Publications by authors named "Lei Deng"

446 Publications

QTTNet: Quantized tensor train neural networks for 3D object and video recognition.

Neural Netw 2021 Jun 5;141:420-432. Epub 2021 Jun 5.

Department of Precision Instrumentation, Center for Brain Inspired Computing Research and Beijing Innovation Center for Future Chip, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China. Electronic address:

Relying on the rapidly increasing capacity of computing clusters and hardware, convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have been successfully applied in various fields and achieved state-of-the-art results. Despite these exciting developments, the huge memory cost is still involved in training and inferring a large-scale CNN model and makes it hard to be widely used in resource-limited portable devices. To address this problem, we establish a training framework for three-dimensional convolutional neural networks (3DCNNs) named QTTNet that combines tensor train (TT) decomposition and data quantization together for further shrinking the model size and decreasing the memory and time cost. Through this framework, we can fully explore the superiority of TT in reducing the number of trainable parameters and the advantage of quantization in decreasing the bit-width of data, particularly compressing 3DCNN model greatly with little accuracy degradation. In addition, due to the low bit quantization to all parameters during the inference process including TT-cores, activations, and batch normalizations, the proposed method naturally takes advantage in memory and time cost. Experimental results of compressing 3DCNNs for 3D object and video recognition on ModelNet40, UCF11, and UCF50 datasets verify the effectiveness of the proposed method. The best compression ratio we have obtained is up to nearly 180× with competitive performance compared with other state-of-the-art researches. Moreover, the total bytes of our QTTNet models on ModelNet40 and UCF11 datasets can be 1000× lower than some typical practices such as MVCNN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neunet.2021.05.034DOI Listing
June 2021

Simple and precise characterization of differential modal group delay arising in few-mode fiber.

Opt Lett 2021 Jun;46(12):2856-2859

In this Letter, we propose a simple and high-precision differential modal group delay (DMGD) characterization method for few-mode fibers (FMF) by using the frequency-modulated continuous wave. Since the detected signals are located at the low-frequency range, our DMGD characterization method waives the use of expensive equipment, such as vector network or optical spectrum analyzers. Due to the high linearity of the used Mach-Zehnder modulator, our DMGD measurement is free from the complex auxiliary interferometer, leading to an improvement of characterization precision. Meanwhile, we propose a novel spectrum recovery algorithm to overcome the shortcoming that the traditional fast Fourier transform (FFT) method is incapable to deal with spectrum features arising in a periodic signal. Therefore, the characterization precision is no longer limited by the FFT length. When a commercial 23299.8 m two-mode fiber is used in the experiment, the DMGD measurement of mode relative to mode has a high precision of ±0.007/ over the C-band. Our proposed method shows the potential for characterizing the wavelength-dependent DMGD of FMF with more than two LP modes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.423950DOI Listing
June 2021

RNA-binding protein Hfq plays a vital role in cellulose decomposition throughout affecting cellulase gene expression.

Biotechnol Lett 2021 Jun 15. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

The Key Laboratory of Animal Disease and Human Health of Sichuan Province, College of Veterinary Medicine, Sichuan Agricultural University, 211 Huimin Road, Wenjiang District, Chengdu, 611130, Sichuan Province, China.

Objective: To study the function of the RNA-binding protein Hfq in Bacillus subtilis cellulose decomposition.

Results: In the medium with sodium carboxymethylcellulose (Na-CMC) as the sole carbon source, the knockout of Hfq resulted in a 38.0% ± 2.1% and 76.6% ± 7.1% decrease in cellulose hydrolysis ability and cellulase activity, respectively. The results of real-time quantitative PCR revealed that several cellulase genes (eglS, bglA, and bglC) were significantly downregulated in the Hfq knockout strain. The isogenic Δhfq complemented strain recovered the cellulose hydrolysis ability, cellulase activity, and expression level of cellulase genes. In addition, the survival of Hfq mutant in stationary phase was significantly affected.

Conclusion: RNA-binding protein Hfq is involved in the regulation of cellulose hydrolysis ability, cellulase activity, cellulase gene expression, and stationary phase survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10529-021-03145-7DOI Listing
June 2021

DeepD2V: A Novel Deep Learning-Based Framework for Predicting Transcription Factor Binding Sites from Combined DNA Sequence.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 May 24;22(11). Epub 2021 May 24.

School of Computer Science and Technology, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing 211816, China.

Predicting in vivo protein-DNA binding sites is a challenging but pressing task in a variety of fields like drug design and development. Most promoters contain a number of transcription factor (TF) binding sites, but only a small minority has been identified by biochemical experiments that are time-consuming and laborious. To tackle this challenge, many computational methods have been proposed to predict TF binding sites from DNA sequence. Although previous methods have achieved remarkable performance in the prediction of protein-DNA interactions, there is still considerable room for improvement. In this paper, we present a hybrid deep learning framework, termed DeepD2V, for transcription factor binding sites prediction. First, we construct the input matrix with an original DNA sequence and its three kinds of variant sequences, including its inverse, complementary, and complementary inverse sequence. A sliding window of size with a specific stride is used to obtain its -mer representation of input sequences. Next, we use word2vec to obtain a pre-trained -mer word distributed representation model. Finally, the probability of protein-DNA binding is predicted by using the recurrent and convolutional neural network. The experiment results on 50 public ChIP-seq benchmark datasets demonstrate the superior performance and robustness of DeepD2V. Moreover, we verify that the performance of DeepD2V using word2vec-based -mer distributed representation is better than one-hot encoding, and the integrated framework of both convolutional neural network (CNN) and bidirectional LSTM (bi-LSTM) outperforms CNN or the bi-LSTM model when used alone. The source code of DeepD2V is available at the github repository.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22115521DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8197256PMC
May 2021

ABE8e with Polycistronic tRNA-gRNA Expression Cassette Sig-Nificantly Improves Adenine Base Editing Efficiency in .

