Publications by authors named "Eiichiro Suzuki"

88 Publications

Effect of introducing a disulfide bridge on the thermostability of microbial transglutaminase from Streptomyces mobaraensis.

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2021 Apr 18;105(7):2737-2745. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Division of Biotechnology and Macromolecular Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Hokkaido University, N13W8, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, 060-8628, Japan.

Microbial transglutaminase (MTG) has been used extensively in academic research and the food industry through cross-linking or posttranslational modification of proteins. In our previous paper, the activity-increased MTG mutants were obtained by means of rational mutagenesis and random mutagenesis coupled with the newly developed screening system. In addition, the improvement of heat resistance of MTG is needed to expand further its industrial applications. Here, a structure-based rational enzyme engineering approach was applied to improve the thermostability of MTG by introducing an artificial disulfide bridge. As a result of narrowing down candidates using a rational approach, we successfully engineered a disulfide bridge into the N-terminal region of MTG by substituting Thr-7 and Glu-58 with cysteine. The T7C/E58C mutant was observed to have a de novo disulfide bridge and showed an increased melting temperature (Tm value) of 4.3 °C with retained enzymatic activity. To address the benefit-gained reason, we focused on the Cβ temperature factor of the amino-acid residues that might form a disulfide bridge in MTG. Introducing the disulfide bridge had no remarkable effect on the mutant aiming to stabilize the high temperature factor. On the other hand, the mutation was effective on the relatively stable region. The introduction of a disulfide bridge may therefore be effective to stabilize further the relatively stable part. This finding is considered to be useful for the rational design of mutants aiming at heat resistance of proteins.Key Points• Microbial transglutaminase (MTG) is used as a binder in the food industry.• MTG has the potential for use in the manufacturing of various commercial materials.• Enhanced thermostability was observed for the disulfide bridge mutant, T7C/G58C.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00253-021-11200-6DOI Listing
April 2021

Acquisition of mesenchymal-like phenotypes and overproduction of angiogenic factors in lenvatinib-resistant hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2021 Apr 3;549:171-178. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.

Lenvatinib is one of the first-line drugs for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and widely used around the world. However, the mechanisms underlying resistance to lenvatinib remain unclear. In this study, we conducted characteristic analyses of lenvatinib-resistant HCC cells. Lenvatinib-resistant HCC cell lines were established by exposure to serially escalated doses of lenvatinib over 2 months. The biological characteristics of these cells were examined by in vitro assays. To investigate the cytokine profile of lenvatinib-resistant HCC cells, the supernatant derived from lenvatinib-resistant Huh7 cells was subjected to nitrocellulose membrane-based sandwich immunoassay. Both activation of the MAPK/MEK/ERK signaling pathway and upregulation of epithelial mesenchymal transition markers were observed in lenvatinib-resistant cells. Concordant with these findings, proliferation and invasion abilities were enhanced in these cells compared with control cells. Screening of a cytokine array spotted with 105 different antibodies to human cytokines enabled us to identify 16 upregulated cytokines in lenvatinib-resistant cells. Among them, 3 angiogenic cytokines: vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet-derived growth factor-AA (PDGF-AA), and angiogenin, were increased significantly. Conditioned medium from lenvatinib-resistant cells accelerated tube formation of human umbilical vein cells. In conclusion, lenvatinib-resistant HCC cells were characterized by enhanced proliferation and invasion abilities. These findings might contribute to the establishment of new combination therapies with lenvatinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2021.02.097DOI Listing
April 2021

The impact of FGF19/FGFR4 signaling inhibition in antitumor activity of multi-kinase inhibitors in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Sci Rep 2021 Mar 5;11(1):5303. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba, 260-8670, Japan.

FGF19/FGFR4 autocrine signaling is one of the main targets for multi-kinase inhibitors (MKIs). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying FGF19/FGFR4 signaling in the antitumor effects to MKIs in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remain unclear. In this study, the impact of FGFR4/ERK signaling inhibition on HCC following MKI treatment was analyzed in vitro and in vivo assays. Serum FGF19 in HCC patients treated using MKIs, such as sorafenib (n = 173) and lenvatinib (n = 40), was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Lenvatinib strongly inhibited the phosphorylation of FRS2 and ERK, the downstream signaling molecules of FGFR4, compared with sorafenib and regorafenib. Additional use of a selective FGFR4 inhibitor with sorafenib further suppressed FGFR4/ERK signaling and synergistically inhibited HCC cell growth in culture and xenograft subcutaneous tumors. Although serum FGF19 (n = 68) patients treated using sorafenib exhibited a significantly shorter progression-free survival and overall survival than FGF19 (n = 105) patients, there were no significant differences between FGF19 (n = 21) and FGF19 (n = 19) patients treated using lenvatinib. In conclusion, robust inhibition of FGF19/FGFR4 is of importance for the exertion of antitumor effects of MKIs. Serum FGF19 levels may function as a predictive marker for drug response and survival in HCC patients treated using sorafenib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-84117-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7935880PMC
March 2021

Propofol midazolam for sedation during radiofrequency ablation in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

JGH Open 2021 Feb 22;5(2):273-279. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine Chiba University Chiba Japan.

Background And Aim: Standardization of the sedation protocol during radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is needed. This randomized, single-blind, investigator-initiated trial compared clinical outcomes during and after RFA using propofol and midazolam, respectively, in patients with HCC.

Methods: Few- and small-nodule HCC patients (≤3 nodules and ≤3 cm) were randomly assigned to either propofol or midazolam. Patient satisfaction was assessed using a 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS) (1 mm = not at all satisfied, 100 mm = completely satisfied). Sedation recovery rates 1, 2, 3, and 4 h after RFA were evaluated based on Modified Observer's Assessment of Alertness/Sedation (MOAA/S) scores; full recovery was defined as a MOAA/S score of 5.

