; interquartile range, 0.55 to 0.65; P<0.001). Endomyocardial biopsy showed mononuclear infiltrates and contraction-band necrosis. Plasma catecholamine levels at presentation were markedly higher among patients with stressinduced cardiomyopathy than among those with Killip class III myocardial infarction (median epinephrine level, 1264 pg per milliliter [interquartile range, 916 to 1374] vs. 376 pg per milliliter [interquartile range, 275 to 476]; norepinephrine level, 2284 pg per milliliter [interquartile range, 1709 to 2910] vs. 1100 pg per milliliter [interquartile range, 914 to 1320]; and dopamine level, 111 pg per milliliter [interquartile range, 106 to 146] vs. 61 pg per milliliter [interquartile range, 46 to 77]; P<0.005 for all comparisons). conclusions Emotional stress can precipitate severe, reversible left ventricular dysfunction in patients without coronary disease. Exaggerated sympathetic stimulation is probably central to the cause of this syndrome.
TL;DR: The obstructive sleep apnea syndrome significantly increases the risk of stroke or death from any cause, and the increase is independent of other risk factors, including hypertension.
Abstract: background Previous studies have suggested that the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome may be an important risk factor for stroke. It has not been determined, however, whether the syndrome is independently related to the risk of stroke or death from any cause after adjustment for other risk factors, including hypertension. methods In this observational cohort study, consecutive patients underwent polysomnography, and subsequent events (strokes and deaths) were verified. The diagnosis of the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome was based on an apnea–hypopnea index of 5 or higher (five or more events per hour); patients with an apnea–hypopnea index of less than 5 served as the comparison group. Proportional-hazards analysis was used to determine the independent effect of the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome on the composite outcome of stroke or death from any cause. results Among 1022 enrolled patients, 697 (68 percent) had the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. At baseline, the mean apnea–hypopnea index in the patients with the syndrome was 35, as compared with a mean apnea–hypopnea index of 2 in the comparison group. In an unadjusted analysis, the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome was associated with stroke or death from any cause (hazard ratio, 2.24; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.30 to 3.86; P=0.004). After adjustment for age, sex, race, smoking status, alcohol-consumption status, body-mass index, and the presence or absence of diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, atrial fibrillation, and hypertension, the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome retained a statistically significant association with stroke or death (hazard ratio, 1.97; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.12 to 3.48; P=0.01). In a trend analysis, increased severity of sleep apnea at baseline was associated with an increased risk of the development of the composite end point (P=0.005). conclusions The obstructive sleep apnea syndrome significantly increases the risk of stroke or death from any cause, and the increase is independent of other risk factors, including hypertension.
TL;DR: Treatment of gestational diabetes reduces serious perinatal morbidity and may also improve the woman's health-related quality of life.
Abstract: Background We conducted a randomized clinical trial to determine whether treatment of women with gestational diabetes mellitus reduced the risk of perinatal complications. Methods We randomly assig...
TL;DR: A unique microRNA signature is associated with prognostic factors and disease progression in CLL, and a germ-line mutation in the miR-16-1-miR-15a primary precursor caused low levels of microRNA expression in vitro and in vivo and was associated with deletion of the normal allele.
Abstract: Background MicroRNA expression profiles can be used to distinguish normal B cells from malignant B cells in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). We investigated whether microRNA profiles are associated with known prognostic factors in CLL. Methods We evaluated the microRNA expression profiles of 94 samples of CLL cells for which the level of expression of 70-kD zeta-associated protein (ZAP-70), the mutational status of the rearranged immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable-region (IgVH ) gene, and the time from diagnosis to initial treatment were known. We also investigated the genomic sequence of 42 microRNA genes to identify abnormalities. Results A unique microRNA expression signature composed of 13 genes (of 190 analyzed) differentiated cases of CLL with low levels of ZAP-70 expression from those with high levels and cases with unmutated IgVH from those with mutated IgVH . The same microRNA signature was also associated with the presence or absence of disease progression. We also identified a...
TL;DR: This review summarizes the understanding of how glucocorticoids inhibit inflammation and give rise to side effects.
Abstract: Glucocorticoids are among the most common therapeutic agents used in medical practice, yet their mechanisms of action are only partly understood. This review summarizes our understanding of how glu...
