Publications by authors named "Nizuwan Azman"

7 Publications

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Multicentre prospective cohort study of unmet supportive care needs among patients with breast cancer throughout their cancer treatment trajectory in Penang: a PenBCNeeds Study protocol.

BMJ Open 2021 03 15;11(3):e044746. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kepala Batas, Penang, Malaysia.

Introduction: Proper assessment of unmet supportive care needs of patients with breast cancer and its influencing factors at different treatment intervals will improve the rehabilitation of patients with breast cancer. Therefore, this study aims to determine the prevalence of unmet supportive care needs, changes of needs over time and associated factors during the treatment period.

Methods And Analysis: This multicentre, prospective cohort study will be conducted in three governmental hospitals and one tertiary cancer institute in Penang, Malaysia. Adult women diagnosed with primary or recurrent tumour, node, metastases stage I-IV breast cancer based on pathological biopsy will be eligible for this study. At least 281 samples are required for this study. Participants will undergo follow-up at three time intervals: T1 at breast cancer diagnosis; T2 at 3 months after diagnosis and T3 at 6 months after diagnosis. Patients will complete a set of questionnaires at each time. The primary outcome of this study includes the changes in supportive care needs over three time points, followed by the secondary outcome examining patients' characteristics, coping behaviours and positive psychological components as they affect changes in unmet supportive care needs over time.

Ethics And Dissemination: The study has received ethics approval from the Medical Research and Ethics Committee, Ministry of Health Malaysia (NMRR-19-268-45809 IIR) and the Human Research Ethics Committee of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM/JEPeM/17100443). The results of the prospective study will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
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March 2021

Diagnosis of cancer is not a death sentence: Examining posttraumatic growth and its associated factors in cancer patients.

J Psychosoc Oncol 2019 Sep-Oct;37(5):636-651. Epub 2019 Mar 1.

Lifestyle Science Cluster, Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia , Kepala Batas , Pulau Pinang , Malaysia.

Posttraumatic growth (PTG) is the experience of positive psychological growth as a result of struggle with highly challenging life crises. This study was conducted to investigate the degree of PTG and its associated factors, as well as to identify which positive psychological parameters most significantly associated with greater PTG among Malaysian cancer patients. This cross-sectional survey included 195 patients with different cancer diagnoses. Perceived spousal support, level of hope, level of optimism, and PTG were measured using various validated indexes. The total mean score for PTG Inventory-Short Form (PTGI-SF) was 39.87 (±9.09). Female gender, Islamic religious belief, and having higher level of hope and greater spousal support were associated with a higher PTGI-SF score, and the most significant predictor was the hope scale. Malaysian cancer patients exhibited a high level of PTG, and hope was the positive psychological factor which was most significantly associated with PTG. Psychosocial interventions that promote positive psychology should be included in the treatment for cancer patients.
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February 2020

In Vitro Cytotoxic Activity of Clinacanthus nutans Leaf Extracts Against HeLa Cells

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2019 Feb 26;20(2):601-609. Epub 2019 Feb 26.

Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Bertam, 13200 Kepala Batas, Penang, Malaysia. Email:

Objective: This study was conducted to investigate the antiproliferative activity of extracts of Clinacanthus nutans leaves against human cervical cancer (HeLa) cells. Methods: C. nutans leaves were subjected to extraction using 80% methanol or water. The methanol extract was further extracted to obtain hexane, dichloromethane (DCM), and aqueous fractions. The antiproliferative activity of the extracts against HeLa cells was determined. The most cytotoxic extract was furthered analyzed by apoptosis and cell cycle assays, and the phytochemical constituents were screened by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Results: All of the extracts were antiproliferative against HeLa cells, and the DCM fraction had the lowest IC50 value of 70 μg/mL at 48 h. Microscopic studies showed that HeLa cells exposed to the DCM fraction exhibited marked morphological features of apoptosis. The flow cytometry study also confirmed that the DCM fraction induced apoptosis in HeLa cells, with cell cycle arrest at the S phase. GC-MS analysis revealed the presence of at least 28 compounds in the DCM fraction, most of which were fatty acids. Conclusion: The DCM fraction obtained using the extraction method described herein had a lower IC50 value than those reported in previous studies that characterized the anticancer activity of C. nutans against HeLa cells.
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February 2019

Recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) in refractory haemorrhage for non-haemophiliacs: an eleven-year single-centre experience.

BMC Hematol 2018 23;18:34. Epub 2018 Nov 23.

1Regenerative Medicine Cluster, Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 13200 Kepala Batas, PNG Malaysia.

Background: Massive bleeding is one of the commonest salvageable causes of death. The search for an ideal haemostatic agent during massive bleeding is still ongoing. One of the novel haemostatic medications is recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa). To date, the usage of rFVIIa during massive haemorrhage among non-haemophiliac patients remains off-label. The aim of this study is to report our experience in using rFVIIa to treat refractory bleeding.

