Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are non-coding RNAs molecules consisting of a covalently closed continuous loop which have no 5'-3' polarity and contain no polyA tail. Accumulating evidence demonstrates that circRNAs are involved in the initiation and progression of human malignancies. In this study, we explored the expression profile and regulatory role of circ-baculoviral IAP repeat-containing 6 (circ-BIRC6), a circular RNA, in malignant behaviors in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Expression levels of circ-BIRC6 and miR-4491 were examined in NSCLC patient samples and cell lines using quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR). In vitro roles of circ-BIRC6 knockdown on cell viability, colony formation, and apoptosis were assessed using the CCK-8, colony formation assay, and flow cytometry, respectively. The interactions between circ-BIRC6 and miR-449 were assessed using luciferase reporter and qRT-PCR assays. The in vivo role of circ-BIRC6 knockdown on tumor growth and apoptosis was evaluated in a xenograft mouse model of NSCLC. We found that expression levels of circ-BIRC6 in NSCLC patient samples and cell lines were elevated. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated circ-BIRC6 knockdown suppressed cell proliferation, colony formation, migration and invasion, and promoted apoptosis in NCI-H460 and A549 cells. In addition, miR-4491 was identified as a tumor-suppressor miRNA in NSCLC and circ-BIRC6 functions as a molecular sponge for miR-4491. Furthermore, circ-BIRC6 knockdown suppressed Wnt2B/β-catenin pathway. In vivo assay showed that depletion of circ-BIRC6 suppressed tumor growth, enhanced apoptosis, and decreased miR-4491 levels in a mouse xenograft model. These findings demonstrate that circ-BIRC6 functions as a critical regulator of proliferation and apoptosis via binding to and negatively regulating miR-4491, suggesting that circ-BIRC6 might be a potential target for treatment of NSCLC.
The aim of this study is to assess the efficacy of multiple treatments, especially hydroxychloroquine, used in different disease stages of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). All consecutive patients with COVID-19 admitted to Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center (Shanghai, China) between January 20, 2020, and April 30, 2020, were enrolled, and their clinical data were retrospectively collected. Binary logistic regression was used to screen the factors associated with disease aggravation, and multivariable analyses with the Cox proportional hazards model were used to estimate the effects of prognostic factors on the improvement time and PCR conversion days in throat swabs and stool swabs. A total of 616 patients, including 50 (8.11%) severe and 18 (2.92%) critical patients, were enrolled in our retrospective cohort study. The early use of hydroxychloroquine was a protective factor associated with disease aggravation (95% CI: 0.040-0.575, p = 0.006). Clinical improvement by 20 days was significantly different between patients with hydroxychloroquine used early and those with hydroxychloroquine not used (p = 0.016, 95% CI: 1.052-1.647). The median time to clinical improvement was 6 days in the hydroxychloroquine used early group, compared with 9 days in the without hydroxychloroquine used group and 8 days in the with hydroxychloroquine not used early group (p < 0.001). Hydroxychloroquine used early was associated with earlier PCR conversion in both throat swabs (HR = 1.558, p = 0.001) and stool swabs (HR = 1.400, p = 0.028). The use of hydroxychloroquine at an early stage is a potential therapeutic strategy for treating patients before irreversible severe respiratory complications occur. The early use of hydroxychloroquine decreased the improvement time and the duration of COVID-19 detection in throat and stool swabs.
Multiplicity is one of the characteristics of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and patients with multiple HCC (≤ 3 nodules) are recommended as candidates for liver resection. To confirm the validity of resecting multiple HCC, we compared the surgical outcomes in patients with synchronous and metachronous multiple HCC. Patients who underwent resection for multiple HCC (2 or 3 nodules) were classified into the "synchronous multiple HCC" group, while those undergoing resection for solitary HCC and repeated resection for 1 or 2 recurrent nodules within 2 years after initial operation were classified into the "metachronous multiple HCC" group. After one-to-one matching, longer operation time and more bleeding were seen in the synchronous multiple HCC group (n = 98) than those in the metachronous multiple HCC group (n = 98); however, the complication rates were not different between the two groups. The median overall survival times were 4.0 years (95% CI, 3.0-5.9) and 5.9 years (4.0-NA) for the synchronous and metachronous multiple HCC (after second operation) groups, respectively (P = 0.041). The recurrence-free survival times were shorter in the synchronous multiple HCC group than in the metachronous multiple HCC group (median, 1.5 years [95% CI, 0.9-1.8] versus 1.8 years, [1.3-2.2]) (P = 0.039). On multivariate analysis, independent factors for overall survivals in the synchronous multiple HCC group were older age, cirrhosis, larger tumor, and tumor thrombus. Taken together, resection of metachronous multiple HCC still has good therapeutic effect, even better than synchronous multiple HCC, so resection is suggested for metachronous multiple HCC.
