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Targeted therapy options for chondrosarcoma - a preclinical perspective

Abstract

The second most frequent malignant tumor of the bone after osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma is subdivided in conventional type, mesenchymal, clear cell, and the dedifferentiated subtype. Each of these pathological entities has a particular clinical behavior. For most, surgery remains the sole valid option. However, efficient systemic therapy options for advanced and metastatic cases are scarce. This short review is aimed at describing the latest options presented by current literature in these cases. Most of the data is derived from preclinical trials, but some drugs were also included in clinical research as far as phase two trials. After reviewing this data, it could be concluded that the future in unresectable or metastatic chondrosarcoma is personalized medicine and that more specific biomarkers to aid the choice are necessary.

Open access
Urine tropenol ester levels in workers handling tiotropium bromide synthesis: implications for exposure prevention and biomonitoring

Abstract

Tropenol ester is a highly toxic anticholinergic substance and an intermediate used in industrial production of the bronchodilator tiotropium bromide. The aim of this study was to systematically test workers involved in its production for tropenol ester in urine to identify any exposure pathways and define additional preventive measures. Twelve workers performing tasks involving potential exposure to tropenol ester were repeatedly monitored at the end of each production cycle. Medical exams revealed no symptoms of acute poisoning with tropenol ester, but biological monitoring of urine showed 36 positive findings in 79 samples, with tropenol ester concentrations ranging between the detection limit of 54 pg/mL and 2160 pg/mL. We managed to establish the cause of only one positive finding, which was a hole in a protective glove, whereas the rest most likely occurred due to human error. Because of this, the plant decided to modify the production process by replacing tropenol ester with a safer intermediate. While it is the safest course of action, there where it cannot be taken, biological monitoring can be very helpful in raising awareness about exposure to toxic substances, including the new ones that have not been studied for their adverse potential.

Open access
Applying the theory of planned behavior to determine factors associated with physical activity by women with hypertension in rural areas of Iran

Abstract

Background

Hypertension is the leading preventable cause of premature deaths worldwide. Physical activity reduces the levels of blood lipids and blood pressure in people suffering from hypertension.

Objectives

To apply the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to determine factors associated with physical activity by women with hypertension who were referred to health care centers in Kiashahr in 2016.

Methods

The present observational study was conducted in a cross-section of 215 women diagnosed with hypertension who had records in health care centers in Kiashahr and who were recruited through census from August to September 2016. The data collection tool was a custom-designed questionnaire based on the TPB, and the collected data were analyzed using descriptive and analytical statistical methods.

Results

The mean scores of knowledge, attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and intention to undertake physical activity were significantly (P < 0.01) higher among women who performed regular physical activity than in those without regular physical activity. Constructs including behavioral intention (P < 0.001, odds ratio (OR) 1.36, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.15, 1.61) and attitude (P = 0.004, OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.08, 1.50) were significant predictors for undertaking physical activities.

Conclusions

Attitude and behavioral intention were predictors for undertaking physical activities. We recommended the design of interventional programs based on these 2 factors for women with hypertension living in rural areas of Iran.

Open access
Assessment of bioaerosols in tuberculosis high-risk areas of health care facilities in central Thailand

Abstract

Background

Long-term surveillance of airborne bioaerosols in health care facilities is required to protect the health of patients and health care workers. Feasible methods to measure airborne bioaerosol concentrations and determine associated environmental factors may help to avoid nosocomial tuberculosis (TB).

Objectives

To describe the concentrations and size of airborne bioaerosols and to identify the potential contributors to indoor airborne bioaerosols in TB high-risk areas in health care facilities.

Methods

We conducted a cross-sectional study in 7 large health care facilities located in Bangkok and nearby in central Thailand using a 6-stage Andersen cascade impactor to collect viable airborne bioaerosols that were quantified using culture techniques. Environmental parameters were determined using a tracer gas technique with an indoor air quality meter. Other potential factors were assessed using a questionnaire.

Results

The mean indoor airborne bacterial and fungal concentrations were 596.1 and 521.2 colony-forming units (cfu)/m3, respectively, and the mean outdoor airborne bacterial and fungal concentrations were 496.5 and 650.1 cfu/m3, respectively. The majority of airborne bioaerosols were in respirable sizes. The indoor-to-outdoor ratios were 1.2 for bacteria and 0.8 for fungi. Air change rate was inversely correlated with indoor airborne bioaerosol concentrations, whereas emergency department central-type air conditioners and relative humidity were positively correlated with the indoor airborne bioaerosol concentrations (P < 0.05).

Conclusions

High indoor bioaerosol concentrations found in the health care facilities suggest that it is imperative to improve the indoor air quality. Improved air change rate and avoiding use of central-type air-conditioning systems may reduce bioaerosol concentrations.

Open access
Characteristics and risk factors for antituberculosis drug-induced liver injury in a cohort of patients with cirrhosis in a tertiary referral university teaching hospital in Thailand

Abstract

Background

Cirrhotic patients are susceptible to drug toxicity, which presents frequently with antituberculosis drug (ATD) treatment. Previous studies of ATD-induced liver injury (ATDILI) in cirrhotics have been limited to patients with early-stage cirrhosis.

Objectives

To describe characteristics and determine risk factors for ATDILI in cirrhotic patients.

