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Doug Altman, Professor of Statistics in Medicine at NDORMS and Director of the Centre for Statistics in Medicine (CSM), has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Utrecht.
The aims of treatment for psoriatic arthritis (PsA) are to control inflammation, normalise functions and impacts on patients and prevent complications of the disease and its treatment. Over the past decade, treatment options for PsA have expanded with the availability of many more novel therapeutic agents. However, the treatment decisions and pathways for the use of these drugs are not always straightforward. There is a need to tailor the choice of medication to the individual patient, taking into account the type of their disease and consideration of other factors such as their co-morbidities. A treat to target approach is recommended with the aim to get the patient into a state of remission or low disease activity (whichever target is chosen). Both European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) and American College of Rheumatology (ACR) have recently published updated guidance in 2018-2019. In this section, we will summarise the evidence for therapies in PsA and review the similarities and differences in these two sets of recommendations.
Transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signalling pathway switches between anti-tumorigenic function at early stages of cancer formation and pro-tumorigenic effects at later stages promoting cancer metastasis. A similar contrasting role has been uncovered for reactive oxygen species (ROS) in pancreatic tumorigenesis. Down-regulation of ROS favours premalignant tumour development, while increasing ROS level in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) enhances metastasis. Given the functional resemblance, we propose that ROS-mediated processes converge with the spatial and temporal activation of TGFβ signalling and thereby differentially impact early tumour growth versus metastatic dissemination. TGFβ signalling and ROS could extensively orchestrate cellular processes and this concerted function can be utilized by cancer cells to facilitate their malignancy. In this article, we revisit the interplay of canonical and non-canonical TGFβ signalling with ROS throughout pancreatic tumorigenesis and metastasis. We also discuss recent insight that helps to understand their conflicting effects on different stages of tumour development. These considerations open new strategies in cancer therapeutics.
Use of repurposed and adjuvant drugs in hospital patients with covid-19: multinational network cohort study.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the use of repurposed and adjuvant drugs in patients admitted to hospital with covid-19 across three continents. DESIGN: Multinational network cohort study. SETTING: Hospital electronic health records from the United States, Spain, and China, and nationwide claims data from South Korea. PARTICIPANTS: 303 264 patients admitted to hospital with covid-19 from January 2020 to December 2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prescriptions or dispensations of any drug on or 30 days after the date of hospital admission for covid-19. RESULTS: Of the 303 264 patients included, 290 131 were from the US, 7599 from South Korea, 5230 from Spain, and 304 from China. 3455 drugs were identified. Common repurposed drugs were hydroxychloroquine (used in from <5 (<2%) patients in China to 2165 (85.1%) in Spain), azithromycin (from 15 (4.9%) in China to 1473 (57.9%) in Spain), combined lopinavir and ritonavir (from 156 (<2%) in the VA-OMOP US to 2,652 (34.9%) in South Korea and 1285 (50.5%) in Spain), and umifenovir (0% in the US, South Korea, and Spain and 238 (78.3%) in China). Use of adjunctive drugs varied greatly, with the five most used treatments being enoxaparin, fluoroquinolones, ceftriaxone, vitamin D, and corticosteroids. Hydroxychloroquine use increased rapidly from March to April 2020 but declined steeply in May to June and remained low for the rest of the year. The use of dexamethasone and corticosteroids increased steadily during 2020. CONCLUSIONS: Multiple drugs were used in the first few months of the covid-19 pandemic, with substantial geographical and temporal variation. Hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, lopinavir-ritonavir, and umifenovir (in China only) were the most prescribed repurposed drugs. Antithrombotics, antibiotics, H2 receptor antagonists, and corticosteroids were often used as adjunctive treatments. Research is needed on the comparative risk and benefit of these treatments in the management of covid-19.
