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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. The Effects of Academic Optimism on Elementary Reading Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bevel, Raymona K.; Mitchell, Roxanne M.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between academic optimism (AO) and elementary reading achievement (RA). Design/methodology/approach: Using correlation and hierarchical linear regression, the authors examined school-level effects of AO on fifth grade reading achievement in 29 elementary schools in Alabama.…

  3. Academic Optimism and Student Achievement in Urban Elementary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Page A.; Hoy, Wayne K.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of this study was two-fold: to demonstrate a general construct of schools called academic optimism and to show it was related to student achievement in urban elementary schools, even controlling for socioeconomic factors, and school size. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected from 99 urban elementary schools in Texas…

  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. 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.…

  6. WFH: closing the global gap--achieving optimal care.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Mark W

    2012-07-01

    For 50 years, the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) has been working globally to close the gap in care and to achieve Treatment for All patients, men and women, with haemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders, regardless of where they might live. The WFH estimates that more than one in 1000 men and women has a bleeding disorder equating to 6,900,000 worldwide. To close the gap in care between developed and developing nations a continued focus on the successful strategies deployed heretofore will be required. However, in response to the rapid advances in treatment and emerging therapeutic advances on the horizon it will also require fresh approaches and renewed strategic thinking. It is difficult to predict what each therapeutic advance on the horizon will mean for the future, but there is no doubt that we are in a golden age of research and development, which has the prospect of revolutionizing treatment once again. An improved understanding of "optimal" treatment is fundamental to the continued evolution of global care. The challenges of answering government and payer demands for evidence-based medicine, and cost justification for the introduction and enhancement of treatment, are ever-present and growing. To sustain and improve care it is critical to build the body of outcome data for individual patients, within haemophilia treatment centers (HTCs), nationally, regionally and globally. Emerging therapeutic advances (longer half-life therapies and gene transfer) should not be justified or brought to market based only on the notion that they will be economically more affordable, although that may be the case, but rather more importantly that they will be therapeutically more advantageous. Improvements in treatment adherence, reductions in bleeding frequency (including microhemorrhages), better management of trough levels, and improved health outcomes (including quality of life) should be the foremost considerations. As part of a new WFH strategic plan

  7. WFH: closing the global gap--achieving optimal care.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Mark W

    2012-07-01

    For 50 years, the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) has been working globally to close the gap in care and to achieve Treatment for All patients, men and women, with haemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders, regardless of where they might live. The WFH estimates that more than one in 1000 men and women has a bleeding disorder equating to 6,900,000 worldwide. To close the gap in care between developed and developing nations a continued focus on the successful strategies deployed heretofore will be required. However, in response to the rapid advances in treatment and emerging therapeutic advances on the horizon it will also require fresh approaches and renewed strategic thinking. It is difficult to predict what each therapeutic advance on the horizon will mean for the future, but there is no doubt that we are in a golden age of research and development, which has the prospect of revolutionizing treatment once again. An improved understanding of "optimal" treatment is fundamental to the continued evolution of global care. The challenges of answering government and payer demands for evidence-based medicine, and cost justification for the introduction and enhancement of treatment, are ever-present and growing. To sustain and improve care it is critical to build the body of outcome data for individual patients, within haemophilia treatment centers (HTCs), nationally, regionally and globally. Emerging therapeutic advances (longer half-life therapies and gene transfer) should not be justified or brought to market based only on the notion that they will be economically more affordable, although that may be the case, but rather more importantly that they will be therapeutically more advantageous. Improvements in treatment adherence, reductions in bleeding frequency (including microhemorrhages), better management of trough levels, and improved health outcomes (including quality of life) should be the foremost considerations. As part of a new WFH strategic plan

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Identification of Synergistic, Clinically Achievable, Combination Therapies for Osteosarcoma

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Diana; Kahen, Elliot; Cubitt, Christopher L.; McGuire, Jeremy; Kreahling, Jenny; Lee, Jae; Altiok, Soner; Lynch, Conor C.; Sullivan, Daniel M.; Reed, Damon R.

