Publications by authors named "Tomoko Saito"

115 Publications

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

Acute effect of hydrocortisone for respiratory deterioration in preterm infants: Oxygenation, ventilation, vital signs, and electrolytes.

Early Hum Dev 2021 Mar 26;154:105320. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Department of Neonatology, Kanagawa Children's Medical Center, Yokohama, Japan.

Background: Preterm infants with severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia require rescue therapy with glucocorticoids, and hydrocortisone is increasingly replacing dexamethasone. The standard for rescue therapy is unclear.

Aim: To quantify the short-term effects of respiratory rescue hydrocortisone of 4 mg/kg/day for 3 days.

Study Design: Retrospective single-center study.

Subjects: Ventilator-dependent infants born at <28 weeks of gestation with an increased oxygen demand to maintain the target oxygen saturation at 88% to 95% >1 week after birth.

Outcome Measures: Ventilator settings, SpO/FiO ratio, heart rate, and blood parameters within 24 h before and 228 h after starting hydrocortisone.

Results: Twenty-five infants (median gestational age, 25.1 weeks) received hydrocortisone at a median age of 16 days. The median pre-therapy SpO/FiO was 297 (interquartile range, 265-320) and began to rise after 12 h of administration, reaching 307 (interquartile range, 278-335). The increase in SpO/FiO peaked from the third day to 3 days after therapy (median range, 341-356). SpO/FiO decreased thereafter and remained unchanged from 6 and 7 days after therapy (median range, 304-314). The pCO level (median range, 49-53 mmHg) did not change significantly. The heart rate significantly decreased from -4 to -6 beats/min from the first day to 1 day after therapy. Systolic blood pressure increased by a median of 4 to 8 mmHg after therapy. Blood electrolytes and glucose were similar after therapy.

Conclusion: Rescue hydrocortisone administration improved oxygenation without particular adverse effects at the stage of respiratory deterioration in preterm infants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2021.105320DOI Listing
March 2021

Impaired tumor immune response in metastatic tumors is a selective pressure for neutral evolution in CRC cases.

PLoS Genet 2021 01 21;17(1):e1009113. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of Surgery, Kyushu University Beppu Hospital, Beppu, Japan.

A Darwinian evolutionary shift occurs early in the neutral evolution of advanced colorectal carcinoma (CRC), and copy number aberrations (CNA) are essential in the transition from adenoma to carcinoma. In light of this primary evolution, we investigated the evolutionary principles of the genome that foster postoperative recurrence of CRC. CNA and neoantigens (NAG) were compared between early primary tumors with recurrence (CRCR) and early primary tumors without recurrence (precancerous and early; PCRC). We compared CNA, single nucleotide variance (SNV), RNA sequences, and T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire between 9 primary and 10 metastatic sites from 10 CRCR cases. We found that NAG in primary sites were fewer in CRCR than in PCRC, while the arm level CNA were significantly higher in primary sites in CRCR than in PCRC. Further, a comparison of genomic aberrations of primary and metastatic conditions revealed no significant differences in CNA. The driver mutations in recurrence were the trunk of the evolutionary phylogenic tree from primary sites to recurrence sites. Notably, PD-1 and TIM3, T cell exhaustion-related molecules of the tumor immune response, were abundantly expressed in metastatic sites compared to primary sites along with the increased number of CD8 expressing cells. The postoperative recurrence-free survival period was only significantly associated with the NAG levels and TCR repertoire diversity in metastatic sites. Therefore, CNA with diminished NAG and diverse TCR repertoire in pre-metastatic sites may determine postoperative recurrence of CRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1009113DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7864431PMC
January 2021

[Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome during intravenous immunoglobulin therapy in Guillain-Barré syndrome].

Rinsho Shinkeigaku 2021 Jan 15;61(1):12-17. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Department of Neurology, Tokyo Medical University.