Real-life drug persistence in patients with rheumatic diseases treated with CT-P13: a prospective observational cohort study (PERSIST)
Abstract Objective Report results from PERSIST, a real-life, observational, prospective cohort study of CT-P13, an infliximab (IFX) biosimilar, for treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS) or psoriatic arthritis (PsA) who were biologic-naïve or switched from IFX reference product (IFX-RP; Remicade®). Methods Adult patients were recruited during usual care at 38 sites in Europe and Canada, and enrolled by their physicians after meeting eligibility according to the country-approved label for CT-P13. Primary outcomes were to determine drug utilization, treatment persistence and assess safety. Patients were followed for up to 2 years. Data were analysed and reported descriptively. Results Of 351 patients enrolled, 334 were included in the analysis (RA, 40.4%; AS, 34.7%; PsA, 24.9%). The safety analysis set comprised all 328 patients treated with CT-P13. The majority (58.2%) of patients received CT-P13 monotherapy, most (72.6%) by dosing every 6 or 8 weeks. Mean treatment persistence was 449.2 days; 62.3% of patients completed 2-years treatment. In all, 214 treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) were reported in 38.4% of patients. Most TEAEs were of mild or moderate intensity; 13 were severe. Most commonly reported TEAEs were drug ineffective (9.5%) and infusion-related reactions (5.2%). Most frequently reported infection-related TEAEs were upper respiratory tract infections (3.0%), nasopharyngitis (2.1%) and bronchitis (1.5%). No patients experienced tuberculosis. Conclusion : Drug utilization and treatment persistence with CT-P13 were consistent with historical reports of IFX-RP in this patient population. Safety findings did not identify new concerns for CT-P13 in the treatment of patients with RA, AS or PsA.
Interleukin-17A Causes Osteoarthritis-Like Transcriptional Changes in Human Osteoarthritis-Derived Chondrocytes and Synovial Fibroblasts In Vitro
Increased interleukin (IL)-17A has been identified in joints affected by osteoarthritis (OA), but it is unclear how IL-17A, and its family members IL-17AF and IL-17F, can contribute to human OA pathophysiology. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the gene expression and signalling pathway activation effects of the different IL-17 family members in chondrocytes and synovial fibroblasts derived from cartilage and synovium of patients with end-stage knee OA. Immunohistochemistry staining confirmed that IL-17 receptor A (IL-17RA) and IL-17RC are expressed in end-stage OA-derived cartilage and synovium. Chondrocytes and synovial fibroblasts derived from end-stage OA patients were treated with IL-17A, IL-17AF, or IL-17F, and gene expression was assessed with bulk RNA-Seq. Hallmark pathway analysis showed that IL-17 cytokines regulated several OA pathophysiology-related pathways including immune-, angiogenesis-, and complement-pathways in both chondrocytes and synovial fibroblasts derived from end-stage OA patients. While overall IL-17A induced the strongest transcriptional response, followed by IL-17AF and IL-17F, not all genes followed this pattern. Disease-Gene Network analysis revealed that IL-17A-related changes in gene expression in these cells are associated with experimental arthritis, knee arthritis, and musculoskeletal disease gene-sets. Western blot analysis confirmed that IL-17A significantly activates p38 and p65 NF-κB. Incubation of chondrocytes and synovial fibroblasts with anti-IL-17A monoclonal antibody secukinumab significantly inhibited IL-17A-induced gene expression. In conclusion, the association of IL-17-induced transcriptional changes with arthritic gene-sets supports a role for IL-17A in OA pathophysiology. Future studies should further investigate the role of IL-17A in the OA joint to establish whether anti-IL-17 treatment could be a potential therapeutic option in OA patients with an inflammatory phenotype.
AIMS: The aim of this study was to determine whether national standards of best practice are associated with improved health-related quality of life (HRQoL) outcomes in hip fracture patients. METHODS: This was a multicentre cohort study conducted in 20 acute UK NHS hospitals treating hip fracture patients. Patients aged ≥ 60 years treated operatively for a hip fracture were eligible for inclusion. Regression models were fitted to each of the "Best Practice Tariff" indicators and overall attainment. The impact of attainment on HRQoL was assessed by quantifying improvement in EuroQol five-dimension five-level questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L) from estimated regression model coefficients. RESULTS: A total of 6,532 patients provided both baseline and four-month EQ-5D-5L, of whom 1,060 participants had died at follow-up. Best practice was achieved in the care of 57% of participants; there was no difference in age, cognitive ability, and mobility at baseline for the overall attainment and non-attainment groups. Attaining at least 'joint care by surgeon and orthogeriatrician', 'delirium assessment', and 'falls assessment' was associated with a large, clinically relevant increase in four months EQ-5D-5L of 0.094 (bootstrapped 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.046 to 0.146). CONCLUSION: National standards with enhanced remuneration in hip fracture care results in improvement in individual patients' HRQoL. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(5):881-887.
