Rapidly sharing scientific information is an effective way to reduce public panic about COVID-19, and doing so is the key to providing real-time guidance to epidemiologists working to contain the outbreak, clinicians managing patients, and modelers helping to understand future developments and the possible effectiveness of various interventions. This issue has rapidly reviewed and published articles describing COVID-19, including the drug treatment options for SARS-CoV-2, its clinical characteristics, and therapies involving a combination of Chinese and Western medicine, the efficacy of chloroquine phosphate in the treatment of COVID-19 associated pneumonia according to clinical studies, and reflections on the system of reserve medical supplies for public health emergencies. As an academic journal, we will continue to quickly and transparently share data with frontline healthcare workers who need to know the epidemiological and clinical features of COVID-19.
On December 31, 2019, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission announced an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), China is now at a critical period in the control of the epidemic. The Chinese Government has been taking a series of rapid, comprehensive, and effective prevention and control measures. As the pandemic has developed, a fact has become apparent: there is a serious dearth of emergency medical supplies, and especially an extreme shortage of personal protective equipment such as masks and medical protective clothing. This is one of the major factors affecting the progress of epidemic prevention and control. Although China has made great efforts to strengthen the ability to quickly respond to public health emergencies since the SARS outbreak in 2003 and it has clarified requirements for emergency supplies through legislation, the emergency reserve supplies program has not been effectively implemented, and there are also deficiencies in the types, quantity, and availability of emergency medical supplies. A sound system of emergency reserve supplies is crucial to the management of public health emergencies. Based on international experiences with pandemic control, the world should emphasize improving the system of emergency reserve medical supplies in the process of establishing and improving public health emergency response systems, and it should promote the establishment of international cooperative programs to jointly deal with public health emergencies of international concern in the future.
People living with HIV (PLWH) have an excess risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities are independently predictive of incident cardiovascular events in the general population. Our study aimed to evaluate the prevalence and correlates of ECG abnormalities among PLWH in Shanghai, China. We used a cross-sectional design to collect data from Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, China. A total of 587 HIV-infected patients aged between 18 and 75 years were recruited between January 2015 and February 2016. The overall prevalence of any type of ECG abnormalities was 53.3%. The prevalence of sinus tachycardia, ST-T segment elevation and left ventricular hypertrophy was 23.0%, 18.1%, and 6.8%, respectively. Multivariable logistic regression analysis indicated that ST-T segment elevation was positively associated with higher baseline HIV viral load (≥ 4 log10 copies/mL), and sinus tachycardia was negatively associated with older age but positively associated with lower CD4 cell count, higher baseline HIV viral load (≥ 4 log10 copies/mL) and higher lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) level (≥133 mg/dL). Any coded ECG abnormality was positively associated with higher baseline HIV viral load (≥ 4 log10 copies/mL). ECG abnormalities including sinus tachycardia and ST-T segment elevation are prevalent among Chinese HIV patients, which are significantly associated with immunodeficiency and HIV viral load. Routine ECG screening may be an important part of HIV clinical care in China.
Irrational use of drugs remains a major challenge especially in developing countries, which contributed to a heavy pharmaceutical expenditure burden. Price regulation has been taken to curb the growth of pharmaceutical expenditures in many countries. This study aimed to investigate the impact of different mark-up drug policies on drug-related expenditures in tertiary public hospitals in Shanghai, China. Data were drawn from the audited financial statement in 24 tertiary public hospitals in Shanghai from January 2015 to December 2018. Drug-related revenue data and per capita cost data pre- and post-intervention were included. Interrupted time series design was applied to assess the actual effects of Fixed Percent Mark-up Drug (FPM) policy and Zero Mark-up Drug (ZMD) policy respectively. Results showed that ZMD policy achieved better intervention effects on declining drug-related expenditures than FPM policy. Apart from a declining trend in drug proportion (coefficient = -0.0017, p = 0.031), no other significant changes were found during FPM implementation. However, ZMD policy was associated with a level decline in per capita outpatient drug cost (coefficient = -12.21, p = 0.025) and a trend decline in per capita inpatient drug cost (coefficient = -25.12, p < 0.001), as well as a level decrease (coefficient = -0.0256, p = 0.001) and a downward tendency (coefficient = -0.0018, p < 0.001) in drug proportion. ZMD policy was effective in regulating drug-related expenditures, while FPM policy was difficult to achieve expected results due to the existence of profit space. Further regulation should be strengthened in the future, especially on drug revenue and per capita drug cost.