Int J Mol Sci 2021 May 26;22(11). Epub 2021 May 26.

Key Laboratory of Plant Germplasm Enhancement and Specialty Agriculture, Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China.

Adenine base editor containing TadA8e (ABE8e) has been reported in rice. However, the application of ABE8e in other plant species has not been described, and the comparison between ABE8e and ABE7.10, which is widely used in plants, has also been poorly studied. Here, we developed the ABE8e with the polycistronic tRNA-gRNA expression cassette (PTG-ABE8e) and PTG-ABE7.10 and compared their A-to-G editing efficiencies using both transient and stable transformation in the allotetraploid . We found that the editing efficiency of PTG-ABE8e was significantly higher than that of PTG-ABE7.10, indicating that ABE8e was more efficient for A-to-G conversion in . We further optimized the ABE8e editing efficiency by changing the sgRNA expression cassette and demonstrated that both PTG and single transcript unit (STU) enhanced ABE8e efficiency for A-to-G conversion in . We also estimated the potential off-target effect of PTG-ABE8e at potential off-targeting sites predicted using an online tool in transgenic plants, and no off-target editing event was found for potential off-targeting sites selected, indicating that ABE8e could specifically facilitate A-to-G conversion. Our results showed that ABE8e with PTG structure was more suitable for A-to-G conversion in and provided valuable clues for optimizing ABE tools in other plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22115663DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8198424PMC
May 2021

Effects of Flurochloridone Application on Rhizosphere Soil Fungal Community and Composition in Potato Growing Areas of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

J Fungi (Basel) 2021 May 27;7(6). Epub 2021 May 27.

State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Northwest A&F University, Xiangyang 712100, China.

The application of herbicides to arable land is still the most effective and accepted method to protect plants from weeds. Extensive use of chemicals in conventional agricultural practices has resulted in continuous and serious environmental pollution. Flurochloridone (FLC) is a monophenyl pyrrolidinone selective herbicide that is commonly used to inhibit weeds that occur during the growth of potatoes. In recent years, research on the toxicity of FLC has gradually increased. However, it is relatively rare to analyze the role of FLC by studying the composition of soil microorganisms. Therefore, we used NGS methods to identify the fungal community structure of the low content soil (LS) and high content soil (HS) samples in this study. Subsequently, we identified the fungal community and composition differences of these two group samples using the statistical analysis. Despite the variances of fungal community and composition across the different samples within the group, the fungal composition of the LS samples and the HS samples. LS samples were predominated by , while the HS samples were predominated by and . The major species in the LS samples were and , whereas the dominant species in the HS samples were and . These results suggested that the LS samples and the HS samples had different rhizosphere soil fungal community and composition changes resulting from implementation of FLC in potato growing areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jof7060420DOI Listing
May 2021

Prevalence and molecular subtyping of Blastocystis in patients with Clostridium difficile infection, Singapore.

Parasit Vectors 2021 May 24;14(1):277. Epub 2021 May 24.

Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Parasitology, Healthy Longevity Translational Research Programme and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 117545, Singapore.

Background: Blastocystis is a common anaerobic colonic protist in humans with controversial pathogenicity. Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is the commonest cause of infectious diarrhea in healthcare settings. The prevalence and subtype (ST) characteristics of Blastocystis in patients with C. difficile infection (CDI) are rarely documented. Therefore, the present study was conducted to investigate the prevalence and subtype characteristics of Blastocystis in patients with suspicion of CDI in Singapore.

Methods: Fecal samples were collected from 248 patients presenting with suspected CDI from a single tertiary hospital in Singapore. C. difficile was diagnosed through positive glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) with or without toxin A/B using enzyme immunoassay methods. The prevalence and subtype genetic characteristics of Blastocystis were determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and analysis of the barcode region of the SSU rRNA gene.

Results: The proportion of C. difficile in patients with healthcare-associated diarrhea in this study was 44% (109/248). Among the 109 C. difficile-positive patients, 59 (54.1%, 59/109) tested positive for toxigenic C. difficile, which was considered CDI. Based on the sequence analyses of the barcode region of the SSU rRNA gene, 10.1% (25/248) of the patients were found to be Blastocystis-positive, and three subtypes were identified: ST7 (64%, 16/25), ST1 (20%, 5/25), and ST3 (16%, 4/25). Remarkably, we found five patients with Blastocystis and C. difficile coinfection, and further subtype analysis showed two with ST7, two with ST1, and one with ST3.

Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the subtype distributions of Blastocystis in patients with CDI in Singapore. We found ST7 to be the predominant subtype in diarrheal patients. The pathogenicity of ST7 has been strongly suggested in previous in vitro and mouse model experiments, further confirming its potential pathogenicity to humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-021-04749-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8142501PMC
May 2021

Concurrent chemoradiotherapy versus radiotherapy alone for patients with locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in the era of intensity modulated radiotherapy: a propensity score-matched analysis.

Thorac Cancer 2021 Jun 5;12(12):1831-1840. Epub 2021 May 5.

Department of Radiation Oncology, National Cancer Center/National Clinical Research Center for Cancer/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.

Background: To investigate the survival benefit of concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) for patients with locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) during the years of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT).

Methods: Medical records of 1089 patients with ESCC who received IMRT from January 2005 to December 2017 were retrospectively reviewed. A total of 617 patients received CCRT, 472 patients received radiotherapy (RT) alone. Propensity score matching (PSM) method was used to eliminate baseline differences between the two groups. Survival and toxicity profile were evaluated afterward.