Pharmacological modulation of T cell immunity results in long-term remission of autoimmune arthritis
Chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis are characterized by a deficit in fully functional regulatory T cells. DNA-methylation inhibitors have previously been shown to promote regulatory T cell responses and, in the present study, we evaluated their potential to ameliorate chronic and acute animal models of rheumatoid arthritis. Of the drugs tested, decitabine was the most effective, producing a sustained therapeutic effect that was dependent on indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and was associated with expansion of induced regulatory T cells, particularly at the site of disease activity. Treatment with decitabine also caused apoptosis of Th1 and Th17 cells in active arthritis in a highly selective manner. The molecular basis for this selectivity was shown to be ENT1, a nucleoside transporter, which facilitates intracellular entry of the drug and is up-regulated on effector T cells during active arthritis. It was further shown that short-term treatment with decitabine resulted in the generation of a population of regulatory T cells that were able to suppress arthritis upon adoptive transfer. In summary, a therapeutic approach using an approved drug is described that treats active inflammatory disease effectively and generates robust regulatory T cells with the IDO-dependent capacity to maintain remission.
Role of physiotherapy in supporting recovery from breast cancer treatment: a qualitative study embedded within the UK PROSPER trial
ObjectivesTo explore the experiences of women with breast cancer taking part in an early physiotherapy-led exercise intervention compared with the experiences of those receiving usual care. To understand physiotherapists’ experience of delivering the trial intervention. To explore acceptability of the intervention and issues related to the implementation of the Prevention Of Shoulder Problems (PROSPER) programme from participant and physiotherapist perspective.DesignQualitative semistructured interviews with thematic analysis.SettingUK National Health Service.ParticipantsTwenty participants at high risk of shoulder problems after breast cancer surgery recruited to the UK PROSPER trial (10 each from the intervention arm and control arm), and 11 physiotherapists who delivered the intervention. Trial participants were sampled using convenience sampling. Physiotherapists were purposively sampled from high and low recruiting sites.ResultsParticipants described that the PROSPER exercise intervention helped them feel confident in what their body could do and helped them regain a sense of control in the context of cancer treatment, which was largely disempowering. Control arm participants expressed less of a sense of control over their well-being. Physiotherapists found the exercise intervention enjoyable to deliver and felt it was valuable to their patients. The extra time allocated for appointments during intervention delivery made physiotherapists feel they were providing optimal care, being the ‘perfect physio’. Lessons were learnt about the implementation of a complex exercise intervention for women with breast cancer, and the issues raised will inform the development of a future implementation strategy.ConclusionsA physiotherapist-delivered early supported exercise intervention with integrated behavioural strategies helped women at risk of shoulder problems following breast cancer treatment to feel more confident in their ability to mobilise their arm post-surgery. A physiotherapist-delivered early supported exercise intervention with integrated behavioural strategies may address the sense of powerlessness that many women experience during breast cancer treatment.Trial registration numberISRCTN35358984.
Current physical therapy care of patients undergoing breast reconstruction for breast cancer: a survey of practice in the United Kingdom and Brazil.
BACKGROUND: In both the United Kingdom (UK) and Brazil, women undergoing mastectomy should be offered breast reconstruction. Patients may benefit from physical therapy to prevent and treat muscular deficits. However, there are uncertainties regarding which physical therapy program to recommend. OBJECTIVE: The aim was to investigate the clinical practice of physical therapists for patients undergoing breast reconstruction for breast cancer. A secondary aim was to compare physical therapy practice between UK and Brazil. METHODS: Online survey with physical therapists in both countries. We asked about physical therapists' clinical practice. RESULTS: 181 physical therapists completed the survey, the majority were from Brazil (77%). Respondents reported that only half of women having breast reconstruction were routinely referred to physical therapy postoperatively. Contact with patients varied widely between countries, the mean number of postoperative sessions was 5.7 in the UK and 15.1 in Brazil. The exercise programs were similar for different reconstruction operations. Therapists described a progressive loading structure over time: range of motion (ROM) was restricted to 90° of arm elevation in the first two postoperative weeks; by 2-4 weeks ROM was unrestricted; at 1-3 months muscle strengthening was initiated, and after three months the focus was on sports-specific activities. CONCLUSION: Only half of patients having a breast reconstruction are routinely referred to physical therapy. Patients in Brazil have more intensive follow-up, with up to three times more face-to-face contact with a physical therapist than in the UK. Current practice broadly follows programs for mastectomy care rather than being specific to reconstruction surgery.