Results: Between July 2013 and September 2017, 143 patients with HCC were enrolled, and 135 patients were randomly assigned to the treatment group. Compared with midazolam, propofol exhibited similar median procedural satisfaction (propofol: 73.1 mm, midazolam: 76.9 mm, = 0.574). Recovery rates 1 and 2 h after RFA were higher in the propofol group than in the midazolam group. Meanwhile, recovery rates observed 3 and 4 h after RFA were similar in the two groups. The safety profiles during and after RFA were almost identical in the two groups.

Conclusion: Patient satisfaction was almost identical in patients receiving propofol and midazolam sedation during RFA. Propofol sedation resulted in reduced recovery time compared with midazolam sedation in patients with HCC. The safety profiles of both propofol and midazolam sedation during and after RFA were acceptable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jgh3.12483DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7857294PMC
February 2021

Multicenter Retrospective Analysis of Chemotherapy for Advanced Pancreatic Acinar Cell Carcinoma: Potential Efficacy of Platinum- and Irinotecan-Containing Regimens.

Pancreas 2021 Jan;50(1):77-82

Department of Medical Oncology, Kyorin University Faculty of Medicine, Tokyo.

Objectives: The aim of this multicenter retrospective study was to identify the optimal chemotherapeutic regimen for advanced pancreatic acinar cell carcinoma (PACC).

Methods: Fifty-eight patients with histopathologically confirmed advanced PACC who had received chemotherapy between 1996 and 2013 were enrolled. The clinical characteristics of the patients and the treatment efficacy data were collected from the medical records at 16 Japanese institutions, using standardized data collection instrument.

Results: The most commonly selected treatment regimens were gemcitabine-, fluoropyrimidine-, platinum-, and irinotecan-containing regimens. The overall response rate in the patients who received first-line chemotherapy were 7% and 38%, respectively, and the median overall survival was 13.2 months. When the data for all the treatment lines were aggregated, the response rates to gemcitabine-, fluoropyrimidine-, platinum-, and irinotecan-containing regimens were 7%, 18%, 40%, and 29%, respectively. The overall survival tended to be better in patients who had received a platinum-containing regimen (hazard ratio, 0.50; 95% confidence interval, 0.23-1.11; P = 0.08) or irinotecan-containing regimen (hazard ratio, 0.42; 95% confidence interval, 0.15-1.19; P = 0.09) at least once in the treatment course as compared with those who had not.

Conclusions: Our findings suggested that platinum- and irinotecan-containing regimens exhibited some potential efficacy in patients with advanced PACC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPA.0000000000001718DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7748047PMC
January 2021

Analyses of Intermediate-Stage Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients Receiving Transarterial Chemoembolization prior to Designing Clinical Trials.

Liver Cancer 2020 Sep 22;9(5):596-612. Epub 2020 Jul 22.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.

Background: Intermediate-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has a high frequency of recurrence and progression to advanced stage after transarterial chemoembolization (TACE), particularly in patients with high tumor burden. Promising new results from immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) and ICI-based therapies are expected to replace TACE, especially in HCC patients with high tumor burden.

Aims: The present study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of TACE with a view to design clinical trials comparing TACE and ICIs.

Methods: We retrospectively identified intermediate-stage HCC patients undergoing TACE from our database and subdivided patients into low- and high-burden groups based on three subclassification models using the diameter of the maximum tumor and the number of tumors. Clinical outcomes were compared between low- and high-burden intermediate-stage HCC.

Results: Of 1,161 newly diagnosed HCC patients, 316 were diagnosed with intermediate-stage disease and underwent TACE. The median overall survival from high-burden intermediate-stage disease was not significantly different by clinical course, reaching high tumor burden in all subclassification models. The prognosis of high-burden patients after initial TACE was poor compared with low-burden patients for two models (except for the up-to-seven criteria). In all three models, high-burden patients showed a poor durable response rate (DRR) both ≥3 months and ≥6 months and poor prognosis after TACE. Moreover, patients with confirmed durable response ≥3 months and ≥6 months showed better survival outcomes for high-burden intermediate-stage HCC.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate the basis for selecting a population that would not benefit from TACE and setting DRR ≥3 months or ≥6 months as alternative endpoints when designing clinical trials comparing TACE and ICIs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000508809DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7548915PMC
September 2020

Potential of Lenvatinib for an Expanded Indication from the REFLECT Trial in Patients with Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Liver Cancer 2020 Aug 5;9(4):382-396. Epub 2020 May 5.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.

Background: The present study aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of lenvatinib and verify the possibility of lenvatinib for the expanded indication from the REFLECT trial in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in real-world practice, primarily focusing on the population that was excluded in the REFLECT trial.

Methods: We retrospectively collected data on patients with advanced HCC who were administered lenvatinib in 7 institutions in Japan.

Results: Of 152 advanced HCC patients, 95 and 57 patients received lenvatinib in first-line and second- or later-line systemic therapies, respectively. The median progression-free survival in Child-Pugh class A patients was nearly equal between first- and second- or later-line therapies (5.2 months; 95% CI 3.7-6.9 for first line, 4.8 months; 95% CI 3.8-5.9 for second or later line, = 0.933). According to the modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, the objective response rate of 27 patients (18%) who showed a high burden of intrahepatic lesions (i.e., main portal vein and/or bile duct invasion or 50% or higher liver occupation) at baseline radiological assessment was 41% and similar with that of other population. The present study included 20 patients (13%) with Child-Pugh class B. These patients observed high frequency rates of liver function-related adverse events due to lenvatinib. The 8-week dose intensity of lenvatinib had a strong correlation with liver function according to both the Child-Pugh and albumin - bilirubin scores.

Conclusion: Lenvatinib had potential benefits for patients with advanced HCC with second- or later-line therapies and a high burden of intrahepatic lesions. Dose modification should be paid increased attention among patients with poor liver function, such as Child-Pugh class B patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000507022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7506220PMC
August 2020

Interferon-γ induced PD-L1 expression and soluble PD-L1 production in gastric cancer.

Oncol Lett 2020 Sep 19;20(3):2161-2168. Epub 2020 Jun 19.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan.

Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) plays an essential role in tumor cell escape from anti-tumor immunity in various types of cancer, including gastric cancer (GC). The present study investigated the intracellular and membrane-bound expression of PD-L1 in the GC cell lines MKN1, MKN74, KATO III and OCUM-1. Furthermore, soluble PD-L1 (sPD-L1) level in the supernatant of GC cells and the serum of patients with GC and healthy controls was determined by ELISA. Interferon (IFN)-γ treatment of cells resulted in increased cytoplasmic expression of PD-L1 in GC cells in a dose-dependent manner, except for MKN74 cells; however, there was no association between tumor necrosis factor-α treatment and enhanced PD-L1 expression. Concordant with these findings, results from flow cytometry analysis demonstrated that membrane-bound PD-L1 expression was also increased following GC cell treatment with IFN-γ in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, significant sPD-L1 overproduction was observed only in the culture supernatant of OCUM-1 cells. Serum level of sPD-L1 was significantly increased in patients with GC, in particular in stage IV patients, compared with healthy controls. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that IFN-γ treatment increased the intracellular and membrane-bound PD-L1 expression in GC cells. In addition, sPD-L1 was detected not only in the supernatant of GC cells but also in the serum of patients with GC. Further investigation on the underlying mechanism of regulation of PD-L1 expression and sPD-L1 production is required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ol.2020.11757DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7400993PMC
September 2020

Long-term administration of Tolvaptan to patients with decompensated cirrhosis.

Int J Med Sci 2020 15;17(7):874-880. Epub 2020 Mar 15.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan.

: Tolvaptan, an oral vasopressin-2 antagonist, sometimes improves hepatic edema including ascites in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. In this study, we examined the effectiveness and survival advantage in patients with the long-term administration of tolvaptan. : A total of 115 patients with refractory ascites who were treated with tolvaptan were retrospectively analyzed based on their clinical records. Patients with a decrease in body weight of ≥1.5 kg from the baseline on day 7 were determined as responders. Re-exacerbation was defined as a return to the baseline BW, dose escalation of conventional diuretics, or abdominal drainage. : Of the 115 patients, 84 were included in this analysis. Response to tolvaptan treatment was observed in 55 out of the 84 patients (65.5%), with a mean weight reduction of 2.52 kg. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that body mass index (≥24) and urinary specific gravity (≥1.018) were significant predictors of the response to tolvaptan. However, cumulative re-exacerbation rates in responders at 6 and 12 months were 42.4 and 60.1%, respectively. Child-Pugh (classification C), HCC complication, and serum sodium levels (≥133 mEq/L) were determined as independent prognostic factors impacting overall survival (OS). Although there were no significant differences in OS between tolvaptan responders and non-responders, the responders without re-exacerbation within 3 months showed significantly longer OS than those with re-exacerbation within 3 months. : A persistent therapeutic response, but not early response to tolvaptan, was associated with favorable survival of decompensated cirrhotic patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/ijms.41454DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7163362PMC
February 2021

Switching to systemic therapy after locoregional treatment failure: Definition and best timing.

Clin Mol Hepatol 2020 04 15;26(2):155-162. Epub 2020 Jan 15.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.

In patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) without both macrovascular invasion and extrahepatic metastasis, the initial treatment choice recommended is transarterial chemoembolization (TACE). Before sorafenib came into wide use, TACE had been pointlessly carried out repeatedly. It was in the early 2010s that the concept of TACE refractory was advocated. Two retrospective studies from Japan indicated that conversion from TACE to sorafenib the day after patients were deemed as TACE refractory improved overall survival compared with continued TACE, according to the definition by the Japan Society of Hepatology. Nowadays, phase 3 trials have shown clinical benefits of several novel molecular target agents. Compared with the era of sorafenib, sequential treatments with these molecular target agents have gradually prolonged patients' survival and have become major strategies in patients with HCC. Taking these together, conversion from TACE to systemic therapies at the time of TACE refractory, compared with before, may have a greater impact on survival and may be considered deeper in the decisions-making process in patients with unresectable HCC who are candidate for TACE. Up-to-date information on the concept of TACE refractory is summarized in this review. We believe that the survival of patients with unresectable HCC without both macrovascular invasion and extrahepatic metastasis may be dramatically improved by optimal timing of TACE refractory and switching to systemic therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3350/cmh.2019.0021nDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7160341PMC
April 2020

Incidence and hemodynamic feature of risky esophageal varices with lower hepatic venous pressure gradient.

Int J Med Sci 2019 9;16(12):1614-1620. Epub 2019 Nov 9.

Department of Gastroenterology, Juntendo University, 2-1-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8421, Japan.

To examine the incidence of cirrhosis patients with high-risk esophageal varices (EV) who show hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) < 10 mmHg and to identify their hemodynamic features. This prospective study consisted of 110 cirrhosis patients with EV, all with the candidate for primary or secondary prophylaxis. Sixty-one patients had red sign, and 49 patients were bleeders. All patients underwent both Doppler ultrasound and HVPG measurement. There were 18 patients (16.4%) with HVPG < 10 mmHg. The presence of venous-venous communication (VVC) was more frequent in patients with HVPG < 10 mmHg (10/18) than in those with HVPG ≥ 10 mmHg (19/92; p = 0.0021). The flow volume in the left gastric vein (LGV) and the incidence of red sign were higher in the former (251.9 ± 150.6 mL/min; 16/18) than in the latter (181 ± 100.5 mL/min, p = 0.02; 45/92; p = 0.0018). The patients with red sign had lower HVPG (13.3 ± 4.5) but advanced LGV hemodynamics (velocity 13.2 ± 3.8 cm/s; flow volume 217.5 ± 126.6 mL/min), whereas those without red sign had higher HVPG (16.2 ± 4.6, p = 0.001) but poorer LGV hemodynamics (10.9 ± 2.3, p = 0.002; 160.1 ± 83.1, p = 0.02). Patients with high-risk EV with HVPG < 10 mmHg showed 16.4% incidence. Although low HVPG may be underestimated by the presence of VVC, the increased LGV hemodynamics compensates for the severity of portal hypertension, which may contribute to the development of red sign.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/ijms.37040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6909812PMC
April 2020

Serum fibroblast growth factor 19 serves as a potential novel biomarker for hepatocellular carcinoma.