Results: After a median follow-up time of 47.9 months (3.2-149.8 months), both overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) of the CCRT group were better than those of the RT alone group, either before or after PSM. After PSM, the 1-, 3-, and 5-year OS of RT alone and CCRT groups were 59.0% versus 70.2%, 27.7% versus 40.5% and 20.3% versus 33.1%, respectively (p < 0.001). The 1-, 3-, and 5-year PFS were 39.4% versus 49.0%, 18.3% versus 30.4% and 10.5% versus 25.0%, respectively (p < 0.001). The rates of ≥ grade 3 leukopenia and radiation esophagitis in the CCRT group were higher than that of RT alone group (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the probability of radiation pneumonitis between the two groups (p = 0.167). Multivariate Cox analysis indicated that female, EQD2 ≥60 Gy and concurrent chemotherapy were favorable prognostic factors for both OS and PFS.

Conclusions: Concurrent chemotherapy can bring survival benefits to patients with locally advanced ESCC receiving IMRT. For patients who cannot tolerate concurrent chemotherapy, RT alone is an effective alternative with promising results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1759-7714.13971DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8201542PMC
June 2021

Increased risk of breast cancer-specific mortality among cancer survivors who developed breast cancer as a second malignancy.

BMC Cancer 2021 May 3;21(1):491. Epub 2021 May 3.

Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: Cancer survivors who develop breast cancer as a second malignancy (BCa-2) are common. Yet, little is known about the prognosis of BCa-2 compared to first primary breast cancer (BCa-1).

Methods: Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database, we conducted a population-based cohort study including 883,881 patients with BCa-1 and 36,313 patients with BCa-2 during 1990-2015. Compared with patients with BCa-1, we calculated hazard ratios (HRs) of breast cancer-specific mortality among patients with BCa-2, using multivariable Cox regression.

Results: During the follow-up (median 5.5 years), 114,964 and 3829 breast cancer-specific deaths were identified among BCa-1 and BCa-2 patients, respectively. Patients with BCa-2 had more favorable tumor characteristics and received less intensive treatment e.g., surgery and chemo-/radio-therapy, compared to patients with BCa-1. When adjusting for demographic factors, patients with BCa-2 were at similar risk of breast cancer-specific mortality (HR 1.00, 95% CI 0.97-1.03) compared to patients with BCa-1. However, when additionally controlling for tumor characteristics and treatment modes, BCa-2 patients were at an increased risk of breast cancer-specific mortality (HR 1.11, 95% CI 1.08-1.15). The risk elevation was particularly greater when the first malignancy was lung, bladder, ovarian or blood malignancy (HRs 1.16-1.85), or when the first malignancy was treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy (HR 1.44, 95% CI 1.28-1.63).

Conclusions: Overall, patients with BCa-2 have worse breast cancer-specific survival, compared with their BCa-1 counterparts, although the risk elevation is mild. High-risk subgroups based on first malignancy's characteristics may be considered for active clinical management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-021-08132-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8091680PMC
May 2021

SMALF: miRNA-disease associations prediction based on stacked autoencoder and XGBoost.

BMC Bioinformatics 2021 Apr 28;22(1):219. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

School of Computer Science and Engineering, Central South University, Hunan, 410083, China.

Background: Identifying miRNA and disease associations helps us understand disease mechanisms of action from the molecular level. However, it is usually blind, time-consuming, and small-scale based on biological experiments. Hence, developing computational methods to predict unknown miRNA and disease associations is becoming increasingly important.

Results: In this work, we develop a computational framework called SMALF to predict unknown miRNA-disease associations. SMALF first utilizes a stacked autoencoder to learn miRNA latent feature and disease latent feature from the original miRNA-disease association matrix. Then, SMALF obtains the feature vector of representing miRNA-disease by integrating miRNA functional similarity, miRNA latent feature, disease semantic similarity, and disease latent feature. Finally, XGBoost is utilized to predict unknown miRNA-disease associations. We implement cross-validation experiments. Compared with other state-of-the-art methods, SAMLF achieved the best AUC value. We also construct three case studies, including hepatocellular carcinoma, colon cancer, and breast cancer. The results show that 10, 10, and 9 out of the top ten predicted miRNAs are verified in MNDR v3.0 or miRCancer, respectively.

Conclusion: The comprehensive experimental results demonstrate that SMALF is effective in identifying unknown miRNA-disease associations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12859-021-04135-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8082881PMC
April 2021

PMDFI: Predicting miRNA-Disease Associations Based on High-Order Feature Interaction.

Front Genet 2021 9;12:656107. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

School of Computer Science and Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, China.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNA molecules that make a significant contribution to diverse biological processes, and their mutations and dysregulations are closely related to the occurrence, development, and treatment of human diseases. Therefore, identification of potential miRNA-disease associations contributes to elucidating the pathogenesis of tumorigenesis and seeking the effective treatment method for diseases. Due to the expensive cost of traditional biological experiments of determining associations between miRNAs and diseases, increasing numbers of effective computational models are being used to compensate for this limitation. In this study, we propose a novel computational method, named PMDFI, which is an ensemble learning method to predict potential miRNA-disease associations based on high-order feature interactions. We initially use a stacked autoencoder to extract meaningful high-order features from the original similarity matrix, and then perform feature interactive learning, and finally utilize an integrated model composed of multiple random forests and logistic regression to make comprehensive predictions. The experimental results illustrate that PMDFI achieves excellent performance in predicting potential miRNA-disease associations, with the average area under the ROC curve scores of 0.9404 and 0.9415 in 5-fold and 10-fold cross-validation, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2021.656107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8063614PMC
April 2021

Photoelectrochemical detection of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) based on CoO-ascorbic acid oxidase as multiple signal amplifier.

Mikrochim Acta 2021 Apr 20;188(5):166. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Dermatology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, 410008, China.