    2015-01-01

    Systemic therapy has improved osteosarcoma event-free and overall survival, but 30–50% of patients originally diagnosed will have progressive or recurrent disease, which is difficult to cure. Osteosarcoma has a complex karyotype, with loss of p53 in the vast majority of cases and an absence of recurrent, targetable pathways. In this study, we explored 54 agents that are clinically approved for other oncologic indications, agents in active clinical development, and others with promising preclinical data in osteosarcoma at clinically achievable concentrations in 5 osteosarcoma cell lines. We found significant single-agent activity of multiple agents and tested 10 drugs in all permutations of two-drug combinations to define synergistic combinations by Chou and Talalay analysis. We then evaluated order of addition to choose the combinations that may be best to translate to the clinic. We conclude that the repurposing of chemotherapeutics in osteosarcoma by using an in vitro system may define novel drug combinations with significant in vivo activity. In particular, combinations of proteasome inhibitors with histone deacetylase inhibitors and ixabepilone and MK1775 demonstrated excellent activity in our assays. PMID:26601688

  11. Identification of Synergistic, Clinically Achievable, Combination Therapies for Osteosarcoma.

    PubMed

    Yu, Diana; Kahen, Elliot; Cubitt, Christopher L; McGuire, Jeremy; Kreahling, Jenny; Lee, Jae; Altiok, Soner; Lynch, Conor C; Sullivan, Daniel M; Reed, Damon R

    2015-01-01

    Systemic therapy has improved osteosarcoma event-free and overall survival, but 30-50% of patients originally diagnosed will have progressive or recurrent disease, which is difficult to cure. Osteosarcoma has a complex karyotype, with loss of p53 in the vast majority of cases and an absence of recurrent, targetable pathways. In this study, we explored 54 agents that are clinically approved for other oncologic indications, agents in active clinical development, and others with promising preclinical data in osteosarcoma at clinically achievable concentrations in 5 osteosarcoma cell lines. We found significant single-agent activity of multiple agents and tested 10 drugs in all permutations of two-drug combinations to define synergistic combinations by Chou and Talalay analysis. We then evaluated order of addition to choose the combinations that may be best to translate to the clinic. We conclude that the repurposing of chemotherapeutics in osteosarcoma by using an in vitro system may define novel drug combinations with significant in vivo activity. In particular, combinations of proteasome inhibitors with histone deacetylase inhibitors and ixabepilone and MK1775 demonstrated excellent activity in our assays. PMID:26601688

  12. The optimal polarizations for achieving maximum contrast in radar images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swartz, A. A.; Yueh, H. A.; Kong, J. A.; Novak, L. M.; Shin, R. T.

    1988-01-01

    There is considerable interest in determining the optimal polarizations that maximize contrast between two scattering classes in polarimetric radar images. A systematic approach is presented for obtaining the optimal polarimetric matched filter, i.e., that filter which produces maximum contrast between two scattering classes. The maximization procedure involves solving an eigenvalue problem where the eigenvector corresponding to the maximum contrast ratio is an optimal polarimetric matched filter. To exhibit the physical significance of this filter, it is transformed into its associated transmitting and receiving polarization states, written in terms of horizontal and vertical vector components. For the special case where the transmitting polarization is fixed, the receiving polarization which maximizes the contrast ratio is also obtained. Polarimetric filtering is then applies to synthetic aperture radar images obtained from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It is shown, both numerically and through the use of radar imagery, that maximum image contrast can be realized when data is processed with the optimal polarimeter matched filter.

  13. Optimizing density patterns to achieve desired light extraction for displays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davenport, T. L. R.; Cassarly, W. J.

    2007-01-01

    In displays such as backlights and signage, it is often desirable to produce a particular spatial luminance distribution of light. This work demonstrates an iterative optimization technique for determining the density of light extractors required to produce desired luminance distributions.