BMC Cancer 2019 Nov 12;19(1):1088. Epub 2019 Nov 12.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba, 260-8670, Japan.

Background: Abnormal autocrine fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) production has been observed in several types of cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this study, we investigated the potential of serum FGF19 as a novel tumor marker of HCC based on a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Methods: The serum FGF19 levels of 304 patients with HCC was measured by ELISA. The serum levels of existing markers, including alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) were determined by chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassay. Both diagnostic value of FGF19 and its changes after curative ablation therapy was further examined.

Results: The median FGF19 levels in controls, chronic liver disease patients, and primary HCC patients, were 78.8 pg/mL, 100.1 pg/mL, and 214.5 pg/mL, respectively. The subsequent receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC) successfully determined an optimal cut-off value of 200.0 pg/mL. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) of FGF19 for HCC detection was comparable to those of AFP and DCP. Of importance, FGF19 showed higher sensitivity for the detection of small HCC (solitary cancer with diameter < 20 mm) than those of existing markers. In addition, 43 out of 79 cases (54.4%) with normal AFP and DCP (so-called "double negative HCC") exhibited serum FGF19 level ≥ 200 pg/mL. In 45 HCC patients treated with curative ablation therapy, serum FGF19 levels changed from 257.4 pg/mL to 112.0 pg/mL after the treatment.

Conclusion: Our findings reveal that FGF19 can be a potential novel biomarker for HCC. Although FGF19 is not necessarily a substitute for existing markers, it may help improve the prognosis in HCC patients owing to its resourceful use in various aspects of HCC management and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-019-6322-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6849282PMC
November 2019

Adjuvant therapy for resected gallbladder cancer.

Chin Clin Oncol 2019 Aug 30;8(4):39. Epub 2019 Jul 30.

UCL, Cancer Institute, London, UK.

Gallbladder cancer, one of the family of biliary tract cancers, has a poor prognosis. Adjuvant therapy comprising radiotherapy, chemotherapy plus radiation therapy and systemic chemotherapy may all play a role in improving survival. Most extant data on adjuvant therapy are retrospective studies or meta-analyses based on these studies. Recently, a phase III study demonstrated that capecitabine is a standard treatment option for biliary tract cancers, including gallbladder cancer. Ongoing studies investigating chemotherapy, novel surgical strategies, immunotherapy, molecular-targeted therapies using molecular profiling have been developed. This review summarises current status and future perspectives of adjuvant therapy for gallbladder cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/cco.2019.07.02DOI Listing
August 2019

Sequential therapy with sorafenib and regorafenib for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma: a multicenter retrospective study in Japan.

Invest New Drugs 2020 02 6;38(1):172-180. Epub 2019 Jun 6.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba, 260-8670, Japan.

Background Conversion from sorafenib to regorafenib is primarily an evidence-based treatment strategy in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of sequential therapy with sorafenib and regorafenib in patients with advanced HCC by analysis of outcomes in clinical practice with the aim to complement phase III findings. Methods The medical records of patients with advanced HCC receiving regorafenib were retrieved to collect data on sorafenib administration at seven Japanese institutions. Radiological responses and adverse events were evaluated using the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1 and the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.0, respectively. Results Before March 2018, 44 patients were administered regorafenib for advanced HCC. The median sorafenib treatment duration was 8.4 months. The most common adverse events were similar to those reported by the RESORCE trial. The median overall survival (OS) was 17.3 months (95% confidence interval [CI] 11.4-22.9), and 17 of 37 patients (45.9%) discontinued regorafenib and received sequential systemic therapy after regorafenib. These patients had significantly longer OS than those who were treated by the best supportive care or sub-optimal therapy (not reached versus 8.7 months [95% CI 5.8-11.7]; P < 0.001). Conclusion The results based on Japanese clinical practices verified the tolerability of regorafenib in advanced HCC. Major regorafenib-associated adverse events were similar to those related to sorafenib. OS was significantly longer than expected, which might be associated with the sequential systemic therapies after regorafenib, mainly lenvatinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10637-019-00801-8DOI Listing
February 2020

Genome-Wide Mapping of Bivalent Histone Modifications in Hepatic Stem/Progenitor Cells.

Stem Cells Int 2019 1;2019:9789240. Epub 2019 Apr 1.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.

The "bivalent domain," a distinctive histone modification signature, is characterized by repressive trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 27 (H3K27me3) and active trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me3) marks. Maintenance and dynamic resolution of these histone marks play important roles in regulating differentiation processes in various stem cell systems. However, little is known regarding their roles in hepatic stem/progenitor cells. In the present study, we conducted the chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay followed by high-throughput DNA sequencing (ChIP-seq) analyses in purified delta-like 1 protein (Dlk) hepatic stem/progenitor cells and successfully identified 562 genes exhibiting bivalent domains within 2 kb of the transcription start site. Gene ontology analysis revealed that these genes were enriched in developmental functions and differentiation processes. Microarray analyses indicated that many of these genes exhibited derepression after differentiation toward hepatocyte and cholangiocyte lineages. Among these, 72 genes, including and , were significantly upregulated after differentiation toward hepatocyte or cholangiocyte lineages. Knockdown of in Dlk cells suppressed colony propagation and resulted in increased numbers of albumin/cytokeratin 7 progenitor cells in colonies. These findings implicate that derepression of expression is required to induce normal differentiation processes. In conclusion, combined ChIP-seq and microarray analyses successfully identified bivalent genes. Functional analyses of these genes will help elucidate the epigenetic machinery underlying the terminal differentiation of hepatic stem/progenitor cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2019/9789240DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6466853PMC
April 2019

Clinical characteristics of Japanese patients with epithelioid hemangioendothelioma: a multicenter retrospective study.

