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Journal Issue: Vol.10, No.3 - July 2011

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Chemo Brain - Research findings indicate the need for caution

Dr Pam McGrath

  1. Dr Pam McGrath

The article sets insights provided by haematology patients who have been through chemotherapy treatments on their attitudes, beliefs and experiences with regards to the notion of ‘chemo brain’ within the context of the available research literature on the topic. The qualitative methodology for the study involved open-ended exploration through in-depth interviews and a focus group. The data was audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, coded and thematically analysed. The findings highlight the need for caution with regards to asserting the conclusiveness of the notion of ‘chemo brain’ to haematology patients. This conclusion is reinforced by the evidence of confusion, inconclusiveness and lack of understanding of both the concept and causation presently noted in the literature. Honesty in information giving about the present doubts and inconsistencies with regards the notion of ‘chemo brain’ that are recognised in the literature can ensure that the term does not unnecessarily increase the anxieties of patients. Such informed discussion can be accompanied by a compassionate response to those experiencing cognitive difficulties that affirms, normalises and provides referrals to expert psychological assistance


Molecular and Biological Study on the Soluble Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 ICAM-1 in Breast Cancer Patients

Dr Ali S. Alshehri

  1. Dr Ali S. Alshehri
    King Khalid University, Faculty of Science, Biology Department,

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer amongst females and the main problem associated with the management of breast cancer is metastasis. Breast cancer patients and benign lesions were recruited from those scheduled for lumpectomy or modified radical mastectomy. Soluble ICAM-1 (sICAM-1) was assayed in the mRNA preparations of peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated from all subjects under study by the Real time PCR (RT -PCR). The expression of sICAM-1 in different stages of breast cancer patients was, the mean of 279.14 ±4.37 ng/ml (S.D 40.99) in stages I, the mean of 344.5 ±3.84 ng/ml (S.D 48.68) in stages II, the mean of 409.1 ±4.11 ng/ml (S.D 66.44) in stages III, and finally the mean of 450 ±4.33ng/ml (S.D 198.1) in stages I respectively. The statistical analysis of these data revealed a gradual and significant elevation in the expression of sICAM-1 in different stages of breast cancer patients when compared with benign breast patients and negative controls. (F = 4.583, P < 0.001). Breast tumors encountered at younger ages and in premenopausal women are more aggressive, whilst women who are diagnosed with breast cancer after the menopause have a better prognosis. The augmented expression of sICAM-1 by PBMCs of breast cancer patients is positively influenced by the estrogen phenotype, tumor grade and regional lymph node status. Assessment of sICAM-1 might play a pivotal role as a sensitive PBMC- based biomarker in breast cancer prognosis and follow up.


Plasma VEGF as a Marker of Therapy in Breast Cancer Patients.

Dr Lakshmi Krishnamoorthy

  1. Dr Lakshmi Krishnamoorthy
    Associate Professor & In charge HOD Dept.of Biochemistry
    Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology,

Introduction: Angiogenesis, the process leading to the formation of new blood vessels from a preexisting vascular network, is necessary for tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is one of the most potent angiogenic cytokines. Since blood biomarkers are minimally invasive, relatively easy to evaluate,we investigated the prognostic significance of plasma VEGF in Breast cancer patients. Methods: Preoperative plasma VEGF levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay in 80 women with breast cancer and in 80 normal female controls Results: There was a significant (P<0.001) increase in plasma VEGF level in breast cancer patients (Mean± SD 136.22±9.95) compared with controls(61.88±6.19). Our study showed that increased plasma VEGF levels were significantly associated with menopausal status, clinical stage of disease and hormone receptor status. Conclusion: Since the increased plasma VEGF levels were associated with menopausal status, clinical stage of disease and hormone receptor status, it can be used a possible surrogate pharmacodynamic marker for determining the optimal biological dose of antibody drugs.


Generation and Application of a Transgenic Model for Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

Dr Hiroaki Honda

  1. Dr Hiroaki Honda
    Department of Disease Model, Research Institute of Radiation Biology and Medicine,
    Hiroshima University,

Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a hematopoietic disorder, characterized by excessive and uncontrolled proliferation of myeloid cells with differentiation ability. CML originates from hematopoietic stem cells transformed by p210BCR/ABL, a chimeric protein with enhanced tyrosine kinase activity. Clinically, CML begins as an indolent phase, called chronic phase (CP), where the tumor cells retain the ability to differentiate into mature granulocytes. However, it inevitably accelerates and progresses to a fatal phase, called blast crisis (BC), where immature blast cells aggressively proliferate. The transition from CP to BC is considered to be caused by secondary genetic events, but precise molecular mechanisms underlying disease evolution have remained unclear. To understand the complex disease processes of CML, it is necessary to establish an animal model that expresses p210BCR/ABL and recapitulates the clinical course of the disease. To address this issue, I cloned a promoter region of a gene preferentially expressed in hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells and generated transgenic mice expressing p210BCR/ABL under the control of the promoter. The transgenic progeny reproducibly exhibited cardinal features of CML CP, indicating the transgenic mice to be a novel animal model for human CML. This shows the first success of creating a CML model by a transgenic approach and also the first stable and hereditary model for CML. Using the transgenic mice, I analyzed the pathogenic mechanism for initiating CML CP and identified secondary gene alterations responsible for the transition from CP to BC.


Effectiveness of a three-day Training the Trainers Course in Improving Participants’ Confidence in Teaching Communication Skills Courses to SeniorHealthcare Professionals Working with Cancer Patients

Dr Susie Wilkinson

  1. Dr Susie Wilkinson
    Department of Mental Health Sciences Royal Free
    University CollegernMedical School Rowland

Effective communication is a core clinical skill which can be taught. Communication skills training is dependant upon adept facilitation by trained facilitators. There is a dearth of literature addressing facilitator training. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a three-day Training the Trainers course in its ability to change participants’ confidence in facilitating an advanced 3 day communication skills course for senior healthcare professionals in cancer care (ACST). Fifty-six cancer care healthcare professionals participated in a multi-centred survey in 6 different locations across the UK. The primary outcome was the change post-course in the participants’ level of confidence. The secondary outcome was the course evaluation. There was a significant increase in total confidence scores from 6.5 pre-course to 7.9 post-course (t=9.9, p<0.001). Forty-eight (91%) participants had improved confidence scores, 1 the same and 4 had worse. The course was well evaluated



18F Alpha Methyl Tyrosine Positron Emission Tomography in the Differential Diagnosis of Sarcoidosis and Relapse of MALT Lymphoma: A Case Report

Dr Yoshiyuki Suzuki

  1. Dr Yoshiyuki Suzuki
    M.D., Ph.D
    Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine,

The value of 18fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography in the detection of malignant tumors has recently been recognized, and the procedure is used widely. The specificity of positron emission tomography is decreased by inflammatory cells and granulation tissues, however, prompting the development of amino acid tracers such as Methionine among others to increase specificity for malignant tumors. One of these, 18F alpha methyl tyrosine, is reported to have high specificity. Here, we report a 53-year-old woman in whom 18F alpha methyl tyrosine positron emission tomography was instrumental in distinguishing sarcoidosis from relapse of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma.


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