Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, Lancet / 29.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_27431" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Manel Esteller Director of the Epigenetics and Cancer Biology Program (PEBC) Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute Dr. Manel Esteller[/caption] Dr. Manel Esteller Director of the Epigenetics and Cancer Biology Program (PEBC) Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cancer of Unknown Primary (CUP) occurs when the patient is diagnosed with a metastasis but the primary tumor is not found. It accounts for around 5-10% of tumors around the world and the survival is very poor. Until now, only in 25% of cases the primary site was identified after diagnosis pipeline. We are showing herein that the use of epigenetic profiling, based in the determination of the chemical marks occurring in DNA that are tumor-type specific, reaches a diagnoses of 87% of cases.
Author Interviews, Lancet, Stroke / 24.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Alexander Kunz MD Department of Neurology Charité-University Medicine Berlin Berlin, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Systemic thrombolysis with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) in acute ischemic stroke has been an approved therapy for over 20 years now. To date, tPA can be administered to eligible patients within a 4.5 hours time window after the onset of symptoms. Results from large thrombolysis trials and meta-analyses have shown, that the beneficial effects of tPA are inversely correlated with the delay from symptoms onset to start of tPA treatment. This relationship is frequently summarized in the slogan “Time is brain!” Currently, several research groups are evaluating the concept of pre-hospital thrombolysis using a mobile stroke treatment unit (MSTU) in order to achieve significant reductions in onset-to-treatment delays. MSTU are specialized ambulances equipped with a CT scanner and a mini-laboratory. In Berlin, Germany, we have been operating an MSTU (stroke emergency mobile vehicle, STEMO) since 2011. Previous studies had shown that start of tPA treatment was 25min earlier when patients were cared by STEMO than within conventional care, i.e. admission to hospital by regular ambulance and in-hospital tPA treatment. However, these studies did not prove, that earlier treatment in STEMO is associated with better outcome. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to compare 3-month functional outcome after tPA in patients with acute ischemic stroke who received STEMO care vs conventional care.
Anemia, Author Interviews, Hematology, Lancet, Surgical Research / 06.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Clinical Professor Alhossain A.Khalafallah Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, Australia Consultant Haematologist Senior Staff Specialist Launceston General Hospital, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: 1. Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies worldwide, affecting up to one third of the population worldwide. 2. Prevalence of anaemia in orthopaedic surgery ranges between 10-20% with the main cause of anaemia identified as nutritional deficiency. 3. New intravenous iron preparations have been developed at a higher purchase price than oral iron. Iron carboxymaltose, as one example, remains underutilised in the treatment of perioperative anaemia. 4. To our knowledge, this study is the first to compare the efficacy, safety and long term effect on iron stores and length of hospital stay in the postoperative anaemia setting.
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Lancet, Lifestyle & Health / 29.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_26511" align="alignleft" width="133"]Ulf Ekelund, PhD FACSM Professor Department of Sports Medicine Norwegian School of Sport Sciences Prof. Ulf Ekelund[/caption] Ulf Ekelund, PhD FACSM Professor Department of Sports Medicine Norwegian School of Sport Sciences  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is known that long sitting hours may be detrimental to health and previous studies have suggested associations between sitting time and all-cause mortality.However, it is not known whether physical activity can eliminate the increased risk of death associated with long sitting time. We found that at least one hour of physical activity every day appear to offset the increased risk associated with more than eight hours of sitting. We also found that those who were physically inactive and sat for less than 4 hours every day were at greater risk compared with those who were physically active and sat for more than 8 hours providing further evidence on the benefits of physical activity.
