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Sample records for achieve optimal clinical

  1. Low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol is a residual risk factor associated with long-term clinical outcomes in diabetic patients with stable coronary artery disease who achieve optimal control of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

    PubMed

    Ogita, Manabu; Miyauchi, Katsumi; Miyazaki, Tadashi; Naito, Ryo; Konishi, Hirokazu; Tsuboi, Shuta; Dohi, Tomotaka; Kasai, Takatoshi; Yokoyama, Takayuki; Okazaki, Shinya; Kurata, Takeshi; Daida, Hiroyuki

    2014-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus is recognized an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD) and mortality. Clinical trials have shown that statins significantly reduce cardiovascular events in diabetic patients. However, residual cardiovascular risk persists despite the achievement of target low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels with statin. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) is an established coronary risk factor that is independent of LDL-C levels. We evaluated the impact of HDL-C on long-term mortality in diabetic patients with stable CAD who achieved optimal LDL-C. We enrolled 438 consecutive diabetic patients who were scheduled for percutaneous coronary intervention between 2004 and 2007 at our institution. We identified 165 patients who achieved target LDL-C <100 mg/dl. Patients were stratified into two groups according to HDL-C levels (low HDL-C group, baseline HDL-C <40 mg/dl; high HDL-C group, ≥40 mg/dl). Major adverse cardiac events (MACE) that included all-cause death, acute coronary syndrome, and target lesion revascularization were evaluated between the two groups. The median follow-up period was 946 days. The rate of MACE was significantly higher in diabetic patients with low-HDL-C who achieved optimal LDL-C (6.9 vs 17.9 %, log-rank P = 0.030). Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that HDL-C is significantly associated with clinical outcomes (adjusted hazard ratio for MACE 1.33, 95 % confidence interval 1.01-1.75, P = 0.042). Low HDL-C is a residual risk factor that is significantly associated with long-term clinical outcomes among diabetic patients with stable CAD who achieve optimal LDL-C levels.

  2. Achieving quality assurance through clinical audit.

    PubMed

    Patel, Seraphim

    2010-06-01

    Audit is a crucial component of improvements to the quality of patient care. Clinical audits are undertaken to help ensure that patients can be given safe, reliable and dignified care, and to encourage them to self-direct their recovery. Such audits are undertaken also to help reduce lengths of patient stay in hospital, readmission rates and delays in discharge. This article describes the stages of clinical audit and the support required to achieve organisational core values.

  3. Clinical trials in Russia: achieving excellence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reznik, Robert S.; Ichim, Thomas E.; Petrov, Vladimir; Reznik, Boris N.

    2005-06-01

    The Russian population offers a unique opportunity for conducting clinical trials in general, and specifically in the area of Medical Devices. Although the regulatory framework for approval of clinical trials and eventual marketing registration is based on an American-style format, details of operating in the Russian framework are very different. Understanding and leveraging the unique characteristics of the Russian system on the patient side, the investigator side, and the regulatory side is important in extracting optimum value out of clinical trials in Russia. Having performed Medical Device research and clinical trials in Russia, the authors overview the present system and describe various strategies for working in this growing but still under-utilized clinical trials arena.

  4. Translational Geroscience: Emphasizing function to achieve optimal longevity

    PubMed Central

    Seals, Douglas R.; Melov, Simon

    2014-01-01

    Among individuals, biological aging leads to cellular and organismal dysfunction and an increased risk of chronic degenerative diseases and disability. This sequence of events in combination with the projected increases in the number of older adults will result in a worldwide healthcare burden with dire consequences. Superimposed on this setting are the adults now reaching traditional retirement ages--the baby boomers--a group that wishes to remain active, productive and physically and cognitively fit as they grow older. Together, these conditions are producing an unprecedented demand for increased healthspan or what might be termed “optimal longevity”—to live long, but well. To meet this demand, investigators with interests in the biological aspects of aging from model organisms to human epidemiology (population aging) must work together within an interactive process that we describe as translational geroscience. An essential goal of this new investigational platform should be the optimization and preservation of physiological function throughout the lifespan, including integrative physical and cognitive function, which would serve to increase healthspan, compress morbidity and disability into a shorter period of late-life, and help achieve optimal longevity. To most effectively utilize this new approach, we must rethink how investigators and administrators working at different levels of the translational research continuum communicate and collaborate with each other, how best to train the next generation of scientists in this new field, and how contemporary biological-biomedical aging research should be organized and funded. PMID:25324468

  5. Optimized Delivery System Achieves Enhanced Endomyocardial Stem Cell Retention

    PubMed Central

    Behfar, Atta; Latere, Jean-Pierre; Bartunek, Jozef; Homsy, Christian; Daro, Dorothee; Crespo-Diaz, Ruben J.; Stalboerger, Paul G.; Steenwinckel, Valerie; Seron, Aymeric; Redfield, Margaret M.; Terzic, Andre

    2014-01-01

    Background Regenerative cell-based therapies are associated with limited myocardial retention of delivered stem cells. The objective of this study is to develop an endocardial delivery system for enhanced cell retention. Methods and Results Stem cell retention was simulated in silico using one and three-dimensional models of tissue distortion and compliance associated with delivery. Needle designs, predicted to be optimal, were accordingly engineered using nitinol – a nickel and titanium alloy displaying shape memory and super-elasticity. Biocompatibility was tested with human mesenchymal stem cells. Experimental validation was performed with species-matched cells directly delivered into Langendorff-perfused porcine hearts or administered percutaneously into the endocardium of infarcted pigs. Cell retention was quantified by flow cytometry and real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction methodology. Models, computing optimal distribution of distortion calibrated to favor tissue compliance, predicted that a 75°-curved needle featuring small-to-large graded side holes would ensure the highest cell retention profile. In isolated hearts, the nitinol curved needle catheter (C-Cath) design ensured 3-fold superior stem cell retention compared to a standard needle. In the setting of chronic infarction, percutaneous delivery of stem cells with C-Cath yielded a 37.7±7.1% versus 10.0±2.8% retention achieved with a traditional needle, without impact on biocompatibility or safety. Conclusions Modeling guided development of a nitinol-based curved needle delivery system with incremental side holes achieved enhanced myocardial stem cell retention. PMID:24326777

  6. Using tailored methodical approaches to achieve optimal science outcomes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wingate, Lory M.

    2016-08-01

    The science community is actively engaged in research, development, and construction of instrumentation projects that they anticipate will lead to new science discoveries. There appears to be very strong link between the quality of the activities used to complete these projects, and having a fully functioning science instrument that will facilitate these investigations.[2] The combination of using internationally recognized standards within the disciplines of project management (PM) and systems engineering (SE) has been demonstrated to lead to achievement of positive net effects and optimal project outcomes. Conversely, unstructured, poorly managed projects will lead to unpredictable, suboptimal project outcomes ultimately affecting the quality of the science that can be done with the new instruments. The proposed application of these two specific methodical approaches, implemented as a tailorable suite of processes, are presented in this paper. Project management (PM) is accepted worldwide as an effective methodology used to control project cost, schedule, and scope. Systems engineering (SE) is an accepted method that is used to ensure that the outcomes of a project match the intent of the stakeholders, or if they diverge, that the changes are understood, captured, and controlled. An appropriate application, or tailoring, of these disciplines can be the foundation upon which success in projects that support science can be optimized.

  7. Toward achieving optimal response: understanding and managing antidepressant side effects

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Karen; Posternak, Michael; Jonathan, E. Alpert

    2008-01-01

    The safety and tolerability of antidepressants have improved considerably over the past two decades, Nevertheless, antidepressant side effects are still common and problematic. The majority of patients treated with contemporary agents experience one or more bothersome side effects. These side effects often create barriers to achieving depressive remission, as well as to preventing relapse and recurrence. Clinicians tend to underestimate the prevalence of side effects, and as many as one quarter of patients discontinue their antidepressants because of difficult-to-tolerate side effects; others may continue on antidepressant therapy but experience diminished quality of life related to troublesome side effects. This article reviews the prevalence of side effects, the impact of side effects on treatment adherence, and methodological issues including the challenge of distinguishing side effects from residual depressive symptoms, discontinuation effects, and general medical problems. In addition, we address the most common side effects such as sexual dysfunction, gastrointestinal problems, sleep disturbance, apathy, and fatigue, and offer strategies for management that may help patients achieve optimal response to pharmacotherapy. PMID:19170398

  8. Variability in Clinical Integration Achieved by Athletic Training Students across Different Clinical Sport Assignments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dodge, Thomas M.; Mazerolle, Stephanie M.; Bowman, Thomas G.

    2015-01-01

    Context: Clinical integration impacts athletic training students' (ATSs) motivation and persistence. Research has yet to elucidate the manner in which different clinical placements can influence clinical integration. Objective: To examine differences in the levels of clinical integration achieved by ATSs across various clinical sport assignments.…

  9. Clinical Relevance Of Systematic CRT Device Optimization.

    PubMed

    Lunati, Maurizio; Magenta, Giovanni; Cattafi, Giuseppe; Moreo, Antonella; Falaschi, Giacomo; Contardi, Danilo; Locati, Emanuela

    2014-01-01

    Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) is known as a highly effective therapy in advanced heart failure patients with cardiac dyssynchrony. However, still one third of patients do not respond (or sub-optimally respond) to CRT. Among the many contributors for the high rate of non-responders, the lack of procedures dedicated to CRT device settings optimization (parameters to regulate AV synchrony and VV synchrony) is known as one of the most frequent. The most recent HF/CRT Guidelines do not recommend to carry-out optimization procedures in every CRT patient; they simply state those procedures "could be useful in selected patients", even though their role in improving response has not been proven. Echocardiography techniques still remain the gold-standard reference method to the purpose of CRT settings optimization. However, due to its severe limitations in the routine of CRT patients management (time and resource consuming, scarce reproducibility, inter and intra-operator dependency), echocardiography optimization is widely under-utilized in the real-world of CRT follow-up visits. As a consequence, device-based techniques have been developed to by-pass the need for repeated echo examinations to optimize CRT settings. In this report the available device-based optimization techniques onboard on CRT devices are shortly reviewed, with a specific focus on clinical outcomes observed in trials comparing these methods vs. clinical practice or echo-guided optimization methods. Particular emphasis is dedicated to hemodynamic methods and automaticity of optimization algorithms (making real the concept of "ambulatory CRT optimization"). In fact a hemodynamic-based approach combined with a concept of frequent re-optimization has been associated - although retrospectively - with a better clinical outcome on the long-term follow-up of CRT patients. Large randomized trials are ongoing to prospectively clarify the impact of automatic optimization procedures.

  10. Improving International Research with Clinical Specimens: 5 Achievable Objectives

    PubMed Central

    LaBaer, Joshua

    2012-01-01

    Our increased interest in translational research has created a large demand for blood, tissue and other clinical samples, which find use in a broad variety of research including genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested internationally on the collection, storage and distribution of samples. Nevertheless, many researchers complain in frustration about their inability to obtain relevant and/or useful samples for their research. Lack of access to samples, poor condition of samples, and unavailability of appropriate control samples have slowed our progress in the study of diseases and biomarkers. In this editorial, I focus on five major challenges that thwart clinical sample use for translational research and propose near term objectives to address them. They include: (1) defining our biobanking needs; (2) increasing the use of and access to standard operating procedures; (3) mapping inter-observer differences for use in normalizing diagnoses; (4) identifying natural internal protein controls; and (5) redefining the clinical sample paradigm by building partnerships with the public. In each case, I believe that we have the tools at hand required to achieve the objective within 5 years. Potential paths to achieve these objectives are explored. However we solve these problems, the future of proteomics depends on access to high quality clinical samples, collected under standardized conditions, accurately annotated and shared under conditions that promote the research we need to do. PMID:22998582

  11. Clinical Mass Spectrometry: Achieving Prominence in Laboratory Medicine

    SciTech Connect

    Annesley, Thomas M.; Cooks, Robert G.; Herold, David A.; Hoofnagle, Andrew N.

    2016-01-04

    Each year the journal Clinical Chemistry publishes a January special issue on a topic that is relevant to the laboratory medicine community. In January 2016 the topic is mass spectrometry, and the issue is entitled “Clinical Mass Spectrometry: Achieving Prominence in Laboratory Medicine”. One popular feature in our issues is a Q&A on a topic, clearly in this case mass spectrometry. The journal is assembling a panel of 5-6 experts from various areas of mass spectrometry ranging from instrument manufacturing to practicing clinical chemists. Dick Smith is one of the scientist requested to participate in this special issue Q&A on Mass Spectrometry. The Q&A Transcript is attached

  12. Different clinical electrodes achieve similar electrical nerve conduction block

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boger, Adam; Bhadra, Narendra; Gustafson, Kenneth J.

    2013-10-01

    Objective. We aim to evaluate the suitability of four electrodes previously used in clinical experiments for peripheral nerve electrical block applications. Approach. We evaluated peripheral nerve electrical block using three such clinical nerve cuff electrodes (the Huntington helix, the Case self-sizing Spiral and the flat interface nerve electrode) and one clinical intramuscular electrode (the Memberg electrode) in five cats. Amplitude thresholds for the block using 12 or 25 kHz voltage-controlled stimulation, onset response, and stimulation thresholds before and after block testing were determined. Main results. Complete nerve block was achieved reliably and the onset response to blocking stimulation was similar for all electrodes. Amplitude thresholds for the block were lowest for the Case Spiral electrode (4 ± 1 Vpp) and lower for the nerve cuff electrodes (7 ± 3 Vpp) than for the intramuscular electrode (26 ± 10 Vpp). A minor elevation in stimulation threshold and reduction in stimulus-evoked urethral pressure was observed during testing, but the effect was temporary and did not vary between electrodes. Significance. Multiple clinical electrodes appear suitable for neuroprostheses using peripheral nerve electrical block. The freedom to choose electrodes based on secondary criteria such as ease of implantation or cost should ease translation of electrical nerve block to clinical practice.

  13. Optimizing Clinical Research Participant Selection with Informatics.

    PubMed

    Weng, Chunhua

    2015-11-01

    Clinical research participants are often not reflective of real-world patients due to overly restrictive eligibility criteria. Meanwhile, unselected participants introduce confounding factors and reduce research efficiency. Biomedical informatics, especially Big Data increasingly made available from electronic health records, offers promising aids to optimize research participant selection through data-driven transparency.

  14. Multidisciplinary optimization for engineering systems: Achievements and potential

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sobieszczanski-Sobieski, Jaroslaw

    1989-01-01

    The currently common sequential design process for engineering systems is likely to lead to suboptimal designs. Recently developed decomposition methods offer an alternative for coming closer to optimum by breaking the large task of system optimization into smaller, concurrently executed and, yet, coupled tasks, identified with engineering disciplines or subsystems. The hierarchic and non-hierarchic decompositions are discussed and illustrated by examples. An organization of a design process centered on the non-hierarchic decomposition is proposed.

  15. Aircraft optimization by a system approach: Achievements and trends

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sobieszczanski-Sobieski, Jaroslaw

    1992-01-01

    Recently emerging methodology for optimal design of aircraft treated as a system of interacting physical phenomena and parts is examined. The methodology is found to coalesce into methods for hierarchic, non-hierarchic, and hybrid systems all dependent on sensitivity analysis. A separate category of methods has also evolved independent of sensitivity analysis, hence suitable for discrete problems. References and numerical applications are cited. Massively parallel computer processing is seen as enabling technology for practical implementation of the methodology.

  16. Achieving Optimal Privacy in Trust-Aware Social Recommender Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dokoohaki, Nima; Kaleli, Cihan; Polat, Huseyin; Matskin, Mihhail

    Collaborative filtering (CF) recommenders are subject to numerous shortcomings such as centralized processing, vulnerability to shilling attacks, and most important of all privacy. To overcome these obstacles, researchers proposed for utilization of interpersonal trust between users, to alleviate many of these crucial shortcomings. Till now, attention has been mainly paid to strong points about trust-aware recommenders such as alleviating profile sparsity or calculation cost efficiency, while least attention has been paid on investigating the notion of privacy surrounding the disclosure of individual ratings and most importantly protection of trust computation across social networks forming the backbone of these systems. To contribute to addressing problem of privacy in trust-aware recommenders, within this paper, first we introduce a framework for enabling privacy-preserving trust-aware recommendation generation. While trust mechanism aims at elevating recommender's accuracy, to preserve privacy, accuracy of the system needs to be decreased. Since within this context, privacy and accuracy are conflicting goals we show that a Pareto set can be found as an optimal setting for both privacy-preserving and trust-enabling mechanisms. We show that this Pareto set, when used as the configuration for measuring the accuracy of base collaborative filtering engine, yields an optimized tradeoff between conflicting goals of privacy and accuracy. We prove this concept along with applicability of our framework by experimenting with accuracy and privacy factors, and we show through experiment how such optimal set can be inferred.

  17. Gout: optimizing treatment to achieve a disease cure.

    PubMed

    Bernal, José Antonio; Quilis, Neus; Andrés, Mariano; Sivera, Francisca; Pascual, Eliseo

    2016-03-01

    Gout is one of the most common inflammatory arthritides. The disease is due to the deposition of monosodium urate crystals. These deposits are reversible with proper treatment, suggesting that gout is a curable disease. The main aim in gout is to lower serum uric acid levels to a pre-established target; there are different urate-lowering drugs (xanthine oxidase inhibitors, uricosurics and uricases) through which this can be achieved. Proper treatment of gout also involves correct management of acute flares and their prevention. To ensure treatment adherence it is necessary to explain to the patient what the objectives are.

  18. Gout: optimizing treatment to achieve a disease cure

    PubMed Central

    Bernal, José Antonio; Quilis, Neus; Andrés, Mariano; Sivera, Francisca; Pascual, Eliseo

    2016-01-01

    Gout is one of the most common inflammatory arthritides. The disease is due to the deposition of monosodium urate crystals. These deposits are reversible with proper treatment, suggesting that gout is a curable disease. The main aim in gout is to lower serum uric acid levels to a pre-established target; there are different urate-lowering drugs (xanthine oxidase inhibitors, uricosurics and uricases) through which this can be achieved. Proper treatment of gout also involves correct management of acute flares and their prevention. To ensure treatment adherence it is necessary to explain to the patient what the objectives are. PMID:26977282

  19. Concurrently adjusting interrelated control parameters to achieve optimal engine performance

    DOEpatents

    Jiang, Li; Lee, Donghoon; Yilmaz, Hakan; Stefanopoulou, Anna

    2015-12-01

    Methods and systems for real-time engine control optimization are provided. A value of an engine performance variable is determined, a value of a first operating condition and a value of a second operating condition of a vehicle engine are detected, and initial values for a first engine control parameter and a second engine control parameter are determined based on the detected first operating condition and the detected second operating condition. The initial values for the first engine control parameter and the second engine control parameter are adjusted based on the determined value of the engine performance variable to cause the engine performance variable to approach a target engine performance variable. In order to cause the engine performance variable to approach the target engine performance variable, adjusting the initial value for the first engine control parameter necessitates a corresponding adjustment of the initial value for the second engine control parameter.

  20. Faculty Sense of Academic Optimism and Its Relationship to Students' Achievement in Well Performing High Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cromartie, Michael Tyrone

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the organizational characteristics and behaviors that contribute to sustaining a culture of academic optimism as a mechanism of student achievement. While there is a developing research base identifying both the individual elements of academic optimism as well as the academic optimism construct itself as…

  1. Standardization and optimization of CT protocols to achieve low dose.

    PubMed

    Trattner, Sigal; Pearson, Gregory D N; Chin, Cynthia; Cody, Dianna D; Gupta, Rajiv; Hess, Christopher P; Kalra, Mannudeep K; Kofler, James M; Krishnam, Mayil S; Einstein, Andrew J

    2014-03-01

    The increase in radiation exposure due to CT scans has been of growing concern in recent years. CT scanners differ in their capabilities, and various indications require unique protocols, but there remains room for standardization and optimization. In this paper, the authors summarize approaches to reduce dose, as discussed in lectures constituting the first session of the 2013 UCSF Virtual Symposium on Radiation Safety and Computed Tomography. The experience of scanning at low dose in different body regions, for both diagnostic and interventional CT procedures, is addressed. An essential primary step is justifying the medical need for each scan. General guiding principles for reducing dose include tailoring a scan to a patient, minimizing scan length, use of tube current modulation and minimizing tube current, minimizing tube potential, iterative reconstruction, and periodic review of CT studies. Organized efforts for standardization have been spearheaded by professional societies such as the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. Finally, all team members should demonstrate an awareness of the importance of minimizing dose.

  2. Multiphase Nano-Composite Coatings for Achieving Energy Optimization

    SciTech Connect

    Nainaparampil, Jose

    2012-03-26

    UES Inc. and ANL teamed in this work to develop novel coating systems for the protection of surfaces from thermal degradation mainly in two applications; Machining and Die casting. These coatings were specifically designed for the purpose by incorporating required material phases and the overall architecture, which led to reduce the energy usage and increase efficiency of the operations. Following the UES/ANL's feasibility work, the coatings were developed utilizing High power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPMS) and Large area filtered arc deposition (LAFAD) techniques. Toughness, hardness and oxidation resistance: contrasting qualities have been mixed in the right proportion to attain the suitable material characteristic for the cause. Hafnium diboride (HfB2) based materials provided such a system and its properties were tamed to attain the right combination of toughness and hardness by working on the microstructure and architecture of coatings. An effective interfacing material (graded concentrations of topcoat) was also achieved in this work to provide the required adhesion between the substrate and the coating. Combination of an appropriate bond coat and a functional top coat provided the present thermal degradation resistant coating for cutting tools and die-casting applications. Laboratory level performance tests and industrial level application tests by partner companies (Beta Site Testing) were used for the development of these coatings.

  3. Performance-optimized clinical IMRT planning on modern CPUs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziegenhein, Peter; Kamerling, Cornelis Ph; Bangert, Mark; Kunkel, Julian; Oelfke, Uwe

    2013-06-01

    Intensity modulated treatment plan optimization is a computationally expensive task. The feasibility of advanced applications in intensity modulated radiation therapy as every day treatment planning, frequent re-planning for adaptive radiation therapy and large-scale planning research severely depends on the runtime of the plan optimization implementation. Modern computational systems are built as parallel architectures to yield high performance. The use of GPUs, as one class of parallel systems, has become very popular in the field of medical physics. In contrast we utilize the multi-core central processing unit (CPU), which is the heart of every modern computer and does not have to be purchased additionally. In this work we present an ultra-fast, high precision implementation of the inverse plan optimization problem using a quasi-Newton method on pre-calculated dose influence data sets. We redefined the classical optimization algorithm to achieve a minimal runtime and high scalability on CPUs. Using the proposed methods in this work, a total plan optimization process can be carried out in only a few seconds on a low-cost CPU-based desktop computer at clinical resolution and quality. We have shown that our implementation uses the CPU hardware resources efficiently with runtimes comparable to GPU implementations, at lower costs.

  4. Performance-optimized clinical IMRT planning on modern CPUs.

    PubMed

    Ziegenhein, Peter; Kamerling, Cornelis Ph; Bangert, Mark; Kunkel, Julian; Oelfke, Uwe

    2013-06-07

    Intensity modulated treatment plan optimization is a computationally expensive task. The feasibility of advanced applications in intensity modulated radiation therapy as every day treatment planning, frequent re-planning for adaptive radiation therapy and large-scale planning research severely depends on the runtime of the plan optimization implementation. Modern computational systems are built as parallel architectures to yield high performance. The use of GPUs, as one class of parallel systems, has become very popular in the field of medical physics. In contrast we utilize the multi-core central processing unit (CPU), which is the heart of every modern computer and does not have to be purchased additionally. In this work we present an ultra-fast, high precision implementation of the inverse plan optimization problem using a quasi-Newton method on pre-calculated dose influence data sets. We redefined the classical optimization algorithm to achieve a minimal runtime and high scalability on CPUs. Using the proposed methods in this work, a total plan optimization process can be carried out in only a few seconds on a low-cost CPU-based desktop computer at clinical resolution and quality. We have shown that our implementation uses the CPU hardware resources efficiently with runtimes comparable to GPU implementations, at lower costs.

  5. Knowledge Visualizations: A Tool to Achieve Optimized Operational Decision Making and Data Integration

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-06-01

    and pedigree possess additive implications toward the quality of the data utilized within the DSS. F. SUMMARY Decision - making theories such as...VISUALIZATIONS: A TOOL TO ACHIEVE OPTIMIZED OPERATIONAL DECISION MAKING AND DATA INTEGRATION by Paul C. Hudson Jeffrey A. Rzasa June 2015 Thesis...TOOL TO ACHIEVE OPTIMIZED OPERATIONAL DECISION MAKING AND DATA INTEGRATION 5. FUNDING NUMBERS 6. AUTHOR(S) Paul C. Hudson, and Jeffrey A. Rzasa

  6. The Effects of Academic Optimism on Student Academic Achievement in Alabama

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bevel, Raymona King

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of the research was to determine the effects of academic optimism on student academic achievement through measuring the individual and collective effects of academic emphasis, collective efficacy, and faculty trust in clients. Data for this study were obtained from the School Academic Optimism Scale and the reading section of the…

  7. Collective Responsibility, Academic Optimism, and Student Achievement in Taiwan Elementary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wu, Hsin-Chieh

    2012-01-01

    Previous research indicates that collective efficacy, faculty trust in students and parents, and academic emphasis together formed a single latent school construct, called academic optimism. In the U.S., academic optimism has been proven to be a powerful construct that could effectively predict student achievement even after controlling for…

  8. Achieving Core Indicators for HIV Clinical Care Among New Patients at an Urban HIV Clinic.

    PubMed

    Greer, Gillian A; Tamhane, Ashutosh; Malhotra, Rakhi; Burkholder, Greer A; Mugavero, Michael J; Raper, James L; Zinski, Anne

    2015-09-01

    Following the release of the 2010 National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued core clinical indicators for measuring health outcomes in HIV-positive persons. As early retention in HIV primary care is associated with improved long-term health outcomes, we employed IOM indicators as a guide to examine a cohort of persons initiating HIV outpatient medical care at a university-affiliated HIV clinic in the Southern United States (January 2007-July 2012). Using indicators for visit attendance, CD4 and viral load laboratory testing frequency, and antiretroviral therapy initiation, we evaluated factors associated with achieving IOM core indicators among care- and treatment-naïve patients during the first year of HIV care. Of 448 patients (mean age = 35 years, 35.7% white, 79.0% male, 58.4% education beyond high school, 35.9% monthly income > $1,000 US, 47.3% uninsured), 84.6% achieved at least four of five IOM indicators. In multivariable analyses, persons with monthly income > $1,000 (ORadj. = 3.71; 95% CI: 1.68-8.19; p = 0.001) and depressive symptoms (ORadj. = 2.13; 95% CI: 1.02-4.45; p = 0.04) were significantly more likely to achieve at least four of the five core indicators, while patients with anxiety symptoms were significantly less likely to achieve these indicators (ORadj. = 0.50; 95% CI: 0.26-0.97; p = 0.04). Age, sex, race, education, insurance status, transportation barriers, alcohol use, and HIV status disclosure to family were not associated with achieving core indicators. Evaluating and addressing financial barriers and anxiety symptoms during the first year of HIV outpatient care may improve individual health outcomes and subsequent achievement of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

  9. Achieving the World Health Organization's vision for clinical pharmacology.

    PubMed

    Martin, Jennifer H; Henry, David; Gray, Jean; Day, Richard; Bochner, Felix; Ferro, Albert; Pirmohamed, Munir; Mörike, Klaus; Schwab, Matthias

    2016-02-01

    Clinical pharmacology is a medical specialty whose practitioners teach, undertake research, frame policy, give information and advice about the actions and proper uses of medicines in humans and implement that knowledge in clinical practice. It involves a combination of several activities: drug discovery and development, training safe prescribers, providing objective and evidence-based therapeutic information to ethics, regulatory and pricing bodies, supporting patient care in an increasingly subspecialized arena where co-morbidities, polypharmacy, altered pharmacokinetics and drug interactions are common and developing and contributing to medicines policies for Governments. Clinical pharmacologists must advocate drug quality and they must also advocate for sustainability of the Discipline. However for this they need appropriate clinical service and training support. This Commentary discusses strategies to ensure the Discipline is supported by teaching, training and policy organizations, to communicate the full benefits of clinical pharmacology services, put a monetary value on clinical pharmacology services and to grow the clinical pharmacology workforce to support a growing clinical, academic and regulatory need.

  10. Achieving the World Health Organization's vision for clinical pharmacology

    PubMed Central

    Henry, David; Gray, Jean; Day, Richard; Bochner, Felix; Ferro, Albert; Pirmohamed, Munir; Mörike, Klaus; Schwab, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Clinical pharmacology is a medical specialty whose practitioners teach, undertake research, frame policy, give information and advice about the actions and proper uses of medicines in humans and implement that knowledge in clinical practice. It involves a combination of several activities: drug discovery and development, training safe prescribers, providing objective and evidence‐based therapeutic information to ethics, regulatory and pricing bodies, supporting patient care in an increasingly subspecialized arena where co‐morbidities, polypharmacy, altered pharmacokinetics and drug interactions are common and developing and contributing to medicines policies for Governments. Clinical pharmacologists must advocate drug quality and they must also advocate for sustainability of the Discipline. However for this they need appropriate clinical service and training support. This Commentary discusses strategies to ensure the Discipline is supported by teaching, training and policy organizations, to communicate the full benefits of clinical pharmacology services, put a monetary value on clinical pharmacology services and to grow the clinical pharmacology workforce to support a growing clinical, academic and regulatory need. PMID:26466826

  11. Using nursing clinical decision support systems to achieve meaningful use.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Roberta L; Lyerla, Frank

    2012-07-01

    The Health Information Technology and Clinical Health Act (one component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) is responsible for providing incentive payments to hospitals and eligible providers in an effort to support the adoption of electronic health records. Future penalties are planned for electronic health record noncompliance. In order to receive incentives and avoid penalties, hospitals and eligible providers must demonstrate "meaningful use" of their electronic health records. One of the meaningful-use objectives established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services involves the use of a clinical decision support rule that addresses a hospital-defined, high-priority condition. This article describes the Plan-Do-Study-Act process for creating and implementing a nursing clinical decision support system designed to improve guideline adherence for hypoglycemia management. This project identifies hypoglycemia management as the high-priority area. However, other facilities with different high-priority conditions may find the process presented in this article useful for implementing additional clinical decision support rules geared toward improving outcomes and meeting federal mandates.

  12. Expertise, Ethics Expertise, and Clinical Ethics Consultation: Achieving Terminological Clarity.

    PubMed

    Iltis, Ana S; Sheehan, Mark

    2016-08-01

    The language of ethics expertise has become particularly important in bioethics in light of efforts to establish the value of the clinical ethics consultation (CEC), to specify who is qualified to function as a clinical ethics consultant, and to characterize how one should evaluate whether or not a person is so qualified. Supporters and skeptics about the possibility of ethics expertise use the language of ethics expertise in ways that reflect competing views about what ethics expertise entails. We argue for clarity in understanding the nature of expertise and ethics expertise. To be an ethics expert, we argue, is to be an expert in knowing what ought to be done. Any attempt to articulate expertise with respect to knowing what ought to be done must include an account of ethics that specifies the nature of moral truth and the means by which we access this truth or a theoretical account of ethics such that expertise in another domain is linked to knowing or being better at judging what ought to be done and the standards by which this "knowing" or "being better at judging" is determined. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our analysis for the literature on ethics expertise in CEC. We do think that there are clear domains in which a clinical ethics consultant might be expert but we are skeptical about the possibility that this includes ethics expertise. Clinical ethics consultants should not be referred to as ethics experts.

  13. Brachytherapy for clinically localized prostate cancer: optimal patient selection.

    PubMed

    Kollmeier, Marisa A; Zelefsky, Michael J

    2011-10-01

    The objective of this review is to present an overview of each modality and delineate how to best select patients who are optimal candidates for these treatment approaches. Prostate brachytherapy as a curative modality for clinically localized prostate cancer has become increasingly utilized over the past decade; 25% of all early cancers are now treated this way in the United States (1). The popularity of this treatment strategy lies in the highly conformal nature of radiation dose, low morbidity, patient convenience, and high efficacy rates. Prostate brachytherapy can be delivered by either a permanent interstitial radioactive seed implantation (low dose rate [LDR]) or a temporary interstitial insertion of iridium-192 (Ir192) afterloading catheters. The objective of both of these techniques is to deliver a high dose of radiation to the prostate gland while exposing normal surrounding tissues to minimal radiation dose. Brachytherapy techniques are ideal to achieve this goal given the close proximity of the radiation source to tumor and sharp fall off of the radiation dose cloud proximate to the source. Brachytherapy provides a powerful means of delivering dose escalation above and beyond that achievable with intensity-modulated external beam radiotherapy alone. Careful selection of appropriate patients for these therapies, however, is critical for optimizing both disease-related outcomes and treatment-related toxicity.

  14. Clinical Application of Preconditioning and Postconditioning to Achieve Neuroprotection

    PubMed Central

    Dezfulian, Cameron; Garrett, Matthew; Gonzalez, Nestor R.

    2012-01-01

    Ischemic conditioning is a form of endogenous protection induced by transient, subcritical ischemia in a tissue. Organs with high sensitivity to ischemia, such as the heart, the brain, and spinal cord represent the most critical and potentially promising targets for potential therapeutic applications of ischemic conditioning. Numerous preclinical investigations have systematically studied the molecular pathways and potential benefits of both pre- and post-conditioning with promising results. The purpose of this review is to summarize the present knowledge on cerebral pre-and post-conditioning, with an emphasis in the clinical application of these forms of neuroprotection. Methods A systematic Medline search for the terms preconditioning and postconditioning was performed. Publications related to the nervous system and to human applications were selected and analyzed. Findings Pre-and post-conditioning appear to provide similar levels of neuroprotection. The preconditioning window of benefit can be subdivided into early and late effects, depending on whether the effect appears immediately after the sublethal stress or with a delay of days. In general early effects have been associated post-translational modification of critical proteins (membrane receptors, mitochondrial respiratory chain) while late effects are the result of gene up-or down-regulation. Transient ischemic attacks appear to represent a form of clinically relevant preconditioning by inducing ischemic tolerance in the brain and reducing the severity of subsequent strokes. Remote forms of ischemic pre- and post-conditioning have been more commonly used in clinical studies, as the remote application reduces the risk of injuring the target tissue for which protection is pursued. Limb transient ischemia is the preferred method of induction of remote conditioning with evidence supporting its safety. Clinical studies in a variety of populations at risk of central nervous damage including carotid disease

  15. Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors in Individuals with a History of ASDs Who Have Achieved Optimal Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Troyb, Eva; Orinstein, Alyssa; Tyson, Katherine; Eigsti, Inge-Marie; Naigles, Letitia; Fein, Deborah

    2014-01-01

    Studies of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) suggest that restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs) are particularly difficult to remediate. We examined present and past RRBs in 34 individuals who achieved optimal outcomes (OOs; lost their ASD diagnosis), 45 high-functioning individuals with ASD (HFA) and 34 typically developing (TD) peers. The OO…

  16. Academic Optimism, Organizational Citizenship Behaviors, and Student Achievement at Charter Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guvercin, Mustafa

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship among academic optimism, Organizational Citizenship Behaviors (OCBs), and student achievement in college preparatory charter schools. A purposeful sample of elementary school teachers from college preparatory charter schools (N = 226) in southeast Texas was solicited to complete the…

  17. Feedback and assessment for clinical placements: achieving the right balance

    PubMed Central

    Burgess, Annette; Mellis, Craig

    2015-01-01

    During clinical placements, the provision of feedback forms an integral part of the learning process and enriches students’ learning experiences. The purpose of feedback is to improve the learner’s knowledge, skills, or behavior. Receipt of accurate feedback can help to narrow the gap between actual and desired performance. Effective and regular feedback has the potential to reinforce good practice and motivate the learner toward the desired outcome. Despite the obvious role of feedback in effective teaching and learning, a common complaint from students is that they do not receive adequate feedback. Unfortunately, skills in giving and receiving feedback are rarely taught to students or clinicians. This study aims to provide an understanding of the role of feedback within the learning process, consider consequences of inadequate or poorly given feedback, consider the barriers to the feedback process, provide practical guidelines for providing feedback, and consider the need for student and faculty development in feedback skills. PMID:26056511

  18. Use of a Batch Reactive Distillation with Dynamic Optimization Strategy to Achieve Industrial Grade Ethyl Acetate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konakom, Kwantip; Saengchan, Aritsara; Kittisupakorn, Paisan; Mujtaba, Iqbal M.

    2011-08-01

    Industrial grade ethyl acetate is available with minimum purity of 85.0%. It is mostly produced by an ethanol esterification in a distillation process on both batch and continuous modes. However, researches on high purity production with short operating time are rarely achieved. Therefore, the objective in this work is to study an approach to produce ethyl acetate of 90.0% by 8 hours using a batch reactive distillation column. Based on open-loop simulations, the distillation with constant reflux ratio cannot achieve the product specification. Thus, the dynamic optimization strategy is proposed to handle this problem. For the process safety—preventing the dried column and fractured, a minimum reflux ratio must be determined in advance and then an optimal reflux profile is calculated to achieve optimal product yield. Simulation results show that the industrial grade ethyl acetate can be produced by the dynamic optimization programming with two or more time intervals. Besides, the increasing of time intervals can produce more distillate product.

  19. Optimal design in pediatric pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic clinical studies.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Jessica K; Stockmann, Chris; Balch, Alfred; Yu, Tian; Ward, Robert M; Spigarelli, Michael G; Sherwin, Catherine M T

    2015-03-01

    It is not trivial to conduct clinical trials with pediatric participants. Ethical, logistical, and financial considerations add to the complexity of pediatric studies. Optimal design theory allows investigators the opportunity to apply mathematical optimization algorithms to define how to structure their data collection to answer focused research questions. These techniques can be used to determine an optimal sample size, optimal sample times, and the number of samples required for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies. The aim of this review is to demonstrate how to determine optimal sample size, optimal sample times, and the number of samples required from each patient by presenting specific examples using optimal design tools. Additionally, this review aims to discuss the relative usefulness of sparse vs rich data. This review is intended to educate the clinician, as well as the basic research scientist, whom plan on conducting a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic clinical trial in pediatric patients.

  20. Optimal clinical implementation of the Siemens virtual wedge.

    PubMed

    Walker, C P; Richmond, N D; Lambert, G D

    2003-01-01

    Installation of a modern high-energy Siemens Primus linear accelerator at the Northern Centre for Cancer Treatment (NCCT) provided the opportunity to investigate the optimal clinical implementation of the Siemens virtual wedge filter. Previously published work has concentrated on the production of virtual wedge angles at 15 degrees, 30 degrees, 45 degrees, and 60 degrees as replacements for the Siemens hard wedges of the same nominal angles. However, treatment plan optimization of the dose distribution can be achieved with the Primus, as its control software permits the selection of any virtual wedge angle from 15 degrees to 60 degrees in increments of 1 degrees. The same result can also be produced from a combination of open and 60 degrees wedged fields. Helax-TMS models both of these modes of virtual wedge delivery by the wedge angle and the wedge fraction methods respectively. This paper describes results of timing studies in the planning of optimized patient dose distributions by both methods and in the subsequent treatment delivery procedures. Employment of the wedge fraction method results in the delivery of small numbers of monitor units to the beam's central axis; therefore, wedge profile stability and delivered dose with low numbers of monitor units were also investigated. The wedge fraction was proven to be the most efficient method when the time taken for both planning and treatment delivery were taken into consideration, and is now used exclusively for virtual wedge treatment delivery in Newcastle. It has also been shown that there are no unfavorable dosimetric consequences from its practical implementation.

  1. Robust, integrated computational control of NMR experiments to achieve optimal assignment by ADAPT-NMR.

    PubMed

    Bahrami, Arash; Tonelli, Marco; Sahu, Sarata C; Singarapu, Kiran K; Eghbalnia, Hamid R; Markley, John L

    2012-01-01

    ADAPT-NMR (Assignment-directed Data collection Algorithm utilizing a Probabilistic Toolkit in NMR) represents a groundbreaking prototype for automated protein structure determination by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. With a [(13)C,(15)N]-labeled protein sample loaded into the NMR spectrometer, ADAPT-NMR delivers complete backbone resonance assignments and secondary structure in an optimal fashion without human intervention. ADAPT-NMR achieves this by implementing a strategy in which the goal of optimal assignment in each step determines the subsequent step by analyzing the current sum of available data. ADAPT-NMR is the first iterative and fully automated approach designed specifically for the optimal assignment of proteins with fast data collection as a byproduct of this goal. ADAPT-NMR evaluates the current spectral information, and uses a goal-directed objective function to select the optimal next data collection step(s) and then directs the NMR spectrometer to collect the selected data set. ADAPT-NMR extracts peak positions from the newly collected data and uses this information in updating the analysis resonance assignments and secondary structure. The goal-directed objective function then defines the next data collection step. The procedure continues until the collected data support comprehensive peak identification, resonance assignments at the desired level of completeness, and protein secondary structure. We present test cases in which ADAPT-NMR achieved results in two days or less that would have taken two months or more by manual approaches.

  2. The clinical achievement portfolio: an outcomes-based assessment project in nursing education.

    PubMed

    Tracy, S M; Marino, G J; Richo, K M; Daly, E M

    2000-01-01

    Dynamic healthcare market forces impel educators to search for innovative methods of academic assessment to measure learning outcomes. The clinical achievement portfolio is a creative and systematic tool for documenting continuous improvement of student clinical learning. The authors describe the use of the portfolio as a pilot project aimed at introducing reflective thinking and measuring clinical learning in undergraduate nursing education. Potential benefits of the clinical portfolio and implications for future research are proposed.

  3. Optimizing the Clinical Use of Vancomycin

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez, Rocío; López Cortés, Luis E.; Molina, José; Cisneros, José M.

    2016-01-01

    The increasing number of infections produced by beta-lactam–resistant Gram-positive bacteria and the morbidity secondary to these infections make it necessary to optimize the use of vancomycin. In 2009, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the Society of Infectious Disease Pharmacists published specific guidelines about vancomycin dosage and monitoring. However, these guidelines have not been updated in the past 6 years. This review analyzes the new available information about vancomycin published in recent years regarding pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, serum concentration monitoring, and optimal vancomycin dosing in special situations (obese people, burn patients, renal replacement therapy, among others). Vancomycin efficacy is linked to a correct dosage which should aim to reach an area under the curve (AUC)/MIC ratio of ≥400; serum trough levels of 15 to 20 mg/liter are considered a surrogate marker of an AUC/MIC ratio of ≥400 for a MIC of ≤1 mg/liter. For Staphylococcus aureus strains presenting with a MIC >1 mg/liter, an alternative agent should be considered. Vancomycin doses must be adjusted according to body weight and the plasma trough levels of the drug. Nephrotoxicity has been associated with target vancomycin trough levels above 15 mg/liter. Continuous infusion is an option, especially for patients at high risk of renal impairment or unstable vancomycin clearance. In such cases, vancomycin plasma steady-state level and creatinine monitoring are strongly indicated. PMID:26856841

  4. [Clinical laboratory approaches to parodontitis treatment optimization].

    PubMed

    Soboleva, L A; Shul'diakov, A A; Oseeva, A O; Aleksandrova, E A

    2010-01-01

    In order to determine cycloferon liniment clinical-pathogenetic efficacy in comprehensive parodontitis therapy examination and treatment of 80 patients was done. It was determined that the cycloferon liniment use in comprehensive treatment of patients with parodontitis let to reduce infectious load in parodontal pockets and local inflammation intensity, to normalize the secretory immunoglobulin level and immune status indices that provided speed up of healing process and reduction relapse frequency.

  5. Achievements and challenges in automated parameter, shape and topology optimization for divertor design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baelmans, M.; Blommaert, M.; Dekeyser, W.; Van Oevelen, T.

    2017-03-01

    Plasma edge transport codes play a key role in the design of future divertor concepts. Their long simulation times in combination with a large number of control parameters turn the design into a challenging task. In aerodynamics and structural mechanics, adjoint-based optimization techniques have proven successful to tackle similar design challenges. This paper provides an overview of achievements and remaining challenges with these techniques for complex divertor design. It is shown how these developments pave the way for fast sensitivity analysis and improved design from different perspectives.

  6. Computer-aided optimal design of custom scoliosis braces considering clinical and patient evaluations.

    PubMed

    Visser, Daniel; Xue, Deyi; Ronsky, Janet L; Harder, James; Zernicke, Ronald F

    2012-09-01

    Scoliosis causes an abnormal three dimensional curvature of the spine that is often treated by an orthotic device called brace. The objective of this research was to develop a new approach to automatically identify the optimal design of custom-built brace, based on clinical and patient evaluations. In this approach, torso geometry of the scoliosis patient was achieved using a 3-D imaging system that generated a 3-D torso surface model, which was modified using a custom CAD system to design the 3-D brace surface model. Two design parameters, a translational correction factor and a rotational correction factor, were selected to design the brace geometry from the torso geometry. The 3-D digital brace was evaluated by three clinical evaluation measures (imbalance, rib hump and principal axis angle reduction) and one patient evaluation measure (discomfort). A multi-objective optimization method was employed to identify the optimal design parameters considering both clinical and patient evaluations.

  7. Use of allopurinol with low-dose 6-mercaptopurine in inflammatory bowel disease to achieve optimal active metabolite levels: A review of four cases and the literature

    PubMed Central

    Witte, Todd N; Ginsberg, Allen L

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: At least one-third of patients with inflammatory bowel disease do not respond or are intolerant to therapy with 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP). A subgroup fails to attain optimal levels of 6-thioguanine nucleotide (6-TGN) and instead shunts to 6-methylmercaptopurine nucleotide (6-MMPN). PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective chart review was conducted, and four patients are described who had been previously unable to achieve optimal 6-TGN metabolite levels until allopurinol was added to their treatment. RESULTS: All four patients achieved optimal 6-TGN levels and undetectable 6-MMPN with a mean 6-MP dose of 0.49 mg/kg. Three achieved steroid-free clinical remission. Two of those three patients had normalization of liver enzymes; one patient had baseline normal liver enzymes despite an initial 6-MMPN level of 27,369 pmol/8×108 red blood cells. Two patients experienced reversible leukopenia. CONCLUSIONS: Combination allopurinol and low-dose 6-MP is an effective means to achieve optimal metabolite levels and steroid-free clinical remission in previously refractory patients. Caution is advised. PMID:18299738

  8. Optimizing cell sourcing for clinical translation of tissue engineered ears.

    PubMed

    Morrison, Kerry A; Cohen, Benjamin P; Asanbe, Ope; Dong, Xue; Harper, Alice; Bonassar, Lawrence J; Spector, Jason A

    2016-12-05

    Background . Currently, the major impediment to clinical translation of our previously described platform for the fabrication of high fidelity, patient-specific tissue engineered ears is the development of a clinically optimal cell sourcing strategy. A limited autologous auricular chondrocyte (AuC) supply in conjunction with rapid chondrocyte de-differentiation during in vitro expansion currently makes clinical translation more challenging. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) offer significant promise due to their inherent chondrogenic potential, and large availability through minimally invasive procedures. Herein, we demonstrate the promise of AuC/MSC co-culture to fabricate elastic cartilage using 50% fewer AuC than standard approaches.

  9. [Clinical economics: a concept to optimize healthcare services].

    PubMed

    Porzsolt, F; Bauer, K; Henne-Bruns, D

    2012-03-01

    Clinical economics strives to support healthcare decisions by economic considerations. Making economic decisions does not mean saving costs but rather comparing the gained added value with the burden which has to be accepted. The necessary rules are offered in various disciplines, such as economy, epidemiology and ethics. Medical doctors have recognized these rules but are not applying them in daily clinical practice. This lacking orientation leads to preventable errors. Examples of these errors are shown for diagnosis, screening, prognosis and therapy. As these errors can be prevented by application of clinical economic principles the possible consequences for optimization of healthcare are discussed.

  10. Physiological geroscience: targeting function to increase healthspan and achieve optimal longevity.

    PubMed

    Seals, Douglas R; Justice, Jamie N; LaRocca, Thomas J

    2016-04-15

    Most nations of the world are undergoing rapid and dramatic population ageing, which presents great socio-economic challenges, as well as opportunities, for individuals, families, governments and societies. The prevailing biomedical strategy for reducing the healthcare impact of population ageing has been 'compression of morbidity' and, more recently, to increase healthspan, both of which seek to extend the healthy period of life and delay the development of chronic diseases and disability until a brief period at the end of life. Indeed, a recently established field within biological ageing research, 'geroscience', is focused on healthspan extension. Superimposed on this background are new attitudes and demand for 'optimal longevity' - living long, but with good health and quality of life. A key obstacle to achieving optimal longevity is the progressive decline in physiological function that occurs with ageing, which causes functional limitations (e.g. reduced mobility) and increases the risk of chronic diseases, disability and mortality. Current efforts to increase healthspan centre on slowing the fundamental biological processes of ageing such as inflammation/oxidative stress, increased senescence, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired proteostasis and reduced stress resistance. We propose that optimization of physiological function throughout the lifespan should be a major emphasis of any contemporary biomedical policy addressing global ageing. Effective strategies should delay, reduce in magnitude or abolish reductions in function with ageing (primary prevention) and/or improve function or slow further declines in older adults with already impaired function (secondary prevention). Healthy lifestyle practices featuring regular physical activity and ideal energy intake/diet composition represent first-line function-preserving strategies, with pharmacological agents, including existing and new pharmaceuticals and novel 'nutraceutical' compounds, serving as potential

  11. Achieving optimal essential fatty acid status in vegetarians: current knowledge and practical implications.

    PubMed

    Davis, Brenda C; Kris-Etherton, Penny M

    2003-09-01

    Although vegetarian diets are generally lower in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol than are nonvegetarian diets, they provide comparable levels of essential fatty acids. Vegetarian, especially vegan, diets are relatively low in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) compared with linoleic acid (LA) and provide little, if any, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Clinical studies suggest that tissue levels of long-chain n-3 fatty acids are depressed in vegetarians, particularly in vegans. n-3 Fatty acids have numerous physiologic benefits, including potent cardioprotective effects. These effects have been demonstrated for ALA as well as EPA and DHA, although the response is generally less for ALA than for EPA and DHA. Conversion of ALA by the body to the more active longer-chain metabolites is inefficient: < 5-10% for EPA and 2-5% for DHA. Thus, total n-3 requirements may be higher for vegetarians than for nonvegetarians, as vegetarians must rely on conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA. Because of the beneficial effects of n-3 fatty acids, it is recommended that vegetarians make dietary changes to optimize n-3 fatty acid status.

  12. Optimizing hemostatic practices: matching the appropriate hemostat to the clinical situation.

    PubMed

    Neveleff, Deborah J

    2012-11-01

    Achieving hemostasis is a critical focus of clinicians working in the surgical setting, given that uncontrolled surgical bleeding is associated with increased mortality rates and higher costs of care. As principal members of the surgical team, perioperative nurses are in an optimal position to plan and direct care during a bleeding event and throughout a patient's surgical stay. This supplement includes an assessment of the clinical and economic effects of surgical bleeding, a thorough review of available therapies, and a detailed comparison of these products to demonstrate which agents are best suited for a given clinical situation. By understanding the basic science of coagulation and hemostasis and current advances in topical hemostatic agents, including their safety, efficacy, and judicious use, perioperative nurses will be empowered to better assist the surgeon in optimizing patient outcomes.

  13. Blastocyst culture and cryopreservation to optimize clinical outcomes of warming cycles.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Lixia; Xi, Qingsong; Zhang, Hanwang; Li, Yufeng; Ai, Jihui; Jin, Lei

    2013-08-01

    Surplus embryos available for cryopreservation in fresh cycles are considered as having good potential for future use. However, the optimal stage of embryo cryopreservation remains unclear. In this study, 1190 patients with surplus embryos on day 3 were divided into two groups: cleavage-stage embryo cryopreservation (control group) and blastocyst cryopreservation (blastocyst group). The clinical outcomes of the subsequent warming cycles were evaluated. The proportion of cycles with blastocyst formation was 73.8% in the blastocyst group. Although in the blastocyst group, the cancellation rate of blastocyst transfer was increased due to lack of blastocysts available for cryopreservation, the blastocyst group achieved significantly higher rates of clinical pregnancy/cycle (43.2% versus 34.9%; P=0.003), pregnancy/transfer (59.5% versus 35.4%; P<0.001) and implantation (46.5% versus 22.2%; P<0.001) from the first warming cycle compared with the control group. In an embryo-number classified analysis, the clinical pregnancy rate was also higher in the blastocyst group. However, the cumulative pregnancy was similar between the two groups. Blastocyst culture as an embryo selection tool will not improve embryo viability but it will help patients to achieve pregnancy more quickly. Extended culture of surplus embryos to the blastocyst stage for cryopreservation optimizes the clinical outcomes.

  14. Optimal microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) device for achieving high pyroelectric response of AlN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kebede, Bemnnet; Coutu, Ronald A.; Starman, LaVern

    2014-03-01

    This paper discusses research being conducted on aluminum nitride (AlN) as a pyroelectric material for use in detecting applications. AlN is being investigated because of its high pyroelectric coefficient, thermal stability, and high Curie temperature. In order to determine suitability of the pyroelectric properties of AlN for use as a detector, testing of several devices was conducted. These devices were fabricated using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) fabrication processes; the devices were also designed to allow for voltage and current measurements. The deposited AlN films used were 150 nm - 300 nm in thickness. Thin-films were used to rapidly increase the temperature response after the thermal stimulus was applied to the pyroelectric material. This is important because the pyroelectric effect is directly proportional to the rate of temperature change. The design used was a face-electrode bridge that provides thermal isolation which minimizes heat loss to the substrate, thereby increasing operation frequency of the pyroelectric device. A thermal stimulus was applied to the pyroelectric material and the response was measured across the electrodes. A thermal imaging camera was used to monitor the changes in temperature. Throughout the testing process, the annealing temperatures, type of layers, and thicknesses were also varied. These changes resulted in improved MEMS designs, which were fabricated to obtain an optimal design configuration for achieving a high pyroelectric response. A pyroelectric voltage response of 38.9 mVp-p was measured without filtering, 12.45 mVp-p was measured in the infrared (IR) region using a Si filter, and 6.38 mVp-p was measured in the short wavelength IR region using a long pass filter. The results showed that AlN's pyroelectric properties can be used in detecting applications.

  15. Tradeoff-based optimization criteria in clinical trials with multiple objectives and adaptive designs.

    PubMed

    Dmitrienko, Alex; Paux, Gautier; Pulkstenis, Erik; Zhang, Jianliang

    2016-01-01

    The article discusses clinical trial optimization problems in the context of mid- to late-stage drug development. Using the Clinical Scenario Evaluation approach, main objectives of clinical trial optimization are formulated, including selection of clinically relevant optimization criteria, identification of sets of optimal and nearly optimal values of the parameters of interest, and sensitivity assessments. The paper focuses on a class of optimization criteria arising in clinical trials with several competing goals, termed tradeoff-based optimization criteria, and discusses key considerations in constructing and applying tradeoff-based criteria. The clinical trial optimization framework considered in the paper is illustrated using two case studies based on a clinical trial with multiple objectives and a two-stage clinical trial which utilizes adaptive decision rules.

  16. Application of optimal design methodologies in clinical pharmacology experiments.

    PubMed

    Ogungbenro, Kayode; Dokoumetzidis, Aristides; Aarons, Leon

    2009-01-01

    Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics data are often analysed by mixed-effects modelling techniques (also known as population analysis), which has become a standard tool in the pharmaceutical industries for drug development. The last 10 years has witnessed considerable interest in the application of experimental design theories to population pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic experiments. Design of population pharmacokinetic experiments involves selection and a careful balance of a number of design factors. Optimal design theory uses prior information about the model and parameter estimates to optimize a function of the Fisher information matrix to obtain the best combination of the design factors. This paper provides a review of the different approaches that have been described in the literature for optimal design of population pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic experiments. It describes options that are available and highlights some of the issues that could be of concern as regards practical application. It also discusses areas of application of optimal design theories in clinical pharmacology experiments. It is expected that as the awareness about the benefits of this approach increases, more people will embrace it and ultimately will lead to more efficient population pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic experiments and can also help to reduce both cost and time during drug development.

  17. Robust Airfoil Optimization to Achieve Consistent Drag Reduction Over a Mach Range

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Wu; Huyse, Luc; Padula, Sharon; Bushnell, Dennis M. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    We prove mathematically that in order to avoid point-optimization at the sampled design points for multipoint airfoil optimization, the number of design points must be greater than the number of free-design variables. To overcome point-optimization at the sampled design points, a robust airfoil optimization method (called the profile optimization method) is developed and analyzed. This optimization method aims at a consistent drag reduction over a given Mach range and has three advantages: (a) it prevents severe degradation in the off-design performance by using a smart descent direction in each optimization iteration, (b) there is no random airfoil shape distortion for any iterate it generates, and (c) it allows a designer to make a trade-off between a truly optimized airfoil and the amount of computing time consumed. For illustration purposes, we use the profile optimization method to solve a lift-constrained drag minimization problem for 2-D airfoil in Euler flow with 20 free-design variables. A comparison with other airfoil optimization methods is also included.

  18. Identification and Treatment of Pathophysiological Comorbidities of Autism Spectrum Disorder to Achieve Optimal Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Frye, Richard E.; Rossignol, Daniel A.

    2016-01-01

    Despite the fact that the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to rise, no effective medical treatments have become standard of care. In this paper we review some of the pathophysiological abnormalities associated with ASD and their potential associated treatments. Overall, there is evidence for some children with ASD being affected by seizure and epilepsy, neurotransmitter dysfunction, sleep disorders, metabolic abnormalities, including abnormalities in folate, cobalamin, tetrahydrobiopterin, carnitine, redox and mitochondrial metabolism, and immune and gastrointestinal disorders. Although evidence for an association between these pathophysiological abnormalities and ASD exists, the exact relationship to the etiology of ASD and its associated symptoms remains to be further defined in many cases. Despite these limitations, treatments targeting some of these pathophysiological abnormalities have been studied in some cases with high-quality studies, whereas treatments for other pathophysiological abnormalities have not been well studied in many cases. There are some areas of more promising treatments specific for ASD including neurotransmitter abnormalities, particularly imbalances in glutamate and acetylcholine, sleep onset disorder (with behavioral therapy and melatonin), and metabolic abnormalities in folate, cobalamin, tetrahydrobiopterin, carnitine, and redox pathways. There is some evidence for treatments of epilepsy and seizures, mitochondrial and immune disorders, and gastrointestinal abnormalities, particularly imbalances in the enteric microbiome, but further clinical studies are needed in these areas to better define treatments specific to children with ASD. Clearly, there are some promising areas of ASD research that could lead to novel treatments that could become standard of care in the future, but more research is needed to better define subgroups of children with ASD who are affected by specific pathophysiological abnormalities and

  19. Clinical Optimization of Current Digital Mammography Systems (Breast Cancer)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-01-20

    AD-A280 249 ’ •) AD_______ GRANT NO: DAMD17-93-J-3008 TITLE: CLINICAL OPTIMIZATION OF CURRENT DIGITAL MAMMOGRAPHY SYSTEMS (BREAST CANCER ) PRINCIPAL...Current Digital Mammography Systems (Breast Cancer ) Grant No. 6 . _ _ _ _ _ _ __ D A M D 1 7 - 9 3 - J - 3 0 0 8 AUTH•OR(S) Matthew T. Freedman, M.D...will be continuing our research with a 42 micron film digitizer when a machine arrives at our site early in 1994. Breast Cancer , Mammography, Digital

  20. Optimizing the patient transport function at Mayo Clinic.

    PubMed

    Kuchera, Dustin; Rohleder, Thomas R

    2011-01-01

    In this article, we report on the implementation of a computerized scheduling tool to optimize staffing for patient transport at the Mayo Clinic. The tool was developed and implemented in Microsoft Excel and Visual Basic for Applications and includes an easy-to-use interface. The tool allows transport management to consider the trade-offs between patient waiting time and staffing levels. While improved staffing efficiency was a desire of the project, it was important that patient service quality was also maintained. The results show that staffing could be reduced while maintaining historical patient service levels.

  1. A Study of the Relationships between Distributed Leadership, Teacher Academic Optimism and Student Achievement in Taiwanese Elementary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, I-Hua

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between distributed leadership, teachers' academic optimism and student achievement in learning. The study targeted public elementary schools in Taiwan and adopted stratified random sampling to investigate 1500 teachers. Teachers' perceptions were collected by a self-report scale. In…

  2. Should Schools Be Optimistic? An Investigation of the Association between Academic Optimism of Schools and Student Achievement in Primary Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boonen, Tinneke; Pinxten, Maarten; Van Damme, Jan; Onghena, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Academic emphasis, collective efficacy, and faculty trust in students and parents (3 school characteristics positively associated with student achievement) are assumed to form a higher order latent construct, "academic optimism" (Hoy, Tarter, & Woolfolk Hoy, 2006a, 2006b). The aim of the present study is to corroborate the latent…

  3. The Relationship of Mental Pressure with Optimism and Academic Achievement Motivation among Second Grade Male High School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sarouni, Ali Sedigh; Jenaabadi, Hossein; Pourghaz, Abdulwahab

    2016-01-01

    The present study aimed to examine the relationship of mental pressure with optimism and academic achievement motivation among second grade second period male high school students. This study followed a descriptive-correlational method. The sample included 200 second grade second period male high school students in Sooran. Data collection tools in…

  4. Navy Strategy for Achieving Information Dominance, 2013-2017. Optimizing Navy’s Primacy in the Maritime and Information Domains

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

    and resources to optimize decision making and maximize warfighting effects, Navy Information Dominance has become a leading Service priority. In 2009...This Strategy for Achieving Information Dominance provides the framework through which the Navy s information capabilities will be mainstreamed into...the Navy s culture as a distinct warfighting discipline. The strategy focuses on the three fundamental Information Dominance capabilities of Assured

  5. Academic Optimism and Collective Responsibility: An Organizational Model of the Dynamics of Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wu, Jason H.

    2013-01-01

    This study was designed to examine the construct of academic optimism and its relationship with collective responsibility in a sample of Taiwan elementary schools. The construct of academic optimism was tested using confirmatory factor analysis, and the whole structural model was tested with a structural equation modeling analysis. The data were…

  6. Achieving Consistent Near-Optimal Pattern Recognition Accuracy Using Particle Swarm Optimization to Pre-Train Artificial Neural Networks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nikelshpur, Dmitry O.

    2014-01-01

    Similar to mammalian brains, Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) are universal approximators, capable of yielding near-optimal solutions to a wide assortment of problems. ANNs are used in many fields including medicine, internet security, engineering, retail, robotics, warfare, intelligence control, and finance. "ANNs have a tendency to get…

  7. Using Visual and Narrative Methods to Achieve Fair Process in Clinical Care

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The Institute of Medicine has targeted patient-centeredness as an important area of quality improvement. A major dimension of patient-centeredness is respect for patient's values, preferences, and expressed needs. Yet specific approaches to gaining this understanding and translating it to quality care in the clinical setting are lacking. From a patient perspective quality is not a simple concept but is best understood in terms of five dimensions: technical outcomes; decision-making efficiency; amenities and convenience; information and emotional support; and overall patient satisfaction. Failure to consider quality from this five-pronged perspective results in a focus on medical outcomes, without considering the processes central to quality from the patient's perspective and vital to achieving good outcomes. In this paper, we argue for applying the concept of fair process in clinical settings. Fair process involves using a collaborative approach to exploring diagnostic issues and treatments with patients, explaining the rationale for decisions, setting expectations about roles and responsibilities, and implementing a core plan and ongoing evaluation. Fair process opens the door to bringing patient expertise into the clinical setting and the work of developing health care goals and strategies. This paper provides a step by step illustration of an innovative visual approach, called photovoice or photo-elicitation, to achieve fair process in clinical work with acquired brain injury survivors and others living with chronic health conditions. Applying this visual tool and methodology in the clinical setting will enhance patient-provider communication; engage patients as partners in identifying challenges, strengths, goals, and strategies; and support evaluation of progress over time. Asking patients to bring visuals of their lives into the clinical interaction can help to illuminate gaps in clinical knowledge, forge better therapeutic relationships with patients living

  8. Using visual and narrative methods to achieve fair process in clinical care.

    PubMed

    Lorenz, Laura S; Chilingerian, Jon A

    2011-02-16

    The Institute of Medicine has targeted patient-centeredness as an important area of quality improvement. A major dimension of patient-centeredness is respect for patient's values, preferences, and expressed needs. Yet specific approaches to gaining this understanding and translating it to quality care in the clinical setting are lacking. From a patient perspective quality is not a simple concept but is best understood in terms of five dimensions: technical outcomes; decision-making efficiency; amenities and convenience; information and emotional support; and overall patient satisfaction. Failure to consider quality from this five-pronged perspective results in a focus on medical outcomes, without considering the processes central to quality from the patient's perspective and vital to achieving good outcomes. In this paper, we argue for applying the concept of fair process in clinical settings. Fair process involves using a collaborative approach to exploring diagnostic issues and treatments with patients, explaining the rationale for decisions, setting expectations about roles and responsibilities, and implementing a core plan and ongoing evaluation. Fair process opens the door to bringing patient expertise into the clinical setting and the work of developing health care goals and strategies. This paper provides a step by step illustration of an innovative visual approach, called photovoice or photo-elicitation, to achieve fair process in clinical work with acquired brain injury survivors and others living with chronic health conditions. Applying this visual tool and methodology in the clinical setting will enhance patient-provider communication; engage patients as partners in identifying challenges, strengths, goals, and strategies; and support evaluation of progress over time. Asking patients to bring visuals of their lives into the clinical interaction can help to illuminate gaps in clinical knowledge, forge better therapeutic relationships with patients living

  9. Optimal timing for interim analyses in clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Togo, Kanae; Iwasaki, Manabu

    2013-01-01

    In clinical trials, interim analyses are often performed before the completion of the trial. The intention is to possibly terminate the trial early or adjust the sample size. The time of conducting an interim analysis affects the probability of the early termination and the number of subjects enrolled until the interim analysis. This influences the expected total number of subjects. In this study, we examine the optimal time for conducting interim analyses with a view to minimizing the expected total sample size. It is found that regardless of the effect size, the optimal time of one interim analysis for the early termination is approximately two-thirds of the planned observations for the O'Brien-Fleming type of spending function and approximately half of the planned observations for the Pocock type when the subject enrollment is halted for the interim analysis. When the subject enrollment is continuous throughout the trial, the optimal time for the interim analysis varies according to the follow-up duration. We also consider the time for one interim analysis including the sample size adjustment in terms of minimizing the expected total sample size.

  10. Achieving consensus for clinical trials: the REiNS International Collaboration.

    PubMed

    Plotkin, Scott R; Blakeley, Jaishri O; Dombi, Eva; Fisher, Michael J; Hanemann, C Oliver; Walsh, Karin S; Wolters, Pamela L; Widemann, Brigitte C

    2013-11-19

    The neurofibromatoses (NF)--including neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1), neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2), and schwannomatosis--are related tumor-suppressor syndromes characterized by a predisposition to multiple tumor types and other disease manifestations, which often result in functional disability, reduced quality of life, pain, and, in some cases, malignancy. With increasing knowledge of the biology and pathogenesis of NF, clinical trials with targeted agents directed at NF tumors have become available. Most clinical trials for patients with NF have used designs and endpoints similar to oncology trials. However, differences in the disease manifestations and natural history of NF (compared to cancers) require the development of new designs and endpoints to perform meaningful NF clinical trials. The Response Evaluation in Neurofibromatosis and Schwannomatosis (REiNS) International Collaboration was established in 2011 at the Children's Tumor Foundation meeting to achieve consensus within the NF community about the design of future clinical trials, with a specific emphasis on endpoints. The REiNS Collaboration includes 7 working groups that focus on imaging of tumor response; functional, visual, patient-reported, and neurocognitive outcomes; whole-body MRI; and disease biomarkers. This supplement includes the first series of recommendations by the REiNS Collaboration. The hope is that these recommendations will be used by members of the group and by researchers outside of the REiNS International Collaboration to standardize the measurement of outcomes and thus improve clinical trials for patients with NF. Ultimately, we plan to engage industry partners and national regulatory agencies in this process to facilitate the approval of drugs for patients with NF.