A sensitive photoelectrochemical (PEC) sensor based on hexagonal carbon nitride tubes (HCNT) as photoactive material was prepared for the detection of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Magnetic FeO nanospheres (MNs) modified with anti-HER2 antibodies were employed for highly efficient capture of HER2 from serum sample, and CoO nanoparticles (CoO NPs) modified with ascorbic acid oxidase (AAO) as well as HER2 aptamer were used for signal amplification. When the aptamer-CoO-AAO probe was captured onto the electrode surface through the specific binding of the aptamer with HER2, the photocurrent intensity decreased. This was because CoO NPs competed with HCNT for consumption of the excitation energy. As a consequence AAO catalyzed the oxidation of the electron donor (AA), and the aptamer-CoO-AAO probe increased the steric hindrance at the electrode surface, leading to significant photocurrent intensity decrease, thus realizing multiple signal amplification. Based on this signal amplification strategy, at 0 V (vs Ag/AgCl), the PEC sensor shows a wide linear response ranging from 1 pg mL to 1 ng mL with a low detection limit of 0.026 pg mL for HER2. Importantly, the prepared PEC sensor was applied for detection of HER2 in human serum samples with recoveries between 98.8 and 101%. Sensitive photoelectrochemical sensor based on CoO nanoparticles modified with ascorbic acid oxidase for signal amplification is reported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00604-021-04829-7DOI Listing
April 2021

Energy-Saving Optimization and Control of Autonomous Electric Vehicles With Considering Multiconstraints.

IEEE Trans Cybern 2021 Apr 19;PP. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

The energy utilization efficiency of autonomous electric vehicles is seriously affected by the longitudinal motion control performance. However, the longitudinal motion control is constrained by the driving scene. This article proposes an energy-saving optimization and control (ESOC) method to improve the energy utilization efficiency of autonomous electric vehicles. In ESOC, the constraints from the driving scene are thoroughly considered, and the autonomous driving scene constraints are mapped to the vehicle dynamics and control domain. On this basis, the efficiency self-searching method and the multiconstraint energy-saving control strategy are designed. The main ideology of the proposed ESOC is that the energy utilization efficiency of an autonomous electric vehicle can be improved by optimizing and controlling the operation point distribution of the powertrain efficiency. The experimental results demonstrate that the operation point distribution of the autonomous electric vehicle's powertrain efficiency can be well optimized by the proposed ESOC, and the energy consumption results indicate that the proposed ESOC outperforms the state-of-the-art methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TCYB.2021.3069674DOI Listing
April 2021

Treatment planning of volumetric modulated arc therapy and positioning optimization for hippocampal-avoidance prophylactic cranial irradiation.

J Appl Clin Med Phys 2021 May 7;22(5):15-23. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Department of Radiation Oncology, National Cancer Center/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Science, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.

Background: Hippocampal-avoidance prophylactic cranial irradiation (HA-PCI) offers potential neurocognitive benefits but raises technical challenges to treatment planning. This study aims to improve the conventional planning method using volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) technique and investigate a better patient's head positioning to achieve a high quality of HA-PCI treatment plans.

Methods: The improved planning method set a wide expansion of hippocampus as a special region for dose decline. The whole brain target was divided into two parts according to whether the slice included hippocampus and their optimization objectives were set separately. Four coplanar full arcs with partial field sizes were employed to deliver radiation dose to different parts of the target. The collimator angle for all arcs was 90°. Tilting patient's head was achieved by rotating CT images. The improved planning method and tilted head positioning were verified using datasets from 16 patients previously treated with HA-PCI using helical tomotherapy (HT).

Results: For the improved VMAT plans, the max and mean doses to hippocampus were 7.88 Gy and 6.32 Gy, respectively, significantly lower than those for the conventional VMAT plans (P < 0.001). Meanwhile, the improved planning method significantly improved the plan quality. Compared to the HT plans, the improved VMAT plans result in similar mean dose to hippocampus (P > 0.1) but lower max dose (P < 0.02). Besides, the target coverage was the highest for the improved VMAT plans. The tilted head positioning further reduced the max and mean doses to hippocampus (P < 0.05), significantly decreased the max dose to lens (P < 0.001) and resulted in higher plan quality as compared to nontilted head positioning.

Conclusions: The improved planning method enables the VMAT plans to meet the clinical requirements of HA-PCI treatment with high plan quality and convenience. The tilted head positioning provides superior dosimetric advantages over the nontilted head positioning, which is recommended for clinical application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acm2.13217DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8130238PMC
May 2021

Editorial: Understanding and Bridging the Gap Between Neuromorphic Computing and Machine Learning.

Front Comput Neurosci 2021 17;15:665662. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, United States.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncom.2021.665662DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8010134PMC
March 2021

Prevalence and new genotypes of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in sheltered dogs and cats in Sichuan province, southwestern China.

Parasite 2021 2;28:31. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

The Key Laboratory of Animal Disease and Human Health of Sichuan Province, College of Veterinary Medicine, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, Sichuan 611130, PR China.

Enterocytozoon bieneusi is a common intracellular parasite that infects a wide range of hosts, including humans and companion animals, raising concerns of zoonotic transmission. However, there is limited epidemiological information on the prevalence and genotypes of E. bieneusi in sheltered dogs and cats in Sichuan province, southwestern China. A total of 880 fecal samples were collected from shelters in different cities of Sichuan province, including 724 samples from dogs, and 156 samples from cats. Enterocytozoon bieneusi was determined by sequence analysis of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS). Overall, the prevalence of E. bieneusi was 18% (158/880), and the parasite was detected in 18.8% (136/724) and 14.1% (22/156) of the dogs and cats examined, respectively. Sequence analysis revealed the presence of five genotypes in dogs, including three known genotypes CD9 (n = 92), PtEb IX (n = 41), and Type IV (n = 1), and two novel genotypes SCD-1 (n = 1) and SCD-2 (n = 1). Similarly, four genotypes were identified in cats, including CD9 (n = 11), Type IV (n = 6), D (n = 4), and PtEb IX (n = 1). Genotypes D and Type IV have previously been identified in humans and are reported in sheltered dogs and cats in the present study, indicating that these animals could be as potential sources of human microsporidiosis infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/parasite/2021029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8019560PMC
April 2021

Analog-digital hybrid chaos-based long-haul coherent optical secure communication.