The roots of Angelica dahurica have long been used as a traditional medicine in Korea to treat various diseases such as toothache and cold. In this study, we investigated the effect of ethanol extract from the roots of this plant on metastatic melanoma, a highly aggressive skin cancer, in B16F10 melanoma cells and B16F10 cell inoculated-C57BL/6 mice. Our results showed that the ethanol extracts of Angelicae dahuricae Radix (EEAD) suppressed cell growth and induced apoptotic cell death in B16F10 cells. EEAD also activated the mitochondria-mediated intrinsic apoptosis pathway, with decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, and increased production of intracellular reactive oxygen species and ration of Bax/Bcl-2 expression. Furthermore, EEAD reduced the migration, invasion, and colony formation of B16F10 cells through the reduced expression and activity of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9. In addition, in vivo results demonstrated that oral administration of EEAD inhibited lactate dehydrogenase activity, hepatotoxicity, and nephrotoxicity without weight loss in B16F10 cell inoculated-mice. Importantly, EEAD was able to markedly suppress lung hypertrophy, the incidence of B16F10 cells lung metastasis, and the expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha in lung tissue. Taken together, our findings suggest that EEAD may be useful for managing metastasis and growth of malignant cancers, including melanoma.
Our study explored the potential relationship between time perception and the level of anxiety in cancer patients prior to starting chemotherapy. Time perception was assessed in 162 chemonaïve patients with solid tumors by evaluating each subject’s prospective estimation of how fast one minute passed compared to the actual amount of time passed. The median value of time perception was used to stratify the patients into two categories of fast and slow time perception. We used the generalized anxiety disorder questionnaire (GAD-7) as a screening tool for detecting levels of anxiety. Scores ≥ 10 were considered high. In total, 45 (27.8%) patients had high levels of anxiety. The pattern of the time perception distributions significantly changed according to the reported levels on the GAD-7 scale. Scores ≥ 10 correlated with fast time perception and the female gender. Patients with a fast time perception had significantly higher levels of anxiety (8.44 ± 5.1) than patients with a slow time perception (3.49 ± 4.3). ROC analysis revealed that at the optimal cut-off value of time perception, clinically significant levels of anxiety can be discriminated with an AUC = 0.78 (95% CI: 0.70-0.85, p < 0.001), a sensitivity of 82.2% and a specificity of 64.1%. Moreover, in a multivariate logistic regression model, fast time perception was an independent predictor of clinically significant levels of anxiety (OR: 8.24; 95% CI: 3.16-21.41, p < 0.001). Time perception is a novel potent indicator for high levels of anxiety in cancer patients.
Posttransplant malignancy has become a significant cause of mortality. Data on the long-term outcomes of patients with pretransplant nonhepatic malignancy (PTM) after living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) are scarce, although the recipients of other organs with PTM have been reported to have a poor survival. Fifteen patients with PTM (4.4%) among the 342 adult recipients were identified in our LDLT programs. The outcomes of the patients with PTM after LDLT were compared to those of patients without PTM in terms of the all-cause mortality and cancer-specific mortality (defined as mortality related to malignancy expect for hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma, or neuroendocrine tumor). The sites of PTM included the breast in six, stomach in two, and colon, lung, kidney, uterine, thyroid, larynx, and acute myelogenous leukemia in one each. The median interval from the PTM treatment to LDLT was 57 months (range, 2-298). The patients who received the curative treatment for PTM were selected as the recipients. No patients with PTM had recurrence during the follow-up period. The 1-, 5-, and 10-year patient survival rates were 100%, 92.9%, and 92.9% in the PTM group and 86.2%, 76.7%, and 68.5% in the non-PTM group, respectively (p = 0.142). Likewise, there was no significant difference between the two groups in the cancer-specific mortality. In conclusion, the patients with PTM had comparable outcomes with regard to mortality and cancer-specific mortality compared with those without PTM. This study showed that the patients with PTM can obtain an acceptable outcome after LDLT when carefully selected.
The aim of this multicentric retrospective study is to evaluate the predictive and prognostic performance of neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) and their dynamics in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with pembrolizumab as a second line. Patients with metastatic NSCLC (n = 119), whose tumors expressed programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) ≥ 1%, were retrospectively analyzed between Apr 2017 and Apr 2019. All patients received platinum-containing chemotherapy as a first line treatment. Pre-treatment NLR was calculated by dividing the number of neutrophils by the number of lymphocytes in peripheral blood before the first pembrolizumab infusion. Progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) was compared by Kaplan-Meier method and Cox Proportional Hazard model. Patients with NLR > 5 before immunotherapy showed significantly shorter mean PFS of 6.86 months (95% CI: 5.81-7.90) as compared to those with NLR ≤ 5 of 18.82 months (95% CI: 15.87-21.78) (long rank test p < 0.001). Furthermore in the multivariate analysis, only NLR > 5 was an independent predictive factor for shorter PFS (HR: 4.47, 95% CI: 2.20-9.07, p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, presence of bone metastases (HR: 2.08, 95% CI: 1.10-4.94, p = 0.030), NLR > 5 before chemotherapy (HR: 8.09, 95% CI: 2.35-27.81, p = 0.001) and high PLR before chemotherapy (HR: 2.81, 95% CI: 1.13-6.97, p = 0.025) were found to be independent negative prognostic factors for poor OS. Our data suggests that NLR ≤ 5 is a potential predictive marker, which may identify patients appropriate for immunotherapy as a second line treatment.