Treatment of severe COVID-19 is currently limited by clinical heterogeneity and incomplete understanding of potentially druggable immune mediators of disease. To advance this, we present a comprehensive multi-omic blood atlas in patients with varying COVID-19 severity and compare with influenza, sepsis and healthy volunteers. We identify immune signatures and correlates of host response. Hallmarks of disease severity revealed cells, their inflammatory mediators and networks as potential therapeutic targets, including progenitor cells and specific myeloid and lymphocyte subsets, features of the immune repertoire, acute phase response, metabolism and coagulation. Persisting immune activation involving AP-1/p38MAPK was a specific feature of COVID-19. The plasma proteome enabled sub-phenotyping into patient clusters, predictive of severity and outcome. Tensor and matrix decomposition of the overall dataset revealed feature groupings linked with disease severity and specificity. Our systems-based integrative approach and blood atlas will inform future drug development, clinical trial design and personalised medicine approaches for COVID-19.
Quantitative and semi-quantitative assessment of synovitis on MRI and the relationship with symptoms in symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.
OBJECTIVES: Synovitis in symptomatic knee OA (KOA) is common and is associated with joint symptoms. Optimal synovial measurement on MRI is, however, unclear. Our aims were to examine the relationship between MRI measures of synovitis and knee symptoms in symptomatic KOA. METHODS: Data from a randomized, multicentre, placebo-controlled trial (UK-VIDEO) of vitamin-D therapy in symptomatic KOA were utilized. Participants reported knee symptoms using WOMAC at baseline and annually. On contrast-enhanced (CE) MRI, synovial thickness was measured using established, semi-quantitative methods whilst synovial tissue volume (STV) was assessed as absolute STV (aSTV) and relative to the width of femoral condyle (rSTV). STV of the infrapatellar region was also assessed. Associations between synovial measures and symptoms were analysed using multiple linear regression modelling. RESULTS: No linear association was observed between knee symptoms and synovitis thickness scores. Whole-joint aSTV (0.88, 95% CI: 0.17, 1.59) and infrapatellar aSTV (5.96, 95% CI: 1.22, 10.7) were positively associated with knee pain. Whole-joint rSTV had a stronger association with pain (7.96, 95% CI: 2.60, 13.33) and total scores (5.63, 95% CI: 0.32, 10.94). Even stronger associations were found for infrapatellar rSTV with pain (55.47, 95% CI: 19.99, 90.96), function (38.59, 95% CI: 2.1, 75.07) and total scores (41.64, 95% CI: 6.56, 76.72). CONCLUSIONS: Whole-joint and site-specific infrapatellar STV measures on CE-MRI were associated with knee pain, respectively. Volumes relative to the size of the femoral condyle may be promising outcome measures in KOA trials.
A hand exercise mobile app for people with rheumatoid arthritis in Turkey: design, development and usability study.
To design and develop a smartphone application for a structured hand exercise programme for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Turkey and to test its usability. We followed a two-stage process: (1) Design and Development and (2) Usability testing. In stage 1, we used a qualitative user-centered design approach. We conducted a focus group (8 therapists and people with RA) to discuss the content, features and design to produce a prototype of the application. In a second focus group session, the participants tested the prototype, provided feedback and further revisions were made. In stage 2, 17 participants with RA used the app for 4 to 6 weeks. The System Usability Scale and the adapted Usability, Satisfaction and Ease to Use Questionnaires were used to measure usability, ease of use. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore user experiences with the application with 17 participants. In stage 1, the following themes were identified from the focus groups (a) login techniques (b) self-monitoring (c) exercises, (d) exercise diary, (e) information, (f) behavioral change and encouragement (g) exercise adherence. In stage 2, 3 themes were determined from interviews: (a) learning and accuracy, (b) ease of use, (c) motivation and adherence. USE and SUS scores indicated that users reported a high level of usability, satisfaction and ease of use. A mobile app for hand exercise for people with RA was developed using a mixed-method and iterative design. Participants perceived the mobile app as easy to use with high levels of satisfaction.
This article examines U.S. endeavors to eradicate old age. Drawing on research with older, mostly white, Americans across social classes, I probe how older people engage in "healthy," "successful" aging as a moral project, health identity, and way of approaching the life course. Moving beyond influential literature on biopolitics and biomedicine that tends to treat medicine, science, and biopolitical governance as overdetermined causal forces, I explore instead how a confluence of factors-including cultural ideologies of personhood and independence, medical interventions, social hierarchies, and individual experiences-together lead to the stigmatization of oldness. Social inequalities also matter, as an ethos of self-care and individual agency to ward off oldness is most pronounced among the able-bodied and socioeconomic elite. The aim is to illuminate the convergence of factors that stigmatize oldness in contemporary North America, while highlighting the ways that class profoundly figures in people's varied attempts to not be old.