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  • Author: António Lopes x
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Abstract

The Corpus of Contemporary American English (Davies) on the Brigham Young University website has been used in the English as Foreign Language (EFL) classroom to help learners better understand how language works at different levels of analysis and also to develop their writing skills. However, it also allows learners to explore culture-related content, by giving them access to invaluable information about social, ideological, political and historical contexts. Moreover, it provides the means to examine the ways in which such aspects intersect with language and condition its use. The understanding of this cultural and discursive dimension of language is pivotal in the training of undergraduate students in the areas of humanities and social sciences. To determine how far the COCA can contribute to increase this awareness, a series of task-based activities involving writing was drawn up and carried out in an EFL class of undergraduate students. They were first introduced to this corpus analysis tool and encouraged to explore it further. Later on, in order to complete a writing task, they were prompted to resort to a series of strategies to collect information about relevant events, personalities and social or cultural phenomena, to analyse and interpret data, and to draw conclusions about the modes in which culture and language can interact. This paper provides (a) the rationale and a brief literature review on this topic, (b) a description of the task-based activities, the implementation process, the students’ strategies and the evaluation procedures, and (c) a critical reflection on this study that may open the path for further developments in this area.

Abstract

Background

When treating patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with tyrosine kinase inhibitors and chemotherapy, intercalated schedule with time separation between the two classes of drugs should avoid their mutual antagonism. In a survey of published trials, we focus on relation between eligibility criteria and effectiveness of intercalated treatment.

Methods

Published documents were identified using major medical databases, conference proceedings and references of published trials. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was taken as the basic parameter of treatment efficacy. Correlation between characteristics of patients and median PFS was assessed through the Pearson’s correlation coefficient and the coefficient of determination, separately for first-line and second-line setting.

Results

The series includes 11 single-arm trials and 18 randomized phase II or phase III trials with a total of 2903 patients. Treatment-naive patients or those in progression after first-line treatment were included in 16 and 13 trials, respectively. In 14 trials, only patients with non-squamous histology were eligible. Proportion of patients with non-squamous carcinoma (in first-line setting), proportion of never-smokers (both in first- and second-line setting) and proportion of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutant patients (both in first- and second-line setting) showed a moderate or strong correlation with median PFS. In six trials of intercalated treatment applied to treatment-naive EGFR-mutant patients, objective response was confirmed in 83.1% of cases and median PFS was 18.6 months.

Conclusions

Most suitable candidates for intercalated treatment are treatment-naive patients with EGFR-mutant tumors, as determined from biopsy or liquid biopsy. For these patients, experience with intercalated treatment is most promising and randomized trials with comparison to the best standard treatment are warranted.

Abstract

The aim of this study is to describe the preliminary results on the accuracy of ultrasonographic techniques such as elastography, contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) and Doppler in determining pancreatic changes. Twenty-five dogs, males and females, aged 1-14 years, were studied. Sixteen animals had no clinical signs of pancreatic disease (GS) and nine presented signs of pancreatic disorders (GD). All animals from GD presented sonographic changes in B-mode and qualitative elastography, with shear-wave velocity (SWV) higher (2.4±0.5m/s) in GD (p=0.014) than GS (1.9±0.3m/s) resulting in 78% sensitivity and 69% specificity in the identification of pancreatic changes. Regarding Doppler mode, no differences were observed between groups with color mapping or pulsed wave Doppler. The values obtained with CEUS did not differ between groups. Elastography is a promising technique for differential diagnosis of pancreatic changes because of its sensitivity and specificity, while the other techniques did not show diagnostic accuracy.