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Global Health, Lancet, Lifestyle & Health / 29.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_22664" align="alignleft" width="180"]Ding Ding (Melody), Ph.D., MPH NHMRC Early Career Senior Research Fellow/Sydney University Postdoctoral Research Fellow Prevention Research Collaboration Sydney School of Public Health The University of Sydney Dr. Melody Ding[/caption] Ding Ding (Melody), Ph.D., MPH NHMRC Early Career Senior Research Fellow Sydney University Postdoctoral Research Fellow Prevention Research Collaboration Sydney School of Public Health The University of Sydney MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Understanding the true burden of a pandemic is indispensable for informed decision making. After decades of research, we now have established knowledge about how physical inactivity contributes to pre-mature deaths and chronic diseases, but the economic burden of physical inactivity remains unquantified at the global level. Through estimating the economic burden of physical inactivity for the first time, we hope to create a business case for investing in cost-effective actions to promote physical activity at the global levels.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, Lancet, Lymphoma / 29.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jin-Xin BEI, Ph.D. Principal Investigator State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center Guangzhou China MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Natural killer T-cell lymphoma (NKTCL) is a rare and aggressive malignancy with remarkable prevalence in Asian and Latin populations, suggesting that the heritable components contribute to the disease risk. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection has been thought to be major factor associated with NKTCL, and EBV DNA load in plasma has been applied in clinical managements, including diagnosis, treatment response and prognosis. However, the genetic component leading to NKTCL predisposition has not been identified.
Author Interviews, Global Health, Lancet, Methamphetamine, OBGYNE, STD / 29.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_26580" align="alignleft" width="200"]N. Saman Wijesooriya Public Health Advisor/Technical Advisor Centers for Disease Control and Prevention N. Saman Wijesooriya[/caption] N. Saman Wijesooriya Public Health Advisor/Technical Advisor Centers for Disease Control and Prevention MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The article Global burden of maternal and congenital syphilis in 2008 and 2012: a health systems modeling study by Wijesooriya, et al published in the August 2016 issue of The Lancet Global Health (Open source - http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(16)30135-8) estimates the incidence and prevalence of maternal and congenital syphilis for both time periods and identifies gaps antenatal care access and syphilis testing and treatment services to assess progress in the global elimination of congenital syphilis, or mother-to-child transmission of syphilis, as a public health problem. Untreated maternal syphilis is understood to be transmitted from mother-to-child in utero in 50% of cases resulting in tragic adverse pregnancy outcomes, or congenital syphilis infections, including early fetal death, stillbirth, preterm birth, low birthweight, neonatal death, and congenital infections in infants. Since most maternal syphilis infections are asymptomatic, it is recommended that screening for syphilis use a combination of serological tests for pregnant women and treatment of syphilis seropositive women with at least 2.4 million units of benzathine penicillin intramuscularly early in pregnancy to prevent most congenital syphilis infections. In 2007, the World Health Organization responded to estimates indicating 2 million maternal and 1.5 congenital syphilis infections would occur annually without treatment and launched the global initiative for the Elimination of Congenital Syphilis (ECS). The strategy includes reducing the prevalence of syphilis in pregnant women and mother-to-child transmission of syphilis. The objective is for countries to achieve high performing antenatal care systems providing access to antenatal care to more than 95% of pregnant women, syphilis testing for more than 95% of pregnant women, and treatment for more than 95% of seropositive women to attain a congenital syphilis rate of 50 or fewer cases per 100,000 live births.
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Lancet, Surgical Research / 27.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_26515" align="alignleft" width="200"]Mr Steven Brown MBChB, BMedSci, FRCS, MD Reader in Surgery Honorary Secretary to the ACPGBI Consultant colorectal surgeon University of Sheffield, UK Mr. Steven Brown[/caption] Mr Steven Brown MBChB, BMedSci, FRCS, MD Reader in Surgery Honorary Secretary to the ACPGBI Consultant colorectal surgeon University of Sheffield, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Haemorrhoids are common. One in 4 of us will at some time have symptoms that can be directly attributed to piles. Whilst most symptoms will settle spontaneously or with improvement to our lifestyle, there remains a large group of patients who require intervention to reduce symptomatology. Numerous interventions exist ranging from relatively minor office therapy to procedures that may take several weeks to recover from. Haemorrhoidal artery ligation (HAL) is one of the more recent surgical operations for haemorrhoidal therapy. It has been introduced certainly into the UK associated with a significant element of media hype purporting ‘painless surgery for piles’. Substantial subsequent medical literature has also suggested an efficacy rivaling other more invasive procedures. Too good to be true? Perhaps. Several systematic reviews have highlighted the lack of good quality data as evidence for the advantages of the technique. A well designed randomized controlled trial was required. The existing literature on  haemorrhoidal artery ligation at the time of the trial suggested the procedure was most effective for less symptomatic haemorrhoids (those that are associated with bleeding and/or minor prolapse; grade II or mild III piles). These type of haemorrhoids also tend to be the most common requiring intervention. The most frequently used alternative procedure for these grade of haemorrhoids in the UK is rubber band ligation (RBL), a simple office therapy not requiring anaesthetic. Hence participants with this grade of haemorrhoids were chosen as the participants with RBL as the comparator. Multiple outcomes were investigated but a patient reported outcome measure of recurrence was chosen as the primary outcome.