BMC Cancer 2018 Oct 19;18(1):993. Epub 2018 Oct 19.

Department of Medical Oncology, Kyorin University Faculty of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: Epithelioid hemangioendothelioma is an exceedingly rare sarcoma often occurring as an indolent angiocentric vascular tumor at various anatomic sites. Few reports have evaluated large case series of epithelioid hemangioendothelioma.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the clinical data of 42 consecutive patients with epithelioid hemangioendothelioma who were pathologically diagnosed between 1990 and 2014 at 13 Japanese tertiary hospitals. We analyzed their clinical characteristics, tumor features and prognostic factors.

Results: The study included 22 men and 20 women, with a median age of 54 (range, 18-78) years. Pain was the most common symptom, occurring in 15 (68%) of the 22 symptomatic patients. The median maximum tumor diameter was 4.0 (range, 1.0-12.8) cm. The most commonly involved organs were the liver (81%), lungs (57%), and bones (12%). The overall survival rates were 79.5% at 1 year and 72.0% at 5 years. Substantially better survival was observed in asymptomatic patients than in symptomatic patients (P = 0.03), and better survival was also ovserved in patients with Ki-67 index ≤10% than in those with Ki-67 index > 10% (P = 0.04). By multivariate analysis, tumor size > 3.0 cm was associated with decreased survival (P = 0.049, hazard ratio 13.33).

Conclusions: This study showed the clinical characteristics of Japanese patients with epithelioid hemangioendothelioma. Tumor size > 3.0 cm is an independent indicator of a poor prognosis in epithelioid hemangioendothelioma. The presence of symptoms at the time of diagnosis and high Ki-67 index implied poor survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-018-4934-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6194639PMC
October 2018

Prediction of the very early occurrence of HCC right after DAA therapy for HCV infection.

Hepatol Int 2018 Nov 21;12(6):523-530. Epub 2018 Sep 21.

Department of Gastroenterology, Yamanashi Central Hospital, Kofu, Yamanashi, Japan.

Background: Although direct-acting antiviral (DAA) developments make most of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection curable, some HCV patients develop hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after curative treatment of HCV. There is much dispute whether the rapid clearance of the virus enhances the HCC development. In advance of the dispute, we should make clear the characteristics of the patients with very early occurrence and recurrence of HCC after DAA therapy because it was still unclear.

Methods: We prospectively followed consecutive patients with HCV who had received sofosbuvir (SOF)-based treatment at two hospitals. The baseline characteristics, laboratory data, and liver imaging findings were acquired. We evaluated the rate of HCC occurrence and recurrence within 1-year after DAA therapy and analyzed the associated factors of very early HCC occurrence and recurrence right after SOF therapy.

Results: Between July 2013 and October 2016, we studied two cohorts with HCV infection that received SOF therapy. 402 and 462 patients in Yamanashi Central Hospital and Chiba University Hospital were included in this analysis, respectively. The SVR12 rates of genotypes 1 and 2 were 98.9% (561/567) and 96.0% (285/297), respectively. 41 patients developed HCC within 1 year after SOF therapy. The cumulative HCC occurrence and recurrence rate after SOF therapy was 5.0%. The common associated factor of 1-year HCC occurrence and recurrence in all cohorts was the existence of imaging "dysplastic nodule".

Conclusions: SOF regimens for HCV also have very high rates of SVR 12 in the post-market distribution. The appearance of imaging "dysplastic nodule" was an associated factor of 1-year HCC occurrence and recurrence. To investigate existence of "dysplastic nodule" by imaging surveillance before DAA treatment is useful to detect high-risk patients of very early HCC occurrence and recurrence and it should be performed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12072-018-9895-5DOI Listing
November 2018

Five Cases of Interstitial Pneumonitis Due to Gemcitabine and Nab-Paclitaxel Combination Treatment in Pancreatic Cancer Patients.

Pancreas 2018 08;47(7):e42-e43

Department of Gastroenterology Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine Chiba, Japan Department of Respirology Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine Chiba, Japan Department of Gastroenterology Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine Chiba, Japan.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPA.0000000000001088DOI Listing
August 2018

Multicenter retrospective analysis of systemic chemotherapy for unresectable combined hepatocellular and cholangiocarcinoma.

Cancer Sci 2018 Aug 27;109(8):2549-2557. Epub 2018 Jun 27.

Department of Medical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyorin University, Tokyo, Japan.

We conducted a multicenter retrospective analysis to evaluate the efficacy of systemic chemotherapy for unresectable combined hepatocellular and cholangiocarcinoma. We enrolled 36 patients with pathologically proven, unresectable combined hepatocellular and cholangiocarcinoma treated with systemic chemotherapy. The log-rank test determined the significance of each prognostic factor. Elevated alpha-fetoprotein, carcinoembryonic antigen and carbohydrate antigen 19-9 levels were observed in 58.3%, 16.7% and 38.9% of patients, respectively. First-line chemotherapy included platinum-containing regimens consisting of gemcitabine/cisplatin (n = 12) and fluorouracil/cisplatin (n = 11), sorafenib (n = 5) and others (n = 8). The median overall and progression-free survival times were 8.9 and 2.8 months, respectively, with an overall response rate of 5.6%. Prognostic factors associated with negative outcomes included poor performance status, no prior primary tumor resection, a Child-Pugh class of B, and elevated carcinoembryonic antigen levels with a hazard ratio of 2.25, 2.48, 3.25 and 2.84 by univariate analysis, respectively. The median overall survival times of the gemcitabine/cisplatin, fluorouracil/cisplatin, sorafenib and other groups were 11.9, 10.2, 3.5 and 8.1 months, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that the overall survival of patients within the sorafenib monotherapy group was poor compared with platinum-containing regimens (HR: 15.83 [95% CI: 2.25-111.43], P = .006). All 7 patients in the sorafenib group had progressive disease, including 2 patients with second-line therapy. In conclusion, the platinum-containing regimens such as gemcitabine/cisplatin were associated with more favorable outcomes than sorafenib monotherapy for unresectable combined hepatocellular and cholangiocarcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cas.13656DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6113439PMC
August 2018

Left gastric vein-based noninvasive test for esophageal varices: a same-day comparison of portal hemodynamic assessment with endoscopic appearance.