A 63-year-old woman was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) therapy was initiated. On the second day of IVIg therapy, she became less alert (JCS III-200) and had hyponatremia. Brain MRI showed vasogenic edema in bilateral occipital lobes, which disappeared afterwards. Her clinical course and MRI findings were consistent with those of posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES). As a result of considering the timing of the onset of GBS and PRES and the degree of hyponatremia and hypertension in some documented patients, the cause of PRES onset in this case is considered to be IVIg therapy itself and IVIg therapy-induced hyponatremia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5692/clinicalneurol.cn-001461DOI Listing
January 2021

Acute respiratory effect of transpyloric feeding for respiratory exacerbation in preterm infants.

J Perinat Med 2021 Mar 11;49(3):383-387. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Department of Neonatology, Kanagawa Children's Medical Center, Yokohama, Japan.

Objectives: Gastroesophageal reflux may exacerbate chronic lung disease in preterm infants. We evaluated the short-term effects of transpyloric feeding on respiratory status in preterm infants during mechanical ventilation.

Methods: We retrospectively collected data from the hospital information management system. To evaluate the effect of transpyloric feeding on oxygenation, we compared changes in SpO/FiO ratios before and after commencing transpyloric feeding by a piecewise linear regression model.

Results: We examined 33 infants (median gestational age, 25.4 weeks; median birth weight, 656 g) who underwent transpyloric feeding. All tubes were placed at the bedside without fluoroscopy. No cases of unsuccessful placement, gastroduodenal perforation, or tracheal misinsertion occurred. Transpyloric feeding began at a median age of 18 (interquartile range, 15-23) days. Mean SpO/FiO (±SD) ratios were 391 (±49), 371 (±51), 365 (±56), and 366 (±53) 72-96 h before, 0-24 h before, 48-72 h after, and 96-120 h after starting transpyloric feeding, respectively. The rate of change per hour of SpO/FiO ratios increased 48-120 h after compared with 0-96 h before transpyloric feeding (0.03 [95% confidence interval, -0.10 to 0.17] vs. -0.29 [-0.47 to -0.12]) (p=0.007). No apparent changes occurred in the mean airway pressure, amplitude pressure, or pCO.

Conclusions: Transpyloric feeding during mechanical ventilation can prevent the deterioration of oxygenation without major complications at the stage of respiratory exacerbation in preterm infants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/jpm-2020-0243DOI Listing
March 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

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

Endoscopic gastric mucosal atrophy as a predictor of colorectal polyps: a large scale case-control study.

J Clin Biochem Nutr 2019 Sep 23;65(2):153-159. Epub 2019 Aug 23.

Department of Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine, Oita University, 1-1 Idaigaoka, Hasama-machi, Yufu, Oita 879-5593, Japan.

Although some studies have indicated a correlation between infection and the risk of colorectal neoplasms, these findings have not been consistent and are controversial. This case-control study aimed to investigate the association between endoscopic gastric mucosal atrophy and colorectal polyp occurrence. Records of 7,394 participants who underwent colonoscopy examinations from August 2008 to July 2018 were reviewed retrospectively. A total of 2,404 subjects were registered; 1,565 (65.1%) were in the gastric mucosal atrophy-positive group and 1,138 (47.3%) had colorectal polyps. The multivariate analysis adjusted by age, sex, smoking habits, alcohol habits, hemoglobin A1c, and systolic blood pressure indicated that patients in the gastric mucosal atrophy-positive group more frequently had colorectal polyps compared with patients in the gastric mucosal atrophy-negative group (odds ratio, 3.27; 95% confidence interval, 2.68-4.01; <0.001). An analysis of the association between gastric mucosal atrophy degree and colorectal polyp status indicated that, compared with mild gastric mucosal atrophy, severe gastric mucosal atrophy was associated with a higher risk of proximal colon polyps (odds ratio, 1.47; 95% confidence interval, 1.05-2.07;  = 0.024) and two or more colorectal polyps (odds ratio, 1.80; 95% confidence interval, 1.30-2.49; <0.001). In conclusion, gastric mucosal atrophy found during esophagogastroduodenoscopy may be an indication for complete colon screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3164/jcbn.19-47DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6769405PMC
September 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

A clinical trial of somatic and germline analyses for healthy longevity in a postoperative cancer patient.