  11. A Pharmacist-Staffed, Virtual Gout Management Clinic for Achieving Target Serum Uric Acid Levels: A Randomized Clinical Trial

    PubMed Central

    Goldfien, Robert; Pressman, Alice; Jacobson, Alice; Ng, Michele; Avins, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Context: Relatively few patients with gout receive appropriate treatment. Objective: To determine whether a pharmacist-staffed gout management program is more effective than usual care in achieving target serum uric acid (sUA) levels in gout patients. Design: A parallel-group, randomized controlled trial of a pharmacist-staffed, telephone-based program for managing hyperuricemia vs usual care. Trial duration was 26 weeks. Main Outcome Measures: Primary outcome measure was achieving sUA levels at or below 6 mg/dL at the 26-week visit. Secondary outcome was mean change in sUA levels in the control and intervention groups. Participants were adults with recurrent gout and sUA levels above 6.0 mg/dL. Participants were randomly assigned to management by a clinical pharmacist following protocol or to monitoring of sUA levels but management of their gout by their usual treating physician. Results: Of 102 patients who met eligibility criteria, 77 subjects obtained a baseline sUA measurement and were entered into the trial. Among 37 participants in the intervention group, 13 (35%) had sUA levels at or below 6.0 mg/dL at 26 weeks, compared with 5 (13%) of 40 participants in the control group (risk ratio = 2.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.1 to 7.1, p = 0.03). The mean change in sUA levels among controls was +0.1 mg/dL compared with −1.5 mg/dL in the intervention group (sUA difference = −1.6, 95% CI = −0.9 to −2.4, p < 0.001). Conclusions: A structured pharmacist-staffed program was more effective than usual care for achieving target sUA levels. These results suggest a structured program could greatly improve gout management. PMID:27352414

  12. Optimal markers' placement on the thorax for clinical gait analysis.

    PubMed

    Armand, Stéphane; Sangeux, Morgan; Baker, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Although, several thorax models have been proposed for clinical gait analysis, none has received widespread acceptance nor been subject to any extensive validation work, especially for the marker set to use. The aim of this study was thus to determine the optimal and minimal makers' placement on the thorax for clinical gait analysis. Ten healthy subjects have performed a series of movements (arm, head, trunk) with large amplitude during walking. Reflective markers were taped on the thorax (C7, T2, T4, T6, T8, T10, T12, sternum, clavicles and ribs) and their 3D positions were captured with an opto-electronic system. Each combination of 3 markers has been tested. The global error of each model was computed with the estimated position of the markers considering the thorax segment as a solid segment. Two families of marker sets were identified with the lowest error. The first family was composed by two anterior and one posterior marker on the thorax (incisura jugularis (IJ), xiphoid process, and T8). The second family was composed by two posterior and one anterior maker (IJ, T2 and T8 or T10). Even, if these two families of marker sets presented a similar error for marker position, the angles obtained from these marker sets showed large differences especially for the axial rotation movement of the trunk (up to 40.1°). The optimal and minimal maker set identified with a variety of large movements of the trunk, head and arms was IJ, T2 and T8 or T10.

  13. Optimal multistage designs for randomised clinical trials with continuous outcomes.

    PubMed

    Wason, James M S; Mander, Adrian P; Thompson, Simon G

    2012-02-20

    Multistage designs allow considerable reductions in the expected sample size of a trial. When stopping for futility or efficacy is allowed at each stage, the expected sample size under different possible true treatment effects (δ) is of interest. The δ-minimax design is the one for which the maximum expected sample size is minimised amongst all designs that meet the types I and II error constraints. Previous work has compared a two-stage δ-minimax design with other optimal two-stage designs. Applying the δ-minimax design to designs with more than two stages was not previously considered because of computational issues. In this paper, we identify the δ-minimax designs with more than two stages through use of a novel application of simulated annealing. We compare them with other optimal multistage designs and the triangular design. We show that, as for two-stage designs, the δ-minimax design has good expected sample size properties across a broad range of treatment effects but generally has a higher maximum sample size. To overcome this drawback, we use the concept of admissible designs to find trials which balance the maximum expected sample size and maximum sample size. We show that such designs have good expected sample size properties and a reasonable maximum sample size and, thus, are very appealing for use in clinical trials.

  14. Optimal Experience and Reading Achievement in Virtual Environments among College Level Developmental Readers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burgess, Melissa L.

    2010-01-01

    In this mixed methods study the potential for developmental readers to experience optimal experience (flow) within the multi-user virtual environment, "Second Life," was examined. In an educational context, "Second Life" provided a space for constructivist learning, socialization, exploration, discovery and creativity. The communicative, social…

  15. Study of optimal extraction conditions for achieving high yield and antioxidant activity of tomato seed oil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tomato seeds resulting from tomato processing by-product have not been effectively utilized as value-added products. This study investigated the kinetics of oil extraction from tomato seeds and sought to optimize the oil extraction conditions. The oil was extracted by using hexane as solvent for 0 t...

  16. Optimization of Composite Material System and Lay-up to Achieve Minimum Weight Pressure Vessel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mian, Haris Hameed; Wang, Gang; Dar, Uzair Ahmed; Zhang, Weihong

    2013-10-01

    The use of composite pressure vessels particularly in the aerospace industry is escalating rapidly because of their superiority in directional strength and colossal weight advantage. The present work elucidates the procedure to optimize the lay-up for composite pressure vessel using finite element analysis and calculate the relative weight saving compared with the reference metallic pressure vessel. The determination of proper fiber orientation and laminate thickness is very important to decrease manufacturing difficulties and increase structural efficiency. In the present work different lay-up sequences for laminates including, cross-ply [ 0 m /90 n ] s , angle-ply [ ±θ] ns , [ 90/±θ] ns and [ 0/±θ] ns , are analyzed. The lay-up sequence, orientation and laminate thickness (number of layers) are optimized for three candidate composite materials S-glass/epoxy, Kevlar/epoxy and Carbon/epoxy. Finite element analysis of composite pressure vessel is performed by using commercial finite element code ANSYS and utilizing the capabilities of ANSYS Parametric Design Language and Design Optimization module to automate the process of optimization. For verification, a code is developed in MATLAB based on classical lamination theory; incorporating Tsai-Wu failure criterion for first-ply failure (FPF). The results of the MATLAB code shows its effectiveness in theoretical prediction of first-ply failure strengths of laminated composite pressure vessels and close agreement with the FEA results. The optimization results shows that for all the composite material systems considered, the angle-ply [ ±θ] ns is the optimum lay-up. For given fixed ply thickness the total thickness of laminate is obtained resulting in factor of safety slightly higher than two. Both Carbon/epoxy and Kevlar/Epoxy resulted in approximately same laminate thickness and considerable percentage of weight saving, but S-glass/epoxy resulted in weight increment.

  17. The biopharmaceutics risk assessment roadmap for optimizing clinical drug product performance.

    PubMed

    Selen, Arzu; Dickinson, Paul A; Müllertz, Anette; Crison, John R; Mistry, Hitesh B; Cruañes, Maria T; Martinez, Marilyn N; Lennernäs, Hans; Wigal, Tim L; Swinney, David C; Polli, James E; Serajuddin, Abu T M; Cook, Jack A; Dressman, Jennifer B

    2014-11-01

    The biopharmaceutics risk assessment roadmap (BioRAM) optimizes drug product development and performance by using therapy-driven target drug delivery profiles as a framework to achieve the desired therapeutic outcome. Hence, clinical relevance is directly built into early formulation development. Biopharmaceutics tools are used to identify and address potential challenges to optimize the drug product for patient benefit. For illustration, BioRAM is applied to four relatively common therapy-driven drug delivery scenarios: rapid therapeutic onset, multiphasic delivery, delayed therapeutic onset, and maintenance of target exposure. BioRAM considers the therapeutic target with the drug substance characteristics and enables collection of critical knowledge for development of a dosage form that can perform consistently for meeting the patient's needs. Accordingly, the key factors are identified and in vitro, in vivo, and in silico modeling and simulation techniques are used to elucidate the optimal drug delivery rate and pattern. BioRAM enables (1) feasibility assessment for the dosage form, (2) development and conduct of appropriate "learning and confirming" studies, (3) transparency in decision-making, (4) assurance of drug product quality during lifecycle management, and (5) development of robust linkages between the desired clinical outcome and the necessary product quality attributes for inclusion in the quality target product profile.

  18. Need for optimizing catalyst loading for achieving affordable microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Singh, Inderjeet; Chandra, Amreesh

    2013-08-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology is a promising technology for electricity production together with simultaneous water treatment. Catalysts play an important role in deciding the MFC performance. In most reports, effect of catalyst - both type and quantity is not optimized. In this paper, synthesis of nanorods of MnO2-catalyst particles for application in Pt-free MFCs is reported. The effect of catalyst loading i.e., weight ratio, with respect to conducting element and binder has been optimized by employing large number of combinations. Using simple theoretical model, it is shown that too high (or low) concentration of catalysts result in loss of MFC performance. The operation of MFC has been investigated using domestic wastewater as source of bio-waste for obtaining real world situation. Maximum power density of ∼61 mW/m(2) was obtained when weight ratio of catalyst and conducting species was 1:1. Suitable reasons are given to explain the outcomes.

  19. Optimal maintenance and consolidation therapy for multiple myeloma in actual clinical practice

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Ho Sup; Min, Chang-Ki

    2016-01-01

    Multiple myeloma is an incurable malignant plasma cell-originating cancer. Although its treatment outcomes have improved with the use of glucocorticoids, alkylating drugs, and novel agents, including proteasome inhibitors (bortezomib and carfilzomib) and immunomodulatory drugs (thalidomide, lenalidomide, and pomalidomide), relapse remains a serious problem. Strategies to improve outcomes following autologous stem cell transplantation and frontline treatments in non-transplant patients include consolidation to intensify therapy and improve the depth of response and maintenance therapy to achieve long-term disease control. Many clinical trials have reported increased progression-free and overall survival rates after consolidation and maintenance therapy. The role of consolidation/maintenance therapy has been assessed in patients eligible and ineligible for transplantation and is a valuable option in clinical trial settings. However, the decision to use consolidation and/or maintenance therapy needs to be guided by the individual patient situation in actual clinical practice. This review analyzes the currently available evidence from several reported clinical trials to determine the optimal consolidation and maintenance therapy in clinical practice. PMID:27604793

  20. Optimized atomistic force fields for aqueous solutions of Magnesium and Calcium Chloride: Analysis, achievements and limitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elfgen, Roman; Hülsmann, Marco; Krämer, Andreas; Köddermann, Thorsten; Kirschner, Karl N.; Reith, Dirk

    2016-10-01

    Molecular simulations are an important tool in the study of aqueous salt solutions. To predict the physical properties accurately and reliably, the molecular models must be tailored to reproduce experimental data. In this work, a combination of recent global and local optimization tools is used to derive force fields for MgCl2 (aq) and CaCl2 (aq). The molecular models for the ions are based on a Lennard-Jones (LJ) potential with a superimposed point charge. The LJ parameters are adjusted to reproduce the bulk density and shear viscosity of the different solutions at 1 bar and temperatures of 293.15, 303.15, and 318.15 K. It is shown that the σ-value of chloride consistently has the strongest influence on the system properties. The optimized force field for MgCl2 (aq) provides both properties in good agreement with the experimental data over a wide range of salt concentrations. For CaCl2 (aq), a compromise was made between the bulk density and shear viscosity, since reproducing the two properties requires two different choices of the LJ parameters. This is demonstrated by studying metamodels of the simulated data, which are generated to visualize the correlation between the parameters and observables by using projection plots. Consequently, in order to derive a transferable force field, an error of ˜3% on the bulk density has to be tolerated to yield the shear viscosity in satisfactory agreement with experimental data.

  1. On achieving a clinically useful D-T neutron isocentric therapy system

    SciTech Connect

    Hilton, J.L.; Hendry, G.O.

    1981-04-01

    The Cyclotron Corporation's Model 4100 Neutron Cancer Therapy System with its output of 8 x 10/sup 12/ (14 MeV) neutron/sec designed for 500 hours is made up of: a factory recyclable miniature 200 kV sealed tube which radially accelerates up to 450 mA of deuterium and tritium ions from four duoplasmatron-type ion sources onto a central target; hand changeable radiation collimators; boronated hydrogenous shielding; isocentric gantry mounting; clinical diagnostics; and controls. The self-contained gas handling system which provides the needed differential gas pressure also stores, pumps, cleans, and recycles the D-T inventory. It is composed of a reversible getter high vacuum pump, a selective noble gas sputter ion pump, and a specialized uranium trap which, by controlled thermal decomposition of uranium hydride, regulates the ion source pressure. A D-T gas inventory of 3.7 k curies provides beam-on time of about three hours, while the gas recycle requires one to two hours. The four-sided target is made up from an array of heat transfer-optimized small copper tubes and their metal surface cladding which results in relatively high neutron output and long target life. The double vacuum walls, providing redundant tritium containment, are combined with other safety features.

  2. Metal-binding sites are designed to achieve optimal mechanical and signaling properties

    PubMed Central

    Dutta, Anindita; Bahar, Ivet

    2010-01-01

    Many proteins require bound metals to achieve their function. We take advantage of increasing structural data on metal-binding proteins to elucidate three properties: the involvement of metal-binding sites in the global dynamics of the protein, predicted by elastic network models, their exposure/burial to solvent, and their signal-processing properties indicated by Markovian stochastics analysis. Systematic analysis of a dataset of 145 structures reveals that the residues that coordinate metal ions enjoy remarkably efficient and precise signal transduction properties. These properties are rationalized in terms of their physical properties: participation in hinge sites that control the softest modes collectively accessible to the protein and occupancy of central positions minimally exposed to solvent. Our observations suggest that metal-binding sites may have been evolutionary selected to achieve optimum allosteric communication. They also provide insights into basic principles for designing metal-binding sites, which are verified to be met by recently designed de novo metal-binding proteins. PMID:20826340

  3. Adalimumab induction and maintenance therapy achieve clinical remission and response in Chinese patients with Crohn's disease

    PubMed Central

    Ran, Zhi Hua; Gao, Xiang; Chen, Minhu; Zhong, Jie; Sheng, Jian-Qiu; Kamm, Michael A; Travis, Simon; Wallace, Kori; Mostafa, Nael M; Shapiro, Marisa; Li, Yao; Thakkar, Roopal B; Robinson, Anne M

    2016-01-01

    Background/Aims This was a Phase 2 study (NCT02015793) to evaluate the pharmacokinetics, safety, and efficacy of adalimumab in Chinese patients with Crohn's disease (CD). Methods Thirty, adult Chinese patients with CD (CD Activity Index [CDAI] 220–450; high-sensitivity [hs]-C-reactive protein [CRP] ≥3 mg/L) received double-blind adalimumab 160/80 mg or 80/40 mg at weeks 0/2, followed by 40 mg at weeks 4 and 6. An open-label extension period occurred from weeks 8–26; patients received 40 mg adalimumab every other week. Serum adalimumab concentration and change from baseline in fecal calprotectin (FC) were measured during the double-blind period. Clinical remission (CDAI <150), response (decrease in CDAI ≥70 points from baseline), and change from baseline in hs-CRP were assessed through week 26. Nonresponder imputation was used for missing categorical data and last observation carried forward for missing hs-CRP/FC values. No formal hypothesis was tested. Adverse events were monitored. Results Mean adalimumab serum concentrations during the induction phase were 13.9–18.1 µg/mL (160/80 mg group) and 7.5−9.5 µg/mL (80/40 mg group). During the double-blind period, higher remission/response rates and greater reductions from baseline in hs-CRP and FC were observed with adalimumab 160/80 mg compared to that with 80/40 mg. Adverse event rates were similar among all treatment groups. Conclusions Adalimumab serum concentrations in Chinese patients with CD were comparable to those observed previously in Western and Japanese patients. Clinically meaningful remission rates and improvement in inflammatory markers were achieved with both dosing regimens; changes occurred rapidly with adalimumab 160/80 mg induction therapy. No new safety signals were reported. PMID:27175116

  4. Early phase clinical trials to identify optimal dosing and safety

    PubMed Central

    Cook, Natalie; Hansen, Aaron R.; Siu, Lillian L.; Abdul Razak, Albiruni R.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of early stage clinical trials is to determine the recommended dose and toxicity profile of an investigational agent or multi-drug combination. Molecularly targeted agents (MTAs) and immunotherapies have distinct toxicities from chemotherapies that are often not dose dependent and can lead to chronic and sometimes unpredictable side effects. Therefore utilizing a dose escalation method that has toxicity based endpoints may not be as appropriate for determination of recommended dose, and alternative parameters such as pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic outcomes are potentially appealing options. Approaches to enhance safety and optimize dosing include improved preclinical models and assessment, innovative model based design and dose escalation strategies, patient selection, the use of expansion cohorts and extended toxicity assessments. Tailoring the design of phase I trials by adopting new strategies to address the different properties of MTAs is required to enhance the development of these agents. This review will focus on the limitations to safety and dose determination that have occurred in the development of MTAs and immunotherapies. In addition, strategies are proposed to overcome these challenges to develop phase I trials that can more accurately define the recommended dose and identify adverse events. PMID:25160636

  5. Achieving high lipid productivity of a thermotolerant microalga Desmodesmus sp. F2 by optimizing environmental factors and nutrient conditions.

    PubMed

    Ho, Shih-Hsin; Chang, Jo-Shu; Lai, Yen-Ying; Chen, Ching-Nen Nathan

    2014-03-01

    The optimal conditions for cultivating the thermotolerant lipid-rich microalga Desmodesmus sp. F2 to achieve maximal lipid productivity were determined in this study. The conditions were light intensity, 700μmol/m(2)s; temperature, 35°C; cultivation nitrogen source, nitrate; initial nitrogen level, 6.6mM nitrogen. Carbon dioxide (2.5%, 0.2 vvm) was pumped into the cultures continuously. In the pre-optimized conditions, the maximal lipid productivity of this microalga was 113mg/L/d, which was raised to 263mg/L/d in the optimized conditions. This level of lipid productivity of microalgae is the highest ever reported in the literature. Fatty acid composition of the lipid produced by Desmodesmus sp. F2 in the optimal conditions was determined, in which C16 and C18 species accounted for 95% of the fatty acids. Saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids accounted for 38.9%, 33.1% and 22.6%, respectively. Based on the analysis, this lipid quality makes it a good feedstock for biodiesel production.

  6. High direct drive illumination uniformity achieved by multi-parameter optimization approach: a case study of Shenguang III laser facility.

    PubMed

    Tian, Chao; Chen, Jia; Zhang, Bo; Shan, Lianqiang; Zhou, Weimin; Liu, Dongxiao; Bi, Bi; Zhang, Feng; Wang, Weiwu; Zhang, Baohan; Gu, Yuqiu

    2015-05-04

    The uniformity of the compression driver is of fundamental importance for inertial confinement fusion (ICF). In this paper, the illumination uniformity on a spherical capsule during the initial imprinting phase directly driven by laser beams has been considered. We aim to explore methods to achieve high direct drive illumination uniformity on laser facilities designed for indirect drive ICF. There are many parameters that would affect the irradiation uniformity, such as Polar Direct Drive displacement quantity, capsule radius, laser spot size and intensity distribution within a laser beam. A novel approach to reduce the root mean square illumination non-uniformity based on multi-parameter optimizing approach (particle swarm optimization) is proposed, which enables us to obtain a set of optimal parameters over a large parameter space. Finally, this method is applied to improve the direct drive illumination uniformity provided by Shenguang III laser facility and the illumination non-uniformity is reduced from 5.62% to 0.23% for perfectly balanced beams. Moreover, beam errors (power imbalance and pointing error) are taken into account to provide a more practical solution and results show that this multi-parameter optimization approach is effective.

  7. Optimization of Oxidation Temperature for Commercially Pure Titanium to Achieve Improved Corrosion Resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bansal, Rajesh; Singh, J. K.; Singh, Vakil; Singh, D. D. N.; Das, Parimal

    2017-03-01

    Thermal oxidation of commercially pure titanium (cp-Ti) was carried out at different temperatures, ranging from 200 to 900 °C to achieve optimum corrosion resistance of the thermally treated surface in simulated body fluid. Scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy techniques were used to characterize the oxides and assess their protective properties exposed in the test electrolyte. Maximum resistance toward corrosion was observed for samples oxidized at 500 °C. This was attributed to the formation of a composite layer of oxides at this temperature comprising Ti2O3 (titanium sesquioxide), anatase and rutile phases of TiO2 on the surface of cp-Ti. Formation of an intact and pore-free oxide-substrate interface also improved its corrosion resistance.

  8. Optimization of Oxidation Temperature for Commercially Pure Titanium to Achieve Improved Corrosion Resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bansal, Rajesh; Singh, J. K.; Singh, Vakil; Singh, D. D. N.; Das, Parimal

    2017-02-01

    Thermal oxidation of commercially pure titanium (cp-Ti) was carried out at different temperatures, ranging from 200 to 900 °C to achieve optimum corrosion resistance of the thermally treated surface in simulated body fluid. Scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy techniques were used to characterize the oxides and assess their protective properties exposed in the test electrolyte. Maximum resistance toward corrosion was observed for samples oxidized at 500 °C. This was attributed to the formation of a composite layer of oxides at this temperature comprising Ti2O3 (titanium sesquioxide), anatase and rutile phases of TiO2 on the surface of cp-Ti. Formation of an intact and pore-free oxide-substrate interface also improved its corrosion resistance.

  9. Optimizing Reconstruction with Periorbital Transplantation: Clinical Indications and Anatomic Considerations

    PubMed Central

    Sosin, Michael; Mundinger, Gerhard S.; Dorafshar, Amir H.; Iliff, Nicholas T.; Christensen, Joani M.; Christy, Michael R.; Bojovic, Branko

    2016-01-01

    Background: Complex periorbital subunit reconstruction is challenging because the goals of effective reconstruction vary from one individual to another. The purpose of this article is to explore the indications and anatomic feasibility of periorbital transplantation by reviewing our institutional repository of facial injury. Methods: Institutional review board approval was obtained at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center for a retrospective chart review conducted on patients with periorbital defects. Patient history, facial defects, visual acuity, and periorbital function were critically reviewed to identify indications for periorbital or total face (incorporating the periorbital subunit) vascularized composite allotransplantation. Cadaveric allograft harvest was then designed and performed for specific patient defects to determine anatomic feasibility. Disease conditions not captured by our patient population warranting consideration were reviewed. Results: A total of 7 facial or periorbital transplant candidates representing 6 different etiologies were selected as suitable indications for periorbital transplantation. Etiologies included trauma, burn, animal attack, and tumor, whereas proposed transplants included isolated periorbital and total face transplants. Allograft recovery was successfully completed in 4 periorbital subunits and 1 full face. Dual vascular supply was achieved in 5 of 6 periorbital subunits (superficial temporal and facial vessels). Conclusions: Transplantation of isolated periorbital structures or full face transplantation including periorbital structures is technically feasible. The goal of periorbital transplantation is to re-establish protective mechanisms of the eye, to prevent deterioration of visual acuity, and to optimize aesthetic outcomes. Criteria necessary for candidate selection and allograft design are identified by periorbital defect, periorbital function, ophthalmologic evaluation, and defect etiology. PMID:27014557

  10. Isometric Scaling in Developing Long Bones Is Achieved by an Optimal Epiphyseal Growth Balance.

    PubMed

    Stern, Tomer; Aviram, Rona; Rot, Chagai; Galili, Tal; Sharir, Amnon; Kalish Achrai, Noga; Keller, Yosi; Shahar, Ron; Zelzer, Elazar

    2015-08-01

    One of the major challenges that developing organs face is scaling, that is, the adjustment of physical proportions during the massive increase in size. Although organ scaling is fundamental for development and function, little is known about the mechanisms that regulate it. Bone superstructures are projections that typically serve for tendon and ligament insertion or articulation and, therefore, their position along the bone is crucial for musculoskeletal functionality. As bones are rigid structures that elongate only from their ends, it is unclear how superstructure positions are regulated during growth to end up in the right locations. Here, we document the process of longitudinal scaling in developing mouse long bones and uncover the mechanism that regulates it. To that end, we performed a computational analysis of hundreds of three-dimensional micro-CT images, using a newly developed method for recovering the morphogenetic sequence of developing bones. Strikingly, analysis revealed that the relative position of all superstructures along the bone is highly preserved during more than a 5-fold increase in length, indicating isometric scaling. It has been suggested that during development, bone superstructures are continuously reconstructed and relocated along the shaft, a process known as drift. Surprisingly, our results showed that most superstructures did not drift at all. Instead, we identified a novel mechanism for bone scaling, whereby each bone exhibits a specific and unique balance between proximal and distal growth rates, which accurately maintains the relative position of its superstructures. Moreover, we show mathematically that this mechanism minimizes the cumulative drift of all superstructures, thereby optimizing the scaling process. Our study reveals a general mechanism for the scaling of developing bones. More broadly, these findings suggest an evolutionary mechanism that facilitates variability in bone morphology by controlling the activity of

  11. SU-E-T-175: Clinical Evaluations of Monte Carlo-Based Inverse Treatment Plan Optimization for Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy

    SciTech Connect

    Chi, Y; Li, Y; Tian, Z; Gu, X; Jiang, S; Jia, X

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: Pencil-beam or superposition-convolution type dose calculation algorithms are routinely used in inverse plan optimization for intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). However, due to their limited accuracy in some challenging cases, e.g. lung, the resulting dose may lose its optimality after being recomputed using an accurate algorithm, e.g. Monte Carlo (MC). It is the objective of this study to evaluate the feasibility and advantages of a new method to include MC in the treatment planning process. Methods: We developed a scheme to iteratively perform MC-based beamlet dose calculations and plan optimization. In the MC stage, a GPU-based dose engine was used and the particle number sampled from a beamlet was proportional to its optimized fluence from the previous step. We tested this scheme in four lung cancer IMRT cases. For each case, the original plan dose, plan dose re-computed by MC, and dose optimized by our scheme were obtained. Clinically relevant dosimetric quantities in these three plans were compared. Results: Although the original plan achieved a satisfactory PDV dose coverage, after re-computing doses using MC method, it was found that the PTV D95% were reduced by 4.60%–6.67%. After re-optimizing these cases with our scheme, the PTV coverage was improved to the same level as in the original plan, while the critical OAR coverages were maintained to clinically acceptable levels. Regarding the computation time, it took on average 144 sec per case using only one GPU card, including both MC-based beamlet dose calculation and treatment plan optimization. Conclusion: The achieved dosimetric gains and high computational efficiency indicate the feasibility and advantages of the proposed MC-based IMRT optimization method. Comprehensive validations in more patient cases are in progress.

  12. Long-term management strategies to achieve optimal function in patients with bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Keck, Paul E

    2006-01-01

    Functional impairment is a problem for people with bipolar disorder. Predictors of poor functional outcome are psychiatric and medical comorbidity, interepisode subsyndromal symptoms, psychosis during a manic or mixed episode, and low premorbid functioning. Cognitive dysfunction may also be a contributory factor in functional impairment. Several psychosocial interventions designed for people with bipolar disorder have demonstrated success in improving syndromal outcomes, but the effects of psychosocial interventions on functioning and cognition have not been examined. Among pharmacologic interventions available for long-term treatment of bipolar disorder, there is a strong clinical trend away from monotherapy and toward combination therapy. Lithium, lamotrigine, olanzapine, and aripiprazole have all shown substantial improvements in relapse rates compared with placebo. Although some of these medications show superior results compared with the others in preventing the recurrence of either depressive or manic episodes, only anecdotal evidence exists regarding their effect on cognition. Combination therapy with antipsychotics or antidepressants has also been shown to produce better syndromal outcomes in people with bipolar disorder, but inadequate evidence is available on cognitive outcomes. Substantial information is needed regarding the prevalence and causes of cognitive dysfunction in bipolar disorder, the effects of existing treatments on cognition, and long-term treatments to improve cognition and functioning.

  13. Digital mammography--DQE versus optimized image quality in clinical environment: an on site study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oberhofer, Nadia; Fracchetti, Alessandro; Springeth, Margareth; Moroder, Ehrenfried

    2010-04-01

    The intrinsic quality of the detection system of 7 different digital mammography units (5 direct radiography DR; 2 computed radiography CR), expressed by DQE, has been compared with their image quality/dose performances in clinical use. DQE measurements followed IEC 62220-1-2 using a tungsten test object for MTF determination. For image quality assessment two different methods have been applied: 1) measurement of contrast to noise ratio (CNR) according to the European guidelines and 2) contrast-detail (CD) evaluation. The latter was carried out with the phantom CDMAM ver. 3.4 and the commercial software CDMAM Analyser ver. 1.1 (both Artinis) for automated image analysis. The overall image quality index IQFinv proposed by the software has been validated. Correspondence between the two methods has been shown figuring out a linear correlation between CNR and IQFinv. All systems were optimized with respect to image quality and average glandular dose (AGD) within the constraints of automatic exposure control (AEC). For each equipment, a good image quality level was defined by means of CD analysis, and the corresponding CNR value considered as target value. The goal was to achieve for different PMMA-phantom thicknesses constant image quality, that means the CNR target value, at minimum dose. All DR systems exhibited higher DQE and significantly better image quality compared to CR systems. Generally switching, where available, to a target/filter combination with an x-ray spectrum of higher mean energy permitted dose savings at equal image quality. However, several systems did not allow to modify the AEC in order to apply optimal radiographic technique in clinical use. The best ratio image quality/dose was achieved by a unit with a-Se detector and W anode only recently available on the market.

  14. Effectiveness of increasing the frequency of posaconazole syrup administration to achieve optimal plasma concentrations in patients with haematological malignancy.

    PubMed

    Park, Wan Beom; Cho, Joo-Youn; Park, Sang-In; Kim, Eun Jung; Yoon, Seonghae; Yoon, Seo Hyun; Lee, Jeong-Ok; Koh, Youngil; Song, Kyoung-Ho; Choe, Pyoeng Gyun; Yu, Kyung-Sang; Kim, Eu Suk; Bang, Su Mi; Kim, Nam Joong; Kim, Inho; Oh, Myoung-Don; Kim, Hong Bin; Song, Sang Hoon

    2016-07-01

    Few data are available on whether adjusting the dose of posaconazole syrup is effective in patients receiving anti-cancer chemotherapy. The aim of this prospective study was to analyse the impact of increasing the frequency of posaconazole administration on optimal plasma concentrations in adult patients with haematological malignancy. A total of 133 adult patients receiving chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukaemia or myelodysplastic syndrome who received posaconazole syrup 200 mg three times daily for fungal prophylaxis were enrolled in this study. Drug trough levels were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. In 20.2% of patients (23/114) the steady-state concentration of posaconazole was suboptimal (<500 ng/mL) on Day 8. In these patients, the frequency of posaconazole administration was increased to 200 mg four times daily. On Day 15, the median posaconazole concentration was significantly increased from 368 ng/mL [interquartile range (IQR), 247-403 ng/mL] to 548 ng/mL (IQR, 424-887 ng/mL) (P = 0.0003). The median increase in posaconazole concentration was 251 ng/mL (IQR, 93-517 ng/mL). Among the patients with initially suboptimal levels, 79% achieved the optimal level unless the steady-state level was <200 ng/mL. This study shows that increasing the administration frequency of posaconazole syrup is effective for achieving optimal levels in patients with haematological malignancy undergoing chemotherapy.

  15. Clinical Outcomes according to the Achievement of Target Low Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol in Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Ahn, Taehoon; Lee, Kyounghoon; Kang, Woong Chol; Han, Seung Hwan; Ahn, Youngkeun; Jeong, Myung Ho

    2017-01-01

    Background and Objectives The clinical outcome of patient with an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), with or without achievement of target low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), has little known information. This study investigated if target LDL-C level (below 70 mg/dL) achievements in patients with AMI showed better clinical outcomes or not. Subjects and Methods Between May 2008 and September 2012, this study enrolled 13473 AMI patients in a large-scale, prospective, multicenter Korean Myocardial Infarction (KorMI) registry. 12720 patients survived and 6746 patients completed a 1-year clinical follow up. Among them 3315 patients received serial lipid profile follow-ups. Propensity score matching was applied to adjust for differences in clinical baseline and angiographic characteristics, producing a total of 1292 patients (646 target LDL-C achievers vs. 646 non-achievers). The primary end point was the composite of a 1-year major adverse cardiac event (MACE) including cardiac death, recurrent myocardial infarction (MI), target lesion revascularization (TLR) and coronary artery bypass grafting. Results After propensity score matching, baseline clinical and angiographic characteristics were similar between the two groups. Clinical outcomes of the propensity score matched patients who showed no significant differences in cardiac death (0.5% vs. 0.5%, p=1.000), recurrent MI (1.1% vs. 0.8%, p=0.562), TLR (5.0% vs. 4.5%, p=0.649), MACEs (6.5% vs. 5.9%, p=0.644) and stent thrombosis (2.5% vs. 1.9%, p=0.560). Conclusion In this propensity-matched comparison, AMI patients undergoing PCI with a target LDL-C (below 70 mg/dL) achievement did not show better clinical outcomes. PMID:28154588

  16. Optimal parameters for clinical implementation of breast cancer patient setup using Varian DTS software.

    PubMed

    Ng, Sook Kien; Zygmanski, Piotr; Jeung, Andrew; Mostafavi, Hassan; Hesser, Juergen; Bellon, Jennifer R; Wong, Julia S; Lyatskaya, Yulia

    2012-05-10

    Digital tomosynthesis (DTS) was evaluated as an alternative to cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) for patient setup. DTS is preferable when there are constraints with setup time, gantry-couch clearance, and imaging dose using CBCT. This study characterizes DTS data acquisition and registration parameters for the setup of breast cancer patients using nonclinical Varian DTS software. DTS images were reconstructed from CBCT projections acquired on phantoms and patients with surgical clips in the target volume. A shift-and-add algorithm was used for DTS volume reconstructions, while automated cross-correlation matches were performed within Varian DTS software. Triangulation on two short DTS arcs separated by various angular spread was done to improve 3D registration accuracy. Software performance was evaluated on two phantoms and ten breast cancer patients using the registration result as an accuracy measure; investigated parameters included arc lengths, arc orientations, angular separation between two arcs, reconstruction slice spacing, and number of arcs. The shifts determined from DTS-to-CT registration were compared to the shifts based on CBCT-to-CT registration. The difference between these shifts was used to evaluate the software accuracy. After findings were quantified, optimal parameters for the clinical use of DTS technique were determined. It was determined that at least two arcs were necessary for accurate 3D registration for patient setup. Registration accuracy of 2 mm was achieved when the reconstruction arc length was > 5° for clips with HU ≥ 1000; larger arc length (≥ 8°) was required for very low HU clips. An optimal arc separation was found to be ≥ 20° and optimal arc length was 10°. Registration accuracy did not depend on DTS slice spacing. DTS image reconstruction took 10-30 seconds and registration took less than 20 seconds. The performance of Varian DTS software was found suitable for the accurate setup of breast cancer patients

  17. A hybrid approach to achieving both marginal and conditional balances for stratification variables in sequential clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yunzhi; Su, Zheng

    2013-01-01

    Various methods exist in the literature for achieving marginal balance for baseline stratification variables in sequential clinical trials. One major limitation with balancing on the margins of the stratification variables is that there is an efficiency loss when the primary analysis is stratified. To preserve the efficiency of a stratified analysis one recently proposed approach balances on the crossing of the stratification variables included in the analysis, which achieves conditional balance for the variables. A hybrid approach to achieving both marginal and conditional balances in sequential clinical trials is proposed, which is applicable to both continuous and categorical stratification variables. Numerical results based on extensive simulation studies and a real dataset show that the proposed approach outperforms the existing ones and is particularly useful when both additive and stratified models are planned for a trial.

  18. Clinical Outcome Metrics for Optimization of Robust Training

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ebert, Doug; Byrne, Vicky; Cole, Richard; Dulchavsky, Scott; Foy, Millennia; Garcia, Kathleen; Gibson, Robert; Ham, David; Hurst, Victor; Kerstman, Eric; McGuire, Kerry; Sargsyan, Ashot

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this research is to develop and use clinical outcome metrics and training tools to quantify the differences in performance of a physician vs non-physician crew medical officer (CMO) analogues during simulations.

  19. Scope-of-practice laws for nurse practitioners limit cost savings that can be achieved in retail clinics.

    PubMed

    Spetz, Joanne; Parente, Stephen T; Town, Robert J; Bazarko, Dawn

    2013-11-01

    Retail clinics have the potential to reduce health spending by offering convenient, low-cost access to basic health care services. Retail clinics are often staffed by nurse practitioners (NPs), whose services are regulated by state scope-of-practice regulations. By limiting NPs' work scope, restrictive regulations could affect possible cost savings. Using multistate insurance claims data from 2004-07, a period in which many retail clinics opened, we analyzed whether the cost per episode associated with the use of retail clinics was lower in states where NPs are allowed to practice independently and to prescribe independently. We also examined whether retail clinic use and scope of practice were associated with emergency department visits and hospitalizations. We found that visits to retail clinics were associated with lower costs per episode, compared to episodes of care that did not begin with a retail clinic visit, and the costs were even lower when NPs practiced independently. Eliminating restrictions on NPs' scope of practice could have a large impact on the cost savings that can be achieved by retail clinics.

  20. Relationships between Preferred Learning and Clinical Achievement of Baccalaureate Nursing Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilkerson, Norma Neahr

    Paper presented at the Regional achievement in a nursing course in an integrated curriculum were studied. The theoretical framework was based on Kolb's model of experiential learning, which posited four phases: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation. Kolb's Learning Style Inventory was…

  1. Randomization in clinical trials in orthodontics: its significance in research design and methods to achieve it.

    PubMed

    Pandis, Nikolaos; Polychronopoulou, Argy; Eliades, Theodore

    2011-12-01

    Randomization is a key step in reducing selection bias during the treatment allocation phase in randomized clinical trials. The process of randomization follows specific steps, which include generation of the randomization list, allocation concealment, and implementation of randomization. The phenomenon in the dental and orthodontic literature of characterizing treatment allocation as random is frequent; however, often the randomization procedures followed are not appropriate. Randomization methods assign, at random, treatment to the trial arms without foreknowledge of allocation by either the participants or the investigators thus reducing selection bias. Randomization entails generation of random allocation, allocation concealment, and the actual methodology of implementing treatment allocation randomly and unpredictably. Most popular randomization methods include some form of restricted and/or stratified randomization. This article introduces the reasons, which make randomization an integral part of solid clinical trial methodology, and presents the main randomization schemes applicable to clinical trials in orthodontics.

  2. The role of effective communication in achieving informed consent for clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Pick, Andrew; Gilbert, Kayleigh; McCaul, James

    2014-11-11

    Informed consent is fundamental to the protection of the rights, safety and wellbeing of patients in clinical research. For consent to be valid, patients must first be given all the information they need about the proposed research to be able to decide whether they would like to take part. This material should be presented in a way that is easy for them to understand. This article explores the importance of communication in clinical research, and how more effective communication with patients during the informed consent process can ensure they are fully informed.

  3. Clinical Outcome Metrics for Optimization of Robust Training

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ebert, D.; Byrne, V. E.; McGuire, K. M.; Hurst, V. W., IV; Kerstman, E. L.; Cole, R. W.; Sargsyan, A. E.; Garcia, K. M,; Foy, M. H.; Dulchavsky, S. A.; Gibson, C. R.

    2015-01-01

    The emphasis of this research is on the Human Research Program (HRP) Exploration Medical Capabilities (ExMC) "Risk of Unacceptable Health and Mission Outcomes Due to Limitations of In-flight Medical Capabilities". Specifically, this project aims to contribute to the closure of gap ExMC 2.02: We do not know how the inclusion of a physician crew medical officer quantitatively impacts clinical outcomes during exploration missions. The experiments are specifically designed to address clinical outcome differences between physician and non-physician cohorts in both near-term and longer-term (mission impacting) outcomes.

  4. Optimizing Educational Video through Comparative Trials in Clinical Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aronson, Ian David; Plass, Jan L.; Bania, Theodore C.

    2012-01-01

    Although video is increasingly used in public health education, studies generally do not implement randomized trials of multiple video segments in clinical environments. Therefore, the specific configurations of educational videos that will have the greatest impact on outcome measures ranging from increased knowledge of important public health…

  5. Optimized Cell Survival and Seeding Efficiency for Craniofacial Tissue Engineering Using Clinical Stem Cell Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Rajan, Archana; Eubanks, Emily; Edwards, Sean; Aronovich, Sharon; Travan, Suncica; Rudek, Ivan; Wang, Feng; Lanis, Alejandro

    2014-01-01

    Traumatic injuries involving the face are very common, yet the clinical management of the resulting craniofacial deficiencies is challenging. These injuries are commonly associated with missing teeth, for which replacement is compromised due to inadequate jawbone support. Using cell therapy, we report the upper jaw reconstruction of a patient who lost teeth and 75% of the supporting jawbone following injury. A mixed population of bone marrow-derived autologous stem and progenitor cells was seeded onto β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP), which served as a scaffold to deliver cells directly to the defect. Conditions (temperature, incubation time) to achieve the highest cell survival and seeding efficiency were optimized. Four months after cell therapy, cone beam computed tomography and a bone biopsy were performed, and oral implants were placed to support an engineered dental prosthesis. Cell seeding efficiency (>81%) of the β-TCP and survival during the seeding process (94%) were highest when cells were incubated with β-TCP for 30 minutes, regardless of incubation temperature; however, at 1 hour, cell survival was highest when incubated at 4°C. Clinical, radiographic, and histological analyses confirmed that by 4 months, the cell therapy regenerated 80% of the original jawbone deficiency with vascularized, mineralized bone sufficient to stably place oral implants. Functional and aesthetic rehabilitation of the patient was successfully completed with installation of a dental prosthesis 6 months following implant placement. This proof-of-concept clinical report used an evidence-based approach for the cell transplantation protocol used and is the first to describe a cell therapy for craniofacial trauma reconstruction. PMID:25378653

  6. Lipid Encapsulation Provides Insufficient Total-Tract Digestibility to Achieve an Optimal Transfer Efficiency of Fatty Acids to Milk Fat

    PubMed Central

    Bainbridge, Melissa; Kraft, Jana

    2016-01-01

    Transfer efficiencies of rumen-protected n-3 fatty acids (FA) to milk are low, thus we hypothesized that rumen-protection technologies allow for biohydrogenation and excretion of n-3 FA. The objectives of this study were to i) investigate the ruminal protection and post-ruminal release of the FA derived from the lipid-encapsulated echium oil (EEO), and ii) assess the bioavailability and metabolism of the EEO-derived FA through measuring the FA content in plasma lipid fractions, feces, and milk. The EEO was tested for rumen stability using the in situ nylon bag technique, then the apparent total-tract digestibility was assessed in vivo using six Holstein dairy cattle. Diets consisted of a control (no EEO); 1.5% of dry matter (DM) as EEO and 1.5% DM as encapsulation matrix; and 3% DM as EEO. The EEO was rumen-stable and had no effect on animal production. EEO-derived FA were incorporated into all plasma lipid fractions, with the highest proportion of n-3 FA observed in cholesterol esters. Fecal excretion of EEO-derived FA ranged from 7–14%. Biohydrogenation products increased in milk, plasma, and feces with EEO supplementation. In conclusion, lipid-encapsulation provides inadequate digestibility to achieve an optimal transfer efficiency of n-3 FA to milk. PMID:27741299

  7. Nuclear imaging of the breast: translating achievements in instrumentation into clinical use.

    PubMed

    Hruska, Carrie B; O'Connor, Michael K

    2013-05-01

    Approaches to imaging the breast with nuclear medicine and∕or molecular imaging methods have been under investigation since the late 1980s when a technique called scintimammography was first introduced. This review charts the progress of nuclear imaging of the breast over the last 20 years, covering the development of newer techniques such as breast specific gamma imaging, molecular breast imaging, and positron emission mammography. Key issues critical to the adoption of these technologies in the clinical environment are discussed, including the current status of clinical studies, the efforts at reducing the radiation dose from procedures associated with these technologies, and the relevant radiopharmaceuticals that are available or under development. The necessary steps required to move these technologies from bench to bedside are also discussed.

  8. Nuclear imaging of the breast: Translating achievements in instrumentation into clinical use

    PubMed Central

    Hruska, Carrie B.; O'Connor, Michael K.

    2013-01-01

    Approaches to imaging the breast with nuclear medicine and/or molecular imaging methods have been under investigation since the late 1980s when a technique called scintimammography was first introduced. This review charts the progress of nuclear imaging of the breast over the last 20 years, covering the development of newer techniques such as breast specific gamma imaging, molecular breast imaging, and positron emission mammography. Key issues critical to the adoption of these technologies in the clinical environment are discussed, including the current status of clinical studies, the efforts at reducing the radiation dose from procedures associated with these technologies, and the relevant radiopharmaceuticals that are available or under development. The necessary steps required to move these technologies from bench to bedside are also discussed. PMID:23635248

  9. Achieving quality and fiscal outcomes in patient care: the clinical mentor care delivery model.

    PubMed

    Burritt, Joan E; Wallace, Patricia; Steckel, Cynthia; Hunter, Anita

    2007-12-01

    Contemporary patient care requires sophisticated clinical judgment and reasoning in all nurses. However, the level of development regarding these abilities varies within a staff. Traditional care models lack the structure and process to close the expertise gap creating potential patient safety risks. In an innovative model, senior, experienced nurses were relieved of direct patient care assignments to oversee nursing care delivery. Evaluation of the model showed significant impact on quality and fiscal outcomes.

  10. Achieving clinical statement interoperability using R-MIM and archetype-based semantic transformations.

    PubMed

    Kilic, Ozgur; Dogac, Asuman

    2009-07-01

    Effective use of electronic healthcare records (EHRs) has the potential to positively influence both the quality and the cost of health care. Consequently, sharing patient's EHRs is becoming a global priority in the healthcare information technology domain. This paper addresses the interoperability of EHR structure and content. It describes how two different EHR standards derived from the same reference information model (RIM) can be mapped to each other by using archetypes, refined message information model (R-MIM) derivations, and semantic tools. It is also demonstrated that well-defined R-MIM derivation rules help tracing the class properties back to their origins when the R-MIMs of two EHR standards are derived from the same RIM. Using well-defined rules also enable finding equivalences in the properties of the source and target EHRs. Yet an R-MIM still defines the concepts at the generic level. Archetypes (or templates), on the other hand, constrain an R-MIM to domain-specific concepts, and hence, provide finer granularity semantics. Therefore, while mapping clinical statements between EHRs, we also make use of the archetype semantics. Derivation statements are inferred from the Web Ontology Language definitions of the RIM, the R-MIMs, and the archetypes. Finally, we show how to transform Health Level Seven clinical statement instances to EHRcom clinical statement instances and vice versa by using the generated mapping definitions.

  11. Clinical Outcome Metrics for Optimization of Robust Training

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ebert, D.; Byrne, V. E.; McGuire, K. M.; Hurst, V. W., IV; Kerstman, E. L.; Cole, R. W.; Sargsyan, A. E.; Garcia, K. M.; Reyes, D.; Young, M.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: The emphasis of this research is on the Human Research Program (HRP) Exploration Medical Capability's (ExMC) "Risk of Unacceptable Health and Mission Outcomes Due to Limitations of In-Flight Medical Capabilities." Specifically, this project aims to contribute to the closure of gap ExMC 2.02: We do not know how the inclusion of a physician crew medical officer quantitatively impacts clinical outcomes during exploration missions. The experiments are specifically designed to address clinical outcome differences between physician and non-physician cohorts in both near-term and longer-term (mission impacting) outcomes. Methods: Medical simulations will systematically compare success of individual diagnostic and therapeutic procedure simulations performed by physician and non-physician crew medical officer (CMO) analogs using clearly defined short-term (individual procedure) outcome metrics. In the subsequent step of the project, the procedure simulation outcomes will be used as input to a modified version of the NASA Integrated Medical Model (IMM) to analyze the effect of the outcome (degree of success) of individual procedures (including successful, imperfectly performed, and failed procedures) on overall long-term clinical outcomes and the consequent mission impacts. The procedures to be simulated are endotracheal intubation, fundoscopic examination, kidney/urinary ultrasound, ultrasound-guided intravenous catheter insertion, and a differential diagnosis exercise. Multiple assessment techniques will be used, centered on medical procedure simulation studies occurring at 3, 6, and 12 months after initial training (as depicted in the following flow diagram of the experiment design). Discussion: Analysis of procedure outcomes in the physician and non-physician groups and their subsets (tested at different elapsed times post training) will allow the team to 1) define differences between physician and non-physician CMOs in terms of both procedure performance

  12. Challenges and Solutions in Optimizing Execution Performance of a Clinical Decision Support-Based Quality Measurement (CDS-QM) Framework.

    PubMed

    Tippetts, Tyler J; Warner, Phillip B; Kukhareva, Polina V; Shields, David E; Staes, Catherine J; Kawamoto, Kensaku

    2015-01-01

    Given the close relationship between clinical decision support (CDS) and quality measurement (QM), it has been proposed that a standards-based CDS Web service could be leveraged to enable QM. Benefits of such a CDS-QM framework include semantic consistency and implementation efficiency. However, earlier research has identified execution performance as a critical barrier when CDS-QM is applied to large populations. Here, we describe challenges encountered and solutions devised to optimize CDS-QM execution performance. Through these optimizations, the CDS-QM execution time was optimized approximately three orders of magnitude, such that approximately 370,000 patient records can now be evaluated for 22 quality measure groups in less than 5 hours (approximately 2 milliseconds per measure group per patient). Several key optimization methods were identified, with the most impact achieved through population-based retrieval of relevant data, multi-step data staging, and parallel processing. These optimizations have enabled CDS-QM to be operationally deployed at an enterprise level.

  13. Towards Achieving the Full Clinical Potential of Proton Therapy by Inclusion of LET and RBE Models

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Bleddyn

    2015-01-01

    Despite increasing use of proton therapy (PBT), several systematic literature reviews show limited gains in clinical outcomes, with publications mostly devoted to recent technical developments. The lack of randomised control studies has also hampered progress in the acceptance of PBT by many oncologists and policy makers. There remain two important uncertainties associated with PBT, namely: (1) accuracy and reproducibility of Bragg peak position (BPP); and (2) imprecise knowledge of the relative biological effect (RBE) for different tissues and tumours, and at different doses. Incorrect BPP will change dose, linear energy transfer (LET) and RBE, with risks of reduced tumour control and enhanced toxicity. These interrelationships are discussed qualitatively with respect to the ICRU target volume definitions. The internationally accepted proton RBE of 1.1 was based on assays and dose ranges unlikely to reveal the complete range of RBE in the human body. RBE values are not known for human (or animal) brain, spine, kidney, liver, intestine, etc. A simple efficiency model for estimating proton RBE values is described, based on data of Belli et al. and other authors, which allows linear increases in α and β with LET, with a gradient estimated using a saturation model from the low LET α and β radiosensitivity parameter input values, and decreasing RBE with increasing dose. To improve outcomes, 3-D dose-LET-RBE and bio-effectiveness maps are required. Validation experiments are indicated in relevant tissues. Randomised clinical studies that test the invariant 1.1 RBE allocation against higher values in late reacting tissues, and lower tumour RBE values in the case of radiosensitive tumours, are also indicated. PMID:25790470

  14. Optimal design of clinical trials with biologics using dose-time-response models.

    PubMed

    Lange, Markus R; Schmidli, Heinz

    2014-12-30

    Biologics, in particular monoclonal antibodies, are important therapies in serious diseases such as cancer, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, or rheumatoid arthritis. While most conventional drugs are given daily, the effect of monoclonal antibodies often lasts for months, and hence, these biologics require less frequent dosing. A good understanding of the time-changing effect of the biologic for different doses is needed to determine both an adequate dose and an appropriate time-interval between doses. Clinical trials provide data to estimate the dose-time-response relationship with semi-mechanistic nonlinear regression models. We investigate how to best choose the doses and corresponding sample size allocations in such clinical trials, so that the nonlinear dose-time-response model can be precisely estimated. We consider both local and conservative Bayesian D-optimality criteria for the design of clinical trials with biologics. For determining the optimal designs, computer-intensive numerical methods are needed, and we focus here on the particle swarm optimization algorithm. This metaheuristic optimizer has been successfully used in various areas but has only recently been applied in the optimal design context. The equivalence theorem is used to verify the optimality of the designs. The methodology is illustrated based on results from a clinical study in patients with gout, treated by a monoclonal antibody.

  15. Prediction of the optimum surface orientation angles to achieve maximum solar radiation using Particle Swarm Optimization in Sabha City Libya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mansour, F. A.; Nizam, M.; Anwar, M.

    2017-02-01

    This research aims to predict the optimum surface orientation angles in solar panel installation to achieve maximum solar radiation. Incident solar radiation is calculated using koronakis mathematical model. Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) is used as computational method to find optimum angle orientation for solar panel installation in order to get maximum solar radiation. A series of simulation has been carried out to calculate solar radiation based on monthly, seasonally, semi-yearly and yearly period. South-facing was calculated also as comparison of proposed method. South-facing considers azimuth of 0°. Proposed method attains higher incident predictions than South-facing that recorded 2511.03 kWh/m2for monthly. It were about 2486.49 kWh/m2, 2482.13 kWh/m2and 2367.68 kWh/m2 for seasonally, semi-yearly and yearly. South-facing predicted approximately 2496.89 kWh/m2, 2472.40 kWh/m2, 2468.96 kWh/m2, 2356.09 kWh/m2for monthly, seasonally, semi-yearly and yearly periods respectively. Semi-yearly is the best choice because it needs twice adjustments of solar panel in a year. Yet it considers inefficient to adjust solar panel position in every season or monthly with no significant solar radiation increase than semi-yearly and solar tracking device still considers costly in solar energy system. PSO was able to predict accurately with simple concept, easy and computationally efficient. It has been proven by finding the best fitness faster.

  16. Dynamic whole-body PET parametric imaging: I. Concept, acquisition protocol optimization and clinical application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karakatsanis, Nicolas A.; Lodge, Martin A.; Tahari, Abdel K.; Zhou, Y.; Wahl, Richard L.; Rahmim, Arman

    2013-10-01

    Static whole-body PET/CT, employing the standardized uptake value (SUV), is considered the standard clinical approach to diagnosis and treatment response monitoring for a wide range of oncologic malignancies. Alternative PET protocols involving dynamic acquisition of temporal images have been implemented in the research setting, allowing quantification of tracer dynamics, an important capability for tumor characterization and treatment response monitoring. Nonetheless, dynamic protocols have been confined to single-bed-coverage limiting the axial field-of-view to ˜15-20 cm, and have not been translated to the routine clinical context of whole-body PET imaging for the inspection of disseminated disease. Here, we pursue a transition to dynamic whole-body PET parametric imaging, by presenting, within a unified framework, clinically feasible multi-bed dynamic PET acquisition protocols and parametric imaging methods. We investigate solutions to address the challenges of: (i) long acquisitions, (ii) small number of dynamic frames per bed, and (iii) non-invasive quantification of kinetics in the plasma. In the present study, a novel dynamic (4D) whole-body PET acquisition protocol of ˜45 min total length is presented, composed of (i) an initial 6 min dynamic PET scan (24 frames) over the heart, followed by (ii) a sequence of multi-pass multi-bed PET scans (six passes × seven bed positions, each scanned for 45 s). Standard Patlak linear graphical analysis modeling was employed, coupled with image-derived plasma input function measurements. Ordinary least squares Patlak estimation was used as the baseline regression method to quantify the physiological parameters of tracer uptake rate Ki and total blood distribution volume V on an individual voxel basis. Extensive Monte Carlo simulation studies, using a wide set of published kinetic FDG parameters and GATE and XCAT platforms, were conducted to optimize the acquisition protocol from a range of ten different clinically

  17. Fostering Dental Students' Academic Achievements and Reflection Skills Through Clinical Peer Assessment and Feedback.

    PubMed

    Tricio, Jorge A; Woolford, Mark J; Escudier, Michael P

    2016-08-01

    Peer assessment is increasingly being encouraged to enhance dental students' learning. The aim of this study was to evaluate the educational impact in terms of academic achievements and reflective thinking of a formative prospective peer assessment and feedback protocol. Volunteer final-year dental students at King's College London Dental Institute, UK, received training on peer assessment, peer feedback, and self-reflection. At the beginning (baseline) and end (resultant) of the 2012-13 academic year, 86 students (55% of the year group) completed a reflection questionnaire (RQ). Sixty-eight of those students used a modified Direct Observation of Procedural Skills (DOPS) as a framework for peer assessment and peer feedback during a complete academic year. End-of-year, high-stakes examination grades and RQ scores from the participants and nonparticipants were statistically compared. The participants completed 576 peer DOPS. Those 22 students who peer assessed each other ≥10 times exhibited highly statistically significant differences and powerful positive effect sizes in their high-stakes exam grades (p=0.0001, d=0.74) and critical reflection skills (p=0.005, d=1.41) when compared to those who did not assess one another. Furthermore, only the same 22 students showed a statistically significant increase and positive effect size in their critical reflection skills from baseline to resultant (p=0.003, d=1.04). The results of this study suggest that the protocol used has the potential to impact dental students' academic and reflection skills, provided it is practiced in ten or more peer encounters and ensuring peer feedback is provided followed by self-reflection.

  18. Achieving hemostasis with topical hemostats: making clinically and economically appropriate decisions in the surgical and trauma settings.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Martin A; Neveleff, Deborah J

    2011-11-01

    Achieving hemostasis is a crucial focus of clinicians working in surgical and trauma settings. Topical hemostatic agents-including mechanical hemostats, active hemostats, flowable hemostats, and fibrin sealants-are frequently used in efforts to control bleeding, and new options such as hemostatic dressings, initially used in combat situations, are increasingly being used in civilian settings. To achieve successful hemostasis, a number of vital factors must be considered by surgeons and perioperative nurses, such as the size of the wound; bleeding severity; and the efficacy, possible adverse effects, and method of application of potential hemostatic agents. Understanding how and when to use each of the available hemostatic agents can greatly affect clinical outcomes and help to limit the overall cost of treatment.

  19. Proficiency testing linked to the national reference system for the clinical laboratory: a proposal for achieving accuracy.

    PubMed

    Lasky, F D

    1992-07-01

    I propose using proficiency testing (PT) to achieve one of the important goals of CLIA: accurate and reliable clinical testing. Routine methods for the clinical laboratory are traceable to Definitive (DM) or Reference Methods (RM) or to Methodological Principles (MP) through a modification of the National Reference System for the Clinical Laboratory. PT is the link used to monitor consistent field performance. Although PT has been effective as a relative measure of laboratory performance, the technical limitations of PT fluids and of routine methods currently in use make it unlikely that PT alone can be used as a reliable measure of laboratory accuracy. Instead, I recommend calibration of routine systems through correlation to DM, RM, or MP with use of patients' specimens. The manufacturer is in the best position to assume this responsibility because of also being responsible for consistent, reliable product. Analysis of different manufactured batches of reagent would be compared with predetermined goals for precision and accuracy, as illustrated with data from product testing of Kodak Ektachem clinical chemistry slides. Adoption of this proposal would give manufacturers of PT materials, manufacturers of analytical systems, PT providers, and government agencies time to understand and resolve sources of error that limit the utility of PT for the job required by law.

  20. Optimizing the Use of Aripiprazole Augmentation in the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder: From Clinical Trials to Clinical Practice.

    PubMed

    Han, Changsu; Wang, Sheng-Min; Lee, Soo-Jung; Jun, Tae-Youn; Pae, Chi-Un

    2015-08-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a recurrent, chronic, and devastating disorder leading to serious impairment in functional capacity as well as increasing public health care costs. In the previous decade, switching therapy and dose adjustment of ongoing antidepressants was the most frequently chosen subsequent treatment option for MDD. However, such recommendations were not based on firmly proven efficacy data from well-designed, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials (RCTs) but on practical grounds and clinical reasoning. Aripiprazole augmentation has been dramatically increasing in clinical practice owing to its unique action mechanisms as well as proven efficacy and safety from adequately powered and well-controlled RCTs. Despite the increased use of aripiprazole in depression, limited clinical information and knowledge interfere with proper and efficient use of aripiprazole augmentation for MDD. The objective of the present review was to enhance clinicians' current understanding of aripiprazole augmentation and how to optimize the use of this therapy in the treatment of MDD.

  1. Optimizing the Use of Aripiprazole Augmentation in the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder: From Clinical Trials to Clinical Practice

    PubMed Central

    Han, Changsu; Wang, Sheng-Min; Lee, Soo-Jung; Jun, Tae-Youn

    2015-01-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a recurrent, chronic, and devastating disorder leading to serious impairment in functional capacity as well as increasing public health care costs. In the previous decade, switching therapy and dose adjustment of ongoing antidepressants was the most frequently chosen subsequent treatment option for MDD. However, such recommendations were not based on firmly proven efficacy data from well-designed, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials (RCTs) but on practical grounds and clinical reasoning. Aripiprazole augmentation has been dramatically increasing in clinical practice owing to its unique action mechanisms as well as proven efficacy and safety from adequately powered and well-controlled RCTs. Despite the increased use of aripiprazole in depression, limited clinical information and knowledge interfere with proper and efficient use of aripiprazole augmentation for MDD. The objective of the present review was to enhance clinicians' current understanding of aripiprazole augmentation and how to optimize the use of this therapy in the treatment of MDD. PMID:26306301

  2. Optimizing LINAC-based stereotactic radiotherapy of uveal melanomas: 7 years' clinical experience

    SciTech Connect

    Dieckmann, Karin . E-mail: Karin.Dieckmann@akhwien.at; Georg, Dietmar; Bogner, Joachim; Zehetmayer, Martin; Petersch, Bernhard; Chorvat, Martin; Weitmann, Hajo; Poetter, Richard

    2006-11-15

    Purpose: To report on the clinical outcome of LINAC-based stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) of uveal melanomas. Additionally, a new prototype (hardware and software) for automated eye monitoring and gated SRT using a noninvasive eye fixation technique is described. Patients and Methods: Between June 1997 and March 2004, 158 patients suffering from uveal melanoma were treated at a LINAC with 6 MV (5 x 14 Gy; 5 x 12 Gy prescribed to 80% isodose) photon beams. To guarantee identical patient setup during treatment planning (CT and MRI) and treatment delivery, patients were immobilized with a BrainLAB thermoplastic mask. Eye immobilization was achieved by instructing the patient to fixate on a light source integrated into the mask system. A mini-video camera was used to provide on-line information about the eye and pupil position, respectively. A new CT and magnetic resonance (MR) compatible prototype, based on head-and-neck fixation and the infrared tracking system ExacTrac, has been developed and evaluated since 2002. This system records maximum temporal and angular deviations during treatment and, based on tolerance limits, a feedback signal to the LINAC enables gated SRT. Results: After a median follow-up of 33.4 months (range, 3-85 months), local control was achieved in 98%. Fifteen patients (9.0%) developed metastases. Secondary enucleation was performed in 23 patients (13.8%). Long-term side effects were retinopathy (n = 70; 44%), cataract (n = 30; 23%), optic neuropathy (n = 65; 41%), and secondary neovascular glaucoma (n = 23; 13.8%). Typical situations when preset deviation criteria were exceeded were slow drifts (fatigue), large sudden eye movements (irritation), or eye closing (fatigue). In these cases, radiation was reliably interrupted by the gating system. In our clinical setup, the novel system for computer-controlled gated SRT of uveal melanoma was well tolerated by about 30 of the patients treated with this system so far. Conclusion: LINAC-based SRT of

  3. Optimal Clinical Doses of Faropenem, Linezolid, and Moxifloxacin in Children With Disseminated Tuberculosis: Goldilocks

    PubMed Central

    Srivastava, Shashikant; Deshpande, Devyani; Pasipanodya, Jotam; Nuermberger, Eric; Swaminathan, Soumya; Gumbo, Tawanda

    2016-01-01

    Background. When treated with the same antibiotic dose, children achieve different 0- to 24-hour area under the concentration-time curves (AUC0–24) because of maturation and between-child physiological variability on drug clearance. Children are also infected by Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates with different antibiotic minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs). Thus, each child will achieve different AUC0–24/MIC ratios when treated with the same dose. Methods. We used 10 000-subject Monte Carlo experiments to identify the oral doses of linezolid, moxifloxacin, and faropenem that would achieve optimal target exposures associated with optimal efficacy in children with disseminated tuberculosis. The linezolid and moxifloxacin exposure targets were AUC0–24/MIC ratios of 62 and 122, and a faropenem percentage of time above MIC >60%, in combination therapy. A linezolid AUC0–24 of 93.4 mg × hour/L was target for toxicity. Population pharmacokinetic parameters of each drug and between-child variability, as well as MIC distribution, were used, and the cumulative fraction of response (CFR) was calculated. We also considered drug penetration indices into meninges, bone, and peritoneum. Results. The linezolid dose of 15 mg/kg in full-term neonates and infants aged up to 3 months and 10 mg/kg in toddlers, administered once daily, achieved CFR ≥ 90%, with <10% achieving linezolid AUC0–24 associated with toxicity. The moxifloxacin dose of 25 mg/kg/day achieved a CFR > 90% in infants, but the optimal dose was 20 mg/kg/day in older children. The faropenem medoxomil optimal dosage was 30 mg/kg 3–4 times daily. Conclusions. The regimen and doses of linezolid, moxifloxacin, and faropenem identified are proposed to be adequate for all disseminated tuberculosis syndromes, whether drug-resistant or -susceptible. PMID:27742641

  4. Exemplary Care and Learning Sites: A Model for Achieving Continual Improvement in Care and Learning in the Clinical Setting

    PubMed Central

    Ogrinc, Greg; Hoffman, Kimberly G.; Stevenson, Katherine M.; Shalaby, Marc; Beard, Albertine S.; Thörne, Karin E.; Coleman, Mary T.; Baum, Karyn D.

    2016-01-01

    Problem Current models of health care quality improvement do not explicitly describe the role of health professions education. The authors propose the Exemplary Care and Learning Site (ECLS) model as an approach to achieving continual improvement in care and learning in the clinical setting. Approach From 2008–2012, an iterative, interactive process was used to develop the ECLS model and its core elements—patients and families informing process changes; trainees engaging both in care and the improvement of care; leaders knowing, valuing, and practicing improvement; data transforming into useful information; and health professionals competently engaging both in care improvement and teaching about care improvement. In 2012–2013, a three-part feasibility test of the model, including a site self-assessment, an independent review of each site’s ratings, and implementation case stories, was conducted at six clinical teaching sites (in the United States and Sweden). Outcomes Site leaders reported the ECLS model provided a systematic approach toward improving patient (and population) outcomes, system performance, and professional development. Most sites found it challenging to incorporate the patients and families element. The trainee element was strong at four sites. The leadership and data elements were self-assessed as the most fully developed. The health professionals element exhibited the greatest variability across sites. Next Steps The next test of the model should be prospective, linked to clinical and educa tional outcomes, to evaluate whether it helps care delivery teams, educators, and patients and families take action to achieve better patient (and population) outcomes, system performance, and professional development. PMID:26760058

  5. Clinical optimization of antigen specific modulation of type 1 diabetes with the plasmid DNA platform.

    PubMed

    Gottlieb, Peter; Utz, Paul J; Robinson, William; Steinman, Lawrence

    2013-12-01

    Some clinical trials in humans have aimed at modulation of type 1 diabetes (T1D) via alteration of the immune response to putative islet cell antigens, particularly proinsulin and insulin, glutamic acid decarboxylase and the peptide, DiaPep 277, derived from heat shock protein 60. The focus here is on development of a specially engineered DNA plasmid encoding proinsulin to treat T1D. The plasmid is engineered to turn off adaptive immunity to proinsulin. This approach yielded exciting results in a randomized placebo controlled trial in 80 adult patients with T1D. The implications of this trial are explored in regards to the potential for sparing inflammation in islets and thus allowing the functioning beta cells to recover and produce more insulin. Strategies to further strengthen the effects seen thus far with the tolerizing DNA plasmid to proinsulin will be elucidated. The DNA platform affords an opportunity for easy modifications. In addition standard exploration of dose levels, route of administration and frequency of dose are practical. Optimization of the effects seen to date on C-peptide and on depletion of proinsulin specific CD8 T cells are feasible, with expected concomitant improvement in other parameters like hemoglobin A1c and reduction in insulin usage. T1D is one of the few autoimmune conditions where antigen specific therapy can be achieved, provided the approach is tested intelligently. Tolerizing DNA vaccines to proinsulin and other islet cell autoantigens is a worthy pursuit to potentially treat, prevent and to perhaps even 'cure' or 'prevent' type 1 diabetes.