Author Interviews, Depression, Lancet / 23.07.2016

[caption id="attachment_26402" align="alignleft" width="189"]MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David A Richards, PhD Professor of Mental Health Services Research and NIHR Senior Investigator University of Exeter Medical School University of Exeter St Luke's Campus Exeter United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Depression is a common mental health disorder affecting around 350 million people worldwide. Untreated depression is expected to cost the global economy US$5.36 trillion between 2011 and 2030. Many patients request psychological therapy, but the best-evidenced therapy—cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)—is complex and costly. A simpler therapy—behavioural activation (BA)—might be as effective and cheaper than is CBT. We aimed to establish the clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness of BA compared with CBT for adults with depression. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: We found that behavioural activation, a simpler psychological treatment than CBT, can be delivered by junior mental health workers with less intensive and costly training, with no lesser effect than CBT. Effective psychological therapy for depression can be delivered without the need for costly and highly trained professionals MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: Our findings have substantial implications given the increasing global pressure for cost containment across health systems in high-income countries and the need to develop accessible, scalable interventions in low-income and middle-income countries. Such countries might choose to investigate the training and employment of junior workers over expensive groups of psychological professionals. Our results, therefore, offer hope to many societies, cultures, and communities worldwide, rich and poor, struggling with the effect of depression on the health of their people and economies. MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study? Response: Research into these and other potential strengths of behavioural activation in the context of implementation science is necessary for the hope and promise offered by the COBRA trial to be fulfilled. Now that we have support for BA as a treatment that is clinically effective and cost-effective, we can shift our efforts to focus on what is necessary to produce sustainable large-scale behavioural activation implementation across diverse geographical and cultural settings. MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? Response: Although many obstacles exist to successful dissemination in addition to training of Mental Health Workers, our findings suggest that health services globally could reduce the need for costly professional training and infrastructure, reduce waiting times, and increase access to psychological therapies. MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community. Citation: Lancet Cost and Outcome of Behavioural Activation versus Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression (COBRA): a randomised, controlled, non-inferiority trial Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions. More Medical Research Interviews on MedicalResearch.com Prof. David Richards[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor David A. Richards, PhD Professor of Mental Health Services Research and NIHR Senior Investigator University of Exeter Medical School University of Exeter St Luke's Campus Exeter United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Depression is a common mental health disorder affecting around 350 million people worldwide. Untreated depression is expected to cost the global economy US$5.36 trillion between 2011 and 2030. Many patients request psychological therapy, but the best-evidenced therapy—cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)—is complex and costly. A simpler therapy—behavioural activation (BA)—might be as effective and cheaper than is CBT. We aimed to establish the clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness of BA compared with CBT for adults with depression.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Lancet, Weight Research / 15.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_26066" align="alignleft" width="103"]Dr. Shilpa Bhupathiraju, PhD Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Dr. Shilpa Bhupathiraju[/caption] Dr. Shilpa Bhupathiraju, PhD Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We wanted to investigate the association between body mass index (BMI) and mortality across major global regions. In doing so, we wanted to take into account important methodological limitations which plagued prior reports of BMI and mortality. One such limitation is reverse causality where a low body weight is the result of an underlying illness rather than the cause. Another major problem is confounding due to smoking where smokers have lower body weights than non-smokers but have much higher mortality rates. Therefore, to obtain an unbiased association between BMI and mortality, our primary pre-specified analysis was restricted to never smokers and those who had no existing chronic diseases at the start of the study. In this group, we found that those with a BMI of 22.5-<25 kg/m2 (considered a healthy weight range) had the lowest mortality risk during the time they were followed. The risk of mortality increased significantly with excess body weight. A BMI of 25-<27.5 kg/m2 (in the overweight range) was associated with a 7% higher risk of premature death; BMI of 27.5-<30 kg/m2 (also in the overweight range) was associated with a 20% higher risk; a BMI of 30.0-<35.0 kg/m2 was associated with a 45% higher risk; a BMI of 35.0-<40.0 kg/m2 was associated with a 94% higher risk; and a BMI of 40.0-<60.0 kg/m2 was associated with a nearly 3-fold risk. In general, we found that the association of excess body weight with mortality was greater in younger than older people and in men than women. Most importantly, the associations were broadly consistent in the major global regions we examined, including Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, East Asia, and South Asia.
