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Oncologic Imaging

Wed, 03/16/2016 - 12:20pm

Imaging is an integral part of the multidisciplinary management of cancer. Radiographic techniques are indispensable for proper staging of cancers and evaluation of the response of tumors to treatment. A wide variety of imaging modalities is available to clinicians. This chapter in Cancer Concepts: A Guidebook for the Non-Oncologist will introduce the role of radiology in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

The Epithelial Transmembrane Protein PERP Is Required for Inflammatory Responses to S. typhimurium Infection: A Dissertation

Mon, 03/14/2016 - 11:19am

Salmonella enterica subtype Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) is one of many non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica strains responsible for over one million cases of salmonellosis in the United States each year. These Salmonella strains are also a leading cause of diarrheal disease in developing countries. Nontyphoidal salmonellosis induces gastrointestinal distress that is characterized histopathologically by an influx of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs), the non-specific effects of which lead to tissue damage and contribute to diarrhea.

Prior studies from our lab have demonstrated that the type III secreted bacterial effector SipA is a key regulator of PMN influx during S. Typhimurium infection and that its activity requires processing by caspase-3. Although we established caspase-3 activity is required for the activation of inflammatory pathways during S. Typhimurium infection, the mechanisms by which caspase-3 is activated remain incompletely understood. Most challenging is the fact that SipA is responsible for activating caspase-3, which begs the question of how SipA can activate an enzyme it requires for its own activity.

In the present study, we describe our findings that the eukaryotic tetraspanning membrane protein PERP is required for the S. Typhimuriuminduced influx of PMNs. We further show that S. Typhimurium infection induces PERP accumulation at the apical surface of polarized colonic epithelial cells, and that this accumulation requires SipA. Strikingly, PERP accumulation occurs in the absence of caspase-3 processing of SipA, which is the first time we have shown SipA mediates a cellular event without first requiring caspase-3 processing. Previous work demonstrates that PERP mediates the activation of caspase-3, and we find that PERP is required for Salmonella-induced caspase-3 activation.

Our combined data support a model in which SipA triggers caspase-3 activation via its cellular modulation of PERP. Since SipA can set this pathway in motion without being cleaved by caspase-3, we propose that PERP-mediated caspase-3 activation is required for the activation of SipA, and thus is a key step in the inflammatory response to S. Typhimurium infection. Our findings further our understanding of how SipA induces inflammation during S. Typhimurium infection, and also provide additional insight into how type III secreted effectors manipulate host cells.

Gender Differences in Choice of Procedure and Case Fatality Rate for Elderly Patients with Acute Cholecystitis: A Masters Thesis

Mon, 03/14/2016 - 10:53am

Background: Treatment decisions for elderly patients with gallbladder pathology are complex. Little is known about what factors go into treatment decisions in this population. We used Medicare data to examine gender-based differences in the use of cholecystectomy vs. cholecystostomy tube placement in elderly patients with acute cholecystitis.

Methods: We queried a 5% random sample of Medicare data (2009-2011) for patients >65 admitted for acute cholecystitis (by ICD-9 code) who subsequently underwent a cholecystectomy and/or cholecystostomy tube placement. Demographic information (age, race), clinical characteristics (Elixhauser index, presence of biliary pathology), and hospital outcomes (case fatality rate, length of stay, need for ICU care) were compared by gender. A multivariable model was used to examine predictors of cholecystectomy vs. cholecystostomy tube placement.

Results: Of 4063 patients admitted with cholecystitis undergoing the procedures of interest just over half (58%) were women. The majority of patients (93%) underwent cholecystectomy. Compared to women, men were younger (average age 76 vs. 78, p value < 0.01) and had few comorbidities (average Elixhauser 1.2 vs. 1.4 p value < 0.01). Case fatality rate was similar between men (2.5%) and women (2.4% p value 0.48). A higher percentage of men spent time in the ICU (36%) compared to women (31% p value < 0.01). On multivariable analysis men were 30% less likely to undergo cholecystectomy (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.53-0.91).

Conclusion: Elderly men are less likely than elderly women to undergo cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis despite being younger with less co morbidity and are more likely to spend time in the ICU. More research is needed to determine whether a difference in treatment is contributing to the higher rate of ICU utilization in elderly men with acute cholecystitis.