  6. Linear Energy Transfer-Guided Optimization in Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy: Feasibility Study and Clinical Potential

    SciTech Connect

    Giantsoudi, Drosoula; Grassberger, Clemens; Craft, David; Niemierko, Andrzej; Trofimov, Alexei; Paganetti, Harald

    2013-09-01

    Purpose: To investigate the feasibility and potential clinical benefit of linear energy transfer (LET) guided plan optimization in intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT). Methods and Materials: A multicriteria optimization (MCO) module was used to generate a series of Pareto-optimal IMPT base plans (BPs), corresponding to defined objectives, for 5 patients with head-and-neck cancer and 2 with pancreatic cancer. A Monte Carlo platform was used to calculate dose and LET distributions for each BP. A custom-designed MCO navigation module allowed the user to interpolate between BPs to produce deliverable Pareto-optimal solutions. Differences among the BPs were evaluated for each patient, based on dose–volume and LET–volume histograms and 3-dimensional distributions. An LET-based relative biological effectiveness (RBE) model was used to evaluate the potential clinical benefit when navigating the space of Pareto-optimal BPs. Results: The mean LET values for the target varied up to 30% among the BPs for the head-and-neck patients and up to 14% for the pancreatic cancer patients. Variations were more prominent in organs at risk (OARs), where mean LET values differed by a factor of up to 2 among the BPs for the same patient. An inverse relation between dose and LET distributions for the OARs was typically observed. Accounting for LET-dependent variable RBE values, a potential improvement on RBE-weighted dose of up to 40%, averaged over several structures under study, was noticed during MCO navigation. Conclusions: We present a novel strategy for optimizing proton therapy to maximize dose-averaged LET in tumor targets while simultaneously minimizing dose-averaged LET in normal tissue structures. MCO BPs show substantial LET variations, leading to potentially significant differences in RBE-weighted doses. Pareto-surface navigation, using both dose and LET distributions for guidance, provides the means for evaluating a large variety of deliverable plans and aids in

  7. Organizational Designs for Achieving High Treatment Trial Enrollment: A Fuzzy-Set Analysis of the Community Clinical Oncology Program

    PubMed Central

    Weiner, Bryan J.; Jacobs, Sara R.; Minasian, Lori M.; Good, Marjorie J.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To examine the organizational design features that were consistently associated in 2010 with high levels of patient enrollment onto National Cancer Institute (NCI) cancer treatment trials among the oncology practices and hospitals participating in the NCI Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP). Methods: Fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis was used to identify the recipes (ie, combinations of organizational design features) that CCOPs used to achieve high levels of patient enrollment onto NCI treatment trials in 2010. Four organizational design features were examined: number of open treatment trials with at least one patient enrolled, number of newly diagnosed patients with cancer, number of CCOP-affiliated physicians, and number of CCOP-affiliated hospitals or practices where patient enrollment could occur. Data were obtained from NCI data systems and CCOP grant progress reports. Results: Two recipes were consistently associated with high levels of patient enrollment onto NCI treatment trials in 2010: having many open treatment trials and many new patients with cancer, and having many open treatment trials and many affiliated hospitals or practices. Together, these recipes accounted for nearly two thirds of CCOP membership in the high-performance set in 2010. Conclusion: No single organizational design feature, by itself, was consistently associated with high levels of patient enrollment onto NCI treatment trials in 2010. Having a large menu of active treatment trials may be necessary to achieve high–patient enrollment performance, but this is not sufficient unless combined with either large patient volume or many participating sites. PMID:23277765

  8. Language and Verbal Memory in Individuals with a History of Autism Spectrum Disorders Who Have Achieved Optimal Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tyson, Katherine; Kelley, Elizabeth; Fein, Deborah; Orinstein, Alyssa; Troyb, Eva; Barton, Marianne; Eigsti, Inge-Marie; Naigles, Letitia; Schultz, Robert T.; Stevens, Michael; Helt, Molly; Rosenthal, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Some individuals who lose their autism spectrum disorder diagnosis may continue to display subtle weaknesses in language. We examined language and verbal memory in 44 individuals with high-functioning autism (HFA), 34 individuals with "optimal outcomes" (OO) and 34 individuals with typical development (TD). The OO group scored in the…

  9. Exquisite Moments: Achieving Optimal Flow in Three Activity-Based Groups Regardless of Early-Childhood Adversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomson, Paula; Jaque, S. Victoria

    2016-01-01

    Flow experiences (also known as optimal performance) occur when people engage in activities they enjoy. The authors discuss such events in their study that examined a number of healthy, active individuals (performing artists, athletes, and others engaged in a range of recreational activities) and divided these into three groups based on adverse…

  10. Two Flavonolignans from Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) Inhibit CYP2C9-Mediated Warfarin Metabolism at Clinically Achievable Concentrations

    PubMed Central

    Brantley, Scott J.; Oberlies, Nicholas H.; Kroll, David J.

    2010-01-01

    Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a popular herbal product used for hepatoprotection and chemoprevention. Two commercially available formulations are the crude extract, silymarin, and the semipurified product, silibinin. Silymarin consists of at least seven flavonolignans, of which the most prevalent are the diastereoisomers silybin A and silybin B; silibinin consists only of silybin A and silybin B. Based on a recent clinical study showing an interaction between a silymarin product and the CYP2C9 substrate losartan, the CYP2C9 inhibition properties of silybin A and silybin B and corresponding regioisomers, isosilybin A and isosilybin B, were evaluated using human liver microsomes (HLMs), recombinant CYP2C9 (rCYP2C9) enzymes, and the clinically relevant probe, (S)-warfarin. Silybin B was the most potent inhibitor in HLMs, followed by silybin A, isosilybin B, and isosilybin A (IC50 of 8.2, 18, 74, and >100 μM, respectively). Next, silybin A and silybin B were selected for further characterization. As with HLMs, silybin B was more potent than silybin A toward rCYP2C9*1 (6.7 versus 12 μM), rCYP2C9*2 (9.3 versus 19 μM), and rCYP2C9*3 (2.4 versus 9.3 μM). Using a matrix of five substrate (1–15 μM) and six inhibitor (1–80 μM) concentrations and HLMs, both diastereoisomers inhibited (S)-warfarin 7-hydroxylation in a manner described best by a mixed-type inhibition model (Ki values of 4.8 and 10 μM for silybin B and silybin A, respectively). These observations, combined with the high systemic silibinin concentrations (>5–75 μM) achieved in a phase I study involving prostate cancer patients, prompt clinical evaluation of a potential warfarin-milk thistle interaction. PMID:19934397

  11. Optimal composite scores for longitudinal clinical trials under the linear mixed effects model.

    PubMed

    Ard, M Colin; Raghavan, Nandini; Edland, Steven D

    2015-01-01

    Clinical trials of chronic, progressive conditions use rate of change on continuous measures as the primary outcome measure, with slowing of progression on the measure as evidence of clinical efficacy. For clinical trials with a single prespecified primary endpoint, it is important to choose an endpoint with the best signal-to-noise properties to optimize statistical power to detect a treatment effect. Composite endpoints composed of a linear weighted average of candidate outcome measures have also been proposed. Composites constructed as simple sums or averages of component tests, as well as composites constructed using weights derived from more sophisticated approaches, can be suboptimal, in some cases performing worse than individual outcome measures. We extend recent research on the construction of efficient linearly weighted composites by establishing the often overlooked connection between trial design and composite performance under linear mixed effects model assumptions and derive a formula for calculating composites that are optimal for longitudinal clinical trials of known, arbitrary design. Using data from a completed trial, we provide example calculations showing that the optimally weighted linear combination of scales can improve the efficiency of trials by almost 20% compared with the most efficient of the individual component scales. Additional simulations and analytical results demonstrate the potential losses in efficiency that can result from alternative published approaches to composite construction and explore the impact of weight estimation on composite performance.

  12. Academic Abilities in Children and Adolescents with a History of Autism Spectrum Disorders Who Have Achieved Optimal Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Troyb, Eva; Orinstein, Alyssa; Tyson, Katherine; Helt, Molly; Eigsti, Inge-Marie; Stevens, Michael; Fein, Deborah

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the academic abilities of children and adolescents who were once diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, but who no longer meet diagnostic criteria for this disorder. These individuals have achieved social and language skills within the average range for their ages, receive little or no school support, and are referred to…

  13. Optimizing oncology therapeutics through quantitative translational and clinical pharmacology: challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Venkatakrishnan, K; Friberg, L E; Ouellet, D; Mettetal, J T; Stein, A; Trocóniz, I F; Bruno, R; Mehrotra, N; Gobburu, J; Mould, D R

    2015-01-01

    Despite advances in biomedical research that have deepened our understanding of cancer hallmarks, resulting in the discovery and development of targeted therapies, the success rates of oncology drug development remain low. Opportunities remain for objective dose selection informed by exposure-response understanding to optimize the benefit-risk balance of novel therapies for cancer patients. This review article discusses the principles and applications of modeling and simulation approaches across the lifecycle of development of oncology therapeutics. Illustrative examples are used to convey the value gained from integration of quantitative clinical pharmacology strategies from the preclinical-translational phase through confirmatory clinical evaluation of efficacy and safety.

  14. Study of PET scanner designs using clinical metrics to optimize the scanner axial FOV and crystal thickness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Surti, S.; Werner, M. E.; Karp, J. S.

    2013-06-01

    The aim of this study is to understand the trade-off between crystal thickness and scanner axial field-of-view FOV (AFOV) for clinical PET imaging. Clinical scanner design has evolved towards 20-25 mm thick crystals and 16-22 cm long scanner AFOV, as well as time-of-flight (TOF) imaging. While Monte Carlo studies demonstrate that longer AFOV and thicker crystals will lead to higher scanner sensitivity, cost has prohibited the building of commercial scanners with >22 cm AFOV. In this study, we performed a series of system simulations to optimize the use of a given amount of crystal material by evaluating the impact on system sensitivity and noise equivalent counts (NEC), as well as image quality in terms of lesion detectability. We evaluated two crystal types (LSO and LaBr3) and fixed the total crystal volume used for each type (8.2 L of LSO and 17.1 L of LaBr3) while varying the crystal thickness and scanner AFOV. In addition, all imaging times were normalized so that the total scan time needed to scan a 100 cm long object with multiple bed positions was kept constant. Our results show that the highest NEC cm-1 in a 35 cm diameter ×70 cm long line source cylinder is achieved for an LSO scanner with 10 mm long crystals and AFOV of 36 cm, while for LaBr3 scanners, the highest NEC cm-1 is obtained with 20 mm long crystals and an AFOV of 38 cm. Lesion phantom simulations show that the best lesion detection performance is achieved in scanners with long AFOV (≥36 cm) and using thin crystals (≤10 mm of LSO and ≤20 mm of LaBr3). This is due to a combination of improved NEC, as well as improved lesion contrast estimation due to better spatial resolution in thinner crystals. Alternatively, for lesion detection performance similar to that achieved in standard clinical scanner designs, the long AFOV scanners can be used to reduce the total scan time without increasing the amount of crystal used in the scanner. In addition, for LaBr3 based scanners, the reduced lesion

  15. Study of PET scanner designs using clinical metrics to optimize the scanner axial FOV and crystal thickness

    PubMed Central

    Surti, S; Werner, M E; Karp, J S

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study is to understand the trade-off between crystal thickness and scanner axial FOV (AFOV) for clinical PET imaging. Clinical scanner design has evolved towards 20–25 mm thick crystals and 16–22 cm long scanner AFOV, as well as time-of-flight (TOF) imaging. While Monte Carlo studies demonstrate that longer AFOV and thicker crystals will lead to higher scanner sensitivity, cost has prohibited the building of commercial scanners with > 22 cm AFOV. In this study, we performed a series of system simulations to optimize the use of a given amount of crystal material by evaluating the impact on system sensitivity and NEC, as well image quality in terms of lesion detectability. We evaluated two crystal types (LSO and LaBr3) and fixed the total crystal volume used for each type (8.2 liters of LSO and 17.1 liters of LaBr3) while varying the crystal thickness and scanner AFOV. In addition, all imaging times were normalized so that the total scan time needed to scan a 100 cm long object with multiple bed positions was kept constant. Our results show that the highest NEC/cm in a 35 cm diameter×70 cm long line source cylinder is achieved for an LSO scanner with 10 mm long crystals and AFOV of 36 cm while for LaBr3 scanners, the highest NEC/cm is obtained with 20 mm long crystals and an AFOV of 38 cm. Lesion phantom simulations show best lesion detection performance is achieved in scanners with long AFOV (≥ 36 cm) and using thin crystals (≤ 10 mm of LSO and ≤ 20 mm of LaBr3). This is due to a combination of improved NEC, as well as improved lesion contrast estimation due to better spatial resolution in thinner crystals. Alternatively, for lesion detection performance similar to that achieved in standard clinical scanner designs, the long AFOV scanners can be used to reduce the total scan time without increasing the amount of crystal used in the scanner. In addition, for LaBr3 based scanners, the reduced lesion contrast relative to LSO based scanners

  16. Clinically based diagnostic wax-up for optimal esthetics: the diagnostic mock-up.

    PubMed

    Simon, Harel; Magne, Pascal

    2008-05-01

    A diagnostic wax-up can enhance the predictability of treatment by modeling the desired result in wax prior to treatment. It is critical to correlate the wax-up to the patient to avoid a result that appears optimal on the casts but does not correspond to the patient's smile. This article reviews the applications and techniques for clinically based diagnostic wax-up, and focuses on the diagnostic mock-up philosophy as a means to obtain predictable esthetics and function.

  17. Optimized Three Dimensional Sodium Imaging of the Human Heart on a Clinical 3T scanner

    PubMed Central

    Gai, Neville D.; Rochitte, Carlos; Nacif, Marcelo S.; Bluemke, David A.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Optimization of sequence and sequence parameters to allow 3D sodium imaging of the entire human heart in-vivo in a clinically reasonable time. Theory and Methods A stack of spirals pulse sequence was optimized for cardiac imaging by considering factors such as spoiling, nutation angles, repetition time, echo time, T1/T2 relaxation, off-resonance, data acquisition window, motion and segmented k-space acquisition. Simulations based on Bloch equations as well as the exact trajectory used for data acquisition provided the basis for choice of parameter combinations for sodium imaging. Sodium phantom scanning was used to validate the choice of parameters and for corroboration with simulations. In-vivo cardiac imaging in six volunteers was also done with an optimized sequence. Results Phantom studies showed good correlation with simulation results. Images obtained from human volunteers showed that the heart can be imaged with a nominal resolution of 5 × 5 × 10 mm3 and with SNR>15 (in the septum) in about 6-10 minutes. Long axis views of the reformatted human heart show true 3D imaging capability. Conclusion Optimization of the sequence and its parameters allowed in-vivo 3D sodium imaging of the entire human heart in a clinically reasonable time. PMID:24639022

  18. SU-E-T-387: Achieving Optimal Patient Setup Imaging and Treatment Workflow Configurations in Multi-Room Proton Centers

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, H; Prado, K; Langen, K; Yi, B; Mehta, M; Regine, W; D'Souza, W

    2014-06-01

    Purpose: To simulate patient flow in proton treatment center under uncertainty and to explore the feasibility of treatment preparation rooms to improve patient throughput and cyclotron utilization. Methods: Three center layout scenarios were modeled: (S1: In-Tx room imaging) patient setup and imaging (planar/volumetric) performed in treatment room, (S2: Patient setup in preparation room) each treatment room was assigned with preparation room(s) that was equipped with lasers only for patient setup and gross patient alignment, and (S3: Patient setup and imaging in preparation room) preparation room(s) was equipped with laser and volumetric imaging for patient setup, gross and fine patient alignment. A 'snap' imaging was performed in treatment room. For each scenario, the number of treatment rooms and the number of preparation rooms serving each treatment room were varied. We examined our results (average of 100 16-hour (two shifts) working days) by evaluating patient throughput and cyclotron utilization. Results: When the number of treatment rooms increased ([from, to]) [1, 5], daily patient throughput increased [32, 161], [29, 184] and [27, 184] and cyclotron utilization increased [13%, 85%], [12%, 98%], and [11%, 98%] for scenarios S1, S2 and S3 respectively. However, both measures plateaued after 4 rooms. With the preparation rooms, the throughput and the cyclotron utilization increased by 14% and 15%, respectively. Three preparation rooms were optimal to serve 1-3 treatment rooms and two preparation rooms were optimal to serve 4 or 5 treatment rooms. Conclusion: Patient preparation rooms for patient setup may increase throughput and decrease the need for additional treatment rooms (cost effective). Optimal number of preparation rooms serving each gantry room varies as a function of treatment rooms and patient setup scenarios. A 5th treatment room may not be justified by throughput or utilization.

  19. Optimization of contrast-enhanced spectral mammography depending on clinical indication

    PubMed Central

    Dromain, Clarisse; Canale, Sandra; Saab-Puong, Sylvie; Carton, Ann-Katherine; Muller, Serge; Fallenberg, Eva Maria

    2014-01-01

    Abstract. The objective is to optimize low-energy (LE) and high-energy (HE) exposure parameters of contrast-enhanced spectral mammography (CESM) examinations in four different clinical applications for which different levels of average glandular dose (AGD) and ratios between LE and total doses are required. The optimization was performed on a Senographe DS with a SenoBright® upgrade. Simulations were performed to find the optima by maximizing the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) on the recombined CESM image using different targeted doses and LE image quality. The linearity between iodine concentration and CNR as well as the minimal detectable iodine concentration was assessed. The image quality of the LE image was assessed on the CDMAM contrast-detail phantom. Experiments confirmed the optima found on simulation. The CNR was higher for each clinical indication than for SenoBright®, including the screening indication for which the total AGD was 22% lower. Minimal iodine concentrations detectable in the case of a 3-mm-diameter round tumor were 12.5% lower than those obtained for the same dose in the clinical routine. LE image quality satisfied EUREF acceptable limits for threshold contrast. This newly optimized set of acquisition parameters allows increased contrast detectability compared to parameters currently used without a significant loss in LE image quality. PMID:26158058

  20. Optimization of protocol design: a path to efficient, lower cost clinical trial execution

    PubMed Central

    Malikova, Marina A

    2016-01-01

    Managing clinical trials requires strategic planning and efficient execution. In order to achieve a timely delivery of important clinical trials’ outcomes, it is useful to establish standardized trial management guidelines and develop robust scoring methodology for evaluation of study protocol complexity. This review will explore the challenges clinical teams face in developing protocols to ensure that the right patients are enrolled and the right data are collected to demonstrate that a drug is safe and efficacious, while managing study costs and study complexity based on proposed comprehensive scoring model. Key factors to consider when developing protocols and techniques to minimize complexity will be discussed. A methodology to identify processes at planning phase, approaches to increase fiscal return and mitigate fiscal compliance risk for clinical trials will be addressed. PMID:28031939

  1. Optimization of Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation: Insights Gained from Clinically-Derived Computer Models

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jichao; Kharche, Sanjay R.; Hansen, Brian J.; Csepe, Thomas A.; Wang, Yufeng; Stiles, Martin K.; Fedorov, Vadim V.

    2015-01-01

    Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disturbance, and its treatment is an increasing economic burden on the health care system. Despite recent intense clinical, experimental and basic research activity, the treatment of AF with current antiarrhythmic drugs and catheter/surgical therapies remains limited. Radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) is widely used to treat patients with AF. Current clinical ablation strategies are largely based on atrial anatomy and/or substrate detected using different approaches, and they vary from one clinical center to another. The nature of clinical ablation leads to ambiguity regarding the optimal patient personalization of the therapy partly due to the fact that each empirical configuration of ablation lines made in a patient is irreversible during one ablation procedure. To investigate optimized ablation lesion line sets, in silico experimentation is an ideal solution. 3D computer models give us a unique advantage to plan and assess the effectiveness of different ablation strategies before and during RFCA. Reliability of in silico assessment is ensured by inclusion of accurate 3D atrial geometry, realistic fiber orientation, accurate fibrosis distribution and cellular kinetics; however, most of this detailed information in the current computer models is extrapolated from animal models and not from the human heart. The predictive power of computer models will increase as they are validated with human experimental and clinical data. To make the most from a computer model, one needs to develop 3D computer models based on the same functionally and structurally mapped intact human atria with high spatial resolution. The purpose of this review paper is to summarize recent developments in clinically-derived computer models and the clinical insights they provide for catheter ablation. PMID:25984605

  2. Optimal adaptive two-stage designs for early phase II clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Shan, Guogen; Wilding, Gregory E; Hutson, Alan D; Gerstenberger, Shawn

    2016-04-15

    Simon's optimal two-stage design has been widely used in early phase clinical trials for Oncology and AIDS studies with binary endpoints. With this approach, the second-stage sample size is fixed when the trial passes the first stage with sufficient activity. Adaptive designs, such as those due to Banerjee and Tsiatis (2006) and Englert and Kieser (2013), are flexible in the sense that the second-stage sample size depends on the response from the first stage, and these designs are often seen to reduce the expected sample size under the null hypothesis as compared with Simon's approach. An unappealing trait of the existing designs is that they are not associated with a second-stage sample size, which is a non-increasing function of the first-stage response rate. In this paper, an efficient intelligent process, the branch-and-bound algorithm, is used in extensively searching for the optimal adaptive design with the smallest expected sample size under the null, while the type I and II error rates are maintained and the aforementioned monotonicity characteristic is respected. The proposed optimal design is observed to have smaller expected sample sizes compared to Simon's optimal design, and the maximum total sample size of the proposed adaptive design is very close to that from Simon's method. The proposed optimal adaptive two-stage design is recommended for use in practice to improve the flexibility and efficiency of early phase therapeutic development.

  3. Using ant colony optimization on the quadratic assignment problem to achieve low energy cost in geo-distributed data centers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osei, Richard

    There are many problems associated with operating a data center. Some of these problems include data security, system performance, increasing infrastructure complexity, increasing storage utilization, keeping up with data growth, and increasing energy costs. Energy cost differs by location, and at most locations fluctuates over time. The rising cost of energy makes it harder for data centers to function properly and provide a good quality of service. With reduced energy cost, data centers will have longer lasting servers/equipment, higher availability of resources, better quality of service, a greener environment, and reduced service and software costs for consumers. Some of the ways that data centers have tried to using to reduce energy costs include dynamically switching on and off servers based on the number of users and some predefined conditions, the use of environmental monitoring sensors, and the use of dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS), which enables processors to run at different combinations of frequencies with voltages to reduce energy cost. This thesis presents another method by which energy cost at data centers could be reduced. This method involves the use of Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) on a Quadratic Assignment Problem (QAP) in assigning user request to servers in geo-distributed data centers. In this paper, an effort to reduce data center energy cost involves the use of front portals, which handle users' requests, were used as ants to find cost effective ways to assign users requests to a server in heterogeneous geo-distributed data centers. The simulation results indicate that the ACO for Optimal Server Activation and Task Placement algorithm reduces energy cost on a small and large number of users' requests in a geo-distributed data center and its performance increases as the input data grows. In a simulation with 3 geo-distributed data centers, and user's resource request ranging from 25,000 to 25,000,000, the ACO algorithm was able

  4. Toward Optimal Cryopreservation and Storage for Achievement of High Cell Recovery and Maintenance of Cell Viability and T Cell Functionality

    PubMed Central

    Angel, Stephanie; von Briesen, Hagen; Oh, Young-Joo; Baller, Marko K.; Zimmermann, Heiko

    2016-01-01

    Cryopreservation of biological materials such as cells, tissues, and organs is a prevailing topic of high importance. It is employed not only in many research fields but also in the clinical area. Cryopreservation is of great importance for reproductive medicine and clinical studies, as well as for the development of vaccines. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) are commonly used in vaccine research where comparable and reliable results between different research institutions and laboratories are of high importance. Whereas freezing and thawing processes are well studied, controlled, and standardized, storage conditions are often disregarded. To close this gap, we investigated the influence of suboptimal storage conditions during low-temperature storage on PBMC viability, recovery, and T cell functionality. For this purpose, PBMCs were isolated and exposed with help of a robotic system in a low-temperature environment from 0 up to 350 temperature fluctuation cycles in steps of 50 cycles to simulate storage conditions in large biorepositories with sample storage, removal, and sorting functions. After the simulation, the viability, recovery, and T cell functionality were analyzed to determine the number of temperature rises, which ultimately lead to significant cell damage. All studied parameters decreased with increasing number of temperature cycles. Sometimes after as little as only 50 temperature cycles, a significant effect was observed. These results are very important for all fields in which cell cryopreservation is employed, particularly for clinical and multicenter studies wherein the comparability and reproducibility of results play a crucial role. To obtain reliable results and to maintain the quality of the cells, not only the freezing and thawing processes but also the storage conditions should be controlled and standardized, and any deviations should be documented. PMID:27792414

  5. ACHIEVING NEW SOURCE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS (NSPS) EMISSION STANDARDS THROUGH INTEGRATION OF LOW-NOx BURNERS WITH AN OPTIMIZATION PLAN FOR BOILER COMBUSTION

    SciTech Connect

    Wayne Penrod; David Moyeda

    2003-07-01

    The objective of this project is to demonstrate the use of an Integrated Combustion Optimization System to achieve NO{sub x} emissions levels in the range of 0.15 to 0.22 lb/MMBtu while simultaneously enabling increased power output. The project consists of the integration of low-NO{sub x} burners and advanced overfire air technology with various process measurement and control devices on the Holcomb Station Unit 1 boiler. The project includes the use of sophisticated neural networks or other artificial intelligence technologies and complex software that can optimize several operating parameters, including NO{sub x} emissions, boiler efficiency, and CO emissions. The program is being performed in three phases. In Phase I, the boiler is being equipped with sensors that can be used to monitor furnace conditions and coal flow to permit improvements in boiler operation. In Phase II, the boiler will be equipped with burner modifications designed to reduce NO{sub x} emissions and automated coal flow dampers to permit on-line fuel balancing. In Phase III, the boiler will be equipped with an overfire air system to permit deep reductions in NO{sub x} emissions to be achieved. Integration of the overfire air system with the improvements made in Phases I and II will permit optimization of the boiler performance, output, and emissions. During this reporting period, efforts were focused on completion of Phase I and Phase II activities. The low-NO{sub x} burner modifications, the coal flow dampers, and the coal flow monitoring system were procured and installed during a boiler outage in March 2003. During this reporting period, optimization tests were performed to evaluate system performance and identify optimum operating conditions for the installed equipment. The overfire air system process design activities and preliminary engineering design were completed.

  6. Technology for monitoring shot-level light source performance data to achieve high-optimization of lithography processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moriya, Masato; Ochiai, Hideyuki; Watabe, Yoshinobu; Ishida, Keisuke; Masuda, Hiroyuki; Sasaki, Youichi; Kumazaki, Takahito; Kurosu, Akihiko; Ohta, Takeshi; Kakizaki, Kouji; Matsunaga, Takashi; Mizoguchi, Hakaru

    2014-03-01

    Gigaphoton has developed a new monitoring system that provides shot-level light source performance data to FDC systems during exposure time. The system provides basic monitoring data (e.g. Energy, Wavelength, Bandwidth, etc.) and beam performance data, such as Beam Profile, Pointing, Divergence, Polarization can also be monitored using a new metrology tool called the Beam Performance Monitor (BPM) module. During exposure time the system automatically identifies the start and end timing of the wafer and each shot based on the burst of firing signals from the scanner, and stores the measured data in sequence. The stored data is sorted by wafer or by shot, and sent to REDeeM Piece which in turn converts the data to the user's protocol and send it to the FDC system. The user also has the option to directly view or download the stored data using a GUI. Through this monitoring system, users can manage light sources data at the shot or reticle level to facilitate optimization of performance and running cost of the light source for each process. This monitoring system can be easily retrofitted to Gigaphoton's current ArF laser light sources. The beam splitter of the BPM was specially designed to bend only a small fraction of the source beam, so we are able to simply install the BPM without the need for special optical alignment.

  7. Imaging Live Cells at the Nanometer-Scale with Single-Molecule Microscopy: Obstacles and Achievements in Experiment Optimization for Microbiology

    PubMed Central

    Haas, Beth L.; Matson, Jyl S.; DiRita, Victor J.; Biteen, Julie S.

    2015-01-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence microscopy enables biological investigations inside living cells to achieve millisecond- and nanometer-scale resolution. Although single-molecule-based methods are becoming increasingly accessible to non-experts, optimizing new single-molecule experiments can be challenging, in particular when super-resolution imaging and tracking are applied to live cells. In this review, we summarize common obstacles to live-cell single-molecule microscopy and describe the methods we have developed and applied to overcome these challenges in live bacteria. We examine the choice of fluorophore and labeling scheme, approaches to achieving single-molecule levels of fluorescence, considerations for maintaining cell viability, and strategies for detecting single-molecule signals in the presence of noise and sample drift. We also discuss methods for analyzing single-molecule trajectories and the challenges presented by the finite size of a bacterial cell and the curvature of the bacterial membrane. PMID:25123183

  8. Busulphan is active against neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma xenografts in athymic mice at clinically achievable plasma drug concentrations

    PubMed Central

    Boland, I; Vassal, G; Morizet, J; Terrier-Lacombe, M-J; Valteau-Couanet, D; Kalifa, C; Hartmann, O; Gouyette, A

    1999-01-01

    High-dose busulphan-containing chemotherapy regimens have shown high response rates in children with relapsed or refractory neuroblastoma, Ewing's sarcoma and medulloblastoma. However, the anti-tumour activity of busulfan as a single agent remains to be defined, and this was evaluated in athymic mice bearing advanced stage subcutaneous paediatric solid tumour xenografts. Because busulphan is highly insoluble in water, the use of several vehicles for enteral and parenteral administration was first investigated in terms of pharmacokinetics and toxicity. The highest bioavailability was obtained with busulphan in DMSO administered i.p. When busulphan was suspended in carboxymethylcellulose and given orally or i.p., the bioavailability was poor. Then, in the therapeutic experiments, busulphan in DMSO was administered i.p. on days 0 and 4. At the maximum tolerated total dose (50 mg kg−1), busulphan induced a significant tumour growth delay, ranging from 12 to 34 days in the three neuroblastomas evaluated and in one out of three medulloblastomas. At a dose level above the maximum tolerated dose, busulphan induced complete and partial tumour regressions. Busulphan was inactive in a peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumour (PNET) xenograft. When busulphan pharmacokinetics in mice and humans were considered, the estimated systemic exposure at the therapeutically active dose in mice (113 μg h ml−1) was close to the mean total systemic exposure in children receiving high-dose busulphan (102.4 μg h ml−1). In conclusion, busulphan displayed a significant anti-tumour activity in neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma xenografts at plasma drug concentrations which can be achieved clinically in children receiving high-dose busulphan-containing regimens. 1999 Cancer Research Campaign PMID:10070870

  9. Optimal marker-strategy clinical trial design to detect predictive markers for targeted therapy.

    PubMed

    Zang, Yong; Liu, Suyu; Yuan, Ying

    2016-07-01

    In developing targeted therapy, the marker-strategy design (MSD) provides an important approach to evaluate the predictive marker effect. This design first randomizes patients into non-marker-based or marker-based strategies. Patients allocated to the non-marker-based strategy are then further randomized to receive either the standard or targeted treatments, while patients allocated to the marker-based strategy receive treatments based on their marker statuses. Little research has been done on the statistical properties of the MSD, which has led to some widespread misconceptions and placed clinical researchers at high risk of using inefficient designs. In this article, we show that the commonly used between-strategy comparison has low power to detect the predictive effect and is valid only under a restrictive condition that the randomization ratio within the non-marker-based strategy matches the marker prevalence. We propose a Wald test that is generally valid and also uniformly more powerful than the between-strategy comparison. Based on that, we derive an optimal MSD that maximizes the power to detect the predictive marker effect by choosing the optimal randomization ratios between the two strategies and treatments. Our numerical study shows that using the proposed optimal designs can substantially improve the power of the MSD to detect the predictive marker effect. We use a lung cancer trial to illustrate the proposed optimal designs.

  10. Nonclinical Evaluations of Small-Molecule Oncology Drugs: Integration into Clinical Dose Optimization and Toxicity Management.

    PubMed

    Dambach, Donna M; Simpson, Natalie E; Jones, Thomas W; Brennan, Richard J; Pazdur, Richard; Palmby, Todd R

    2016-06-01

    Multidisciplinary approaches that incorporate nonclinical pharmacologic and toxicologic characterization of small-molecule oncology drugs into clinical development programs may facilitate improved benefit-risk profiles and clinical toxicity management in patients. The performance of the current nonclinical safety-testing scheme was discussed, highlighting current strengths and areas for improvement. While current nonclinical testing appears to predict the clinical outcome where the prevalence of specific adverse effects are high, nonclinical testing becomes less reliable for predicting clinical adverse effects that occur infrequently, as with some kinase inhibitors. Although adverse effects associated with kinase inhibitors can often be predicted on the basis of target biology, drugs can be promiscuous and inhibit targets with poorly defined function and associated risks. Improvements in adverse effect databases and better characterization of the biologic activities of drug targets may enable better use of computational modeling approaches in predicting adverse effects with kinase inhibitors. Assessing safety of a lead candidate in parallel with other drug properties enables incorporation of a molecule's best features during chemical design, eliminates the worst molecules early, and permits timely investigation/characterization of toxicity mechanisms for identified liabilities. A safety lead optimization and candidate identification strategy that reduces intrinsic toxicity and metabolic risk and enhances selectivity can deliver selective kinase inhibitors that demonstrate on-target adverse effects identified nonclinically. Integrating clinical and nonclinical data during drug development can facilitate better identification and management of oncology drugs. Follow-up nonclinical studies may be used to better understand the risks in a given patient population and minimize or manage these risks more appropriately. Clin Cancer Res; 22(11); 2618-22. ©2016 AACR SEE ALL

  11. Clinical Performance of an Ultrahigh Resolution Chromosomal Microarray Optimized for Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

    PubMed

    Ho, Karen S; Twede, Hope; Vanzo, Rena; Harward, Erin; Hensel, Charles H; Martin, Megan M; Page, Stephanie; Peiffer, Andreas; Mowery-Rushton, Patricia; Serrano, Moises; Wassman, E Robert

    2016-01-01

    Copy number variants (CNVs) as detected by chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) significantly contribute to the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as developmental delay (DD), intellectual disability (ID), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study summarizes the results of 3.5 years of CMA testing by a CLIA-certified clinical testing laboratory 5487 patients with neurodevelopmental conditions were clinically evaluated for rare copy number variants using a 2.8-million probe custom CMA optimized for the detection of CNVs associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. We report an overall detection rate of 29.4% in our neurodevelopmental cohort, which rises to nearly 33% when cases with DD/ID and/or MCA only are considered. The detection rate for the ASD cohort is also significant, at 25%. Additionally, we find that detection rate and pathogenic yield of CMA vary significantly depending on the primary indications for testing, the age of the individuals tested, and the specialty of the ordering doctor. We also report a significant difference between the detection rate on the ultrahigh resolution optimized array in comparison to the array from which it originated. This increase in detection can significantly contribute to the efficient and effective medical management of neurodevelopmental conditions in the clinic.

  12. Optimal Methods to Screen Men and Women for Intimate Partner Violence: Results from an Internal Medicine Residency Continuity Clinic

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kapur, Nitin A.; Windish, Donna M.

    2011-01-01

    Contradictory data exist regarding optimal methods and instruments for intimate partner violence (IPV) screening in primary care settings. The purpose of this study was to determine the optimal method and screening instrument for IPV among men and women in a primary-care resident clinic. We conducted a cross-sectional study at an urban, academic,…

  13. Operationalizing the concept of the optimal healing environment in clinical settings: the importance of "readiness".

    PubMed

    Findlay, Barbara; Verhoef, Marja

    2004-01-01

    Creation of an optimal healing environment (OHE) in a clinical setting is a multifaceted undertaking and subject to a wide variety of developmental influences. While comprehensive definitions for OHE might provide sufficient guidance for communicating philosophy and values and developing patient-practitioner processes, direction for creating a supportive administrative structure or establishing an evaluation/research strategy is less defined. Operationalizing the concept of OHE by breaking it down into components such as values, structure, process, and measurement of outcomes, proved to be a useful framework for analyzing the evolution of our integrated care program. Future OHE initiatives may benefit from using this type of framework to assess readiness among cocreators prior to development and implementation, as a guide for ongoing evaluation of an OHE postimplementation and as a basis for comparing OHEs across a variety of clinical settings.

  14. Optimal medication dosing from suboptimal clinical examples: a deep reinforcement learning approach.

    PubMed

    Nemati, Shamim; Ghassemi, Mohammad M; Clifford, Gari D

    2016-08-01

    Misdosing medications with sensitive therapeutic windows, such as heparin, can place patients at unnecessary risk, increase length of hospital stay, and lead to wasted hospital resources. In this work, we present a clinician-in-the-loop sequential decision making framework, which provides an individualized dosing policy adapted to each patient's evolving clinical phenotype. We employed retrospective data from the publicly available MIMIC II intensive care unit database, and developed a deep reinforcement learning algorithm that learns an optimal heparin dosing policy from sample dosing trails and their associated outcomes in large electronic medical records. Using separate training and testing datasets, our model was observed to be effective in proposing heparin doses that resulted in better expected outcomes than the clinical guidelines. Our results demonstrate that a sequential modeling approach, learned from retrospective data, could potentially be used at the bedside to derive individualized patient dosing policies.

  15. ACHIEVING NEW SOURCE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS (NSPS) EMISSION STANDARDS THROUGH INTEGRATION OF LOW-NOx BURNERS WITH AN OPTIMIZATION PLAN FOR BOILER COMBUSTION

    SciTech Connect

    Wayne Penrod; David Moyeda

    2003-04-01

    The objective of this project is to demonstrate the use of an Integrated Combustion Optimization System to achieve NO{sub x} emissions levels in the range of 0.15 to 0.22 lb/MMBtu while simultaneously enabling increased power output. The project consists of the integration of low-NO{sub x} burners and advanced overfire air technology with various process measurement and control devices on the Holcomb Station Unit 1 boiler. The project includes the use of sophisticated neural networks or other artificial intelligence technologies and complex software that can optimize several operating parameters, including NO{sub x} emissions, boiler efficiency, and CO emissions. The program is being performed in three phases. In Phase I, the boiler is being equipped with sensors that can be used to monitor furnace conditions and coal flow to permit improvements in boiler operation. In Phase II, the boiler will be equipped with burner modifications designed to reduce NO{sub x} emissions and automated coal flow dampers to permit on-line fuel balancing. In Phase III, the boiler will be equipped with an overfire air system to permit deep reductions in NO{sub x} emissions to be achieved. Integration of the overfire air system with the improvements made in Phases I and II will permit optimization of the boiler performance, output, and emissions. During this reporting period, efforts were focused on Phase I and Phase II activities. The furnace sensors were procured and installed in February 2003. Baseline testing was performed following the sensor installation. The low-NO{sub x} burner modifications, the coal flow dampers, and the coal flow monitoring system were procured and installed during a boiler outage in March 2003. Process design activities were performed to support design of the equipment installed and to develop specifications for the overfire air system. The overfire air system preliminary engineering design was initiated.

  16. Review of SPECT collimator selection, optimization, and fabrication for clinical and preclinical imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Van Audenhaege, Karen Van Holen, Roel; Vandenberghe, Stefaan; Vanhove, Christian; Moore, Stephen C.

    2015-08-15

    In single photon emission computed tomography, the choice of the collimator has a major impact on the sensitivity and resolution of the system. Traditional parallel-hole and fan-beam collimators used in clinical practice, for example, have a relatively poor sensitivity and subcentimeter spatial resolution, while in small-animal imaging, pinhole collimators are used to obtain submillimeter resolution and multiple pinholes are often combined to increase sensitivity. This paper reviews methods for production, sensitivity maximization, and task-based optimization of collimation for both clinical and preclinical imaging applications. New opportunities for improved collimation are now arising primarily because of (i) new collimator-production techniques and (ii) detectors with improved intrinsic spatial resolution that have recently become available. These new technologies are expected to impact the design of collimators in the future. The authors also discuss concepts like septal penetration, high-resolution applications, multiplexing, sampling completeness, and adaptive systems, and the authors conclude with an example of an optimization study for a parallel-hole, fan-beam, cone-beam, and multiple-pinhole collimator for different applications.

  17. Review of SPECT collimator selection, optimization, and fabrication for clinical and preclinical imaging

    PubMed Central

    Van Audenhaege, Karen; Van Holen, Roel; Vandenberghe, Stefaan; Vanhove, Christian; Metzler, Scott D.; Moore, Stephen C.

    2015-01-01

    In single photon emission computed tomography, the choice of the collimator has a major impact on the sensitivity and resolution of the system. Traditional parallel-hole and fan-beam collimators used in clinical practice, for example, have a relatively poor sensitivity and subcentimeter spatial resolution, while in small-animal imaging, pinhole collimators are used to obtain submillimeter resolution and multiple pinholes are often combined to increase sensitivity. This paper reviews methods for production, sensitivity maximization, and task-based optimization of collimation for both clinical and preclinical imaging applications. New opportunities for improved collimation are now arising primarily because of (i) new collimator-production techniques and (ii) detectors with improved intrinsic spatial resolution that have recently become available. These new technologies are expected to impact the design of collimators in the future. The authors also discuss concepts like septal penetration, high-resolution applications, multiplexing, sampling completeness, and adaptive systems, and the authors conclude with an example of an optimization study for a parallel-hole, fan-beam, cone-beam, and multiple-pinhole collimator for different applications. PMID:26233207

  18. Optimization of scheduling patient appointments in clinics using a novel modelling technique of patient arrival.

    PubMed

    Tai, Guangfu; Williams, Peter

    2012-11-01

    This paper re-visits the question of mapping a probability distribution to patient unpunctuality in appointment-driven outpatient clinics, with reference to published empirical arrival data. This data indicates the possibility of interesting aberrations such as local modes and near-modes, asymmetry and peakedness. We examine the form of some published data on patient unpunctuality, and propose a mixed distribution which we call "F3" to provide a richer representation of shape such as in the shoulders of the distribution. The adequacy of this model is assessed in a worked example referencing a classical study, where a comparison is made of F3 against the normal and Pearson VII distributions with reference to summary statistics, graphical probability plots (P-P and Q-Q), a range of goodness of fitness criteria. Under this patient arrival setting, 2P method is proposed for optimal patient interval setting to minimize waiting time of both patient and the doctor and this 2P method is validated with a tentative simulation example. This study argues that frequency distribution of patient unpunctuality shows asymmetry in shape which is resulted from various types of arrival behaviours. Consequently optimal appointment intervals of scheduled patients, which minimize the total waiting time of patients and the doctor is highly related to patient unpunctuality patterns and this makes the optimal appointment intervals for various patient unpunctualities predictable.

  19. Clinical Outcomes of an Optimized Prolate Ablation Procedure for Correcting Residual Refractive Errors Following Laser Surgery

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Byunghoon; Lee, Hun; Choi, Bong Joon; Seo, Kyung Ryul; Kim, Eung Kwon; Kim, Dae Yune

    2017-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate the clinical efficacy of an optimized prolate ablation procedure for correcting residual refractive errors following laser surgery. Methods We analyzed 24 eyes of 15 patients who underwent an optimized prolate ablation procedure for the correction of residual refractive errors following laser in situ keratomileusis, laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy, or photorefractive keratectomy surgeries. Preoperative ophthalmic examinations were performed, and uncorrected distance visual acuity, corrected distance visual acuity, manifest refraction values (sphere, cylinder, and spherical equivalent), point spread function, modulation transfer function, corneal asphericity (Q value), ocular aberrations, and corneal haze measurements were obtained postoperatively at 1, 3, and 6 months. Results Uncorrected distance visual acuity improved and refractive errors decreased significantly at 1, 3, and 6 months postoperatively. Total coma aberration increased at 3 and 6 months postoperatively, while changes in all other aberrations were not statistically significant. Similarly, no significant changes in point spread function were detected, but modulation transfer function increased significantly at the postoperative time points measured. Conclusions The optimized prolate ablation procedure was effective in terms of improving visual acuity and objective visual performance for the correction of persistent refractive errors following laser surgery. PMID:28243019

  20. Spatio-temporal optimization of agricultural practices to achieve a sustainable development at basin level; framework of a case study in Colombia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uribe, Natalia; corzo, Gerald; Solomatine, Dimitri

    2016-04-01

    The flood events present during the last years in different basins of the Colombian territory have raised questions on the sensitivity of the regions and if this regions have common features. From previous studies it seems important features in the sensitivity of the flood process were: land cover change, precipitation anomalies and these related to impacts of agriculture management and water management deficiencies, among others. A significant government investment in the outreach activities for adopting and promoting the Colombia National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) is being carried out in different sectors and regions, having as a priority the agriculture sector. However, more information is still needed in the local environment in order to assess were the regions have this sensitivity. Also the continuous change in one region with seasonal agricultural practices have been pointed out as a critical information for optimal sustainable development. This combined spatio-temporal dynamics of crops cycle in relation to climate change (or variations) has an important impact on flooding events at basin areas. This research will develop on the assessment and optimization of the aggregated impact of flood events due to determinate the spatio-temporal dynamic of changes in agricultural management practices. A number of common best agricultural practices have been identified to explore their effect in a spatial hydrological model that will evaluate overall changes. The optimization process consists on the evaluation of best performance in the agricultural production, without having to change crops activities or move to other regions. To achieve this objectives a deep analysis of different models combined with current and future climate scenarios have been planned. An algorithm have been formulated to cover the parametric updates such that the optimal temporal identification will be evaluated in different region on the case study area. Different hydroinformatics

  1. Learners’ perspective: where and when pre-residency trainees learn more to achieve their core clinical competencies

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Purpose While it is known that effective clinical education requires active involvement of its participants, regular feedback, communication skills and interprofessional training, limited studies have been conducted in Korea that demonstrate how pre-residency trainees acquire their core clinical skills. This is a cross-sectional study of interns and students across a third-tier university hospital in Korea to examine where and when they acquire core clinical skills. Methods A total of 74 students and 91 interns were asked to participate in a closed-ended questionnaire, and 50 participants (20 students and 30 interns) were involved in semistructured individual interviews. The questionnaire was based on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies. Results The majority of core clinical skills were acquired during their rotations in emergency medicine, general surgery, and cardiothoracic surgery. The semistructured interviews revealed that these departments required their trainees to be highly involved and analytical, and participate in clinical discourse. Conclusion The common factor among the three departments is an environment in which trainees are highly involved in clinical duties, and are expected to make first-contact patient encounters, participate in clinical discourse, interpret investigative results and arrive at their own conclusions. Work-based learning appear to be key to the trends observed, and further study is warranted to determine whether these findings are indicative of true acquisition of clinical competence. PMID:27907982

  2. Optimism

    PubMed Central

    Carver, Charles S.; Scheier, Michael F.; Segerstrom, Suzanne C.

    2010-01-01

    Optimism is an individual difference variable that reflects the extent to which people hold generalized favorable expectancies for their future. Higher levels of optimism have been related prospectively to better subjective well-being in times of adversity or difficulty (i.e., controlling for previous well-being). Consistent with such findings, optimism has been linked to higher levels of engagement coping and lower levels of avoidance, or disengagement, coping. There is evidence that optimism is associated with taking proactive steps to protect one's health, whereas pessimism is associated with health-damaging behaviors. Consistent with such findings, optimism is also related to indicators of better physical health. The energetic, task-focused approach that optimists take to goals also relates to benefits in the socioeconomic world. Some evidence suggests that optimism relates to more persistence in educational efforts and to higher later income. Optimists also appear to fare better than pessimists in relationships. Although there are instances in which optimism fails to convey an advantage, and instances in which it may convey a disadvantage, those instances are relatively rare. In sum, the behavioral patterns of optimists appear to provide models of living for others to learn from. PMID:20170998

  3. Achieving appropriate design for developing world heath care: the case of a low-cost autoclave for primary health clinics.

    PubMed

    Cho, Hallie S; Tao, Gregory D; Winter, Amos

    2012-01-01

    In developing world health clinics, incidence of surgical site infection is 2 to 10 times higher than in developed world hospitals. This paper identifies lack of availability of appropriately designed, low-cost autoclaves in developing world health clinics as a major contributing factor to the dramatic gap in surgical site infection rates. The paper describes the process of developing a low-cost autoclave that addresses the unique challenges faced by developing world primary health clinics and discusses how appropriateness of design was determined. The resulting pressure cooker-based autoclave design was fabricated and tested against the CDC specifications. Twelve partnering clinics in Nepal trialed these autoclaves from July until December 2012.

  4. Strategy to Achieve Highly Porous/Biocompatible Macroscale Cell Blocks, Using a Collagen/Genipin-bioink and an Optimal 3D Printing Process.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yong Bok; Lee, Hyeongjin; Kim, Geun Hyung

    2016-11-30

    Recently, a three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting process for obtaining a cell-laden structure has been widely applied because of its ability to fabricate biomimetic complex structures embedded with and without cells. To successfully obtain a cell-laden porous block, the cell-delivering vehicle, bioink, is one of the significant factors. Until now, various biocompatible hydrogels (synthetic and natural biopolymers) have been utilized in the cell-printing process, but a bioink satisfying both biocompatibility and print-ability requirements to achieve a porous structure with reasonable mechanical strength has not been issued. Here, we propose a printing strategy with optimal conditions including a safe cross-linking procedure for obtaining a 3D porous cell block composed of a biocompatible collagen-bioink and genipin, a cross-linking agent. To obtain the optimal processing conditions, we modified the 3D printing machine and selected an optimal cross-linking condition (∼1 mM and 1 h) of genipin solution. To show the feasibility of the process, 3D pore-interconnected cell-laden constructs were manufactured using osteoblast-like cells (MG63) and human adipose stem cells (hASCs). Under these processing conditions, a macroscale 3D collagen-based cell block of 21 × 21 × 12 mm(3) and over 95% cell viability was obtained. In vitro biological testing of the cell-laden 3D porous structure showed that the embedded cells were sufficiently viable, and their proliferation was significantly higher; the cells also exhibited increased osteogenic activities compared to the conventional alginate-based bioink (control). The results indicated the fabrication process using the collagen-bioink would be an innovative platform to design highly biocompatible and mechanically stable cell blocks.

  5. Achieving New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) Emission Standards Through Integration of Low-NOx Burners with an Optimization Plan for Boiler Combustion

    SciTech Connect

    Wayne Penrod

    2006-12-31

    The objective of this project was to demonstrate the use of an Integrated Combustion Optimization System to achieve NO{sub X} emission levels in the range of 0.15 to 0.22 lb/MMBtu while simultaneously enabling increased power output. The project plan consisted of the integration of low-NO{sub X} burners and advanced overfire air technology with various process measurement and control devices on the Holcomb Station Unit 1 boiler. The plan included the use of sophisticated neural networks or other artificial intelligence technologies and complex software to optimize several operating parameters, including NO{sub X} emissions, boiler efficiency, and CO emissions. The program was set up in three phases. In Phase I, the boiler was equipped with sensors that can be used to monitor furnace conditions and coal flow to permit improvements in boiler operation. In Phase II, the boiler was equipped with burner modifications designed to reduce NO{sub X} emissions and automated coal flow dampers to permit on-line fuel balancing. In Phase III, the boiler was to be equipped with an overfire air system to permit deep reductions in NO{sub X} emissions. Integration of the overfire air system with the improvements made in Phases I and II would permit optimization of boiler performance, output, and emissions. This report summarizes the overall results from Phases I and II of the project. A significant amount of data was collected from the combustion sensors, coal flow monitoring equipment, and other existing boiler instrumentation to monitor performance of the burner modifications and the coal flow balancing equipment.

  6. Preoperative optimization of cardiovascular hemodynamics improves outcome in peripheral vascular surgery. A prospective, randomized clinical trial.

    PubMed Central

    Berlauk, J F; Abrams, J H; Gilmour, I J; O'Connor, S R; Knighton, D R; Cerra, F B

    1991-01-01

    The hypothesis that optimizing hemodynamics using pulmonary artery (PA) catheter (preoperative 'tune-up') would improve outcome in patients undergoing limb-salvage arterial surgery was tested. Eighty-nine patients were randomized to preoperative tune-up either in the surgical intensive care unit (SICU) (group 1) or the preinduction room (group 2) or to control (group 3). The tune-up consisted of fluid loading, afterload reduction, and/or inotropic support to achieve predetermined endpoints. Patients with a PA catheter had significantly fewer adverse intraoperative events (p less than 0.05), less postoperative cardiac morbidity (p less than 0.05), and less early graft thrombosis (p less than 0.05) than the control group. The overall study mortality rate was 3.4%, with a mortality rate of 9.5% in the control group and 1.5% in the PA catheter groups. There were no differences in ICU length of stay (LOS), hospital LOS, or total hospital costs, although the percentage of cost from complications was higher in group 3 (p greater than 0.05). In this group of patients, preoperative cardiac assessment and optimization is associated with improved outcome. PMID:1929610

  7. Optimizing Clinical Drug Product Performance: Applying Biopharmaceutics Risk Assessment Roadmap (BioRAM) and the BioRAM Scoring Grid.

    PubMed

    Dickinson, Paul A; Kesisoglou, Filippos; Flanagan, Talia; Martinez, Marilyn N; Mistry, Hitesh B; Crison, John R; Polli, James E; Cruañes, Maria T; Serajuddin, Abu T M; Müllertz, Anette; Cook, Jack A; Selen, Arzu

    2016-11-01

    The aim of Biopharmaceutics Risk Assessment Roadmap (BioRAM) and the BioRAM Scoring Grid is to facilitate optimization of clinical performance of drug products. BioRAM strategy relies on therapy-driven drug delivery and follows an integrated systems approach for formulating and addressing critical questions and decision-making (J Pharm Sci. 2014,103(11): 3777-97). In BioRAM, risk is defined as not achieving the intended in vivo drug product performance, and success is assessed by time to decision-making and action. Emphasis on time to decision-making and time to action highlights the value of well-formulated critical questions and well-designed and conducted integrated studies. This commentary describes and illustrates application of the BioRAM Scoring Grid, a companion to the BioRAM strategy, which guides implementation of such an integrated strategy encompassing 12 critical areas and 6 assessment stages. Application of the BioRAM Scoring Grid is illustrated using published literature. Organizational considerations for implementing BioRAM strategy, including the interactions, function, and skillsets of the BioRAM group members, are also reviewed. As a creative and innovative systems approach, we believe that BioRAM is going to have a broad-reaching impact, influencing drug development and leading to unique collaborations influencing how we learn, and leverage and share knowledge.

  8. Optimal and safe standard doses of midazolam and propofol to achieve patient and doctor satisfaction with dental treatment: A prospective cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Nonaka, Mutsumi; Nishimura, Akiko; Gotoh, Kinuko; Oka, Shuichirou; Iijima, Takehiko

    2017-01-01

    Background The incidences of morbidity and mortality caused by pharmacosedation for dental treatment have not yet reached zero. Adverse events are related to inappropriate respiratory management, mostly originating from an overdose of sedatives. Since sedation is utilized for the satisfaction of both the dentist and the patient, the optimal dose should be minimized to prevent adverse events. We attempted to define the optimal doses of midazolam and propofol required to achieve high levels of patient and dentist satisfaction. Methods One thousand dental patients, including those undergoing third molar extractions, were enrolled in this study. A dose of 1 mg of midazolam was administered at 1-minute intervals until adequate sedation was achieved. Propofol was then infused continuously to maintain the sedation level. Both the patients and the dentists were subsequently interviewed and asked to complete a questionnaire. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to examine the factors that contributed to patient and dentist satisfaction. Results The peak midazolam dose resulting in the highest percentage of patient satisfaction was 3 mg. Both a lower dose and a higher dose reduced patient satisfaction. Patient satisfaction increased with an increasing dosage of propofol up until 4 mg/kg/hr, reaching a peak of 78.6%. The peak midazolam dose resulting in the highest percentage of dentist satisfaction (78.8%) was 2 mg. Incremental propofol doses reduced dentist satisfaction, in contrast to their effect on patient satisfaction. The strongest independent predictors of patient satisfaction and dentist satisfaction were no intraoperative memory (OR, 5.073; 95% CI, 3.532–7.287; P<0.001) and unintentional movements by the patient (OR, 0.035; 95% CI, 0.012–0.104; P<0.001), respectively. No serious adverse events were reported. Conclusion We found that 3 mg of midazolam and 3 mg/kg/hr of propofol may be the optimal doses for maximizing both patient and dentist

  9. The optimal exhaled concentration of sevoflurane for intubation without neuromuscular blockade using clinical bolus doses of remifentanil

    PubMed Central

    Goo, Eui-Kyoung; Lee, Jong Seok; Koh, Jae Chul

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the optimal exhaled sevoflurane concentration that produces adequate endotracheal intubation conditions when sevoflurane is combined with the different bolus doses of remifentanil used in clinical practice. Methods: The patients were randomized to 3 groups (groups 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0), receiving remifentanil bolus doses of 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 μg/kg, respectively. For each group, the concentration of sevoflurane used for each consecutive patient was increased or decreased using the “up-and-down” method based on the success or failure to achieve adequate conditions for intubation in the previous patient. The remifentanil bolus dose was administered 90 s before intubation and after the target sevoflurane concentration was achieved. Results: In groups 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0, the effective concentration in 50% (EC50) of the sevoflurane concentration required to perform successful intubation was 3.0, 2.0, and 1.29 vol% and the effective concentration in 95% was 3.45, 2.91, and 1.89 vol%, respectively. When sevoflurane was administered for the induction, the increase in heart rate (HR) of group 1.0 was the highest among the groups. The highest number of adverse events occurred in group 2.0, including vocal cord rigidity, hypotension, and bradycardia. Discussion: The EC50 of the sevoflurane concentration was 3.0, 2.0, and 1.29 vol% when it was combined with a bolus dose of remifentanil of 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 μg/kg, respectively. Of the 3 different bolus doses of remifentanil, the dose of 1.5 μg/kg was least associated with changes in the HR/mean blood pressure during intubation without increasing adverse effects. PMID:28248887

  10. Optimizing resource allocation and patient flow: process analysis and reorganization in three chemotherapy outpatient clinics.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Morgan; Bodie, Kelly; Porter, Geoffrey; Sullivan, Victoria; Tarasuk, Joy; Trembley, Jodie; Trudeau, Maureen

    2010-01-01

    Optimizing human and physical resources is a major concern for cancer care decision-makers and practitioners. This issue is particularly acute in the context of ambulatory out patient chemotherapy clinics, especially when - as is the case almost everywhere in the industrialized world - the number of people requiring systemic therapy is increasing while budgets, staffing and physical space remain static. Recent initiatives at three hospital-based chemotherapy units - in Halifax, Toronto and Kingston - shed light on the value of process analysis and reorganization for using existing human and physical resources to their full potential, improving patient flow and enhancing patient satisfaction. The steps taken in these settings are broadly applicable to other healthcare settings and would likely result in similar benefits in those environments.

  11. Pediatric Oncology Clinic Care Model: Achieving Better Continuity of Care for Patients in a Medium-sized Program.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Donna L; Halton, Jacqueline; Bassal, Mylène; Klaassen, Robert J; Mandel, Karen; Ramphal, Raveena; Simpson, Ewurabena; Peckan, Li

    2016-10-25

    Providing the best care in both the inpatient and outpatient settings to pediatric oncology patients is all programs goal. Using continuous improvement methodologies, we changed from a solely team-based physician care model to a hybrid model. All patients were assigned a dedicated oncologist. There would then be 2 types of weeks of outpatient clinical service. A "Doc of the Day" week where each oncologist would have a specific day in clinic when their assigned patients would be scheduled, and then a "Doc of the Week" week where one physician would cover clinic for the week. Patient satisfaction surveys done before and 14 months after changing the model of care showed that patients were very satisfied with the care they received in both models. A questionnaire to staff 14 months after changing showed that the biggest effect was increased continuity of care, followed by more efficient clinic workflow and increased consistency of care. Staff felt it provided better planning and delivery of care. A hybrid model of care with a primary physician for each patient and assigned clinic days, alternating with weeks of single physician coverage is a feasible model of care for a medium-sized pediatric oncology program.

  12. Clinically Constrained Optimization of flexTPI Acquisition Parameters for the Tissue Sodium Concentration Bioscale

    PubMed Central

    Atkinson, Ian C.; Lu, Aiming; Thulborn, Keith R.

    2011-01-01

    The rapid transverse relaxation of the sodium magnetic resonance (MR) signal during spatial encoding causes a loss of image resolution, an effect known as T2-blurring. Conventional wisdom suggests that spatial resolution is maximized by keeping the readout duration as short as possible to minimize T2-blurring. Flexible twisted projection imaging (flexTPI) performed with an ultra-short echo time, relative to T2, and a long repetition time, relative to T1, has been shown to be effective for quantitative sodium MR imaging. A minimized readout duration requires a very large number of projections and, consequentially, results in an impractically long total acquisition time to meet these conditions. When the total acquisition time is limited to a clinically practical duration (e.g., 10 minutes), the optimal parameters for maximal spatial resolution of a flexTPI acquisition do not correspond to the shortest possible readout. Simulation and experimental results for resolution optimized acquisition parameters of quantitative sodium flexTPI of parenchyma and cerebrospinal fluid are presented for the human brain at 9.4T and 3T. The effect of signal loss during data collection on sodium quantification bias and image signal-to-noise ratio are discussed. PMID:21446034

  13. National turnaround time survey: professional consensus standards for optimal performance and thresholds considered to compromise efficient and effective clinical management.

    PubMed

    McKillop, Derek J; Auld, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Background Turnaround time can be defined as the time from receipt of a sample by the laboratory to the validation of the result. The Royal College of Pathologists recommends that a number of performance indicators for turnaround time should be agreed with stakeholders. The difficulty is in arriving at a goal which has some evidence base to support it other than what may simply be currently achievable technically. This survey sought to establish a professional consensus on the goals and meaning of targets for laboratory turnaround time. Methods A questionnaire was circulated by the National Audit Committee to 173 lead consultants for biochemistry in the UK. The survey asked each participant to state their current target turnaround time for core investigations in a broad group of clinical settings. Each participant was also asked to provide a professional opinion on what turnaround time would pose an unacceptable risk to patient safety for each departmental category. A super majority (2/3) was selected as the threshold for consensus. Results The overall response rate was 58% ( n = 100) with a range of 49-72% across the individual Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine regions. The consensus optimal turnaround time for the emergency department was <1 h with >2 h considered unacceptable. The times for general practice and outpatient department were <24 h and >48 h and for Wards <4 h and >12 h, respectively. Conclusions We consider that the figures provide a useful benchmark of current opinion, but clearly more empirical standards will have to develop alongside other aspects of healthcare delivery.

  14. Intelligent ensemble T-S fuzzy neural networks with RCDPSO_DM optimization for effective handling of complex clinical pathway variances.

    PubMed

    Du, Gang; Jiang, Zhibin; Diao, Xiaodi; Yao, Yang

    2013-07-01

    Takagi-Sugeno (T-S) fuzzy neural networks (FNNs) can be used to handle complex, fuzzy, uncertain clinical pathway (CP) variances. However, there are many drawbacks, such as slow training rate, propensity to become trapped in a local minimum and poor ability to perform a global search. In order to improve overall performance of variance handling by T-S FNNs, a new CP variance handling method is proposed in this study. It is based on random cooperative decomposing particle swarm optimization with double mutation mechanism (RCDPSO_DM) for T-S FNNs. Moreover, the proposed integrated learning algorithm, combining the RCDPSO_DM algorithm with a Kalman filtering algorithm, is applied to optimize antecedent and consequent parameters of constructed T-S FNNs. Then, a multi-swarm cooperative immigrating particle swarm algorithm ensemble method is used for intelligent ensemble T-S FNNs with RCDPSO_DM optimization to further improve stability and accuracy of CP variance handling. Finally, two case studies on liver and kidney poisoning variances in osteosarcoma preoperative chemotherapy are used to validate the proposed method. The result demonstrates that intelligent ensemble T-S FNNs based on the RCDPSO_DM achieves superior performances, in terms of stability, efficiency, precision and generalizability, over PSO ensemble of all T-S FNNs with RCDPSO_DM optimization, single T-S FNNs with RCDPSO_DM optimization, standard T-S FNNs, standard Mamdani FNNs and T-S FNNs based on other algorithms (cooperative particle swarm optimization and particle swarm optimization) for CP variance handling. Therefore, it makes CP variance handling more effective.

  15. Optimizing clinical use of mesalazine (5-aminosalicylic acid) in inflammatory bowel disease

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Chadwick; Panaccione, Remo; Ghosh, Subrata; Rioux, Kevin

    2011-01-01

    Mesalazine [5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA)] has been used for over 30 years in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is a highly effective, safe, and well-tolerated drug for treatment of mild to moderate ulcerative colitis, which represents most patients with this disease. Recent studies of patient adherence to 5-ASA therapies in ulcerative colitis have highlighted the need for regimens that enable long-term compliance to significantly reduce the risk of troublesome and debilitating flares in the short term, and possibly colon cancer in the long term. Indeed, much of the recent innovation in clinical use of 5-ASA in colitis has come from studies of novel delivery mechanisms and simplified oral dosing schedules. These studies have provided much needed clarity on essential matters such as starting dose, dose escalation, and efficacy in terms of the ideal clinical endpoint - mucosal healing. Various manufacturers are re-evaluating their products to determine the safety and efficacy of such dosing regimens. Although once widely employed in the treatment of Crohn’s disease (CD), the accumulated body of evidence now suggests that there is a much more limited role for 5-ASA in this particular form of inflammatory bowel disease. Recent 5-ASA randomized-controlled trials, comparative studies, and outcomes research have led to refined treatment strategies and awareness for practitioners to better inform, engage and facilitate patients in optimal use of 5-ASA in inflammatory bowel disease. PMID:21765868

  16. Pharmacodynamic effects of cangrelor and clopidogrel: the platelet function substudy from the cangrelor versus standard therapy to achieve optimal management of platelet inhibition (CHAMPION) trials.

    PubMed

    Angiolillo, Dominick J; Schneider, David J; Bhatt, Deepak L; French, William J; Price, Matthew J; Saucedo, Jorge F; Shaburishvili, Tamaz; Huber, Kurt; Prats, Jayne; Liu, Tiepu; Harrington, Robert A; Becker, Richard C

    2012-07-01

    Cangrelor is an intravenous antagonist of the P2Y(12) receptor characterized by rapid, potent, predictable, and reversible platelet inhibition. However, cangrelor was not superior to clopidogrel in reducing the incidence of ischemic events in the cangrelor versus standard therapy to achieve optimal management of platelet inhibition (CHAMPION) trials. A prospectively designed platelet function substudy was performed in a selected cohort of patients to provide insight into the pharmacodynamic effects of cangrelor, particularly in regard to whether cangrelor therapy may interfere with the inhibitory effects of clopidogrel. This pre-defined substudy was conducted in a subset of patients from the CHAMPION-PCI trial (n = 230) comparing cangrelor with 600 mg of clopidogrel administered before percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and from the CHAMPION-PLATFORM trial (n = 4) comparing cangrelor at the time of PCI and 600 mg clopidogrel given after the PCI. Pharmacodynamic measures included P2Y12 reaction units (PRU) assessed by VerifyNow P2Y12 testing (primary endpoint marker), platelet aggregation by light transmittance aggregometry following 5 and 20 μmol/L adenosine diphosphate stimuli, and markers of platelet activation determined by flow cytometry. The primary endpoint was the percentage of patients who achieved <20 % change in PRU between baseline and >10 h after PCI. The main trial was stopped early limiting enrollment in the platelet substudy. A total of 167 patients had valid pharmacodynamic assessments for the primary endpoint. The percent of individuals achieving <20 % change in PRU between baseline and >10 h after PCI was higher with cangrelor + clopidogrel (32/84, 38.1 %) compared with placebo + clopidogrel (21/83, 25.3 %), but this was not statistically significant (difference:12.79 %, 95 % CI: -1.18 %, 26.77 %;p = 0.076). All pharmacodynamic markers as well as the prevalence of patients with high on-treatment platelet reactivity were significantly lower

  17. Achievement of recommended glucose and blood pressure targets in patients with type 2 diabetes and hypertension in clinical practice – study rationale and protocol of DIALOGUE

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Patients with type 2 diabetes have 2–4 times greater risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality than those without, and this is even further aggravated if they also suffer from hypertension. Unfortunately, less than one third of hypertensive diabetic patients meet blood pressure targets, and more than half fail to achieve target HbA1c values. Thus, appropriate blood pressure and glucose control are of utmost importance. Since treatment sometimes fails in clinical practice while clinical trials generally suggest good efficacy, data from daily clinical practice, especially with regard to the use of newly developed anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive compounds in unselected patient populations, are essential. The DIALOGUE registry aims to close this important gap by evaluating different treatment approaches in hypertensive type 2 diabetic patients with respect to their effectiveness and tolerability and their impact on outcomes. In addition, DIALOGUE is the first registry to determine treatment success based on the new individualized treatment targets recommended by the ADA and the EASD. Methods DIALOGUE is a prospective observational German multicentre registry and will enrol 10,000 patients with both diabetes and hypertension in up to 700 sites. After a baseline visit, further documentations are scheduled at 6, 12 and 24 months. There are two co-primary objectives referring to the most recent guidelines for the treatment of diabetes and hypertension: 1) individual HbA1c goal achievement with respect to anti-diabetic pharmacotherapy and 2) individual blood pressure goal achievement with different antihypertensive treatments. Among the secondary objectives the rate of major cardio-vascular and cerebro-vascular events (MACCE) and the rate of hospitalizations are the most important. Conclusion The registry will be able to gain insights into the reasons for the obvious gap between the demonstrated efficacy and safety of anti-diabetic and anti

  18. Automation of sample preparation for mass cytometry barcoding in support of clinical research: protocol optimization.