TL;DR: Among patients with a history of colorectal adenomas, the use of rofecoxib was associated with an increased cardiovascular risk, and cardiovascular mortality was similar in the two groups.
Abstract: background Selective inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) may be associated with an increased risk of thrombotic events, but only limited long-term data have been available for analysis. We report on the cardiovascular outcomes associated with the use of the selective COX-2 inhibitor rofecoxib in a long-term, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial designed to determine the effect of three years of treatment with rofecoxib on the risk of recurrent neoplastic polyps of the large bowel in patients with a history of colorectal adenomas. methods A total of 2586 patients with a history of colorectal adenomas underwent randomization: 1287 were assigned to receive 25 mg of rofecoxib daily, and 1299 to receive placebo. All investigator-reported serious adverse events that represented potential thrombotic cardiovascular events were adjudicated in a blinded fashion by an external committee. results A total of 46 patients in the rofecoxib group had a confirmed thrombotic event during 3059 patient-years of follow-up (1.50 events per 100 patient-years), as compared with 26 patients in the placebo group during 3327 patient-years of follow-up (0.78 event per 100 patient-years); the corresponding relative risk was 1.92 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.19 to 3.11; P=0.008). The increased relative risk became apparent after 18 months of treatment; during the first 18 months, the event rates were similar in the two groups. The results primarily reflect a greater number of myocardial infarctions and ischemic cerebrovascular events in the rofecoxib group. There was earlier separation (at approximately five months) between groups in the incidence of nonadjudicated investigator-reported congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, or cardiac failure (hazard ratio for the comparison of the rofecoxib group with the placebo group, 4.61; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.50 to 18.83). Overall and cardiovascular mortality was similar in the two groups. conclusions Among patients with a history of colorectal adenomas, the use of rofecoxib was associated with an increased cardiovascular risk.
TL;DR: Bortezomib is superior to high-dose dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have had a relapse after one to three previous therapies.
Abstract: background This study compared bortezomib with high-dose dexamethasone in patients with relapsed multiple myeloma who had received one to three previous therapies. methods We randomly assigned 669 patients with relapsed myeloma to receive either an intravenous bolus of bortezomib (1.3 mg per square meter of body-surface area) on days 1, 4, 8, and 11 for eight three-week cycles, followed by treatment on days 1, 8, 15, and 22 for three five-week cycles, or high-dose dexamethasone (40 mg orally) on days 1 through 4, 9 through 12, and 17 through 20 for four five-week cycles, followed by treatment on days 1 through 4 for five four-week cycles. Patients who were assigned to receive dexamethasone were permitted to cross over to receive bortezomib in a companion study after disease progression. results Patients treated with bortezomib had higher response rates, a longer time to progression (the primary end point), and a longer survival than patients treated with dexamethasone. The combined complete and partial response rates were 38 percent for bortezomib and 18 percent for dexamethasone (P<0.001), and the complete response rates were 6 percent and less than 1 percent, respectively (P<0.001). Median times to progression in the bortezomib and dexamethasone groups were 6.22 months (189 days) and 3.49 months (106 days), respectively (hazard ratio, 0.55; P<0.001). The oneyear survival rate was 80 percent among patients taking bortezomib and 66 percent among patients taking dexamethasone (P=0.003), and the hazard ratio for overall survival with bortezomib was 0.57 (P=0.001). Grade 3 or 4 adverse events were reported in 75 percent of patients treated with bortezomib and in 60 percent of those treated with dexamethasone. conclusions Bortezomib is superior to high-dose dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have had a relapse after one to three previous therapies.
TL;DR: The genetic alterations identified in melanoma at different sites and with different levels of sun exposure indicate that there are distinct genetic pathways in the development of melanoma and implicate CDK4 and CCND1 as independent oncogenes in melanomas without mutations in BRAF or N-RAS.
