Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Radiation Therapy / 03.06.2021

  Professor Jayant S Vaidya MBBS MS DNB FRCS PhD Professor of Surgery and Oncology University College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What type of single dose radiation is used? Response: The new paper published in the British Journal of Cancer (go.nature.com/3yN0mzu) expands on the previously published results of the large international randomised trial (TARGIT-A trial)(BMJ 2020;370:m2836), that confirmed the long-term effectiveness of Targeted Intraoperative Radiotherapy (TARGIT-IORT): a breast cancer treatment which is increasingly available throughout the world. The TARGIT-A trial found that a single dose of targeted radiotherapy during surgery (TARGIT-IORT) is just as effective as conventional radiotherapy, which requires several visits to hospital after surgery. From the perspective of patients, it is so much better for them and also allows prompt completion of cancer treatment during the COVID pandemic. Conventional external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) is delivered from outside the body via a radiotherapy machine (linear accelerator), and consists of a daily treatment session (known as fractions) to the whole breast, over a period between three to six weeks. Each of these treatments is given over a few minutes, but requires up to 30 hospital visits, which could be a significant distance from where the patient lives. TARGIT-IORT is delivered immediately after lumpectomy (tumour removal), via a small ball-shaped device placed inside the breast, directly where the cancer had been. The single-dose treatment lasts for around 20 to 30 minutes and replaces the need for extra hospital visits, benefiting both patient safety and well-being. The device used is called INTRABEAM. The new results are described on the Nature.com and UCL webpages https://go.nature.com/3ymrplc blog https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2021/may/pioneering-single-dose-radiotherapy-breast-cancer-treatment and explained in a short video https://youtu.be/w0OMjVfJ5pY (more…)
Author Interviews, Nature, Nutrition, Orthopedics, Pediatrics / 20.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Efrat Monsonego Ornan, Ph.D Head of School of Nutritional Sciences Institute of Biochemistry and Nutrition The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment The Hebrew University of Jerusalem MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Food supplies in recent decades have been dominated by heavily processed, ready-to-eat products. Essentially, 75% of all world food sales are of processed foods. Over the past 30 years, children’s ultra-processed food intake has increased markedly, with 50% of the children in the US consuming these foods. Only in the US does UPF comprise 58% of energy intake, of which 90% is derived from added sugars. This reflects children’s excessive consumption of food and drink that are high in fat and refined sugars but do not provide appropriate levels of the proteins, vitamins and minerals required for growth. The negative health outcomes of excessive consumption of Ultra-processed food are well known, include obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, and considered as the current world epidemic; the fact that children, during their postnatal development period (birth to adolescent), are the target of the Ultra-processed food industry is very disturbing in terms of public health. Bone development and growth are the characteristic phenomena of the childhood period. Yet, in spite of the huge importance of nutrition to bone development, the impact of Ultra-processed food consumption on skeleton development during childhood has never been studied directly, and this was the purpose of our study. To this end, we used young rats which are an excellent pre-clinical model for growth and fed them with either the recommended diet for their age or a diet comprised of a typical Ultra-processed meal (a roll, hamburger, tomatoes, lettuce, ketchup and French fries) and a caloric soft drink. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research / 25.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: group-picture Catharina Svanborg M.D., Ph.D. Professor at Lund University Department of Laboratory Medicine, Division of Microbiology, Immunology and Glycobiology Founder/Chairman of the Board at HAMLET Pharma MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? HAMLET Pharma Response: Like many unexpected scientific developments, this finding was serendipitous. In our search for the molecular basis of host susceptibility to infection, we discovered that infection directly affects MYC levels. Gene expression analysis revealed that MYC itself was inhibited and that genes regulated by MYC were affected in children with acute kidney infection. Rapid reductions in MYC levels was further confirmed by infecting human kidney cells with the pathogenic E. coli bacteria isolated from patients with acute pyelonephritis, allowing us to formulate the hypothesis that bacteria regulate host MYC levels during acute infection and to investigate the mechanism leading to this inhibition. This work was conducted by the Laboratory Medicine group at Lund University in Sweden led by Professor Catharina Svanborg. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Inflammation / 27.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sacha Gnjatic, PhD Associate Director of the Human Immune Monitoring Center Associate Professor of Medicine, Oncological Sciences and Pathology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Member of the Precision Immunology Institute and The Tisch Cancer Institute Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you explain what is meant by cytokine/cytokines? Response: COVID-19 is a disease where inflammation is suspected to play a large role in pathogenicity, possibly more so than the tissue damage created by the virus alone. Cytokines are small soluble proteins that are produced by both immune cells and cells from tissues, and many play a role in signaling such inflammation, to alert of tissue damage or infection. Among these cytokines, interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, IL-1beta, and Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-a) have been well established as important markers of pathogenic inflammation. Drugs that counteract these cytokines are routinely use in various inflammatory disease, from rheumatoid arthritis to plaque psoriasis and Crohn’s disease. When the initial wave of SARS-CoV-2 infection hit our hospitals in New York, we therefore wondered whether these cytokines were associated with COVID-19 disease severity and outcome, and hoped that a rapid test to detect them in blood could be useful to make clinical decisions about treatment. We were able to analyze a very large number of patient samples (>1400) in a period of one month, and confirmed our findings in a second smaller cohort. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Omega-3 Fatty Acids / 03.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lee Hooper PhD, RD Reader in Research Synthesis, Nutrition & Hydration Norwich Medical School Norwich, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Polyunsaturated fats are common healthy eating choices, and fish oil (long-chain omega-3 including EPA and DHA) and flaxseed (containing alpha-linolenic acid, ALA, a plant-based omega-3) supplements are commonly consumed. Worldwide cardiovascular disease was responsible for 37% of premature deaths due to non-communicable disease in 2012, and cancers were responsible for 27%. Small effects of omega-3 and polyunsaturated fats on cardiovascular diseases and cancers could have big effects on worldwide health. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Pain Research, Psychological Science / 19.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Markus Rütgen PhD Post-doctoral researcher Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Unit Faculty of Psychology University of Vienna MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous research has reported empathy deficits in patients with major depressive disorder. However, a high percentage of patients taking part in these studies were taking antidepressants, which are known to influence emotion processing. In our study, we wanted to overcome this important limitation. We were interested in whether the previously reported empathic deficits were attributable to the acute state of depression, or to the antidepressant treatment. To this end, we performed a longitudinal neuroimaging study, in which we measured brain activity and self-reported empathy in response to short video clips showing people in pain. We measured acutely depressed patients twice. First, before they started their treatment, second, after three months of treatment with a state-of-the-art antidepressant (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). (more…)