Surg Today 2019 Sep 6;49(9):738-747. Epub 2019 Mar 6.

Department of Surgery, Kyushu University Beppu Hospital, 4546 Tsurumihara, Beppu, 874-0838, Japan.

Purpose: Recent developments in molecular-targeted therapies have improved the clinical outcome of cancer patients; however, the issue of adverse effects due to treatments has often gone unconsidered. We herein report the results of a clinical trial of dual genomic analyses for healthy longevity in a postoperative cancer patient.

Methods: We performed dual genomic analyses for a representative 79-year-old rectal cancer patient who relapsed with liver metastasis. First, we determined single-nucleotide polymorphisms according to the constitution and disease risk in the genomic DNA from the patient's saliva by referring to the data of 10,000 Japanese patients obtained from Yahoo Japan Corporation. Second, we conducted whole-exome sequencing to detect druggable mutations in the primary tumour.

Results: Forty of 59 determinable characters related to the constitution were consistent with the clinical phenotype. Several diseases classified as 'high risk' diseases actually occurred during the patient's clinical course. Of the 129 significant mutations, we identified somatic mutations in BRAF, PIK3CA, and SMAD4 as targets.

Conclusion: The dual genomic examination will improve the follow-up observation system to support primary care doctors in the social community for taking care of postoperative cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00595-019-01789-7DOI Listing
September 2019

[Cerebral embolism in Duchenne muscular dystrophy after respiratory tract infection - Report of two cases].

Rinsho Shinkeigaku 2018 Oct 29;58(10):642-645. Epub 2018 Sep 29.

Department of Neurology, NHO Toneyama National Hospital.

We report cerebral embolism in 2 patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) after respiratory tract infection. A 31-year-old man (Case 1) was admitted to the hospital because of an upper respiratory tract infection, then suddenly developed left-sided hemiparesis. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed an intracardiac thrombus in the left ventricle, and, under assumption of cardioembolic stroke, oral anticoagulation was initiated. Case 2 was a 36-year-old man who developed dysphasia after increasing sputum. Based on brain CT scan findings, we confirmed a diagnosis of cerebral infarction. There was no recurrence in either case. Both cases developed cerebral infarction due to embolism after mild upper respiratory tract infections. DMD patients have various risk factors for thrombus and embolus, while physicians should also be aware of possible cerebral infarction and other coagulation disorders irrespective of respiratory and cardiac therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5692/clinicalneurol.cn-001135DOI Listing
October 2018

Epigenetic dysregulation in hepatocellular carcinoma: an up-to-date review.

Hepatol Res 2019 Jan 19;49(1):3-13. Epub 2018 Oct 19.

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

Due to the advances made in research based on next generation sequencers, it is now possible to detect and analyze epigenetic abnormalities associated with cancer. DNA methylation, various histone modifications, chromatin remodeling, and non-coding RNA-associated gene silencing are considered to be transcriptional regulatory mechanisms associated with gene expression changes. The breakdown of this precise regulatory system is involved in the transition to cancer. The important role of epigenetic regulation can be observed from the high rate of genetic mutations and abnormal gene expression leading to a breakdown in epigenetic gene expression regulation seen in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Based on an understanding of epigenomic abnormalities associated with pathological conditions, these findings will lead the way to diagnosis and treatment. In particular, in addition to the fact that there are few choices in terms of extant drug therapies aimed at HCC, there are limits to their antitumor effects. The clinical application of epigenetic therapeutic agents for HCC has only just begun, and future developments are expected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/hepr.13250DOI Listing
January 2019

Cancer evolution and heterogeneity.

Ann Gastroenterol Surg 2018 Sep 4;2(5):332-338. Epub 2018 Jul 4.

Laboratory of Sequence Analysis Human Genome Center Institute of Medical Science University of Tokyo Tokyo Japan.