Abstract: Background Exposure to ultraviolet light is a major causative factor in melanoma, although the relationship between risk and exposure is complex. We hypothesized that the clinical heterogeneity is explained by genetically distinct types of melanoma with different susceptibility to ultraviolet light. Methods We compared genome-wide alterations in the number of copies of DNA and mutational status of BRAF and N-RAS in 126 melanomas from four groups in which the degree of exposure to ultraviolet light differs: 30 melanomas from skin with chronic sun-induced damage and 40 melanomas from skin without such damage; 36 melanomas from palms, soles, and subungual (acral) sites; and 20 mucosal melanomas. Results We found significant differences in the frequencies of regional changes in the number of copies of DNA and mutation frequencies in BRAF among the four groups of melanomas. Samples could be correctly classified into the four groups with 70 percent accuracy on the basis of the changes in the number of copies of...
TL;DR: A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, prospective study of 1255 subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus receiving maintenance hemodialysis who were randomly assigned to receive 20 mg of atorvastatin per day or matching placebo found the median level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol was reduced.
Abstract: Background Statins reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events in persons with type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, the benefit of statins in such patients receiving hemodialysis, who are at high risk for cardiovascular disease and death, has not been examined. Methods We conducted a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, prospective study of 1255 subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus receiving maintenance hemodialysis who were randomly assigned to receive 20 mg of atorvastatin per day or matching placebo. The primary end point was a composite of death from cardiac causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and stroke. Secondary end points included death from all causes and all cardiac and cerebrovascular events combined. Results After four weeks of treatment, the median level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol was reduced by 42 percent among patients receiving atorvastatin, and among those receiving placebo it was reduced by 1.3 percent. During a median follow-up period of four years, 469 patients (37 ...
Wayne State University1, Yale University2, University of Texas at Austin3, RTI International4, University of Cincinnati5, Case Western Reserve University6, National Institutes of Health7, University of California, San Diego8, University of Alabama9, University of Miami10, Duke University11, Stanford University12, Emory University13, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis14, University of Rochester15
TL;DR: Whole-body hypothermia reduces the risk of death or disability in infants with moderate or severe hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy and there was no increase in major disability among survivors.
Abstract: background Hypothermia is protective against brain injury after asphyxiation in animal models. However, the safety and effectiveness of hypothermia in term infants with encephalopathy is uncertain. methods We conducted a randomized trial of hypothermia in infants with a gestational age of at least 36 weeks who were admitted to the hospital at or before six hours of age with either severe acidosis or perinatal complications and resuscitation at birth and who had moderate or severe encephalopathy. Infants were randomly assigned to usual care (control group) or whole-body cooling to an esophageal temperature of 33.5°C for 72 hours, followed by slow rewarming (hypothermia group). Neurodevelopmental outcome was assessed at 18 to 22 months of age. The primary outcome was a combined end point of death or moderate or severe disability. results Of 239 eligible infants, 102 were assigned to the hypothermia group and 106 to the control group. Adverse events were similar in the two groups during the 72 hours of cooling. Primary outcome data were available for 205 infants. Death or moderate or severe disability occurred in 45 of 102 infants (44 percent) in the hypothermia group and 64 of 103 infants (62 percent) in the control group (risk ratio, 0.72; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.54 to 0.95; P=0.01). Twenty-four infants (24 percent) in the hypothermia group and 38 (37 percent) in the control group died (risk ratio, 0.68; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.44 to 1.05; P=0.08). There was no increase in major disability among survivors; the rate of cerebral palsy was 15 of 77 (19 percent) in the hypothermia group as compared with 19 of 64 (30 percent) in the control group (risk ratio, 0.68; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.38 to 1.22; P=0.20). conclusions Whole-body hypothermia reduces the risk of death or disability in infants with moderate or severe hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy.
TL;DR: Among the 222 patients completing one year of treatment with sildenafil monotherapy, the improvement from baseline at one year in the distance walked in six minutes was 51 m, and the incidence of clinical worsening did not differ significantly between the patients treated with s Bildenafils and those treated with placebo.
