Journal: The Korean journal of internal medicine
Recently, to lower the production costs and risk of infection, new disposable biopsy forceps made using simple manufacturing techniques have been introduced. However, the effects of the manufacturing techniques are unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate which types of biopsy forceps could obtain good-quality specimens according to the manufacturing techniques.
Recent advances in genome editing with programmable nucleases have opened up new avenues for multiple applications, from basic research to clinical therapy. The ease of use of the technology-and particularly clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-will allow us to improve our understanding of genomic variation in disease processes via cellular and animal models. Here, we highlight the progress made in correcting gene mutations in monogenic hereditary disorders and discuss various CRISPR-associated applications, such as cancer research, synthetic biology, and gene therapy using induced pluripotent stem cells. The challenges, ethical issues, and future prospects of CRISPR-based systems for human research are also discussed.
Cardiotoxicity is a well-known complication following treatment with anthracyclines. However, they are still widely used in chemotherapy for breast cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, and sarcoma, among others. Patient clinical characteristics, such as age, sex, comorbidities, anthracycline dose and infusion schedule, and the combined anti-cancer agents used, are diverse among cancer types. It is difficult to recommend guidelines for the prevention or management of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity applicable to all cancer types. Therefore, anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity remains a major limitation in the proper management of cancer patients treated with an anthracycline-combined regimen. Efforts have been extensive to determine the mechanism and treatment of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity. Because cardiotoxicity causes irreversible damage to the myocardium, prevention is a more effective approach than treatment of cardiotoxicity after symptomatic or asymptomatic cardiac dysfunction develops. This article will review the pathophysiological mechanisms of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity and strategies for protecting the myocardium from anthracycline.
In the past, liver cirrhosis was considered an irreversible phenomenon. However, many experimental data have provided evidence of the reversibility of liver fibrosis. Moreover, multiple clinical studies have also shown regression of fibrosis and reversal of cirrhosis on repeated biopsy samples. As various etiologies are associated with liver fibrosis via integrated signaling pathways, a comprehensive understanding of the pathobiology of hepatic fibrogenesis is critical for improving clinical outcomes. Hepatic stellate cells play a central role in hepatic fibrogenesis upon their activation from a quiescent state. Collagen and other extracellular material components from activated hepatic stellate cells are deposited on, and damage, the liver parenchyma and vascular structures. Hence, inactivation of hepatic stellate cells can lead to enhancement of fibrolytic activity and could be a potential target of antifibrotic therapy. In this regard, continued efforts have been made to develop better treatments for underlying liver diseases and antifibrotic agents in multiple clinical and therapeutic trials; the best results may be expected with the integration of such evidence. In this article, we present the underlying mechanisms of fibrosis, current experimental and clinical evidence of the reversibility of liver fibrosis/cirrhosis, and new agents with therapeutic potential for liver fibrosis.
Studies investigating diabetic nephropathy (DN) have mostly focused on interpreting the pathologic molecular mechanisms of DN, which may provide valuable tools for early diagnosis and prevention of disease onset and progression. Currently, there are few therapeutic drugs for DN, which mainly consist of antihypertensive and antiproteinuric measures that arise from strict renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inactivation. However, these traditional therapies are suboptimal and there is a clear, unmet need for treatments that offer effective schemes beyond glucose control. The complexity and heterogeneity of the DN entity, along with ambiguous renal endpoints that may deter accurate appraisal of new drug potency, contribute to a worsening of the situation. To address these issues, current research into original therapies to treat DN is focusing on the intrinsic renal pathways that intervene with intracellular signaling of anti-inflammatory, antifibrotic, and metabolic pathways. Mounting evidence in support of the favorable metabolic effects of these novel agents with respect to the renal aspects of DN supports the likelihood of systemic beneficial effects as well. Thus, when translated into clinical use, these novel agents would also address the comorbid factors associated with diabetes, such as obesity and risk of cardiovascular disease. This review will provide a discussion of the promising and effective therapeutic agents for the management of DN.
The relationship between the serum pepsinogen (sPG) level and changes in gastric mucosa has been well studied. Here, we evaluated the usefulness of sPG (I, II, I/II ratio) and intragastric pH as a biomarker of severe gastric atrophy in gastric neoplastic lesions.
Thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb) is a class G immunoglobulin and a conventional marker for thyroid autoimmunity. From a clinical perspective, TgAb is less useful than thyroid peroxidase antibodies for predicting thyroid dysfunction. However, TgAb is found more frequently in differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) and can interfere with thyroglobulin (Tg) measurements, which are used to monitor the recurrence or persistence of DTC. Recent studies suggested a small but consistent role for preoperative TgAb in predicting DTC in thyroid nodules, and in reflecting adverse tumor characteristics or prognosis, including lymph node metastasis, but this is still controversial. Postoperative TgAb can serve as a biomarker for remnant thyroid tissue, so follow-up measures of TgAb are useful for predicting cancer recurrence in DTC patients. Since high serum TgAb levels may also affect the fine needle aspiration washout Tg levels from suspicious lymph nodes of DTC patients, it is important to use caution when interpreting the washout Tg levels in patients who are positive for TgAb.
The Republic of Korea is a country where the hemodialysis population is growing rapidly. It is believed that the numbers of treatments related to vascular access-related complications are also increasing. This study investigated the current status of treatment and medical expenses for vascular access in Korean patients on hemodialysis.
Most important cause of mortality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients is known to be cardiovascular disease (CVD). The objective of the present study was to evaluate the echocardiographic parameters in COPD patients with or without pre-diagnosed CVD and to investigate the relationship between echocardiographic parameters and systemic inflammation markers.
Patients with pancreatic cancer (PC) generally have poor clinical outcomes. Early determination of their prognosis is crucial for developing a therapeutic strategy. Recently, various inflammatory markers have been validated as prognostic indicators for many cancers, including PC. However, few studies have evaluated these markers together. Thus, the purpose of this study was to comprehensively evaluate the value of inflammatory markers as prognostic indicators in patients with advanced PC treated with gemcitabine-based chemotherapy as the first line regimen.