Methods

We included 64 cirrhotic patients treated with ATDs between 2006 and 2016 in a tertiary referral university teaching hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Cirrhosis was diagnosed by radiological features, including small-sized nodular liver and/or caudate lobe hypertrophy or evidence of portal hypertension (collateral vessels, varices, and/or splenomegaly). Clinical information was retrospectively abstracted. Characteristics of patients with ATDILI vs. those without ATDILI were compared.

Results

Six (9.4%) patients developed ATDILI with the median duration from ATD initiation of 14 days (range: 6–66). All the 6 patients who developed ATDILI received 3 hepatotoxic ATDs (isoniazid, rifampin, and pyrazinamide) and had Child–Turcotte–Pugh class B cirrhosis. The patients with ATDILI were found to have a higher percentage of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection than patients without ATDILI (50% vs. 8.6%; P = 0.02).

Conclusions

Cirrhotic patients, particularly those with underlying HIV infection, are at risk of developing ATDILI. Pyrazinamide should be used cautiously in cirrhotic patients due to the significantly increased risk of ATIDLI. This study supports the current recommendation for the use of ATD in patients with cirrhosis; however, the ATD regimen should be carefully selected, particularly for cirrhotic patients with HIV infection.

Open access
Recognition of tramadol abuse, dispensing practices, and opinions about its control policy among community pharmacists in Bangkok, Thailand

Abstract

Background

Tramadol is classified as a pharmacist-only (restricted) medicine by the Food and Drug Administration of Thailand (Thai FDA). Because of concern about its abuse, in September 2013 the Thai FDA announced a policy to control the distribution of tramadol in community pharmacies.

Objectives

To identify tramadol dispensing practices by community pharmacists in Bangkok, their recognition of tramadol abuse and the Thai FDA control policy announcement; and opinions about the tramadol control policy.

Methods

This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in community pharmacies located in Bangkok. Pharmacists on duty were interviewed from September 2015 to April 2016.

Results

Data from 305 pharmacists working in 305 pharmacies revealed that tramadol, both single (tramadol alone) and combination (tramadol plus acetaminophen) formulations, was available in 185 pharmacies (60.7%). Most pharmacists dispensed tramadol to supply regular medicine along with previous prescriptions (74%). Among 305 pharmacists, 304 (99.7%) recognized tramadol abuse in combination with cold–cough remedies and carbonated beverages can create euphoria. Most (97.7%) knew about the announcement of the tramadol control policy, and most (82.6%) thought that the policy was practical. Approximately 43% of pharmacists agreed that the policy was effective in reducing the tramadol abuse problem, whereas 36.7% disagreed. Moreover, 60.3% disagreed with rescheduling tramadol as a prescription-only medicine. In their opinion, tramadol should still be available in pharmacies, to be dispensed by community pharmacists to patients with medical necessity.

Conclusions

Further studies nationwide in Thailand are likely to be useful to represent and compare information in different parts of the country.

Open access
Treatment outcomes for elderly patients in Thailand with pulmonary tuberculosis

Abstract

Background

Elderly patients with pulmonary tuberculosis are less likely to achieve treatment success than younger patients, and patients aged ≥60 years have a substantial increase in mortality.

Objectives

To compare treatment outcomes over 2 periods during the transition of Thai national tuberculosis (TB) reporting systems and determine treatment success rates and mortality for elderly patients in TB treatment-care settings in Thailand.

Methods

Retrospective cohort study of all records of elderly patients extracted from 2 national TB databases in Thailand: the TB Case Management (TBCM) database of the National TB Program (2014–2015) and the database of the National Health Security Office (NHSO; 2010–2011).

Results

There were 8,301 elderly patients with TB in the TBCM cohort and 11,869 in the NHSO cohort. Overall treatment success rates were 78.5% for patients in the TBCM cohort and 87.5% for patients in the NHSO cohort. High success rates for treatment were found for those aged 60–69 years: 91.1% in 2010–2011 and 85.0% in 2014–2015. High mortality was reported for patients aged ≥90 years: 34.6% in 2010–2011 and 50.0% in 2014–2015.

Conclusions

Compared with the NHSO historical cohort, success rates for treatment were lower and death rates were higher in the TBCM cohort. Because NHSO enforced intensive case monitoring and follow-up while TBCM has no such mechanism, the estimates from the TBCM database may be less accurate for TB circumstances in Thailand. Frequent routine home visits may ensure more complete treatment-care information and support, and increase the treatment success rate in the elderly.

Open access
The Clinical Value of Red Blood Cell Distribution Width as a Prognosis Factor and Severity Marker in Sepsis and Septic Shock

Abstract

Red blood cell distribution width (RDW) is a hematological parameter usually measured with every complete blood count. Its place in daily practice is mainly in the differential diagnosis of anemia, but nowadays, researchers are focused on different approaches for the erythrocyte’s changes in function and morphology.

Sepsis and its most advanced form, septic shock, induces profound disturbances into organ system’s function and morphology. The red blood cells physiology and structure are directly and indirectly altered by these im balances produced in sepsis. RDW was studied in many diseases, like acute heart failure, acute stroke, inflammatory bowel diseases, chronic lung diseases and cancer, but also in sepsis. Its changes are seen to be mainly associated with prognosis. Higher values of RDW are correlated with mortality and severity of illnes in septic and all-cause critically ill patients. RDW was studied also as an independent variable in different predictive scores and some studies suggest it should be introduced in the scores use on a daily basis in critical care settings and emergency departments.

In this review we will focus on how RDW was associated with mortality and severity of illness in the recent literature, as an independent prognosis factor and as a component part in different predictive and severity scores.

Open access