  14. Combining clinical variables to optimize prediction of antidepressant treatment outcomes.

    PubMed

    Iniesta, Raquel; Malki, Karim; Maier, Wolfgang; Rietschel, Marcella; Mors, Ole; Hauser, Joanna; Henigsberg, Neven; Dernovsek, Mojca Zvezdana; Souery, Daniel; Stahl, Daniel; Dobson, Richard; Aitchison, Katherine J; Farmer, Anne; Lewis, Cathryn M; McGuffin, Peter; Uher, Rudolf

    2016-07-01

    The outcome of treatment with antidepressants varies markedly across people with the same diagnosis. A clinically significant prediction of outcomes could spare the frustration of trial and error approach and improve the outcomes of major depressive disorder through individualized treatment selection. It is likely that a combination of multiple predictors is needed to achieve such prediction. We used elastic net regularized regression to optimize prediction of symptom improvement and remission during treatment with escitalopram or nortriptyline and to identify contributing predictors from a range of demographic and clinical variables in 793 adults with major depressive disorder. A combination of demographic and clinical variables, with strong contributions from symptoms of depressed mood, reduced interest, decreased activity, indecisiveness, pessimism and anxiety significantly predicted treatment outcomes, explaining 5-10% of variance in symptom improvement with escitalopram. Similar combinations of variables predicted remission with area under the curve 0.72, explaining approximately 15% of variance (pseudo R(2)) in who achieves remission, with strong contributions from body mass index, appetite, interest-activity symptom dimension and anxious-somatizing depression subtype. Escitalopram-specific outcome prediction was more accurate than generic outcome prediction, and reached effect sizes that were near or above a previously established benchmark for clinical significance. Outcome prediction on the nortriptyline arm did not significantly differ from chance. These results suggest that easily obtained demographic and clinical variables can predict therapeutic response to escitalopram with clinically meaningful accuracy, suggesting a potential for individualized prescription of this antidepressant drug. PMID:27089522

  15. Reduced order constrained optimization (ROCO): Clinical application to lung IMRT

    PubMed Central

    Stabenau, Hans; Rivera, Linda; Yorke, Ellen; Yang, Jie; Lu, Renzhi; Radke, Richard J.; Jackson, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The authors use reduced-order constrained optimization (ROCO) to create clinically acceptable IMRT plans quickly and automatically for advanced lung cancer patients. Their new ROCO implementation works with the treatment planning system and full dose calculation used at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). The authors have implemented mean dose hard constraints, along with the point-dose and dose-volume constraints that the authors used for our previous work on the prostate.Methods: ROCO consists of three major steps. First, the space of treatment plans is sampled by solving a series of optimization problems using penalty-based quadratic objective functions. Next, an efficient basis for this space is found via principal component analysis (PCA); this reduces the dimensionality of the problem. Finally, a constrained optimization problem is solved over this basis to find a clinically acceptable IMRT plan. Dimensionality reduction makes constrained optimization computationally efficient.Results: The authors apply ROCO to 12 stage III non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cases, generating IMRT plans that meet all clinical constraints and are clinically acceptable, and demonstrate that they are competitive with the clinical treatment plans. The authors also test how many samples and PCA modes are necessary to achieve an adequate lung plan, demonstrate the importance of long-range dose calculation for ROCO, and evaluate the performance of nonspecific normal tissue (“rind”) constraints in ROCO treatment planning for the lung. Finally, authors show that ROCO can save time for planners, and they estimate that in the clinic, planning using their approach would save a median of 105 min for the patients in the study.Conclusions: New challenges arise when applying ROCO to the lung site, which include the lack of a class solution, a larger treatment site, an increased number of parameters and beamlets, a variable number of beams and beam arrangement, and

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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

    SciTech Connect

    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. Regulatory schemes to achieve optimal flux partitioning in bacterial metabolism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Lei-Han; Yang, Zhu; Hui, Sheng; Kim, Pan-Jun; Li, Xue-Fei; Hwa, Terence

    2012-02-01

    The flux balance analysis (FBA) offers a way to compute the optimal performance of a given metabolic network when the maximum incoming flux of nutrient molecules and other essential ingredients for biosynthesis are specified. Here we report a theoretical and computational analysis of the network structure and regulatory interactions in an E. coli cell. An automated scheme is devised to simplify the network topology and to enumerate the independent flux degrees of freedom. The network organization revealed by the scheme enables a detailed interpretation of the three layers of metabolic regulation known in the literature: i) independent transcriptional regulation of biosynthesis and salvage pathways to render the network tree-like under a given nutrient condition; ii) allosteric end-product inhibition of enzyme activity at entry points of synthesis pathways for metabolic flux partitioning according to consumption; iii) homeostasis of currency and carrier compounds to maintain sufficient supply of global commodities. Using the amino-acid synthesis pathways as an example, we show that the FBA result can be reproduced with suitable implementation of the three classes of regulatory interactions with literature evidence.