    PubMed

    Nassar, Ala F; Wisnewski, Adam V; Raddassi, Khadir

    2017-03-01

    Analysis of multiplexed assays is highly important for clinical diagnostics and other analytical applications. Mass cytometry enables multi-dimensional, single-cell analysis of cell type and state. In mass cytometry, the rare earth metals used as reporters on antibodies allow determination of marker expression in individual cells. Barcode-based bioassays for CyTOF are able to encode and decode for different experimental conditions or samples within the same experiment, facilitating progress in producing straightforward and consistent results. Herein, an integrated protocol for automated sample preparation for barcoding used in conjunction with mass cytometry for clinical bioanalysis samples is described; we offer results of our work with barcoding protocol optimization. In addition, we present some points to be considered in order to minimize the variability of quantitative mass cytometry measurements. For example, we discuss the importance of having multiple populations during titration of the antibodies and effect of storage and shipping of labelled samples on the stability of staining for purposes of CyTOF analysis. Data quality is not affected when labelled samples are stored either frozen or at 4 °C and used within 10 days; we observed that cell loss is greater if cells are washed with deionized water prior to shipment or are shipped in lower concentration. Once the labelled samples for CyTOF are suspended in deionized water, the analysis should be performed expeditiously, preferably within the first hour. Damage can be minimized if the cells are resuspended in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) rather than deionized water while waiting for data acquisition.

  19. Optimal prediction of carotid intraplaque hemorrhage using clinical and lumen imaging markers

    PubMed Central

    McLaughlin, Michael S.; Hinckley, Peter J.; Treiman, Scott M.; Kim, Seong-Eun; Stoddard, Gregory J.; Parker, Dennis L.; Treiman, Gerald S.; McNally, J. Scott

    2015-01-01

    Purpose MRI detects intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH) with high accuracy using the magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition gradient echo (MPRAGE) sequence. Still, MRI is not readily available for all patients, and many receive CTA instead. Our goal was to determine essential clinical and lumen imaging predictors of IPH as indicators of its presence and clues to its pathogenesis. Methods In this retrospective cross sectional study, patients undergoing stroke workup with MRI/MRA underwent carotid IPH imaging. A total of 726 carotid plaques were analyzed, excluding vessels with non-carotid stroke sources (420), occlusions (7), or near-occlusions (3). Potential carotid imaging predictors of IPH included percent diameter and mm stenosis, plaque thickness, ulceration, and intraluminal thrombus. Clinical predictors were recorded and a multivariable logistic regression model was fitted. Backward-elimination was used to determine essential IPH predictors with a threshold two-sided p<.10. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was also performed. Results Predictors of carotid IPH included plaque thickness (odds ratio, OR=2.20, p<.001), mm stenosis (OR=0.46, p<.001), ulceration (OR=4.25, p=.020), age (OR=1.11, p=.001) and male sex (OR=3.23, p=.077). The final model discriminatory value was excellent (area under the curve, AUC=0.932). This was significantly higher than models using only plaque thickness (AUC=0.881), mm stenosis (AUC=0.830) or ulceration (AUC=0.715) p<.001. Conclusions Optimal discrimination of carotid IPH requires information on plaque thickness, mm stenosis, ulceration, age and male sex. These factors predict IPH with high discriminatory power, and may provide clues to the pathogenesis of IPH. This model could be used to predict the presence of IPH when MRI is contraindicated. PMID:26338923

  20. All the Vice Chancellor's Neuroscientists: Unity to Achieve Success in Solving Malaysia's Diseases via Upgrading Clinical Services and Neuroscience Research.

    PubMed

    Abdullah, Jafri Malin

    2013-05-01

    President Obama of the United States of America announced this April the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN for short) investment, while Professor Henry Markram's team based in the European Union will spend over a billion euros on the Human Brain Project, breaking through the unknowns in the fifth science of the decade: Neuroscience. Malaysia's growth in the same field needs to be augmented, and thus the Universiti Sains Malaysia's vision is to excel in the field of clinical brain sciences, mind sciences and neurosciences. This will naturally bring up the level of research in the country simultaneously. Thus, a center was recently established to coordinate this venture. The four-year Integrated Neuroscience Program established recently will be a sustainable source of neuroscientists for the country. We hope to establish ourselves by 2020 as a global university with neurosciences research as an important flagship.

  1. Assessing Eating Disorder Risk: The Pivotal Role of Achievement Anxiety, Depression and Female Gender in Non-Clinical Samples

    PubMed Central

    Fragkos, Konstantinos C.; Frangos, Christos C.

    2013-01-01

    The objective of the present study was to assess factors predicting eating disorder risk in a sample of undergraduate students. A structured questionnaire was employed on a random sample (n = 1865) consisting of the following sections: demographics, SCOFF (Sick, Control, One stone, Fat, Food) questionnaire for screening eating disorders and the Achievement Anxiety Test and the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale. The students at risk for eating disorders (SCOFF score ≥2) were 39.7%. Eating disorder risk was more frequent in females, students with divorced parents, students who lived alone, students who were seeking a romantic relationship or were married, students who were at a post-secondary vocational institute/college (private-public) educational level and who were more likely to have marks under merit level. Also, the mean scores for the psychological factors of depression, stress and anxiety were higher in students with eating disorder risk. A logistic regression model was produced depicting that depression, stress, female gender, being married and searching for a romantic relationship were risk factors of having an eating disorder risk. The suggested psychological model examined with structural equation modelling signified the role of academic anxiety as an immediate precursor of general anxiety. Hence, college populations in Greece need organized infrastructures of nutrition health services and campaigns to assist in reducing the risk of eating disorders. PMID:23482057

  2. State estimation and optimal long period clinical treatment of HIV seropositive patients.

    PubMed

    Grégio, Juliana M; Caetano, Marco A L; Yoneyama, Takashi

    2009-03-01

    Optimal control theory provides a very interesting quantitative method that can be used to assist the decision making process in several areas of application, such as engineering, biology, economics and sociology. The main idea is to determine the values of the manipulated variables, such as drug doses, so that some cost function is minimized, subject to physical constraints. In this work, the cost function reflects the number of CD4+T cells, viral particles and the drug doses. It is worth noticing that high drug doses are related to more intense side-effects, apart from the impact on the actual cost of the treatment. In a previous paper by the authors, the LQR - Linear Quadratic Regulator approach was proposed for the computation of long period maintenance doses for the drugs, which turns out to be of state feedback form. However, it is not practical to determine all the components of the state vector, due to the fact that infected and uninfected CD4+T cells are not microscopically distinguishable. In order to overcome this difficulty, this work proposes the use of Extended Kalman Filter to estimate the state, even though, because of the nonlinear nature of the involved state equations, the separation principle may not be valid. Extensive simulations were then carried out to investigate numerically if the control strategy consisting of the feedback of estimated states yielded satisfactory clinical results.

  3. Optimal Management of Prostate Cancer Based on its Natural Clinical History.

    PubMed

    Facchini, Gaetano; Perri, Francesco; Misso, Gabriella; D Aniello, Carmine; Scarpati, Giuseppina Della Vittoria; Rossetti, Sabrina; Pepa, Chiara Della; Pisconti, Salvatore; Unteregger, Gerhard; Cossu, Alessia; Caraglia, Michele; Berretta, Massimiliano; Cavaliere, Carla

    2017-02-08

    Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy in males and, despite a marked improvement in diagnostic techniques, a not small percentage of prostate tumours is still diagnosed in advanced stage. It is now clear that prostate cancer passes through distinct phases during its natural history, starting from an initial phase, in which the disease has a locoregional extent, until a very late phase when it becomes refractory to hormone therapy. It is important to distinguish between local disease, in which tumor may be considered localized in the gland and a systemic disease characterized by high tumor burden and/or dissemination of circulating tumour cells. All the prostate cancers, at first diagnosis, are characterized by high sensitivity to the androgen deprivation therapy (ADT); however, during the natural history, after a variable period, they become castration resistant. In the past, few therapy options were available for castration resistant prostate cancer, while at present much more approaches can be employed, both hormone-based therapies and chemotherapy regimens. Hypercastration agents are defined as drugs capable to target the androgen-androgen receptor axis even in castrate resistant conditions. Abiraterone and enzalutamide are the only two hypercastration agents available for clinical use. Osteoclast targeted agents, such as zoledronic acid and denosumab can always been employed, but their use should be limited to the castrate resistant setting. The optimal understanding of all phases characterizing the natural history of prostate cancer may certainly be useful for the selection of the best therapeutic options in prostate cancer.

  4. The clinical and bacteriological factors for optimal levofloxacin-containing triple therapy in second-line Helicobacter pylori eradication.

    PubMed

    Tai, Wei-Chen; Lee, Chen-Hsiang; Chiou, Shue-Shian; Kuo, Chung-Mou; Kuo, Chung-Huang; Liang, Chih-Ming; Lu, Lung-Sheng; Chiu, Chien-Hua; Wu, Keng-Liang; Chiu, Yi-Chun; Hu, Tsung-Hui; Chuah, Seng-Kee

    2014-01-01

    Quinolone has the disadvantage of easily acquired drug resistance. It is important to prescribe it wisely for a high eradication rate. The current study aimed to determine the clinical and bacteriological factors for optimal levofloxacin-containing triple therapies in second-line H. pylori eradication. We enrolled a total of 158 H. pylori-infected patients who failed H. pylori eradication using the 7-day standard triple therapy (proton-pump inhibitor [PPI] twice daily, 500 mg clarithromycin twice daily, and 1 g amoxicillin twice daily). They were prescribed with either a 10-day (group A) or 14-day (group B) levofloxacin-containing triple therapy group (levofloxacin 500 mg once daily, amoxicillin 1 g twice daily, and esomeprazole 40 mg twice daily for 10 days) by their clinicians. Follow-up studies to assess treatment responses were carried out 8 weeks later. The eradication rates attained by groups A and B were 73.6% (95% confidence interval [CI]  = 63.9-85.3%) and 90.5% (95% CI = 84.5-98.1%), respectively in the per protocol analysis (P = 0.008 in the per protocol analysis) and 67.1% (95% CI = 56.6-78.5%) and 84.8% (95% CI = 76.8-93.4%), respectively, in the intention-to-treat analysis (P = 0.009). The subgroup analysis revealed that H. pylori eradication rates for group A patients with levofloxacin-susceptible strains were 92.9% (13/14) but it dropped to 12.5% (1/8) when levofloxacin-resistant strains existed. H. pylori was eradicated among all the group B patients with levofloxacin-susceptible strains, but only half of patients with levofloxacin-resistant strains were successfully eradicated. In conclusion, this study confirms the effectiveness of 14-day treatment. Importantly, the results imply that 10-day treatment duration should be optimal if a culture can be performed to confirm the existence of susceptible strains. The duration of H. pylori eradication and levofloxacin resistance were the influencing factors for successful treatment. This study suggests

  5. Optimal blood sampling time windows for parameter estimation using a population approach: design of a phase II clinical trial.

    PubMed

    Chenel, Marylore; Ogungbenro, Kayode; Duval, Vincent; Laveille, Christian; Jochemsen, Roeline; Aarons, Leon

    2005-12-01

    The objective of this paper is to determine optimal blood sampling time windows for the estimation of pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters by a population approach within the clinical constraints. A population PK model was developed to describe a reference phase II PK dataset. Using this model and the parameter estimates, D-optimal sampling times were determined by optimising the determinant of the population Fisher information matrix (PFIM) using PFIM_ _M 1.2 and the modified Fedorov exchange algorithm. Optimal sampling time windows were then determined by allowing the D-optimal windows design to result in a specified level of efficiency when compared to the fixed-times D-optimal design. The best results were obtained when K(a) and IIV on K(a) were fixed. Windows were determined using this approach assuming 90% level of efficiency and uniform sample distribution. Four optimal sampling time windows were determined as follow: at trough between 22 h and new drug administration; between 2 and 4 h after dose for all patients; and for 1/3 of the patients only 2 sampling time windows between 4 and 10 h after dose, equal to [4 h-5 h 05] and [9 h 10-10 h]. This work permitted the determination of an optimal design, with suitable sampling time windows which was then evaluated by simulations. The sampling time windows will be used to define the sampling schedule in a prospective phase II study.

  6. Pups of dams fed low-fat diet during pregnancy and lactation showed strong preference for high-fat diet to achieve optimal growth.

    PubMed

    Nakashima, Yoko; Sato, Akie

    2011-01-01

    To investigate the causes why pups of dams fed a low-fat high-carbohydrate diet (LFD) showed a strong preference for fat, three groups of dams were fed one of three diets during pregnancy and lactation: the LFD, a control diet (CTD) or a high-fat low-carbohydrate diet (HFD). After weaning, pups of each of the three groups were divided into two equal subgroups (Pair 1 and Pair 2), for a total of six pup subgroups. Each subgroup was placed on a two-choice diet program of the LFD and the HFD (Pair 1), or the LFD and a HFDLE (with cellulose added to maintain the same energy concentration as the LFD) (Pair 2), for 3 wk. Although the energy intake of dams fed the LFD during the nursing period was lower than that of the HFD group, no significant difference in body weight was observed among the three groups. At weaning, the body weight of pups nursed by dams fed the LFD was lower than that of the other groups. In Pair 1, the HFD intake ratio of the LFD and the HFD groups during the self-selection period was higher than that of the CTD group. In Pair 2, the HFDLE intake ratio of the LFD and the CTD groups was lower than that of the HFD group. At the end of the self-selection period, no significant difference in body weight was observed among the three groups of Pair 1. However, in Pair 2, the body weight of the LFD group was lower than that of the other groups. Therefore, it was supposed that pups of dams fed the LFD showed strong preference for the HFD containing high energy in order to achieve optimal growth.

  7. Optimizing the Anti-VEGF Treatment Strategy for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration: From Clinical Trials to Real-Life Requirements.

    PubMed

    Mantel, Irmela

    2015-06-01

    This Perspective discusses the pertinence of variable dosing regimens with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) with regard to real-life requirements. After the initial pivotal trials of anti-VEGF therapy, the variable dosing regimens pro re nata (PRN), Treat-and-Extend, and Observe-and-Plan, a recently introduced regimen, aimed to optimize the anti-VEGF treatment strategy for nAMD. The PRN regimen showed good visual results but requires monthly monitoring visits and can therefore be difficult to implement. Moreover, application of the PRN regimen revealed inferior results in real-life circumstances due to problems with resource allocation. The Treat-and-Extend regimen uses an interval based approach and has become widely accepted for its ease of preplanning and the reduced number of office visits required. The parallel development of the Observe-and-Plan regimen demonstrated that the future need for retreatment (interval) could be reliably predicted. Studies investigating the observe-and-plan regimen also showed that this could be used in individualized fixed treatment plans, allowing for dramatically reduced clinical burden and good outcomes, thus meeting the real life requirements. This progressive development of variable dosing regimens is a response to the real-life circumstances of limited human, technical, and financial resources. This includes an individualized treatment approach, optimization of the number of retreatments, a minimal number of monitoring visits, and ease of planning ahead. The Observe-and-Plan regimen achieves this goal with good functional results. Translational Relevance: This perspective reviews the process from the pivotal clinical trials to the development of treatment regimens which are adjusted to real life requirements. The article discusses this translational process which- although not the classical interpretation of translation from fundamental to clinical research

  8. Effects of Achieving Target Measures in Rheumatoid Arthritis on Functional Status, Quality of Life, and Resource Utilization: Analysis of Clinical Practice Data

    PubMed Central

    Joo, Seongjung; Kawabata, Hugh; Al, Maiwenn J.; Allison, Paul D.; Rutten‐van Mölken, Maureen P. M. H.; Frits, Michelle L.; Iannaccone, Christine K.; Shadick, Nancy A.; Weinblatt, Michael E.

    2016-01-01

    Objective To evaluate associations between achieving guideline‐recommended targets of disease activity, defined by the Disease Activity Score in 28 joints using C‐reactive protein level (DAS28‐CRP) <2.6, the Simplified Disease Activity Index (SDAI) ≤3.3, or the Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) ≤2.8, and other health outcomes in a longitudinal observational study. Methods Other defined thresholds included low disease activity (LDA), moderate (MDA), or severe disease activity (SDA). To control for intraclass correlation and estimate effects of independent variables on outcomes of the modified Health Assessment Questionnaire (M‐HAQ), the EuroQol 5‐domain (EQ‐5D; a quality‐of‐life measure), hospitalization, and durable medical equipment (DME) use, we employed mixed models for continuous outcomes and generalized estimating equations for binary outcomes. Results Among 1,297 subjects, achievement (versus nonachievement) of recommended disease targets was associated with enhanced physical functioning and lower health resource utilization. After controlling for baseline covariates, achievement of disease targets (versus LDA) was associated with significantly enhanced physical functioning based on SDAI ≤3.3 (ΔM‐HAQ −0.047; P = 0.0100) and CDAI ≤2.8 (−0.073; P = 0.0003) but not DAS28‐CRP <2.6 (−0.022; P = 0.1735). Target attainment was associated with significantly improved EQ‐5D (0.022–0.096; P < 0.0030 versus LDA, MDA, or SDA). Patients achieving guideline‐recommended disease targets were 36–45% less likely to be hospitalized (P < 0.0500) and 23–45% less likely to utilize DME (P < 0.0100). Conclusion Attaining recommended target disease‐activity measures was associated with enhanced physical functioning and health‐related quality of life. Some health outcomes were similar in subjects attaining guideline targets versus LDA. Achieving LDA is a worthy clinical objective in some patients. PMID:26238974

  9. Statistical model based iterative reconstruction in clinical CT systems. Part III. Task-based kV/mAs optimization for radiation dose reduction

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ke; Gomez-Cardona, Daniel; Hsieh, Jiang; Lubner, Meghan G.; Pickhardt, Perry J.; Chen, Guang-Hong

    2015-01-01

    prescribed detectability level of d℞′=16 were determined. As another example, the optimal kV and mA for an 8 mm hyperattenuating liver lesion detection task were also measured using the developed framework. Both an in vivo animal and human subject study were used as demonstrations of how the developed framework can be applied to the clinical work flow. Results: For the first task, the optimal kV and mAs were measured to be 100 and 500, respectively, for FBP, which corresponded to a dose level of 24 mGy. In comparison, the optimal kV and mAs for MBIR were 80 and 150, respectively, which corresponded to a dose level of 4 mGy. The topographies of the iso-d′ map and the iso-CNR map were the same for FBP; thus, the use of d′- and CNR-based optimization methods generated the same results for FBP. However, the topographies of the iso-d′ and iso-CNR map were significantly different in MBIR; the CNR-based method overestimated the performance of MBIR, predicting an overly aggressive dose reduction factor. For the second task, the developed framework generated the following optimization results: for FBP, kV = 140, mA = 350, dose = 37.5 mGy; for MBIR, kV = 120, mA = 250, dose = 18.8 mGy. Again, the CNR-based method overestimated the performance of MBIR. Results of the preliminary in vivo studies were consistent with those of the phantom experiments. Conclusions: A unified and task-driven kV/mAs optimization framework has been developed in this work. The framework is applicable to both linear and nonlinear CT systems such as those using the MBIR method. As expected, the developed framework can be reduced to the conventional CNR-based kV/mAs optimization frameworks if the system is linear. For MBIR-based nonlinear CT systems, however, the developed task-based kV/mAs optimization framework is needed to achieve the maximal dose reduction while maintaining the desired diagnostic performance. PMID:26328971

  10. Generalized optimal design for two-arm, randomized phase II clinical trials with endpoints from the exponential dispersion family.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Wei; Mahnken, Jonathan D; He, Jianghua; Mayo, Matthew S

    2016-11-01

    For two-arm randomized phase II clinical trials, previous literature proposed an optimal design that minimizes the total sample sizes subject to multiple constraints on the standard errors of the estimated event rates and their difference. The original design is limited to trials with dichotomous endpoints. This paper extends the original approach to be applicable to phase II clinical trials with endpoints from the exponential dispersion family distributions. The proposed optimal design minimizes the total sample sizes needed to provide estimates of population means of both arms and their difference with pre-specified precision. Its applications on data from specific distribution families are discussed under multiple design considerations. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. Clinical NECR in 18F-FDG PET scans: optimization of injected activity and variable acquisition time. Relationship with SNR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlier, T.; Ferrer, L.; Necib, H.; Bodet-Milin, C.; Rousseau, C.; Kraeber-Bodéré, F.

    2014-10-01

    The injected activity and the acquisition time per bed position for 18F-FDG PET scans are usually optimized by using metrics obtained from phantom experiments. However, optimal activity and time duration can significantly vary from a phantom set-up and from patient to patient. An approach using a patient-specific noise equivalent count rate (NECR) modelling has been previously proposed for optimizing clinical scanning protocols. We propose using the clinical NECR on a large population as a function of the body mass index (BMI) for deriving the optimal injected activity and acquisition duration per bed position. The relationship between the NEC and the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was assessed both in a phantom and in a clinical setting. 491 consecutive patients were retrospectively evaluated and divided into 4 BMI subgroups. Two criteria were used to optimize the injected activity and the time per bed position was adjusted using the NECR value while keeping the total acquisition time constant. Finally, the relationship between NEC and SNR was investigated using an anthropomorphic phantom and a population of 507 other patients. While the first dose regimen suggested a unique injected activity (665 MBq) regardless of the BMI, the second dose regimen proposed a variable activity and a total acquisition time according to the BMI. The NEC improvement was around 35% as compared with the local current injection rule. Variable time per bed position was derived according to BMI and anatomical region. NEC and number of true events were found to be highly correlated with SNR for the phantom set-up and partially confirmed in the patient study for the BMI subgroup under 28 kg m-2 suggesting that for the scanner, the nonlinear reconstruction algorithm used in this study and BMI < 28 kg m-2, NEC, or the number of true events linearly correlated with SNR2.

  12. Decreased Sperm Motility Retarded ICSI Fertilization Rate in Severe Oligozoospermia but Good-Quality Embryo Transfer Had Achieved the Prospective Clinical Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Jufeng; Lu, Yongning; Qu, Xianqin; Wang, Peng; Zhao, Luiwen; Gao, Minzhi; Shi, Huijuan; Jin, Xingliang

    2016-01-01

    . Overall rates in all groups were 41.26% clinical pregnancy, 25.74% implantation and 36.32% live birth, which gave live birth to 252 girls and 252 boys. Conclusions The reduction of motile spermatozoa in severe oligozoospermia decreased the rates of fertilization and good-quality embryo. Obtaining and transfer of good-quality embryos was the good prognostic to achieve prospective clinical outcomes regardless of the severity of oligozoospermia. PMID:27661081

  13. Variation in Patient Profiles and Outcomes in US and Non-US Subgroups of the Cangrelor Versus Standard Therapy to Achieve Optimal Management of Platelet Inhibition (CHAMPION) PHOENIX Trial

    PubMed Central

    Vaduganathan, Muthiah; Harrington, Robert A.; Stone, Gregg W.; Steg, Ph. Gabriel; Gibson, C. Michael; Hamm, Christian W.; Price, Matthew J.; Prats, Jayne; Deliargyris, Efthymios N.; Mahaffey, Kenneth W.; White, Harvey D.

    2016-01-01

    Background— The Cangrelor Versus Standard Therapy to Achieve Optimal Management of Platelet Inhibition (CHAMPION) PHOENIX trial demonstrated superiority of cangrelor in reducing ischemic events at 48 hours in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention compared with clopidogrel. Methods and Results— We analyzed all patients included in the modified intention-to-treat analysis in US (n=4097; 37.4%) and non-US subgroups (n=6845; 62.6%). The US cohort was older, had a higher burden of cardiovascular risk factors, and had more frequently undergone prior cardiovascular procedures. US patients more frequently underwent percutaneous coronary intervention for stable angina (77.9% versus 46.2%). Almost all US patients (99.1%) received clopidogrel loading doses of 600 mg, whereas 40.5% of non-US patients received 300 mg. Bivalirudin was more frequently used in US patients (56.7% versus 2.9%). At 48 hours, rates of the primary composite end point were comparable in the US and non-US cohorts (5.5% versus 5.2%; P=0.53). Cangrelor reduced rates of the primary composite end point compared with clopidogrel in US (4.5% versus 6.4%; odds ratio 0.70 [95% confidence interval 0.53–0.92]) and in non-US patients (4.8% versus 5.6%; odds ratio 0.85 [95% confidence interval 0.69–1.05]; interaction P=0.26). Similarly, rates of the key secondary end point, stent thrombosis, were reduced by cangrelor in both regions. Rates of Global Use of Strategies to Open Occluded Arteries (GUSTO)–defined severe bleeding were low and not significantly increased by cangrelor in either region. Conclusions— Despite broad differences in clinical profiles and indications for percutaneous coronary intervention by region in a large global cardiovascular clinical trial, cangrelor consistently reduced rates of ischemic end points compared with clopidogrel without an excess in severe bleeding in both the US and non-US subgroups. Clinical Trial Registration— URL: http

  14. When is an optimization not an optimization? Evaluation of clinical implications of information content (signal-to-noise ratio) in optimization of cardiac resynchronization therapy, and how to measure and maximize it.

    PubMed

    Pabari, Punam A; Willson, Keith; Stegemann, Berthold; van Geldorp, Irene E; Kyriacou, Andreas; Moraldo, Michela; Mayet, Jamil; Hughes, Alun D; Francis, Darrel P

    2011-05-01

    Impact of variability in the measured parameter is rarely considered in designing clinical protocols for optimization of atrioventricular (AV) or interventricular (VV) delay of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). In this article, we approach this question quantitatively using mathematical simulation in which the true optimum is known and examine practical implications using some real measurements. We calculated the performance of any optimization process that selects the pacing setting which maximizes an underlying signal, such as flow or pressure, in the presence of overlying random variability (noise). If signal and noise are of equal size, for a 5-choice optimization (60, 100, 140, 180, 220 ms), replicate AV delay optima are rarely identical but rather scattered with a standard deviation of 45 ms. This scatter was overwhelmingly determined (ρ = -0.975, P < 0.001) by Information Content, [Formula: see text], an expression of signal-to-noise ratio. Averaging multiple replicates improves information content. In real clinical data, at resting, heart rate information content is often only 0.2-0.3; elevated pacing rates can raise information content above 0.5. Low information content (e.g. <0.5) causes gross overestimation of optimization-induced increment in VTI, high false-positive appearance of change in optimum between visits and very wide confidence intervals of individual patient optimum. AV and VV optimization by selecting the setting showing maximum cardiac function can only be accurate if information content is high. Simple steps to reduce noise such as averaging multiple replicates, or to increase signal such as increasing heart rate, can improve information content, and therefore viability, of any optimization process.

  15. Comparison of different invasive hemodynamic methods for AV delay optimization in patients with cardiac resynchronization therapy: Implications for clinical trial design and clinical practice☆☆☆

    PubMed Central

    Whinnett, Zachary I.; Francis, Darrel P.; Denis, Arnaud; Willson, Keith; Pascale, Patrizio; van Geldorp, Irene; De Guillebon, Maxime; Ploux, Sylvain; Ellenbogen, Kenneth; Haïssaguerre, Michel; Ritter, Philippe; Bordachar, Pierre

    2013-01-01

    Background Reproducibility and hemodynamic efficacy of optimization of AV delay (AVD) of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) using invasive LV dp/dtmax are unknown. Method and results 25 patients underwent AV delay (AVD) optimisation twice, using continuous left ventricular (LV) dp/dtmax, systolic blood pressure (SBP) and pulse pressure (PP). We compared 4 protocols for comparing dp/dtmax between AV delays:Immediate absolute: mean of 10 s recording of dp/dtmax acquired immediately after programming the tested AVD,Delayed absolute: mean of 10 s recording acquired 30 s after programming AVD,Single relative: relative difference between reference AVD and the tested AVD,Multiple relative: averaged difference, from multiple alternations between reference and tested AVD. We assessed for dp/dtmax, LVSBP and LVPP, test–retest reproducibility of the optimum. Optimization using immediate absolute dp/dtmax had poor reproducibility (SDD of replicate optima = 41 ms; R2 = 0.45) as did delayed absolute (SDD 39 ms; R2 = 0.50). Multiple relative had better reproducibility: SDD 23 ms, R2 = 0.76, and (p < 0.01 by F test). Compared with AAI pacing, the hemodynamic increment from CRT, with the nominal AV delay was LVSBP 2% and LVdp/dtmax 5%, while CRT with pre-determined optimal AVD gave 6% and 9% respectively. Conclusions Because of inevitable background fluctuations, optimization by absolute dp/dtmax has poor same-day reproducibility, unsuitable for clinical or research purposes. Reproducibility is improved by comparing to a reference AVD and making multiple consecutive measurements. More than 6 measurements would be required for even more precise optimization — and might be advisable for future study designs. With optimal AVD, instead of nominal, the hemodynamic increment of CRT is approximately doubled. PMID:23481908

  16. A general framework of marker design with optimal allocation to assess clinical utility.

    PubMed

    Tang, Liansheng; Zhou, Xiao-Hua

    2013-02-20

    This paper proposes a general framework of marker validation designs, which includes most of existing validation designs. The sample size calculation formulas for the proposed general design are derived on the basis of the optimal allocation that minimizes the expected number of treatment failures. The optimal allocation is especially important in the targeted design which is often motivated by preliminary evidence that marker-positive patients respond to one treatment better than the other. Our sample size calculation also takes into account the classification error of a marker. The numerical studies are conducted to investigate the expected reduction on the treatment failures and the relative efficiency between the targeted design and the traditional design based on the optimal ratios. We illustrate the calculation of the optimal allocation and sample sizes through a hypothetical stage II colon cancer trial.

  17. Optimizing cone beam CT scatter estimation in egs-cbct for a clinical and virtual chest phantom

    SciTech Connect

    Thing, Rune Slot; Mainegra-Hing, Ernesto

    2014-07-15

    Purpose: Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) image quality suffers from contamination from scattered photons in the projection images. Monte Carlo simulations are a powerful tool to investigate the properties of scattered photons.egs-cbct, a recent EGSnrc user code, provides the ability of performing fast scatter calculations in CBCT projection images. This paper investigates how optimization of user inputs can provide the most efficient scatter calculations. Methods: Two simulation geometries with two different x-ray sources were simulated, while the user input parameters for the efficiency improving techniques (EITs) implemented inegs-cbct were varied. Simulation efficiencies were compared to analog simulations performed without using any EITs. Resulting scatter distributions were confirmed unbiased against the analog simulations. Results: The optimal EIT parameter selection depends on the simulation geometry and x-ray source. Forced detection improved the scatter calculation efficiency by 80%. Delta transport improved calculation efficiency by a further 34%, while particle splitting combined with Russian roulette improved the efficiency by a factor of 45 or more. Combining these variance reduction techniques with a built-in denoising algorithm, efficiency improvements of 4 orders of magnitude were achieved. Conclusions: Using the built-in EITs inegs-cbct can improve scatter calculation efficiencies by more than 4 orders of magnitude. To achieve this, the user must optimize the input parameters to the specific simulation geometry. Realizing the full potential of the denoising algorithm requires keeping the statistical uncertainty below a threshold value above which the efficiency drops exponentially.

  18. SU-E-T-593: Clinical Evaluation of Direct Aperture Optimization in Head/Neck and Prostate IMRT Treatment

    SciTech Connect

    Hosini, M; GALAL, M; Emam, I; Kamal, G; Algohary, M

    2014-06-01

    Purpose: To investigate the planning and dosimetric advantages of direct aperture optimization (DAO) over beam-let optimization in IMRT treatment of head and neck (H/N) and prostate cancers. Methods: Five Head and Neck as well as five prostate patients were planned using the beamlet optimizer in Elekta-Xio ver 4.6 IMRT treatment planning system. Based on our experience in beamlet IMRT optimization, PTVs in H/N plans were prescribed to 70 Gy delivered by 7 fields. While prostate PTVs were prescribed to 76 Gy with 9 fields. In all plans, fields were set to be equally spaced. All cases were re-planed using Direct Aperture optimizer in Prowess Panther ver 5.01 IMRT planning system at same configurations and dose constraints. Plans were evaluated according to ICRU criteria, number of segments, number of monitor units and planning time. Results: For H/N plans, the near maximum dose (D2) and the dose that covers 95% D95 of PTV has improved by 4% in DAO. For organs at risk (OAR), DAO reduced the volume covered by 30% (V30) in spinal cord, right parotid, and left parotid by 60%, 54%, and 53% respectively. This considerable dosimetric quality improvement achieved using 25% less planning time and lower number of segments and monitor units by 46% and 51% respectively. In DAO prostate plans, Both D2 and D95 for the PTV were improved by only 2%. The V30 of the right femur, left femur and bladder were improved by 35%, 15% and 3% respectively. On the contrary, the rectum V30 got even worse by 9%. However, number of monitor units, and number of segments decreased by 20% and 25% respectively. Moreover the planning time reduced significantly too. Conclusion: DAO introduces considerable advantages over the beamlet optimization in regards to organs at risk sparing. However, no significant improvement occurred in most studied PTVs.

  19. Convergence of models of human ventricular myocyte electrophysiology after global optimization to recapitulate clinical long QT phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Mann, Stefan A; Imtiaz, Mohammad; Winbo, Annika; Rydberg, Annika; Perry, Matthew D; Couderc, Jean-Philippe; Polonsky, Bronislava; McNitt, Scott; Zareba, Wojciech; Hill, Adam P; Vandenberg, Jamie I

    2016-11-01

    In-silico models of human cardiac electrophysiology are now being considered for prediction of cardiotoxicity as part of the preclinical assessment phase of all new drugs. We ask the question whether any of the available models are actually fit for this purpose. We tested three models of the human ventricular action potential, the O'hara-Rudy (ORD11), the Grandi-Bers (GB10) and the Ten Tusscher (TT06) models. We extracted clinical QT data for LQTS1 and LQTS2 patients with nonsense mutations that would be predicted to cause 50% loss of function in IKs and IKr respectively. We also obtained clinical QT data for LQTS3 patients. We then used a global optimization approach to improve the existing in silico models so that they reproduced all three clinical data sets more closely. We also examined the effects of adrenergic stimulation in the different LQTS subsets. All models, in their original form, produce markedly different and unrealistic predictions of QT prolongation for LQTS1, 2 and 3. After global optimization of the maximum conductances for membrane channels, all models have similar current densities during the action potential, despite differences in kinetic properties of the channels in the different models, and more closely reproduce the prolongation of repolarization seen in all LQTS subtypes. In-silico models of cardiac electrophysiology have the potential to be tremendously useful in complementing traditional preclinical drug testing studies. However, our results demonstrate they should be carefully validated and optimized to clinical data before they can be used for this purpose.

  20. Proceedings of the 2016 Clinical Nutrition Week Research Workshop-The Optimal Dose of Protein Provided to Critically Ill Patients.

    PubMed

    Heyland, Daren K; Rooyakers, Olav; Mourtzakis, Marina; Stapleton, Renee D

    2017-02-01

    Recent literature has created considerable confusion about the optimal amount of protein/amino acids that should be provided to the critically ill patient. In fact, the evidentiary basis that directly tries to answer this question is relatively small. As a clinical nutrition research community, there is an urgent need to develop the optimal methods to assess the impact of exogenous protein/amino acid administration in the intensive care unit setting. That assessment can be conducted at various levels: (1) impact on stress response pathways, (2) impact on muscle synthesis and protein balance, (3) impact on muscle mass and function, and (4) impact on the patient's recovery. The objective of this research workshop was to review current literature relating to protein/amino acid administration for the critically ill patient and clinical outcomes and to discuss the key measurement and methodological features of future studies that should be done to inform the optimal protein/amino acid dose provided to critically ill patients.

  1. Effectiveness of Music Education for the Improvement of Reading Skills and Academic Achievement in Young Poor Readers: A Pragmatic Cluster-Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial

    PubMed Central

    Cogo-Moreira, Hugo; de Ávila, Clara Regina Brandão; Ploubidis, George B.; Mari, Jair de Jesus

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Difficulties in word-level reading skills are prevalent in Brazilian schools and may deter children from gaining the knowledge obtained through reading and academic achievement. Music education has emerged as a potential method to improve reading skills because due to a common neurobiological substratum. Objective To evaluate the effectiveness of music education for the improvement of reading skills and academic achievement among children (eight to 10 years of age) with reading difficulties. Method 235 children with reading difficulties in 10 schools participated in a five-month, randomized clinical trial in cluster (RCT) in an impoverished zone within the city of São Paulo to test the effects of music education intervention while assessing reading skills and academic achievement during the school year. Five schools were chosen randomly to incorporate music classes (n = 114), and five served as controls (n = 121). Two different methods of analysis were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention: The standard method was intention-to-treat (ITT), and the other was the Complier Average Causal Effect (CACE) estimation method, which took compliance status into account. Results The ITT analyses were not very promising; only one marginal effect existed for the rate of correct real words read per minute. Indeed, considering ITT, improvements were observed in the secondary outcomes (slope of Portuguese = 0.21 [p<0.001] and slope of math = 0.25 [p<0.001]). As for CACE estimation (i.e., complier children versus non-complier children), more promising effects were observed in terms of the rate of correct words read per minute [β = 13.98, p<0.001] and phonological awareness [β = 19.72, p<0.001] as well as secondary outcomes (academic achievement in Portuguese [β = 0.77, p<0.0001] and math [β = 0.49, p<0.001] throughout the school year). Conclusion The results may be seen as promising, but they are not, in themselves

  2. [Possibilities for optimization of eradication therapy for Helicobacter pylori infection in modern clinical practice].

    PubMed

    Andreev, D N; Dicheva, D T; Maev, I V

    2017-01-01

    A steady decline in the effectiveness of standard eradication therapy (ET) regimens for Helicobacter pylori infection necessitates a search for ways of their optimization, by enhancing the efficiency of treatment protocols and by improving their safety and tolerability. The review systematizes the data available in the literature on main accessible methods for optimizing ET regimens. Among the optimization methods that can considerably enhance the efficiency of ET regimens, one may identify their addition of a bismuth agent (by 10-20%), the use of rebamipide (by 11.9%), adjuvant therapy with probiotics (by 8.1-13%), or double-dose proton pump inhibitors (by 8%). Only adjuvant therapy with probiotics results in a significant decrease in the incidence of side effects from ET. In posteradication period, rebamipide should be used to potentiate gastric mucosal repair and to regress inflammatory processes.

  3. Analytical and Clinical Validity Study of FirstStepDx PLUS: A Chromosomal Microarray Optimized for Patients with Neurodevelopmental Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Hensel, Charles; Vanzo, Rena; Martin, Megan; Dixon, Sean; Lambert, Christophe; Levy, Brynn; Nelson, Lesa; Peiffer, Andy; Ho, Karen S.; Rushton, Patricia; Serrano, Moises; South, Sarah; Ward, Kenneth; Wassman, Edward

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: Chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) is recognized as the first-tier test in the genetic evaluation of children with developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, congenital anomalies and autism spectrum disorders of unknown etiology. Array Design: To optimize detection of clinically relevant copy number variants associated with these conditions, we designed a whole-genome microarray, FirstStepDx PLUS (FSDX). A set of 88,435 custom probes was added to the Affymetrix CytoScanHD platform targeting genomic regions strongly associated with these conditions. This combination of 2,784,985 total probes results in the highest probe coverage and clinical yield for these disorders. Results and Discussion: Clinical testing of this patient population is validated on DNA from either non-invasive buccal swabs or traditional blood samples. In this report we provide data demonstrating the analytic and clinical validity of FSDX and provide an overview of results from the first 7,570 consecutive patients tested clinically. We further demonstrate that buccal sampling is an effective method of obtaining DNA samples, which may provide improved results compared to traditional blood sampling for patients with neurodevelopmental disorders who exhibit somatic mosaicism. PMID:28357155

  4. Wavelength optimization for in vivo multispectral photoacoustic/ultrasound tomography of hemoglobin oxygenation in ovarian cancer: clinical studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salehi, Hassan S.; Li, Hai; Kumavor, Patrick D.; Merkulov, Aleksey; Sanders, Melinda; Brewer, Molly; Zhu, Quing

    2015-03-01

    In this paper, wavelength selection for multispectral photoacoustic/ultrasound tomography was optimized to obtain accurate images of hemoglobin oxygen saturation (sO2) in vivo. Although wavelengths can be selected by theoretical methods, in practice the accuracy of reconstructed images will be affected by wavelength-specific and system-specific factors such as laser source power and ultrasound transducer sensitivity. By performing photoacoustic spectroscopy of mouse tumor models using 14 different wavelengths between 710 and 840 nm, we were able to identify a wavelength set which most accurately reproduced the results obtained using all 14 wavelengths via selection criteria. In clinical studies, the optimal wavelength set was successfully used to image human ovaries in vivo and noninvasively. Although these results are specific to our co-registered photoacoustic/ultrasound imaging system, the approach we developed can be applied to other functional photoacoustic and optical imaging systems.

  5. Defining the immunogenicity and antigenicity of HLA epitopes is crucial for optimal epitope matching in clinical renal transplantation.

    PubMed

    Kramer, C S M; Roelen, D L; Heidt, S; Claas, F H J

    2017-04-05

    Transplantation of an human leukocyte antigen (HLA) mismatched graft can lead to the development of donor-specific antibodies (DSA), which can result in antibody mediated rejection and graft loss as well as complicate repeat transplantation. These DSA are induced by foreign epitopes present on the mismatched HLA antigens of the donor. However, not all epitopes appear to be equally effective in their ability to induce DSA. Understanding the characteristics of HLA epitopes is crucial for optimal epitope matching in clinical transplantation. In this review, the latest insights on HLA epitopes are described with a special focus on the definition of immunogenicity and antigenicity of HLA epitopes. Furthermore, the use of this knowledge to prevent HLA antibody formation and to select the optimal donor for sensitised transplant candidates will be discussed.

  6. 75 FR 47819 - Workshop on Optimizing Clinical Trial Design for the Development of Pediatric Cardiovascular Devices

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-09

    ... support from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American College of Cardiology (ACC), and the... developing devices for the pediatric cardiology market. The information gathered in this and future workshops will help to develop future guidance on optimal designs for pediatric cardiology device trials....

  7. Strategies for optimizing clinic efficiency in a community-based antiretroviral treatment programme in Uganda.

    PubMed

    Alamo, Stella T; Wagner, Glenn J; Ouma, Joseph; Sunday, Pamela; Marie, Laga; Colebunders, Robert; Wabwire-Mangen, Fred

    2013-01-01

    We address a critical aspect of antiretroviral therapy (ART) scale-up: poor clinic organization leading to long waiting times and reduced patient retention. Using a before and after study design, time and motion studies and qualitative methods we evaluated the impact of triage and longer clinic appointment intervals (triage) on clinic efficiency in a community-based program in Uganda. We compared time waiting to see and time spent with providers for various patient categories and examined patient and provider satisfaction with the triage. Overall, median time spent at the clinic reduced from 206 to 83 min. Total median time waiting to see providers for stable-ART patients reduced from 102 to 20 min while that for patients undergoing ART preparation reduced 88-37 min. Improved patient flow, patient and provider satisfaction and reduced waiting times allowed for service delivery to more patients using the same staff following the implementation of triage.

  8. Case Example of Dose Optimization Using Data From Bortezomib Dose-Finding Clinical Trials

    PubMed Central

    Backenroth, Daniel; Cheung, Ying Kuen Ken; Hershman, Dawn L.; Vulih, Diana; Anderson, Barry; Ivy, Percy; Minasian, Lori

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The current dose-finding methodology for estimating the maximum tolerated dose of investigational anticancer agents is based on the cytotoxic chemotherapy paradigm. Molecularly targeted agents (MTAs) have different toxicity profiles, which may lead to more long-lasting mild or moderate toxicities as well as to late-onset and cumulative toxicities. Several approved MTAs have been poorly tolerated during long-term administration, leading to postmarketing dose optimization studies to re-evaluate the optimal treatment dose. Using data from completed bortezomib dose-finding trials, we explore its toxicity profile, optimize its dose, and examine the appropriateness of current designs for identifying an optimal dose. Patients and Methods We classified the toxicities captured from 481 patients in 14 bortezomib dose-finding studies conducted through the National Cancer Institute Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, computed the incidence of late-onset toxicities, and compared the incidence of dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) among groups of patients receiving different doses of bortezomib. Results A total of 13,008 toxicities were captured: 46% of patients’ first DLTs and 88% of dose reductions or discontinuations of treatment because of toxicity were observed after the first cycle. Moreover, for the approved dose of 1.3 mg/m2, the estimated cumulative incidence of DLT was > 50%, and the estimated cumulative incidence of dose reduction or treatment discontinuation because of toxicity was nearly 40%. Conclusions When considering the entire course of treatment, the approved bortezomib dose exceeds the conventional ceiling DLT rate of 20% to 33%. Retrospective analysis of trial data provides an opportunity for dose optimization of MTAs. Future dose-finding studies of MTAs should take into account late-onset toxicities to ensure that a tolerable dose is identified for future efficacy and comparative trials. PMID:26926682

  9. Clinical challenges of chronic wounds: searching for an optimal animal model to recapitulate their complexity

    PubMed Central

    Nunan, Robert; Harding, Keith G.; Martin, Paul

    2014-01-01

    The efficient healing of a skin wound is something that most of us take for granted but is essential for surviving day-to-day knocks and cuts, and is absolutely relied on clinically whenever a patient receives surgical intervention. However, the management of a chronic wound – defined as a barrier defect that has not healed in 3 months – has become a major therapeutic challenge throughout the Western world, and it is a problem that will only escalate with the increasing incidence of conditions that impede wound healing, such as diabetes, obesity and vascular disorders. Despite being clinically and molecularly heterogeneous, all chronic wounds are generally assigned to one of three major clinical categories: leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers or pressure ulcers. Although we have gleaned much knowledge about the fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms that underpin healthy, acute wound healing from various animal models, we have learned much less about chronic wound repair pathology from these models. This might largely be because the animal models being used in this field of research have failed to recapitulate the clinical features of chronic wounds. In this Clinical Puzzle article, we discuss the clinical complexity of chronic wounds and describe the best currently available models for investigating chronic wound pathology. We also assess how such models could be optimised to become more useful tools for uncovering pathological mechanisms and potential therapeutic treatments. PMID:25359790

  10. Clinical challenges of chronic wounds: searching for an optimal animal model to recapitulate their complexity.

    PubMed

    Nunan, Robert; Harding, Keith G; Martin, Paul

    2014-11-01

    The efficient healing of a skin wound is something that most of us take for granted but is essential for surviving day-to-day knocks and cuts, and is absolutely relied on clinically whenever a patient receives surgical intervention. However, the management of a chronic wound - defined as a barrier defect that has not healed in 3 months - has become a major therapeutic challenge throughout the Western world, and it is a problem that will only escalate with the increasing incidence of conditions that impede wound healing, such as diabetes, obesity and vascular disorders. Despite being clinically and molecularly heterogeneous, all chronic wounds are generally assigned to one of three major clinical categories: leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers or pressure ulcers. Although we have gleaned much knowledge about the fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms that underpin healthy, acute wound healing from various animal models, we have learned much less about chronic wound repair pathology from these models. This might largely be because the animal models being used in this field of research have failed to recapitulate the clinical features of chronic wounds. In this Clinical Puzzle article, we discuss the clinical complexity of chronic wounds and describe the best currently available models for investigating chronic wound pathology. We also assess how such models could be optimised to become more useful tools for uncovering pathological mechanisms and potential therapeutic treatments.

  11. Optimal clinical trial design based on a dichotomous Markov-chain mixed-effect sleep model.

    PubMed

    Steven Ernest, C; Nyberg, Joakim; Karlsson, Mats O; Hooker, Andrew C

    2014-12-01

    D-optimal designs for discrete-type responses have been derived using generalized linear mixed models, simulation based methods and analytical approximations for computing the fisher information matrix (FIM) of non-linear mixed effect models with homogeneous probabilities over time. In this work, D-optimal designs using an analytical approximation of the FIM for a dichotomous, non-homogeneous, Markov-chain phase advanced sleep non-linear mixed effect model was investigated. The non-linear mixed effect model consisted of transition probabilities of dichotomous sleep data estimated as logistic functions using piecewise linear functions. Theoretical linear and nonlinear dose effects were added to the transition probabilities to modify the probability of being in either sleep stage. D-optimal designs were computed by determining an analytical approximation the FIM for each Markov component (one where the previous state was awake and another where the previous state was asleep). Each Markov component FIM was weighted either equally or by the average probability of response being awake or asleep over the night and summed to derive the total FIM (FIM(total)). The reference designs were placebo, 0.1, 1-, 6-, 10- and 20-mg dosing for a 2- to 6-way crossover study in six dosing groups. Optimized design variables were dose and number of subjects in each dose group. The designs were validated using stochastic simulation/re-estimation (SSE). Contrary to expectations, the predicted parameter uncertainty obtained via FIM(total) was larger than the uncertainty in parameter estimates computed by SSE. Nevertheless, the D-optimal designs decreased the uncertainty of parameter estimates relative to the reference designs. Additionally, the improvement for the D-optimal designs were more pronounced using SSE than predicted via FIM(total). Through the use of an approximate analytic solution and weighting schemes, the FIM(total) for a non-homogeneous, dichotomous Markov-chain phase

  12. In patients with extensive subcutaneous emphysema, which technique achieves maximal clinical resolution: infraclavicular incisions, subcutaneous drain insertion or suction on in situ chest drain?

    PubMed

    Johnson, Charles H N; Lang, Sommer A; Bilal, Haris; Rammohan, Kandadai S

    2014-06-01

    A best evidence topic in cardiac surgery was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was: 'In patients with extensive subcutaneous emphysema, which technique achieves maximal clinical resolution: infraclavicular incisions, subcutaneous drain insertion or suction on in situ chest drain?'. Altogether more than 200 papers were found using the reported search, of which 14 represented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The authors, journal, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes and results of these papers are tabulated. Subcutaneous emphysema is usually a benign, self-limiting condition only requiring conservative management. Interventions are useful in the context of severe patient discomfort, respiratory distress or persistent air leak. In the absence of any comparative study, it is not possible to choose definitively between infraclavicular incisions, drain insertion and increasing suction on an in situ drain as the best method for managing severe subcutaneous emphysema. All the three techniques described have been shown to provide effective relief. Increasing suction on a chest tube already in situ provided rapid relief in patients developing SE following pulmonary resection. A retrospective study showed resolution in 66%, increasing to 98% in those who underwent video-assisted thoracic surgery with identification and closure of the leak. Insertion of a drain into the subcutaneous tissue also provided rapid sustained relief. Several studies aided drainage by using regular compressive massage. Infraclavicular incisions were also shown to provide rapid relief, but were noted to be more invasive and carried the potential for cosmetic defect. No major complications were illustrated.

  13. Appraising Reading Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ediger, Marlow

    To determine quality sequence in pupil progress, evaluation approaches need to be used which guide the teacher to assist learners to attain optimally. Teachers must use a variety of procedures to appraise student achievement in reading, because no one approach is adequate. Appraisal approaches might include: (1) observation and subsequent…

  14. Clinical efficacy of an optimized stannous fluoride dentifrice, Part 5: A 3-month study of extrinsic tooth staining, northeast USA.

    PubMed

    Bosma, M L; Besho, R W; Walley, D; Mankodi, S; Petrone, M E; Chaknis, P; DeVizio, W; Volpe, A R; Proskin, H M

    1997-01-01

    The objective of this 3-month, double-blind clinical study was to investigate the level of tooth staining associated with the use of Colgate Optimized Stannous Fluoride (COSF) dentifrice compared to the tooth staining associated with two commercially available dentifrices. The results of this clinical study support the conclusion that the intensity and extent of extrinsic tooth stain associated with the use of the COSF dentifrice are significantly lower than that associated with Crest Gum Care Toothpaste. Further, this study provided no indication that the use of the COSF dentifrice is associated with a greater level of stain than that associated with the use of Crest Regular Toothpaste, a standard 0.243% sodium fluoride/silica dentifrice.

  15. High-performance n-type organic semiconductors: incorporating specific electron-withdrawing motifs to achieve tight molecular stacking and optimized energy levels.

    PubMed

    Yun, Sun Woo; Kim, Jong H; Shin, Seunghoon; Yang, Hoichang; An, Byeong-Kwan; Yang, Lin; Park, Soo Young

    2012-02-14

    Novel π–conjugated cyanostilbene-based semiconductors (Hex-3,5-TFPTA and Hex-4-TFPTA) with tight molecular stacking and optimized energy levels are synthesized. Hex-4-TFPTA exhibits high-performance n-type organic field-effect transistor (OFET) properties with electron mobilities as high as 2.14 cm2 V−1s−1 and on-off current ratios

  16. Optimizing supercritical carbon dioxide in the inactivation of bacteria in clinical solid waste by using response surface methodology

    SciTech Connect

    Hossain, Md. Sohrab; Nik Ab Rahman, Nik Norulaini; Balakrishnan, Venugopal; Alkarkhi, Abbas F.M.; Ahmad Rajion, Zainul; Ab Kadir, Mohd Omar

    2015-04-15

    Highlights: • Supercritical carbon dioxide sterilization of clinical solid waste. • Inactivation of bacteria in clinical solid waste using supercritical carbon dioxide. • Reduction of the hazardous exposure of clinical solid waste. • Optimization of the supercritical carbon dioxide experimental conditions. - Abstract: Clinical solid waste (CSW) poses a challenge to health care facilities because of the presence of pathogenic microorganisms, leading to concerns in the effective sterilization of the CSW for safe handling and elimination of infectious disease transmission. In the present study, supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO{sub 2}) was applied to inactivate gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Bacillus subtilis, and gram-negative Escherichia coli in CSW. The effects of SC-CO{sub 2} sterilization parameters such as pressure, temperature, and time were investigated and optimized by response surface methodology (RSM). Results showed that the data were adequately fitted into the second-order polynomial model. The linear quadratic terms and interaction between pressure and temperature had significant effects on the inactivation of S. aureus, E. coli, E. faecalis, and B. subtilis in CSW. Optimum conditions for the complete inactivation of bacteria within the experimental range of the studied variables were 20 MPa, 60 °C, and 60 min. The SC-CO{sub 2}-treated bacterial cells, observed under a scanning electron microscope, showed morphological changes, including cell breakage and dislodged cell walls, which could have caused the inactivation. This espouses the inference that SC-CO{sub 2} exerts strong inactivating effects on the bacteria present in CSW, and has the potential to be used in CSW management for the safe handling and recycling-reuse of CSW materials.

  17. Validation of an optimized SPM procedure for FDG-PET in dementia diagnosis in a clinical setting

    PubMed Central

    Perani, Daniela; Della Rosa, Pasquale Anthony; Cerami, Chiara; Gallivanone, Francesca; Fallanca, Federico; Vanoli, Emilia Giovanna; Panzacchi, Andrea; Nobili, Flavio; Pappatà, Sabina; Marcone, Alessandra; Garibotto, Valentina; Castiglioni, Isabella; Magnani, Giuseppe; Cappa, Stefano F.; Gianolli, Luigi

    2014-01-01

    Diagnostic accuracy in FDG-PET imaging highly depends on the operating procedures. In this clinical study on dementia, we compared the diagnostic accuracy at a single-subject level of a) Clinical Scenarios, b) Standard FDG Images and c) Statistical Parametrical (SPM) Maps generated via a new optimized SPM procedure. We evaluated the added value of FDG-PET, either Standard FDG Images or SPM Maps, to Clinical Scenarios. In 88 patients with neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's Disease—AD, Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration—FTLD, Dementia with Lewy bodies—DLB and Mild Cognitive Impairment—MCI), 9 neuroimaging experts made a forced diagnostic decision on the basis of the evaluation of the three types of information. There was also the possibility of a decision of normality on the FDG-PET images. The clinical diagnosis confirmed at a long-term follow-up was used as the gold standard. SPM Maps showed higher sensitivity and specificity (96% and 84%), and better diagnostic positive (6.8) and negative (0.05) likelihood ratios compared to Clinical Scenarios and Standard FDG Images. SPM Maps increased diagnostic accuracy for differential diagnosis (AD vs. FTD; beta 1.414, p = 0.019). The AUC of the ROC curve was 0.67 for SPM Maps, 0.57 for Clinical Scenarios and 0.50 for Standard FDG Images. In the MCI group, SPM Maps showed the highest predictive prognostic value (mean LOC = 2.46), by identifying either normal brain metabolism (exclusionary role) or hypometabolic patterns typical of different neurodegenerative conditions. PMID:25389519

  18. Optimizing query response with XML user profile in mobile clinical systems.

    PubMed

    Park, Heekyong; Yoo, Sooyoung; Kim, Boyoung; Choi, Jinwook; Chun, Jonghoon

    2003-01-01

    Improvements of modern mobile technology, have created a need for a mobile clinical environment. In the field of mobile clinical systems, getting information on time is as important as mission critical aspects. However, web access time with the mobile device is still not feasible clinically. Therefore, the optimisation of query response becomes an important issue. We have developed a query optimising method using a user profile. We analysed user (clinician) specific queries in the medical field. Most of the data retrieval in the medical field is focused on the clinical test results, and the patient inverted exclamation mark s demographic information. Sometimes the information requested in the medical field places a heavy load on the database, since such information may require full database scanning and much joining of tables in the databases. In such cases, constructing profile data and employing it for data retrieval would help to improve the response time. The use of a predefined profile avoids the multiple joining process, and shortens the total response time. The object of our research is to improve query response by creating user profiles and using this profile information for patient data retrieval.

  19. Ultralong, small-diameter TiOTiO₂ nanotubes achieved by an optimized two-step anodization for efficient dye-sensitized solar cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoyan; Sun, Lidong; Zhang, Sam; Wang, Xiu

    2014-02-12

    An optimized two-step anodization is developed to fabricate ultralong, small-diameter TiO2 nanotubes, that is, with tube length of up to 31 μm and pore diameter of about 35 nm in this work. This overcomes the length limitation of small diameter tubes that usually presents in conventional one-step anodization. The small tubes with lengths of 23 μm yield a conversion efficiency of 5.02% in dye-sensitized solar cells under nonoptimized conditions.

  20. Comparative optimism among patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) is associated with fewer adverse clinical events 12 months later.

    PubMed

    Hevey, David; McGee, Hannah M; Horgan, John H

    2014-04-01

    The current study evaluates the levels of comparative optimism among patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and examines its relationship to health outcomes 12 months later. 164 patients completed self-report questionnaires at the end of cardiac rehabilitation and the number of adverse clinical events in the following 12 months were recorded. Comparative optimism was assessed in relation to a typical other who has not had cardiac event, a typical other who has had the same cardiac event as the respondent, and a typical member of the cardiac rehabilitation class. Clinical-demographic details and distress were assessed. Participants were comparatively optimistic in all three ratings. Logistic regression (controlling for age, gender, co-morbidities, and distress) revealed that higher levels of adverse events were associated with older age, being male, and lower levels of overall comparative optimism. Comparative optimism was associated with decreased risk of adverse clinical events in the year following cardiac rehabilitation attendance.

  1. Cherenkov imaging method for rapid optimization of clinical treatment geometry in total skin electron beam therapy

    SciTech Connect

    Andreozzi, Jacqueline M. E-mail: Lesley.A.Jarvis@hitchcock.org; Glaser, Adam K.; Zhang, Rongxiao; Gladstone, David J.; Williams, Benjamin B.; Jarvis, Lesley A. E-mail: Lesley.A.Jarvis@hitchcock.org; Pogue, Brian W.

    2016-02-15

    Purpose: A method was developed utilizing Cherenkov imaging for rapid and thorough determination of the two gantry angles that produce the most uniform treatment plane during dual-field total skin electron beam therapy (TSET). Methods: Cherenkov imaging was implemented to gather 2D measurements of relative surface dose from 6 MeV electron beams on a white polyethylene sheet. An intensified charge-coupled device camera time-gated to the Linac was used for Cherenkov emission imaging at sixty-two different gantry angles (1° increments, from 239.5° to 300.5°). Following a modified Stanford TSET technique, which uses two fields per patient position for full body coverage, composite images were created as the sum of two beam images on the sheet; each angle pair was evaluated for minimum variation across the patient region of interest. Cherenkov versus dose correlation was verified with ionization chamber measurements. The process was repeated at source to surface distance (SSD) = 441, 370.5, and 300 cm to determine optimal angle spread for varying room geometries. In addition, three patients receiving TSET using a modified Stanford six-dual field technique with 6 MeV electron beams at SSD = 441 cm were imaged during treatment. Results: As in previous studies, Cherenkov intensity was shown to directly correlate with dose for homogenous flat phantoms (R{sup 2} = 0.93), making Cherenkov imaging an appropriate candidate to assess and optimize TSET setup geometry. This method provided dense 2D images allowing 1891 possible treatment geometries to be comprehensively analyzed from one data set of 62 single images. Gantry angles historically used for TSET at their institution were 255.5° and 284.5° at SSD = 441 cm; however, the angles optimized for maximum homogeneity were found to be 252.5° and 287.5° (+6° increase in angle spread). Ionization chamber measurements confirmed improvement in dose homogeneity across the treatment field from a range of 24.4% at the initial

  2. Cherenkov imaging method for rapid optimization of clinical treatment geometry in total skin electron beam therapy

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Rongxiao; Gladstone, David J.; Williams, Benjamin B.; Glaser, Adam K.; Pogue, Brian W.; Jarvis, Lesley A.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: A method was developed utilizing Cherenkov imaging for rapid and thorough determination of the two gantry angles that produce the most uniform treatment plane during dual-field total skin electron beam therapy (TSET). Methods: Cherenkov imaging was implemented to gather 2D measurements of relative surface dose from 6 MeV electron beams on a white polyethylene sheet. An intensified charge-coupled device camera time-gated to the Linac was used for Cherenkov emission imaging at sixty-two different gantry angles (1° increments, from 239.5° to 300.5°). Following a modified Stanford TSET technique, which uses two fields per patient position for full body coverage, composite images were created as the sum of two beam images on the sheet; each angle pair was evaluated for minimum variation across the patient region of interest. Cherenkov versus dose correlation was verified with ionization chamber measurements. The process was repeated at source to surface distance (SSD) = 441, 370.5, and 300 cm to determine optimal angle spread for varying room geometries. In addition, three patients receiving TSET using a modified Stanford six-dual field technique with 6 MeV electron beams at SSD = 441 cm were imaged during treatment. Results: As in previous studies, Cherenkov intensity was shown to directly correlate with dose for homogenous flat phantoms (R2 = 0.93), making Cherenkov imaging an appropriate candidate to assess and optimize TSET setup geometry. This method provided dense 2D images allowing 1891 possible treatment geometries to be comprehensively analyzed from one data set of 62 single images. Gantry angles historically used for TSET at their institution were 255.5° and 284.5° at SSD = 441 cm; however, the angles optimized for maximum homogeneity were found to be 252.5° and 287.5° (+6° increase in angle spread). Ionization chamber measurements confirmed improvement in dose homogeneity across the treatment field from a range of 24.4% at the initial angles

  3. Optimizing clopidogrel dose response: a new clinical algorithm comprising CYP2C19 pharmacogenetics and drug interactions

    PubMed Central

    Saab, Yolande B; Zeenny, Rony; Ramadan, Wijdan H

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Response to clopidogrel varies widely with nonresponse rates ranging from 4% to 30%. A reduced function of the gene variant of the CYP2C19 has been associated with lower drug metabolite levels, and hence diminished platelet inhibition. Drugs that alter CYP2C19 activity may also mimic genetic variants. The aim of the study is to investigate the cumulative effect of CYP2C19 gene polymorphisms and drug interactions that affects clopidogrel dosing, and apply it into a new clinical-pharmacogenetic algorithm that can be used by clinicians in optimizing clopidogrel-based treatment. Method Clopidogrel dose optimization was analyzed based on two main parameters that affect clopidogrel metabolite area under the curve: different CYP2C19 genotypes and concomitant drug intake. Clopidogrel adjusted dose was computed based on area under the curve ratios for different CYP2C19 genotypes when a drug interacting with CYP2C19 is added to clopidogrel treatment. A clinical-pharmacogenetic algorithm was developed based on whether clopidogrel shows 1) expected effect as per indication, 2) little or no effect, or 3) clinical features that patients experience and fit with clopidogrel adverse drug reactions. Results The study results show that all patients under clopidogrel treatment, whose genotypes are different from *1*1, and concomitantly taking other drugs metabolized by CYP2C19 require clopidogrel dose adjustment. To get a therapeutic effect and avoid adverse drug reactions, therapeutic dose of 75 mg clopidogrel, for example, should be lowered to 6 mg or increased to 215 mg in patients with different genotypes. Conclusion The implementation of clopidogrel new algorithm has the potential to maximize the benefit of clopidogrel pharmacological therapy. Clinicians would be able to personalize treatment to enhance efficacy and limit toxicity. PMID:26445541

  4. A proposal to use iterative, small clinical trials to optimize therapeutic HIV vaccine immunogens to launch therapeutic HIV vaccine development.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Stuart Z

    2015-01-01

    The HIV cure agenda has rekindled interest in the development of a therapeutic HIV vaccine. An iterative clinical trial strategy that proved successful for the development of effective cancer chemotherapies in the 1960s may be applicable to the development of a CD8 T lymphocyte-based therapeutic HIV vaccine. However, while cancer chemotherapy development could begin with iterative clinical trials to improve the use of active drugs, the first step in therapeutic HIV vaccine design should be discovery of immunogen constructs with potential for activity and their optimization to meet the challenges of HIV-1 sequence diversity and human polymorphism in T cell antigen presentation. A strategy for doing this is discussed in this article. The proposed strategy relies on a major commitment by funding organizations to fund organized and coordinated manufacture and clinical testing of a series of first- and second-generation constructs to test basic concepts in product design. This is presented as an alternative to funding a more traditional competition among private manufacturers and product champions of individual, already designed products.

  5. Strategies for optimizing the clinical impact of immunotherapeutic agents such as sipuleucel-T in prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Madan, Ravi A; Schwaab, Thomas; Gulley, James L

    2012-12-01

    Sipuleucel-T is a therapeutic cancer vaccine that has shown improved survival in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. As a first-in-class agent, it has been met with both fan-fare and controversy. A broad review of immune-based therapies may reveal the delayed clinical impact of sipuleucel-T to be a class effect. As new strategies of immune-based therapy are developed, their effects can be optimized through better understanding of how they affect disease differently from more standard therapeutics. Furthermore, combination therapy with agents that can either work synergistically with immune-activating therapies or deplete immune-regulating cells may result in more vigorous immune responses and improved clinical outcomes. In addition, therapeutic vaccines may be ideal candidates to safely combine with standard-of-care therapies because of their nonoverlapping toxicity profile. The ultimate role of immunotherapy may not be to supplant standard therapies, but rather to work in concert with them to maximize clinical benefit for patients.

  6. Optimized nonclinical safety assessment strategies supporting clinical development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies targeting inflammatory diseases.

    PubMed

    Brennan, Frank R; Cauvin, Annick; Tibbitts, Jay; Wolfreys, Alison

    2014-05-01

    An increasing number of immunomodulatory monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and IgG Fc fusion proteins are either approved or in early-to-late stage clinical trials for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions, autoimmune diseases and organ transplant rejection. The exquisite specificity of mAbs, in combination with their multi-functional properties, high potency, long half-life (permitting intermittent dosing and prolonged pharamcological effects), and general lack of off-target toxicity makes them ideal therapeutics. Dosing with mAbs for these severe and debilitating but often non life-threatening diseases is usually prolonged, for several months or years, and not only affects adults, including sensitive populations such as woman of child-bearing potential (WoCBP) and the elderly, but also children. Immunosuppression is usually a therapeutic goal of these mAbs and when administered to patients whose treatment program often involves other immunosuppressive therapies, there is an inherent risk for frank immunosuppression and reduced host defence which when prolonged increases the risk of infection and cancer. In addition when mAbs interact with the immune system they can induce other adverse immune-mediated drug reactions such as infusion reactions, cytokine release syndrome, anaphylaxis, immune-complex-mediated pathology and autoimmunity. An overview of the nonclinical safety assessment and risk mitigation strategies utilized to characterize these immunomodulatory mAbs and Fc fusion proteins to support first-in human (FIH) studies and futher clinical development in inflammatory disease indications is provided. Specific emphasis is placed on the design of studies to qualify animal species for toxicology studies, early studies to investigate safety and define PK/PD relationships, FIH-enabling and chronic toxicology studies, immunotoxicity, developmental, reproductive and juvenile toxicity studies and studies to determine the potential for immunosuppression and

  7. Effectiveness of an intervention designed to optimize statins use: a primary prevention randomized clinical trial

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Although hypercholesterolemia is considered a cardiovascular risk factor, in isolation it is not necessarily sufficient cause for a cardiovascular event. To improve event prediction, cardiovascular risk calculators have been developed; the REGICOR calculator has been validated for use in our population. The objective of this project is to develop an intervention with general practitioners (GPs) and evaluate its impact on prescription adequacy of cholesterol-lowering drugs in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and in controlling the costs associated with this disease. Methods This nonblinded, cluster-randomized clinical trial analyzes data from primary care electronic medical records (ECAP) and other databases. Inclusion criteria are patients aged 35 to 74 years with no known cardiovascular disease and a new prescription for cholesterol-lowering drugs during the 2-year study period. Dependent variables include the following: RETIRA, defined as new cholesterol-lowering drugs initiated during the year preceding the intervention, considered inadequate, and withdrawn during the study period; EVITA, defined as new cholesterol-lowering drugs initiated during the study period and considered inadequate; COST, defined as the total cost of inadequate new treatments prescribed; and REGISTER, defined as the recording of cardiovascular risk factors. Independent variables include the GP’s quality-of-care indicators and randomly assigned study group (intervention vs control), patient demographics, and clinical variables. Aggregated descriptive analysis will be done at the GP level and multilevel analysis will be performed to estimate the intervention effect, adjusted for individual and GP variables. Discussion The study objective is to generate evidence about the effectiveness of implementing feedback information programs directed to GPs in the context of Primary Care. The goal is to improve the prescription adequacy of lipid-lowering therapies for primary

  8. Primary Care Collaborative Memory Clinics: Building Capacity for Optimized Dementia Care.

    PubMed

    Lee, Linda; Hillier, Loretta M; Molnar, Frank; Borrie, Michael J

    2017-01-01

    Increasingly, primary care collaborative memory clinics (PCCMCs) are being established to build capacity for person-centred dementia care. This paper reflects on the significance of PCCMCs within the system of care for older adults, supported with data from ongoing evaluation studies. Results highlight timelier access to assessment with a high proportion of patients being managed in primary care within a person-centred approach to care. Enhancing primary care capacity for dementia care with interprofessional and collaborative care will strengthen the system's ability to respond to increasing demands for service and mitigate the growth of wait times to access geriatric specialist assessment.

