Publications by authors named "Rana Aliani"

3 Publications

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Virtual visits among gynecologic oncology patients during the COVID-19 pandemic are accessible across the social vulnerability spectrum.

Gynecol Oncol 2021 07 11;162(1):4-11. Epub 2021 May 11.

Medical College of Wisconsin, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly transformed healthcare systems with expansion of telemedicine. The past year has highlighted risks to immunosuppressed cancer patients and shown the need for health equity among vulnerable groups. In this study, we describe the utilization of virtual visits by patients with gynecologic malignancies and assess their social vulnerability.

Methods: Virtual visit data of 270 gynecology oncology patients at a single institution from March 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020 was obtained by querying a cohort discovery tool. Through geocoding, the CDC Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) was utilized to assign social vulnerability indices to each patient and the results were analyzed for trends and statistical significance.

Results: African American patients were the most vulnerable with a median SVI of 0.71, Asian 0.60, Hispanic 0.41, and Caucasian 0.21. Eighty-seven percent of patients in this study were Caucasian, 8.9% African American, 3.3% Hispanic, and 1.1% Asian, which is comparable to the baseline institutional gynecologic cancer population. The mean census tract SVI variable when comparing patients to all census tracts in the United States was 0.31 (range 0.00 least vulnerable to 0.98 most vulnerable).

Conclusions: Virtual visits were utilized by patients of all ages and gynecologic cancer types. African Americans were the most socially vulnerable patients of the cohort. Telemedicine is a useful platform for cancer care across the social vulnerability spectrum during the pandemic and beyond. To ensure continued access, further research and outreach efforts are needed.
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July 2021

A Review of Promising Natural Chemopreventive Agents for Head and Neck Cancer.

Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2018 08 30;11(8):441-450. Epub 2018 Mar 30.

Department of Otolaryngology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas.

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) accounts for 300,000 deaths per year worldwide, and overall survival rates have shown little improvement over the past three decades. Current treatment methods including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy leave patients with secondary morbidities. Thus, treatment of HNSCC may benefit from exploration of natural compounds as chemopreventive agents. With excellent safety profiles, reduced toxicities, antioxidant properties, and general acceptance for use as dietary supplements, natural compounds are viewed as a desirable area of investigation for chemoprevention. Though most of the field is early in development, numerous studies display the potential utility of natural compounds against HNSCC. These compounds face additional challenges such as low bioavailability for systemic delivery, potential toxicities when consumed in pharmacologic doses, and acquired resistance. However, novel delivery vehicles and synthetic analogues have shown to overcome some of these challenges. This review covers 11 promising natural compounds in the chemoprevention of HNSCC including vitamin A, curcumin, isothiocyanate, green tea, luteolin, resveratrol, genistein, lycopene, bitter melon, withaferin A, and guggulsterone. The review discusses the therapeutic potential and associated challenges of these agents in the chemopreventive efforts against HNSCC. .
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August 2018

The Caenorhabditis elegans NF2/Merlin Molecule NFM-1 Nonautonomously Regulates Neuroblast Migration and Interacts Genetically with the Guidance Cue SLT-1/Slit.

Genetics 2017 02 2;205(2):737-748. Epub 2016 Dec 2.

Department of Molecular Biosciences, Program in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66046

During nervous system development, neurons and their progenitors migrate to their final destinations. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the bilateral Q neuroblasts and their descendants migrate long distances in opposite directions, despite being born in the same posterior region. QR on the right migrates anteriorly and generates the AQR neuron positioned near the head, and QL on the left migrates posteriorly, giving rise to the PQR neuron positioned near the tail. In a screen for genes required for AQR and PQR migration, we identified an allele of nfm-1, which encodes a molecule similar to vertebrate NF2/Merlin, an important tumor suppressor in humans. Mutations in NF2 lead to neurofibromatosis type II, characterized by benign tumors of glial tissues. Here we demonstrate that in C. elegans, nfm-1 is required for the ability of Q cells and their descendants to extend protrusions and to migrate, but is not required for direction of migration. Using a combination of mosaic analysis and cell-specific expression, we show that NFM-1 is required nonautonomously, possibly in muscles, to promote Q lineage migrations. We also show a genetic interaction between nfm-1 and the C. elegans Slit homolog slt-1, which encodes a conserved secreted guidance cue. Our results suggest that NFM-1 might be involved in the generation of an extracellular cue that promotes Q neuroblast protrusion and migration that acts with or in parallel to SLT-1 In vertebrates, NF2 and Slit2 interact in axon pathfinding, suggesting a conserved interaction of NF2 and Slit2 in regulating migratory events.
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February 2017