Opt Lett 2021 Apr;46(7):1506-1509

We propose and numerically investigate a chaotic optical coherent secure communication scheme, which supports long-haul secure transmission for signals in advanced modulation formats. A hybrid optical chaos system is designed with coordination of digital and analog signals. The hybrid entropy source provides a broadband analog optical chaos signal, which could serve as the carrier to load quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) data. Simultaneously, a digital binary signal generated from the entropy source is transmitted to establish long-haul chaotic synchronization. Coherent detection is utilized at the receiver, and a digital signal processing (DSP) algorithm is adopted to reduce transmission distortion. A 5 Gbaud 16QAM signal is encrypted by a phase chaos carrier with the effective bandwidth of 5.8 GHz. A bit error rate (BER) below forward error correction (FEC) can be achieved after transmitting over 1600 km based on digital-signal-induced chaos synchronization technology. Optimal launch power is investigated to minimize nonlinear effects of transmission links. System security is guaranteed by the high dynamical complexity of the chaotic source and the sensitive time delay as the secret key.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.421770DOI Listing
April 2021

Clinical practice and outcome of radiotherapy for advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma between 2002 and 2018 in China: the multi-center 3JECROG Survey.

Acta Oncol 2021 May 1;60(5):627-634. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Department of Radiation Oncology, The Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, China.

Purpose: To determine the survival and prognostic factors of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) patients undergoing radical (chemo)radiotherapy in the era of three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) and intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in China.

Material And Methods: The Jing-Jin-Ji Esophageal and Esophagogastric Cancer Radiotherapy Oncology Group (3JECROG) conducted the first nationwide survey of nine institutions. Detailed information was accumulated on 5185 patients with ESCC who received definitive 3DCRT/IMRT between 2002 and 2018. Relevant prognostic factors were evaluated to assess their influence on overall and progression-free survivals.

Results: After a median follow-up time of 47.0 (0.9-157.4) months, the 1-year, 2-year, 3-year and 5-year overall survival rates of the whole group were 69.8%, 46.6%, 37.9% and 30.1%. The 1-year, 2-year, 3-year, and 5-year progression-free survival rates were 54.1%, 36.6%, 30.5% and 24.9%. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that sex, clinical stage, treatment modality and radiation dose were prognostic factors for OS. The survival of patients who received concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) was better than that of patients who received radiotherapy alone or sequential chemoradiotherapy. Patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy after CCRT had a better OS than patients receiving CCRT alone. Patients receiving higher radiation dose had a better OS than those patients receiving low-dose radiotherapy.

Conclusions: The survival of ESCC patients undergoing radical (chemo)radiotherapy was relatively satisfactory in the era of 3DCRTand IMRT. As the largest-scale multicenter research on esophageal cancer radiotherapy conducted in China, this study establishes national benchmarks and helps to provide references for subsequent related researches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0284186X.2021.1902564DOI Listing
May 2021

The Impact of Antarctic Ice Microalgae Polysaccharides on D-Galactose-Induced Oxidative Damage in Mice.

Front Nutr 2021 9;8:651088. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Chongqing Collaborative Innovation Center for Functional Food, Chongqing University of Education, Chongqing, China.

Antarctic ice microalgae ( sp.) are a polysaccharide-rich natural marine resource. In this study, we evaluated the impact of Antarctic ice microalgae polysaccharides (AIMP) on D-galactose-induced oxidation in mice. We conducted biological and biochemical tests on tissue and serum samples from mice treated with AIMP. We found that AIMP administration was associated with improved thymus, brain, heart, liver, spleen, and kidney index values. We also found that AIMP treatment inhibited the reduced aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione levels as well as the increased serum, splenic, and hepatic nitric oxide and malondialdehyde levels arising from oxidation in these animals. Pathological examination revealed that AIMP also inhibited D-galactose-induced oxidative damage to the spleen, liver, and skin of these animals. AIMP was additionally found to promote the upregulation of neuronal nitric oxide synthase, endothelial nitric oxide synthase, cuprozinc-superoxide dismutase, manganese superoxide dismutase, catalase, heme oxygenase-1, nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2, γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase, and NAD(P)H dehydrogenase [quinone] 1 as well as the downregulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase in these animals. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis revealed AIMP to be composed of five monosaccharides (mannitol, ribose, anhydrous glucose, xylose, and fucose). Together, these results suggest that AIMP can effectively inhibit oxidative damage more readily than vitamin C in mice with D-galactose-induced oxidative damage, which underscores the value of developing AIMP derivatives for food purposes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2021.651088DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7985059PMC
March 2021

Time delay estimation from the time series for optical chaos systems using deep learning.

Opt Express 2021 Mar;29(5):7904-7915

We propose a model-free time delay signature (TDS) extraction method for optical chaos systems. The TDS can be identified from time series without prior knowledge of the actual physical processes. In optical chaos secure communication systems, the chaos carrier is usually generated by a laser diode subject to opto-electronic/all-optical time delayed feedback. One of the most important factors to security considerations is the concealment of the TDS. So far, statistical analysis methods such as autocorrelation function (ACF) and delayed mutual information (DMI) are usually used to unveil the TDS. However, the effectiveness of these methods will be reduced when increasing the nonlinearity of chaos systems. Meanwhile, certain TDS concealment strategies have been designed against statistical analysis. In our previous work, convolutional neural network shows its effectiveness on TDS extraction of chaos systems with high loop nonlinearity. However, this method relies on the knowledge of detailed structure of the chaos systems. In this work, we formulate a blind identification method based on long short-term memory neural network (LSTM-NN) model. The method is validated against the two major types of optical chaos systems, i.e. opto-electronic oscillator (OEO) chaos system and laser chaos system based on internal nonlinearity. Moreover, some security enhanced chaotic systems are also studied. The results show that the proposed method has high tolerance to additive noise. Meanwhile, the data amount needed is less than existing methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.419654DOI Listing
March 2021

Experimental demonstration of secure 100 Gb/s IMDD transmission over a 50 km SSMF using a quantum noise stream cipher and optical coarse-to-fine modulation.