  9. Challenges in acute heart failure clinical management: optimizing care despite incomplete evidence and imperfect drugs.

    PubMed

    Teichman, Sam L; Maisel, Alan S; Storrow, Alan B

    2015-03-01

    Acute heart failure is a common condition associated with considerable morbidity, mortality, and cost. However, evidence-based data on treating heart failure in the acute setting are limited, and current individual treatment options have variable efficacy. The healthcare team must often individualize patient care in ways that may extend beyond available clinical guidelines. In this review, we address the question, "How do you do the best you can clinically with incomplete evidence and imperfect drugs?" Expert opinion is provided to supplement guideline-based recommendations and help address the typical challenges that are involved in the management of patients with acute heart failure. Specifically, we discuss 4 key areas that are important in the continuum of patient care: differential diagnosis and risk stratification; choice and implementation of initial therapy; assessment of the adequacy of therapy during hospitalization or observation; and considerations for discharge/transition of care. A case study is presented to highlight the decision-making process throughout each of these areas. Evidence is accumulating that should help guide patients and healthcare providers on a path to better quality of care.

  10. Applying and testing the conveniently optimized enzyme mismatch cleavage method to clinical DNA diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Niida, Yo; Kuroda, Mondo; Mitani, Yusuke; Okumura, Akiko; Yokoi, Ayano

    2012-11-01

    Establishing a simple and effective mutation screening method is one of the most compelling problems with applying genetic diagnosis to clinical use. Because there is no reliable and inexpensive screening system, amplifying by PCR and performing direct sequencing of every coding exon is the gold standard strategy even today. However, this approach is expensive and time consuming, especially when gene size or sample number is large. Previously, we developed CEL nuclease mediated heteroduplex incision with polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and silver staining (CHIPS) as an ideal simple mutation screening system constructed with only conventional apparatuses and commercially available reagents. In this study, we evaluated the utility of CHIPS technology for genetic diagnosis in clinical practice by applying this system to screening for the COL2A1, WRN and RPS6KA3 mutations in newly diagnosed patients with Stickler syndrome (autosomal dominant inheritance), Werner syndrome (autosomal recessive inheritance) and Coffin-Lowry syndrome (X-linked inheritance), respectively. In all three genes, CHIPS detected all DNA variations including disease causative mutations within a day. Direct sequencing of all coding exons of these genes confirmed 100% sensitivity and specificity. We demonstrate high sensitivity, high cost performance and reliability of this simple system, with compatibility to all inheritance modes. Because of its low technology, CHIPS is ready to use and potentially disseminate to any laboratories in the world.

  11. Vancomycin-resistant enterococcal infections: epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and optimal management

    PubMed Central

    O’Driscoll, Tristan; Crank, Christopher W

    2015-01-01

    Since its discovery in England and France in 1986, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus has increasingly become a major nosocomial pathogen worldwide. Enterococci are prolific colonizers, with tremendous genome plasticity and a propensity for persistence in hospital environments, allowing for increased transmission and the dissemination of resistance elements. Infections typically present in immunosuppressed patients who have received multiple courses of antibiotics in the past. Virulence is variable, and typical clinical manifestations include bacteremia, endocarditis, intra-abdominal and pelvic infections, urinary tract infections, skin and skin structure infections, and, rarely, central nervous system infections. As enterococci are common colonizers, careful consideration is needed before initiating targeted therapy, and source control is first priority. Current treatment options including linezolid, daptomycin, quinupristin/dalfopristin, and tigecycline have shown favorable activity against various vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus infections, but there is a lack of randomized controlled trials assessing their efficacy. Clearer distinctions in preferred therapies can be made based on adverse effects, drug interactions, and pharmacokinetic profiles. Although combination therapies and newer agents such as tedizolid, telavancin, dalbavancin, and oritavancin hold promise for the future treatment of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus infections, further studies are needed to assess their possible clinical impact, especially in the treatment of serious infections. PMID:26244026

  12. Challenges in Acute Heart Failure Clinical Management: Optimizing Care Despite Incomplete Evidence and Imperfect Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Maisel, Alan S.; Storrow, Alan B.

    2015-01-01

    Acute heart failure is a common condition associated with considerable morbidity, mortality, and cost. However, evidence-based data on treating heart failure in the acute setting are limited, and current individual treatment options have variable efficacy. The healthcare team must often individualize patient care in ways that may extend beyond available clinical guidelines. In this review, we address the question, “How do you do the best you can clinically with incomplete evidence and imperfect drugs?” Expert opinion is provided to supplement guideline-based recommendations and help address the typical challenges that are involved in the management of patients with acute heart failure. Specifically, we discuss 4 key areas that are important in the continuum of patient care: differential diagnosis and risk stratification; choice and implementation of initial therapy; assessment of the adequacy of therapy during hospitalization or observation; and considerations for discharge/transition of care. A case study is presented to highlight the decision-making process throughout each of these areas. Evidence is accumulating that should help guide patients and healthcare providers on a path to better quality of care. PMID:25679083

  13. Waiting time reduction in intravitreal clinics by optimization of appointment scheduling: balancing demand and supply

    PubMed Central

    Ugarte, Marta

    2015-01-01

    This study was designed guided by the Model for Improvement framework to reduce waiting times and visit duration in the intravitreal therapy clinic, while improving patient and staff experience. In our aim to provide good quality, patient-centred care and constantly improve, we optimised the appointment profile and patient flow. We involved a multidisciplinary team (one consultant, junior doctors, staff nurses, technicians, and receptionist), as well as patients and relatives, to try to understand the main delays in the clinic. Process mapping, a fishbone diagram, run charts, together with feedback from patients and staff, provided an insight on the possible roots of the delays experienced by our patients. The results of the inquiry led us to take actions focused on optimising appointment scheduling. After implementing the new scheduling profile (with a gap in the middle of the session), various cycles of plan-do-study-act and a comparative, qualitative study by interviewing 10 patients demonstrated that the waiting times decreased, and patients and staff experience improved. PMID:26734454

  14. Optimizing perfusion-decellularization methods of porcine livers for clinical-scale whole-organ bioengineering.

    PubMed

    Wu, Qiong; Bao, Ji; Zhou, Yong-jie; Wang, Yu-jia; Du, Zheng-gui; Shi, Yu-jun; Li, Li; Bu, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Aim. To refine the decellularization protocol of whole porcine liver, which holds great promise for liver tissue engineering. Methods. Three decellularization methods for porcine livers (1% sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), 1% Triton X-100 + 1% sodium dodecyl sulfate, and 1% sodium deoxycholate + 1% sodium dodecyl sulfate) were studied. The obtained liver scaffolds were processed for histology, residual cellular content analysis, and extracellular matrix (ECM) components evaluation to investigate decellularization efficiency and ECM preservation. Rat primary hepatocytes were seeded into three kinds of scaffold to detect the biocompatibility. Results. The whole liver decellularization was successfully achieved following all three kinds of treatment. SDS combined with Triton had a high efficacy of cellular removal and caused minimal disruption of essential ECM components; it was also the most biocompatible procedure for primary hepatocytes. Conclusion. We have refined a novel, standardized, time-efficient, and reproducible protocol for the decellularization of whole liver which can be further adapted to liver tissue engineering.

  15. MO-B-BRB-01: Optimize Treatment Planning Process in Clinical Environment

    SciTech Connect

    Feng, W.

    2015-06-15

    The radiotherapy treatment planning process has evolved over the years with innovations in treatment planning, treatment delivery and imaging systems. Treatment modality and simulation technologies are also rapidly improving and affecting the planning process. For example, Image-guided-radiation-therapy has been widely adopted for patient setup, leading to margin reduction and isocenter repositioning after simulation. Stereotactic Body radiation therapy (SBRT) and Radiosurgery (SRS) have gradually become the standard of care for many treatment sites, which demand a higher throughput for the treatment plans even if the number of treatments per day remains the same. Finally, simulation, planning and treatment are traditionally sequential events. However, with emerging adaptive radiotherapy, they are becoming more tightly intertwined, leading to iterative processes. Enhanced efficiency of planning is therefore becoming more critical and poses serious challenge to the treatment planning process; Lean Six Sigma approaches are being utilized increasingly to balance the competing needs for speed and quality. In this symposium we will discuss the treatment planning process and illustrate effective techniques for managing workflow. Topics will include: Planning techniques: (a) beam placement, (b) dose optimization, (c) plan evaluation (d) export to RVS. Planning workflow: (a) import images, (b) Image fusion, (c) contouring, (d) plan approval (e) plan check (f) chart check, (g) sequential and iterative process Influence of upstream and downstream operations: (a) simulation, (b) immobilization, (c) motion management, (d) QA, (e) IGRT, (f) Treatment delivery, (g) SBRT/SRS (h) adaptive planning Reduction of delay between planning steps with Lean systems due to (a) communication, (b) limited resource, (b) contour, (c) plan approval, (d) treatment. Optimizing planning processes: (a) contour validation (b) consistent planning protocol, (c) protocol/template sharing, (d) semi

  16. Patient-derived xenograft platform of OSCC: a renewable human bio-bank for preclinical cancer research and a new co-clinical model for treatment optimization.

    PubMed

    Sun, Shuyang; Zhang, Zhiyuan

    2016-03-01

    Advances in next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics have begun to reveal the complex genetic landscape in human cancer genomes, including oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Sophisticated preclinical models that fully represent intra- and inter-tumoral heterogeneity are required to understand the molecular diversity of cancer and achieve the goal of personalized therapies. Over the last decade, patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models generated from human tumor samples that can retain the histological and genetic features of their donor tumors have been shown to be the preferred preclinical tool in translational cancer research compared with other conventional preclinical models. Specifically, genetically well-defined PDX models can be applied to accelerate targeted antitumor drug development and biomarker discovery. Recently, we have successfully established and characterized an OSCC PDX panel as part of our tumor bio-bank for translational cancer research. In this paper, we discuss the establishment, characterization, and preclinical applications of the PDX models. In particular, we focus on the classification and applications of the PDX models based on validated annotations, including clinicopathological features, genomic profiles, and pharmacological testing information. We also explore the translational value of this well-annotated PDX panel in the development of co-clinical trials for patient stratification and treatment optimization in the near future. Although various limitations still exist, this preclinical approach should be further tested and improved.

  17. Optimal insemination and replacement decisions to minimize the cost of pathogen-specific clinical mastitis in dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Cha, E; Kristensen, A R; Hertl, J A; Schukken, Y H; Tauer, L W; Welcome, F L; Gröhn, Y T

    2014-01-01

    Mastitis is a serious production-limiting disease, with effects on milk yield, milk quality, and conception rate, and an increase in the risk of mortality and culling. The objective of this study was 2-fold: (1) to develop an economic optimization model that incorporates all the different types of pathogens that cause clinical mastitis (CM) categorized into 8 classes of culture results, and account for whether the CM was a first, second, or third case in the current lactation and whether the cow had a previous case or cases of CM in the preceding lactation; and (2) to develop this decision model to be versatile enough to add additional pathogens, diseases, or other cow characteristics as more information becomes available without significant alterations to the basic structure of the model. The model provides economically optimal decisions depending on the individual characteristics of the cow and the specific pathogen causing CM. The net returns for the basic herd scenario (with all CM included) were $507/cow per year, where the incidence of CM (cases per 100 cow-years) was 35.6, of which 91.8% of cases were recommended for treatment under an optimal replacement policy. The cost per case of CM was $216.11. The CM cases comprised (incidences, %) Staphylococcus spp. (1.6), Staphylococcus aureus (1.8), Streptococcus spp. (6.9), Escherichia coli (8.1), Klebsiella spp. (2.2), other treated cases (e.g., Pseudomonas; 1.1), other not treated cases (e.g., Trueperella pyogenes; 1.2), and negative culture cases (12.7). The average cost per case, even under optimal decisions, was greatest for Klebsiella spp. ($477), followed by E. coli ($361), other treated cases ($297), and other not treated cases ($280). This was followed by the gram-positive pathogens; among these, the greatest cost per case was due to Staph. aureus ($266), followed by Streptococcus spp. ($174) and Staphylococcus spp. ($135); negative culture had the lowest cost ($115). The model recommended treatment for

  18. Enhancement and optimization of PpIX-based photodynamic therapy of skin cancer: translational studies from bench to clinic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maytin, Edward V.; Anand, Sanjay; Baran, Christine; Honari, Golara; Lohser, Sara; Kyei, Angela; Bailin, Philip; Pogue, Brian W.

    2009-02-01

    Nonmelanoma skin carcinomas are the most common of all human cancers. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) using 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) has been used to treat these tumors, but has shown variable results. We are pursuing a multifaceted approach toward optimizing tumor responsiveness. First, a new paradigm is being developed in which tumors are pretreated with differentiation-inducing agents, e.g. methotrexate or Vitamin D, to enhance synthesis of protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) and improve tumor cell killing upon exposure to 635 nm light. This principle was first elucidated in cell culture studies, and has now been shown to hold true for murine skin tumors, and for a human subcutaneous tumor model (A431 cells injected in nude mice). Clinical trials to test methotrexate and Vitamin D as augmenting agents for ALA-PDT of nonmelanoma skin cancer are being designed. Second, better methods to measure PpIX in patients' skin tumors in real time are being developed. In a clinical study to measure PpIX in patients with dysplastic skin lesions, in vivo fluorescence dosimetry was used to measure the accumulation of PpIX over time, and revealed that intralesional PpIX may reach clinically-useful levels earlier than previously thought for the treatment of actinic keratoses. In a second clinical study to examine depth of PpIX production in nonmelanoma skin cancer, the depth of PpIX within BCC tumors was found at relatively deep levels (>1 mm) in some tumor nests, but not in others. Production of PpIX in deep squamous cell carcinoma was very low. In summary, molecular approaches such as differentiation therapy to enhance ALA-PDT for individual patients may ultimately be needed to help to improve skin cancer responses to this modality.

  19. Planning intensive care unit design using computer simulation modeling: optimizing integration of clinical, operational, and architectural requirements.

    PubMed

    OʼHara, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Nurses have increasingly been regarded as critical members of the planning team as architects recognize their knowledge and value. But the nurses' role as knowledge experts can be expanded to leading efforts to integrate the clinical, operational, and architectural expertise through simulation modeling. Simulation modeling allows for the optimal merge of multifactorial data to understand the current state of the intensive care unit and predict future states. Nurses can champion the simulation modeling process and reap the benefits of a cost-effective way to test new designs, processes, staffing models, and future programming trends prior to implementation. Simulation modeling is an evidence-based planning approach, a standard, for integrating the sciences with real client data, to offer solutions for improving patient care.

  20. Optimized magnetic resonance diffusion protocol for ex-vivo whole human brain imaging with a clinical scanner

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scherrer, Benoit; Afacan, Onur; Stamm, Aymeric; Singh, Jolene; Warfield, Simon K.

    2015-03-01

    Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) provides a novel insight into the brain to facilitate our understanding of the brain connectivity and microstructure. While in-vivo DW-MRI enables imaging of living patients and longitudinal studies of brain changes, post-mortem ex-vivo DW-MRI has numerous advantages. Ex-vivo imaging benefits from greater resolution and sensitivity due to the lack of imaging time constraints; the use of tighter fitting coils; and the lack of movement artifacts. This allows characterization of normal and abnormal tissues with unprecedented resolution and sensitivity, facilitating our ability to investigate anatomical structures that are inaccessible in-vivo. This also offers the opportunity to develop today novel imaging biomarkers that will, with tomorrow's MR technology, enable improved in-vivo assessment of the risk of disease in an individual. Post-mortem studies, however, generally rely on the fixation of specimen to inhibit tissue decay which starts as soon as tissue is deprived from its blood supply. Unfortunately, fixation of tissues substantially alters tissue diffusivity profiles. In addition, ex-vivo DW-MRI requires particular care when packaging the specimen because the presence of microscopic air bubbles gives rise to geometric and intensity image distortion. In this work, we considered the specific requirements of post-mortem imaging and designed an optimized protocol for ex-vivo whole brain DW-MRI using a human clinical 3T scanner. Human clinical 3T scanners are available to a large number of researchers and, unlike most animal scanners, have a bore diameter large enough to image a whole human brain. Our optimized protocol will facilitate widespread ex-vivo investigations of large specimen.

  1. A robust two-stage design identifying the optimal biological dose for phase I/II clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Zang, Yong; Lee, J Jack

    2017-01-15

    We propose a robust two-stage design to identify the optimal biological dose for phase I/II clinical trials evaluating both toxicity and efficacy outcomes. In the first stage of dose finding, we use the Bayesian model averaging continual reassessment method to monitor the toxicity outcomes and adopt an isotonic regression method based on the efficacy outcomes to guide dose escalation. When the first stage ends, we use the Dirichlet-multinomial distribution to jointly model the toxicity and efficacy outcomes and pick the candidate doses based on a three-dimensional volume ratio. The selected candidate doses are then seamlessly advanced to the second stage for dose validation. Both toxicity and efficacy outcomes are continuously monitored so that any overly toxic and/or less efficacious dose can be dropped from the study as the trial continues. When the phase I/II trial ends, we select the optimal biological dose as the dose obtaining the minimal value of the volume ratio within the candidate set. An advantage of the proposed design is that it does not impose a monotonically increasing assumption on the shape of the dose-efficacy curve. We conduct extensive simulation studies to examine the operating characteristics of the proposed design. The simulation results show that the proposed design has desirable operating characteristics across different shapes of the underlying true dose-toxicity and dose-efficacy curves. The software to implement the proposed design is available upon request. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  2. Rationalizing definitions and procedures for optimizing clinical care and public health in fetal death and stillbirth.

    PubMed

    Joseph, K S; Kinniburgh, Brooke; Hutcheon, Jennifer A; Mehrabadi, Azar; Dahlgren, Leanne; Basso, Melanie; Davies, Cheryl; Lee, Lily

    2015-04-01

    Despite the recent focus on stillbirth, there remains a profound need to address problems associated with the definitions and procedures related to fetal death and stillbirth. The current definition of fetal death, first proposed in 1950, needs to be updated to distinguish between the timing of fetal death (which has etiologic and prognostic significance) and the timing of stillbirth (ie, the delivery of the dead fetus). Stillbirth registration procedures, modeled after live birth registration and not death registration, also need to be modernized because they can be an unnecessary burden on some grieving families. The problems associated with fetal death definitions and stillbirth-associated procedures are highlighted by selective fetal reduction in multifetal pregnancy; in many countries, the fetus reduced at 10-13 weeks of gestation and delivered at term gestation requires stillbirth registration and a burial permit even if fetal remains cannot be identified. An international consensus is needed to standardize the definition of reportable fetal deaths; ideally this should be based on the timing of fetal death and should address the status of pregnancy terminations. In this article, we list propositions for initiating an international dialogue that will rationalize fetal death definitions, registration criteria, and associated procedures, and thereby improve clinical care and public health.

  3. Estimating optimal shared-parameter dynamic regimens with application to a multistage depression clinical trial

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Palash; Moodie, Erica E. M.; Rush, A. John

    2016-01-01

    Summary A dynamic treatment regimen consists of decision rules that recommend how to individualize treatment to patients based on available treatment and covariate history. In many scientific domains, these decision rules are shared across stages of intervention. As an illustrative example, we discuss STAR*D, a multistage randomized clinical trial for treating major depression. Estimating these shared decision rules often amounts to estimating parameters indexing the decision rules that are shared across stages. In this paper, we propose a novel simultaneous estimation procedure for the shared parameters based on Q-learning. We provide an extensive simulation study to illustrate the merit of the proposed method over simple competitors, in terms of the treatment allocation matching of the procedure with the “oracle” procedure, defined as the one that makes treatment recommendations based on the true parameter values as opposed to their estimates. We also look at bias and mean squared error of the individual parameter-estimates as secondary metrics. Finally, we analyze the STAR*D data using the proposed method. PMID:26890628

  4. Optimizing Effect Sizes With Imaging Enrichment and Outcome Choices for Mild Alzheimer Disease Clinical Trials.

    PubMed

    Chang, Timothy S; Teng, Edmond; Elashoff, David; Grill, Joshua D

    2017-01-01

    Recent clinical trials in mild Alzheimer disease (AD) have enriched for amyloid-specific positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and used extended versions of the AD Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog) in an effort to increase the sensitivity to detect treatment effects. We used data from mild AD participants in the AD Neuroimaging Initiative to model trial effect sizes for 12- and 24-month trials using 3 versions of the ADAS-Cog and increased standardized uptake value ratio (SUVR) cutoffs for amyloid imaging inclusion criteria. For 12-month trials, extended ADAS-Cog versions improved effect sizes. The ADAS-Cog11 elicited larger effect sizes when enriching for SUVR 1.1 only, whereas the ADAS-Cog12 and ADAS-Cog13 were associated with larger effect sizes with higher SUVR thresholds. For 24-month trials, extended ADAS-Cog versions increased effect sizes for trials not enriched for amyloid and trials enriched for SUVR 1.1. Only enriching for higher SUVR thresholds (1.3 and 1.4, not 1.1) increased trial power. We conclude that extended versions of the ADAS-Cog improve mild AD trial effect sizes for both 12- and 24-month long studies, whereas amyloid imaging criteria may be most valuable for 12-month trials.

  5. Canagliflozin use in patients with renal impairment-Utility of quantitative clinical pharmacology analyses in dose optimization.

    PubMed

    Khurana, Manoj; Vaidyanathan, Jayabharathi; Marathe, Anshu; Mehrotra, Nitin; Sahajwalla, Chandrahas G; Zineh, Issam; Jain, Lokesh

    2015-06-01

    Canagliflozin (INVOKANA™) is approved as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Canagliflozin inhibits renal sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2), thereby, reducing reabsorption of filtered glucose and increasing urinary glucose excretion. Given the mechanism of action of SGLT2 inhibitors, we assessed the interplay between renal function, efficacy (HbA1c reduction), and safety (renal adverse reactions). The focus of this article is to highlight the FDA's quantitative clinical pharmacology analyses that were conducted to support the regulatory decision on dosing in patients with renal impairment (RI). The metrics for assessment of efficacy for T2DM drugs is standard; however, there is no standard method for evaluation of renal effects for diabetes drugs. Therefore, several analyses were conducted to assess the impact of canagliflozin on renal function (as measured by eGFR) based on available data. These analyses provided support for approval of canagliflozin in T2DM patients with baseline eGFR ≥ 45 mL/min/1.73 m(2) , highlighting a data-driven approach to dose optimization. The availability of a relatively rich safety dataset (ie, frequent and early measurements of laboratory markers) in the canagliflozin clinical development program enabled adequate assessment of benefit-risk balance in various patient subgroups based on renal function.

  6. A Study of the Pre-Licensure Nursing Students' Perception of the Simulation Learning Environment as Helpful in Achieving Clinical Competencies and Their Perception of the Impact of the Level of Fidelity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crary, Wendy M.

    2012-01-01

    The research question of this study was: to what degree do nursing students perceive using the High Fidelity Simulation (HFS) learning environment to be helpful in their ability to achieve clinical competency. The research sub-questions (7) explored the students' demographics as an influence on rating of reality and helpfulness and the…

  7. Availability of color calibration for consistent color display in medical images and optimization of reference brightness for clinical use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwai, Daiki; Suganami, Haruka; Hosoba, Minoru; Ohno, Kazuko; Emoto, Yutaka; Tabata, Yoshito; Matsui, Norihisa

    2013-03-01

    Color image consistency has not been accomplished yet except the Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine (DICOM) Supplement 100 for implementing a color reproduction pipeline and device independent color spaces. Thus, most healthcare enterprises could not check monitor degradation routinely. To ensure color consistency in medical color imaging, monitor color calibration should be introduced. Using simple color calibration device . chromaticity of colors including typical color (Red, Green, Blue, Green and White) are measured as device independent profile connection space value called u'v' before and after calibration. In addition, clinical color images are displayed and visual differences are observed. In color calibration, monitor brightness level has to be set to quite lower value 80 cd/m2 according to sRGB standard. As Maximum brightness of most color monitors available currently for medical use have much higher brightness than 80 cd/m2, it is not seemed to be appropriate to use 80 cd/m2 level for calibration. Therefore, we propose that new brightness standard should be introduced while maintaining the color representation in clinical use. To evaluate effects of brightness to chromaticity experimentally, brightness level is changed in two monitors from 80 to 270cd/m2 and chromaticity value are compared with each brightness levels. As a result, there are no significant differences in chromaticity diagram when brightness levels are changed. In conclusion, chromaticity is close to theoretical value after color calibration. Moreover, chromaticity isn't moved when brightness is changed. The results indicate optimized reference brightness level for clinical use could be set at high brightness in current monitors .

  8. Combining cell lines to optimize isolation of human enterovirus from clinical specimens: report of 25 years of experience.

    PubMed

    Prim, Núria; Rodríguez, Graciela; Margall, Núria; Del Cuerpo, Margarita; Trallero, Gloria; Rabella, Núria

    2013-01-01

    Cell culture is still the gold standard for the diagnosis of human enteroviruses (HEVs) although molecular techniques are required for detection of some serotypes. Due to the diversity of HEVs, a single cell line is not susceptible to all serotypes, and several lines are required to optimize the isolation of HEVs. In this study, the results of HEV isolation during the last 25 years are reported. A total of 1,192 HEVs were isolated and isolation rates varied depending on the cell line used. MRC5 cells yielded the best results (70.7%), followed by A549 cells (52.6%), RD cells (37.5%), and HEp-2 cells (29.7%). A total of 521 HEVs were characterized, and HEV-B was the most frequent species (81%). Polioviruses (PV) and HEV-A were isolated less frequently (17% and 1%, respectively). None of the cell lines detected all the enteroviruses. MRC5 cells were the most susceptible for isolation of echoviruses (85.7%) and PVs (85.4%), whereas HEp2 was the most susceptible for Coxsackieviruses B (82.6%). Some serotypes were isolated in one cell line only. 40.5% of echoviruses were isolated in MRC5 cells whereas 42.3% and 23.9% of Coxsackieviruses B were isolated in RD cells and HEp2 cells, respectively. Although A549 cells did not achieve the best performance for any enterovirus serotypes, they isolated 52.6% of the total HEVs. In view of these results, MRC5 cells, A549 cells, and RD cells should be combined to optimize isolation of HEVs.

  9. Phase II clinical trials with time-to-event endpoints: optimal two-stage designs with one-sample log-rank test.

    PubMed

    Kwak, Minjung; Jung, Sin-Ho

    2014-05-30

    Phase II clinical trials are often conducted to determine whether a new treatment is sufficiently promising to warrant a major controlled clinical evaluation against a standard therapy. We consider single-arm phase II clinical trials with right censored survival time responses where the ordinary one-sample logrank test is commonly used for testing the treatment efficacy. For planning such clinical trials, this paper presents two-stage designs that are optimal in the sense that the expected sample size is minimized if the new regimen has low efficacy subject to constraints of the type I and type II errors. Two-stage designs, which minimize the maximal sample size, are also determined. Optimal and minimax designs for a range of design parameters are tabulated along with examples.

  10. Optimal Clinical Time for Reliable Measurement of Transcutaneous CO2 with Ear Probes: Counterbalancing Overshoot and the Vasodilatation Effect

    PubMed Central

    Domingo, Christian; Canturri, Elisa; Moreno, Amalia; Espuelas, Humildad; Vigil, Laura; Luján, Manel

    2010-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To determine the optimal clinical reading time for the transcutaneous measurement of oxygen saturation (SpO2) and transcutaneous CO2 (TcPCO2) in awake spontaneously breathing individuals, considering the overshoot phenomenon (transient overestimation of arterial PaCO2). EXPERIMENTAL SECTION: Observational study of 91 (75 men) individuals undergoing forced spirometry, measurement of SpO2 and TcPCO2 with the SenTec monitor every two minutes until minute 20 and arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis. Overshoot severity: (a) mild (0.1–1.9 mm Hg); (b) moderate (2–4.9 mm Hg); (c) severe: (>5 mm Hg). The mean difference was calculated for SpO2 and TcPCO2 and arterial values of PaCO2 and SpO2. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) between monitor readings and blood values was calculated as a measure of agreement. RESULTS: The mean age was 63.1 ± 11.8 years. Spirometric values: FVC: 75.4 ± 6.2%; FEV1: 72.9 ± 23.9%; FEV1/FVC: 70 ± 15.5%. ABG: PaO2: 82.6 ± 13.2; PaCO2: 39.9.1 ± 4.8 mmHg; SaO2: 95.3 ± 4.4%. Overshoot analysis: overshoot was mild in 33 (36.3%) patients, moderate in 20 (22%) and severe in nine (10%); no overshoot was observed in 29 (31%) patients. The lowest mean differences between arterial blood gas and TcPCO2 was −0.57 mmHg at minute 10, although the highest ICC was obtained at minutes 12 and 14 (>0.8). The overshoot lost its influence after minute 12. For SpO2, measurements were reliable at minute 2. CONCLUSIONS: The optimal clinical reading measurement recommended for the ear lobe TcPCO2 measurement ranges between minute 12 and 14. The SpO2 measurement can be performed at minute 2. PMID:22315552

  11. On the use of continuous glucose monitoring systems to design optimal clinical tests for the identification of type 1 diabetes models.

    PubMed

    Galvanin, Federico; Barolo, Massimiliano; Bezzo, Fabrizio

    2013-02-01

    The identification of individual parameters of detailed physiological models of type 1 diabetes can be carried out by clinical tests designed optimally through model-based design of experiments (MBDoE) techniques. So far, MBDoE for diabetes models has been considered for discrete glucose measurement systems only. However, recent advances on sensor technology allowed for the development of continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGMSs), where glucose measurements can be collected with a frequency that is practically equivalent to continuous sampling. To specifically address the features of CGMSs, in this paper the optimal clinical test design problem is formulated and solved through a continuous, rather than discrete, approach. A simulated case study is used to assess the impact of CGMSs both in the optimal clinical test design problem and in the subsequent parameter estimation for the identification of a complex physiological model of glucose homeostasis. The results suggest that, although the optimal design of a clinical test is simpler if continuous glucose measurements are made available through a CGMS, the noise level and formulation may make continuous measurements less suitable for model identification than their discrete counterparts.

  12. Optimizing supercritical carbon dioxide in the inactivation of bacteria in clinical solid waste by using response surface methodology.

    PubMed

    Hossain, Md Sohrab; Nik Ab Rahman, Nik Norulaini; Balakrishnan, Venugopal; Alkarkhi, Abbas F M; Ahmad Rajion, Zainul; Ab Kadir, Mohd Omar

    2015-04-01

    Clinical solid waste (CSW) poses a challenge to health care facilities because of the presence of pathogenic microorganisms, leading to concerns in the effective sterilization of the CSW for safe handling and elimination of infectious disease transmission. In the present study, supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) was applied to inactivate gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Bacillus subtilis, and gram-negative Escherichia coli in CSW. The effects of SC-CO2 sterilization parameters such as pressure, temperature, and time were investigated and optimized by response surface methodology (RSM). Results showed that the data were adequately fitted into the second-order polynomial model. The linear quadratic terms and interaction between pressure and temperature had significant effects on the inactivation of S. aureus, E. coli, E. faecalis, and B. subtilis in CSW. Optimum conditions for the complete inactivation of bacteria within the experimental range of the studied variables were 20 MPa, 60 °C, and 60 min. The SC-CO2-treated bacterial cells, observed under a scanning electron microscope, showed morphological changes, including cell breakage and dislodged cell walls, which could have caused the inactivation. This espouses the inference that SC-CO2 exerts strong inactivating effects on the bacteria present in CSW, and has the potential to be used in CSW management for the safe handling and recycling-reuse of CSW materials.

  13. Key signaling pathways in the muscle-invasive bladder carcinoma: Clinical markers for disease modeling and optimized treatment.

    PubMed

    Kiselyov, Alex; Bunimovich-Mendrazitsky, Svetlana; Startsev, Vladimir

    2016-06-01

    In this review, we evaluate key molecular pathways and markers of muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). Overexpression and activation of EGFR, p63, and EMT genes are suggestive of basal MIBC subtype generally responsive to chemotherapy. Alterations in PPARγ, ERBB2/3, and FGFR3 gene products and their signaling along with deregulated p53, cytokeratins KRT5/6/14 in combination with the cellular proliferation (Ki-67), and cell cycle markers (p16) indicate the need for more radical treatment protocols. Similarly, the "bell-shape" dynamics of Shh expression levels may suggest aggressive MIBC. A panel of diverse biological markers may be suitable for simulation studies of MIBC and development of an optimized treatment protocol. We conducted a critical evaluation of PubMed/Medline and SciFinder databases related to MIBC covering the period 2009-2015. The free-text search was extended by adding the following keywords and phrases: bladder cancer, metastatic, muscle-invasive, basal, luminal, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, cancer stem cell, mutations, immune response, signaling, biological markers, molecular markers, mathematical models, simulation, epigenetics, transmembrane, transcription factor, kinase, predictor, prognosis. The resulting selection of ca 500 abstracts was further analyzed in order to select the latest publications relevant to MIBC molecular markers of immediate clinical significance.

  14. Thin sheets achieve optimal wrapping of liquids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paulsen, Joseph; Démery, Vincent; Davidovitch, Benny; Santangelo, Christian; Russell, Thomas; Menon, Narayanan

    2015-03-01

    A liquid drop can wrap itself in a sheet using capillary forces [Py et al., PRL 98, 2007]. However, the efficiency of ``capillary origami'' at covering the surface of a drop is hampered by the mechanical cost of bending the sheet. Thinner sheets deform more readily by forming small-scale wrinkles and stress-focussing patterns, but it is unclear how coverage efficiency competes with mechanical cost as thickness is decreased, and what wrapping shapes will emerge. We place a thin (~ 100 nm) polymer film on a drop whose volume is gradually decreased so that the sheet covers an increasing fraction of its surface. The sheet exhibits a complex sequence of axisymmetric and polygonal partially- and fully- wrapped shapes. Remarkably, the progression appears independent of mechanical properties. The gross shape, which neglects small-scale features, is correctly predicted by a simple geometric approach wherein the exposed area is minimized. Thus, simply using a thin enough sheet results in maximal coverage.

  15. Report of a consultation on the optimization of clinical challenge trials for evaluation of candidate blood stage malaria vaccines, 18-19 March 2009, Bethesda, MD, USA.

    PubMed

    Moorthy, V S; Diggs, C; Ferro, S; Good, M F; Herrera, S; Hill, A V; Imoukhuede, E B; Kumar, S; Loucq, C; Marsh, K; Ockenhouse, C F; Richie, T L; Sauerwein, R W

    2009-09-25

    Development and optimization of first generation malaria vaccine candidates has been facilitated by the existence of a well-established Plasmodium falciparum clinical challenge model in which infectious sporozoites are administered to human subjects via mosquito bite. While ideal for testing pre-erythrocytic stage vaccines, some researchers believe that the sporozoite challenge model is less appropriate for testing blood stage vaccines. Here we report a consultation, co-sponsored by PATH MVI, USAID, EMVI and WHO, where scientists from all institutions globally that have conducted such clinical challenges in recent years and representatives from regulatory agencies and funding agencies met to discuss clinical malaria challenge models. Participants discussed strengthening and harmonizing the sporozoite challenge model and considered the pros and cons of further developing a blood stage challenge possibly better suited for evaluating the efficacy of blood stage vaccines. This report summarizes major findings and recommendations, including an update on the Plasmodium vivax clinical challenge model, the prospects for performing experimental challenge trials in malaria endemic countries and an update on clinical safety data. While the focus of the meeting was on the optimization of clinical challenge models for evaluation of blood stage candidate malaria vaccines, many of the considerations are relevant for the application of challenge trials to other purposes.

  16. Past and present achievements, and future direction of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Study Group (GIOSG), a Division of Japan Clinical Oncology Group (JCOG).

    PubMed

    Boku, Narikazu

    2011-12-01

    Initially, Gastrointestinal Study Group in Japan Clinical Oncology Group (GIOSG/JCOG) focused on gastric cancer. In 1980s, fluoropyrimidine, cisplatin and mitomycin C were key drugs. A randomized Phase II trial (JCOG8501) comparing futrafur plus mitomycin C and uracil plus futrafur and mitomycin C showed a higher response rate of uracil plus futrafur and mitomycin C than futrafur plus mitomycin C. From the results of two Phase II trials of etoposide, adriamycin and cisplatin, and cisplatin plus 5-fluorouracil, uracil plus futrafur and mitomycin C and cisplatin plus 5-fluorouracil were adopted for the test arms of the Phase III trial (JCOG9205) comparing with continuous infusion of 5-fluorouracil as a control arm. Neither cisplatin plus 5-fluorouracil nor uracil plus futrafur and mitomycin C showed a survival benefit over continuous infusion of 5-fluorouracil. In late 1990s, new agents, irinotecan and S-1, were developed for gastric cancer in Japan. GIOSG conducted a Phase III trial (JCOG9912) investigating superiority of irinotecan plus cisplatin and non-inferiority of monotherapy with S-1 compared with continuous infusion of 5-fluorouracil, and S-1 succeeded in showing non-inferiority. Then, SPIRITS trial showed a survival benefit of S-1 plus cisplatin over S-1, resulting in the establishment of a standard care for advanced gastric cancer in Japan. GIOSG have merged with Gastric Cancer Study Group as the Stomach Cancer Study Group (SCSG) from 2011. Recent progress in the development of new drugs has been remarkable. From the point of the roles shared with many other study groups for clinical trials, including registration trials of new drugs conducted by pharmaceutical companies, SCSG should recognize its role and conduct clinical trials with high quality for establishing new standard treatment.

  17. Optimal design of clinical trials with computer simulation based on results of earlier trials, illustrated with a lipodystrophy trial in HIV patients.

    PubMed

    Abbas, Ismail; Rovira, Joan; Casanovas, Josep; Greenfield, Tony

    2008-12-01

    The designer of a clinical trial needs to make many assumptions about real-life practice based on prior knowledge. Simulation allows us to learn from experience by using the information obtained from a trial to improve the original estimators of population parameters. We propose using data from a previous trial to formulate assumptions that can be used to simulate trials and thus improve the design of new trials. To demonstrate our method, we used data from a real clinical trial which had been designed to evaluate cholesterol level changes as a surrogate marker for lipodystrophy in HIV patients. We were able to identify the optimal design that would have minimised the cost of a trial subject to a statistical power constraint which could then be used to design a new trial. In particular, we focused on three factors: the distribution of cholesterol levels in HIV patients, trial recruitment rates and trial dropout rates. We were able to verify our hypothesis that the total cost resulting from carrying out a clinical trial can be minimised by applying simulation models as an alternative to conventional approaches. In our findings the simulation model proved to be very intuitive and a useful method for testing the performance of investigators' assumptions and generating an optimal clinical trial design before being put into practice in the real world. In addition, we concluded that simulation models provide a more accurate determination of power than conventional approaches, thus minimising the total cost of clinical trials.

  18. Ketones and lactate increase cancer cell "stemness," driving recurrence, metastasis and poor clinical outcome in breast cancer: achieving personalized medicine via Metabolo-Genomics.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Outschoorn, Ubaldo E; Prisco, Marco; Ertel, Adam; Tsirigos, Aristotelis; Lin, Zhao; Pavlides, Stephanos; Wang, Chengwang; Flomenberg, Neal; Knudsen, Erik S; Howell, Anthony; Pestell, Richard G; Sotgia, Federica; Lisanti, Michael P

    2011-04-15

    Previously, we showed that high-energy metabolites (lactate and ketones) "fuel" tumor growth and experimental metastasis in an in vivo xenograft model, most likely by driving oxidative mitochondrial metabolism in breast cancer cells. To mechanistically understand how these metabolites affect tumor cell behavior, here we used genome-wide transcriptional profiling. Briefly, human breast cancer cells (MCF7) were cultured with lactate or ketones, and then subjected to transcriptional analysis (exon-array). Interestingly, our results show that treatment with these high-energy metabolites increases the transcriptional expression of gene profiles normally associated with "stemness," including genes upregulated in embryonic stem (ES) cells. Similarly, we observe that lactate and ketones promote the growth of bonafide ES cells, providing functional validation. The lactate- and ketone-induced "gene signatures" were able to predict poor clinical outcome (including recurrence and metastasis) in a cohort of human breast cancer patients. Taken together, our results are consistent with the idea that lactate and ketone utilization in cancer cells promotes the "cancer stem cell" phenotype, resulting in significant decreases in patient survival. One possible mechanism by which these high-energy metabolites might induce stemness is by increasing the pool of Acetyl-CoA, leading to increased histone acetylation, and elevated gene expression. Thus, our results mechanistically imply that clinical outcome in breast cancer could simply be determined by epigenetics and energy metabolism, rather than by the accumulation of specific "classical" gene mutations. We also suggest that high-risk cancer patients (identified by the lactate/ketone gene signatures) could be treated with new therapeutics that target oxidative mitochondrial metabolism, such as the anti-oxidant and "mitochondrial poison" metformin. Finally, we propose that this new approach to personalized cancer medicine be termed

  19. Optimal auxiliary-covariate-based two-phase sampling design for semiparametric efficient estimation of a mean or mean difference, with application to clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Peter B; Yu, Xuesong; Rotnitzky, Andrea

    2014-03-15

    To address the objective in a clinical trial to estimate the mean or mean difference of an expensive endpoint Y, one approach employs a two-phase sampling design, wherein inexpensive auxiliary variables W predictive of Y are measured in everyone, Y is measured in a random sample, and the semiparametric efficient estimator is applied. This approach is made efficient by specifying the phase two selection probabilities as optimal functions of the auxiliary variables and measurement costs. While this approach is familiar to survey samplers, it apparently has seldom been used in clinical trials, and several novel results practicable for clinical trials are developed. We perform simulations to identify settings where the optimal approach significantly improves efficiency compared to approaches in current practice. We provide proofs and R code. The optimality results are developed to design an HIV vaccine trial, with objective to compare the mean 'importance-weighted' breadth (Y) of the T-cell response between randomized vaccine groups. The trial collects an auxiliary response (W) highly predictive of Y and measures Y in the optimal subset. We show that the optimal design-estimation approach can confer anywhere between absent and large efficiency gain (up to 24 % in the examples) compared to the approach with the same efficient estimator but simple random sampling, where greater variability in the cost-standardized conditional variance of Y given W yields greater efficiency gains. Accurate estimation of E[Y | W] is important for realizing the efficiency gain, which is aided by an ample phase two sample and by using a robust fitting method.

  20. All the Vice Chancellor’s Neuroscientists: Unity to Achieve Success in Solving Malaysia’s Diseases via Upgrading Clinical Services and Neuroscience Research

    PubMed Central

    Abdullah, Jafri Malin

    2013-01-01

    President Obama of the United States of America announced this April the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN for short) investment, while Professor Henry Markram’s team based in the European Union will spend over a billion euros on the Human Brain Project, breaking through the unknowns in the fifth science of the decade: Neuroscience. Malaysia's growth in the same field needs to be augmented, and thus the Universiti Sains Malaysia’s vision is to excel in the field of clinical brain sciences, mind sciences and neurosciences. This will naturally bring up the level of research in the country simultaneously. Thus, a center was recently established to coordinate this venture. The four-year Integrated Neuroscience Program established recently will be a sustainable source of neuroscientists for the country. We hope to establish ourselves by 2020 as a global university with neurosciences research as an important flagship. PMID:23966818

  1. Use of deception to achieve double-blinding in a clinical trial of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil for the treatment of recurrent herpes labialis.

    PubMed

    Carson, Christine F; Smith, David W; Lampacher, Gail J; Riley, Thomas V

    2008-01-01

    Double-blinding is an important and widely implemented feature of clinical trials although its success is rarely assessed. In a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of tea tree oil, an aromatic essential oil, for the treatment of recurrent herpes labialis (RHL), or cold sores, deception was used to prevent volunteers from identifying their treatment allocation. Volunteers received placebo (n=102) or tea tree oil (n=112) ointment in preparation for their next episode of RHL and were told, falsely, that the aroma of the ointments had been changed to prevent identification of the treatment group. At the trial's end, of the volunteers who had used their ointment and presented for treatment assessment (n=100), approximately 50% correctly guessed their treatment allocation (P=0.774). Amongst volunteers that had not presented for treatment assessment (n=114), 12 volunteers did not provide blinding data and 46 did not open their tube. For the 56 volunteers who opened their tube, less than half of those receiving tea tree oil (44.4%) and only a small proportion of those on placebo (17.2%) were able to correctly identify their treatment allocation. Among the volunteers that were not treated, the P-value was 0.083. This study showed that the ethical use of deception may provide effective blinding in challenging circumstances.

  2. Implant-supported overdenture manufactured using CAD/CAM techniques to achieve horizontal path insertion between the primary and secondary structure: A clinical case report

    PubMed Central

    Agustín-Panadero, Rubén; Peñarrocha-Oltra, David; Gomar-Vercher, Sonia; Ferreiroa, Alberto

    2015-01-01

    This report describes the case of an edentulous patient with an atrophic maxilla and severe class III malocclusion. Prosthetic rehabilitation was performed using CAD/CAM techniques for manufacturing an implant-supported overdenture with horizontal insertion. A vestibulo-lingual insertion overdenture is a precision prosthesis with a fixation system affording a good fit between the primary and secondary structure. Both structures exhibit passive horizontal adjustment. This treatment option requires the same number of implants as implant-supported fixed dentures. The horizontal assembly system prevents the prosthesis from loosening or moving in response to axial and non-axial forces. The technique was used to rehabilitate a patient presenting an atrophic upper maxilla, with the insertion of 8 implants. No complications were reported at follow-up 3, 6 and 12 months after fitting of the prosthesis. This system offers solutions to the clinical and laboratory complications associated with hybrid prostheses, concealing emergence of the chimneys and improving implant-prosthesis hygiene. PMID:26140179

  3. Optimizing drug therapy in patients with cardiovascular disease: the impact of pharmacist-managed pharmacotherapy clinics in a primary care setting.

    PubMed

    Geber, Jean; Parra, David; Beckey, Nick P; Korman, Lisa

    2002-06-01

    We evaluated the effectiveness of pharmacist-managed pharmacotherapy clinics in implementing and maximizing therapy with agents known to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular disease. This was a retrospective chart review of 150 patients who were treated for coronary artery disease in primary care clinics. Appropriate treatment of hypercholesterolemia occurred in 96% of patients referred to a clinical pharmacy specialist, compared with 68% of those followed by primary care providers alone (p<0.0001). Eighty-five percent and 50%, respectively, achieved goal low-density lipoprotein (LDL) values below 105 mg/dl (p<0.0001). Appropriate therapy with aspirin or other antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs was prescribed in 97% and 92%, respectively (p=0.146). As appropriate therapy with these agents was high in both groups, the ability to detect a difference between groups was limited. Among patients with an ejection fraction below 40%, appropriate therapy with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or acceptable alternative was 89% and 69%, respectively (p<0.05). Twenty-seven cardiac events were documented in the clinical pharmacy group, versus 22 in the primary care group (p=0.475). Despite the relatively high percentage of patients reaching goal LDL in the primary care group, referral to clinical pharmacy specialists resulted in statistically significant increases in the number of patients appropriately treated for hypercholesterolemia and achieving goal LDL.

  4. Restoration of a large class IV fracture using direct composite resin: A clinical report.

    PubMed

    Romero, Mario F; Austin Grant, Jamie; Todd, Megan

    2017-04-03

    Restoration of anterior tooth fractures is a common dental procedure. Both direct and indirect options are clinically acceptable to repair fractured teeth. For a large class IV fracture, treatment planning is time consuming, and the artistic skills necessary to achieve optimal results can be daunting. This clinical report describes a step-by-step protocol for achieving highly esthetic direct anterior restorations.

  5. OPTIMIZED CRYOPRESERVATION METHOD FOR HUMAN DENTAL PULP-DERIVED STEM CELLS AND THEIR TISSUES OF ORIGIN FOR BANKING AND CLINICAL USE

    PubMed Central

    Woods, Erik J.; Perry, Brandon C.; Hockema, J. Jeffrey; Larson, Lindsay; Zhou, Dan; Goebel, W. Scott

    2009-01-01

    Dental pulp is a promising source of mesenchymal stem cells with the potential for cell-mediated therapies and tissue engineering applications. We recently reported that isolation of dental pulp-derived stem cells (DPSC) is feasible for at least 120 hours after tooth extraction, and that cryopreservation of early-passage cultured DPSC leads to high-efficiency recovery post thaw. This study investigated additional processing and cryobiological characteristics of DPSC, ending with development of procedures for banking. First, we aimed to optimize cryopreservation of established DPSC cultures, with regards to optimizing the cryoprotective agent (CPA), the CPA concentration, the concentration of cells frozen, and storage temperatures. Secondly, we focused on determining cryopreservation characteristics of enzymatically digested tissue as a cell suspension. Lastly, we evaluated the growth, surface markers and differentiation properties of DPSC obtained from intact teeth and undigested, whole dental tissue frozen and thawed using the optimized procedures. In these experiments it was determined that Me2SO at a concentration between 1 and 1.5M was the ideal cryopreservative of the three studied. It was also determined that DPSC viability after cryopreservation is not limited by the concentration of cells frozen, at least up to 2 × 106 cells/mL. It was further established that DPSC can be stored at −85°C or −196°C for at least six months without loss of functionality. The optimal results with the least manipulation were achieved by isolating and cryopreserving the tooth pulp tissues, with digestion and culture performed post-thaw. A recovery of cells from >85% of the tissues frozen was achieved and cells isolated post thaw from tissue processed and frozen with a serum free, defined cryopreservation medium maintained morphological and developmental competence and demonstrated MSC-hallmark trilineage differentiation under the appropriate culture conditions. PMID

  6. Optimization and qualification of an 8-color intracellular cytokine staining assay for quantifying T cell responses in rhesus macaques for pre-clinical vaccine studies.

    PubMed

    Donaldson, Mitzi M; Kao, Shing-Fen; Eslamizar, Leila; Gee, Connie; Koopman, Gerrit; Lifton, Michelle; Schmitz, Joern E; Sylwester, Andrew W; Wilson, Aaron; Hawkins, Natalie; Self, Steve G; Roederer, Mario; Foulds, Kathryn E

    2012-12-14

    Vaccination and SIV challenge of macaque species is the best animal model for evaluating candidate HIV vaccines in pre-clinical studies. As such, robust assays optimized for use in nonhuman primates are necessary for reliable ex vivo measurement of immune responses and identification of potential immune correlates of protection. We optimized and qualified an 8-color intracellular cytokine staining assay for the measurement of IFNγ, IL-2, and TNF from viable CD4 and CD8 T cells from cryopreserved rhesus macaque PBMC stimulated with peptides. After optimization, five laboratories tested assay performance using the same reagents and PBMC samples; similar results were obtained despite the use of flow cytometers with different configurations. The 8-color assay was then subjected to a pre-qualification study to quantify specificity and precision. These data were used to set positivity thresholds and to design the qualification protocol. Upon completion of the qualification study, the assay was shown to be highly reproducible with low inter-aliquot, inter-day, and inter-operator variability according to the qualification criteria with an overall variability of 20-40% for each outcome measurement. Thus, the 8-color ICS assay was formally qualified according to the ICH guidelines Q2 (R1) for specificity and precision indicating that it is considered a standardized/robust assay acceptable for use in pre-clinical trial immunogenicity testing.

  7. Graded Achievement, Tested Achievement, and Validity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brookhart, Susan M.

    2015-01-01

    Twenty-eight studies of grades, over a century, were reviewed using the argument-based approach to validity suggested by Kane as a theoretical framework. The review draws conclusions about the meaning of graded achievement, its relation to tested achievement, and changes in the construct of graded achievement over time. "Graded…

  8. Medication Safety in Clinical Trials: Role of the Pharmacist in Optimizing Practice, Collaboration, and Education to Reduce Errors.

    PubMed

    Brown, Jamie N; Britnell, Sara R; Stivers, Andrew P; Cruz, Jennifer L

    2017-03-01

    Standardized safety practices for investigational drugs in clinical research protocols are limited and the vast majority of research pharmacists have concerns regarding its safety. Identified areas for medication safety risks include protocol complexity, medication ordering, and the processes for packaging, storage, and dispensing investigational medications. Inclusion of a pharmacist creates multiple mechanisms to promote safety and improve the quality of clinical research. This is accomplished through collaborating in the development of a research protocol, reviewing as a member of an advisory committee, developing mechanisms that contribute to safety, and assuring compliance with local and national regulations and standards. Ultimately, the profession of pharmacy has foundational responsibility for assuring the safe and effective use of medications, including investigational drugs in clinical research. It is through multidisciplinary collaboration that a research study will attain the highest standards for safety and maximize the quality and effectiveness of the data obtained in the clinical trial.

  9. Medication Safety in Clinical Trials: Role of the Pharmacist in Optimizing Practice, Collaboration, and Education to Reduce Errors

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Jamie N.; Britnell, Sara R.; Stivers, Andrew P.; Cruz, Jennifer L.

    2017-01-01

    Standardized safety practices for investigational drugs in clinical research protocols are limited and the vast majority of research pharmacists have concerns regarding its safety. Identified areas for medication safety risks include protocol complexity, medication ordering, and the processes for packaging, storage, and dispensing investigational medications. Inclusion of a pharmacist creates multiple mechanisms to promote safety and improve the quality of clinical research. This is accomplished through collaborating in the development of a research protocol, reviewing as a member of an advisory committee, developing mechanisms that contribute to safety, and assuring compliance with local and national regulations and standards. Ultimately, the profession of pharmacy has foundational responsibility for assuring the safe and effective use of medications, including investigational drugs in clinical research. It is through multidisciplinary collaboration that a research study will attain the highest standards for safety and maximize the quality and effectiveness of the data obtained in the clinical trial. PMID:28356900

  10. Transdermal glimepiride delivery system based on optimized ethosomal nano-vesicles: Preparation, characterization, in vitro, ex vivo and clinical evaluation.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Tarek A; El-Say, Khalid M; Aljaeid, Bader M; Fahmy, Usama A; Abd-Allah, Fathy I

    2016-03-16

    This work aimed to develop an optimized ethosomal formulation of glimepiride then loading into transdermal films to offer lower drug side effect, extended release behavior and avoid first pass effect. Four formulation factors were optimized for their effects on vesicle size (Y1), entrapment efficiency (Y2) and vesicle flexibility (Y3). Optimum desirability was identified and, an optimized formulation was prepared, characterized and loaded into transdermal films. Ex-vivo permeation study for the prepared films was conducted and, the permeation parameters and drug permeation mechanism were identified. Penetration through rat skin was studied using confocal laser microscope. In-vivo study was performed following transdermal application on human volunteers. The percent of alcohol was significantly affecting all the studied responses while the other factors and their interaction effects were varied on their effects on each response. The optimized ethosomal formulation showed observed values for Y1, Y2 and Y3 of 61 nm, 97.12% and 54.03, respectively. Ex-vivo permeation of films loaded with optimized ethosomal formulation was superior to that of the corresponding pure drug transdermal films and this finding was also confirmed after confocal laser microscope study. Permeation of glimepiride from the prepared films was in favor of Higushi-diffusion model and exhibited non-Fickian or anomalous release mechanism. In-vivo study revealed extended drug release behavior and lower maximum drug plasma level from transdermal films loaded with drug ethosomal formulation. So, the ethosomal formulation could be considered a suitable drug delivery system especially when loaded into transdermal vehicle with possible reduction in side effects and controlling the drug release.

  11. An evidence-based medicine strategy for achieving remission in bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Beyer, John L

    2008-01-01

    Controlled trials have demonstrated the efficacy of several classes of drugs for achieving acute response in bipolar mania and depression. For many years, clinical response has been the primary outcome in the majority of short-term efficacy studies. However, there is a growing consensus that the optimal goal in the long-term management of bipolar disorder is remission. The purpose of this article is to briefly summarize the clinical importance of remission in bipolar disorder and to review data on the effectiveness of available treatments for achieving and sustaining remission.

  12. Preparation of clinical-scale (177) Lu-Rituximab: Optimization of protocols for conjugation, radiolabeling and freeze-dried kit formulation.

    PubMed

    Guleria, Mohini; Das, Tapas; Kumar, Chandan; Amirdhanayagam, Jeyachitra; Sarma, Haladhar D; Banerjee, Sharmila

    2017-02-08

    Rituximab is a monoclonal chimeric antibody which has been approved by US FDA for immunotherapy of Non-Hodgkins' lymphoma (NHL). Bexxar and Zevalin are the two other approved radiolabeled antibodies for radioimmunotherapy of NHL; however the fact that they are of murine origin reduces their treatment efficacy. To circumvent this, efforts have been made to radiolabel Rituximab with various therapeutic radioisotopes. In the present study, an effort has been made to optimize the conjugation (BFCA and antibody) and radiolabeling procedures for the preparation of clinical-scale (177) Lu-labeled Rituximab. An attempt was also made to prepare the freeze-dried Rituximab kit for the easy and convenient clinical translation of the agent. Clinical-scale (177) Lu-Rituximab (40 mCi, 1.48 GBq) was prepared with >95% radiochemical purity using the kit. Biological evaluation of (177) Lu-Rituximab was carried out by in-vitro cell binding studies in Raji cell lines, which showed satisfactory binding at 4 and 37 °C. Pharmacokinetic behaviour of the agent, evaluated by biodistribution studies in normal Swiss mice, revealed high blood and liver uptake at the initial time points; although it exhibited slow and gradual clearance with time. The study indicates that clinical-scale (177) Lu-Rituximab could be conveniently formulated using the methodology described in the present article.

  13. Optimal targeting of HER2-PI3K signaling in breast cancer: mechanistic insights and clinical implications.

    PubMed

    Rexer, Brent N; Arteaga, Carlos L

    2013-07-01

    The combination of a PI3K inhibitor with trastuzumab has been shown to be effective at overcoming trastuzumab resistance in models of HER2(+) breast cancer by inhibiting HER2-PI3K-FOXO-survivin signaling. In this review the potential clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

  14. A rigorous approach for selection of optimal variant sets for carrier screening with demonstration of clinical utility

    PubMed Central

    Perreault-Micale, Cynthia; Davie, Jocelyn; Breton, Benjamin; Hallam, Stephanie; Greger, Valerie

    2015-01-01

    Carrier screening for certain diseases is recommended by major medical and Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) societies. Most carrier screening panels test only for common, ethnic-specific variants. However, with formerly isolated ethnic groups becoming increasingly intermixed, this approach is becoming inadequate. Our objective was to develop a rigorous process to curate all variants, for relevant genes, into a database and then apply stringent clinical validity classification criteria to each in order to retain only those with clear evidence for pathogenicity. The resulting variant set, in conjunction with next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS), then affords the capability for an ethnically diverse, comprehensive, highly specific carrier-screening assay. The clinical utility of our approach was demonstrated by screening a pan-ethnic population of 22,864 individuals for Bloom syndrome carrier status using a BLM variant panel comprised of 50 pathogenic variants. In addition to carriers of the common AJ founder variant, we identified 57 carriers of other pathogenic BLM variants. All variants reported had previously been curated and their clinical validity documented, or were of a type that met our stringent, preassigned validity criteria. Thus, it was possible to confidently report an increased number of Bloom’s syndrome carriers compared to traditional, ethnicity-based screening, while not reducing the specificity of the screening due to reporting variants of unknown clinical significance. PMID:26247052

  15. The clinical potential of high energy, intensity and energy modulated electron beams optimized by simulated annealing for conformal radiation therapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salter, Bill Jean, Jr.

    Purpose. The advent of new, so called IVth Generation, external beam radiation therapy treatment machines (e.g. Scanditronix' MM50 Racetrack Microtron) has raised the question of how the capabilities of these new machines might be exploited to produce extremely conformal dose distributions. Such machines possess the ability to produce electron energies as high as 50 MeV and, due to their scanned beam delivery of electron treatments, to modulate intensity and even energy, within a broad field. Materials and methods. Two patients with 'challenging' tumor geometries were selected from the patient archives of the Cancer Therapy and Research Center (CTRC), in San Antonio Texas. The treatment scheme that was tested allowed for twelve, energy and intensity modulated beams, equi-spaced about the patient-only intensity was modulated for the photon treatment. The elementary beams, incident from any of the twelve allowed directions, were assumed parallel, and the elementary electron beams were modeled by elementary beam data. The optimal arrangement of elementary beam energies and/or intensities was optimized by Szu-Hartley Fast Simulated Annealing Optimization. Optimized treatment plans were determined for each patient using both the high energy, intensity and energy modulated electron (HIEME) modality, and the 6 MV photon modality. The 'quality' of rival plans were scored using three different, popular objective functions which included Root Mean Square (RMS), Maximize Dose Subject to Dose and Volume Limitations (MDVL - Morrill et. al.), and Probability of Uncomplicated Tumor Control (PUTC) methods. The scores of the two optimized treatments (i.e. HIEME and intensity modulated photons) were compared to the score of the conventional plan with which the patient was actually treated. Results. The first patient evaluated presented a deeply located target volume, partially surrounding the spinal cord. A healthy right kidney was immediately adjacent to the tumor volume, separated

  16. Clinical application of low-dose phase contrast breast CT: methods for the optimization of the reconstruction workflow.

    PubMed

    Pacilè, S; Brun, F; Dullin, C; Nesterest, Y I; Dreossi, D; Mohammadi, S; Tonutti, M; Stacul, F; Lockie, D; Zanconati, F; Accardo, A; Tromba, G; Gureyev, T E

    2015-08-01

    Results are presented of a feasibility study of three-dimensional X-ray tomographic mammography utilising in-line phase contrast. Experiments were performed at SYRMEP beamline of Elettra synchrotron. A specially designed plastic phantom and a mastectomy sample containing a malignant lesion were used to study the reconstructed image quality as a function of different image processing operations. Detailed evaluation and optimization of image reconstruction workflows have been carried out using combinations of several advanced computed tomography algorithms with different pre-processing and post-processing steps. Special attention was paid to the effect of phase retrieval on the diagnostic value of the reconstructed images. A number of objective image quality indices have been applied for quantitative evaluation of the results, and these were compared with subjective assessments of the same images by three experienced radiologists and one pathologist. The outcomes of this study provide practical guidelines for the optimization of image processing workflows in synchrotron-based phase-contrast mammo-tomography.

  17. Clinical application of low-dose phase contrast breast CT: methods for the optimization of the reconstruction workflow

    PubMed Central

    Pacilè, S.; Brun, F.; Dullin, C.; Nesterest, Y. I.; Dreossi, D.; Mohammadi, S.; Tonutti, M.; Stacul, F.; Lockie, D.; Zanconati, F.; Accardo, A.; Tromba, G.; Gureyev, T. E.

    2015-01-01

    Results are presented of a feasibility study of three-dimensional X-ray tomographic mammography utilising in-line phase contrast. Experiments were performed at SYRMEP beamline of Elettra synchrotron. A specially designed plastic phantom and a mastectomy sample containing a malignant lesion were used to study the reconstructed image quality as a function of different image processing operations. Detailed evaluation and optimization of image reconstruction workflows have been carried out using combinations of several advanced computed tomography algorithms with different pre-processing and post-processing steps. Special attention was paid to the effect of phase retrieval on the diagnostic value of the reconstructed images. A number of objective image quality indices have been applied for quantitative evaluation of the results, and these were compared with subjective assessments of the same images by three experienced radiologists and one pathologist. The outcomes of this study provide practical guidelines for the optimization of image processing workflows in synchrotron-based phase-contrast mammo-tomography. PMID:26309770

  18. Polymeric nanoparticles for oral delivery of 5-fluorouracil: Formulation optimization, cytotoxicity assay and pre-clinical pharmacokinetics study.

    PubMed

    Mattos, Ana Cristina de; Altmeyer, Clescila; Tominaga, Tania Toyomi; Khalil, Najeh Maissar; Mainardes, Rubiana Mara

    2016-03-10

    Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) or poly(lactic acid)-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLA-PEG) blend nanoparticles were developed loading 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), an antitumor agent broadly used in therapy. A 2(3) factorial experimental design was conducted to indicate an optimal formulation and demonstrate the influence of the interactions of components on the mean particle size and drug encapsulation efficiency. Optimized PLA nanoparticles presented 294nm and 51% of 5-FU encapsulation efficiency and PLA-PEG blend nanoparticles presented 283nm and 55% of 5-FU encapsulation efficiency. In vitro release assay demonstrated after 320h about 50% of 5-FU was released from PLA and PLA-PEG blend nanoparticles. Release kinetics of 5-FU from nanoparticles followed second order and the release mechanism calculated by Korsmeyer-Peppas model was diffusion and erosion. In the assessment of cytotoxicity over Hep-2 tumor cells, PLA or PLA-PEG blend nanoparticles presented similar IC50 value than free 5-FU. Pharmacokinetic parameters after oral administration of 5-FU were improved by nanoencapsulation. Bioavailability, Cmax, Tmax, t1/2 and distribution volume were significantly improved, while clearance were decreased. PEG presence in nanoparticles didn't influence physicochemical and biological parameters evaluated. PLA and PLA-PEG nanoparticles can be potential carriers for oral delivery of 5-FU.