Liver cancer frequently requires repeated liver resections due to the high recurrence rate. The aim of this study was to clarify whether subcuticular sutures reduce wound complication rates following repeat incisions. Data from 382 repeated liver resections in 1,245 consecutive patients were assessed. Patients were divided into a Subcuticular sutures group and a Skin staples group on the basis of the wound-closure method. To avoid bias in analysing wound complications, data were matched to adjust for patient background and operation variables. After matching, 82 matched, paired patients with subcuticular sutures or skin staples were compared. Total wound complication rate was significantly lower with subcuticular sutures than with skin staples (8.5% vs. 20.7%, p = 0.027). Incisional surgical site infection was also lower with subcuticular sutures than with skin staples (6.1% vs. 17.1, p = 0.028). Univariate analysis revealed 4 factors associated with wound complications: body mass index; serum albumin concentration; wound length; and closure with skin staples. Multivariate analysis revealed closure with skin staples (odds ratio, 2.91; 95% confidence interval, 1.07-7.94; p = 0.037) as the only independent factor negatively associated with wound complications. Subcuticular sutures appear to reduce wound complications compared to skin staples following repeat incision for liver resection.
A number of inflammation indicators based on C-reactive protein (CRP) and albumin have been widely used to predict the prognosis in several types of tumors, but their functions in gallbladder cancer (GBC) have rarely been explored. The aim of our study is to evaluate and compare the prognostic values of the C-reactive protein to albumin ratio (CAR), Glasgow prognostic score (GPS), modified Glasgow prognostic score (mGPS) and high-sensitivity modified Glasgow prognostic score (HS-mGPS) in patients with GBC. 144 GBC patients who received curative surgery in our hospital from January 2010 to May 2017 were enrolled in this research. The Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that the median OS of the patients in the high CAR group was significantly shorter than the patients in the low group (p < 0.001), and higher scores of GPS, mGPS and HS-mGPS were also associated with decreased OS, respectively. However, according to the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve, the CAR was superior to the other prognostic scores in determining the prognosis for the GBC patients. In the multivariate analysis, CAR was verified as an independent risk factor for poor prognosis, together with tumor differentiation, T stage and postoperative complications. All in all, compared to the other three CRP-albumin-related prognostic predictors, CRA is a better indicator in predicting poor long-term outcomes in GBC patients after radical surgery.
The presence of esophageal varices (EV) is a phenotype of portal hypertension, and the indications of liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with concomitant EV are conflicting. This retrospective study aimed to elucidate if there is justification for liver resection in patients with EV. The surgical outcomes were compared between the patients who underwent resection for HCC with EV (EV group) and those without EV (non-EV group) after propensity-score matching. More bleeding was prevalent (P < 0.001) and refractory ascites was more frequently observed (P = 0.031) in the EV group (n = 277) compared with the non-EV group (n = 277); however, the numbers of patients with morbidities (P = 0.740) and re-operation (P = 0.235) were not significantly different between the two groups. After a median follow-up period of 3.0 years, the median overall and recurrencefree survival periods of patients with EV were 4.8 years (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.1-5.9) and 1.7 years (1.5-2.0), respectively, and were significantly shorter than those of patients without EV (7.6 years [95% CI, 220.127.116.11], P < 0.001, and 2.2 years [1.9-2.5], P = 0.016). On multivariate analysis, the independent factors for overall survival in the EV group were indocyanine green clearance rate at 15 minutes, des-gamma carboxyprothrombin, and the presence of multiple tumors. Considering that liver resection for patients with EV can be safely performed, it should not be contraindicated. However, surgical outcomes of these patients were unsatisfactory, suggesting that candidates for resection for HCC should be carefully selected.
The factors associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) recurrence after living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) have not been fully clarified. The aim of this study was to determine the risk factors associated with HBV recurrence after LDLT. From January 1996 to December 2018, a total of 609 LDLT operations were performed at our center. A retrospective review was performed of 70 patients (male, n = 59; female, n = 11; median age = 54 years) who underwent LDLT for HBV-related liver disease. The virologic and biochemical data, tumor burden, antiviral and immunosuppressive therapy were evaluated and compared between the HBV recurrence and non-recurrence groups. Eleven of 70 patients (16%) developed post-LDLT HBV recurrence. The overall actuarial rates of HBV recurrence at 1, 3, 5, 10, and 20 years were 0%, 13%, 16.7%, 18.8%, and 18.8%, respectively. The median interval between LDLT and HBV recurrence was 57 months (range, 18-124 months). Based on the univariate and multivariate analyses, a serum HBV DNA level of ≥ 4 log copies/mL (hazard ratio [HR], 4.861; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.172-20.165; P = 0.029), and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) beyond the Milan criteria (HR, 10.083; 95% CI, 2.749-36.982; P < 0.001) were independent risk factors for HBV recurrence after LDLT. In LDLT patients, high pre-LT HBV DNA levels and HCC beyond the Milan criteria were risk factors for HBV recurrence. With the current expansion of the LT criteria for HCC, we should remain cautious regarding the risk of HBV recurrence, particularly in these groups.