Opt Express 2021 Feb;29(4):5475-5486

In this paper, we experimentally demonstrate a secure 100 Gb/s 2-level intensity modulation and direct detection transmission over a 50 km standard single-mode fiber (SSMF) using a quantum noise stream cipher (QNSC) technique and 8-bit digital to analog converters. Optical coarse-to-fine modulation (CTFM) has been proposed to simultaneously enhance the security and overcome the weakness of low modulation depth in the traditional CTFM scheme. The optical power instead of the radio-frequency signal power is adjusted to satisfy the required peak-to-peak relation for CTFM, and thus the coarse and fine modulation has the same modulation depth. Two optical CTFM schemes based on an optical coupler and a polarizing beam combiner (PBC) are proposed and their pros and cons are analyzed and compared. Considering the trade-off of transmission performance and security performance, the optical CTFM scheme based on PBC is preferred in our experiment. 2-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) is achieved using two dual-drive Mach-Zehnder modulators (DD-MZM). Simultaneously, each DD-MZM is also used to achieve single-sideband (SSB) modulation to eliminate the power fading induced by fiber dispersion. By these means, 100 Gb/s 2-level PAM-QNSC signal transmission over 50 km SSMF with the bit error rate below the 7% overhead hard-decision forward error correction threshold of 3.8×10 is achieved. The results validate that the proposed scheme is effective to realize low-cost, high-speed, and highly secure optical transmission in the data center.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.418589DOI Listing
February 2021

Radiotherapy combined with nimotuzumab for elderly esophageal cancer patients: A phase II clinical trial.

Chin J Cancer Res 2021 Feb;33(1):53-60

Department of Radiation Oncology, National Cancer Center/National Clinical Research Center for Cancer/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100121, China.

Objective: To investigate the safety and efficacy of nimotuzumab combined with radiotherapy for elderly patients with non-resectable esophageal carcinoma (EC).

Methods: Eligible patients were aged 70 years or older and had treatment-naïve, histologically proven inoperable locally advanced EC. Enrolled patients received radiotherapy with a total dose of 50-60 Gy in 25-30 fractions, concurrent with weekly infusion of nimotuzumab. The primary end point was the rate of more than grade 3 toxicities.

Results: From June 2011 to July 2016, 46 patients with stage II-IV EC with a median age of 76.5 years were enrolled. There were 10, 28 and 8 patients with stage II, III and IV disease, respectively. The common acute toxicities included esophagitis (grade 1-2, 75.4%; grade 3, 8.7%), pneumonitis (grade 1, 4.3%; grade 2, 6.5%; grade 3, 2.2%), leukopenia (grade 1-2, 60.9%; grade 3-4, 4.4%), gastrointestinal reaction (grade 1-2, 17.3%; grade 3, 2.2%), thrombocytopenia (grade 1-2, 21.7%; grade 3, 2.2%), and radiothermitis (grade 1-2, 39.2%). The incidence of grade 3-4 adverse effects was 17.4%. No grade 5 toxicities were observed. Clinical complete response, partial response, stable disease, and progressive disease were observed in 1 (2.2%), 31 (67.4%), 12 (26.1%), and 2 (4.3%) patients, respectively. The median overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were 17 and 10 months, respectively. The 2-, 3-, and 5-year OS and PFS rates were 30.4%, 21.7%, 19.6%, and 26.1%, 19.6%, 19.6%, respectively.

Conclusions: Nimotuzumab combined with radiotherapy is a safe and effective therapy for elderly patients who are not surgical candidates. Further studies are warranted to confirm its therapeutic effects in elderly EC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21147/j.issn.1000-9604.2021.01.06DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7941689PMC
February 2021

Prevalence and Molecular Characterization of Cryptosporidium serpentis in Captive Snakes in China.

J Parasitol 2021 03;107(2):163-171

The Key Laboratory of Animal Disease and Human Health of Sichuan Province, College of Veterinary Medicine, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, Sichuan, 611130, China.

Cryptosporidium species are the causative agent of cryptosporidiosis and common intracellular parasites that can infect a wide range of vertebrates, including snakes. In previous studies, Cryptosporidium species infections have been reported in snakes in Asia, Europe, and North America. However, limited information is available about the prevalence and molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium in captive snakes in China. Fecal specimens from 609 captive snakes were collected from Beijing (n = 227), Chengdu (n = 12), Dazhou (n = 359), and Ziyang (n = 11). The partial small-subunit (SSU) rRNA gene was amplified by nested polymerase chain reaction to determine the prevalence of Cryptosporidium, and a phylogenetic tree was constructed to assess evolutionary relationships and genetic characteristics. The overall prevalence of Cryptosporidium was 1.97% (12/609). BLAST and phylogenetic analysis of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene showed that the parasites belonged to Cryptosporidium serpentis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report the prevalence of Cryptosporidium in snakes of southwestern and northern China and provides preliminary data for the control and prevention of cryptosporidiosis in the investigated areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1645/20-100DOI Listing
March 2021

Gut, metabolism and nutritional Support for COVID-19: Experiences from China.

Burns Trauma 2020 21;8:tkaa048. Epub 2020 Dec 21.

Department of Clinical Nutrition, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, No.1 Shuai fu yuan Wang fu jing Dong cheng District, Beijing, 100730, China.