  19. Recommendations for Standardizing Glucose Reporting and Analysis to Optimize Clinical Decision Making in Diabetes: The Ambulatory Glucose Profile

    PubMed Central

    Bergenstal, Richard M.; Ahmann, Andrew J.; Bailey, Timothy; Beck, Roy W.; Bissen, Joan; Buckingham, Bruce; Deeb, Larry; Dolin, Robert H.; Garg, Satish K.; Goland, Robin; Hirsch, Irl B.; Klonoff, David C.; Kruger, Davida F.; Matfin, Glenn; Mazze, Roger S.; Olson, Beth A.; Parkin, Christopher; Peters, Anne; Powers, Margaret A.; Rodriguez, Henry; Southerland, Phil; Strock, Ellie S.; Tamborlane, William; Wesley, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Underutilization of glucose data and lack of easy and standardized glucose data collection, analysis, visualization, and guided clinical decision making are key contributors to poor glycemic control among individuals with type 1 diabetes mellitus. An expert panel of diabetes specialists, facilitated by the International Diabetes Center and sponsored by the Helmsley Charitable Trust, met in 2012 to discuss recommendations for standardizing the analysis and presentation of glucose monitoring data, with the initial focus on data derived from continuous glucose monitoring systems. The panel members were introduced to a universal software report, the Ambulatory Glucose Profile, and asked to provide feedback on its content and functionality, both as a research tool and in clinical settings. This article provides a summary of the topics and issues discussed during the meeting and presents recommendations from the expert panel regarding the need to standardize glucose profile summary metrics and the value of a uniform glucose report to aid clinicians, researchers, and patients. PMID:23567014

  20. A global study of the unmet need for glycemic control and predictor factors among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who have achieved optimal fasting plasma glucose control on basal insulin

    PubMed Central

    Chou, Engels; Colagiuri, Stephen; Gaàl, Zsolt; Lavalle, Fernando; Mkrtumyan, Ashot; Nikonova, Elena; Tentolouris, Nikolaos; Vidal, Josep; Davies, Melanie

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background This study used data from different sources to identify the extent of the unmet need for postprandial glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) after the initiation of basal insulin therapy in Europe, Asia Pacific, the United States, and Latin America. Methods Different levels of evidence were used as available for each country/region, with data extracted from seven randomized controlled trials (RCTs), three clinical trial registries (CTRs), and three electronic medical record (EMR) databases. Glycemic status was categorized as “well controlled” (glycated hemoglobin [HbA1c] at target [<7%]), “residual hyperglycemia” (fasting plasma glucose [FPG] but not HbA1c at target [FPG <7.2/7.8 mmol/L, <130/140 mg/dL, depending on country‐specific recommendations]), or “uncontrolled” (both FPG and HbA1c above target). Predictor factors were identified from the RCT data set using logistic regression analysis. Results RCT data showed that 16.9% to 28.0%, 42.7% to 54.4%, and 16.9% to 38.1% of patients with T2DM had well‐controlled glycemia, residual hyperglycemia, and uncontrolled hyperglycemia, respectively. In CTRs, respective ranges were 21.8% to 33.6%, 31.5% to 35.6%, and 30.7% to 46.8%, and in EMR databases were 4.4% to 21.0%, 23.9% to 31.8%, and 53.6% to 63.8%. Significant predictor factors of residual hyperglycemia identified from RCT data included high baseline HbA1c (all countries/regions except Brazil), high baseline FPG (United Kingdom/Japan), longer duration of diabetes (Brazil), and female sex (Europe/Latin America). Conclusions Irrespective of intrinsic differences between data sources, 24% to 54% of patients with T2DM globally had residual hyperglycemia with HbA1c not at target, despite achieving FPG control, indicating a significant unmet need for postprandial glycemic control. PMID:27606888

  1. Genetic Modification of Human Hematopoietic Cells: Preclinical Optimization of Oncoretroviral-mediated Gene Transfer for Clinical Trials

    PubMed Central

    Budak-Alpdogan, Tulin; Rivière, Isabelle

    2015-01-01

    Summary This chapter provides information about the oncoretroviral transduction of human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells under clinically applicable conditions. We describe in detail a short −60 h transduction protocol which consistently yields transduction efficiencies in the range of 30–50% with five different oncoretroviral vectors. We discuss a number of parameters that affect transduction efficiency, including the oncoretroviral vector characteristics, the vector stock collection, the source of CD34+ cells and transduction conditions. PMID:19110618

  2. Management of multivessel coronary disease after primary angioplasty: staged reintervention versus optimized clinical treatment and two-year follow-up

    PubMed Central

    de Paula, José Guilherme Rodrigues; de Godoy, Moacir Fernandes; dos Santos, Márcio Antônio; Pivatelli, Flávio Corrêa; Osti, Alan Vinicius Gamero; Trindade, Luciano Folchine; Novelli, Diego; Nakazone, Marcelo Arruda

    2014-01-01

    Objective In the clinical scenario of ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction, several patients with multivessel coronary atherosclerotic disease are discharged without a defined strategy to monitor the residual atherosclerotic lesions. The clinical endpoints evaluated were cardiovascular death, symptoms of angina pectoris, rehospitalization for a new acute coronary syndrome, and the necessity of reintervention during the two-year follow-up. Methods This observational, prospective, and historical study included multivessel coronary atherosclerotic disease patients who were admitted to a tertiary care university hospital with ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction and underwent primary percutaneous coronary intervention with stent implantation only at the culprit lesion site; these patients were monitored in the outpatient clinic according to two treatments: the Clinical Group - CG (optimized pharmacological therapy associated with counseling for a healthy diet and cardiac rehabilitation) or the Intervention Group - IG (new staged percutaneous coronary intervention or surgical coronary artery bypass graft surgery combined with the previously prescribed treatment). Results Of 143 patients consecutively admitted with ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction, 57 were eligible for the study (CG=44 and IG=13). Regarding the clinical endpoints, the cardiovascular death rate did not differ between the CG and IG. The symptom of angina pectoris and the rehospitalization rate for a new episode of acute coronary syndrome were accentuated in the CG (P=0.020 and P=0.049, respectively) mainly in individuals with evidence of ischemia evidenced by myocardial scintigraphy (P<0.001 and P=0.001, respectively) which culminated in an even greater need for reintervention (P=0.001) in this subgroup of patients. Conclusion The staged intervention was demonstrated to be safe and able to reduce angina pectoris and rehospitalization for a new episode of acute

  3. Optimizing antiplatelet therapy for the ACS patient: reacting to clinical trial data from the ISAR-REACT-2 studies.

    PubMed

    Steinhubl, Steven R

    2006-01-01

    Antiplatelet therapy is the cornerstone of treatment for patients with an acute coronary syndrome (ACS). However, patients presenting with possible ACS are a heterogeneous population, and there is a choice of many potential combination antiplatelet therapies, with aspirin, thienopyridines (eg, clopidogrel), and glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa antagonists. The ISAR-REACT-2 trial investigated the optimal application of triple (aspirin 1 thienopyridine 1 GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor) versus dual (aspirin 1 thienopyridine) antiplatelet therapy for patients with ACS undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. Abciximab was associated with a significant 25% relative reduction in risk for the 30-day combined endpoint of death, myocardial infarction, or urgent target vessel revascularization. All of this benefit was confined to the patients with elevated troponin levels. The data indicate that troponin can be used as a biomarker to identify patients most likely to benefit from the addition of a GP IIb/IIIa antagonist.

  4. Leader as achiever.

    PubMed

    Dienemann, Jacqueline

    2002-01-01

    This article examines one outcome of leadership: productive achievement. Without achievement one is judged to not truly be a leader. Thus, the ideal leader must be a visionary, a critical thinker, an expert, a communicator, a mentor, and an achiever of organizational goals. This article explores the organizational context that supports achievement, measures of quality nursing care, fiscal accountability, leadership development, rewards and punishments, and the educational content and teaching strategies to prepare graduates to be achievers.

  5. Defining the optimal dose of rifapentine for pulmonary tuberculosis: Exposure-response relations from two phase II clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Savic, R M; Weiner, M; MacKenzie, W R; Engle, M; Whitworth, W C; Johnson, J L; Nsubuga, P; Nahid, P; Nguyen, N V; Peloquin, C A; Dooley, K E; Dorman, S E

    2017-01-25

    Rifapentine is a highly active antituberculosis antibiotic with treatment-shortening potential; however, exposure-response relations and the dose needed for maximal bactericidal activity have not been established. We used pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic data from 657 adults with pulmonary tuberculosis participating in treatment trials to compare rifapentine (n = 405) with rifampin (n = 252) as part of intensive-phase therapy. Population pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic analyses were performed with nonlinear mixed-effects modeling. Time to stable culture conversion of sputum to negative was determined in cultures obtained over 4 months of therapy. Rifapentine exposures were lower in participants who were coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus, black, male, or fasting when taking drug. Rifapentine exposure, large lung cavity size, and geographic region were independently associated with time to culture conversion in liquid media. Maximal treatment efficacy is likely achieved with rifapentine at 1,200 mg daily. Patients with large lung cavities appear less responsive to treatment, even at high rifapentine doses.

  6. SU-E-I-57: Evaluation and Optimization of Effective-Dose Using Different Beam-Hardening Filters in Clinical Pediatric Shunt CT Protocol

    SciTech Connect

    Gill, K; Aldoohan, S; Collier, J

    2014-06-01

    Purpose: Study image optimization and radiation dose reduction in pediatric shunt CT scanning protocol through the use of different beam-hardening filters Methods: A 64-slice CT scanner at OU Childrens Hospital has been used to evaluate CT image contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and measure effective-doses based on the concept of CT dose index (CTDIvol) using the pediatric head shunt scanning protocol. The routine axial pediatric head shunt scanning protocol that has been optimized for the intrinsic x-ray tube filter has been used to evaluate CNR by acquiring images using the ACR approved CT-phantom and radiation dose CTphantom, which was used to measure CTDIvol. These results were set as reference points to study and evaluate the effects of adding different filtering materials (i.e. Tungsten, Tantalum, Titanium, Nickel and Copper filters) to the existing filter on image quality and radiation dose. To ensure optimal image quality, the scanner routine air calibration was run for each added filter. The image CNR was evaluated for different kVps and wide range of mAs values using above mentioned beam-hardening filters. These scanning protocols were run under axial as well as under helical techniques. The CTDIvol and the effective-dose were measured and calculated for all scanning protocols and added filtration, including the intrinsic x-ray tube filter. Results: Beam-hardening filter shapes energy spectrum, which reduces the dose by 27%. No noticeable changes in image low contrast detectability Conclusion: Effective-dose is very much dependent on the CTDIVol, which is further very much dependent on beam-hardening filters. Substantial reduction in effective-dose is realized using beam-hardening filters as compare to the intrinsic filter. This phantom study showed that significant radiation dose reduction could be achieved in CT pediatric shunt scanning protocols without compromising in diagnostic value of image quality.

  7. Designing evidence-based medicine training to optimize the transfer of skills from the classroom to clinical practice: applying the four component instructional design model.

    PubMed

    Maggio, Lauren A; Cate, Olle Ten; Irby, David M; O'Brien, Bridget C

    2015-11-01

    Evidence-based medicine (EBM) skills, although taught in medical schools around the world, are not optimally practiced in clinical environments because of multiple barriers, including learners' difficulty transferring EBM skills learned in the classroom to clinical practice. This lack of skill transfer may be partially due to the design of EBM training. To facilitate the transfer of EBM skills from the classroom to clinical practice, the authors explore one instructional approach, called the Four Component Instructional Design (4C/ID) model, to guide the design of EBM training. On the basis of current cognitive psychology, including cognitive load theory, the premise of the 4C/ID model is that complex skills training, such as EBM training, should include four components: learning tasks, supportive information, procedural information, and part-task practice. The combination of these four components can inform the creation of complex skills training that is designed to avoid overloading learners' cognitive abilities; to facilitate the integration of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to execute a complex task; and to increase the transfer of knowledge to new situations. The authors begin by introducing the 4C/ID model and describing the benefits of its four components to guide the design of EBM training. They include illustrative examples of educational practices that are consistent with each component and that can be applied to teaching EBM. They conclude by suggesting that medical educators consider adopting the 4C/ID model to design, modify, and/or implement EBM training in classroom and clinical settings.

  8. Optimization of OSEM parameters in myocardial perfusion imaging reconstruction as a function of body mass index: a clinical approach*

    PubMed Central

    de Barros, Pietro Paolo; Metello, Luis F.; Camozzato, Tatiane Sabriela Cagol; Vieira, Domingos Manuel da Silva

    2015-01-01

    Objective The present study is aimed at contributing to identify the most appropriate OSEM parameters to generate myocardial perfusion imaging reconstructions with the best diagnostic quality, correlating them with patients’ body mass index. Materials and Methods The present study included 28 adult patients submitted to myocardial perfusion imaging in a public hospital. The OSEM method was utilized in the images reconstruction with six different combinations of iterations and subsets numbers. The images were analyzed by nuclear cardiology specialists taking their diagnostic value into consideration and indicating the most appropriate images in terms of diagnostic quality. Results An overall scoring analysis demonstrated that the combination of four iterations and four subsets has generated the most appropriate images in terms of diagnostic quality for all the classes of body mass index; however, the role played by the combination of six iterations and four subsets is highlighted in relation to the higher body mass index classes. Conclusion The use of optimized parameters seems to play a relevant role in the generation of images with better diagnostic quality, ensuring the diagnosis and consequential appropriate and effective treatment for the patient. PMID:26543282

  9. The clinical study of the optimalization of surgical treatment and the traditional Chinese medicine intervention on palmar hyperhidrosis.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yong; Yan, Zhikun; Fu, Xiaoqing; Dong, Liwen; Xu, Linhai; Wang, Jun; Cheng, Genmiao

    2014-11-01

    To analyze the efficacy of different surgical methods in treating palmar hyperhidrosis and the compensatory hyperhidrosis after surgery and to observe the efficacy of "Energy-boosting and Yin-nourishing anti-perspirant formula" on postsurgical hyperhidrosis patients. Two-hundred patients were randomly assigned to groups A (Chinese and Western medicine, T4 transection plus "Energy-boosting and Yin-nourishing anti-perspirant formula") and B (Western medicine, T4 transection). The surgical efficiency, recurrence rate, compensatory hyperhidrosis, and the long-term life quality were compared. Another 100 cases (group C, T2 transection) were analyzed as a control group. After surgery, the palmar hyperhidrosis and armpit sweating were relieved in all the three group patients and in 34 % of patients combined with plantar hyperhidrosis, the symptoms were relieved. Transient palmar hyperhidrosis was found in three cases at day 2 to day 5 postoperatively. One case of Horner's syndrome and one case recurrence were found in group C patients. The compensatory sweating of various degrees occurred in all the three groups. There were 25, 24, and 43 cases in groups A, B, and C, respectively. There is a significant difference between groups C, A, and B. The compensatory sweating in 13 cases of group A and four cases of group B had different degrees of improvement in the follow-up 6 months after surgery. There is a significant difference. Thoracoscopic bilateral T4 sympathetic chain and the Kuntz resection are the optimized surgical treatments for the palmar hyperhidrosis. "Energy-boosting and Yin-nourishing anti-perspirant formula" is effective in treating the postoperative compensatory sweating.

  10. Comparing Science Achievement Constructs: Targeted and Achieved

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferrara, Steve; Duncan, Teresa

    2011-01-01

    This article illustrates how test specifications based solely on academic content standards, without attention to other cognitive skills and item response demands, can fall short of their targeted constructs. First, the authors inductively describe the science achievement construct represented by a statewide sixth-grade science proficiency test.…

  11. Which Achievement Gap?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Sharon; Medrich, Elliott; Fowler, Donna

    2007-01-01

    From the halls of Congress to the local elementary school, conversations on education reform have tossed around the term "achievement gap" as though people all know precisely what that means. As it's commonly used, "achievement gap" refers to the differences in scores on state or national achievement tests between various…

  12. Pharmacodynamic Modeling of Clarithromycin against Macrolide-Resistant [PCR-Positive mef(A) or erm(B)] Streptococcus pneumoniae Simulating Clinically Achievable Serum and Epithelial Lining Fluid Free-Drug Concentrations

    PubMed Central

    Noreddin, Ayman M.; Roberts, Danielle; Nichol, Kim; Wierzbowski, Aleksandra; Hoban, Daryl J.; Zhanel, George G.

    2002-01-01

    The association between macrolide resistance mechanisms and clinical outcomes remains understudied. The present study, using an in vitro pharmacodynamic model, assessed clarithromycin (CLR) activity against mef(A)-positive and erm(B)-negative Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates by simulating free-drug concentrations in serum and both total (protein-bound and free) and free drug in epithelial lining fluid (ELF). Five mef(A)-positive and erm(B)-negative strains, one mef(A)-negative and erm(B)-positive strain, and a control [mef(A)-negative and erm(B)-negative] strain of S. pneumoniae were tested. CLR was modeled using a one-compartment model, simulating a dosage of 500 mg, per os, twice a day (in serum, free-drug Cp maximum of 2 μg/ml, t1/2 of 6 h; in ELF, CELF(total) maximum of 35μg/ml, t1/2 of 6 h; CELF(free) maximum of 14 μg/ml, t1/2 of 6 h). Starting inocula were 106 CFU/ml in Mueller-Hinton broth with 2% lysed horse blood. With sampling at 0, 4, 8, 12, 20, and 24 h, the extent of bacterial killing was assessed. Achieving CLR T/MIC values of ≥90% (AUC0-24/MIC ratio, ≥61) resulted in bacterial eradication, while T>MIC values of 40 to 56% (AUC0-24/MIC ratios of ≥30.5 to 38) resulted in a 1.2 to 2.0 log10 CFU/ml decrease at 24 h compared to that for the initial inoculum. CLR T/MIC values of ≤8% (AUC0-24/MIC ratio, ≤17.3) resulted in a static effect or bacterial regrowth. The high drug concentrations in ELF that were obtained clinically with CLR may explain the lack of clinical failures with mef(A)-producing S. pneumoniae strains, with MICs up to 8 μg/ml. However, mef(A) isolates for which MICs are ≥16 μg/ml along with erm(B) may result in bacteriological failures. PMID:12435719

  13. Pharmacodynamic modeling of clarithromycin against macrolide-resistant [PCR-positive mef(A) or erm(B)] Streptococcus pneumoniae simulating clinically achievable serum and epithelial lining fluid free-drug concentrations.

    PubMed

    Noreddin, Ayman M; Roberts, Danielle; Nichol, Kim; Wierzbowski, Aleksandra; Hoban, Daryl J; Zhanel, George G

    2002-12-01

    The association between macrolide resistance mechanisms and clinical outcomes remains understudied. The present study, using an in vitro pharmacodynamic model, assessed clarithromycin (CLR) activity against mef(A)-positive and erm(B)-negative Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates by simulating free-drug concentrations in serum and both total (protein-bound and free) and free drug in epithelial lining fluid (ELF). Five mef(A)-positive and erm(B)-negative strains, one mef(A)-negative and erm(B)-positive strain, and a control [mef(A)-negative and erm(B)-negative] strain of S. pneumoniae were tested. CLR was modeled using a one-compartment model, simulating a dosage of 500 mg, per os, twice a day (in serum, free-drug C(p) maximum of 2 micro g/ml, t(1/2) of 6 h; in ELF, C(ELF(total)) maximum of 35 micro g/ml, t(1/2) of 6 h; C(ELF(free)) maximum of 14 micro g/ml, t(1/2) of 6 h). Starting inocula were 10(6) CFU/ml in Mueller-Hinton broth with 2% lysed horse blood. With sampling at 0, 4, 8, 12, 20, and 24 h, the extent of bacterial killing was assessed. Achieving CLR T/MIC values of > or =90% (AUC(0-24)/MIC ratio, > or =61) resulted in bacterial eradication, while T>MIC values of 40 to 56% (AUC(0-24)/MIC ratios of > or =30.5 to 38) resulted in a 1.2 to 2.0 log(10) CFU/ml decrease at 24 h compared to that for the initial inoculum. CLR T/MIC values of < or =8% (AUC(0-24)/MIC ratio, < or =17.3) resulted in a static effect or bacterial regrowth. The high drug concentrations in ELF that were obtained clinically with CLR may explain the lack of clinical failures with mef(A)-producing S. pneumoniae strains, with MICs up to 8 micro g/ml. However, mef(A) isolates for which MICs are > or =16 micro g/ml along with erm(B) may result in bacteriological failures.

  14. An international observational study suggests that artificial intelligence for clinical decision support optimizes anemia management in hemodialysis patients.

    PubMed

    Barbieri, Carlo; Molina, Manuel; Ponce, Pedro; Tothova, Monika; Cattinelli, Isabella; Ion Titapiccolo, Jasmine; Mari, Flavio; Amato, Claudia; Leipold, Frank; Wehmeyer, Wolfgang; Stuard, Stefano; Stopper, Andrea; Canaud, Bernard

    2016-08-01

    Managing anemia in hemodialysis patients can be challenging because of competing therapeutic targets and individual variability. Because therapy recommendations provided by a decision support system can benefit both patients and doctors, we evaluated the impact of an artificial intelligence decision support system, the Anemia Control Model (ACM), on anemia outcomes. Based on patient profiles, the ACM was built to recommend suitable erythropoietic-stimulating agent doses. Our retrospective study consisted of a 12-month control phase (standard anemia care), followed by a 12-month observation phase (ACM-guided care) encompassing 752 patients undergoing hemodialysis therapy in 3 NephroCare clinics located in separate countries. The percentage of hemoglobin values on target, the median darbepoetin dose, and individual hemoglobin fluctuation (estimated from the intrapatient hemoglobin standard deviation) were deemed primary outcomes. In the observation phase, median darbepoetin consumption significantly decreased from 0.63 to 0.46 μg/kg/month, whereas on-target hemoglobin values significantly increased from 70.6% to 76.6%, reaching 83.2% when the ACM suggestions were implemented. Moreover, ACM introduction led to a significant decrease in hemoglobin fluctuation (intrapatient standard deviation decreased from 0.95 g/dl to 0.83 g/dl). Thus, ACM support helped improve anemia outcomes of hemodialysis patients, minimizing erythropoietic-stimulating agent use with the potential to reduce the cost of treatment.

  15. Uniform data collection in routine clinical practice in cardiovascular patients for optimal care, quality control and research: The Utrecht Cardiovascular Cohort.

    PubMed

    Asselbergs, Folkert W; Visseren, Frank Lj; Bots, Michiel L; de Borst, Gert J; Buijsrogge, Marc P; Dieleman, Jan M; van Dinther, Baukje Gf; Doevendans, Pieter A; Hoefer, Imo E; Hollander, Monika; de Jong, Pim A; Koenen, Steven V; Pasterkamp, Gerard; Ruigrok, Ynte M; van der Schouw, Yvonne T; Verhaar, Marianne C; Grobbee, Diederick E

    2017-01-01

    Background Cardiovascular disease remains the major contributor to morbidity and mortality. In routine care for patients with an elevated cardiovascular risk or with symptomatic cardiovascular disease information is mostly collected in an unstructured manner, making the data of limited use for structural feedback, quality control, learning and scientific research. Objective The Utrecht Cardiovascular Cohort (UCC) initiative aims to create an infrastructure for uniform registration of cardiovascular information in routine clinical practice for patients referred for cardiovascular care at the University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands. This infrastructure will promote optimal care according to guidelines, continuous quality control in a learning healthcare system and creation of a research database. Methods The UCC comprises three parts. UCC-1 comprises enrolment of all eligible cardiovascular patients in whom the same information will be collected, based on the Dutch cardiovascular management guideline. A sample of UCC-1 will be invited for UCC-2. UCC-2 involves an enrichment through extensive clinical measurements with emphasis on heart failure, cerebral ischaemia, arterial aneurysms, diabetes mellitus and elevated blood pressure. UCC-3 comprises on-top studies, with in-depth measurements in smaller groups of participants typically based on dedicated project grants. All participants are followed up for morbidity and mortality through linkage with national registries. Conclusion In a multidisciplinary effort with physicians, patients and researchers the UCC sets a benchmark for a learning cardiovascular healthcare system. UCC offers an invaluable resource for future high quality care as well as for first-class research for investigators.

  16. Determining optimal clinical target volume margins in head-and-neck cancer based on microscopic extracapsular extension of metastatic neck nodes

    SciTech Connect

    Apisarnthanarax, Smith; Elliott, Danielle D.; El-Naggar, Adel K.; Asper, Joshua A. P.A.; Blanco, Angel; Ang, K. Kian; Garden, Adam S.; Morrison, William H.; Rosenthal, David; Weber, Randal S.; Chao, K.S. Clifford . E-mail: cchao@mdanderson.org

    2006-03-01

    Purpose: To determine the optimal clinical target volume margins around the gross nodal tumor volume in head-and-neck cancer by assessing microscopic tumor extension beyond cervical lymph node capsules. Methods and Materials: Histologic sections of 96 dissected cervical lymph nodes with extracapsular extension (ECE) from 48 patients with head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma were examined. The maximum linear distance from the external capsule border to the farthest extent of the tumor or tumoral reaction was measured. The trends of ECE as a function of the distance from the capsule and lymph node size were analyzed. Results: The median diameter of all lymph nodes was 11.0 mm (range: 3.0-30.0 mm). The mean and median ECE extent was 2.2 mm and 1.6 mm, respectively (range: 0.4-9.0 mm). The ECE was <5 mm from the capsule in 96% of the nodes. As the distance from the capsule increased, the probability of tumor extension declined. No significant difference between the extent of ECE and lymph node size was observed. Conclusion: For N1 nodes that are at high risk for ECE but not grossly infiltrating musculature, 1 cm clinical target volume margins around the nodal gross tumor volume are recommended to cover microscopic nodal extension in head-and-neck cancer.

  17. Frame average optimization of cine-mode EPID images used for routine clinical in vivo patient dose verification of VMAT deliveries

    SciTech Connect

    McCowan, P. M.; McCurdy, B. M. C.

    2016-01-15

    Purpose: The in vivo 3D dose delivered to a patient during volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) delivery can be calculated using electronic portal imaging device (EPID) images. These images must be acquired in cine-mode (i.e., “movie” mode) in order to capture the time-dependent delivery information. The angle subtended by each cine-mode EPID image during an arc can be changed via the frame averaging number selected within the image acquisition software. A large frame average number will decrease the EPID’s angular resolution and will result in a decrease in the accuracy of the dose information contained within each image. Alternatively, less EPID images acquired per delivery will decrease the overall 3D patient dose calculation time, which is appealing for large-scale clinical implementation. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the optimal frame average value per EPID image, defined as the highest frame averaging that can be used without an appreciable loss in 3D dose reconstruction accuracy for VMAT treatments. Methods: Six different VMAT plans and six different SBRT-VMAT plans were delivered to an anthropomorphic phantom. Delivery was carried out on a Varian 2300ix model linear accelerator (Linac) equipped with an aS1000 EPID running at a frame acquisition rate of 7.5 Hz. An additional PC was set up at the Linac console area, equipped with specialized frame-grabber hardware and software packages allowing continuous acquisition of all EPID frames during delivery. Frames were averaged into “frame-averaged” EPID images using MATLAB. Each frame-averaged data set was used to calculate the in vivo dose to the patient and then compared to the single EPID frame in vivo dose calculation (the single frame calculation represents the highest possible angular resolution per EPID image). A mean percentage dose difference of low dose (<20% prescription dose) and high dose regions (>80% prescription dose) was calculated for each frame averaged

  18. Prospective Optimization.

    PubMed

    Sejnowski, Terrence J; Poizner, Howard; Lynch, Gary; Gepshtein, Sergei; Greenspan, Ralph J

    2014-05-01

    Human performance approaches that of an ideal observer and optimal actor in some perceptual and motor tasks. These optimal abilities depend on the capacity of the cerebral cortex to store an immense amount of information and to flexibly make rapid decisions. However, behavior only approaches these limits after a long period of learning while the cerebral cortex interacts with the basal ganglia, an ancient part of the vertebrate brain that is responsible for learning sequences of actions directed toward achieving goals. Progress has been made in understanding the algorithms used by the brain during reinforcement learning, which is an online approximation of dynamic programming. Humans also make plans that depend on past experience by simulating different scenarios, which is called prospective optimization. The same brain structures in the cortex and basal ganglia that are active online during optimal behavior are also active offline during prospective optimization. The emergence of general principles and algorithms for goal-directed behavior has consequences for the development of autonomous devices in engineering applications.

  19. Prospective Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Sejnowski, Terrence J.; Poizner, Howard; Lynch, Gary; Gepshtein, Sergei; Greenspan, Ralph J.

    2014-01-01

    Human performance approaches that of an ideal observer and optimal actor in some perceptual and motor tasks. These optimal abilities depend on the capacity of the cerebral cortex to store an immense amount of information and to flexibly make rapid decisions. However, behavior only approaches these limits after a long period of learning while the cerebral cortex interacts with the basal ganglia, an ancient part of the vertebrate brain that is responsible for learning sequences of actions directed toward achieving goals. Progress has been made in understanding the algorithms used by the brain during reinforcement learning, which is an online approximation of dynamic programming. Humans also make plans that depend on past experience by simulating different scenarios, which is called prospective optimization. The same brain structures in the cortex and basal ganglia that are active online during optimal behavior are also active offline during prospective optimization. The emergence of general principles and algorithms for goal-directed behavior has consequences for the development of autonomous devices in engineering applications. PMID:25328167

  20. Molecular imaging through 1H MRS and MRSI in everyday routine: Improvements in various clinical applications and parameter optimization of spectroscopic imaging sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karatopis, Anastasios; Benekos, Odysseas; Efstathopoulos, Efstathios; Valais, Ioannis; Kandarakis, Ioannis; Kelekis, Nikolaos

    2007-02-01

    In the era of molecular imaging, in vivo 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) are impacting dramatically upon virtually all areas of clinical medicine. MRS and MRSI should be able to identify key biochemical changes, much before the tumour becomes detectable by other functional imaging methods that mainly rely upon single markers that are not entirely sensitive or specific for malignant activity. Combined with other imaging techniques a rapidly advancing modality like MRI offer the ability to estimate the presence of metabolites yields much information regarding tissue. Molecular imaging through magnetic resonance could be potentially suited for screening and repeated monitoring since it entails no exposure to ionizing radiation. Incorporation of these tools in clinical practice is, however, limited due to the considerable amount of user intervention. In this work, various acquisition parameters and their effects in spectrum quality are investigated. In order to assess the quality of various spectroscopic techniques (2D and multi-slice MRSI, multiple echo SI), a series of experiments were conducted using a standard solution. The application of water and fat suppression techniques and their compatibility with other parameters were also investigated. The stability of the equipment, the appearance of errors and artifacts and the reproducibility of the results were also examined to obtain useful conclusions for the interaction of acquisition parameters. All the data were processed with specialized computer software (jMRUI 2.2) to analyze various aspects of the measurements and quantify various parameters such as signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), full-width at half-maximum (FWHM), peak height and j-modulation. The experience acquired from the conducted experiments was successfully applied in acquisition parameter optimization and improvement of clinical applications (two dimensional (2D) MRSI of prostate, brain and muscle MRS) by

  1. The electronic medical office: optimizing solutions.

    PubMed

    Kirschenbaum, Ira H; Mabrey, Jay D; Wood, George W; Alexander, A Herbert; Rhoades, Charles E; Alexander, Ian J; Golladay, Gregory J; Wheeless, Clifford

    2008-01-01

    Optimizing the care for patients in the orthopaedic clinical setting involves a wide range of issues. Surgical techniques, preoperative and postoperative care, long-term outcomes follow-up, continuing education, and patient communication are a few of the important areas that surgeons deal with on a regular basis. Successful management of this information has an impact on clinical outcomes, direct patient care, financial decisions, and management of the surgeon's time. The development of a comprehensive electronic medical office is a powerful and probably necessary tool to successfully manage such information and achieve the goals of an effective and safe orthopaedic practice.

  2. Achieving Cannabis Cessation - Evaluating N-acetylcysteine Treatment (ACCENT): Design and implementation of a multi-site, randomized controlled study in the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network

    PubMed Central

    McClure, Erin A.; Sonne, Susan C.; Winhusen, Theresa; Carroll, Kathleen M.; Ghitza, Udi E.; McRae-Clark, Aimee L.; Matthews, Abigail G.; Sharma, Gaurav; Van Veldhuisen, Paul; Vandrey, Ryan G.; Levin, Frances R.; Weiss, Roger D.; Lindblad, Robert; Allen, Colleen; Mooney, Larissa J.; Haynes, Louise; Brigham, Gregory S.; Sparenborg, Steve; Hasson, Albert L.; Gray, Kevin M.

    2014-01-01

    Despite recent advances in behavioral interventions for cannabis use disorders, effect sizes remain modest, and few individuals achieve long-term abstinence. One strategy to enhance outcomes is the addition of pharmacotherapy to complement behavioral treatment, but to date no efficacious medications targeting cannabis use disorders in adults through large, randomized controlled trials have been identified. The National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network (NIDA CTN) is currently conducting a study to test the efficacy of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) versus placebo (PBO), added to contingency management, for cannabis cessation in adults (ages 18–50). This study was designed to replicate positive findings from a study in cannabis-dependent adolescents that found greater odds of abstinence with NAC compared to PBO. This paper describes the design and implementation of an ongoing 12-week, intent-to-treat, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study with one follow-up visit four weeks post-treatment. Approximately 300 treatment-seeking cannabis-dependent adults will be randomized to NAC or PBO across six study sites in the United States. The primary objective of this 12-week study is to evaluate the efficacy of twice-daily orally-administered NAC (1200 mg) versus matched PBO, added to contingency management, on cannabis abstinence. NAC is among the first medications to demonstrate increased odds of abstinence in a randomized controlled study among cannabis users in any age group. The current study will assess the cannabis cessation efficacy of NAC combined with a behavioral intervention in adults, providing a novel and timely contribution to the evidence base for the treatment of cannabis use disorders. PMID:25179587

  3. Optimizing Clinical Operations as part of a Global Emergency Medicine Initiative in Kumasi, Ghana: Application of Lean Manufacturing Principals to Low Resource Health Systems

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Patrick M.; Desmond, Jeffery S.; Akanbobnaab, Christopher; Oteng, Rockefeller A.; Rominski, Sarah; Barsan, William G.; Cunningham, Rebecca

    2012-01-01

    Background Although many global health programs focus on providing clinical care or medical education, improving clinical operations can have a significant effect on patient care delivery, especially in developing health systems without high-level operations management. Lean manufacturing techniques have been effective in decreasing emergency department (ED) length of stay, patient waiting times, numbers of patients leaving without being seen, and door-to-balloon times for ST-elevation myocardial infarction in developed health systems; but use of Lean in low to middle income countries with developing emergency medicine systems has not been well characterized. Objectives To describe the application of Lean manufacturing techniques to improve clinical operations at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Ghana and to identify key lessons learned to aid future global EM initiatives. Methods A three-week Lean improvement program focused on the hospital admissions process at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital was completed by a 14-person team in six stages: problem definition, scope of project planning, value stream mapping, root cause analysis, future state planning, and implementation planning. Results The authors identified eight lessons learned during our use of Lean to optimize the operations of an ED in a global health setting: 1) the Lean process aided in building a partnership with Ghanaian colleagues; 2) obtaining and maintaining senior institutional support is necessary and challenging; 3) addressing power differences among the team to obtain feedback from all team members is critical to successful Lean analysis; 4) choosing a manageable initial project is critical to influence long-term Lean use in a new environment; 5) data intensive Lean tools can be adapted and are effective in a less resourced health system; 6) several Lean tools focused on team problem solving techniques worked well in a low resource system without modification; 7) using Lean highlighted that

  4. [Update of planning tables of cholesterol-lowering therapy orientated to achieve LDL therapeutic targets].

    PubMed

    Masana, Luis; Plana, Núria

    2015-01-01

    This is the third update of a planning-table for use in cholesterol-lowering therapy, so as to obtain LDLc objectives. This is an easy to use laptop tool to help choose the best statin or combination therapy (statin plus ezetimibe) depending on the current LDL concentration of the patient, and the LDLc objective to achieve. It is based on a colour code that indicates the drugs that are efficient enough to help patients to achieve their LDL goal. Along with the table, recommendations are given for the best strategy in order to implement the optimal therapy in a maximum of two clinical encounters.

  5. 'No delays achiever'.

    PubMed

    2007-05-01

    The latest version of the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement's 'no delays achiever', a web based tool created to help NHS organisations achieve the 18-week target for GP referrals to first treatment, is available at www.nodelaysachiever.nhs.uk.

  6. Vicarious Achievement Orientation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leavitt, Harold J.; And Others

    This study tests hypotheses about achievement orientation, particularly vicarious achievement. Undergraduate students (N=437) completed multiple-choice questionnaires, indicating likely responses of one person to the success of another. The sex of succeeder and observer, closeness of relationship, and setting (medical school or graduate school of…

  7. Heritability of Creative Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Piffer, Davide; Hur, Yoon-Mi

    2014-01-01

    Although creative achievement is a subject of much attention to lay people, the origin of individual differences in creative accomplishments remain poorly understood. This study examined genetic and environmental influences on creative achievement in an adult sample of 338 twins (mean age = 26.3 years; SD = 6.6 years). Twins completed the Creative…

  8. Confronting the Achievement Gap

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gardner, David

    2007-01-01

    This article talks about the large achievement gap between children of color and their white peers. The reasons for the achievement gap are varied. First, many urban minorities come from a background of poverty. One of the detrimental effects of growing up in poverty is receiving inadequate nourishment at a time when bodies and brains are rapidly…

  9. Achievement-Based Resourcing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fletcher, Mike; And Others

    1992-01-01

    This collection of seven articles examines achievement-based resourcing (ABR), the concept that the funding of educational institutions should be linked to their success in promoting student achievement, with a focus on the application of ABR to postsecondary education in the United Kingdom. The articles include: (1) "Introduction" (Mick…

  10. States Address Achievement Gaps.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christie, Kathy

    2002-01-01

    Summarizes 2 state initiatives to address the achievement gap: North Carolina's report by the Advisory Commission on Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps, containing an 11-point strategy, and Kentucky's legislation putting in place 10 specific processes. The North Carolina report is available at www.dpi.state.nc.us.closingthegap; Kentucky's…

  11. Gear optimization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanderplaats, G. N.; Chen, Xiang; Zhang, Ning-Tian

    1988-01-01

    The use of formal numerical optimization methods for the design of gears is investigated. To achieve this, computer codes were developed for the analysis of spur gears and spiral bevel gears. These codes calculate the life, dynamic load, bending strength, surface durability, gear weight and size, and various geometric parameters. It is necessary to calculate all such important responses because they all represent competing requirements in the design process. The codes developed here were written in subroutine form and coupled to the COPES/ADS general purpose optimization program. This code allows the user to define the optimization problem at the time of program execution. Typical design variables include face width, number of teeth and diametral pitch. The user is free to choose any calculated response as the design objective to minimize or maximize and may impose lower and upper bounds on any calculated responses. Typical examples include life maximization with limits on dynamic load, stress, weight, etc. or minimization of weight subject to limits on life, dynamic load, etc. The research codes were written in modular form for easy expansion and so that they could be combined to create a multiple reduction optimization capability in future.

  12. Design of the BRISC study: a multicentre controlled clinical trial to optimize the communication of breast cancer risks in genetic counselling

    PubMed Central

    Ockhuysen-Vermey, Caroline F; Henneman, Lidewij; van Asperen, Christi J; Oosterwijk, Jan C; Menko, Fred H; Timmermans, Daniëlle RM

    2008-01-01

    Background Understanding risks is considered to be crucial for informed decision-making. Inaccurate risk perception is a common finding in women with a family history of breast cancer attending genetic counseling. As yet, it is unclear how risks should best be communicated in clinical practice. This study protocol describes the design and methods of the BRISC (Breast cancer RISk Communication) study evaluating the effect of different formats of risk communication on the counsellee's risk perception, psychological well-being and decision-making regarding preventive options for breast cancer. Methods and design The BRISC study is designed as a pre-post-test controlled group intervention trial with repeated measurements using questionnaires. The intervention-an additional risk consultation-consists of one of 5 conditions that differ in the way counsellee's breast cancer risk is communicated: 1) lifetime risk in numerical format (natural frequencies, i.e. X out of 100), 2) lifetime risk in both numerical format and graphical format (population figures), 3) lifetime risk and age-related risk in numerical format, 4) lifetime risk and age-related risk in both numerical format and graphical format, and 5) lifetime risk in percentages. Condition 6 is the control condition in which no intervention is given (usual care). Participants are unaffected women with a family history of breast cancer attending one of three participating clinical genetic centres in the Netherlands. Discussion The BRISC study allows for an evaluation of the effects of different formats of communicating breast cancer risks to counsellees. The results can be used to optimize risk communication in order to improve informed decision-making among women with a family history of breast cancer. They may also be useful for risk communication in other health-related services. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN14566836. PMID:18834503

  13. Achievability for telerobotic systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kress, Reid L.; Draper, John V.; Hamel, William R.

    2001-02-01

    Methods are needed to improve the capabilities of autonomous robots to perform tasks that are difficult for contemporary robots, and to identify those tasks that robots cannot perform. Additionally, in the realm of remote handling, methods are needed to assess which tasks and/or subtasks are candidates for automation. We are developing a new approach to understanding the capability of autonomous robotic systems. This approach uses formalized methods for determining the achievability of tasks for robots, that is, the likelihood that an autonomous robot or telerobot can successfully complete a particular task. Any autonomous system may be represented in achievability space by the volume describing that system's capabilities within the 3-axis space delineated by perception, cognition, and action. This volume may be thought of as a probability density with achievability decreasing as the distance from the centroid of the volume increases. Similarly, any task may be represented within achievability space. However, as tasks have more finite requirements for perception, cognition, and action, each may be represented as a point (or, more accurately, as a small sphere) within achievability space. Analysis of achievability can serve to identify, a priori, the survivability of robotic systems and the likelihood of mission success; it can be used to plan a mission or portions of a mission; it can be used to modify a mission plan to accommodate unpredicted occurrences; it can also serve to identify needs for modifications to robotic systems or tasks to improve achievability. .

  14. Clinical utility of optimized three-dimensional T1-, T2-, and T2*-weighted sequences in spinal magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Tanitame, Nobuko; Tanitame, Keizo; Awai, Kazuo

    2017-02-23

    This article reviews the clinical utility of 3D magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequences optimized for the evaluation of various intraspinal lesions. First, intraspinal tumors with hypervascular components and arteriovenous malformations (AVM) are clearly shown on contrast-enhanced (CE)-3D T1-weighted gradient-echo (GE) sequences with high spatial resolution. Second, dynamic CE-3D time-resolved magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) shows delineated feeding arteries of intraspinal AVM or arteriovenous fistula (AVF), greatly aiding subsequent digital subtraction angiography (DSA). Third, 3D multiecho T2*-weighted GE sequences are used to visualize intraspinal structures and spinal cord lesions and are sensitive to the magnetic susceptibility of intraspinal hemorrhages. Three-dimensional balanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) and multishot 3D balanced non-SSFP sequences produce contiguous thin images with high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in short scanning times. Intraspinal cystic lesions and small nerve-root tumors in subarachnoid space can be viewed using 3D balanced SSFP. Spinal cord myelomalacia and cord compression can be evaluated on fat-suppressed multishot 3D balanced non-SSFP. Finally, a 3D T2-weighted fast spin-echo (FSE) sequence with variable flip angle (FA) refocusing pulse improves through-plane spatial resolution over conventional 2D T2-weighted FSE sequences while matching image contrast.

  15. Structure-Guided Lead Optimization of Triazolopyrimidine-Ring Substituents Identifies Potent Plasmodium falciparum Dihydroorotate Dehydrogenase Inhibitors with Clinical Candidate Potential

    SciTech Connect

    Coteron, Jose M.; Marco, Maria; Esquivias, Jorge; Deng, Xiaoyi; White, Karen L.; White, John; Koltun, Maria; El Mazouni, Farah; Kokkonda, Sreekanth; Katneni, Kasiram; Bhamidipati, Ravi; Shackleford, David M.; Angulo-Barturen, Inigo; Ferrer, Santiago B.; Jimenez-Diaz, Maria Belen; Gamo, Francisco-Javier; Goldsmith, Elizabeth J.; Charman, William N.; Bathurst, Ian; Floyd, David; Matthews, David; Burrows, Jeremy N.; Rathod, Pradipsinh K.; Charman, Susan A.; Phillips, Margaret A.

    2012-02-27

    Drug therapy is the mainstay of antimalarial therapy, yet current drugs are threatened by the development of resistance. In an effort to identify new potential antimalarials, we have undertaken a lead optimization program around our previously identified triazolopyrimidine-based series of Plasmodium falciparum dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (PfDHODH) inhibitors. The X-ray structure of PfDHODH was used to inform the medicinal chemistry program allowing the identification of a potent and selective inhibitor (DSM265) that acts through DHODH inhibition to kill both sensitive and drug resistant strains of the parasite. This compound has similar potency to chloroquine in the humanized SCID mouse P. falciparum model, can be synthesized by a simple route, and rodent pharmacokinetic studies demonstrated it has excellent oral bioavailability, a long half-life and low clearance. These studies have identified the first candidate in the triazolopyrimidine series to meet previously established progression criteria for efficacy and ADME properties, justifying further development of this compound toward clinical candidate status.

  16. Structure-guided lead optimization of triazolopyrimidine-ring substituents identifies potent Plasmodium falciparum dihydroorotate dehydrogenase inhibitors with clinical candidate potential

    PubMed Central

    Coteron, Jose M.; Marco, María; Esquivias, Jorge; Deng, Xiaoyi; White, Karen L.; White, John; Koltun, Maria; Mazouni, Farah El; Kokkonda, Sreekanth; Katneni, Kasiram; Bhamidipati, Ravi; Shackleford, David M.; Barturen, Iñigo Angulo; Ferrer, Santiago B.; Jiménez-Díaz, María Belén; Gamo, Francisco-Javier; Goldsmith, Elizabeth J.; Charman, William N.; Bathurst, Ian; Floyd, David; Matthews, David; Burrows, Jeremy N.; Rathod, Pradipsinh K.; Charman, Susan A.; Phillips, Margaret A.

    2011-01-01

    Drug therapy is the mainstay of antimalarial therapy, yet current drugs are threatened by the development of resistance. In an effort to identify new potential anti-malarials we have undertaken a lead optimization program around our previously identified triazolopyrimidine-based series of Plasmodium falciparum dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (PfDHODH) inhibitors. The X-ray structure of PfDHODH was used to inform the medicinal chemistry program allowing the identification of a potent and selective inhibitor (DSM265) that acts through DHODH inhibition to kill both sensitive and drug resistant strains of the parasite. This compound has similar potency to chloroquine in the humanized SCID mouse P. falciparum model, can be synthesized by a simple route, and rodent pharmacokinetic studies demonstrated it has excellent oral bioavailability, a long half-life and low clearance. These studies have identified the first candidate in the triazolopyrimidine series to meet previously established progression criteria for efficacy and ADME properties, justifying further development of this compound towards clinical candidate status. PMID:21696174

  17. Improving hypertension management through pharmacist prescribing; the rural alberta clinical trial in optimizing hypertension (Rural RxACTION): trial design and methods

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Patients with hypertension continue to have less than optimal blood pressure control, with nearly one in five Canadian adults having hypertension. Pharmacist prescribing is gaining favor as a potential clinically efficacious and cost-effective means to improve both access and quality of care. With Alberta being the first province in Canada to have independent prescribing by pharmacists, it offers a unique opportunity to evaluate outcomes in patients who are prescribed antihypertensive therapy by pharmacists. Methods The study is a randomized controlled trial of enhanced pharmacist care, with the unit of randomization being the patient. Participants will be randomized to enhanced pharmacist care (patient identification, assessment, education, close follow-up, and prescribing/titration of antihypertensive medications) or usual care. Participants are patients in rural Alberta with undiagnosed/uncontrolled blood pressure, as defined by the Canadian Hypertension Education Program. The primary outcome is the change in systolic blood pressure between baseline and 24 weeks in the enhanced-care versus usual-care arms. There are also three substudies running in conjunction with the project examining different remuneration models, investigating patient knowledge, and assessing health-resource utilization amongst patients in each group. Discussion To date, one-third of the required sample size has been recruited. There are 15 communities and 17 pharmacists actively screening, recruiting, and following patients. This study will provide high-level evidence regarding pharmacist prescribing. Trial Registration Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00878566. PMID:21834970

  18. Achieving real-time performance in FIESTA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilkinson, William; Happell, Nadine; Miksell, Steve; Quillin, Robert; Carlisle, Candace

    1988-01-01

    The Fault Isolation Expert System for TDRSS Applications (FIESTA) is targeted for operation in a real-time online environment. Initial stages of the prototype development concentrated on acquisition and representation of the knowledge necessary to isolate faults in the TDRSS Network. Recent efforts focused on achieving real-time performance including: a discussion of the meaning of FIESTA real-time requirements, determination of performance levels (benchmarking) and techniques for optimization. Optimization techniques presented include redesign of critical relations, filtering of redundant data and optimization of patterns used in rules. Results are summarized.

  19. First-Stage Development and Validation of a Web-Based Automated Dietary Modeling Tool: Using Constraint Optimization Techniques to Streamline Food Group and Macronutrient Focused Dietary Prescriptions for Clinical Trials

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Evan; Sullivan, Emma; Dam, Hoa Khanh

    2016-01-01

    Background Standardizing the background diet of participants during a dietary randomized controlled trial is vital to trial outcomes. For this process, dietary modeling based on food groups and their target servings is employed via a dietary prescription before an intervention, often using a manual process. Partial automation has employed the use of linear programming. Validity of the modeling approach is critical to allow trial outcomes to be translated to practice. Objective This paper describes the first-stage development of a tool to automatically perform dietary modeling using food group and macronutrient requirements as a test case. The Dietary Modeling Tool (DMT) was then compared with existing approaches to dietary modeling (manual and partially automated), which were previously available to dietitians working within a dietary intervention trial. Methods Constraint optimization techniques were implemented to determine whether nonlinear constraints are best suited to the development of the automated dietary modeling tool using food composition and food consumption data. Dietary models were produced and compared with a manual Microsoft Excel calculator, a partially automated Excel Solver approach, and the automated DMT that was developed. Results The web-based DMT was produced using nonlinear constraint optimization, incorporating estimated energy requirement calculations, nutrition guidance systems, and the flexibility to amend food group targets for individuals. Percentage differences between modeling tools revealed similar results for the macronutrients. Polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids showed greater variation between tools (practically equating to a 2-teaspoon difference), although it was not considered clinically significant when the whole diet, as opposed to targeted nutrients or energy requirements, were being addressed. Conclusions Automated modeling tools can streamline the modeling process for dietary intervention trials

  20. Culture and Achievement Motivation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maehr, Martin L.

    1974-01-01

    A framework is suggested for the cross-cultural study of motivation that stresses the importance of contextual conditions in eliciting achievement motivation and emphasizes cultural relativity in the definition of the concept. (EH)

  1. Achieving Salary Equity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nevill, Dorothy D.

    1975-01-01

    Three techniques are outlined for use by higher education institutions to achieve salary equity: salary prediction (using various statistical procedures), counterparting (comparing salaries of persons of similar rank), and grievance procedures. (JT)

  2. Optimally Stopped Optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vinci, Walter; Lidar, Daniel A.

    2016-11-01

    We combine the fields of heuristic optimization and optimal stopping. We propose a strategy for benchmarking randomized optimization algorithms that minimizes the expected total cost for obtaining a good solution with an optimal number of calls to the solver. To do so, rather than letting the objective function alone define a cost to be minimized, we introduce a further cost-per-call of the algorithm. We show that this problem can be formulated using optimal stopping theory. The expected cost is a flexible figure of merit for benchmarking probabilistic solvers that can be computed when the optimal solution is not known and that avoids the biases and arbitrariness that affect other measures. The optimal stopping formulation of benchmarking directly leads to a real-time optimal-utilization strategy for probabilistic optimizers with practical impact. We apply our formulation to benchmark simulated annealing on a class of maximum-2-satisfiability (MAX2SAT) problems. We also compare the performance of a D-Wave 2X quantum annealer to the Hamze-Freitas-Selby (HFS) solver, a specialized classical heuristic algorithm designed for low-tree-width graphs. On a set of frustrated-loop instances with planted solutions defined on up to N =1098 variables, the D-Wave device is 2 orders of magnitude faster than the HFS solver, and, modulo known caveats related to suboptimal annealing times, exhibits identical scaling with problem size.

  3. Citicoline in pre-clinical animal models of stroke: a meta-analysis shows the optimal neuroprotective profile and the missing steps for jumping into a stroke clinical trial.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, Alejandro; Giralt, Dolors; Garcia-Bonilla, Lidia; Campos, Mireia; Rosell, Anna; Montaner, Joan

    2012-10-01

    The neuroprotective actions of citicoline have been documented for experimental stroke therapy. We used a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess this evidence. From 64 identified studies using citicoline in stroke animal models, only those describing ischemic occlusive stroke and reporting data on infarct volume and/or neurological outcome were included (14 studies, 522 animals). Overall, the quality of the studies was modest (5, 4-6), while the absence of studies involving animals with co-morbidities, females, old animals or strain differences indicated that studies did not fulfill the STAIR recommendations. Weighted mean difference meta-analysis showed citicoline to reduce infarct volume by 27.8% [(19.9%, 35.6%); p < 0.001]. In the stratified analysis, citicoline effect on reducing infarct volume was higher in proximal occlusive models of middle cerebral artery (MCA) compared with distal occlusion. Moreover, the efficacy was superior using multiple doses than single dose and when a co-treatment was administered compared with citicoline monotherapy, the only independent factor identified in the meta-regression. Citicoline improved neurological deficit by 20.2% [(6.8%, 33.7%); p = 0.015], but only four studies including 176 animals reported these data. In conclusion, this meta-analysis provides evidence of citicoline efficacy in stroke animal models and shows the optimal neuroprotective profile and the missing experimental requirements before jumping into clinical trials.

  4. Stepwise multi-criteria optimization for robotic radiosurgery.

    PubMed

    Schlaefer, A; Schweikard, A

    2008-05-01

    Achieving good conformality and a steep dose gradient around the target volume remains a key aspect of radiosurgery. Clearly, this involves a trade-off between target coverage, conformality of the dose distribution, and sparing of critical structures. Yet, image guidance and robotic beam placement have extended highly conformal dose delivery to extracranial and moving targets. Therefore, the multi-criteria nature of the optimization problem becomes even more apparent, as multiple conflicting clinical goals need to be considered coordinate to obtain an optimal treatment plan. Typically, planning for robotic radiosurgery is based on constrained optimization, namely linear programming. An extension of that approach is presented, such that each of the clinical goals can be addressed separately and in any sequential order. For a set of common clinical goals the mapping to a mathematical objective and a corresponding constraint is defined. The trade-off among the clinical goals is explored by modifying the constraints and optimizing a simple objective, while retaining feasibility of the solution. Moreover, it becomes immediately obvious whether a desired goal can be achieved and where a trade-off is possible. No importance factors or predefined prioritizations of clinical goals are necessary. The presented framework forms the basis for interactive and automated planning procedures. It is demonstrated for a sample case that the linear programming formulation is suitable to search for a clinically optimal treatment, and that the optimization steps can be performed quickly to establish that a Pareto-efficient solution has been found. Furthermore, it is demonstrated how the stepwise approach is preferable compared to modifying importance factors.

  5. Stepwise multi-criteria optimization for robotic radiosurgery

    SciTech Connect

    Schlaefer, A.; Schweikard, A.

    2008-05-15

    Achieving good conformality and a steep dose gradient around the target volume remains a key aspect of radiosurgery. Clearly, this involves a trade-off between target coverage, conformality of the dose distribution, and sparing of critical structures. Yet, image guidance and robotic beam placement have extended highly conformal dose delivery to extracranial and moving targets. Therefore, the multi-criteria nature of the optimization problem becomes even more apparent, as multiple conflicting clinical goals need to be considered coordinate to obtain an optimal treatment plan. Typically, planning for robotic radiosurgery is based on constrained optimization, namely linear programming. An extension of that approach is presented, such that each of the clinical goals can be addressed separately and in any sequential order. For a set of common clinical goals the mapping to a mathematical objective and a corresponding constraint is defined. The trade-off among the clinical goals is explored by modifying the constraints and optimizing a simple objective, while retaining feasibility of the solution. Moreover, it becomes immediately obvious whether a desired goal can be achieved and where a trade-off is possible. No importance factors or predefined prioritizations of clinical goals are necessary. The presented framework forms the basis for interactive and automated planning procedures. It is demonstrated for a sample case that the linear programming formulation is suitable to search for a clinically optimal treatment, and that the optimization steps can be performed quickly to establish that a Pareto-efficient solution has been found. Furthermore, it is demonstrated how the stepwise approach is preferable compared to modifying importance factors.

  6. Association between the Achievement of Target Range CKD-MBD Markers and Mortality in Prevalent Hemodialysis Patients in Taiwan by Using the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes Clinical Guidelines

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Ben-Chung; Lee, Chih-Hsiung; Chang, Wen-Xiu

    2016-01-01

    Background. This study evaluated the association between achieving target chronic kidney disease-mineral and bone disorder (CKD-MBD) marker levels and mortality in Taiwanese hemodialysis (HD) patients. Target levels were based on the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) guidelines. Methods. We performed a retrospective medical record review of 1126 HD patients between 2009 and 2013. A logistic regression model was used to evaluate the relationship between achieving target marker levels and the risk for all-cause and cardiovascular (CV) mortality. Reference target ranges were 7.9 ≤ calcium (Ca) ≤ 9.9 mg/dL, 2.4 ≤ phosphate (P) ≤ 4.7 mg/dL, and 144 ≤ intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) ≤ 648 pg/mL. Results. Achievement of target P levels was associated with a lower risk for all-cause mortality compared to achievement of either target Ca or iPTH levels. Achieving target P + iPTH levels (OR 1.32) was associated with a lower odds ratio for all-cause mortality compared to achieving target Ca + P (OR 1.66) and Ca + iPTH (OR 1.43) levels. Similar trends were observed for CV mortality risk. Conclusions. The present study demonstrated that achieving serum P levels within the KDIGO target range is the most important factor for lowering mortality in HD patients. PMID:28003998

  7. Optimizing Rehabilitation for Phantom Limb Pain Using Mirror Therapy and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation: A Randomized, Double–Blind Clinical Trial Study Protocol

    PubMed Central

    Bolognini, Nadia; Crandell, David; Merabet, Lotfi B

    2016-01-01

    ) before and after the intervention. Results This clinical trial received institutional review board (IRB) approval in July of 2015 and enrollment started in December of 2015. To date 2 participants have been enrolled. The estimate enrollment rate is about 30 to 35 patients per year; thus we expect to complete enrollment in 4 years. Conclusions This factorial design will provide relevant data to evaluate whether tDCS combined with MT is more effective than each therapy alone, as well as with no intervention (sham/sham) in patients with chronic PLP after unilateral lower limb amputation. In addition, this randomized clinical trial will help to investigate the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the disease, which could potentially provide relevant findings for further management of this chronic condition and also help to optimize the use of this novel intervention. Trial Registration Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02487966; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02487966 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6i3GrKMyf) PMID:27383993

  8. Polymeric mixed micelles as nanomedicines: Achievements and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Cagel, Maximiliano; Tesan, Fiorella C; Bernabeu, Ezequiel; Salgueiro, Maria J; Zubillaga, Marcela B; Moretton, Marcela A; Chiappetta, Diego A

    2017-04-01

    During the past few decades, polymeric micelles have raised special attention as novel nano-sized drug delivery systems for optimizing the treatment and diagnosis of numerous diseases. These nanocarriers exhibit several in vitro and in vivo advantages as well as increased stability and solubility to hydrophobic drugs. An interesting approach for optimizing these properties and overcoming some of their disadvantages is the combination of two or more polymers in order to assemble polymeric mixed micelles. This review article gives an overview on the current state of the art of several mixed micellar formulations as nanocarriers for drugs and imaging probes, evaluating their ongoing status (preclinical or clinical stage), with special emphasis on type of copolymers, physicochemical properties, in vivo progress achieved so far and toxicity profiles. Besides, the present article presents relevant research outcomes about polymeric mixed micelles as better drug delivery systems, when compared to polymeric pristine micelles. The reported data clearly illustrates the promise of these nanovehicles reaching clinical stages in the near future.

  9. Determining optimal clinical target volume margins on the basis of microscopic extracapsular extension of metastatic nodes in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Yuan Shuanghu; Meng Xue; Yu Jinming . E-mail: fishtigers@yahoo.com.cn; Mu Dianbin; Chao, K.S. Clifford; Zhang Jiandong; Zhong Weixia; Yu Yonghua; Wang Jialin; Sun Xindong; Yang Guoren; Wang Yongzheng

    2007-03-01

    Purpose: To determine the optimal clinical target volume (CTV) margins around the nodal gross tumor volume (GTV) in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients by assessing microscopic tumor extension beyond regional lymph node capsules. Methods and Materials: The incidence of nodal extracapsular extension (ECE) and relationship with nodal size were reviewed in 243 patients. Histologic sections of dissected regional lymph nodes up to 30 mm in size were examined to measure the extent of microscopic ECE. We determined the distribution of cases according to extent of ECE and the relationships between ECE extent and lymph node size, regional nodal disease extent, histologic type, and degree of differentiation. Results: The nodal ECE was seen in 41.6% of patients (101/243) and 33.4% of lymph nodes (214/640), and the incidence correlated to larger lymph node size positively. The extent of ECE was 0.7 mm in mean (range, 0-12.0 mm) and {<=}3 mm in 95% of the nodes. Positive correlations were found between extent of ECE and larger lymph node size ({>=}20 mm vs. 10-19 mm or <10 mm, p = 0.005), advanced nodal stage (N2 vs. N1, p = 0.046), and moderate or poor (vs. good or unknown) nodal differentiation (p = 0.002). ECE did not differ significantly by histologic type or nodal station. Conclusions: The incidence of ECE related to lymph node size, and ECE extent related to lymph node size, stage, and differentiation. It may be reasonable to recommend 3-mm CTV margins for pathologic lymph nodes <20 mm and more generous margins for lymph nodes {>=}20 mm.

  10. SALT and Spelling Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Joan

    A study investigated the effects of suggestopedic accelerative learning and teaching (SALT) on the spelling achievement, attitudes toward school, and memory skills of fourth-grade students. Subjects were 20 male and 28 female students from two self-contained classrooms at Kennedy Elementary School in Rexburg, Idaho. The control classroom and the…

  11. Iowa Women of Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ohrn, Deborah Gore, Ed.

    1993-01-01

    This issue of the Goldfinch highlights some of Iowa's 20th century women of achievement. These women have devoted their lives to working for human rights, education, equality, and individual rights. They come from the worlds of politics, art, music, education, sports, business, entertainment, and social work. They represent Native Americans,…

  12. Schools Achieving Gender Equity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Revis, Emma

    This guide is designed to assist teachers presenting the Schools Achieving Gender Equity (SAGE) curriculum for vocational education students, which was developed to align gender equity concepts with the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA). Included in the guide are lesson plans for classes on the following topics: legal issues of gender equity,…

  13. Achieving Peace through Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clarken, Rodney H.

    While it is generally agreed that peace is desirable, there are barriers to achieving a peaceful world. These barriers are classified into three major areas: (1) an erroneous view of human nature; (2) injustice; and (3) fear of world unity. In a discussion of these barriers, it is noted that although the consciousness and conscience of the world…

  14. Explorations in achievement motivation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helmreich, Robert L.

    1982-01-01

    Recent research on the nature of achievement motivation is reviewed. A three-factor model of intrinsic motives is presented and related to various criteria of performance, job satisfaction and leisure activities. The relationships between intrinsic and extrinsic motives are discussed. Needed areas for future research are described.

  15. Increasing Male Academic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Barbara Talbert

    2008-01-01

    The No Child Left Behind legislation has brought greater attention to the academic performance of American youth. Its emphasis on student achievement requires a closer analysis of assessment data by school districts. To address the findings, educators must seek strategies to remedy failing results. In a mid-Atlantic district of the Unites States,…

  16. Cognitive Processes and Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunt, Dennis; Randhawa, Bikkar S.

    For a group of 165 fourth- and fifth-grade students, four achievement test scores were correlated with success on nine tests designed to measure three cognitive functions: sustained attention, successive processing, and simultaneous processing. This experiment was designed in accordance with Luria's model of the three functional units of the…

  17. Graders' Mathematics Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bond, John B.; Ellis, Arthur K.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this experimental study was to investigate the effects of metacognitive reflective assessment instruction on student achievement in mathematics. The study compared the performance of 141 students who practiced reflective assessment strategies with students who did not. A posttest-only control group design was employed, and results…

  18. Achieving All Our Ambitions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartley, Tricia

    2009-01-01

    National learning and skills policy aims both to build economic prosperity and to achieve social justice. Participation in higher education (HE) has the potential to contribute substantially to both aims. That is why the Campaign for Learning has supported the ambition to increase the proportion of the working-age population with a Level 4…

  19. Improving Educational Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    New York University Education Quarterly, 1979

    1979-01-01

    This is a slightly abridged version of the report of the National Academy of Education panel, convened at the request of HEW Secretary Joseph Califano and Assistant Secretary for Education Mary F. Berry, to study recent declines in student achievement and methods of educational improvement. (SJL)

  20. The Achievement Club

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, Ibram

    2009-01-01

    When Gabrielle Carpenter became a guidance counselor in Northern Virginia nine years ago, she focused on the academic achievement gap and furiously tried to close it. At first, she was compelled by tremendous professional interest. However, after seeing her son lose his zeal for school, Carpenter joined forces with other parents to form an…

  1. Achievement in Problem Solving

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Friebele, David

    2010-01-01

    This Action Research Project is meant to investigate the effects of incorporating research-based instructional strategies into instruction and their subsequent effect on student achievement in the area of problem-solving. The two specific strategies utilized are the integration of manipulatives and increased social interaction on a regular basis.…

  2. Essays on Educational Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ampaabeng, Samuel Kofi

    2013-01-01

    This dissertation examines the determinants of student outcomes--achievement, attainment, occupational choices and earnings--in three different contexts. The first two chapters focus on Ghana while the final chapter focuses on the US state of Massachusetts. In the first chapter, I exploit the incidence of famine and malnutrition that resulted to…

  3. Advancing Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walberg, Herbert J.

    2010-01-01

    For the last half century, higher spending and many modern reforms have failed to raise the achievement of students in the United States to the levels of other economically advanced countries. A possible explanation, says Herbert Walberg, is that much current education theory is ill informed about scientific psychology, often drawing on fads and…

  4. NCLB: Achievement Robin Hood?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bracey, Gerald W.

    2008-01-01

    In his "Wall Street Journal" op-ed on the 25th of anniversary of "A Nation At Risk", former assistant secretary of education Chester E. Finn Jr. applauded the report for turning U.S. education away from equality and toward achievement. It was not surprising, then, that in mid-2008, Finn arranged a conference to examine the…

  5. CEBAF Accelerator Achievements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chao, Y. C.; Drury, M.; Hovater, C.; Hutton, A.; Krafft, G. A.; Poelker, M.; Reece, C.; Tiefenback, M.

    2011-05-01

    In the past decade, nuclear physics users of Jefferson Lab's Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) have benefited from accelerator physics advances and machine improvements. As of early 2011, CEBAF operates routinely at 6 GeV, with a 12 GeV upgrade underway. This article reports highlights of CEBAF's scientific and technological evolution in the areas of cryomodule refurbishment, RF control, polarized source development, beam transport for parity experiments, magnets and hysteresis handling, beam breakup, and helium refrigerator operational optimization.

  6. Faculty achievement tracking tool.

    PubMed

    Pettus, Sarah; Reifschneider, Ellen; Burruss, Nancy

    2009-03-01

    Faculty development and scholarship is an expectation of nurse educators. Accrediting institutions, such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, and the Higher Learning Commission, all have criteria regarding faculty achievement. A faculty achievement tracking tool (FATT) was developed to facilitate documentation of accreditation criteria attainment. Based on criteria from accrediting organizations, the roles that are addressed include scholarship, service, and practice. Definitions and benchmarks for the faculty as an aggregate are included. Undergoing reviews from different accrediting organizations, the FATT has been used once for accreditation of the undergraduate program and once for accreditation of the graduate program. The FATT is easy to use and has become an excellent adjunct for the preparation for accreditation reports. In addition, the FATT may be used for yearly evaluations, advancement, and merit.

  7. Project ACHIEVE final report

    SciTech Connect

    1997-06-13

    Project ACHIEVE was a math/science academic enhancement program aimed at first year high school Hispanic American students. Four high schools -- two in El Paso, Texas and two in Bakersfield, California -- participated in this Department of Energy-funded program during the spring and summer of 1996. Over 50 students, many of whom felt they were facing a nightmare future, were given the opportunity to work closely with personal computers and software, sophisticated calculators, and computer-based laboratories -- an experience which their regular academic curriculum did not provide. Math and science projects, exercises, and experiments were completed that emphasized independent and creative applications of scientific and mathematical theories to real world problems. The most important outcome was the exposure Project ACHIEVE provided to students concerning the college and technical-field career possibilities available to them.