Clin Transl Gastroenterol 2018 05 25;9(5):154. Epub 2018 May 25.

Department of Gastroenterology, Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-8-1, Inohana, Chuo-ku, 260-8670, Japan.

Objective: To examine the effect of hemodynamic assessment of the left gastric vein (LGV) as a noninvasive test to diagnose esophageal varices (EV) in cirrhosis patients.

Methods: This cross-sectional study consisted of 229 cirrhosis patients (62.7 ± 11.8 years; Child-Pugh score 5-14). One hundred fifty-four patients had EV (67.2%; small, 53; medium, 71; large, 30). All patients underwent a blood test and Doppler ultrasound followed by upper gastrointestinal endoscopy on the same day. The diagnostic ability for EV was compared between LGV-related findings and the platelet count/spleen diameter ratio (Plt/Spl).

Results: The detectability of the LGV was higher in patients with EV (129/144, 89.6%) than in those without (35/75, 46.7%; p < 0.0001), and was higher in those with large EV (30/30, 100%) than in those without (134/199, 67.3%; p = 0.0002). The positive detection of the LGV showed 100% sensitivity and negative predictive value (NPV) to identify large EV in the whole cohort and compensated group (n = 127). The best cutoff value in the LGV diameter was 5.35 mm to identify large EV, showing 0.753 area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) with 90% sensitivity and 96.5% NPV. The Plt/Spl showed 62.1% sensitivity and 87.1% NPV, and the best cutoff value was 442.9 to identify large EV with 0.658 AUROC, which was comparable to LGV-based assessment (p = 0.162).

Conclusions: This same-day comparison study demonstrated the value of LGV-based noninvasive test to identify large EV with high sensitivity and NPV in cirrhosis patients at a lower cost.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41424-018-0021-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5968022PMC
May 2018

Transarterial chemoembolization as a substitute to radiofrequency ablation for treating Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage 0/A hepatocellular carcinoma.

Oncotarget 2018 Apr 20;9(30):21560-21568. Epub 2018 Apr 20.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.

Background And Aim: Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) is the standard procedure for treating Barcelona clinic liver cancer (BCLC) stage B hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, it is often carried out in the treatment of BCLC stage 0/A HCC for various reasons. This study aimed to elucidate the prognosis for BCLC stage 0/A HCC patients treated with TACE or with radiofrequency ablation (RFA).

Materials And Methods: The prognosis of 242 BCLC stage 0/A HCC patients within Milan criteria who underwent initially TACE or RFA were retrospectively analyzed using propensity score matching analysis.

Results: The analyses of baseline patient characteristics revealed that the maximum tumor size and the proportion of BCLC stage A patients were significantly higher in patients treated with TACE than in those treated with RFA (<0.001 and 0.047, respectively). After adjusting these factors using propensity score matching (1:3 matching), patients treated with TACE (n=32) and those treated with RFA (n=96) were further analyzed. The local recurrence rate was significantly higher in the TACE group than in the RFA group (<0.001). However, the overall survival (OS) in HCC patients treated with TACE was comparable to that in HCC patients treated with RFA (1 year, 93.5 vs. 95.8%; 3 years, 75.4 vs. 85.8%; 5 years, 61.8 vs. 70.7%; =0.196). Multivariate analyses followed by univariate analyses revealed that serum bilirubin level (=0.032), serum albumin level (=0.008), HBV-DNA (=0.013), and tumor number (=0.021) were independent predictors of OS.

Conclusion: TACE can substitute RFA at least in some patients with BCLC 0/A HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25108DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5940395PMC
April 2018

Successful retreatment with grazoprevir and elbasvir for patients infected with hepatitis C virus genotype 1b, who discontinued prior treatment with NS5A inhibitor-including regimens due to adverse events.

Oncotarget 2018 Mar 23;9(22):16263-16270. Epub 2018 Mar 23.

Department of Gastroenterology, Chiba University, Graduate School of Medicine, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan.

Background: Sustained virologic response (SVR) by interferon and interferon-free treatment can results in the reduction of advanced liver fibrosis and the occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Recent interferon-free treatment for HCV shortens the duration of treatment and leads to higher SVR rates, without any serious adverse events. However, it is important to retreat patients who have had treatment-failure with HCV non-structural protein 5A (NS5A) inhibitor-including regimens. Combination of sofosbuvir and ledipasvir only leads to approximately 100% SVR rates in HCV genotype (GT1b), NS5A inhibitor-naïve patients in Japan. This combination is not an indication for severe renal disease or heart disease, and these patients should be treated or retreated with a different regimen.

Case Summary: Retreatment with HCV non-structural protein 3/4A inhibitor, grazoprevir, and HCV NS5A inhibitor, elbasvir, successfully eradicated HCV RNA in three patients with HCV genotype 1b infection who discontinued prior interferon-free treatments including HCV NS5A inhibitors due to adverse events within 2 weeks.

Conclusion: Retreatment with the 12-week combination regimen of grazoprevir and elbasvir is effective for HCV GT1b patients who discontinue the HCV NS5A inhibitor-including regimens within 2 weeks. The treatment response may be related to the short duration of initial treatment, which did not produce treatment-emergent RASs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24620DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5882333PMC
March 2018

Interferon-free treatment for patients with chronic hepatitis C and autoimmune liver disease: higher SVR rates with special precautions for deterioration of autoimmune hepatitis.

Oncotarget 2018 Feb 3;9(14):11631-11637. Epub 2018 Feb 3.

Department of Gastroenterology, Chiba University, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba 260-8670, Japan.