Undoubtedly, intratumor heterogeneity (ITH) is one of the causes of the intractability of cancers. Recently, technological innovation in genomics has promoted studies on ITH in solid tumors and on the pattern and level of diversity, which varies among malignancies. We profiled the genome in multiple regions of nine colorectal cancer (CRC) cases. The most impressive finding was that in the late phase, a parental clone branched into numerous subclones. We found that minor mutations were dominant in advanced CRC named neutral evolution; that is, driver gene aberrations were observed with high proportion in the early-acquired phase, but low in the late-acquired phase. Then, we validated that neutral evolution could cause ITH in advanced CRC by super-computational analysis. According to the clinical findings, we explored a branching evolutionary process model in cancer evolution, which assumes that each tumor cell has cellular automaton. According to the model, we verified factors to foster ITH with neutral evolution in advanced CRC. In this review, we introduce recent advances in the field of ITH including the general component of ITH, clonal selective factors that consolidate the evolutionary process, and a representative clinical application of ITH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ags3.12182DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6139712PMC
September 2018

A temporal shift of the evolutionary principle shaping intratumor heterogeneity in colorectal cancer.

Nat Commun 2018 07 23;9(1):2884. Epub 2018 Jul 23.

Department of Surgery, Kyushu University Beppu Hospital, 4546 Tsurumihara, Beppu, 874-0838, Japan.

Advanced colorectal cancer harbors extensive intratumor heterogeneity shaped by neutral evolution; however, intratumor heterogeneity in colorectal precancerous lesions has been poorly studied. We perform multiregion whole-exome sequencing on ten early colorectal tumors, which contained adenoma and carcinoma in situ. By comparing with sequencing data from advanced colorectal tumors, we show that the early tumors accumulate a higher proportion of subclonal driver mutations than the advanced tumors, which is highlighted by subclonal mutations in KRAS and APC. We also demonstrate that variant allele frequencies of subclonal mutations tend to be higher in early tumors, suggesting that the subclonal mutations are subject to selective sweep in early tumorigenesis while neutral evolution is dominant in advanced ones. This study establishes that the evolutionary principle underlying intratumor heterogeneity shifts from Darwinian to neutral evolution during colorectal tumor progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-05226-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6056524PMC
July 2018

Overexpression of Promotes Peritoneal Dissemination Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition in Gastric Cancer.

Cancer Genomics Proteomics 2018 Jul-Aug;15(4):313-320

Department of Surgery, Kyushu University Beppu Hospital, Tsurumihara, Japan

Background: Peritoneal dissemination (PD) is one of the most common causes of cancer-related mortality in gastric cancer (GC). We aimed to identify PD-associated genes and investigate their role in GC.

Materials And Methods: We identified FGFR1 as a putative PD-associated gene using a bioinformatics approach. The biological significance of FGFR1 in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) was evaluated according to the correlation with genes that participated in EMT and FGFR1 knockdown experiments. The associations between FGFR1 expression and the clinicopathological features were examined.

Results: FGFR1 expression positively correlated with SNAI1, VIM and ZEB1 expression, and negatively correlated with CDH1 expression. Knockdown of FGFR1 suppressed the malignant phenotype of GC cells. High FGFR1 expression significantly correlated with the peritoneal lavage cytology and synchronous PD positivity as well as poor prognosis.

Conclusion: High FGFR1 expression was associated with PD via promotion of EMT and led to a poor prognosis of GC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21873/cgp.20089DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6070707PMC
November 2018

Identification of UHRF2 as a Negative Regulator of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Its Clinical Significance in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Oncology 2018 15;95(3):179-187. Epub 2018 Jun 15.

Department of Surgery, Kyushu University Beppu Hospital, Beppu, Japan.

Objective: The involvement of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) has not been fully elucidated. Here, we aimed to identify EMT-related genes associated with TGF-β in ESCC and to clarify the role of these genes in the progression of ESCC.