The current study describes the technical details of and the clinical prognosis for the "China stitch", a novel technique for hand-sewn esophagojejunostomy in totally laparoscopic total gastrectomy. This study also explores the feasibility and safety of the technique. Clinical data of 20 patients with esophagogastric junction cancer in Beijing Shijitan Hospital, Capital Medical University from January 2017 to April 2018 were retrospectively analyzed. All 20 patients underwent esophagojejunostomy via a novel hand-sewn technique that uses traction to turn the left or right wall of the esophagus into an anterior wall. This avoids the difficulty of suturing the posterior wall. All patients were followed until June 2019. All 20 patients successfully underwent the procedure. The mean operating time was 216.5 ± 24.9 (176-254) min, the mean hand-sewn reconstruction time was 44.4 ± 9.4 (26-61) min, intraoperative bleeding was 141.2 ± 24.9 (130-160) mL, and the number of resected lymph nodes was 23 ± 8 (14-33). After surgery, there was one case of anastomotic leakage and one case of anastomotic stenosis, but both were alleviated with conservative treatment. The mean duration of follow-up was 15 (4-33) months. There was no significant difference in postoperative complications of and short-term oncologic prognosis for the 20 patients who underwent hand-sewn esophagojejunostomy and the 21 patients who underwent mechanical esophagojejunostomy during the same period. In conclusion, the "China stitch", a novel hand-sewn technique, is a cost-effective, safe, and reliable method for esophagojejunostomy in totally laparoscopic total gastrectomy.
Pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is continuously and rapidly circulating at present. No effective antiviral treatment has been verified thus far. We report here the clinical characteristics and therapeutic procedure for four patients with mild or severe 2019-nCoV pneumonia admitted to Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center. All the patients were given antiviral treatment including lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra®), arbidol, and Shufeng Jiedu Capsule (SFJDC, a traditional Chinese medicine) and other necessary support care. After treatment, three patients gained significant improvement in pneumonia associated symptoms, two of whom were confirmed 2019-nCoV negative and discharged, and one of whom was virus negative at the first test. The remaining patient with severe pneumonia had shown signs of improvement by the cutoff date for data collection. Results obtained in the current study may provide clues for treatment of 2019-nCoV pneumonia. The efficacy of antiviral treatment including lopinavir/ritonavir, arbidol, and SFJDC warrants further verification in future study.
As of January 22, 2020, a total of 571 cases of the 2019-new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) have been reported in 25 provinces (districts and cities) in China. At present, there is no vaccine or antiviral treatment for human and animal coronavirus, so that identifying the drug treatment options as soon as possible is critical for the response to the 2019-nCoV outbreak. Three general methods, which include existing broad-spectrum antiviral drugs using standard assays, screening of a chemical library containing many existing compounds or databases, and the redevelopment of new specific drugs based on the genome and biophysical understanding of individual coronaviruses, are used to discover the potential antiviral treatment of human pathogen coronavirus. Lopinavir /Ritonavir, Nucleoside analogues, Neuraminidase inhibitors, Remdesivir, peptide (EK1), abidol, RNA synthesis inhibitors (such as TDF, 3TC), anti-inflammatory drugs (such as hormones and other molecules), Chinese traditional medicine, such ShuFengJieDu Capsules and Lianhuaqingwen Capsule, could be the drug treatment options for 2019-nCoV. However, the efficacy and safety of these drugs for 2019- nCoV still need to be further confirmed by clinical experiments.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus is spreading rapidly, and scientists are endeavoring to discover drugs for its efficacious treatment in China. Chloroquine phosphate, an old drug for treatment of malaria, is shown to have apparent efficacy and acceptable safety against COVID-19 associated pneumonia in multicenter clinical trials conducted in China. The drug is recommended to be included in the next version of the Guidelines for the Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Pneumonia Caused by COVID-19 issued by the National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China for treatment of COVID-19 infection in larger populations in the future.