Author Interviews, Depression, Lancet, Pediatrics / 10.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_25039" align="alignleft" width="200"]Andrea Cipriani, MD PhD Associate Professor Department of Psychiatry University of Oxford Warneford Hospital Oxford UK Dr. Andrea Cipriani[/caption] Andrea Cipriani, MD PhD Associate Professor Department of Psychiatry University of Oxford Warneford Hospital Oxford UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Cipriani: Major depressive disorder is common in young people, with a prevalence of about 3% in school-age children (aged 6–12 years) and 6% in adolescents (aged 13–18 years). Compared with adults, children and adolescents with major depressive disorder are still underdiagnosed and undertreated, possibly because they tend to present with rather undifferentiated depressive symptoms—eg, irritability, aggressive behaviours, and school refusal. Consequences of depressive episodes in these patients include serious impairments in social functioning, and suicidal ideation and attempts. Our analysis represents the most comprehensive synthesis of data for currently available pharmacological treatments for children and adolescents with acute major depressive disorder (5620 participants, recruited in 34 trials). Among all antidepressants, we found that only fluoxetine was significantly better than placebo. According to our results, fluoxetine should be considered the best evidence-based option among antidepressants when a pharmacological treatment is indicated for children and adolescents with moderate to severe depression. Other antidepressants do not seem to be suitable as routine treatment options.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Lancet, Mediterranean Diet, Weight Research / 07.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_24958" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr Ramon Estruch, MD PhD Senior Consultant in the Internal Medicine Department of the Hospital Clinic Barcelona Dr. Ramon Estruch[/caption] Dr Ramon Estruch, MD PhD Senior Consultant in the Internal Medicine Department of the Hospital Clinic Barcelona MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Estruch: Although weight stability requires a balance between calories consumed and calories expended, it seems that calories from vegetable fats have different effects that calories from animals on adiposity. Thus, an increase of dietary fat intake (mainly extra virgin olive oil or nuts) achieved naturally in the setting of Mediterranean diet does not promote weight gain or increase in adiposity parameters such as waist circumference.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, Global Health, Lancet / 26.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Mahiben Maruthappu MD Senior Fellow to the CEO,NHS England Imperial College London, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Maruthappu: There are over 8 million deaths due to cancer every year. At the same time, there are around 40 million unemployed people across the OECD, 7 million more than before the recent economic crisis. As a result, understanding how economic changes affect cancer survival, given the economic climate, is crucial.
Author Interviews, Lancet, OBGYNE, Schizophrenia, Smoking / 25.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_24645" align="alignleft" width="133"]Alan S. Brown, M.D., M.P.H. Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology Columbia University Medical Center Director, Program in Birth Cohort Studies, Division of Epidemiology New York State Psychiatric Institute Dr. Alan Brown[/caption] Alan S. Brown, M.D., M.P.H. Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology Columbia University Medical Center Director, Program in Birth Cohort Studies, Division of Epidemiology New York State Psychiatric Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Brown: Smoking during pregnancy is a risk factor for several pregnancy-related outcomes including low birthweight and preterm birth. Evidence for a link with schizophrenia is scant. We analyzed a maternal biomarker of smoking called cotinine, a nicotine metabolite, in mothers of nearly 1,000 schizophrenia cases and 1,000 controls in a national birth cohort in Finland. We found that heavy smoking in pregnancy was related to a 38% increase in schizophrenia risk in offspring and that as cotinine levels increased even in the more moderate smokers risk of schizophrenia also increased.
