Journal Issue: Vol.9, No.3 - July 2010

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Endothelial Cell Progenitors as a Vehicle for Systemic Delivery of Cancer Gene Therapy

Prof Arkadiusz Dudek

  1. Prof Arkadiusz Dudek
    MD, PhD
    Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation

A major limitation of cancer gene therapy is the difficulty of delivering a therapeutic gene to distant sites of metastatic disease. A promising strategy to address this difficulty is to use expanded ex vivo cells to produce a therapeutic protein. As with other approaches to gene therapy, this strategy is attractive when the therapeutic protein is unstable ex vivo or has a short circulating half life in vivo. The initial step to develop a cancer gene therapy using autologous cell delivery is identification of a cell type that migrates to the tumor site, is readily available for harvesting and is easily manipulated ex vivo. Recent evidence suggests that endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are attracted to the tumor vasculature by its angiogenic drive. Here we review recent advances in the study of EPC-mediated tumor vasculogenesis and discuss the advantages and challenges of bringing EPC-based cancer gene therapy closer to clinical application.

Temozolomide with Radiotherapy for the Treatment of Malignant Gliomas: Center Experience

Dr Ehab Abdou, Dr Mohamed Gaafar

  1. Dr Ehab Abdou
    Department of Radiation Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University
  2. Dr Mohamed Gaafar
    Public Health Department, Faculty of Medicine, Munofia University,

Background: Temozolomide (TMZ), a proven effective alkylating agent that shown better results in the treatment of patients with malignant gliomas when used as single modality treatment or when concurrently used in combination with radiation therapy.1 Purpose: This is a phase II retrospective study aim to determine the effects of concomitant plus sequential TMZ with radiotherapy in patients with newly diagnosed malignant gliomas.

Music, Health and Loss Throughout the Ages: A Precursor to Music Therapy in Palliative Care

Dr Clare O\'Callaghan

  1. Dr Clare O\'Callaghan
    Social Work Department, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Throughout the Ages, and across cultures, music has been pivotal in supporting individual and community health and ways of dealing with loss and death. A brief history of music in medicine indicates that the contemporary use of music therapy in palliative care is grounded in a human connection with music for at least 4000 years. Music therapy?s focus on addressing individual need reflects a shift in emphasis from pre-industrial communities? participatory rituals to promote well-being, to western ideals of individual expression and idiosyncratic requirements. The author?s experience of music therapy in palliative care is outlined. Methods, including song writing, live music, music improvisation, music imagery and relaxation, and music supported counseling, are used to help people experiencing life threatening illness have an improved quality of life. Positivist and constructivist research validating music therapy?s presence in health care contexts addressing palliative care needs are also described.

Students with Learning Disabilities: An Update on Norwegian Educational Policy and Practice

Dr Ragnar Thygesen

  1. Dr Ragnar Thygesen
    National Centre for Reading Education and Research, University of Stavangerrn

A politically initiated shift in the conceptualisation of ?Learning Disabilities? (LD) is outlined, followed by an account of the consequences of the new perspective for the recognition of and services to LD-students. The organization of the support system is described, including a survey of the services delivered and working methods. The current status of problems studied, methods of assessment and intervention measures in the field of learning disabilities are reported. Some comments on the future situation for learning disabled students finish the paper.

Accuracy of Intercrestal Line as the Anatomical Landmark to Identify Vertebral Level During Epidural Catheter Insertion in Children

Dr Hae. K Kil, J.Y Kim, B.N Koo, Hyun Joo Jeon

  1. Dr Hae. K Kil
    Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Anesthesia and Pain Research Institute,rn
  2. J.Y Kim
  3. B.N Koo
  4. Hyun Joo Jeon

Intercrestal line is used for identification of accurate vertebral level during epidural and spinal anesthesia in children. This study investigated the accuracy of intercrestal line as anatomical landmark to identify vertebral level during epidural catheter insertion in children. Fifty-four children undergoing urological surgery were included. After anesthesia, the iliac crest was palpated in lateral position. Assuming the spinous process palpated to be L4, vertebral level was counted to the desired level. The insertion level was confirmed with fluoroscopy and the accuracy between the suspected level and actual level was calculated. The total accuracy was 68%. Among incorrect cases, 88% was incorrect by 1 level. There was no statistically significant difference between accuracy and other variables such as sex, age and weight. In conclusion, the intercrestal line can be used as anatomical landmark for L4 spinous process to identifying correct vertebral level with palpation during epidural catheterization in children.

The Process of Recovery from Severe Illness, Injury or Surgical Treatment

Prof Ingegerd Bergbom

  1. Prof Ingegerd Bergbom
    Institute of Health and Care Sciences

In this article the process of recovery is discussed and some examples are given in order to illustrate the phenomena of recovery for patients treated and cared for due to critical illness, injury or surgical treatment. The first study was conducted in the mid of the 1980s and the three other studies 2004-2007. The findings show that the recovery process takes about two years following the discharge from intensive care units. The recovery process is characterized by bodily fatigue and weakness, mental fatigue and sorrow, fear, anxiety and agony, brooding and speculations, changes in bodily functions, personality and life, but also gratitude and contentedness. Patients who had undergone upper gastrointestinal cancer surgery reported after one year that the recovery period was experienced as a difficult period which they just had to endure and survive. It was characterized by feelings of doubt, disappointment and of being changed, that they never felt quite well but also feelings of becoming free from illness. After two years following surgical treatment for abdominal aortic aneurysm about 18 % still reported that they felt worse than before the treatment. Patients who had been severely injured and had not reported any delusional memories from the hospital stay stated that their mental health had improved after five years. Patients? general health was significantly lower compared to matched ?normal? population. The following conclusions can be drawn based upon the findings from the four studies that have been presented and previous literature regarding the characteristics of recovery: The body becomes a tool and a condition again, Becoming ?inside? from ?outside? and in between, The normal life takes its place, The re-evaluation of life about what is really meaningful and important, and reviewing the past and looking forward to the future, and finally sharing suffering.

Promise of BLCA38 as a Targeting Antibody for Tissue-Specific Gene Delivery to Prostate Cancer

Prof Pamela J. Russell, A Khatri, T Ho, L Lindholm, Y Li

  1. Prof Pamela J. Russell
    Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology
  2. A Khatri
  3. T Ho
  4. L Lindholm
  5. Y Li

BLCA38, a novel prostate cancer (PC)-binding monoclonal antibody (MAb), and J591 MAb, (binds prostate specific membrane antigen), were used to target gene delivery to PC cells by conjugation with a trans-ductionally modified gene transfer vector, Ad5/GFP C2C2, expressing the reporter gene, green fluorescence protein (GFP). Dot blot analysis indicated specific binding of vector to MAbs. MAb-vector conjugates infected targeted PC cells up to 85-fold more than unconjugated or wild-type vector or control conjugates. Moreover, inability of BLCA38 MAb to internalise was overcome by conjugation to Ad5/GFPC2C2. Using MAb-conjugated vectors allowed targeting of PC cells via cancer cell receptors instead of viral receptors, indicating their potential for tissue specific gene therapy delivery.

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