  8. WE-AB-BRB-01: Development of a Probe-Format Graphite Calorimeter for Practical Clinical Dosimetry: Numerical Design Optimization, Prototyping, and Experimental Proof-Of-Concept

    SciTech Connect

    Renaud, J; Seuntjens, J; Sarfehnia, A

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: In this work, the feasibility of performing absolute dose to water measurements using a constant temperature graphite probe calorimeter (GPC) in a clinical environment is established. Methods: A numerical design optimization study was conducted by simulating the heat transfer in the GPC resulting from irradiation using a finite element method software package. The choice of device shape, dimensions, and materials was made to minimize the heat loss in the sensitive volume of the GPC. The resulting design, which incorporates a novel aerogel-based thermal insulator, and 15 temperature sensitive resistors capable of both Joule heating and measuring temperature, was constructed in house. A software based process controller was developed to stabilize the temperatures of the GPC’s constituent graphite components to within a few 10’s of µK. This control system enables the GPC to operate in either the quasi-adiabatic or isothermal mode, two well-known, and independent calorimetry techniques. Absorbed dose to water measurements were made using these two methods under standard conditions in a 6 MV 1000 MU/min photon beam and subsequently compared against TG-51 derived values. Results: Compared to an expected dose to water of 76.9 cGy/100 MU, the average GPC-measured doses were 76.5 ± 0.5 and 76.9 ± 0.5 cGy/100 MU for the adiabatic and isothermal modes, respectively. The Monte Carlo calculated graphite to water dose conversion was 1.013, and the adiabatic heat loss correction was 1.003. With an overall uncertainty of about 1%, the most significant contributions were the specific heat capacity (type B, 0.8%) and the repeatability (type A, 0.6%). Conclusion: While the quasi-adiabatic mode of operation had been validated in previous work, this is the first time that the GPC has been successfully used isothermally. This proof-of-concept will serve as the basis for further study into the GPC’s application to small fields and MRI-linac dosimetry. This work has been

  9. Updates and achievements in virology.

    PubMed

    Buonaguro, Franco M; Campadelli-Fiume, Gabriella; De Giuli Morghen, Carlo; Palù, Giorgio

    2010-07-01

    The 4th European Congress of Virology, hosted by the Italian Society for Virology, attracted approximately 1300 scientists from 46 countries worldwide. It also represented the first conference of the European Society for Virology, which was established in Campidoglio, Rome, Italy in 2009. The main goal of the meeting was to share research activities and results achieved in European virology units/institutes and to strengthen collaboration with colleagues from both western and developing countries. The worldwide representation of participants is a testament to the strength and attraction of European virology. The 5-day conference brought together the best of current virology; topics covered all three living domains (bacteria, archaea and eucarya), with special sessions on plant and veterinary virology as well as human virology, including two oral presentations on mimiviruses. The conference included five plenary sessions, 31 workshops, one hepatitis C virus roundtable, ten special workshops and three poster sessions, as well as 45 keynote lectures, 191 oral presentations and 845 abstracts. Furthermore, the Gesellschaft fur Virologie Loeffler-Frosch medal award was given to Peter Vogt for his long-standing career and achievements; the Gardner Lecture of the European Society for Clinical Virology was presented by Yoshihiro Kawaoka, and the Pioneer in Virology Lecture of the Italian Society for Virology was presented by Ulrich Koszinowski.

  10. Regenerative Endodontic Treatment: Report of Two Cases with Different Clinical Management and Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Khoshkhounejad, Mehrfam; Shokouhinejad, Noushin

    2015-01-01

    Endodontic intervention in necrotic immature permanent teeth is usually a clinical challenge. With appropriate case selection, regenerative treatment can be effective, providing a desirable outcome. However, there is still no consensus on the optimal disinfection protocol or the method to achieve predictable clinical outcome. This article presents two cases of regenerative treatment in necrotic immature teeth, using mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) and BiodentineTM as coronal barriers and different irrigants, which led to different clinical outcomes. PMID:26884781

  11. Optimization of alkylating agent prodrugs derived from phenol and aniline mustards: a new clinical candidate prodrug (ZD2767) for antibody-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (ADEPT).

    PubMed

    Springer, C J; Dowell, R; Burke, P J; Hadley, E; Davis, D H; Blakey, D C; Melton, R G; Niculescu-Duvaz, I

    1995-12-22

    Sixteen novel potential prodrugs derived from phenol or aniline mustards and their 16 corresponding drugs with ring substitution and/or different alkylating functionalities were designed. The [[[4-]bis(2-bromoethyl)-(1a), [[[4-[bis(2-iodoethyl)-(1b), and [[[4-[(2-chloroethyl)-[2-(mesyloxy)ethyl]amino]phenyl]oxy] carbonyl]-L-glutamic acids (1c), their [[[2- and 3-substituted-4-[bis(2-chloroethyl)amino]phenyl]oxy]carbonyl]-L- glutamic acids (1e-1), and the [[3-substituted-4-[bis(2-chloroethyl)amino]phenyl]carbamoyl]-L- glutamic acids (1o-r) were synthesized. They are bifunctional alkylating agents in which the activating effect of the phenolic hydroxyl or amino function is masked through an oxycarbonyl or a carbamoyl bond to a glutamic acid. These prodrugs were designed to be activated to their corresponding phenol and aniline nitrogen mustard drugs at a tumor site by prior administration of a monoclonal antibody conjugated to the bacterial enzyme carboxypeptidase G2 (CPG2) in antibody-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (ADEPT). The synthesis of the analogous novel parent drugs (2a-r) is also described. The viability of a colorectal cell line (LoVo) was monitored with the potential prodrugs and the parent drugs. The differential in the cytotoxicity between the potential prodrugs and their corresponding active drugs ranged between 12 and > 195 fold. Compounds 1b-d,f,o exhibited substantial prodrug activity, since a cytotoxicity differential of > 100 was achieved compared to 2b-d,f,o respectively. The ability of the potential prodrugs to act as substrates for CPG2 was determined (kinetic parameters KM and kcat), and the chemical stability was measured for all the compounds. The unsubstituted phenols with different alkylating functionalities (1a-c) proved to have the highest ratio of the substrates kcat:KM. From these studies [[[4-[bis(2-iodoethyl)amino]phenyl]oxy]carbonyl]-L-glutamic acid (1b) emerges as a new ADEPT clinical trial candidate due to its physicochemical and

  12. Targeting treatment for optimal outcome.

    PubMed

    Husted, S E

    2000-01-01

    Rapid assessment of patients presenting with acute chest pain is essential, in order to distinguish between those who have a life-threatening condition, such as myocardial infarction or unstable angina, and the substantial proportion who do not have an acute coronary syndrome. It is thus of vital importance that reliable techniques are available to facilitate rapid risk stratification, as an aid to both clinical diagnosis and management strategy decisions. Assessments based on clinical findings, electrocardiographic monitoring, symptom-limited exercise testing, and biochemical marker measurements, used either singly or in various combinations, can fulfill this role. The present paper reviews some of the recent data that demonstrate the value of these techniques. Very few studies allow conclusions to be drawn about optimal treatment strategies in relation to groups stratified according to prognostic markers, and the question of whether intense medical treatment or early invasive intervention is most beneficial is one that clinical trials have yet to address adequately. In the recently completed Fragmin and Fast Revascularization during InStability in Coronary artery disease (FRISC II) study, comparisons were made of clinical outcomes achieved with early invasive versus noninvasive (i.e., medical) management strategies, and with short-term versus prolonged anticoagulation with dalteparin sodium (Fragmin), in patients with unstable coronary artery disease. All study participants underwent symptom-limited exercise testing and provided blood sample for measurements of biochemical markers; continuous electrocardiography monitoring and echocardiography were also performed in a high proportion of patients. Data from the FRISC II trial thus shed further light on the issue of risk stratification and its use to determine optimal treatment strategies.

  13. Multicriteria optimization of the spatial dose distribution

    SciTech Connect

    Schlaefer, Alexander; Viulet, Tiberiu; Muacevic, Alexander; Fürweger, Christoph

    2013-12-15

    Purpose: Treatment planning for radiation therapy involves trade-offs with respect to different clinical goals. Typically, the dose distribution is evaluated based on few statistics and dose–volume histograms. Particularly for stereotactic treatments, the spatial dose distribution represents further criteria, e.g., when considering the gradient between subregions of volumes of interest. The authors have studied how to consider the spatial dose distribution using a multicriteria optimization approach.Methods: The authors have extended a stepwise multicriteria optimization approach to include criteria with respect to the local dose distribution. Based on a three-dimensional visualization of the dose the authors use a software tool allowing interaction with the dose distribution to map objectives with respect to its shape to a constrained optimization problem. Similarly, conflicting criteria are highlighted and the planner decides if and where to relax the shape of the dose distribution.Results: To demonstrate the potential of spatial multicriteria optimization, the tool was applied to a prostate and meningioma case. For the prostate case, local sparing of the rectal wall and shaping of a boost volume are achieved through local relaxations and while maintaining the remaining dose distribution. For the meningioma, target coverage is improved by compromising low dose conformality toward noncritical structures. A comparison of dose–volume histograms illustrates the importance of spatial information for achieving the trade-offs.Conclusions: The results show that it is possible to consider the location of conflicting criteria during treatment planning. Particularly, it is possible to conserve already achieved goals with respect to the dose distribution, to visualize potential trade-offs, and to relax constraints locally. Hence, the proposed approach facilitates a systematic exploration of the optimal shape of the dose distribution.

  14. Achieving optimal outcomes with all-zirconia crowns.

    PubMed

    Christensen, John Juel

    2014-01-01

    All-zirconia crowns are enjoying an unprecedented popularity. Dental laboratories are acquiring new equipment and adopting novel techniques, some of which require a learning curve. As a result, some crowns fabricated by computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing technology may come back to the dentist with unsatisfactory features. Dentists should carefully examine each crown under magnification prior to delivery to the patient. The dentist and dental laboratory should establish a close partnership with clear communication to yield the most favorable outcome for the patient.

  15. Earning the Stamp of Approval: How To Achieve Optimal Usability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Makar, Susan

    2003-01-01

    Describes the redesign of the Web site at the virtual library of the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). Discusses usability problems with the original site, including navigation difficulties; focus groups to determine user needs; usability testing for the new Web site; and the importance of customer input. (LRW)

  16. Achieving closure at Fernald

    SciTech Connect

    Bradburne, John; Patton, Tisha C.

    2001-02-25

    When Fluor Fernald took over the management of the Fernald Environmental Management Project in 1992, the estimated closure date of the site was more than 25 years into the future. Fluor Fernald, in conjunction with DOE-Fernald, introduced the Accelerated Cleanup Plan, which was designed to substantially shorten that schedule and save taxpayers more than $3 billion. The management of Fluor Fernald believes there are three fundamental concerns that must be addressed by any contractor hoping to achieve closure of a site within the DOE complex. They are relationship management, resource management and contract management. Relationship management refers to the interaction between the site and local residents, regulators, union leadership, the workforce at large, the media, and any other interested stakeholder groups. Resource management is of course related to the effective administration of the site knowledge base and the skills of the workforce, the attraction and retention of qualified a nd competent technical personnel, and the best recognition and use of appropriate new technologies. Perhaps most importantly, resource management must also include a plan for survival in a flat-funding environment. Lastly, creative and disciplined contract management will be essential to effecting the closure of any DOE site. Fluor Fernald, together with DOE-Fernald, is breaking new ground in the closure arena, and ''business as usual'' has become a thing of the past. How Fluor Fernald has managed its work at the site over the last eight years, and how it will manage the new site closure contract in the future, will be an integral part of achieving successful closure at Fernald.

  17. Achievement Goals and Achievement Emotions: A Meta-Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Chiungjung

    2011-01-01

    This meta-analysis synthesized 93 independent samples (N = 30,003) in 77 studies that reported in 78 articles examining correlations between achievement goals and achievement emotions. Achievement goals were meaningfully associated with different achievement emotions. The correlations of mastery and mastery approach goals with positive achievement…

  18. Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation ablation: Achieving permanent pulmonary vein isolation by point-by-point radiofrequency lesions

    PubMed Central

    Pedrote, Alonso; Acosta, Juan; Jáuregui-Garrido, Beatriz; Frutos-López, Manuel; Arana-Rueda, Eduardo

    2017-01-01

    Pulmonary vein isolation by point-by-point radiofrequency catheter ablation constitutes the cornerstone of catheter ablation strategies for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. However, despite advances in pulmonary vein isolation ablation strategies, long-term success rates after ablation remain suboptimal, which highlights the need to develop techniques to achieve more durable lesions. Strategies proposed to improve the durability of pulmonary vein isolation can be divided into two groups: Those addressed to improving the quality of the lesion and those that optimize the detection of acute PV reconnection during the ablation procedure. This manuscript reviews the role and potential benefits of these techniques according to current clinical evidence.

  19. Optimized solar module design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Santala, T.; Sabol, R.; Carbajal, B. G.

    1978-01-01

    The minimum cost per unit of power output from flat plate solar modules can most likely be achieved through efficient packaging of higher efficiency solar cells. This paper outlines a module optimization method which is broadly applicable, and illustrates the potential results achievable from a specific high efficiency tandem junction (TJ) cell. A mathematical model is used to assess the impact of various factors influencing the encapsulated cell and packing efficiency. The optimization of the packing efficiency is demonstrated. The effect of encapsulated cell and packing efficiency on the module add-on cost is shown in a nomograph form.

  20. Estimation of Optimal Brachytherapy Utilization Rate in the Treatment of Malignancies of the Uterine Corpus by a Review of Clinical Practice Guidelines and the Primary Evidence

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, Stephen R. Delaney, Geoff; Gabriel, Gabriel S.; Jacob, Susannah; Das, Prabir; Barton, Michael

    2008-11-01

    Purpose: Brachytherapy (BT) is an important treatment technique for uterine corpus malignancies. We modeled the optimal proportion of these cases that should be treated with BT-the optimal rate of brachytherapy utilization (BTU). We compared this optimal BTU rate with the actual BTU rate. Methods and Materials: Evidence-based guidelines and the primary evidence were used to construct a decision tree for BTU for malignancies of the uterine corpus. Searches of the literature to ascertain the proportion of patients who fulfilled the criteria for BT were conducted. The robustness of the model was tested by sensitivity analyses and peer review. A retrospective Patterns of Care Study of BT in New South Wales for 2003 was conducted, and the actual BTU for uterine corpus malignancies was determined. The actual BTU in other geographic areas was calculated from published reports. The differences between the optimal and actual rates of BTU were assessed. Results: The optimal uterine corpus BTU rate was estimated to be 40% (range, 36-49%). In New South Wales in 2003, the actual BTU rate was only 14% of the 545 patients with uterine corpus cancer. The actual BTU rate in 2001 was 11% in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results areas and 30% in Sweden. Conclusion: The results of this study have shown that BT for uterine corpus malignancies is underused in New South Wales and in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results areas. Our model of optimal BTU can be used as a quality assurance tool, providing an evidence-based benchmark against which can be measured actual patterns of practice. It can also be used to assist in determining the adequacy of BT resource allocation.

  1. Molecular sources of residual cardiovascular risk, clinical signals, and innovative solutions: relationship with subclinical disease, undertreatment, and poor adherence: implications of new evidence upon optimizing cardiovascular patient outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Kones, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Residual risk, the ongoing appreciable risk of major cardiovascular events (MCVE) in statin-treated patients who have achieved evidence-based lipid goals, remains a concern among cardiologists. Factors that contribute to this continuing risk are atherogenic non-low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles and atherogenic processes unrelated to LDL cholesterol, including other risk factors, the inherent properties of statin drugs, and patient characteristics, ie, genetics and behaviors. In addition, providers, health care systems, the community, public policies, and the environment play a role. Major statin studies suggest an average 28% reduction in LDL cholesterol and a 31% reduction in relative risk, leaving a residual risk of about 69%. Incomplete reductions in risk, and failure to improve conditions that create risk, may result in ongoing progression of atherosclerosis, with new and recurring lesions in original and distant culprit sites, remodeling, arrhythmias, rehospitalizations, invasive procedures, and terminal disability. As a result, identification of additional agents to reduce residual risk, particularly administered together with statin drugs, has been an ongoing quest. The current model of atherosclerosis involves many steps during which disease may progress independently of guideline-defined elevations in LDL cholesterol. Differences in genetic responsiveness to statin therapy, differences in ability of the endothelium to regenerate and repair, and differences in susceptibility to nonlipid risk factors, such as tobacco smoking, hypertension, and molecular changes associated with obesity and diabetes, may all create residual risk. A large number of inflammatory and metabolic processes may also provide eventual therapeutic targets to lower residual risk. Classically, epidemiologic and other evidence suggested that raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol would be cardioprotective. When LDL cholesterol is aggressively lowered to targets, low HDL

  2. Molecular sources of residual cardiovascular risk, clinical signals, and innovative solutions: relationship with subclinical disease, undertreatment, and poor adherence: implications of new evidence upon optimizing cardiovascular patient outcomes.

    PubMed

    Kones, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Residual risk, the ongoing appreciable risk of major cardiovascular events (MCVE) in statin-treated patients who have achieved evidence-based lipid goals, remains a concern among cardiologists. Factors that contribute to this continuing risk are atherogenic non-low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles and atherogenic processes unrelated to LDL cholesterol, including other risk factors, the inherent properties of statin drugs, and patient characteristics, ie, genetics and behaviors. In addition, providers, health care systems, the community, public policies, and the environment play a role. Major statin studies suggest an average 28% reduction in LDL cholesterol and a 31% reduction in relative risk, leaving a residual risk of about 69%. Incomplete reductions in risk, and failure to improve conditions that create risk, may result in ongoing progression of atherosclerosis, with new and recurring lesions in original and distant culprit sites, remodeling, arrhythmias, rehospitalizations, invasive procedures, and terminal disability. As a result, identification of additional agents to reduce residual risk, particularly administered together with statin drugs, has been an ongoing quest. The current model of atherosclerosis involves many steps during which disease may progress independently of guideline-defined elevations in LDL cholesterol. Differences in genetic responsiveness to statin therapy, differences in ability of the endothelium to regenerate and repair, and differences in susceptibility to nonlipid risk factors, such as tobacco smoking, hypertension, and molecular changes associated with obesity and diabetes, may all create residual risk. A large number of inflammatory and metabolic processes may also provide eventual therapeutic targets to lower residual risk. Classically, epidemiologic and other evidence suggested that raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol would be cardioprotective. When LDL cholesterol is aggressively lowered to targets, low HDL

  3. A Study to Determine the Best Model and the Optimal Feasible Method for Reducing No-Show Behavior at a Military Social Work Clinic.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-05-01

    pediatric and low socioeconomic populations. From the literature review, it became evident that little data exists for no-show rates in private practices...with psychiatric or mental hygiene clinics; and eight with pediatric outpatient de- partments or clinics. Only two articles were located which dis...Appointments," Pediatrics 34 (July 1964): 128-129. 4Paul J. Carpenter, Garry R. Morrow, Andrew C. DelGuadio, and Barry A. Ritzler, "Who Keeps the First

  4. Students' Goal Achievement: Exploring Individual and Situational Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Derrer-Rendall, Nicola; Wesson, Caroline; Anderson, Lindsey; Bould, Emma

    2009-01-01

    Introduction: This paper reports a preliminary investigation of the individual and situational factors affecting goal achievement in a psychology student population. The impact of normative information on goal achievement is considered in relation to goal commitment, optimism, gender and academic setting. Method: Psychology students (n=121) from…

  5. Community-Based Interventions to Improve and Sustain Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence, Retention in HIV Care and Clinical Outcomes in Low- and Middle-Income Countries for Achieving the UNAIDS 90-90-90 Targets

    PubMed Central

    Adetokunboh, Olatunji; Uthman, Olalekan A.; Knowlton, Amy W.; Altice, Frederick L.; Schechter, Mauro; Galárraga, Omar; Geng, Elvin; Peltzer, Karl; Chang, Larry W.; Van Cutsem, Gilles; Jaffar, Shabbar S.; Ford, Nathan; Mellins, Claude A.; Remien, Robert H.; Mills, Edward J.

    2017-01-01

    Little is known about the effect of community versus health facility-based interventions to improve and sustain antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, virologic suppression, and retention in care among HIV-infected individuals in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). We systematically searched four electronic databases for all available randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and comparative cohort studies in LMICs comparing community versus health facility-based interventions. Relative risks (RRs) for pre-defined adherence, treatment engagement (linkage and retention in care), and relevant clinical outcomes were pooled using random effect models. Eleven cohort studies and eleven RCTs (N = 97,657) were included. Meta-analysis of the included RCTs comparing community- versus health facility-based interventions found comparable outcomes in terms of ART adherence (RR = 1.02, 95 % CI 0.99 to 1.04), virologic suppression (RR = 1.00, 95 % CI 0.98 to 1.03), and all-cause mortality (RR = 0.93, 95 % CI 0.73 to 1.18). The result of pooled analysis from the RCTs (RR = 1.03, 95 % CI 1.01 to 1.06) and cohort studies (RR = 1.09, 95 % CI 1.03 to 1.15) found that participants assigned to community-based interventions had statistically significantly higher rates of treatment engagement. Two studies found community-based ART delivery model either cost-saving or cost-effective. Community- versus facility-based models of ART delivery resulted in at least comparable outcomes for clinically stable HIV-infected patients on treatment in LMICs and are likely to be cost-effective. PMID:27475643

  6. Robust optimization methods for cardiac sparing in tangential breast IMRT

    SciTech Connect

    Mahmoudzadeh, Houra; Lee, Jenny; Chan, Timothy C. Y.; Purdie, Thomas G.

    2015-05-15

    Purpose: In left-sided tangential breast intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), the heart may enter the radiation field and receive excessive radiation while the patient is breathing. The patient’s breathing pattern is often irregular and unpredictable. We verify the clinical applicability of a heart-sparing robust optimization approach for breast IMRT. We compare robust optimized plans with clinical plans at free-breathing and clinical plans at deep inspiration breath-hold (DIBH) using active breathing control (ABC). Methods: Eight patients were included in the study with each patient simulated using 4D-CT. The 4D-CT image acquisition generated ten breathing phase datasets. An average scan was constructed using all the phase datasets. Two of the eight patients were also imaged at breath-hold using ABC. The 4D-CT datasets were used to calculate the accumulated dose for robust optimized and clinical plans based on deformable registration. We generated a set of simulated breathing probability mass functions, which represent the fraction of time patients spend in different breathing phases. The robust optimization method was applied to each patient using a set of dose-influence matrices extracted from the 4D-CT data and a model of the breathing motion uncertainty. The goal of the optimization models was to minimize the dose to the heart while ensuring dose constraints on the target were achieved under breathing motion uncertainty. Results: Robust optimized plans were improved or equivalent to the clinical plans in terms of heart sparing for all patients studied. The robust method reduced the accumulated heart dose (D10cc) by up to 801 cGy compared to the clinical method while also improving the coverage of the accumulated whole breast target volume. On average, the robust method reduced the heart dose (D10cc) by 364 cGy and improved the optBreast dose (D99%) by 477 cGy. In addition, the robust method had smaller deviations from the planned dose to the

  7. Optimizing the use of video-tapes of clinical sessions: the data-mining approach for scale construction and theory building for bereaved persons in Hong Kong.

    PubMed

    Chow, Amy Yin Man

    2010-01-01

    Video-taping clinical sessions is a common practice among social workers so that the tapes may be used for clinical supervision and reviewed with the individuals or families involved. They are usually underused for research purposes. This article reports on an innovative research method using such tapes as a basis for clinical data mining to explore the bereavement experience of Chinese people in Hong Kong. Using this data, a rich item pool, containing both negative and positive reactions, was generated to allow the development of a culturally relevant measurement tool of grief reactions. The data also facilitated theory building in the area of grief and bereavement. This study extended the use of video-tapes in clinical sessions for research purposes and helped to collect reliable and timely data in a non-intrusive way. It has also advanced the use of quantitative data in the clinical data-mining approach. The study encouraged collaboration between clinicians and researchers to develop knowledge and skills about their special target group of clients.

  8. Lifting Minority Achievement: Complex Answers. The Achievement Gap.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Viadero, Debra; Johnston, Robert C.

    2000-01-01

    This fourth in a four-part series on why academic achievement gaps exist describes the Minority Achievement Committee scholars program at Shaker Heights High School in Cleveland, Ohio, a powerful antidote to the achievement gap between minority and white and Asian American students. It explains the need to break down stereotypes about academic…

  9. Achievement Motivation of Women: Effects of Achievement and Affiliation Arousal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gama, Elizabeth Maria Pinheiro

    1985-01-01

    Assigned 139 Brazilian women to neutral, affiliation arousal, and achievement arousal conditions based on their levels of achievement (Ach) and affiliative (Aff) needs. Results of story analyses revealed that achievement arousal increased scores of high Ach subjects and that high Aff subjects obtained higher scores than low Aff subjects. (BL)

  10. Attitude Towards Physics and Additional Mathematics Achievement Towards Physics Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veloo, Arsaythamby; Nor, Rahimah; Khalid, Rozalina

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this research is to identify the difference in students' attitude towards Physics and Additional Mathematics achievement based on gender and relationship between attitudinal variables towards Physics and Additional Mathematics achievement with achievement in Physics. This research focused on six variables, which is attitude towards…

  11. The Impact of Reading Achievement on Overall Academic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Churchwell, Dawn Earheart

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the relationship between reading achievement and achievement in other subject areas. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a correlation between reading scores as measured by the Standardized Test for the Assessment of Reading (STAR) and academic achievement in language arts, math, science, and social studies…

  12. Optimal refrigerator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allahverdyan, Armen E.; Hovhannisyan, Karen; Mahler, Guenter

    2010-05-01

    We study a refrigerator model which consists of two n -level systems interacting via a pulsed external field. Each system couples to its own thermal bath at temperatures Th and Tc , respectively (θ≡Tc/Th<1) . The refrigerator functions in two steps: thermally isolated interaction between the systems driven by the external field and isothermal relaxation back to equilibrium. There is a complementarity between the power of heat transfer from the cold bath and the efficiency: the latter nullifies when the former is maximized and vice versa. A reasonable compromise is achieved by optimizing the product of the heat-power and efficiency over the Hamiltonian of the two systems. The efficiency is then found to be bounded from below by ζCA=(1)/(1-θ)-1 (an analog of the Curzon-Ahlborn efficiency), besides being bound from above by the Carnot efficiency ζC=(1)/(1-θ)-1 . The lower bound is reached in the equilibrium limit θ→1 . The Carnot bound is reached (for a finite power and a finite amount of heat transferred per cycle) for lnn≫1 . If the above maximization is constrained by assuming homogeneous energy spectra for both systems, the efficiency is bounded from above by ζCA and converges to it for n≫1 .

  13. An Audit of VDRL Testing from an STI Clinic in India: Analysing the Present Scenario with Focus on Estimating and Optimizing the Turnaround Time

    PubMed Central

    Mehra, Bhanu; Rawat, Deepti; Saxena, Shikhar

    2015-01-01

    Background Timeliness of reporting is of utmost importance to limit the spread of syphilis. The present analysis was undertaken to evaluate the turnaround time of syphilis testing (mainly Venereal disease research laboratory /VDRL test) in a sexually transmitted infections (STI) clinic in India; to find out the possible reasons for delay; to describe the trends of clinical indications for syphilis testing from an STI clinic; to assess the frequency of a positive syphilis serology among STI clinic attendees; and to analyse the follow-up rates of VDRL report collection. Materials and Methods Two hundred consecutive VDRL requests received at the serology laboratory of a tertiary care health facility from the STI clinic of the linked hospital were prospectively analysed to evaluate the above parameters. Results For the 200 requests audited, the mean absolute turnaround time of VDRL test was 7.46±2.81 days. The mean duration of the pre-laboratory, laboratory and post laboratory phases was 0, 4.69±2.13 and 2.77±2.51 days respectively. The interval from specimen receipt to performance of tests (mean duration=4.25±1.96 days) was the major reason for long VDRL turnaround time. The common indications for syphilis testing in STI clinic attendees were lower abdominal pain (33%), vaginal discharge (26.5%) and genital ulcer disease (9%); and the follow-up rate for report collection was 71%. Conclusion Our study highlights the strong need to shift to alternative testing methods, mainly rapid point of care procedures for serodiagnosis of syphilis in order to circumvent the problems of long turnaround time and low patient follow-up rates. PMID:26435966

  14. Meal replacements and fibre supplement as a strategy for weight loss. Proprietary PGX® meal replacement and PGX® fibre supplement in addition to a calorie-restricted diet to achieve weight loss in a clinical setting.

    PubMed

    Reichert, Ronald G; Reimer, Raylene A; Kacinik, Veronica; Pal, Sebely; Gahler, Roland J; Wood, Simon

    2013-01-01

    Meal replacements and viscous soluble fibre represent safe and sustainable aids for weight loss. Our purpose was to determine if PGX® meal replacements and PGX(®) fibre complex in combination with a calorie-restricted diet would aid in weight loss in a clinical setting. Fifty-two overweight and obese participants (49 women, 3 men; average age 47.1 years) with a mean body mass index (BMI) of 33.8 ± 6.4 kg/m(2) consumed 57 g of proprietary PGX® meal replacement product at breakfast and another 57 g at lunch for 12 weeks. In addition to the meal replacements, they were also asked to consume 5 g/day of PGX® fibre in the form of granules, powder or capsules together with 250 mlwater. A registered dietician recommended low-fat, low-glycaemic-index foods for snacks and the dinner menus such that each volunteer was consuming a total of 1200 kcal/day. All participants (n = 52) lost a significant amount of weight from baseline (-4.69 ± 3.73 kg), which was further reflected in the reductions in their waist (-7.11 ± 6.35 cm) and hip circumference (-5.59 ± 3.58 cm) over the 12-week study (p < 0.0001). BMI scores (n = 51) were reduced by 1.6 ± 1.4 kg/m(2). The use of PGX® meal replacements and PGX(®) fibre along with a controlled dietary caloric intake is of benefit for short-term weight loss.

  15. Robust optimization of intensity modulated proton therapy

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Wei; Zhang Xiaodong; Li Yupeng; Mohan, Radhe

    2012-02-15

    Purpose: Intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT) is highly sensitive to range uncertainties and uncertainties caused by setup variation. The conventional inverse treatment planning of IMPT optimized based on the planning target volume (PTV) is not often sufficient to ensure robustness of treatment plans. In this paper, a method that takes the uncertainties into account during plan optimization is used to mitigate the influence of uncertainties in IMPT. Methods: The authors use the so-called ''worst-case robust optimization'' to render IMPT plans robust in the face of uncertainties. For each iteration, nine different dose distributions are computed--one each for {+-} setup uncertainties along anteroposterior (A-P), lateral (R-L) and superior-inferior (S-I) directions, for {+-} range uncertainty, and the nominal dose distribution. The worst-case dose distribution is obtained by assigning the lowest dose among the nine doses to each voxel in the clinical target volume (CTV) and the highest dose to each voxel outside the CTV. Conceptually, the use of worst-case dose distribution is similar to the dose distribution achieved based on the use of PTV in traditional planning. The objective function value for a given iteration is computed using this worst-case dose distribution. The objective function used has been extended to further constrain the target dose inhomogeneity. Results: The worst-case robust optimization method is applied to a lung case, a skull base case, and a prostate case. Compared with IMPT plans optimized using conventional methods based on the PTV, our method yields plans that are considerably less sensitive to range and setup uncertainties. An interesting finding of the work presented here is that, in addition to reducing sensitivity to uncertainties, robust optimization also leads to improved optimality of treatment plans compared to the PTV-based optimization. This is reflected in reduction in plan scores and in the lower normal tissue doses for the

  16. Achievements in Stratospheric Ozone Protection

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This report describes achievements in protecting the ozone layer, the benefits of these achievements, and strategies involved (e.g., using alternatives to ozone-depleting substances, phasing out harmful substances, and creating partnerships).

  17. Role of rheumatology clinical nurse specialists in optimizing management of hand osteoarthritis during daily practice in secondary care: an observational study

    PubMed Central

    Kwok, Wing-Yee; Kloppenburg, Margreet; Beaart-van de Voorde, Liesbeth JJ; Huizinga, Tom WJ; Vliet Vlieland, Thea PM

    2011-01-01

    Background The purpose of this study was to describe the effectiveness of a single one-hour consultation by a clinical nurse specialist in patients with hand osteoarthritis during daily rheumatology practice in secondary care. Methods Consecutive patients diagnosed by rheumatologists to have primary hand osteoarthritis and referred to the clinical nurse specialist were eligible for entry into this study. The standardized 1-hour consultation consisted of assessments and education on hand osteoarthritis by a clinical nurse specialist. Before and 3 months after the consultation, assessments were done to evaluate treatment (use of assistive devices, acetaminophen), health-related quality of life (physical component summary [PCS] score of Short-Form 36), and hand pain/function (Australian/ Canadian Osteoarthritis Hand Index [AUSCAN]). Paired t-tests and McNemar tests were used to analyze differences between baseline and follow-up. Satisfaction was measured after consultation at follow-up using a multidimensional questionnaire comprising 13 items (rated on a four-point scale). Results A total of 439 patients were referred, with follow-up data available for 195 patients, comprising 177 (87%) females, and of mean age 59 ± 9.0 years. After consultation, the proportions of patients using assistive devices and/or acetaminophen increased significantly from 30% to 39% and from 35% to 49%, respectively. PCS improved significantly (P = 0.03) whereas AUSCAN hand pain/function showed no significant differences compared with baseline (P values 0.52 and 0.92, respectively). The proportions of patients reporting to be satisfied or fully satisfied ranged from 78% to 99% per item. Conclusion A single, comprehensive, standardized assessment and education by a clinical nurse specialist improved the physical dimension of health-related quality of life in hand osteoarthritis. Most patients were satisfied with the consultation. Further controlled trials are needed to determine the added

  18. SU-E-T-09: A Clinical Implementation and Optimized Dosimetry Study of Freiberg Flap Skin Surface Treatment in High Dose Rate Brachytherapy

    SciTech Connect

    Syh, J; Syh, J; Patel, B; Wu, H; Durci, M

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: This case study was designated to confirm the optimized plan was used to treat skin surface of left leg in three stages. 1. To evaluate dose distribution and plan quality by alternating of the source loading catheters pattern in flexible Freiberg Flap skin surface (FFSS) applicator. 2. To investigate any impact on Dose Volume Histogram (DVH) of large superficial surface target volume coverage. 3. To compare the dose distribution if it was treated with electron beam. Methods: The Freiburg Flap is a flexible mesh style surface mold for skin radiation or intraoperative surface treatments. The Freiburg Flap consists of multiple spheres that are attached to each other, holding and guiding up to 18 treatment catheters. The Freiburg Flap also ensures a constant distance of 5mm from the treatment catheter to the surface. Three treatment trials with individual planning optimization were employed: 18 channels, 9 channels of FF and 6 MeV electron beam. The comparisons were highlighted in target coverage, dose conformity and dose sparing of surrounding tissues. Results: The first 18 channels brachytherapy plan was generated with 18 catheters inside the skin-wrapped up flap (Figure 1A). A second 9 catheters plan was generated associated with the same calculation points which were assigned to match prescription for target coverage as 18 catheters plan (Figure 1B). The optimized inverse plan was employed to reduce the dose to adjacent structures such as tibia or fibula. The comparison of DVH’s was depicted on Figure 2. External beam of electron RT plan was depicted in Figure 3. Overcall comparisons among these three were illustrated in Conclusion: The 9-channel Freiburg flap flexible skin applicator offers a reasonably acceptable plan without compromising the coverage. Electron beam was discouraged to use to treat curved skin surface because of low target coverage and high dose in adjacent tissues.

  19. Optimal Cut Points for Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 (QLQ-C30) Scales: Utility for Clinical Trials and Updates of Prognostic Systems in Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Bonnetain, Franck; Barbare, Jean-Claude; Bouché, Olivier; Dahan, Laetitia; Paoletti, Xavier; Filleron, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Background. Health-related quality of life (QoL) has been validated as a prognostic factor for cancer patients; however, to be used in routine practice, QoL scores must be dichotomized. Cutoff points are usually based on arbitrary percentile values. We aimed to identify optimal cutoff points for six QoL scales and to quantify their added utility in the performance of four prognostic classifications in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods. We reanalyzed data of 271 patients with advanced HCC recruited between July 2002 and October 2003 from 79 institutions in France in the CHOC trial, designed to assess the efficacy of long-acting octreotide. QoL was assessed with the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 (QLQ-C30). The scores ranged from 0 to 100. Identification of optimal cutoff points was based on the method of Faraggi and Simon [Stat Med 1996;15:2203–2213]. Improvement in the performance of prognostic classifications was studied with Harrell’s C-index, the net reclassification improvement (NRI), and integrated discrimination improvement (IDI). Results. We found that optimal cutoff points were 50 for global health, 58.33 for physical functioning, 66.67 for role functioning, 66.67 for fatigue, 0 for dyspnea, and 33.33 for diarrhea. The addition of QoL and clinical factors improved the performance of all four prognostic classifications, with improvement in the range of 0.02–0.09 for the C-index, 0.24–0.78 for 3-month NRI, and 0.02–0.10 for IDI. Conclusion. These cutoff values for QoL scales can be useful to identify HCC patients with very poor prognosis and thus improve design of clinical trials and treatment adjustment for these patients. PMID:25542450

  20. Supply-Chain Optimization Template

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quiett, William F.; Sealing, Scott L.

    2009-01-01

    The Supply-Chain Optimization Template (SCOT) is an instructional guide for identifying, evaluating, and optimizing (including re-engineering) aerospace- oriented supply chains. The SCOT was derived from the Supply Chain Council s Supply-Chain Operations Reference (SCC SCOR) Model, which is more generic and more oriented toward achieving a competitive advantage in business.

  1. Students’ Achievement Goals, Learning-Related Emotions and Academic Achievement

    PubMed Central

    Lüftenegger, Marko; Klug, Julia; Harrer, Katharina; Langer, Marie; Spiel, Christiane; Schober, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    In the present research, the recently proposed 3 × 2 model of achievement goals is tested and associations with achievement emotions and their joint influence on academic achievement are investigated. The study was conducted with 388 students using the 3 × 2 Achievement Goal Questionnaire including the six proposed goal constructs (task-approach, task-avoidance, self-approach, self-avoidance, other-approach, other-avoidance) and the enjoyment and boredom scales from the Achievement Emotion Questionnaire. Exam grades were used as an indicator of academic achievement. Findings from CFAs provided strong support for the proposed structure of the 3 × 2 achievement goal model. Self-based goals, other-based goals and task-approach goals predicted enjoyment. Task-approach goals negatively predicted boredom. Task-approach and other-approach predicted achievement. The indirect effects of achievement goals through emotion variables on achievement were assessed using bias-corrected bootstrapping. No mediation effects were found. Implications for educational practice are discussed. PMID:27199836

  2. Optimal Control of Electrodynamic Tethers

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-06-01

    method.46 Even though the derivation that produced Eq. (11) required integration over a hypothetical integer number of revolutions, the optimizer ... approach to multi-revolution, long time scale optimal control of an electrodynamic tether is investigated for a tethered satellite system in Low Earth...time scale approach is used to capture the effects of the Earth’s rotating tilted magnetic field. Optimal control solutions are achieved using a

  3. Optimized treatment with RF thermotherapy and immunotherapy combined with CyberKnife for advanced high-risk tumors: A clinical trial report.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Zhigao; Wang, Qinwen; Yang, Guiqing; Liu, Xiaoxu; Sun, Dongning; Wang, Shanshan; Li, Yang; Wang, Yishan

    2014-03-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate the application value of optimized treatment with radiofrequency (RF) thermotherapy and immunotherapy combined with CyberKnife for advanced high-risk tumors. The database of 1,013 patients with 2,136 tumor lesions and 1,237 target areas who underwent treatment with CyberKnife between November, 2010 and November, 2012, was retrospectively reviewed. We randomly assigned 505 eligible patients (observation group) to RF thermotherapy and adoptive immunotherapy with cytokine-induced killer cells and the remaining 508 patients (control group) to no adjuvant treatment. The patients in the two groups were recorded on efficacy assessment according to imageological examination, World Health Organization criteria, Karnofsky performance status, or radioimmunoassay (RIA) detection. The effective rate of the observation group was 75.05%, whereas that of the control group was 58.06% (P<0.05). The results revealed that CyberKnife combined with hyperthermia and biological therapy are highly effective in improving the local tumor control rate. Further analysis of the Karnofsky score and RIA detection confirmed that this type of combination therapy significantly improved the quality of life. The optimized treatment of RF thermotherapy and immunotherapy combined with CyberKnife may act synergistically in eliminating tumor cells, confirming the efficacy of this type of treatment for patients with advanced malignant tumors.

  4. Optimizing bone health in children and adolescents.

    PubMed

    Golden, Neville H; Abrams, Steven A

    2014-10-01

    The pediatrician plays a major role in helping optimize bone health in children and adolescents. This clinical report reviews normal bone acquisition in infants, children, and adolescents and discusses factors affecting bone health in this age group. Previous recommended daily allowances for calcium and vitamin D are updated, and clinical guidance is provided regarding weight-bearing activities and recommendations for calcium and vitamin D intake and supplementation. Routine calcium supplementation is not recommended for healthy children and adolescents, but increased dietary intake to meet daily requirements is encouraged. The American Academy of Pediatrics endorses the higher recommended dietary allowances for vitamin D advised by the Institute of Medicine and supports testing for vitamin D deficiency in children and adolescents with conditions associated with increased bone fragility. Universal screening for vitamin D deficiency is not routinely recommended in healthy children or in children with dark skin or obesity because there is insufficient evidence of the cost-benefit of such a practice in reducing fracture risk. The preferred test to assess bone health is dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, but caution is advised when interpreting results in children and adolescents who may not yet have achieved peak bone mass. For analyses, z scores should be used instead of T scores, and corrections should be made for size. Office-based strategies for the pediatrician to optimize bone health are provided. This clinical report has been endorsed by American Bone Health.

  5. RF Gun Optimization Study

    SciTech Connect

    Alicia Hofler; Pavel Evtushenko

    2007-07-03

    Injector gun design is an iterative process where the designer optimizes a few nonlinearly interdependent beam parameters to achieve the required beam quality for a particle accelerator. Few tools exist to automate the optimization process and thoroughly explore the parameter space. The challenging beam requirements of new accelerator applications such as light sources and electron cooling devices drive the development of RF and SRF photo injectors. A genetic algorithm (GA) has been successfully used to optimize DC photo injector designs at Cornell University [1] and Jefferson Lab [2]. We propose to apply GA techniques to the design of RF and SRF gun injectors. In this paper, we report on the initial phase of the study where we model and optimize a system that has been benchmarked with beam measurements and simulation.

  6. Optimizing influenza vaccine distribution.

    PubMed

    Medlock, Jan; Galvani, Alison P

    2009-09-25

    The criteria to assess public health policies are fundamental to policy optimization. Using a model parametrized with survey-based contact data and mortality data from influenza pandemics, we determined optimal vaccine allocation for five outcome measures: deaths, infections, years of life lost, contingent valuation, and economic costs. We find that optimal vaccination is achieved by prioritization of schoolchildren and adults aged 30 to 39 years. Schoolchildren are most responsible for transmission, and their parents serve as bridges to the rest of the population. Our results indicate that consideration of age-specific transmission dynamics is paramount to the optimal allocation of influenza vaccines. We also found that previous and new recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both for the novel swine-origin influenza and, particularly, for seasonal influenza, are suboptimal for all outcome measures.

  7. Justifying clinical trials for porcine islet xenotransplantation.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Cara E; Korbutt, Gregory S

    2015-01-01

    The development of the Edmonton Protocol encouraged a great deal of optimism that a cell-based cure for type I diabetes could be achieved. However, donor organ shortages prevent islet transplantation from being a widespread solution as the supply cannot possibly equal the demand. Porcine islet xenotransplantation has the potential to address these shortages, and recent preclinical and clinical trials show promising scientific support. Consequently, it is important to consider whether the current science meets the ethical requirements for moving toward clinical trials. Despite the potential risks and the scientific unknowns that remain to be investigated, there is optimism regarding the xenotransplantation of some types of tissue, and enough evidence has been gathered to ethically justify clinical trials for the most safe and advanced area of research, porcine islet transplantation. Researchers must make a concerted effort to maintain a positive image for xenotransplantation, as a few well-publicized failed trials could irrevocably damage public perception of xenotransplantation. Because all of society carries the burden of risk, it is important that the public be involved in the decision to proceed. As new information from preclinical and clinical trials develops, policy decisions should be frequently updated. If at any point evidence shows that islet xenotransplantation is unsafe, then clinical trials will no longer be justified and they should be halted. However, as of now, the expected benefit of an unlimited supply of islets, combined with adequate informed consent, justifies clinical trials for islet xenotransplantation.

  8. Process validation: achieving the Operational Qualification phase.

    PubMed

    Buffaloe, Vera

    2004-01-01

    The OQ phase of process validation is very important and is where the complete understanding of the process is determined by experimentation. This understanding is useful to: * establish optimal process parameters * understand variation that affect the process * aid in investigating process deviations. OQ is an important part of the entire process validation activity and essential to understanding a manufacturing process. The benefits of completing the OQ and overall process validation are the reasons that it makes business sense and receive the long-term benefits of producing high quality product and achieving customer satisfaction.

  9. Critical Pedagogy for Transformative Optimism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayo, Peter

    2006-01-01

    This essay critically highlights the main features of a study that attaches importance to the concepts of time and optimism and their effects on the achievement and goals of high and low achievers in a North American and a Brazilian context. The focus on the time factor that serves as a leitmotif throughout the study gives this work its…

  10. Optimizing Locomotion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosoi, Anette

    2006-11-01

    In this talk we will discuss two optimization topics related to low Reynolds number locomotion: optimal stroke patterns in linked swimmers and optimal fluid material properties in adhesive locomotion. In contrast to many optimization problems, we do not consider geometry, rather we optimize the swimming kinematics or fluid material properties for a given geometrical configuration. In the first case, we begin by optimizing stroke patterns for Purcell's 3-link swimmer. We model the swimmer as a jointed chain of three slender links moving in an inertialess flow. The swimmer is optimized for both efficiency and speed. In the second case, we analyze the adhesive locomotion used by common gastropods such as snails and slugs. Such organisms crawl on a solid substrate by propagating muscular waves of shear stress on a viscoelastic mucus. Using a simple mechanical model, we derive criteria for favorable fluid material properties to lower the energetic cost of locomotion.

  11. Harmony search optimization for HDR prostate brachytherapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panchal, Aditya

    implemented in this thesis was within 2% of the values computed by Varian BrachyVision for the prostate, within 3% for the rectum and bladder and 6% for the urethra. The calculation of dose compared to BrachyVision was determined to be different by only 0.38%. Isodose curves were also generated and were found to be similar to BrachyVision. The comparison between Harmony Search and genetic algorithm showed that Harmony Search was over 4 times faster when compared over multiple data sets. The optimal Harmony Memory Size was found to be 5 or lower; the Harmony Memory Considering Rate was determined to be 0.95, and the Pitch Adjusting Rate was found to be 0.9. Ultimately, the effect of multithreading showed that as intensive computations such as optimization and dose calculation are involved, the threads of execution scale with the number of processors, achieving a speed increase proportional to the number of processor cores. In conclusion, this work showed that Harmony Search is a viable alternative to existing algorithms for use in HDR prostate brachytherapy optimization. Coupled with the optimal parameters for the algorithm and a multithreaded simulation, this combination has the capability to significantly decrease the time spent on minimizing optimization problems in the clinic that are time intensive, such as brachytherapy, IMRT and beam angle optimization.

  12. Reaching the limits of prognostication in non-small cell lung cancer: an optimized biomarker panel fails to outperform clinical parameters.

    PubMed

    Grinberg, Marianna; Djureinovic, Dijana; Brunnström, Hans Rr; Mattsson, Johanna Sm; Edlund, Karolina; Hengstler, Jan G; La Fleur, Linnea; Ekman, Simon; Koyi, Hirsh; Branden, Eva; Ståhle, Elisabeth; Jirström, Karin; Tracy, Derek K; Pontén, Fredrik; Botling, Johan; Rahnenführer, Jörg; Micke, Patrick

    2017-03-10

    Numerous protein biomarkers have been analyzed to improve prognostication in non-small cell lung cancer, but have not yet demonstrated sufficient value to be introduced into clinical practice. Here, we aimed to develop and validate a prognostic model for surgically resected non-small cell lung cancer. A biomarker panel was selected based on (1) prognostic association in published literature, (2) prognostic association in gene expression data sets, (3) availability of reliable antibodies, and (4) representation of diverse biological processes. The five selected proteins (MKI67, EZH2, SLC2A1, CADM1, and NKX2-1 alias TTF1) were analyzed by immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays including tissue from 326 non-small cell lung cancer patients. One score was obtained for each tumor and each protein. The scores were combined, with or without the inclusion of clinical parameters, and the best prognostic model was defined according to the corresponding concordance index (C-index). The best-performing model was subsequently validated in an independent cohort consisting of tissue from 345 non-small cell lung cancer patients. The model based only on protein expression did not perform better compared to clinicopathological parameters, whereas combining protein expression with clinicopathological data resulted in a slightly better prognostic performance (C-index: all non-small cell lung cancer 0.63 vs 0.64; adenocarcinoma: 0.66 vs 0.70, squamous cell carcinoma: 0.57 vs 0.56). However, this modest effect did not translate into a significantly improved accuracy of survival prediction. The combination of a prognostic biomarker panel with clinicopathological parameters did not improve survival prediction in non-small cell lung cancer, questioning the potential of immunohistochemistry-based assessment of protein biomarkers for prognostication in clinical practice.Modern Pathology advance online publication, 10 March 2017; doi:10.1038/modpathol.2017.14.

  13. Optimization of therapy for severe aplastic anemia based on clinical, biologic, and treatment response parameters: conclusions of an international working group on severe aplastic anemia convened by the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network, March 2010.

    PubMed

    Pulsipher, Michael A; Young, Neal S; Tolar, Jakub; Risitano, Antonio M; Deeg, H Joachim; Anderlini, Paolo; Calado, Rodrigo; Kojima, Seiji; Eapen, Mary; Harris, Richard; Scheinberg, Phillip; Savage, Sharon; Maciejewski, Jaroslaw P; Tiu, Ramon V; DiFronzo, Nancy; Horowitz, Mary M; Antin, Joseph H

    2011-03-01

    Although recent advances in therapy offer the promise for improving survival in patients with severe aplastic anemia (SAA), the small size of the patient population, lack of a mechanism in North America for longitudinal follow-up of patients, and inadequate cooperation among hematologists, scientists, and transplant physicians remain obstacles to conducting large studies that would advance the field. To address this issue, the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network (BMT CTN) convened a group of international experts in March 2010 to define the most important questions in the basic science, immunosuppressive therapy (IST), and bone marrow transplantation (BMT) of SAA and propose initiatives to facilitate clinical and biologic research. Key conclusions of the working group were: (1) new patients should obtain accurate, expert diagnosis and early identification of biologic risk; (2) a population-based SAA outcomes registry should be established in North America to collect data on patients longitudinally from diagnosis through and after treatment; (3) a repository of biologic samples linked to the clinical data in the outcomes registry should be developed; (4) innovative approaches to unrelated donor BMT that decrease graft-versus-host disease are needed; and (5) alternative donor transplantation approaches for patients lacking HLA-matched unrelated donors must be improved. A partnership of BMT, IST, and basic science researchers will develop initiatives and partner with advocacy and funding organizations to address these challenges. Collaboration with similar study groups in Europe and Asia will be pursued.

  14. Optimism and diet quality in the Women's Health Initiative.

    PubMed

    Hingle, Melanie D; Wertheim, Betsy C; Tindle, Hilary A; Tinker, Lesley; Seguin, Rebecca A; Rosal, Milagros C; Thomson, Cynthia A

    2014-07-01

    Diet quality has not been well studied in relation to positive psychological traits. Our purpose was to investigate the relationship between optimism and diet quality in postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative observational study (OS) and clinical trials (CTs), and to determine whether optimism was associated with diet change after a 1-year dietary intervention. Diet quality was scored with the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) and optimism assessed with the Life Orientation Test-Revised. Baseline characteristics were compared across AHEI quintiles or optimism tertiles using regression models with each variable of interest as a function of quintiles or tertiles (OS, n=87,630; CT, n=65,360). Association between optimism and baseline AHEI and change in AHEI over 1 year were tested using multivariate linear regression (CT, n=13,645). Potential interaction between optimism and trial arm and demographic/lifestyle factors on AHEI change was tested using likelihood ratio test (CT intervention, n=13,645; CT control, n=20,242). Women reporting high AHEI were non-Hispanic white, educated, physically active, past or never smokers, hormone therapy users, had lower body mass index and waist circumference, and were less likely to have chronic conditions. In the CT intervention, higher optimism was associated with higher AHEI at baseline and with greater change over 1 year (P=0.001). Effect modification by intervention status was observed (P=0.014), whereas control participants with highest optimism achieved threefold greater AHEI increase compared with those with the lowest optimism. These data support a relationship between optimism and dietary quality score in postmenopausal women at baseline and over 1 year.

  15. The Mechanics of Human Achievement.

    PubMed

    Duckworth, Angela L; Eichstaedt, Johannes C; Ungar, Lyle H

    2015-07-01

    Countless studies have addressed why some individuals achieve more than others. Nevertheless, the psychology of achievement lacks a unifying conceptual framework for synthesizing these empirical insights. We propose organizing achievement-related traits by two possible mechanisms of action: Traits that determine the rate at which an individual learns a skill are talent variables and can be distinguished conceptually from traits that determine the effort an individual puts forth. This approach takes inspiration from Newtonian mechanics: achievement is akin to distance traveled, effort to time, skill to speed, and talent to acceleration. A novel prediction from this model is that individual differences in effort (but not talent) influence achievement (but not skill) more substantially over longer (rather than shorter) time intervals. Conceptualizing skill as the multiplicative product of talent and effort, and achievement as the multiplicative product of skill and effort, advances similar, but less formal, propositions by several important earlier thinkers.

  16. The Mechanics of Human Achievement

    PubMed Central

    Duckworth, Angela L.; Eichstaedt, Johannes C.; Ungar, Lyle H.

    2015-01-01

    Countless studies have addressed why some individuals achieve more than others. Nevertheless, the psychology of achievement lacks a unifying conceptual framework for synthesizing these empirical insights. We propose organizing achievement-related traits by two possible mechanisms of action: Traits that determine the rate at which an individual learns a skill are talent variables and can be distinguished conceptually from traits that determine the effort an individual puts forth. This approach takes inspiration from Newtonian mechanics: achievement is akin to distance traveled, effort to time, skill to speed, and talent to acceleration. A novel prediction from this model is that individual differences in effort (but not talent) influence achievement (but not skill) more substantially over longer (rather than shorter) time intervals. Conceptualizing skill as the multiplicative product of talent and effort, and achievement as the multiplicative product of skill and effort, advances similar, but less formal, propositions by several important earlier thinkers. PMID:26236393

  17. Optimization of a Class of Tryptophan Dendrimers That Inhibit HIV Replication Leads to a Selective, Specific, and Low-Nanomolar Inhibitor of Clinical Isolates of Enterovirus A71

    PubMed Central

    Rivero-Buceta, Eva; Sun, Liang; Martínez-Gualda, Belén; Doyagüez, Elisa G.; Donckers, Kim; Quesada, Ernesto; Camarasa, María-José; Delang, Leen; Leyssen, Pieter

    2016-01-01

    Tryptophan dendrimers that inhibit HIV replication by binding to the HIV envelope glycoproteins gp120 and gp41 have unexpectedly also proven to be potent, specific, and selective inhibitors of the replication of the unrelated enterovirus A71. Dendrimer 12, a consensus compound that was synthesized on the basis of the structure-activity relationship analysis of this series, is 3-fold more potent against the BrCr lab strain and, surprisingly, inhibits a large panel of clinical isolates in the low-nanomolar/high-picomolar range. PMID:27246775

  18. Utility Theory for Evaluation of Optimal Process Condition of SAW: A Multi-Response Optimization Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Datta, Saurav; Biswas, Ajay; Bhaumik, Swapan; Majumdar, Gautam

    2011-01-17

    Multi-objective optimization problem has been solved in order to estimate an optimal process environment consisting of optimal parametric combination to achieve desired quality indicators (related to bead geometry) of submerged arc weld of mild steel. The quality indicators selected in the study were bead height, penetration depth, bead width and percentage dilution. Taguchi method followed by utility concept has been adopted to evaluate the optimal process condition achieving multiple objective requirements of the desired quality weld.

  19. Comparing oncology clinical programs by use of innovative designs and expected net present value optimization: Which adaptive approach leads to the best result?

    PubMed

    Parke, Tom; Marchenko, Olga; Anisimov, Vladimir; Ivanova, Anastasia; Jennison, Christopher; Perevozskaya, Inna; Song, Guochen

    2017-01-01

    Designing an oncology clinical program is more challenging than designing a single study. The standard approaches have been proven to be not very successful during the last decade; the failure rate of Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials in oncology remains high. Improving a development strategy by applying innovative statistical methods is one of the major objectives of a drug development process. The oncology sub-team on Adaptive Program under the Drug Information Association Adaptive Design Scientific Working Group (DIA ADSWG) evaluated hypothetical oncology programs with two competing treatments and published the work in the Therapeutic Innovation and Regulatory Science journal in January 2014. Five oncology development programs based on different Phase 2 designs, including adaptive designs and a standard two parallel arm Phase 3 design were simulated and compared in terms of the probability of clinical program success and expected net present value (eNPV). In this article, we consider eight Phase2/Phase3 development programs based on selected combinations of five Phase 2 study designs and three Phase 3 study designs. We again used the probability of program success and eNPV to compare simulated programs. For the development strategies, we considered that the eNPV showed robust improvement for each successive strategy, with the highest being for a three-arm response adaptive randomization design in Phase 2 and a group sequential design with 5 analyses in Phase 3.

  20. Achieving reuse of computable guideline systems.

    PubMed

    Johnson, P; Tu, S; Jones, N

    2001-01-01

    We describe an architecture for reusing computable guidelines and the programs used to interpret them across varied legacy clinical systems. Developed for the PRODIGY 3 project, our architecture aims to support interactive, point of care use of guidelines in primary care. Legacy medical record systems in UK primary care are diverse, using different terminologies, different data models, and varying user-interface philosophies. However, our goal is to provide common guideline knowledge bases and system components, while achieving full integration with the host medical record system, and a user interface tailored to that system. In conjunction with system suppliers, we identified areas of standardization required to achieve this goal. Firstly, standardized interfaces were created for mediation with the legacy system medical record and for act management. Secondly, a standard interface was developed for communication with the User Interface for guideline interaction. Thirdly, a terminology mapping knowledge base and system component was provided. Lastly, we developed a numeric unit conversion knowledge base and system component. The standardization of this architecture was achieved by close collaboration with existing vendors of Primary Care computing systems in the UK. The work has been verified by two suppliers successfully building and deploying systems with User Interfaces which mirror their normal look and feel, communicating fully with existing medical records, while using identical Guideline Interpreter components and knowledge bases. Encouragingly further experiments in other areas of clinical decision support have not required extension of our interfaces.

  1. Antihypertensive combination therapy: optimizing blood pressure control and cardiovascular risk reduction.

    PubMed

    Nesbitt, Shawna D

    2007-11-01

    Treating hypertension reduces the rates of myocardial infarction, stroke, and renal disease; however, clinical trial experience suggests that monotherapy is not likely to be successful for achieving goal blood pressure (BP) levels in many hypertensive patients. In multiple recent clinical trials including various subsets of hypertensive patients, the achievement of BP goal has typically required the combination of 2 or more medications, particularly in patients with BP levels>160/100 mm Hg. When initiating combination therapy for hypertension, careful consideration must be given to the choice of medication. Clinical trial evidence has shown the efficacy of various combinations of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, calcium channel blockers, and diuretics in reducing BP and cardiovascular risk. Ongoing trials should provide additional guidance on the optimal choice of combination regimens in specific clinical settings.

  2. EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AND THE NAVAJO.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    HAAS, JOHN; MELVILLE, ROBERT

    A STUDY WAS DEVISED TO APPRAISE THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF NAVAJO STUDENTS LIVING IN DORMITORIES AWAY FROM THE INDIAN RESERVATION. THE FOLLOWING SEVEN FACTORS WERE CHOSEN TO BE INVESTIGATED AS BEING DIRECTLY RELATED TO ACHIEVEMENT--(1) INTELLIGENCE, (2) READING ABILITY, (3) ANXIETY, (4) SELF-CONCEPT, (5) MOTIVATION, (6) VERBAL DEVELOPMENT, (7)…

  3. Sociocultural Origins of Achievement Motivation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maehr, Martin L.

    1977-01-01

    Presents a theoretical review of work on sociocultural influences on achievement, focusing on a critical evaluation of the work of David McClellan. Offers an alternative conception of achievement motivation which stresses the role of contextual and situational factors in addition to personality factors. Available from: Transaction Periodicals…

  4. Raising Boys' Achievement in Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bleach, Kevan, Ed.

    This book offers insights into the range of strategies and good practice being used to raise the achievement of boys. Case studies by school-based practitioners suggest ideas and measures to address the issue of achievement by boys. The contributions are: (1) "Why the Likely Lads Lag Behind" (Kevan Bleach); (2) "Helping Boys Do…

  5. Teaching the Low Level Achiever.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salomone, Ronald E., Ed.

    1986-01-01

    Intended for teachers of the English language arts, the articles in this issue offer suggestions and techniques for teaching the low level achiever. Titles and authors of the articles are as follows: (1) "A Point to Ponder" (Rachel Martin); (2) "Tracking: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Failure for the Low Level Achiever" (James Christopher Davis);…

  6. Early Intervention and Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hormes, Mridula T.

    2009-01-01

    The United States Department of Education has been rigorous in holding all states accountable with regard to student achievement. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 clearly laid out federal mandates for all schools to follow. K-12 leaders of public schools are very aware of the fact that results in terms of student achievement need to improve…

  7. Parental Involvement and Academic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goodwin, Sarah Christine

    2015-01-01

    This research study examined the correlation between student achievement and parent's perceptions of their involvement in their child's schooling. Parent participants completed the Parent Involvement Project Parent Questionnaire. Results slightly indicated parents of students with higher level of achievement perceived less demand or invitations…

  8. Asperger Syndrome and Academic Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griswold, Deborah E.; Barnhill, Gena P.; Myles, Brenda Smith; Hagiwara, Taku; Simpson, Richard L.

    2002-01-01

    A study focused on identifying the academic characteristics of 21 children and youth who have Asperger syndrome. Students had an extraordinary range of academic achievement scores, extending from significantly above average to far below grade level. Lowest achievement scores were shown for numerical operations, listening comprehension, and written…

  9. Perils of Standardized Achievement Testing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haladyna, Thomas M.

    2006-01-01

    This article argues that the validity of standardized achievement test-score interpretation and use is problematic; consequently, confidence and trust in such test scores may often be unwarranted. The problem is particularly severe in high-stakes situations. This essay provides a context for understanding standardized achievement testing, then…

  10. Stress Correlates and Academic Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bentley, Donna Anderson; And Others

    An ongoing concern for educators is the identification of factors that contribute to or are associated with academic achievement; one such group of variables that has received little attention are those involving stress. The relationship between perceived sources of stress and academic achievement was examined to determine if reactions to stress…

  11. School Size and Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riggen, Vicki

    2013-01-01

    This study examined whether a relationship between high school size and student achievement exists in Illinois public high schools in reading and math, as measured by the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE), which is administered to all Illinois 11th-grade students. This study also examined whether the factors of socioeconomic status, English…

  12. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Combined with Aerobic Exercise to Optimize Analgesic Responses in Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial

    PubMed Central

    Mendonca, Mariana E.; Simis, Marcel; Grecco, Luanda C.; Battistella, Linamara R.; Baptista, Abrahão F.; Fregni, Felipe

    2016-01-01

    Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome that is associated with maladaptive plasticity in neural central circuits. One of the neural circuits that are involved in pain in fibromyalgia is the primary motor cortex. We tested a combination intervention that aimed to modulate the motor system: transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the primary motor cortex (M1) and aerobic exercise (AE). In this phase II, sham-controlled randomized clinical trial, 45 subjects were assigned to 1 of 3 groups: tDCS + AE, AE only, and tDCS only. The following outcomes were assessed: intensity of pain, level of anxiety, quality of life, mood, pressure pain threshold, and cortical plasticity, as indexed by transcranial magnetic stimulation. There was a significant effect for the group-time interaction for intensity of pain, demonstrating that tDCS/AE was superior to AE [F(13, 364) = 2.25, p = 0.007] and tDCS [F(13, 364) = 2.33, p = 0.0056] alone. Post-hoc adjusted analysis showed a difference between tDCS/AE and tDCS group after the first week of stimulation and after 1 month intervention period (p = 0.02 and p = 0.03, respectively). Further, after treatment there was a significant difference between groups in anxiety and mood levels. The combination treatment effected the greatest response. The three groups had no differences regarding responses in motor cortex plasticity, as assessed by TMS. The combination of tDCS with aerobic exercise is superior compared with each individual intervention (cohen's d effect sizes > 0.55). The combination intervention had a significant effect on pain, anxiety and mood. Based on the similar effects on cortical plasticity outcomes, the combination intervention might have affected other neural circuits, such as those that control the affective-emotional aspects of pain. Trial registration: (www.ClinicalTrials.gov), identifier NTC02358902. PMID:27014012

  13. Clinical Strategy for Optimal Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Herbal Dose Selection in Disease Therapeutics: Expert Consensus on Classic TCM Herbal Formula Dose Conversion.

    PubMed

    Zha, Lin-Hua; He, Li-Sha; Lian, Feng-Mei; Zhen, Zhong; Ji, Hang-Yu; Xu, Li-Peng; Tong, Xiao-Lin

    2015-01-01

    The clinical therapeutics of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) constitutes a complicated process which involves theory, diagnosis, and formula prescription with specific herbal dosage. Zhang Zhong-Jing's classic work, Treatise on Febrile and Miscellaneous Diseases, has been influencing TCM practice for almost 2000 years. However, during this extended period of time in Chinese history, the Chinese weight measurement system experienced noticeable changes. This change in the weight measurement system inevitably, and perhaps even negatively, affected TCM herbal dosage determination and treatment outcome. Thus, in modern society, a full understanding of the accuracy of herbal dose selection has a critical importance in the TCM daily practice of delivering the best treatment to the patients suffering from different illnesses. In the 973 Project of the Chinese National Basic Research Program, expert consensus on classic TCM formula dose conversion has been reached based on extensive literature review and discussion on the dose-effect relationship of classic TCM formulas. One "liang" in classic TCM formulas is equivalent to 13.8 g. However, based on many TCM basic and clinical studies of variable herbal formula prescriptions and herbal drug preparations, the rule of one liang equals 13.8 g should be adjusted according to different disease conditions. Recommended by the committee on TCM formula dose-effect relationship of the China Association of Chinese Medicine and the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, the following expert consensus has been reached: (i) One liang converts to 6-9 g for the severely and critically ill patients. (ii) One liang converts to 3-6 g for the patients suffering from chronic diseases. (iii) One liang converts to 1-3 g in preventive medicine. The above conversions should be used as a future TCM practice guideline. Using this recommended guideline should enhance the effectiveness of daily TCM practice.

  14. Immunopharmacology 2011: an updated report of clinical achievements and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Landys Chovel, Mario; Perea, Silvio; de los Ángeles Robinson, María; Rodeiro, Idania; Delgado, René; Ochoa, Rolando F; Hernández, Ana María

    2011-11-01

    On 26-30 June 2011 the Cuban Society of Pharmacology organized the Second International Congress on Immunopharmacology (Immunopharmacology 2011), held at the beautiful Convention Centre 'Plaza América' and the Meliá Varadero Hotel, in Varadero beach, Cuba. The main topics of the congress were immunopharmacology (including inflammation, cancer immunotherapy and immunomodulation), neuroimmunology, and the pharmacology of cytochrome P450 and transporters, among other relevant and updated related topics. Immunopharmacology 2011 offered an outstanding scientific program with the active contribution of 90 speakers from 23 foreign countries, as well as more than 170 Cuban researchers from the most important local institutions devoted to the development of immunology and pharmacology sciences.

  15. Thermal and clinical performance of a closed device designed for human oocyte vitrification based on the optimization of the warming rate.

    PubMed

    Gallardo, Miguel; Hebles, María; Migueles, Beatriz; Dorado, Mónica; Aguilera, Laura; González, Mercedes; Piqueras, Paloma; Montero, Lorena; Sánchez-Martín, Pascual; Sánchez-Martín, Fernando; Risco, Ramón

    2016-08-01

    Although it was qualitatively pointed out by Fahy et al. (1984), the key role of the warming rates in non-equillibrium vitrification has only recently been quantitatively established for murine oocytes by Mazur and Seki (2011). In this work we study the performance of a closed vitrification device designed under the new paradigm, for the vitrification of human oocytes. The vitrification carrier consists of a main straw in which a specifically designed capillary is mounted and where the oocytes are loaded by aspiration. It can be hermetically sealed before immersion in liquid nitrogen for vitrification, and it is warmed in a sterile water bath at 37 °C. Measured warming rates achieved with this design were of 600.000 ºC/min for a standard DMEM solution and 200.000 ºC/min with the vitrification solution for human oocytes. A cohort of 143 donor MII sibling human oocytes was split into two groups: control (fresh) and vitrified with SafeSpeed device. Similar results were found in both groups: survival (97.1%), fertilization after ICSI (74.7% in control vs. 77.3% in vitrified) and good quality embryos at day three (54.3% in control vs. 58.1% in vitrified) were settled as performance indicators. The pregnancy rate was 3/6 (50%) for the control, 2/3 (66%) for vitrified and 4/5 (80%) for mixed transfers.

  16. Development of a Monte Carlo-Based Electron Beam Treatment Planning System: Clinical Application in Optimization of a Combined-Electron Technique for Treatment of Retinoblastoma.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Beteri, Abdulkarim A.