Methods: Medical records of all patients treated with rFVIIa for massive bleeding over an eleven-year period in a single institution were recorded. Treatment indications, 24-h and 30-day mortality, changes in transfusion needs and coagulation profiles after rFVIIa administration were analysed.

Results: rFVIIa were administered in 76 patients. Of these, 41 (53.9%) were non-surgical bleeding, followed by 22 patients (28.9%) with trauma, other surgery bleedings in 9 patients (11.8%) and 4 patients (5.4%) with peripartum haemorrhage. Total survival rate was 78.9% within 24 h and 44.7% over 30 days. Among all these patients who had received rFVIIa due to life-threatening haemorrhage, blood and blood product requirements were significantly reduced ( < 0.001), and the coagulation profiles improved significantly ( < 0.05). Two patients with preexisting thromboembolism were given rFVIIa due to intractable bleeding, both survived. No thromboembolic events were reported after the administration of rFVIIa.

Conclusions: rFVIIa significantly improved coagulation parameters and reduced blood product requirements during refractory haemorrhage. Additionally, usage of rFVIIa in trauma and peripartum haemorrhage patients yield better outcomes than other groups of patients. However, the overall mortality rate remained high.
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November 2018

Use of FabV-Triclosan Plasmid Selection System for Efficient Expression and Production of Recombinant Proteins in Escherichia coli.

PLoS One 2015 7;10(12):e0144189. Epub 2015 Dec 7.

Division of Research Publications, and Innovation, Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Bertam, 13200, Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

Maintenance of recombinant plasmid vectors in host bacteria relies on the presence of selection antibiotics in the growth media to suppress plasmid -free segregants. However, presence of antibiotic resistance genes and antibiotics themselves is not acceptable in several applications of biotechnology. Previously, we have shown that FabV-Triclosan selection system can be used to select high and medium copy number plasmid vectors in E. coli. Here, we have extended our previous work and demonstrated that expression vectors containing FabV can be used efficiently to express heterologous recombinant proteins in similar or better amounts in E. coli host when compared with expression vectors containing β-lactamase. Use of small amount of non-antibiotic Triclosan as selection agent in growth medium, enhanced plasmid stability, applicability in various culture media, and compatibility with other selection systems for multiple plasmid maintenance are noteworthy features of FabV-Triclosan selection system.
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July 2016

The effects of virgin coconut oil (VCO) as supplementation on quality of life (QOL) among breast cancer patients.

Lipids Health Dis 2014 Aug 27;13:139. Epub 2014 Aug 27.

Institut Perubatan dan Pergigian Termaju, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Bertam, 13200 Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

Background: Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst Malaysian women. Both the disease and its treatment can disrupt the lives of the woman and adversely affect all aspects of life and thus can alter a woman's quality of life. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of virgin coconut oil (VCO) on the quality of life (QOL) of patients diagnosed with breast cancer.

Methods: This was a prospective study of breast cancer patients admitted into the Oncology Unit of Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia. The sample consisted of 60 patients with stage III and IV breast cancer allocated to either an intervention group (n = 30) or a control group (n = 30) using a simple random table. QOL was evaluated from the first cycle of chemotherapy to the sixth cycle, and data were collected using a validated Bahasa Malaysia version of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Breast Cancer Module (EORTC QLQ-C30) and its breast-specific module (QLQ-BR 23).

Results: The mean age of breast cancer patients was 50.2 (SD = 13.5) years. There were significant mean score differences for functioning and global QOL between groups (α < 0.01). The intervention group also had better scores for symptoms including fatigue, dyspnea, sleep difficulties, and loss of appetite compared to the control group. Although there are deteriorations for sexual enjoyment, the intervention group exhibited improvement in breast functioning and symptom scores for body image, sexual function, future perspective, breast symptoms, and systemic therapy side effects.

Conclusion: VCO consumption during chemotherapy helped improve the functional status and global QOL of breast cancer patients. In addition, it reduced the symptoms related to side effects of chemotherapy.
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August 2014

High frequency of hand foot syndrome with capecitabine.

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak 2010 Jun;20(6):421-2

Department of Oncology, Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia.

A hospital based cross-sectional retrospective study was conducted to determine the frequency of hand foot syndrome (HFS) with Capecitabine as a single agent and in combination with Oxaliplatin. The study included 43 consecutive cases of colorectal carcinoma and conducted from June till December 2008. Patients on palliative care were excluded. SPSS was used for the application of chi-square test, by keeping the level of significance as p < 0.05. Fifteen (34.9%) patients developed HFS, 10 in the single-agent and 5 in the combination group. No significant association of HFS with either regimens was noted (p=0.876).
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June 2010