Background: Interferon-free treatment can achieve higher sustained virological response (SVR) rates, even in patients in whom hepatitis C virus (HCV) could not be eradicated in the interferon treatment era. Immune restoration in the liver is occasionally associated with HCV infection. We examined the safety and effects of interferon-free regimens on HCV patients with autoimmune liver diseases.

Results: All 7 HCV patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) completed treatment and achieved SVR. Three patients took prednisolone (PSL) at baseline, and 3 did not take PSL during interferon-free treatment. In one HCV patient with AIH and cirrhosis, PSL were not administered at baseline, but she needed to take 40 mg/day PSL at week 8 for liver dysfunction. She also complained back pain and was diagnosed with vasospastic angina by coronary angiography at week 11. However, she completed interferon-free treatment. All 5 HCV patients with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) completed treatment and achieved SVR. Three of these HCV patients with PBC were treated with UDCA during interferon-free treatment.

Conclusions: Interferon-free regimens could result in higher SVR rates in HCV patients with autoimmune liver diseases. As interferon-free treatment for HCV may have an effect on hepatic immunity and activity of the autoimmune liver diseases, careful attention should be paid to unexpected adverse events in their treatments.

Methods: Total 12 patients with HCV and autoimmune liver diseases [7 AIH and PBC], who were treated with interferon-free regimens, were retrospectively analyzed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24391DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5837765PMC
February 2018

A multicenter Phase II study of sorafenib in Japanese patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma and Child Pugh A and B class.

Jpn J Clin Oncol 2018 Apr;48(4):317-321

Department of Medical Oncology, Kyorin University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Objective: To evaluate prospectively the efficacy and safety of sorafenib, which has been the first-line treatment for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), in Japanese HCC patients (pts) with not only Child-Pugh (C-P) A class but also C-P B class.

Methods: Sorafenib was administered orally at the dose of 400 mg twice daily for pts with HCC and liver function of C-P score of 5-8. Administration was continued until the detection of disease progression or appearance of unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was time to progression (TTP), and toxicity and the secondary endpoints included objective response, overall survival (OS).

Results: Forty C-P A pts and 12 C-P B pts were enrolled. The median TTP in the C-P A pts and C-P B pts was 3.3 months and 3.2 months, respectively. Among the pts with C-P A, complete response, partial response, and stable disease were achieved for 2.5%, 7.5% and 47.5%. Among the pts with C-P B, there were no treatment responses, 66.7% of pts had stable disease. The median OS in the C-P A pts and C-P B pts was 13.4 months and 7.4 months, respectively. With regard to toxicities, fewer C-P A pts experienced Grade 3/4 toxicities than C-P B pts (77.5% vs. 91.6%). There were no treatment-related deaths in either group of patients.

Conclusions: This study shows sorafenib has similar effectiveness in the recent post-approval studies and is well-tolerated in Japanese pts with HCC and Child Pugh A class. Sorafenib should be used with great care for Child Pugh class B pts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jjco/hyy010DOI Listing
April 2018

Henoch-Schönlein Purpura Complicated by Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Intern Med 2017 Nov 25;56(22):3041-3045. Epub 2017 Sep 25.

Department of Gastroenterology and Nephrology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Japan.

Although Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) is known to be accompanied by malignancies, cases with hepatobiliary cancer are extremely rare. A 62-year-old man with palpable purpura rapidly extending to both lower legs was admitted to our hospital. He was undergoing follow-up for cirrhosis caused by chronic hepatitis B virus infection and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). He had renal dysfunction with hematuria and proteinuria and abdominal pain. Based on the clinical presentation and skin biopsy findings, he was diagnosed with HSP. The administration of steroids resulted in the rapid improvement of the patient's symptoms and he was discharged 12 days after admission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2169/internalmedicine.8885-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5725858PMC
November 2017

Characteristics of patients with sorafenib-treated advanced hepatocellular carcinoma eligible for second-line treatment.

Invest New Drugs 2018 04 11;36(2):332-339. Epub 2017 Sep 11.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba, 260-8670, Japan.

Background Regorafenib has been investigated for its efficacy and safety as a second-line treatment in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We assessed the characteristics of patients with HCC treated with sorafenib who might be eligible for second-line treatment in general and regorafenib in particular. Methods Patients with HCC treated with sorafenib were retrospectively analyzed. We defined second-line candidate patients as maintaining Child-Pugh A and ECOG-PS ≤1 at the time of sorafenib failure. We also defined regorafenib candidate patients as follows: 1) continuing sorafenib at the time of radiological progression, 2) maintaining Child-Pugh A and ECOG-PS ≤ 1 at the time of sorafenib failure, and 3) continuing sorafenib 400 mg or more without intolerable adverse events at least 20 days of the last 28 days of treatment. Results Of 185 patients, 130 (70%) and 69 (37%) were candidates for second-line treatment and regorafenib. Child-Pugh score 6 and ECOG-PS 1 at the time of starting sorafenib were significantly lower in both second-line treatment and regorafenib candidate patients. Moreover, hand-foot skin reaction and liver failure during sorafenib treatment were associated with significantly low and high probabilities, respectively, of both Child-Pugh score > 6 and ECOG-PS > 1 at the time of sorafenib failure. Conclusion Regorafenib candidate patients after sorafenib failure are limited, and generally fewer than those who are candidates for second-line treatment. A lower Child-Pugh score and a better ECOG-PS were predictors of eligibility for second-line therapy and regorafenib treatment in sorafenib-treated patients with advanced HCC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10637-017-0507-3DOI Listing
April 2018

Application of transcutaneous ultrasonography for the diagnosis of muscle mass loss in patients with liver cirrhosis.

J Gastroenterol 2018 May 18;53(5):652-659. Epub 2017 Aug 18.

Center for Frontier Medical Engineering, Chiba University, 1-33, Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba, 263-8522, Japan.

Background: To propose an ultrasound-based parameter for the diagnosis of muscle mass loss (MML) in cirrhosis.