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Lancet, Salt-Sodium / 22.05.2016

Salt-SodiumMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Andrew Mente PhD Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University Hamilton, Canada MedicalResearch.com Editor's Note:  Dr. Mente discusses his Lancet publication regarding salt intake below.  Dr. Mente's findings are disputed by the American Heart Association (AHA).  A statement from the AHA follows Dr. Mente's comments. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Mente: Several prospective cohort studies have recently reported that both too little and too much sodium intake is associated with cardiovascular disease or mortality. Whether these associations vary between those individuals with and without high blood pressure (hypertension) is unknown. We found that low sodium intake (below 3 g/day), compared to average intake (3 to 6 g/day), is associated with more cardiovascular events and mortality, both in those with high blood pressure and in those without high blood pressure. So following the guidelines would put you at increased risk, compared to consuming an sodium at the population average level, regardless of whether you have high blood pressure or normal blood pressure. High sodium intake (above 6 g/day) compared to average intake, was associated with harm, but only in people with high blood pressure (no association in people without high blood pressure).
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Lancet / 07.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_24137" align="alignleft" width="148"]Riyaz Bashir MD, FACC, RVT Professor of Medicine Director, Vascular and Endovascular Medicine Department of Medicine Division of Cardiovascular Diseases Temple University Hospital Philadelphia, PA 19140 Dr. Riyaz Bashir[/caption] Riyaz Bashir MD, FACC, RVT Professor of Medicine Director, Vascular and Endovascular Medicine Department of Medicine Division of Cardiovascular Diseases Temple University Hospital Philadelphia, PA 19140 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Bashir: The use of compression stockings in the prevention of post thrombotic syndrome following an episode of deep vein thrombosis is common in clinical practice. However, the evidence to suggest its efficacy has been put into question by the recent publication of the SOX trial. Since this was the largest randomized controlled trial to date addressing this issue, it has led to clinicians questioning whether compression stockings should be used at all in these patients. The main finding of this meta-analysis was that in patients with deep venous thrombosis, use of elastic compression stockings does not significantly reduce the development of post thrombotic syndrome. However the current body of evidence is limited and we believe at present it is too early to give up on the use of this therapy, which may benefit many subgroups of patients.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Depression, Lancet / 02.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_23975" align="alignleft" width="133"]Saira Saeed Mirza, MD, PhD Department of Epidemiology Erasmus MC, Rotterdam Dr. Saira Saeed Mirza[/caption] Saira Saeed Mirza, MD, PhD Department of Epidemiology Erasmus MC, Rotterdam MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Mirza: Depressive symptoms appearing in late-life have been extensively studied for their relationship with dementia. They not only very frequently occur in demented patients, but also predict dementia. In this context, depressive symptoms have largely been assessed at a single time point only. However, depression is a disorder which remits and relapses, and symptoms do not remain same over the years. Given this pattern of disease progression, it is more important to study the course of depression over time in relation to long-term health outcomes such as dementia, rather than assessing it at a single time-point, which will neglect the course of depression. This is important as people follow different courses of depression, and different courses of depression might carry different risks of dementia. When we studied the course of depressive symptoms over 11 years in community dwelling older adults in Rotterdam, and the subsequent risks of dementia, we observed that only those who had increasing or worsening depressive symptoms were at a higher risk of dementia. In this group of people, about one in five persons developed dementia. Interestingly, people suffering from high depressive symptoms at a single time point were not at a higher dementia risk than those without depressive symptoms.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Lancet, Pulmonary Disease / 25.