  1. 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.

  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. 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…

  4. 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. PMID:26466826

  5. Principal Leadership: Creating a Culture of Academic Optimism to Improve Achievement for All Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGuigan, Leigh; Hoy, Wayne K.

    2006-01-01

    Since the Coleman Report (1966), educational researchers have tried to identify school properties that make a difference in student achievement and overcome the negative influence of low socioeconomic status. We theorized that academic optimism was a latent construct that enhanced student achievement and that enabling school structure provided a…

  6. Clinical decision support systems for improving diagnostic accuracy and achieving precision medicine.

    PubMed

    Castaneda, Christian; Nalley, Kip; Mannion, Ciaran; Bhattacharyya, Pritish; Blake, Patrick; Pecora, Andrew; Goy, Andre; Suh, K Stephen

    2015-01-01

    As research laboratories and clinics collaborate to achieve precision medicine, both communities are required to understand mandated electronic health/medical record (EHR/EMR) initiatives that will be fully implemented in all clinics in the United States by 2015. Stakeholders will need to evaluate current record keeping practices and optimize and standardize methodologies to capture nearly all information in digital format. Collaborative efforts from academic and industry sectors are crucial to achieving higher efficacy in patient care while minimizing costs. Currently existing digitized data and information are present in multiple formats and are largely unstructured. In the absence of a universally accepted management system, departments and institutions continue to generate silos of information. As a result, invaluable and newly discovered knowledge is difficult to access. To accelerate biomedical research and reduce healthcare costs, clinical and bioinformatics systems must employ common data elements to create structured annotation forms enabling laboratories and clinics to capture sharable data in real time. Conversion of these datasets to knowable information should be a routine institutionalized process. New scientific knowledge and clinical discoveries can be shared via integrated knowledge environments defined by flexible data models and extensive use of standards, ontologies, vocabularies, and thesauri. In the clinical setting, aggregated knowledge must be displayed in user-friendly formats so that physicians, non-technical laboratory personnel, nurses, data/research coordinators, and end-users can enter data, access information, and understand the output. The effort to connect astronomical numbers of data points, including '-omics'-based molecular data, individual genome sequences, experimental data, patient clinical phenotypes, and follow-up data is a monumental task. Roadblocks to this vision of integration and interoperability include ethical, legal

  7. Intelligence and Academic Achievement in a Clinical Adolescent Population

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, David W.; Morris, Linda

    1977-01-01

    The present study was undertaken with two related goals: (a) to examine the relationships between the WRAT and CAT, and (b) to examine the relationships which may exist between these academic achievement tests -nd a standard intelligence battery such as the Wechsler Scale. (Author)

  8. The clinical features and optimal treatment of anorectal malignant melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Soomin; Kim, Chang Woo; Baek, Se Jin; Hur, Hyuk; Min, Byung Soh; Kim, Nam Kyu

    2014-01-01

    Anorectal malignant melanoma (AMM) is a very rare and aggressive disease. The purpose of this article is to review the clinical features of AMM, to understand treatment options, and optimal therapy by reviewing pertinent literature. Traditionally an abdominoperineal resection (APR) sacrificing the anal sphincter has been performed for radical resection of cancer, but recently, wide excision of AMM is attempted since quality of life after surgery is an important issue. Some authors reported that there was no difference in five-year survival between the patient who underwent an APR and wide excision. The goal of both APR and wide excision was to improve survival with R0 resection. Adjuvant chemoradiation therapy can be performed to achieve an R0 resection. AMM shows very poor prognosis. At this time, research on AMM is insufficient to suggest a treatment guideline. Thus, treatment options, and a therapeutic method should be selected carefully. PMID:25247163

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Facilitating cells: Translation of hematopoietic chimerism to achieve clinical tolerance.