    1990-06-01

    Development of a new three-dimensional Monte Carlo code for simulating electron transport in heterogeneous media for the purpose of electron-beam treatment planning is described. It involved the devising of improved mathematical representations for the probability distributions governing the processes of electron multiple-scattering and bremsstrahlung production. An efficient technique is used for random -sampling the probability distributions based on a modified acceptance-rejection sampling method that employs an envelope -type rejection function. In addition to predicting correct electron fluence differential in energy, angle, and both energy and angle at different depths in a variety of materials, the developed code is capable of predicting the following: (1) one-cubic-millimeter resolution electron absorbed-dose distributions in a heterogeneous phantom irradiated by electrons through circular, square, and rectangular fields at different SSD's; (2) perturbation patterns in the absorbed -dose distributions caused by the three most common perturbing agents encountered in the human body (body surface obliquity, bone heterogeneities, and air cavities); (3) dose enhancement anterior to a bone heterogeneity; (4) absorbed-dose perturbations caused by an air cavity adjacent to an irradiated volume but outside the radiation field. This study investigated the effect of heterogeneities on absorbed-dose distributions in phantoms irradiated by electron beams. Perturbation patterns are correctly predicted in depth-dose curves and in absorbed-dose distributions throughout an irradiated volume. For example, the code correctly predicts the doubling of the maximum absorbed dose along the beam central axis when a long narrow air cavity is centered in the field, and isodose level perturbations associated with surface obliquity and the presence of heterogeneities. The developed code is used in optimization of a combined-electron-beams irradiation technique for treatment of

  17. Enhanced Ocean Predictability Through Optimal Observing Strategies

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-09-30

    oceanographic applications. Second, use these methods to design optimal observing strategies with special emphasis on drifter deployments that achieve...to assess the predictability of the optimal deployment strategy . The original idea was to use ensemble methods for this analysis. However, a...Enhanced Ocean Predictability Through Optimal Observing Strategies PI: A. D. Kirwan, Jr. College of Marine Studies, University of Delaware

  18. Gender Issues in Gifted Achievement: Are Girls Making Inroads While Boys Fall Behind?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rimm, Sylvia B.

    2015-01-01

    School and life achievement patterns for girls and women differ from those of boys and men. While girls have made dramatic progress in school, they need to be inspired to connect to lifelong achievement. Both research and clinical work at the Ohio-based Family Achievement Clinic find that more boys than girls underachieve in school. There is much…

  19. Optimal Centroid Position Estimation

    SciTech Connect

    Candy, J V; McClay, W A; Awwal, A S; Ferguson, S W

    2004-07-23

    The alignment of high energy laser beams for potential fusion experiments demand high precision and accuracy by the underlying positioning algorithms. This paper discusses the feasibility of employing online optimal position estimators in the form of model-based processors to achieve the desired results. Here we discuss the modeling, development, implementation and processing of model-based processors applied to both simulated and actual beam line data.

  20. A European perspective--the European clinical research infrastructures network.

    PubMed

    Demotes-Mainard, J; Kubiak, C

    2011-11-01

    Evaluating research outcomes requires multinational cooperation in clinical research for optimization of treatment strategies and comparative effectiveness research, leading to evidence-based practice and healthcare cost containment. The European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network (ECRIN) is a distributed ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) roadmap pan-European infrastructure designed to support multinational clinical research, making Europe a single area for clinical studies, taking advantage of its population size to access patients, and unlocking latent scientific potential. Servicing multinational trials started during its preparatory phase, and ECRIN will now apply for an ERIC (European Research Infrastructures Consortium) status by 2011. By creating a single area for clinical research in Europe, this achievement will contribute to the implementation of the Europe flagship initiative 2020 'Innovation Union', whose objectives include defragmentation of the research and education capacity, tackling the major societal challenges starting with the area of healthy ageing, and removing barriers to bring ideas to the market.

  1. Automated disambiguation of acronyms and abbreviations in clinical texts: window and training size considerations.

    PubMed

    Moon, Sungrim; Pakhomov, Serguei; Melton, Genevieve B

    2012-01-01

    Acronyms and abbreviations within electronic clinical texts are widespread and often associated with multiple senses. Automated acronym sense disambiguation (WSD), a task of assigning the context-appropriate sense to ambiguous clinical acronyms and abbreviations, represents an active problem for medical natural language processing (NLP) systems. In this paper, fifty clinical acronyms and abbreviations with 500 samples each were studied using supervised machine-learning techniques (Support Vector Machines (SVM), Naïve Bayes (NB), and Decision Trees (DT)) to optimize the window size and orientation and determine the minimum training sample size needed for optimal performance. Our analysis of window size and orientation showed best performance using a larger left-sided and smaller right-sided window. To achieve an accuracy of over 90%, the minimum required training sample size was approximately 125 samples for SVM classifiers with inverted cross-validation. These findings support future work in clinical acronym and abbreviation WSD and require validation with other clinical texts.

  2. Optimization of dosing regimens and dosing in special populations.

    PubMed

    Sime, F B; Roberts, M S; Roberts, J A

    2015-10-01

    Treatment of infectious diseases is becoming increasingly challenging with the emergence of less-susceptible organisms that are poorly responsive to existing antibiotic therapies, and the unpredictable pharmacokinetic alterations arising from complex pathophysiologic changes in some patient populations. In view of this fact, there has been a progressive work on novel dose optimization strategies to renew the utility of forgotten old antibiotics and to improve the efficacy of those currently in use. This review summarizes the different approaches of optimization of antibiotic dosing regimens and the special patient populations which may benefit most from these approaches. The existing methods are based on monitoring of antibiotic concentrations and/or use of clinical covariates. Measured concentrations can be correlated with predefined pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic targets to guide clinicians in predicting the necessary dose adjustment. Dosing nomograms are also available to relate observed concentrations or clinical covariates (e.g. creatinine clearance) with optimal dosing. More precise dose prediction based on observed covariates is possible through the application of population pharmacokinetic models. However, the most accurate estimation of individualized dosing requirements is achieved through Bayesian forecasting which utilizes both measured concentration and clinical covariates. Various software programs are emerging to ease clinical application. Whilst more studies are warranted to clarify the clinical outcomes associated with the different dose optimization approaches, severely ill patients in the course of marked infections and/or inflammation including those with sepsis, septic shock, severe trauma, burns injury, major surgery, febrile neutropenia, cystic fibrosis, organ dysfunction and obesity are those groups which may benefit most from individualized dosing.

  3. Maximizing the probability of satisfying the clinical goals in radiation therapy treatment planning under setup uncertainty

    SciTech Connect

    Fredriksson, Albin Hårdemark, Björn; Forsgren, Anders

    2015-07-15

    Purpose: This paper introduces a method that maximizes the probability of satisfying the clinical goals in intensity-modulated radiation therapy treatments subject to setup uncertainty. Methods: The authors perform robust optimization in which the clinical goals are constrained to be satisfied whenever the setup error falls within an uncertainty set. The shape of the uncertainty set is included as a variable in the optimization. The goal of the optimization is to modify the shape of the uncertainty set in order to maximize the probability that the setup error will fall within the modified set. Because the constraints enforce the clinical goals to be satisfied under all setup errors within the uncertainty set, this is equivalent to maximizing the probability of satisfying the clinical goals. This type of robust optimization is studied with respect to photon and proton therapy applied to a prostate case and compared to robust optimization using an a priori defined uncertainty set. Results: Slight reductions of the uncertainty sets resulted in plans that satisfied a larger number of clinical goals than optimization with respect to a priori defined uncertainty sets, both within the reduced uncertainty sets and within the a priori, nonreduced, uncertainty sets. For the prostate case, the plans taking reduced uncertainty sets into account satisfied 1.4 (photons) and 1.5 (protons) times as many clinical goals over the scenarios as the method taking a priori uncertainty sets into account. Conclusions: Reducing the uncertainty sets enabled the optimization to find better solutions with respect to the errors within the reduced as well as the nonreduced uncertainty sets and thereby achieve higher probability of satisfying the clinical goals. This shows that asking for a little less in the optimization sometimes leads to better overall plan quality.

  4. The Optimization of Molecular Detection of Clinical Isolates of Brucella in Blood Cultures by eryD Transcriptase Gene for Confirmation of Culture-Negative Samples

    PubMed Central

    Tabibnejad, Mahsa; Alikhani, Mohammad Yousef; Arjomandzadegan, Mohammad; Hashemi, Seyed Hamid; Naseri, Zahra

    2016-01-01

    Background Brucellosis is a zoonosis disease which is widespread across the world. Objectives The aim of the present study is the evaluation of culture-negative blood samples. Materials and Methods A total of 100 patients with suspected brucellosis were included in this experimental study and given positive serological tests. Diagnosis was performed on patients with clinical symptoms of the disease, followed by the detection of a titer that was equal to or more than 1:160 (in endemic areas) by the standard tube agglutination method. Blood samples were cultured by a BACTEC 9050 system, and subsequently by Brucella agar. At the same time, DNA from all blood samples was extracted by Qiagen Kit Company (Qia Amp Mini Kit). A molecular assay of blood samples was carried out by detection of eryD transcriptase and bcsp 31 genes in specific double PCR reactions. The specificity of the primers was evaluated by DNA from pure and approved Brucella colonies found in the blood samples, by DNA from other bacteria, and by ordinary PCR. DNA extraction from the pure colonies was carried out by both Qiagen Kit and Chelex 100 methods; the two were compared. Results 39 cases (39%) had positive results when tested by the BACTEC system, and 61 cases (61%) became negative. 23 culture-positive blood samples were randomly selected for PCR reactions; all showed 491 bp for the eryD gene and 223 bp for the bcsp 31 gene. Interestingly, out of 14 culture-negative blood samples, 13 cases showed positive bonds in PCR. The specificity of the PCR method was equal to 100%. DNA extraction from pure cultures was done by both Chelex 100 and Qiagen Kit; these showed the same results for all samples. Conclusions The results prove that the presented double PCR method could be used to detect positive cases from culture-negative blood samples. The Chelex 100 method is simpler and safer than the use of Qiagen Kit for DNA extraction. PMID:27330831

  5. Childhood Obesity and Cognitive Achievement.

    PubMed

    Black, Nicole; Johnston, David W; Peeters, Anna

    2015-09-01

    Obese children tend to perform worse academically than normal-weight children. If poor cognitive achievement is truly a consequence of childhood obesity, this relationship has significant policy implications. Therefore, an important question is to what extent can this correlation be explained by other factors that jointly determine obesity and cognitive achievement in childhood? To answer this question, we exploit a rich longitudinal dataset of Australian children, which is linked to national assessments in math and literacy. Using a range of estimators, we find that obesity and body mass index are negatively related to cognitive achievement for boys but not girls. This effect cannot be explained by sociodemographic factors, past cognitive achievement or unobserved time-invariant characteristics and is robust to different measures of adiposity. Given the enormous importance of early human capital development for future well-being and prosperity, this negative effect for boys is concerning and warrants further investigation.

  6. Using Design To Achieve Sustainability

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of this generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This is a conditional statement that places the responsibility for achieving sustainability squarely in hands of designers and planners....

  7. Achieving Efficiencies in Army Installations.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    34" ’■■"■" 1 USAWC STRATEGY RESEARCH PROJECT Achieving Efficiencies in Army Installations by Richard Fliss Col. Richard M. Meinhart Project...government agency. STRATEGY RESEARCH PROJECT ACHIEVING EFFICIENCIES IN ARMY INSTALLATIONS BY RICHARD FLISS DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A: Approved...for public release. Distribution is unlimited. DTIC QUALITY INSPECTED & USAWC CLASS OF 1998 U.S. ARMY WAR COLLEGE, CARLISLE BARRACKS, PA 17013-5050

  8. Optimization of Routine Identification of Clinically Relevant Gram-Negative Bacteria by Use of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization–Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry and the Bruker Biotyper

    PubMed Central

    Ford, Bradley A.

    2013-01-01

    Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) might complement and one day replace phenotypic identification of bacteria in the clinical microbiology laboratory, but there is no consensus standard regarding the requirements for its validation prior to clinical use in the United States. The objective of this study was to assess the preanalytical variables influencing Gram-negative identification by use of the Bruker Biotyper MALDI-TOF MS system, including density of organism spotting on a stainless steel target plate and the direct overlay of organisms with formic acid. A heavy smear with formic acid overlay was either superior or equivalent to alternative smear conditions. Microbiological preanalytical variables were also assayed, such as culture medium, growth temperature, and use of serial subculture. Postanalytical analysis included the application of modified species-level identification acceptance criteria. Biotyper identifications were compared with those using traditional phenotypic methods, and discrepancies were resolved with 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Compared to the recommended score cutoffs of the manufacturer, the application of optimized Biotyper score cutoffs for species-level identification increased the rate of identification by 6.75% for the enteric Gram-negative bacteria and 4.25% for the nonfermenting Gram-negative bacteria. Various incubation temperatures, growth medium types, and repeat subcultures did not result in misidentification. We conclude that the Bruker MALDI Biotyper is a robust system for the identification of Gram-negative organisms in the clinical laboratory and that meaningful performance improvements can be made by implementing simple pre- and postanalytical techniques. PMID:23426923

  9. CT dose minimization using personalized protocol optimization and aggressive bowtie

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hui; Yin, Zhye; Jin, Yannan; Wu, Mingye; Yao, Yangyang; Tao, Kun; Kalra, Mannudeep K.; De Man, Bruno

    2016-03-01

    In this study, we propose to use patient-specific x-ray fluence control to reduce the radiation dose to sensitive organs while still achieving the desired image quality (IQ) in the region of interest (ROI). The mA modulation profile is optimized view by view, based on the sensitive organs and the ROI, which are obtained from an ultra-low-dose volumetric CT scout scan [1]. We use a clinical chest CT scan to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed concept: the breast region is selected as the sensitive organ region while the cardiac region is selected as IQ ROI. Two groups of simulations are performed based on the clinical CT dataset: (1) a constant mA scan adjusted based on the patient attenuation (120 kVp, 300 mA), which serves as baseline; (2) an optimized scan with aggressive bowtie and ROI centering combined with patient-specific mA modulation. The results shows that the combination of the aggressive bowtie and the optimized mA modulation can result in 40% dose reduction in the breast region, while the IQ in the cardiac region is maintained. More generally, this paper demonstrates the general concept of using a 3D scout scan for optimal scan planning.

  10. Optimization of modified volume Fresnel zone plates.

    PubMed

    Srisungsitthisunti, Pornsak; Ersoy, Okan K; Xu, Xianfan

    2009-10-01

    Modified volume Fresnel zone plates (MVFZPs) fabricated with laser direct writing were optimized for higher diffraction efficiencies. The Fresnel radii in each layer of a volume zone plate were iteratively adjusted by a simulation-based direct search optimization. The results show that optimization is effective but depends strongly on the starting diffraction efficiencies determined by the MVFZP parameters. The simulations indicate that the optimized MVFZP can achieve 93% diffraction efficiency.

  11. Dose optimization tool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amir, Ornit; Braunstein, David; Altman, Ami

    2003-05-01

    A dose optimization tool for CT scanners is presented using patient raw data to calculate noise. The tool uses a single patient image which is modified for various lower doses. Dose optimization is carried out without extra measurements by interactively visualizing the dose-induced changes in this image. This tool can be used either off line, on existing image(s) or, as a pre - requisite for dose optimization for the specific patient, during the patient clinical study. The algorithm of low-dose simulation consists of reconstruction of two images from a single measurement and uses those images to create the various lower dose images. This algorithm enables fast simulation of various low dose (mAs) images on a real patient image.

  12. Distributed Optimization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macready, William; Wolpert, David

    2005-01-01

    We demonstrate a new framework for analyzing and controlling distributed systems, by solving constrained optimization problems with an algorithm based on that framework. The framework is ar. information-theoretic extension of conventional full-rationality game theory to allow bounded rational agents. The associated optimization algorithm is a game in which agents control the variables of the optimization problem. They do this by jointly minimizing a Lagrangian of (the probability distribution of) their joint state. The updating of the Lagrange parameters in that Lagrangian is a form of automated annealing, one that focuses the multi-agent system on the optimal pure strategy. We present computer experiments for the k-sat constraint satisfaction problem and for unconstrained minimization of NK functions.

  13. Achievements and tasks for active noise control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tichy, Jiri

    This short survey attempted to highlight some achievements of the latest active control applications. Except for the active control of a one-dimensional sound field in ducts and active headphones, the applications for active control technology are still being developed. Although the principles of active control are simple, their applications still require substantial research and modeling of the sound fields to find optimal solutions. There is no doubt that active control of sound field triggered extensive research of the fundamental properties of the sound field which goes beyond the textbook simplifications. Also, new hardware, particularly actuators, are under development. As more realism is brought into assessment of applicability of active control, we will see in the future increasing confidence of industry to adopt this new technology.

  14. Electrodialysis simulation to achieve optimum current density

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herrmann, Cal C.

    1993-01-01

    Electrodialysis is used to remove salts from waste or other water streams, to yield a concentrated brine and a substatially deionized product water. During the electrodialysis process, the boundary layer adjacent to the ion selective membrane can become depleted of ions, resulting in severe pH changes sometimes accompanied by precipitation, and power losses, by a process known as water splitting. In order to optimize the applied electric current density, to achieve maximum deionization without exceeding the limiting current at any point along the path, a simulation program has been created to plot ion concentrations and fluxes, and cell current densities and voltages along the electrodialysis path. A means for tapering the current density along the path is recommended.

  15. Integrated multidisciplinary design optimization of rotorcraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adelman, Howard M.; Mantay, Wayne R.

    1989-01-01

    The NASA/Army research plan for developing the logic elements for helicopter rotor design optimization by integrating appropriate disciplines and accounting for important interactions among the disciplines is discussed. The paper describes the optimization formulation in terms of the objective function, design variables, and constraints. The analysis aspects are discussed, and an initial effort at defining the interdisciplinary coupling is summarized. Results are presented on the achievements made in the rotor aerodynamic performance optimization for minimum hover horsepower, rotor dynamic optimization for vibration reduction, rotor structural optimization for minimum weight, and integrated aerodynamic load/dynamics optimization for minimum vibration and weight.

  16. Childhood vaccination: achievements and challenges.

    PubMed

    Ndumbe, P

    1996-09-01

    As the goal of eradicating smallpox was being met, the World Health Organization created its Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) in 1974 and reached its initial goal of achieving full vaccination of 80% of the world's children by 1990. This effort was aided by the creation of "cold chain" delivery systems and resulted in the annual saving of 3.5 million children in less-developed countries. Current EPI vaccination goals include 1) eradication of poliomyelitis by the year 2000, 2) elimination of neonatal tetanus by the year 1995, 3) control of measles and hepatitis B, and 4) immunization of 90% of the world's children 1 year or younger by the year 2000. Goals of the Children's Vaccine Initiative (formed in 1991) include 1) provision of an adequate supply of affordable, safe, and effective vaccines; 2) production of improved and new vaccines; and 3) simplification of the logistics of vaccine delivery. Future challenges are to sustain high vaccination coverage, reach the unreached, achieve proper storage of vaccines and reduce waste, integrate new vaccines into national programs, and achieve vaccine self-sufficiency. The fact that these challenges will be difficult to achieve is illustrated by the situation in Africa where the high immunization levels achieved in 1990 have dropped dramatically. Those who must act to implement immunization programs are health personnel, families, governments, and development partners. In order to achieve equity in health, every child must be reached, governments must be made accountable for programs, health workers must convince families of the importance of vaccination, delivery systems must be in place to take advantage of the new vaccines being delivered, and a multisectoral approach must be taken to assure sustainability.

  17. Clinical management of progressive myopia

    PubMed Central

    Aller, T A

    2014-01-01

    Myopia has been increasing in prevalence throughout the world, reaching over 90% in some East Asian populations. There is increasing evidence that whereas genetics clearly have an important role, the type of visual environment to which one is exposed to likely influences the onset, progression, and cessation of myopia. Consequently, attempts to either modify the environment or to reduce the exposure of the eye to various environmental stimuli to eye growth through the use of various optical devices are well under way at research centers around the globe. The most promising of current treatments include low-percentage atropine, bifocal soft contact lenses, orthokeratology, and multifocal spectacles. These methods are discussed briefly and are then categorized in terms of their expected degree of myopia progression control. A clinical strategy is presented for selecting the most effective treatment for the appropriate type of patient at the optimal stage of refractive development to achieve the maximum control of myopia progression. PMID:24357844

  18. Heuristic optimization of the scanning path of particle therapy beams.

    PubMed

    Pardo, J; Donetti, M; Bourhaleb, F; Ansarinejad, A; Attili, A; Cirio, R; Garella, M A; Giordanengo, S; Givehchi, N; La Rosa, A; Marchetto, F; Monaco, V; Pecka, A; Peroni, C; Russo, G; Sacchi, R

    2009-06-01

    Quasidiscrete scanning is a delivery strategy for proton and ion beam therapy in which the beam is turned off when a slice is finished and a new energy must be set but not during the scanning between consecutive spots. Different scanning paths lead to different dose distributions due to the contribution of the unintended transit dose between spots. In this work an algorithm to optimize the scanning path for quasidiscrete scanned beams is presented. The classical simulated annealing algorithm is used. It is a heuristic algorithm frequently used in combinatorial optimization problems, which allows us to obtain nearly optimal solutions in acceptable running times. A study focused on the best choice of operational parameters on which the algorithm performance depends is presented. The convergence properties of the algorithm have been further improved by using the next-neighbor algorithm to generate the starting paths. Scanning paths for two clinical treatments have been optimized. The optimized paths are found to be shorter than the back-and-forth, top-to-bottom (zigzag) paths generally provided by the treatment planning systems. The gamma method has been applied to quantify the improvement achieved on the dose distribution. Results show a reduction of the transit dose when the optimized paths are used. The benefit is clear especially when the fluence per spot is low, as in the case of repainting. The minimization of the transit dose can potentially allow the use of higher beam intensities, thus decreasing the treatment time. The algorithm implemented for this work can optimize efficiently the scanning path of quasidiscrete scanned particle beams. Optimized scanning paths decrease the transit dose and lead to better dose distributions.

  19. Washington State's Student Achievement Initiative

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pettitt, Maureen; Prince, David

    2010-01-01

    This article describes Washington State's Student Achievement Initiative, an accountability system implemented in 2005-06 that measures students' gains in college readiness, college credits earned, and degree or certificate completion. The goal of the initiative is to increase educational attainment by focusing on the critical momentum points…

  20. Meeting a Math Achievement Crisis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jennings, Lenora; Likis, Lori

    2005-01-01

    An urban community spotlighted declining mathematics achievement and took some measures, in which the students' performance increased substantially. The Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, engaged the entire community and launched the campaign called "Math Everywhere", which changed Benjamin Banneker's…

  1. Socioeconomic Determinants of Academic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomul, Ekber; Savasci, Havva Sebile

    2012-01-01

    This study aims to investigate the relationship between academic achievement and the socioeconomic characteristics of elementary school 7th grade students in Burdur. The population of the study are 7th grade students who had education at elementary schools in Burdur in the 2007-2008 academic year. Two staged sampling was chosen as suitable for the…

  2. Goal Setting to Achieve Results

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newman, Rich

    2012-01-01

    Both districts and individual schools have a very clear set of goals and skills for their students to achieve and master. In fact, except in rare cases, districts and schools develop very detailed goals they wish to pursue. In most cases, unfortunately, only the teachers and staff at a particular school or district-level office are aware of the…

  3. School Districts and Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chingos, Matthew M.; Whitehurst, Grover J.; Gallaher, Michael R.

    2015-01-01

    School districts are a focus of education reform efforts in the United States, but there is very little existing research about how important they are to student achievement. We fill this gap in the literature using 10 years of student-level, statewide data on fourth- and fifth-grade students in Florida and North Carolina. A variance decomposition…

  4. Student Achievement, 1986-87.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mangino, Evangelina

    This report summarizes results of student achievement in the Austin (Texas) Independent School District (AISD) on the Texas Educational Assessment of Minimum Skills (TEAMS) tests in 1986-87. Major findings indicate the following: (1) 99.4% of AISD seniors to graduate in May 1987 passed the Exit-Level TEAMS tests, with only 17 denied diplomas in…

  5. Sociocultural Variation in Literacy Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Verhoeven, Ludo

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to describe the variations in literacy achievement among native and non-native upper primary school children (grades three to six) in the Netherlands. Various measures of word decoding, reading literacy and writing skill were collected from 1091 native Dutch children, 753 children with a former Dutch colonial…

  6. Game Addiction and Academic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sahin, Mehmet; Gumus, Yusuf Yasin; Dincel, Sezen

    2016-01-01

    The primary aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between game addiction and academic achievement. The secondary aim was to adapt a self-report instrument to measure game addiction. Three hundred and seventy high school students participated in this study. Data were collected via an online questionnaire that included a brief…

  7. The Widening Income Achievement Gap

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reardon, Sean F.

    2013-01-01

    Has the academic achievement gap between high-income and low-income students changed over the last few decades? If so, why? And what can schools do about it? Researcher Sean F. Reardon conducted a comprehensive analysis of research to answer these questions and came up with some striking findings. In this article, he shows that income-related…

  8. Attribution Theory in Science Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Craig, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Recent research reveals consistent lags in American students' science achievement scores. Not only are the scores lower in the United States compared to other developed nations, but even within the United States, too many students are well below science proficiency scores for their grade levels. The current research addresses this problem by…

  9. Grouping Students for Increased Achievements.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holloway, John H.

    2001-01-01

    Reviews results of four recent studies exploring the effects of various student-grouping schemes on academic achievement. Grouping plans included multiage classrooms, full-time ability grouping, and within-classroom grouping. Two studies investigated administrator attitudes toward student grouping. Several studies found that grouping plans…

  10. Achievement, Hedonism and the Teacher.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryan, Kevin

    1991-01-01

    The problem of poor school achievement is in part because students lack work and discipline values. The article suggests moral and ethical teachings inspire students to be better scholars and people; and teacher education must prepare teachers to be moral educators by reintroducing moral education into the curriculum. (SM)

  11. School Desegregation and Black Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook, Thomas; And Others

    Seven papers commissioned by the National Institute of Education in order to clarify the state of recent knowledge about the effects of school desegregation on the academic achievement of black students are contained in this report. The papers, which analyze 19 "core" empirical studies on this topic, include: (1) "What Have Black Children Gained…

  12. Institutional Climate and Minority Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, Richard C.

    This paper discusses ways that institutions can change the higher education system and environment to accommodate more minority students. The first section, "Institutional Climate and Minority Achievement," presents an overview of the problems facing colleges and universities with respect to recruiting and retaining minority students. In the…

  13. Faculty Development: Assessing Learner Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frey, Barbara A.; Overfield, Karen

    This study addressed the challenges of developing a faculty professional development workshop on assessment, measurement, and evaluation of achievement in adult learners. The setting for the workshop was a system of postsecondary career colleges throughout the United States. The curriculum development model of D. Kirkpatrick (1994) was used as a…

  14. Can Judges Improve Academic Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Jay P.; Trivitt, Julie R.

    2008-01-01

    Over the last 3 decades student achievement has remained essentially unchanged in the United States, but not for a lack of spending. Over the same period a myriad of education reforms have been suggested and per-pupil spending has more than doubled. Since the 1990s the education reform attempts have frequently included judicial decisions to revise…

  15. Achieving a sustainable service advantage.

    PubMed

    Coyne, K P

    1993-01-01

    Many managers believe that superior service should play little or no role in competitive strategy; they maintain that service innovations are inherently copiable. However, the author states that this view is too narrow. For a company to achieve a lasting service advantage, it must base a new service on a capability gap that competitors cannot or will not copy.

  16. Teacher Dispositions and Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vaughn, Kathleen Adams

    2012-01-01

    In an effort to close the achievement gap between students of minority and majority populations and between students in higher and lower economic circumstances, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) added instruction and evaluation of teacher dispositions to its requirements for credentialing prospective teachers.…

  17. Epistemological Beliefs and Academic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arslantas, Halis Adnan

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to identify the relationship between teacher candidates' epistemological beliefs and academic achievement. The participants of the study were 353 teacher candidates studying their fourth year at the Education Faculty. The Epistemological Belief Scale was used which adapted to Turkish through reliability and validity work by…

  18. Efficient Research Design: Using Value-of-Information Analysis to Estimate the Optimal Mix of Top-down and Bottom-up Costing Approaches in an Economic Evaluation alongside a Clinical Trial.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Edward C F; Mugford, Miranda; Barton, Garry; Shepstone, Lee

    2016-04-01

    In designing economic evaluations alongside clinical trials, analysts are frequently faced with alternative methods of collecting the same data, the extremes being top-down ("gross costing") and bottom-up ("micro-costing") approaches. A priori, bottom-up approaches may be considered superior to top-down approaches but are also more expensive to collect and analyze. In this article, we use value-of-information analysis to estimate the efficient mix of observations on each method in a proposed clinical trial. By assigning a prior bivariate distribution to the 2 data collection processes, the predicted posterior (i.e., preposterior) mean and variance of the superior process can be calculated from proposed samples using either process. This is then used to calculate the preposterior mean and variance of incremental net benefit and hence the expected net gain of sampling. We apply this method to a previously collected data set to estimate the value of conducting a further trial and identifying the optimal mix of observations on drug costs at 2 levels: by individual item (process A) and by drug class (process B). We find that substituting a number of observations on process A for process B leads to a modest £ 35,000 increase in expected net gain of sampling. Drivers of the results are the correlation between the 2 processes and their relative cost. This method has potential use following a pilot study to inform efficient data collection approaches for a subsequent full-scale trial. It provides a formal quantitative approach to inform trialists whether it is efficient to collect resource use data on all patients in a trial or on a subset of patients only or to collect limited data on most and detailed data on a subset.

  19. Housing Affordability And Children's Cognitive Achievement.

    PubMed

    Newman, Sandra; Holupka, C Scott

    2016-11-01

    Housing cost burden-the fraction of income spent on housing-is the most prevalent housing problem affecting the healthy development of millions of low- and moderate-income children. By affecting disposable income, a high burden affects parents' expenditures on both necessities for and enrichment of their children, as well as investments in their children. Reducing those expenditures and investments, in turn, can affect children's development, including their cognitive skills and physical, social, and emotional health. This article summarizes the first empirical evidence of the effects of housing affordability on children's cognitive achievement and on one factor that appears to contribute to these effects: the larger expenditures on child enrichment by families in affordable housing. We found that housing cost burden has the same relationship to both children's cognitive achievement and enrichment spending on children, exhibiting an inverted U shape in both cases. The maximum benefit occurs when housing cost burden is near 30 percent of income-the long-standing rule-of-thumb definition of affordable housing. The effect of the burden is stronger on children's math ability than on their reading comprehension and is more pronounced with burdens above the 30 percent standard. For enrichment spending, the curve is "shallower" (meaning the effect of optimal affordability is less pronounced) but still significant.

  20. Optimal quantum cloning via spin networks

    SciTech Connect

    Chen Qing; Cheng Jianhua; Wang Kelin; Du Jiangfeng

    2006-09-15

    In this paper we demonstrate that optimal 1{yields}M phase-covariant cloning quantum cloning is available via free dynamical evolution of spin networks. By properly designing the network and the couplings between spins, we show that optimal 1{yields}M phase-covariant cloning can be achieved if the initial state is prepared as a specific symmetric state. Especially, when M is an odd number, the optimal phase-covariant cloning can be achieved without ancillas. Moreover, we demonstrate that the same framework is capable for optimal 1{yields}2 universal cloning.

  1. The Role of Nurse Informaticists in the Emerging Field of Clinical Intelligence

    PubMed Central

    Harrington, Linda

    2012-01-01

    Clinical intelligence (CI) is an emerging field in health care arising from the proliferation of electronic data being generated through the increasing use of healthcare information technology (HIT). It is defined as the electronic aggregation of accurate, relevant and timely data into meaningful information and actionable knowledge in order to achieve optimal healthcare structures, processes and outcomes. Clinical intelligence will dramatically change the discipline of nursing informatics in the future. This presentation describes the role of nurse informaticists (NI) today in building clinical intelligence, including communicating the vision, designing systems, educating clinicians, preparing themselves, and supporting research. PMID:24199076

  2. Adapting preclinical concepts for use in clinical trials of serosal and interstitial photodynamic therapy.

    PubMed

    Cengel, Keith

    2012-10-01

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) requires an optimal combination of drug and light. To achieve the ideal conditions, a tight bond between the research laboratory and the clinic is essential. This continual 2-way street allows preclinical ideas and concepts to be tested in the clinic and refinements in technique to be made. This article clearly illustrates the close connection between the bench and the bedside, exploring intraoperative pleural PDT, challenges in matching fluence and photosensitizer, improvements in animal models that lead to adjustments in the operating room, and clinical applications for interstitial PDT in prostate cancer and beyond.

  3. Enteral nutrition for optimal growth in preterm infants

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Early, aggressive nutrition is an important contributing factor of long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes. To ensure optimal growth in premature infants, adequate protein intake and optimal protein/energy ratio should be emphasized rather than the overall energy intake. Minimal enteral nutrition should be initiated as soon as possible in the first days of life, and feeding advancement should be individualized according to the clinical course of the infant. During hospitalization, enteral nutrition with preterm formula and fortified human milk represent the best feeding practices for facilitating growth. After discharge, the enteral nutrition strategy should be individualized according to the infant's weight at discharge. Infants with suboptimal weight for their postconceptional age at discharge should receive supplementation with human milk fortifiers or nutrient-enriched feeding, and the enteral nutrition strategy should be reviewed and modified continuously to achieve the target growth parameters. PMID:28194211

  4. Risk modelling in portfolio optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lam, W. H.; Jaaman, Saiful Hafizah Hj.; Isa, Zaidi

    2013-09-01

    Risk management is very important in portfolio optimization. The mean-variance model has been used in portfolio optimization to minimize the investment risk. The objective of the mean-variance model is to minimize the portfolio risk and achieve the target rate of return. Variance is used as risk measure in the mean-variance model. The purpose of this study is to compare the portfolio composition as well as performance between the optimal portfolio of mean-variance model and equally weighted portfolio. Equally weighted portfolio means the proportions that are invested in each asset are equal. The results show that the portfolio composition of the mean-variance optimal portfolio and equally weighted portfolio are different. Besides that, the mean-variance optimal portfolio gives better performance because it gives higher performance ratio than the equally weighted portfolio.

  5. Characterizing the ideal clinical office system for nephrology.

    PubMed

    Maddux, Franklin W; Maddux, Dugan W

    2008-01-01

    Clinical information technology (IT) systems that support nephrology-specific content can facilitate the coordinated, progressive, and comprehensive care of all patients with renal disease including those with each stage of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The ideal clinical IT system should have flexible features to meet the needs of individualized practice patterns, yet also have tools to enhance continuity, measure performance, and deliver decision support features that assist the nephrologist in providing optimal care for the CKD patient. This article provides insight into the complexities of engaging in the process of technology adoption, including selection, integration, and implementation while emphasizing the utility of using a continuous quality improvement paradigm to identify and achieve positive results from the adoption and integration of a clinical IT system into outpatient clinical practice of nephrology.

  6. Barriers to the clinical translation of orthopedic tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Evans, Christopher H

    2011-12-01

    Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine have been the subject of increasingly intensive research for over 20 years, and there is concern in some quarters over the lack of clinically useful products despite the large sums of money invested. This review provides one perspective on orthopedic applications from a biologist working in academia. It is suggested that the delay in clinical application is not atypical of new, biologically based technologies. Some barriers to progress are acknowledged and discussed, but it is also noted that preclinical studies have identified several promising types of cells, scaffolds, and morphogenetic signals, which, although not optimal, are worth advancing toward human trials to establish a bridgehead in the clinic. Although this transitional technology will be replaced by more sophisticated, subsequent systems, it will perform valuable pioneering functions and facilitate the clinical development of the field. Some strategies for achieving this are suggested.

  7. Optimal Fluoridation

    PubMed Central

    Lee, John R.

    1975-01-01

    Optimal fluoridation has been defined as that fluoride exposure which confers maximal cariostasis with minimal toxicity and its values have been previously determined to be 0.5 to 1 mg per day for infants and 1 to 1.5 mg per day for an average child. Total fluoride ingestion and urine excretion were studied in Marin County, California, children in 1973 before municipal water fluoridation. Results showed fluoride exposure to be higher than anticipated and fulfilled previously accepted criteria for optimal fluoridation. Present and future water fluoridation plans need to be reevaluated in light of total environmental fluoride exposure. PMID:1130041

  8. Metacognition, Achievement Goals, Study Strategies and Academic Achievement: Pathways to Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vrugt, Anneke; Oort, Frans J.

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to develop and test a model of effective self-regulated learning. Based on effort expenditure we discerned effective self-regulators and less effective self-regulators. The model comprised achievement goals (mastery, performance-approach and -avoidance goals), metacognition (metacognitive knowledge, regulation and…

  9. The incongruous achiever in adolescence.

    PubMed

    Kline, S A; Golombek, H

    1974-06-01

    The authors wished to study some of the internal psychological dynamics of achievement in a nonpatient identified high school population. Questionnaires were administered to the Grade 13 students and their parents in a large high school. A number of students whose achievement and educational plans were not congruous with their general background were selected for interview. The findings suggest that a wide variety of ages and developmental stages can be discerned as critical points in the development of a student's attitude toward higher education. These students have many values in common, and their values appear related to a positive or negative identification with parental values. The students themselves show a wide range of personality integration. They relate in a special way to a wide variety of teachers' personalities.

  10. Multiple anatomy optimization of accumulated dose

    SciTech Connect

    Watkins, W. Tyler Siebers, Jeffrey V.; Moore, Joseph A.; Gordon, James; Hugo, Geoffrey D.

    2014-11-01

    Purpose: To investigate the potential advantages of multiple anatomy optimization (MAO) for lung cancer radiation therapy compared to the internal target volume (ITV) approach. Methods: MAO aims to optimize a single fluence to be delivered under free-breathing conditions such that the accumulated dose meets the plan objectives, where accumulated dose is defined as the sum of deformably mapped doses computed on each phase of a single four dimensional computed tomography (4DCT) dataset. Phantom and patient simulation studies were carried out to investigate potential advantages of MAO compared to ITV planning. Through simulated delivery of the ITV- and MAO-plans, target dose variations were also investigated. Results: By optimizing the accumulated dose, MAO shows the potential to ensure dose to the moving target meets plan objectives while simultaneously reducing dose to organs at risk (OARs) compared with ITV planning. While consistently superior to the ITV approach, MAO resulted in equivalent OAR dosimetry at planning objective dose levels to within 2% volume in 14/30 plans and to within 3% volume in 19/30 plans for each lung V20, esophagus V25, and heart V30. Despite large variations in per-fraction respiratory phase weights in simulated deliveries at high dose rates (e.g., treating 4/10 phases during single fraction beams) the cumulative clinical target volume (CTV) dose after 30 fractions and per-fraction dose were constant independent of planning technique. In one case considered, however, per-phase CTV dose varied from 74% to 117% of prescription implying the level of ITV-dose heterogeneity may not be appropriate with conventional, free-breathing delivery. Conclusions: MAO incorporates 4DCT information in an optimized dose distribution and can achieve a superior plan in terms of accumulated dose to the moving target and OAR sparing compared to ITV-plans. An appropriate level of dose heterogeneity in MAO plans must be further investigated.

  11. Beam cooling: Principles and achievements

    SciTech Connect

    Mohl, Dieter; Sessler, Andrew M.

    2003-05-18

    After a discussion of Liouville's theorem, and its implications for beam cooling, a brief description is given of each of the various methods of beam cooling: stochastic, electron, radiation, laser, ionization, etc. For each, we present the type of particle for which it is appropriate, its range of applicability, and the currently achieved degree of cooling. For each method we also discuss the present applications and, also, possible future developments and further applications.

  12. Predicting educational achievement from DNA

    PubMed Central

    Selzam, S; Krapohl, E; von Stumm, S; O'Reilly, P F; Rimfeld, K; Kovas, Y; Dale, P S; Lee, J J; Plomin, R

    2017-01-01

    A genome-wide polygenic score (GPS), derived from a 2013 genome-wide association study (N=127,000), explained 2% of the variance in total years of education (EduYears). In a follow-up study (N=329,000), a new EduYears GPS explains up to 4%. Here, we tested the association between this latest EduYears GPS and educational achievement scores at ages 7, 12 and 16 in an independent sample of 5825 UK individuals. We found that EduYears GPS explained greater amounts of variance in educational achievement over time, up to 9% at age 16, accounting for 15% of the heritable variance. This is the strongest GPS prediction to date for quantitative behavioral traits. Individuals in the highest and lowest GPS septiles differed by a whole school grade at age 16. Furthermore, EduYears GPS was associated with general cognitive ability (~3.5%) and family socioeconomic status (~7%). There was no evidence of an interaction between EduYears GPS and family socioeconomic status on educational achievement or on general cognitive ability. These results are a harbinger of future widespread use of GPS to predict genetic risk and resilience in the social and behavioral sciences. PMID:27431296

  13. SU-E-T-357: Semi-Automated Knowledge-Based Radiation Therapy (KBRT) Planning for Head-And-Neck Cancer (HNC): Can KBRT Plans Achieve Better Results Than Manual Planning?

    SciTech Connect

    Lutzky, C; Grzetic, S; Lo, J; Das, S

    2014-06-01

    Purpose: Knowledge Based Radiation Therapy Treatment (KBRT) planning can be used to semi-automatically generate IMRT plans for new patients using constraints derived from previously manually-planned, geometrically similar patients. We investigate whether KBRT plans can achieve greater dose sparing than manual plans using optimized, organspecific constraint weighting factors. Methods: KBRT planning of HNC radiotherapy cases geometrically matched each new (query) case to one of the 105 clinically approved plans in our database. The dose distribution of the planned match was morphed to fit the querys geometry. Dose-volume constraints extracted from the morphed dose distribution were used to run the IMRT optimization with no user input. In the first version, all constraints were multiplied by a weighting factor of 0.7. The weighting factors were then systematically optimized (in order of OARs with increasing separation from the target) to maximize sparing to each OAR without compromising other OARs. The optimized, second version plans were compared against the first version plans and the clinically approved plans for 45 unilateral/bilateral target cases using the dose metrics: mean, median and maximum (brainstem and cord) doses. Results: Compared to the first version, the second version significantly reduced mean/median contralateral parotid doses (>2Gy) for bilateral cases. Other changes between the two versions were not clinically meaningful. Compared to the original clinical plans, both bilateral and unilateral plans in the second version had lower average dose metrics for 5 of the 6 OARs. Compared to the original plans, the second version achieved dose sparing that was at least as good for all OARs and better for the ipsilateral parotid (bilateral) and oral cavity (bilateral/unilateral). Differences in planning target volume coverage metrics were not clinically significant. Conclusion: HNC-KBRT planning generated IMRT plans with at least equivalent dose sparing to

  14. Clinically and/or Serologically Misleading Findings Surrounding Immune Haemolytic Anaemias

    PubMed Central

    Salama, Abdulgabar

    2015-01-01

    Summary Autoimmune haemolytic anaemias (AIHAs) are well-characterized disorders. They can be differentiated from one another and from other non-immune haemolytic anaemias by clinical, laboratory and serological testing. However, several misleading clinical presentations and/or serological findings may result in misinterpretation, delay and/or misdiagnosis. Such failures are avoidable by adequate clinical and serological experience of the responsible physicians and serologists or, at least, by an optimised bidirectional communication. As long as this has not been achieved, unpleasant failures are to be expected. A true diagnosis of AIHA can neither be verified by clinical nor serological findings alone. Thus, a collective clinical and serological picture remains obligatory for fulfilling the criteria of optimal diagnosis and therapy. Ultimately, the majority of pioneer scientific and practical work in this field stems from scientists who were simultaneously involved in both the clinic and serology. PMID:26696799

  15. Integrated multidisciplinary design optimization of rotorcraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adelman, Howard M.; Mantay, Wayne R.

    1989-01-01

    The NASA/Army research plan for developing the logic elements for helicopter rotor design optimization by integrating appropriate disciplines and accounting for important interactions among the disciplines is discussed. The optimization formulation is described in terms of the objective function, design variables, and constraints. The analysis aspects are discussed, and an initial effort at defining the interdisciplinary coupling is summarized. Results are presented on the achievements made in the rotor dynamic optimization for vibration reduction, rotor structural optimization for minimum weight, and integrated aerodynamic load/dynamics optimization for minimum vibration and weight.

  16. Achieving permanency for LGBTQ youth.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Jill; Freundlich, Madelyn

    2006-01-01

    This article brings together two significant efforts in the child welfare field: achieving permanence for youth in out-of-home care and meeting the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. During the past several years, a national movement has taken place to assure all children and youth have a permanent family connection before leaving the child welfare system; however, LGBTQ youth are not routinely included in the permanency discussions. At the same time, efforts in addressing the needs of LGBTQ youth have increased, but permanency is rarely mentioned as a need. This article offers models of permanence and practices to facilitate permanence with LGBTQ youth and their families. It also offers a youth-driven, individualized process, using youth development principles to achieve relational, physical, and legal permanence. Reunification efforts are discussed, including services, supports, and education required for youth to return to their family of origin. For those who cannot return home, other family resources are explored. The article also discusses cultural issues as they affect permanence for LGBTQ youth, and, finally, addresses the need for ongoing support services to sustain and support permanency.

  17. Multidisciplinary optimization

    SciTech Connect

    Dennis, J.; Lewis, R.M.; Cramer, E.J.; Frank, P.M.; Shubin, G.R.

    1994-12-31

    This talk will use aeroelastic design and reservoir characterization as examples to introduce some approaches to MDO, or Multidisciplinary Optimization. This problem arises especially in engineering design, where it is considered of paramount importance in today`s competitive global business climate. It is interesting to an optimizer because the constraints involve coupled dissimilar systems of parameterized partial differential equations each arising from a different discipline, like structural analysis, computational fluid dynamics, etc. Usually, these constraints are accessible only through pde solvers rather than through algebraic residual calculations as we are used to having. Thus, just finding a multidisciplinary feasible point is a daunting task. Many such problems have discrete variable disciplines, multiple objectives, and other challenging features. After discussing some interesting practical features of the design problem, we will give some standard ways to formulate the problem as well as some novel ways that lend themselves to divide-and-conquer parallelism.

  18. Achieving true sustainability of zoo populations.

    PubMed

    Lacy, Robert C

    2013-01-01

    For the last 30 years, cooperative management of irreplaceable animal populations in zoos and aquariums has focused primarily on the goal of minimizing genetic decay within defined time frames, and large advances have been made in technologies to optimize genetic management of closed populations. However, recent analyses have shown that most zoo programs are not projected to meet their stated goals. This has been described as a lack of achieving "sustainability" of the populations, yet by definition a goal of managed decay is not a plan for sustainability. True sustainability requires management of the resource in manner that does not deplete its value for the future. Achieving such sustainability for many managed populations may require changing from managing isolated populations to managing populations that are part of a broader metapopulation, with carefully considered exchange between populations across a spectrum of ex situ to in situ. Managing zoo populations as components of comprehensive conservation strategies for the species will require research on determinants of various kinds of genetic, physiological, behavioral, and morphological variation and their roles in population viability, development of an array of management techniques and tools, training of population managers in metapopulation management and integrated conservation planning, and projections of impacts of management strategies on the viability of the captive populations and all populations that are interactively managed or affected. Such a shift in goals and methods would result in zoo population management being an ongoing part of species conservation rather than short-term or isolated from species conservation. Zoo Biol. 32:19-26, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Sootblowing optimization for improved boiler performance

    DOEpatents

    James, John Robert; McDermott, John; Piche, Stephen; Pickard, Fred; Parikh, Neel J

    2013-07-30

    A sootblowing control system that uses predictive models to bridge the gap between sootblower operation and boiler performance goals. The system uses predictive modeling and heuristics (rules) associated with different zones in a boiler to determine an optimal sequence of sootblower operations and achieve boiler performance targets. The system performs the sootblower optimization while observing any operational constraints placed on the sootblowers.

  20. Sootblowing optimization for improved boiler performance

    DOEpatents

    James, John Robert; McDermott, John; Piche, Stephen; Pickard, Fred; Parikh, Neel J.

    2012-12-25

    A sootblowing control system that uses predictive models to bridge the gap between sootblower operation and boiler performance goals. The system uses predictive modeling and heuristics (rules) associated with different zones in a boiler to determine an optimal sequence of sootblower operations and achieve boiler performance targets. The system performs the sootblower optimization while observing any operational constraints placed on the sootblowers.

  1. Engineering applications of heuristic multilevel optimization methods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barthelemy, Jean-Francois M.

    1988-01-01

    Some engineering applications of heuristic multilevel optimization methods are presented and the discussion focuses on the dependency matrix that indicates the relationship between problem functions and variables. Coordination of the subproblem optimizations is shown to be typically achieved through the use of exact or approximate sensitivity analysis. Areas for further development are identified.

  2. Engineering applications of heuristic multilevel optimization methods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barthelemy, Jean-Francois M.

    1989-01-01

    Some engineering applications of heuristic multilevel optimization methods are presented and the discussion focuses on the dependency matrix that indicates the relationship between problem functions and variables. Coordination of the subproblem optimizations is shown to be typically achieved through the use of exact or approximate sensitivity analysis. Areas for further development are identified.

  3. Optimizing treatment parameters for the vascular malformations using 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Wei; Lin, He; Xie, Shusen

    2010-02-01

    Near infrared Nd:YAG pulsed laser treatment had been proved to be an efficient method to treat large-sized vascular malformations like leg telangiectasia for deep penetrating depth into skin and uniform light distribution in vessel. However, optimal clinical outcome was achieved by various laser irradiation parameters and the key factor governing the treatment efficacy was still unclear. A mathematical model in combination with Monte Carlo algorithm and finite difference method was developed to estimate the light distribution, temperature profile and thermal damage in epidermis, dermis and vessel during and after 1064 nm pulsed Nd:YAG laser irradiation. Simulation results showed that epidermal protection could be achieved during 1064 nm Nd:YAG pulsed laser irradiation in conjunction with cryogen spray cooling. However, optimal vessel closure and blood coagulation depend on a compromise between laser spot size and pulse duration.

  4. Achieving Quality in Occupational Health

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    O'Donnell, Michele (Editor); Hoffler, G. Wyckliffe (Editor)

    1997-01-01

    The conference convened approximately 100 registered participants of invited guest speakers, NASA presenters, and a broad spectrum of the Occupational Health disciplines representing NASA Headquarters and all NASA Field Centers. Centered on the theme, "Achieving Quality in Occupational Health," conferees heard presentations from award winning occupational health program professionals within the Agency and from private industry; updates on ISO 9000 status, quality assurance, and information technologies; workshops on ergonomics and respiratory protection; an overview from the newly commissioned NASA Occupational Health Assessment Team; and a keynote speech on improving women's health. In addition, NASA occupational health specialists presented 24 poster sessions and oral deliveries on various aspects of current practice at their field centers.

  5. Phenotype-optimized sequence ensembles substantially improve prediction of disease-causing mutation in cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Masica, David L; Sosnay, Patrick R; Cutting, Garry R; Karchin, Rachel

    2012-08-01

    Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) mutation is associated with a phenotypic spectrum that includes cystic fibrosis (CF). The disease liability of some common CFTR mutations is known, but rare mutations are seen in too few patients to categorize unequivocally, making genetic diagnosis difficult. Computational methods can predict the impact of mutation, but prediction specificity is often below that required for clinical utility. Here, we present a novel supervised learning approach for predicting CF from CFTR missense mutation. The algorithm begins by constructing custom multiple sequence alignments called phenotype-optimized sequence ensembles (POSEs). POSEs are constructed iteratively, by selecting sequences that optimize predictive performance on a training set of CFTR mutations of known clinical significance. Next, we predict CF disease liability from a different set of CFTR mutations (test-set mutations). This approach achieves improved prediction performance relative to popular methods recently assessed using the same test-set mutations. Of clinical significance, our method achieves 94% prediction specificity. Because databases such as HGMD and locus-specific mutation databases are growing rapidly, methods that automatically tailor their predictions for a specific phenotype may be of immediate utility. If the performance achieved here generalizes to other systems, the approach could be an excellent tool to help establish genetic diagnoses.

  6. Optimized entanglement-assisted quantum error correction

    SciTech Connect

    Taghavi, Soraya; Brun, Todd A.; Lidar, Daniel A.

    2010-10-15

    Using convex optimization, we propose entanglement-assisted quantum error-correction procedures that are optimized for given noise channels. We demonstrate through numerical examples that such an optimized error-correction method achieves higher channel fidelities than existing methods. This improved performance, which leads to perfect error correction for a larger class of error channels, is interpreted in at least some cases by quantum teleportation, but for general channels this interpretation does not hold.

  7. The effects of chronic achievement motivation and achievement primes on the activation of achievement and fun goals.

    PubMed

    Hart, William; Albarracín, Dolores

    2009-12-01

    This research examined the hypothesis that situational achievement cues can elicit achievement or fun goals depending on chronic differences in achievement motivation. In 4 studies, chronic differences in achievement motivation were measured, and achievement-denoting words were used to influence behavior. The effects of these variables were assessed on self-report inventories, task performance, task resumption following an interruption, and the pursuit of means relevant to achieving or having fun. Findings indicated that achievement priming (vs. control priming) activated a goal to achieve and inhibited a goal to have fun in individuals with chronically high-achievement motivation but activated a goal to have fun and inhibited a goal to achieve in individuals with chronically low-achievement motivation.

  8. The Effects of Chronic Achievement Motivation and Achievement Primes on the Activation of Achievement and Fun Goals

    PubMed Central

    Hart, William; Albarracín, Dolores

    2013-01-01

    This research examined the hypothesis that situational achievement cues can elicit achievement or fun goals depending on chronic differences in achievement motivation. In 4 studies, chronic differences in achievement motivation were measured, and achievement-denoting words were used to influence behavior. The effects of these variables were assessed on self-report inventories, task performance, task resumption following an interruption, and the pursuit of means relevant to achieving or having fun. Findings indicated that achievement priming (vs. control priming) activated a goal to achieve and inhibited a goal to have fun in individuals with chronically high-achievement motivation but activated a goal to have fun and inhibited a goal to achieve in individuals with chronically low-achievement motivation. PMID:19968423

  9. Using simulation to enhance the acquisition and retention of clinical skills in neonatology.

    PubMed

    Anderson, JoDee M; Warren, Jamie B

    2011-04-01

    Neonatal care occurs in extremely complex and dynamic environments and requires providers to operate under intense time pressure in coordination with multiple disciplines. Teaching the clinical skills requisite to effective practice requires the meticulous application of curricular design principles. Simulation can be used as an effective instructional strategy in achieving learner acquisition and retention of the cognitive, technical, and behavioral skills essential to optimal delivery of care in neonatology.

  10. Study of Optimal Replacement of Thyroxine in the ElDerly (SORTED): protocol for a mixed methods feasibility study to assess the clinical utility of lower dose thyroxine in elderly hypothyroid patients: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The population of the UK is ageing. There is compelling evidence that thyroid stimulating hormone distribution levels increase with age. Currently, in UK clinical practice elderly hypothyroid patients are treated with levothyroxine to lower their thyroid stimulating hormone levels to a standard non-age-related range. Evidence suggests that mortality is negatively associated with thyroid stimulating hormone levels. We report the protocol of a feasibility study working towards a full-scale randomized controlled trial to test whether lower dose levothyroxine has beneficial cardiovascular outcomes in the oldest old. Methods/design SORTED is a mixed methods study with three components: SORTED A: A feasibility study of a dual-center single-blinded randomized controlled trial of elderly hypothyroid patients currently treated with levothyroxine. Setting: Patients will be recruited from 20 general practices and two hospital trust endocrine units in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear. Participants: Target recruitment of 50 elderly hypothyroid patients currently treated with levothyroxine, identified in both primary and secondary care settings. Intervention: Reduced dose of levothyroxine to achieve an elevated serum thyroid stimulating hormone (target range 4.1 to 8.0 mU/L) versus standard levothyroxine replacement (target range 0.4 to 4.0 mU/L). Randomization: Using random permuted blocks, in a ratio of 1:1, randomization will be carried out by Newcastle Clinical Trials Unit. Outcomes: Study feasibility (recruitment and retention rates and medication compliance), acceptability of the trial design, assessment of mobility and falls risk, and change in cardiovascular risk factors. SORTED B: Qualitative study using in-depth interviews to understand patients’ willingness to take part in a randomized controlled trial and participants’ experience of the intervention. SORTED C: Retrospective cohort study of 400 treated hypothyroid patients aged 80 years or over

  11. Achievements and challenges of EUV mask imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davydova, Natalia; van Setten, Eelco; de Kruif, Robert; Connolly, Brid; Fukugami, Norihito; Kodera, Yutaka; Morimoto, Hiroaki; Sakata, Yo; Kotani, Jun; Kondo, Shinpei; Imoto, Tomohiro; Rolff, Haiko; Ullrich, Albrecht; Lammers, Ad; Schiffelers, Guido; van Dijk, Joep

    2014-07-01

    The impact of various mask parameters on CDU combined in a total mask budget is presented, for 22 nm lines, for reticles used for NXE:3300 qualification. Apart from the standard mask CD measurements, actinic spectrometry of multilayer is used to qualify reflectance uniformity over the image field; advanced 3D metrology is applied for absorber profile characterization including absorber height and side wall angle. The predicted mask impact on CDU is verified using actual exposure data collected on multiple NXE:3300 scanners. Mask 3D effects are addressed, manifesting themselves in best focus shifts for different structures exposed with off-axis illumination. Experimental NXE:3300 results for 16 nm dense lines and 20 nm (semi-)isolated spaces are shown: best focus range reaches 24 nm. A mitigation strategy by absorber height optimization is proposed based on experimental results of a special mask with varying absorber heights. Further development of a black image border for EUV mask is considered. The image border is a pattern free area surrounding image field preventing exposure the image field neighborhood on wafer. Normal EUV absorber is not suitable for this purpose as it has 1-3% EUV reflectance. A current solution is etching of ML down to substrate reducing EUV reflectance to <0.05%. A next step in the development of the black border is the reduction of DUV Out-of-Band reflectance (<1.5%) in order to cope with DUV light present in EUV scanners. Promising results achieved in this direction are shown.

  12. The VIZIER project: overview; expectations; and achievements.

    PubMed

    Coutard, Bruno; Canard, Bruno

    2010-08-01

    VIZIER is an acronym for a research project entitled "Comparative Structural Genomics of Viral Enzymes Involved in Replication" funded by the European Commission between November 1st, 2004 and April 30th, 2009. It involved 25 partners from 12 countries. In this paper, we describe the organization of the project and the culture created by its multidisciplinary essence. We discuss the main thematic sections of the project and the strategy adopted to optimize the integration of various scientific fields into a common objective: to obtain crystal structures of the widest variety of RNA virus replication enzymes documented and validated as potential drug targets. We discuss the thematic sections and their overall organization, their successes and bottlenecks around the protein production pipeline, the "low hanging fruit" strategy, and measures directed to problem solving. We discuss possible future options for such large-scale projects in the area of antiviral drug design. In a series of accompanying papers in Antiviral Research, the project and its achievements are presented for each virus family.

  13. Device Thrombogenicity Emulation: A Novel Method for Optimizing Mechanical Circulatory Support Device Thromboresistance

    PubMed Central

    Girdhar, Gaurav; Xenos, Michalis; Alemu, Yared; Chiu, Wei-Che; Lynch, Bryan E.; Jesty, Jolyon; Einav, Shmuel; Slepian, Marvin J.; Bluestein, Danny

    2012-01-01

    Mechanical circulatory support (MCS) devices provide both short and long term hemodynamic support for advanced heart failure patients. Unfortunately these devices remain plagued by thromboembolic complications associated with chronic platelet activation – mandating complex, lifelong anticoagulation therapy. To address the unmet need for enhancing the thromboresistance of these devices to extend their long term use, we developed a universal predictive methodology entitled Device Thrombogenicity Emulation (DTE) that facilitates optimizing the thrombogenic performance of any MCS device – ideally to a level that may obviate the need for mandatory anticoagulation. DTE combines in silico numerical simulations with in vitro measurements by correlating device hemodynamics with platelet activity coagulation markers – before and after iterative design modifications aimed at achieving optimized thrombogenic performance. DTE proof-of-concept is demonstrated by comparing two rotary Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs) (DeBakey vs HeartAssist 5, Micromed Houston, TX), the latter a version of the former following optimization of geometrical features implicated in device thrombogenicity. Cumulative stresses that may drive platelets beyond their activation threshold were calculated along multiple flow trajectories and collapsed into probability density functions (PDFs) representing the device ‘thrombogenic footprint’, indicating significantly reduced thrombogenicity for the optimized design. Platelet activity measurements performed in the actual pump prototypes operating under clinical conditions in circulation flow loops – before and after the optimization with the DTE methodology, show an order of magnitude lower platelet activity rate for the optimized device. The robust capability of this predictive technology – demonstrated here for attaining safe and cost-effective pre-clinical MCS thrombo-optimization – indicates its potential for reducing device

  14. Randomized trial of achieving healthy lifestyles in psychiatric rehabilitation: the ACHIEVE trial

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Overweight and obesity are highly prevalent among persons with serious mental illness. These conditions likely contribute to premature cardiovascular disease and a 20 to 30 percent shortened life expectancy in this vulnerable population. Persons with serious mental illness need effective, appropriately tailored behavioral interventions to achieve and maintain weight loss. Psychiatric rehabilitation day programs provide logical intervention settings because mental health consumers often attend regularly and exercise can take place on-site. This paper describes the Randomized Trial of Achieving Healthy Lifestyles in Psychiatric Rehabilitation (ACHIEVE). The goal of the study is to determine the effectiveness of a behavioral weight loss intervention among persons with serious mental illness that attend psychiatric rehabilitation programs. Participants randomized to the intervention arm of the study are hypothesized to have greater weight loss than the control group. Methods/Design A targeted 320 men and women with serious mental illness and overweight or obesity (body mass index ≥ 25.0 kg/m2) will be recruited from 10 psychiatric rehabilitation programs across Maryland. The core design is a randomized, two-arm, parallel, multi-site clinical trial to compare the effectiveness of an 18-month behavioral weight loss intervention to usual care. Active intervention participants receive weight management sessions and physical activity classes on-site led by study interventionists. The intervention incorporates cognitive adaptations for persons with serious mental illness attending psychiatric rehabilitation programs. The initial intensive intervention period is six months, followed by a twelve-month maintenance period in which trained rehabilitation program staff assume responsibility for delivering parts of the intervention. Primary outcomes are weight loss at six and 18 months. Discussion Evidence-based approaches to the high burden of obesity and

  15. Latest achievements in PET techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Guerra, Alberto; Belcari, Nicola; Motta, Alfonso; Di Domenico, Giovanni; Sabba, Nicola; Zavattini, Guido

    2003-11-01

    Positron emission tomography (PET) has moved from a distinguished research tool in physiology, cardiology and neurology to become a major tool for clinical investigation in oncology, in cardiac applications and in neurological disorders. Much of the PET accomplishments is due to the remarkable improvements in the last 10 years both in hardware and software aspects. Nowadays a similar effort is made by many research groups towards the construction of dedicated PET apparatus in new emerging fields such as molecular medicine, gene therapy, breast cancer imaging and combined modalities. This paper reports on some recent results we have obtained in small animal imaging and positron emission mammography, based on the use of advanced technology in the field of scintillators and photodetectors, such as Position-Sensitive Detectors coupled to crystal matrices, combined use of scintillating fibers and Hybrid-Photo-Diodes readout, and Hamamatsu flat panels. New ideas and future developments are discussed.

  16. Teaching clinical reasoning: case-based and coached.

    PubMed

    Kassirer, Jerome P

    2010-07-01

    Optimal medical care is critically dependent on clinicians' skills to make the right diagnosis and to recommend the most appropriate therapy, and acquiring such reasoning skills is a key requirement at every level of medical education. Teaching clinical reasoning is grounded in several fundamental principles of educational theory. Adult learning theory posits that learning is best accomplished by repeated, deliberate exposure to real cases, that case examples should be selected for their reflection of multiple aspects of clinical reasoning, and that the participation of a coach augments the value of an educational experience. The theory proposes that memory of clinical medicine and clinical reasoning strategies is enhanced when errors in information, judgment, and reasoning are immediately pointed out and discussed. Rather than using cases artificially constructed from memory, real cases are greatly preferred because they often reflect the false leads, the polymorphisms of actual clinical material, and the misleading test results encountered in everyday practice. These concepts foster the teaching and learning of the diagnostic process, the complex trade-offs between the benefits and risks of diagnostic tests and treatments, and cognitive errors in clinical reasoning. The teaching of clinical reasoning need not and should not be delayed until students gain a full understanding of anatomy and pathophysiology. Concepts such as hypothesis generation, pattern recognition, context formulation, diagnostic test interpretation, differential diagnosis, and diagnostic verification provide both the language and the methods of clinical problem solving. Expertise is attainable even though the precise mechanisms of achieving it are not known.

  17. Optimal shutdown management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottasso, C. L.; Croce, A.; Riboldi, C. E. D.

    2014-06-01

    The paper presents a novel approach for the synthesis of the open-loop pitch profile during emergency shutdowns. The problem is of interest in the design of wind turbines, as such maneuvers often generate design driving loads on some of the machine components. The pitch profile synthesis is formulated as a constrained optimal control problem, solved numerically using a direct single shooting approach. A cost function expressing a compromise between load reduction and rotor overspeed is minimized with respect to the unknown blade pitch profile. Constraints may include a load reduction not-to-exceed the next dominating loads, a not-to-be-exceeded maximum rotor speed, and a maximum achievable blade pitch rate. Cost function and constraints are computed over a possibly large number of operating conditions, defined so as to cover as well as possible the operating situations encountered in the lifetime of the machine. All such conditions are simulated by using a high-fidelity aeroservoelastic model of the wind turbine, ensuring the accuracy of the evaluation of all relevant parameters. The paper demonstrates the capabilities of the novel proposed formulation, by optimizing the pitch profile of a multi-MW wind turbine. Results show that the procedure can reliably identify optimal pitch profiles that reduce design-driving loads, in a fully automated way.

  18. Schedule path optimization for adiabatic quantum computing and optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Lishan; Zhang, Jun; Sarovar, Mohan

    2016-04-01

    Adiabatic quantum computing and optimization have garnered much attention recently as possible models for achieving a quantum advantage over classical approaches to optimization and other special purpose computations. Both techniques are probabilistic in nature and the minimum gap between the ground state and first excited state of the system during evolution is a major factor in determining the success probability. In this work we investigate a strategy for increasing the minimum gap and success probability by introducing intermediate Hamiltonians that modify the evolution path between initial and final Hamiltonians. We focus on an optimization problem relevant to recent hardware implementations and present numerical evidence for the existence of a purely local intermediate Hamiltonian that achieve the optimum performance in terms of pushing the minimum gap to one of the end points of the evolution. As a part of this study we develop a convex optimization formulation of the search for optimal adiabatic schedules that makes this computation more tractable, and which may be of independent interest. We further study the effectiveness of random intermediate Hamiltonians on the minimum gap and success probability, and empirically find that random Hamiltonians have a significant probability of increasing the success probability, but only by a modest amount.

  19. Two concepts of therapeutic optimism

    PubMed Central

    Jansen, Lynn A

    2011-01-01

    Researchers and ethicists have long been concerned about the expectations for direct medical benefit expressed by participants in early phase clinical trials. Early work on the issue considered the possibility that participants misunderstand the purpose of clinical research or that they are misinformed about the prospects for medical benefit from these trials. Recently, however, attention has turned to the possibility that research participants are simply expressing optimism or hope about their participation in these trials. The ethical significance of this therapeutic optimism remains unclear. This paper argues that there are two distinct phenomena that can be associated with the term ‘therapeutic optimism’—one is ethically benign and the other is potentially worrisome. Distinguishing these two phenomena is crucial for understanding the nature and ethical significance of therapeutic optimism. The failure to draw a distinction between these phenomena also helps to explain why different writers on the topic often speak past one another. PMID:21551464

  20. Dimensions of design space: a decision-theoretic approach to optimal research design.

    PubMed

    Conti, Stefano; Claxton, Karl

    2009-01-01

    Bayesian decision theory can be used not only to establish the optimal sample size and its allocation in a single clinical study but also to identify an optimal portfolio of research combining different types of study design. Within a single study, the highest societal payoff to proposed research is achieved when its sample sizes and allocation between available treatment options are chosen to maximize the expected net benefit of sampling (ENBS). Where a number of different types of study informing different parameters in the decision problem could be conducted, the simultaneous estimation of ENBS across all dimensions of the design space is required to identify the optimal sample sizes and allocations within such a research portfolio. This is illustrated through a simple example of a decision model of zanamivir for the treatment of influenza. The possible study designs include: 1) a single trial of all the parameters, 2) a clinical trial providing evidence only on clinical endpoints, 3) an epidemiological study of natural history of disease, and 4) a survey of quality of life. The possible combinations, samples sizes, and allocation between trial arms are evaluated over a range of cost-effectiveness thresholds. The computational challenges are addressed by implementing optimization algorithms to search the ENBS surface more efficiently over such large dimensions.