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_23751" align="alignleft" width="200"]Danny MvBryan, MD Vice president, Clinical Development & Medical Affairs, Respiratory Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Danny MvBryan[/caption] Danny McBryan, MD Vice president, Clinical Development & Medical Affairs, Respiratory Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. MvBryan: The new post-hoc analysis from the WISDOM study shows a routine blood test could help identify the small minority of patients with severe or very severe COPD who may benefit from the addition of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). This post-hoc analysis was recently published online in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. For 80 percent of patients in the WISDOM study, the use of ICS on top of SPIRIVA HANDIHALER (a long-acting muscarinic antagonist – LAMA) and salmeterol (a long-acting beta-agonist – LABA) had no additional benefit in reducing the risk of exacerbations, compared to SPIRIVA HANDIHALER and the LABA without ICS. The post-hoc analysis shows that these patients can be easily identified by measuring the level of white blood cells, called eosinophils. Patients with levels lower than 4 percent (300 cells/µL) were associated with a lack of response to ICS. The WISDOM study evaluated stepwise withdrawal of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) in severe to very severe COPD patients with a history of exacerbation. WISDOM was a 12-month, double-blind, parallel-group, active-controlled study in which all patients received triple therapy (tiotropium 18 μg once daily, salmeterol 50 μg twice daily and fluticasone 500 μg twice daily) for a six-week run-in period. Patients were randomized 1:1 to continue triple therapy or stepwise withdrawal of ICS over 12 weeks (dose reduction every six weeks). The WISDOM data show that in patients with severe to very severe COPD, the risk of moderate/severe exacerbations during one year of follow-up was non-inferior between those patients who continued on inhaled corticosteroids and those where ICS therapy was withdrawn in a stepwise manner.
Author Interviews, Infections, Lancet / 23.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_23721" align="alignleft" width="105"]Prof Jean-Pierre Allain Principal Investigator, Department of Haematology University of Cambridge, Cambridge Blood Centre Cambridge UK Prof. Jean Pierre Allain[/caption] Prof Jean-Pierre Allain Principal Investigator, Department of Haematology University of Cambridge, Cambridge Blood Centre Cambridge UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Allain: In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), 70% of the transfusions are in the form of  whole blood units (generally 1 or 2). Lack of resources limit the safety measures to donor questionnaire, viral/bacterial testing (HIV, HCV, HBV and Syphilis). Other measures used in rich countries i.e. nucleic acid testing, filtration, bacterial culture etc. are not done because of cost. Pathogen reduction would be an effective way to overcome these issues as it is able to inactivate viruses, bacteria, parasites and nucleated cells in one go, provided it is applied to whole blood and affordable. The study consisted in assessing the efficacy of such a method (Mirasol using riboflavin and UV illumination) taking inactivation of plasmodium as major endpoint of a randomised controlled clinical trial called AIMS (African Investigation of Mirasol System).
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Lancet, Pulmonary Disease / 14.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Henrik Watz MD Pulmonary Research Institute at Lung Clinic Grosshansdorf Airway Research Center North, German Center for Lung Research Grosshansdorf, Germany Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr Watz : While bronchodilators are the mainstay therapy for all patients with COPD some patients benefit from the addition of inhaled corticosteroids in case of frequent exacerbations. So far only little data exist that help clinicians to better characterize those patients that may benefit from the continuation of inhaled corticosteroids on top of dual bronchodilation with a LABA and a LAMA. Post-hoc analyses of the WISDOM dataset suggest that those patients, who have blood eosinophil counts of 4 % or greater or 300 eosinophils per µL or more have less exacerbations, when inhaled corticosteroids are continued compared to patients, in whom inhaled corticosteroids are withdrawn. Patients with less than 4 % eosinophils or less than 300 eosinophils in peripheral blood, who represent 80 % of the study population in WISDOM, did not benefit from a continuation of inhaled corticosteroids.
Author Interviews, Chemotherapy, Lancet, Leukemia / 13.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_23424" align="alignleft" width="136"]Prof Jeffrey H Lipton, PhD, MD, FRCPC  Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Toronto, ON Canada Prof. Jeffrey Lipton[/caption] Prof Jeffrey H Lipton, PhD, MD, FRCPC Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Toronto, ON Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background and purpose for this study? Dr. Lipton: Ponatinib is a third generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor that has been shown to be extremely effective in treating patients with chronic myeloid leukemia resistant to other drugs.  Because of this, it was decided to look at it in newly diagnosed patients in a randomized study against imatinib.  The study was terminated prematurely because of evidence of vascular toxicity that became evident in the phase 1 and 2 studies of ponatinib in previously treated patients with resistant disease.  