    PubMed

    Ildstad, Suzanne T; Leventhal, Joseph; Wen, Yujie; Yolcu, Esma

    2015-04-01

    For over 50 y the association between hematopoietic chimerism and tolerance has been recognized. This originated with the brilliant observation by Dr. Ray Owen that freemartin cattle twins that shared a common placental blood supply were red blood cell chimeras, which led to the discovery that hematopoietic chimerism resulted in actively acquired tolerance. This was first confirmed in neonatal mice by Medawar et al. and subsequently in adult rodents. Fifty years later this concept has been successfully translated to solid organ transplant recipients in the clinic. The field is new, but cell-based therapies are being used with increasing frequency to induce tolerance and immunomodulation. The future is bright. This review focuses on chimerism and tolerance: past, present and prospects for the future.

  12. Achieving optimal aesthetics for direct and indirect restorations with microhybrid composite resins.

    PubMed

    Okuda, Wynn H

    2005-04-01

    In aesthetic dentistry, material science has played a key role in the development of natural-appearing restorations. Despite the progress, there have been challenges in achieving a harmonious integration of direct and indirect posterior restorations. Although porcelain restorations provide natural aesthetics, ceramics cannot be applied via direct techniques. Consequently, composite resins are valuable alternatives for conservative posterior restorations. In addition, because of their differing physical and optical properties, optimal aesthetic blending with porcelain and resin cannot be routinely achieved. This article explores the potential of composite resins as a direct and indirect restorative option in achieving the most favorable natural blend in the posterior region.

  13. [Standardization and archiving of clinical reviews: search for optimal solutions].

    PubMed

    Bezuglaia, M V

    2013-12-01

    The article refers to the necessity of the optimization processes for standardization and archiving of clinical examinations at the different stages of care, including also outpatient care. The compromise solution to the problem has been offered in the article.

  14. 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…

  15. The Clinical Significance of Optimality Theory for Phonological Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gierut, Judith A.; Morrisette, Michele L.

    2005-01-01

    Linguistic theory has made important contributions to the clinical assessment and treatment of children with functional phonological disorders. In this article, Optimality Theory (OT) is introduced as a new linguistic model of grammar. Basic assumptions of the model are described and extended to clinical assessment and treatment. The aim is (1) to…

  16. 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.

  17. Optimizing the clinical pharmacology of tuberculosis medications.

    PubMed

    Egelund, E F; Alsultan, A; Peloquin, C A

    2015-10-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) treatment has changed little in the past 40 years. The current standard therapy requires four drugs for 2 months followed by two drugs for 4 months. This "short-course" regimen is not based on optimized pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties, but empiric evidence. A review of existing data suggests that pharmacokinetic variability with isoniazid and rifampin is greater than previously thought, and that efficacy is not as good as traditionally reported. Adding new drugs to the current regimen will be costly and time-consuming. Maximizing the efficacy of the current medications is a less expensive and more feasible option. This article reviews the current potential of the first-line TB drugs (rifamycins, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol) as well as the fluoroquinolones to introduce a true short-course TB regimen.

  18. From Pharmacovigilance to Clinical Care Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Moseley, Edward; Moses, Christopher; Ryan, Padhraig; Somai, Melek; Stone, David; Tang, Kai-ou

    2014-01-01

    Abstract In order to ensure the continued, safe administration of pharmaceuticals, particularly those agents that have been recently introduced into the market, there is a need for improved surveillance after product release. This is particularly so because drugs are used by a variety of patients whose particular characteristics may not have been fully captured in the original market approval studies. Even well-conducted, randomized controlled trials are likely to have excluded a large proportion of individuals because of any number of issues. The digitization of medical care, which yields rich and accessible drug data amenable to analytic techniques, provides an opportunity to capture the required information via observational studies. We propose the development of an open, accessible database containing properly de-identified data, to provide the substrate for the required improvement in pharmacovigilance. A range of stakeholders could use this to identify delayed and low-frequency adverse events. Moreover, its power as a research tool could extend to the detection of complex interactions, potential novel uses, and subtle subpopulation effects. This far-reaching potential is demonstrated by our experience with the open Multi-parameter Intelligent Monitoring in Intensive Care (MIMIC) intensive care unit database. The new database could also inform the development of objective, robust clinical practice guidelines. Careful systematization and deliberate standardization of a fully digitized pharmacovigilance process is likely to save both time and resources for healthcare in general. PMID:26576325