Metabolic syndrome (MS) is common among obese people. Little is known about the magnitude and characteristics of MS in people living with HIV (PLWH) in Asian countries in general and China in particular. Using baseline data collected between February 2017 through January 2020 from the Comparative HIV and Aging Research in Taizhou (CHART) cohort in China, we examined MS among 2,227 PLWH and 5,264 matched people without HIV, respectively. MS was defined using the criteria set forth by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). Approximately 76.7% of PLWH had body mass index (BMI) < 24.0 kg/m2, significantly higher than people without HIV (50.3%). Among participants with BMI < 24.0 kg/m2, PLWH had a significantly higher prevalence of MS than people without HIV (20.6% vs. 14.5%; aOR: 1.41, 95% CI: 1.19-1.68) overall, and at an age of 18-29 (10.4% vs. 3.4%, aOR: 3.49, 95% CI: 1.99-6.11) and 30-44 years (17.3% vs. 8.5%, aOR: 2.03, 95% CI: 1.47-2.81), respectively. Among participants with BMI ≥ 24.0 kg/m2, MS prevalence was not significantly different between PLWH and people without HIV overall, but significantly lower in PLWH than people without HIV for those aged over 60 years (65.9% vs. 77.8%, aOR: 0.53, 95% CI: 0.32-0.88). Among PLWH, MS was significantly associated with older age and higher CD4 cell count, and with stavudine (d4T) use only in the group of BMI < 24.0 kg/m2. Our finding is indicative of a relatively higher risk for early onset of MS among HIV-infected young adults with lower BMI. Research is needed to elucidate the pathogenic mechanism for MS among PLWH.
Japan is a super-ageing country. Constructing the community-based integrated care system in local communities is urgently needed. Mutual aid in local communities is critical for this system. In order to clarify the status of perception of mutual aid in Japanese high school students and to clarify the factors related to the formation of the perception, we conducted a questionnaire study of high school students in a city in Japan (n = 8,687). The results indicate that Japanese high school students show a tendency to have perception of mutual aid for local people (70.8%) rather than the local area (38.9%). Significantly fewer male students have perception of mutual aid than female students (p < 0.01). Factors that affected the perception significantly (p < 0.05) were: i) willingness to stay in the local area for 10 more years, ii) recognition of persons in need of care in the local area, iii) memories of experiencing communication with handicapped and/or elderly people, and iv) experience of taking care of local children. It is important to create opportunities for high school students to communicate with local residents, especially handicapped and/or elderly people in order to foster students' perception of mutual aid.
Depletion of regulatory T cells (Tregs) is an appropriate approach to study the function of Tregs in vivo, and most previous studies have focused on complete depletion. The purpose of the current study was to determine an appropriate dose and timing for half depletion of Tregs in vivo. DETREG (DEpletion of REGulatory T cells) mice were produced and injected with different doses of diphtheria toxin (DT) for 7 days and 14 days. The mice were then sacrificed to collect the spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) for analysis using flow cytometry. Foxp3+eGFP+ cells were significantly reduced by DT injection. A dose of 5 ug/kg DT led to half depletion and no deaths. A DT dose of 25, 50, or 100 ug/kg led to a progressively higher depletion rate but also a higher mortality rate. In conclusion, a low dose of DT is effective for half depletion of Tregs and long-term study. Half depletion of Tregs may become a new method for the future study of Tregs in vivo.
The ongoing outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has raised a grave concern and a severe global health burden. Since no effective drugs have been approved for satisfactory prevention and treatment, the development of COVID-19 vaccines has attracted global attention. To date, a large number of COVID-19 vaccines are being rapidly developed worldwide, with thirteen candidates in Phase 3 trials, 52 tested in clinical trials, and 162 in preclinical evaluation. Here, we summarize the latest progress of all 13 COVID-19 vaccines in Phase 3 trails. Furthermore, some vaccines have received approval or emergency use approvals. We focus on the potential issues related to vaccination including vaccine acceptance, vaccine promotion, and vaccine distribution.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that struck in late 2019 and early 2020 is a serious threat to human health. Since there are no approved drugs that satisfactorily treat this condition, all efforts at drug design and/or clinical trials are warranted and reasonable. Drug repurposing is a well-known strategy that seeks to deploy existing licensed drugs for newer indications and that provides the quickest possible transition from the bench to the bedside to meet therapeutic needs. At present, several existing licensed drugs such as chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, methylprednisolone, dexamethasone, and remdesivir have been used because of their potential efficacy in inhibiting COVID-19. Recently, antibiotics such as tetracyclines and macrolides have been reported to be effective against COVID-19. A combination of tetracyclines and macrolides may be a potential treatment for COVID-19 because there are some differences in the mechanism of action of tetracyclines and macrolides.