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Lancet / 05.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_23237" align="alignleft" width="144"]Dr Henning Kelbæk MD Department of Cardiology Roskilde Hospital,Denmark Dr. Henning Kelbæk[/caption] Dr Henning Kelbæk MD Department of Cardiology Roskilde Hospital,Denmark MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kelbæk : In some patients with large acute myocardial infarcts, stent implantation has been connected with an increased risk of downstream embolization of thrombus material and disturbances in flow impairing the prognosis of the patients. In accordance, previous smaller studies have shown a benefit in angiographic and other parameters in patients having their stent implanted several hours after the artery was opened, allowing the infarct-related lesion to ’cool down’ and residual thrombus to dissolve under antithrombotic treatment, whereas larger randomised trials focusing on clinical data have been missing. Our trial demonstrates, a bit surprisingly, that delaying or deferring stent implantation does not improve the clinical outcome of these patients. 
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cocaine, Lancet / 30.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_23007" align="alignleft" width="150"]Mascha Nuijten MSc Researcher/ PhD candidate Brijder Research (PARC) The Hague The Netherlands Mascha Nuijten[/caption] Mascha Nuijten MSc Researcher/ PhD candidate Brijder Research (PARC) The Hague The Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Crack-cocaine dependence is a complex disorder, for which no proven effective pharmacotherapy is yet available. Prior to our study, sustained-release dexamfetamine was found to be a promising treatment for cocaine dependence in several studies, but no studies so far had shown a convincing benefit in terms of substantial cocaine use reductions. Therefore, we investigated the efficacy of sustained-release (SR) dexamphetamine in a robust dose of 60 mg/day in chronic crack-cocaine dependent patients. We found that the number of days of cocaine use decreased with almost 40% in the dexamfetamine group, compared with 9% in the matched placebo group. In addition, the number of cocaine self-administrations on days that patients used crack-cocaine decreased with 43% in the dexamfetamine group and with 7% in the placebo group. Thus, SR dexamfetamine both contributed to cocaine abstinence and to cocaine use reductions.
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Lancet / 18.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_22766" align="alignleft" width="136"]Professor Jack Cuzick, PhD, FMedSci, FRCP(hon) Director, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine and Head, Centre for Cancer Prevention Queen Mary University of London. Prof. Jack Cuzick[/caption] Professor Jack Cuzick, PhD, FMedSci, FRCP(hon) Director, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine and Head, Centre for Cancer Prevention Queen Mary University of London. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Cuzick: Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a very early form of breast cancer, where cancer cells are present in milk ducts, but have not spread to the surrounding breast tissue. It is estimated that approximately a fifth of all screen-detected breast cancers are DCIS, with around 4,800 people diagnosed with DCIS in the UK each year. Our IBIS-II DCIS trial looked at 2,980 postmenopausal women with DCIS in 14 countries, who were either given anastrozole or tamoxifen for five years after surgery. The two groups had a similar number of cases of the disease recurring, whether they took tamoxifen or anastrozole. Those who took anastrozole had an 11 per cent lower rate of recurrence of DCIS or invasive cancer than those who took tamoxifen, but this difference was not significant. The similar NSABP B-35  trial found a 29% reduction with anastrozole and the combined analysis of the two trials indicated a significant 21% reduction. The key difference between the two groups were in the side effects of the medication. Women who took anastrozole experienced fewer womb and ovarian cancers and non melanoma skin cancers, and fewer deep vein thromboses and gynecological issues, compared with those who took tamoxifen. However more fractures and musculoskeletal side effects were seen among those receiving anastrozole.