  19. MRI Contrast Agents: Evolution of Clinical Practice and Dose Optimization.

    PubMed

    Khan, Rihan

    2016-08-01

    Accurate detection of lesions throughout the body is of paramount importance in contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Optimal contrast agent performance is therefore of great importance and given the number of MRI contrast agent options today, this topic is of much ongoing study. The goal of this review article is to bring the read up to date on pertinent articles that relate to the evolution of radiological clinical practice and dose optimization pertaining to gadolinium contrast agents. PMID:27367313

  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. [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.

  2. Optimal design of clinical trials comparing several treatments with a control.

    PubMed

    Marschner, Ian C

    2007-01-01

    Clinical trials are often designed to compare several treatments with a common control arm in pairwise fashion. In this paper we study optimal designs for such studies, based on minimizing the total number of patients required to achieve a given level of power. A common approach when designing studies to compare several treatments with a control is to achieve the desired power for each individual pairwise treatment comparison. However, it is often more appropriate to characterize power in terms of the family of null hypotheses being tested, and to control the probability of rejecting all, or alternatively any, of these individual hypotheses. While all approaches lead to unbalanced designs with more patients allocated to the control arm, it is found that the optimal design and required number of patients can vary substantially depending on the chosen characterization of power. The methods make allowance for both continuous and binary outcomes and are illustrated with reference to two clinical trials, one involving multiple doses compared to placebo and the other involving combination therapy compared to mono-therapies. In one example a 55% reduction in sample size is achieved through an optimal design combined with the appropriate characterization of power. PMID:17323312

  3. Achieving consistent image quality with dose optimization in 64-row multidetector computed tomography prospective ECG gated coronary calcium scoring.

    PubMed

    Pan, Zilai; Pang, Lifang; Li, Jianying; Zhang, Huan; Yang, Wenjie; Ding, Bei; Chai, Weimin; Chen, Kemin; Yao, Weiwu

    2011-04-01

    To evaluate the clinical value of a body mass index (BMI) based tube current (mA) selection method for obtaining consistent image quality with dose optimization in MDCT prospective ECG gated coronary calcium scoring. A formula for selecting mA to achieve desired image quality based on patient BMI was established using a control group (A) of 200 MDCT cardiac patients with a standard scan protocol. One hundred patients in Group B were scanned with this BMI-dependent mA for achieving a desired noise level of 18 HU at 2.5 mm slice thickness. The CTDIvol and image noise on the ascending aorta for the two groups were recorded. Two experienced radiologists quantitatively evaluated the image quality using scores of 1-4 with 4 being the highest. The image quality scores had no statistical difference (P = 0.71) at 3.89 ± 0.32, 3.87 ± 0.34, respectively, for groups A and B of similar BMI. The image noise in Group A had linear relationship with BMI. The image noise in Group B using BMI-dependent mA was independent of BMI with average value of 17.9 HU and smaller deviations for the noise values than in Group A (2.0 vs. 2.9 HU). There was a 35% dose reduction with BMI-dependent mA selection method on average with the lowest effective dose being only 0.35 mSv for patient with BMI of 18.3. A quantitative BMI-based mA selection method in MDCT prospective ECG gated coronary calcium scoring has been proposed to obtain a desired and consistent image quality and provide dose optimization across patient population.