There is little research that focuses on the relationship between the gut, metabolism, nutritional support and COVID-19. As a group of Chinese physicians, nutritionists and scientists working on the frontline treating COVID-19 patients, we aim to integrate our experiences and the current clinical evidence to address this pressing issue in this article. Based on our clinical observations and available evidence, we recommend the following practice. Firstly, the Nutritional Risk Screening 2002 tool should be used routinely and periodically; for patients with a score ≥3, oral nutritional supplements should be given immediately. Secondly, for patients receiving the antiviral agents lopinavir/ritonavir, gastrointestinal side effects should be monitored for and timely intervention provided. Thirdly, for feeding, the enteral route should be the first choice. In patients undergoing mechanical ventilation, establishing a jejunal route as early as possible can guarantee the feeding target being achieved if gastric dilatation occurs. Fourthly, we suggest a permissive underfeeding strategy for severe/critical patients admitted to the intensive care unit during the first week of admission, with the energy target no more than 20 kcal/kg/day (for those on mechanical ventilation, this target may be lowered to 10-15 kcal/kg/day) and the protein target around 1.0-1.2 g/kg/day. If the inflammatory condition is significantly alleviated, the energy target may be gradually increased to 25-30 kcal/kg/day and the protein target to 1.2-1.5 g/kg/day. Fifthly, supplemental parenteral nutrition should be used with caution. Lastly, omega-3 fatty acids may be used as immunoregulators, intravenous administration of omega-3 fatty emulsion (10 g/day) at an early stage may help to reduce the inflammatory reaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/burnst/tkaa048DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7901705PMC
December 2020

New insights into the interactions between Blastocystis, the gut microbiota, and host immunity.

PLoS Pathog 2021 02 25;17(2):e1009253. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Parasitology, Healthy Aging Programme and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

The human gut microbiota is a diverse and complex ecosystem that is involved in beneficial physiological functions as well as disease pathogenesis. Blastocystis is a common protistan parasite and is increasingly recognized as an important component of the gut microbiota. The correlations between Blastocystis and other communities of intestinal microbiota have been investigated, and, to a lesser extent, the role of this parasite in maintaining the host immunological homeostasis. Despite recent studies suggesting that Blastocystis decreases the abundance of beneficial bacteria, most reports indicate that Blastocystis is a common component of the healthy gut microbiome. This review covers recent finding on the potential interactions between Blastocystis and the gut microbiota communities and its roles in regulating host immune responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1009253DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7906322PMC
February 2021

Prospective Exploratory Study of the Clinical Significance of Circulating Tumor Cells in Patients With Small Cell Lung Cancer Exposed to Prophylactic Cranial Irradiation.

Front Oncol 2020 8;10:575394. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Department of VIP Medical Services, National Cancer Center/National Clinical Research Center for Cancer/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.

Objective: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) can predict the efficacy of anti-cancer treatments and indicate prognosis. Here we investigate the significance of CTCs in relation to the prediction of treatment efficacy and prognosis in patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) who have received prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI).

Methods: CTCs were detected in 20 patients with SCLC before and after PCI using the oHSV1-hTERT-GFP method. The primary endpoints were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).

Results: Eleven patients had limited-stage SCLC, and nine had extensive-stage SCLC. All patients completed chemo-radiotherapy and received PCI. The median baseline CTC count before PCI was 12. After PCI, the median CTC count was 4. The median follow-up time for all enrolled patients was 39.2 months. The median PFS and OS were significantly reduced in patients with ≥4 CTCs after PCI compared to those with <4 CTCs (PFS, 28.1 months vs. not reached, p = 0.001; OS, not reached vs. not reached, p = 0.029). Seven of the 10 patients with ≥4 CTCs after PCI failed after treatment, whereas the10 patients with <4 CTCs after PCI remained alive without tumors. The median PFS and OS were significantly improved in patients who exhibited a rate of CTC decline of ≥58% after PCI compared with patients who exhibited a decline rate of <58% (PFS, 26.4 months vs. not reached, p = 0.006; OS, not reached vs. not reached, p = 0.029).

Conclusion: In SCLC patients who receive PCI, the CTC count and rate of CTC decline after PCI significantly correlate with prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.575394DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7897656PMC
February 2021

Predominance of III/ST19 and Ib/ST10 Lineages With High Multidrug Resistance in Fluoroquinolone-Resistant Group B Isolates in Which a New Integrative and Conjugative Element Was Identified.

Front Microbiol 2020 25;11:609526. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Clinical Laboratory, Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

Fluoroquinolone (FQ)-resistant Group B (GBS) has been reported with considerable cross-resistance, worsening the crisis of multidrug-resistant (MDR) GBS in clinical settings. However, national epidemiological data on FQ-resistant GBS in mainland China have not been well-characterized. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of FQ resistance among GBS from neonatal invasive infections and maternal colonization in northern and southern China, to investigate the serotyping, multilocus sequence typing, and antibiotic cross-resistance, and to characterize the mutations in and genes in quinolone resistance-determining region (QRDR). In order to provide a comprehensive view of the location and structure of resistance genes, whole-genome sequencing on III/ST19 MDR isolates were performed. Among 426 GBS, 138 (32.4%) were FQ resistant, with higher prevalence in northern China than in southern China in both neonates (57.8%, 37/64 vs. 21.7%, 39/180) and pregnant women (50.9%, 29/57 vs. 26.4%, 33/125). Serotypes were distributed as III (48.5%), Ib (39.9%), V (6.5%), and Ia (5.1%). Sequence types were mainly ST19 (53.6%) and ST10 (39.1%), followed by ST12 (1.4%), ST17 (1.4%), ST23 (1.4%), and 0.7% each of ST27, ST188, ST197, and ST597. ST19 isolates were more prevalent in southern China than in northern China in both neonates (64.1%, 25/39 vs. 27.0%, 10/37) and pregnant women (81.8%, 27/33 vs. 41.4%, 12/29), whereas ST10 isolates were more common in northern China than in southern China in both neonates (64.9%, 24/37 vs. 20.5%, 8/39) and pregnant women (58.6%, 17/29 vs. 15.2%, 5/33). Serotype III isolates were mainly ST19 (89.6%, 60/67), while Ib isolates were largely ST10 (94.5%, 52/55). Sequencing data revealed several mutations in QRDR, including Ser81Leu in (99.2%, 130/131), Ser79Phe or Tyr in (76.2%, 48/63), and a previously unreported Ile218Thr and Ile219Phe double mutation pattern (49.2%, 31/63) in . ST10 isolates were associated with Ser79Phe (84%, 21/25), while ST19 isolates were limited to Ser79Tyr (95.7%, 22/23). A new integrative and conjugative element (ICE) harboring and genes was identified in a III/ST19 isolate. This study investigates the molecular characteristics of FQ-resistant GBS in northern and southern China, emphasizing the need for continuous surveillance geographically and further research to characterize the mechanisms of ICE transfer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.609526DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7868321PMC
January 2021