Abstract: background Sildenafil inhibits phosphodiesterase type 5, an enzyme that metabolizes cyclic guanosine monophosphate, thereby enhancing the cyclic guanosine monophosphate– mediated relaxation and growth inhibition of vascular smooth-muscle cells, including those in the lung. methods In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, we randomly assigned 278 patients with symptomatic pulmonary arterial hypertension (either idiopathic or associated with connective-tissue disease or with repaired congenital systemic-to-pulmonary shunts) to placebo or sildenafil (20, 40, or 80 mg) orally three times daily for 12 weeks. The primary end point was the change from baseline to week 12 in the distance walked in six minutes. The change in mean pulmonary-artery pressure and World Health Organization (WHO) functional class and the incidence of clinical worsening were also assessed, but the study was not powered to assess mortality. Patients completing the 12-week randomized study could enter a long-term extension study. results The distance walked in six minutes increased from baseline in all sildenafil groups; the mean placebo-corrected treatment effects were 45 m (+13.0 percent), 46 m (+13.3 percent), and 50 m (+14.7 percent) for 20, 40, and 80 mg of sildenafil, respectively (P<0.001 for all comparisons). All sildenafil doses reduced the mean pulmonary-artery pressure (P = 0.04, P = 0.01, and P<0.001, respectively), improved the WHO functional class (P = 0.003, P<0.001, and P<0.001, respectively), and were associated with side effects such as flushing, dyspepsia, and diarrhea. The incidence of clinical worsening did not differ significantly between the patients treated with sildenafil and those treated with placebo. Among the 222 patients completing one year of treatment with sildenafil monotherapy, the improvement from baseline at one year in the distance walked in six minutes was 51 m. conclusions Sildenafil improves exercise capacity, WHO functional class, and hemodynamics in patients with symptomatic pulmonary arterial hypertension.
TL;DR: A previously uncommon strain of C. difficile with variations in toxin genes has become more resistant to fluoroquinolones and has emerged as a cause of geographically dispersed outbreaks of C.'s Difficile-associated disease.
Abstract: background Recent reports suggest that the rate and severity of Clostridium difficile –associated disease in the United States are increasing and that the increase may be associated with the emergence of a new strain of C. difficile with increased virulence, resistance, or both. methods A total of 187 C. difficile isolates were collected from eight health care facilities in six states (Georgia, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, and Pennsylvania) in which outbreaks of C. difficile –associated disease had occurred between 2000 and 2003. The isolates were characterized by restriction-endonuclease analysis (REA), pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and toxinotyping, and the results were compared with those from a database of more than 6000 isolates obtained before 2001. The polymerase chain reaction was used to detect the recently described binary toxin CDT and a deletion in the pathogenicity locus gene, tcdC, that might result in increased production of toxins A and B. results Isolates that belonged to one REA group (BI) and had the same PFGE type (NAP1) were identified in specimens collected from patients at all eight facilities and accounted for at least half of the isolates from five facilities. REA group BI, which was first identified in 1984, was uncommon among isolates from the historic database (14 cases). Both historic and current (obtained since 2001) BI/NAP1 isolates were of toxinotype III, were positive for the binary toxin CDT, and contained an 18-bp tcdC deletion. Resistance to gatifloxacin and moxifloxacin was more common in current BI/NAP1 isolates than in non-BI/NAP1 isolates (100 percent vs. 42 percent, P<0.001), whereas the rate of resistance to clindamycin was the same in the two groups (79 percent). All of the current but none of the historic BI/NAP1 isolates were resistant to gatifloxacin and moxifloxacin (P<0.001).
TL;DR: Relationships between the LDL cholesterol and CRP levels achieved after treatment with 80 mg of atorvastatin or 40 mg of pravastatin per day and the risk of recurrent myocardial infarction or death from coronary causes among 3745 patients with acute coronary syndromes are evaluated.
Abstract: Background Statins lower the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and C-reactive protein (CRP). Whether this latter property affects clinical outcomes is unknown. Methods We evaluated relationships between the LDL cholesterol and CRP levels achieved after treatment with 80 mg of atorvastatin or 40 mg of pravastatin per day and the risk of recurrent myocardial infarction or death from coronary causes among 3745 patients with acute coronary syndromes. Results Patients in whom statin therapy resulted in LDL cholesterol levels of less than 70 mg per deciliter (1.8 mmol per liter) had lower event rates than those with higher levels (2.7 vs. 4.0 events per 100 person-years, P=0.008). However, a virtually identical difference was observed between those who had CRP levels of less than 2 mg per liter after statin therapy and those who had higher levels (2.8 vs. 3.9 events per 100 person-years, P=0.006), an effect present at all levels of LDL cholesterol achieved. For patients with post-treatment LDL...