Methods: EMT-related genes associated with TGF-β expression were identified in patients with ESCC using microarray analysis and public datasets. The effects of ubiquitin-like with PHD and ring finger domains 2 (UHRF2) expression were analyzed in ESCC cell lines. Cell proliferation and invasion were measured using MTT and invasion assays, respectively. UHRF2 mRNA expression was also analyzed in 75 ESCC specimens to determine the clinical significance of UHRF2 in ESCC.

Results: Treatment of ESCC cell lines with TGF-β increased UHRF2 expression. UHRF2 overexpression increased CDH1 (E-cadherin) expression and decreased invasive capacity. The 75 ESCC specimens were divided into the UHRF2 high-expression group (n = 61) and the UHRF2 low-expression group (n = 14). Low UHRF2 expression was significantly correlated with vascular invasion (p = 0.034) and was an independent prognostic factor for poor prognosis (p = 0.005).

Conclusion: UHRF2 may be a negative regulator of EMT and a novel prognostic biomarker for ESCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000488860DOI Listing
September 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

Established gastric cancer cell lines transplantable into C57BL/6 mice show fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 promotion of tumor growth.

Cancer Sci 2018 May 15;109(5):1480-1492. Epub 2018 Apr 15.

Department of Pathology, Graduate School of Medicine, Fujita Health University, Toyoake, Japan.

Previously no mouse gastric cancer cell lines have been available for transplantation into C57BL/6 mice. However, a gastric cancer model in immunocompetent mice would be useful for analyzing putative therapies. N-Methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) was given in drinking water to C57BL/6 mice and p53 heterozygous knockout mice. Only 1 tumor from a p53 knockout mouse could be cultured and the cells s.c. transplanted into a C57BL/6 mouse. We cultured this s.c. tumor, and subcloned it. mRNA expression in the most aggressive YTN16 subline was compared to the less aggressive YTN2 subline by microarray analysis, and fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) in YTN16 cells was knocked out with a CRISPR/Cas9 system and inhibited by an FGFR4 selective inhibitor, BLU9931. These transplanted cell lines formed s.c. tumors in C57BL/6 mice. Four cell lines (YTN2, YTN3, YTN5, YTN16) were subcloned and established. Their in vitro growth rates were similar. However, s.c. tumor establishment rates, metastatic rates, and peritoneal dissemination rates of YTN2 and YTN3 were lower than for YTN5 and YTN16. YTN16 established 8/8 s.c. tumors, 7/8 with lung metastases, 3/8 with lymph node metastases and 5/5 with peritoneal dissemination. FGFR4 expression by YTN16 was 121-fold higher than YTN2. FGFR4-deleted YTN16 cells failed to form s.c. tumors and showed lower rates of peritoneal dissemination. BLU9931 significantly inhibited the growth of peritoneal dissemination of YTN16. These studies present the first transplantable mouse gastric cancer lines. Our results further indicate that FGFR4 is an important growth signal receptor in gastric cancer cells with high FGFR4 expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cas.13569DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5980194PMC
May 2018

Rapid Discrimination between Methicillin-Sensitive and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Using MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry.

Biocontrol Sci 2017 ;22(3):163-169

Divisions of Clinical Mass Spectrometry and Clinical Genetics, Chiba University Hospital.

 Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the major pathogens responsible for nosocomial infections. The presence of MRSA in a hospital is detrimental to patients and to hospital management. Thus, rapid identification of MRSA is needed. Here, we report on a prospective method to rapidly discriminate of MSSA from MRSA using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and support vector machine (SVM) analysis in 160 clinical isolates of S. aureus. The predictive model was tested using 100 S. aureus isolates (50 MSSA and 50 MRSA). The identification rates were 90.0% for MSSA and 87.5% for MRSA in a 10-fold cross-validation SVM. In blind test sets, 60 S. aureus isolates (30 MSSA and 30 MRSA) were correctly classified, with identification rates of 93.3% for MSSA and 86.7% for MRSA. The method proposed in this study using the predictive model enables detection of one colony in 5 minutes, and thus is useful at clinical sites at which rapid discrimination of MRSA from MSSA is required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4265/bio.22.163DOI Listing
January 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