Prevalence of Underlying Medical Conditions Associated with Severe COVID-19 Illness in Adult Cancer Survivors in the United States.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Feb 3. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Department of Data Science, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Cancer, and other underlying medical conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart diseases, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and obesity, are associated with increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness. We identified 6,411 cancer survivors and 77,748 adults without a cancer history from the 2016-2018 National Health Interview Survey and examined the prevalence and sociodemographic factors associated with these conditions in the US. Most survivors reported having ≥1 of the conditions (56.4% [95% CI = 54.8% to 57.9%] vs 41.6% [95% CI = 40.9% to 42.2%] in adults without a cancer history) and nearly one-quarter (22.9%, 95% CI = 21.6% to 24.3%) reported ≥2, representing 8.7 million and 3.5 million cancer survivors, respectively. These conditions were more prevalent in survivors of kidney, liver and uterine cancers as well as Black survivors, those with low socioeconomic status, and public insurance. Findings highlight the need to protect survivors against COVID-19 transmission in health-care facilities and prioritize cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, and their health-care providers in vaccine allocation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7928751PMC
February 2021

Clinical outcomes and radiation pneumonitis after concurrent EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors and radiotherapy for unresectable stage III non-small cell lung cancer.

Thorac Cancer 2021 03 27;12(6):814-823. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Department of Radiation Oncology, National Cancer Center/National Clinical Research Center for Cancer/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.

Background: Concurrent epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKI) with radiotherapy in patients with EGFR-mutant unresectable stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) might improve survival. However, both treatments carry a potential risk of pneumonitis.

Methods: Between May 2012 and December 2017, patients with unresectable stage III NSCLC treated with concurrent radiotherapy and EGFR-TKI were enrolled in this retrospective study. The baseline characteristics were evaluated to determine correlations with toxicity development.

Results: Among 45 eligible patients, 20 (44.4%) had an EGFR mutation and 44 (97.8%) received 50-66 Gy of radiotherapy. The median follow-up was 62.7 months. The median progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) for patients with EGFR-mutations were 27.9 (95% CI: 18.7-37.2) and 49.7 (95% CI: 27.7-71.8) months, and 13.8 (95% CI: 8.8-18.9) and 31.1 (95% CI: 9.8-52.4) months for EGFR wild-type/unknown patients. A total of 17 patients (37.7%) developed radiation pneumonitis/pneumonitis (14 grade 2, 3 grade 3). In 16 patients, pneumonitis occurred within the radiation field and one patient had bilateral pneumonitis. The median time from the initial radiotherapy to pneumonitis was 74 days. Logistic regression analysis revealed a trend between the time of EGFR-TKI and the development of G2+ pneumonitis. For late toxicity, only two patients had G2+ fibrosis. The daily dyspnea symptoms of patients with G2+ pneumonitis recovered significantly after the phase of pneumonitis (P = 0.007).

Conclusions: Combined EGFR-TKI and radiotherapy showed favorable survival in EGFR-mutant patients with inoperable stage III NSCLC, with a 6.7% incidence of grade 3 radiation pneumonitis/pneumonitis, despite a higher incidence of mild-to-moderate radiation pneumonitis.

Key Points: SIGNIFICANT FINDINGS OF THE STUDY: We evaluated the outcomes and radiation pneumonitis after EGFR-TKI during interval radiotherapy. EGFR-TKI plus radiotherapy increased survival in patients with EGFR-mutant inoperable stage III NSCLC. The mild-to-moderate radiation pneumonitis incidence increased but no grade 4--5 adverse events occurred.

What This Study Adds: The combination of EGFR-TKI and radiotherapy might carry a risk of pneumonitis; however, there are limited data concerning dose constraints. Our results showed a slightly higher incidence of mild or moderate radiation pneumonitis by strict dose limitation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1759-7714.13816DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7952784PMC
March 2021

Comparative analysis on environmental and economic performance of agricultural cooperatives and smallholder farmers: The case of grape production in Hebei, China.

PLoS One 2021 25;16(1):e0245981. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

College of Economics and Management, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China.

Agricultural modernization and intensification have been regarded as a significant way to support agricultural development and improve farm income in China. Agricultural cooperatives have played an important role in promoting the modernization and intensification of Chinese agricultural sector. Given the increasing concerns about environmental harm, however, it still remains unclear whether and the extent to which agricultural cooperatives contributes to reducing environmental impacts of agricultural production. Hence, this study performed an environmental evaluation using life cycle assessment for three different organization forms of grape production in Changli County, Hebei Province, China: smallholder farmers, farmer-owned cooperatives and investor-owned firm-led cooperatives. Then the results of life cycle assessment were monetarized and cost benefit analysis was used to evaluate the economic performance of these three organization forms of grape production. The results demonstrate that investor-owned firm-led cooperatives present an overall improvement in environmental and economic performance with the lowest weighted environmental index (integrating all impact categories into a single score), the highest net profit and the highest total net benefit. The results also show a difference in potential improvement in environmental impacts and economic returns between cooperatives and smallholder farmers. Additionally, the production and application of organic and chemical fertilizer and pesticide have been identified as major contributors to total environmental damage.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0245981PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7833222PMC
June 2021