Author Interviews, Lancet, OBGYNE / 11.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_22576" align="alignleft" width="146"]Charles J. Lockwood, MD Member of of the March of Dimes Board of Trustees Dean at Morsani College of Medicine Senior Vice President, USF Health and Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Public Health The University of South Florida Dr. Charles Lockwood[/caption] Charles J. Lockwood, MD Member of of the March of Dimes Board of Trustees Dean at Morsani College of Medicine Senior Vice President, USF Health and Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Public Health The University of South Florida  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Lockwood: There remain questions about the utility of vaginal progesterone therapy in asymptomatic women with singleton gestations at risk for preterm birth. The OPPTIMUM study investigators conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of vaginal progesterone delivered via a pessary releasing 200 mg per day (n=618) vs. placebo (n=610) from around 22 to 34 weeks gestation among women at high risk for prematurity on the basis of a characteristic history and/or the presence of cervicovaginal fetal fibronectin or a cervical length less than 25 mm in length on transvaginal ultrasound.  The primary endpoints were fetal death or preterm birth before 34 weeks (obstetrical outcome), or a composite of neonatal mortality or morbidities (neonatal outcome).  The authors found that progesterone had no significant impact on either primary endpoint, with an adjusted OR of 0·86, 95% CI: 0·61-1·22 for obstetrical outcomes and an OR of 0·62, 95% CI:0·38-1·03 for neonatal outcomes.
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Lancet, Microbiome, Pediatrics / 09.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Phillip I. Tarr, MD Melvin E. Carnahan MD Professor of Pediatrics Director, Pediatric Division of Gastroenterolgy and Nutrition Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine St Louis, MO 63110, USA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Tarr: There is a longstanding belief that gut bacteria are relevant to the developing necrotising enterocolitis (NEC). We have established dysbiosis in the gut before NEC occurs, suggesting this ecological perturbation might be causal.

Author Interviews, Cannabis, Lancet, Mental Health Research / 08.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Sagnik Bhattacharyya Reader in Translational Neuroscience and Psychiatry Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, KCL Consultant Psychiatrist, Early Intervention Pathway Director, Maudsley Early Intervention in Dual Diagnosis clinic Psychosis Clinical Academic Group, South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust King’s Health Partners  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Bhattacharyya: Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in the world and its use has been linked to the onset of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Whilst a lot of research has investigated the association between cannabis use and the development of psychosis, there is less clarity regarding the consequences of continued cannabis use in those with an established psychotic disorder. We therefore pooled together all available evidence from studies that specifically looked at the effects of cannabis use on outcome following the onset of psychosis. Based on data from more than 16000 patients with a first episode or more established psychosis, our results show that continued cannabis use is consistently associated with poor outcome in the form of more relapses (as indexed by psychiatric hospitalisation), longer hospitalisations and increased positive symptoms. However, outcomes were not as bad if cannabis use was discontinued following the onset of psychosis.
Author Interviews, Chemotherapy, Lancet / 08.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Christina H Ruhlmann PhD Department of Oncology Odense University Hospital, Denmark  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background for the GAND-emesis study is the result of a phase II study in patients with gynecological cancer receiving fractionated radiotherapy and concomitant weekly cisplatin 40 mg/m2. In that study, patients received weekly antiemetic prophylaxis with palonosetron and prednisolone, and we found that 57% of patients were continuously free from emesis (sustained no emesis) during 5 weeks of treatment. We hypothesized that the addition of a NK1 receptor antagonist could increase the number of patients with sustained no emesis, and we therefore planned the GAND-emesis study: a multinational, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study that has recently been published. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: In the GAND-emesis study we compared efficacy of weekly antiemetic prophylaxis with fosaprepitant, palonosetron, and dexamethasone to placebo, palonosetron, and dexamethasone during 5 weeks of radiotherapy and concomitant weekly cisplatin 40 mg/m2 for cervical cancer. The primary endpoint was sustained no emesis during 5 weeks of treatment (competing risk analysis). We found that the proportion of patients with sustained no emesis was 48.7% for the placebo group compared with 65.7% for the fosaprepitant group, and the treatments were well tolerated. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the efficacy of a NK1 receptor antagonist during 5 weeks of chemoradiotherapy.