Methods: This is an IRB-approved cross-sectional study (October 2013 to January 2017) with written informed consent including 357 subjects-234 cirrhosis and 123 controls. MML was diagnosed using the skeletal muscle index at the L3 level (L3-SMI) on computed tomography (CT). Transcutaneous ultrasound was used to demonstrate a cross section of the right iliopsoas muscle, and the iliopsoas muscle index (IP index) was defined by the iliopsoas muscle area/height (mm/m). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to assess the diagnostic ability of IP index for MML.

Results: The iliopsoas muscle was detected in all subjects. The IP index was lower in cirrhosis than in controls: males (211.2 ± 73.8 vs. 295.5 ± 139.4, P < 0.0001) and females (200.2 ± 72.5 vs. 284.4 ± 112.4, P < 0.0001). L3-SMI and IP index showed correlations in males (r = 0.699, P < 0.0001) and in females (r = 0.707, P < 0.0001). Independent factors for MML by multivariate analysis were body mass index and IP index in both males and females. Sensitivity, specificity, and area under the ROC curve by IP index to detect MML were 79.5%, 73.1%, and 0.835, respectively, with the best cut-off value of 189.2 for males, and 84.6%, 78.8%, and 0.874, respectively, with the best cut-off value of 180.6 for females.

Conclusions: Using transcutaneous ultrasound, the IP index may be a valuable diagnostic parameter for MML in cirrhosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00535-017-1378-2DOI Listing
May 2018

A randomized placebo-controlled trial of prophylactic dexamethasone for transcatheter arterial chemoembolization.

Hepatology 2018 02 23;67(2):575-585. Epub 2017 Dec 23.

Department of Gastroenterology and Nephrology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.

This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluated dexamethasone efficacy at preventing fever, anorexia, and nausea/vomiting, the most frequent adverse events of transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Child-Pugh class A/B patients with HCC and no macrovascular invasion/extrahepatic metastases were randomly assigned to either a dexamethasone regimen (day 1, intravenous dexamethasone [20 mg] and granisetron [3 mg] before TACE; days 2 and 3, intravenous dexamethasone [8 mg]) or a control regimen (day 1, intravenous placebo [saline] and granisetron [3 mg]; days 2 and 3, intravenous placebo). The primary endpoint was complete response, defined as the absence of grade ≥1 fever, anorexia, or nausea/vomiting according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (version 4.0) and no use of rescue therapy for 120 hours after TACE. A total of 120 patients between October 2010 and June 2013 were randomly assigned to treatment groups. Overall the complete response rate was greater with the dexamethasone regimen than with the control regimen (47.5%, 95% confidence interval 34.3%-60.9%, versus 10.2%, 95% confidence interval 3.8%-20.8%; P < 0.001). Cumulative incidences of fever, anorexia, and nausea/vomiting were higher in the control regimen group compared with the dexamethasone group (P < 0.001, P < 0.001, and P = 0.095, respectively). The dexamethasone regimen was generally well tolerated by HCC patients including those with well-controlled diabetes mellitus and those with hepatitis B virus infection. Conclusion: The dexamethasone regimen was more effective than the control regimen at preventing TACE-induced fever, anorexia, and nausea/vomiting in patients with HCC. (Hepatology 2018;67:575-585).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hep.29403DOI Listing
February 2018

Treatment of Real-World HCV Genotype 2-Infected Japanese Patients with Sofosbuvir plus Ribavirin.

Biology (Basel) 2017 May 9;6(2). Epub 2017 May 9.

Department of Gastroenterology and Nephrology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan.

The aim of this study was to characterize the treatment response and tolerability of sofosbuvir plus ribavirin therapies in Japanese patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype (GT)-2. This retrospective study analyzed 114 Japanese HCV GT-2 patients treated for 12 weeks with 400 mg of sofosbuvir plus weight-based ribavirin daily. This treatment led to higher sustained virologic response at 12-weeks post-treatment (SVR12) rates in both treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients. The efficacy of this treatment in compensated cirrhotics was the same as that in patients with chronic hepatitis. HCV GT-2a infection and lower estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFR) tended to be associated with SVR12. Of 114 patients, 113 completed the combination of sofosbuvir plus ribavirin for 12 weeks. Seven patients without SVR12 did not have HCV NS5B-S282 mutations. The overall SVR12 rate was 90.4% (103 of 114). More effective therapeutic options with less adverse events are desired to achieve higher SVR rates in HCV GT-2 Japanese patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biology6020030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5485477PMC
May 2017

Real-World Experiences with the Combination Treatment of Ledipasvir plus Sofosbuvir for 12 Weeks in HCV Genotype 1-Infected Japanese Patients: Achievement of a Sustained Virological Response in Previous Users of Peginterferon plus Ribavirin with HCV NS3/4A Inhibitors.

Int J Mol Sci 2017 Apr 25;18(5). Epub 2017 Apr 25.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan.

The aim of this study was to characterize the treatment response and serious adverse events of ledipasvir plus sofosbuvir therapies in Japanese patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 (GT1). This retrospective study analyzed 240 Japanese HCV GT1 patients treated for 12 weeks with 90 mg of ledipasvir plus 400 mg of sofosbuvir daily. Sustained virological response at 12 weeks post-treatment (SVR12) was achieved in 236 of 240 (98.3%) patients. Among treatment-naïve patients, SVR12 was achieved in 136 of 138 (98.6%) patients, and among treatment-experienced patients, SVR12 was achieved in 100 of 102 (98.0%) patients. In patients previously treated with peginterferon plus ribavirin with various HCV NS3/4A inhibitors, 100% SVR rates (25/25) were achieved. Two relapsers had HCV NS5A resistance-associated variants (RAVs), but no HCV NS5B-S282 was observed after they relapsed. We experienced two patients with cardiac events during treatment. In conclusion, combination of ledipasvir plus sofosbuvir for 12 weeks is a potential therapy for HCV GT1 patients. Caution is needed for HCV NS5A RAVs, which were selected by HCV NS5A inhibitors and cardiac adverse events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms18050906DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5454819PMC
April 2017