  4. High-fidelity simulation: Assessment of student nurses' team achievements of clinical judgment.

    PubMed

    Hallin, Karin; Bäckström, Britt; Häggström, Marie; Kristiansen, Lisbeth

    2016-07-01

    Nursing educators have the challenge of preparing nursing students to handle complex patient care situations in real life, but much remains unknown about the ability to make clinical judgments. In this study, high-fidelity simulation (HFS) was used at a Swedish university to find answers about pre-licensure nursing students' success in clinical judgment in terms of team ability and relationships with theoretical achievements, and personal and scenario circumstances. The matrix Lasater Clinical Judgment Rubric (LCJR) was used to analyze and score the students' ability in teams to notice, interpret and respond to complex care situations. Overall, the results showed the student teams in their first meeting with HFS in a complex care situation achieved low clinical judgment points; most teams were in the stages of Beginning and Developing. For attaining high team achievements the majority of the students in the team should theoretically be "high performance". Being observers and having HFS experience before nursing education was significant too. However, age, health care experience, and assistant nurse degrees were of secondary importance. Further research at universities regionally, nationally, and internationally is needed. PMID:27428686

  5. Proton beam scattering system optimization for clinical and research applications

    SciTech Connect

    Wroe, A. J.; Schulte, R. W.; Slater, J. D.; Barnes, S.; McAuley, G.; Slater, J. M.

    2013-04-15

    Purpose: To develop and test a method for optimizing and constructing a dual scattering system in passively scattered proton therapy. Methods: A beam optics optimization algorithm was developed to optimize the thickness of the first scatterer (S1) and the profile (of both the high-Z material and Lexan) of the second scatterer (S2) to deliver a proton beam matching a given set of parameters, including field diameter, fluence, flatness, and symmetry. A new manufacturing process was also tested that allows the contoured second scattering foil to be created much more economically and quickly using Cerrobend casting. Two application-specific scattering systems were developed and tested using both experimental and Monte Carlo techniques to validate the optimization process described. Results: A scattering system was optimized and constructed to deliver large uniform irradiations of radiobiology samples at low dose rates. This system was successfully built and tested using film and ionization chambers. The system delivered a uniform radiation field of 50 cm diameter (to a dose of {+-}7% of the central axis) while the depth dose profile could be tuned to match the specifications of the particular investigator using modulator wheels and range shifters. A second scattering system for intermediate field size (4 cm < diameter < 10 cm) stereotactic radiosurgery and radiation therapy (SRS and SRT) treatments was also developed and tested using GEANT4. This system improved beam efficiency by over 70% compared with existing scattering systems while maintaining field flatness and depth dose profile. In both cases the proton range uniformity across the radiation field was maintained, further indicating the accuracy of the energy loss formalism in the optimization algorithm. Conclusions: The methods described allow for rapid prototyping of scattering foils to meet the demands of both research and clinical beam delivery applications in proton therapy.

  6. Optimizing perioperative decision making: improved information for clinical workflow planning.

    PubMed

    Doebbeling, Bradley N; Burton, Matthew M; Wiebke, Eric A; Miller, Spencer; Baxter, Laurence; Miller, Donald; Alvarez, Jorge; Pekny, Joseph

    2012-01-01

    Perioperative care is complex and involves multiple interconnected subsystems. Delayed starts, prolonged cases and overtime are common. Surgical procedures account for 40-70% of hospital revenues and 30-40% of total costs. Most planning and scheduling in healthcare is done without modern planning tools, which have potential for improving access by assisting in operations planning support. We identified key planning scenarios of interest to perioperative leaders, in order to examine the feasibility of applying combinatorial optimization software solving some of those planning issues in the operative setting. Perioperative leaders desire a broad range of tools for planning and assessing alternate solutions. Our modeled solutions generated feasible solutions that varied as expected, based on resource and policy assumptions and found better utilization of scarce resources. Combinatorial optimization modeling can effectively evaluate alternatives to support key decisions for planning clinical workflow and improving care efficiency and satisfaction.

  7. 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

  8. Clinical importance of achieving biochemical control with medical therapy in adult patients with acromegaly.

    PubMed

    Christofides, Elena A

    2016-01-01

    In acromegaly, achieving biochemical control (growth hormone [GH] level <1.0 ng/mL and age- and sex-normalized levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 [IGF-1]) through timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment provides an opportunity to improve patient outcomes. Diagnosis of acromegaly is challenging because it is rooted in observing subtle clinical manifestations, and it is typical for acromegaly to evolve for up to 10 years before it is recognized. This results in chronic exposure to elevated levels of GH and IGF-1 and delay in patients receiving appropriate treatment, which consequently increases mortality risk. In this review, the clinical impact of elevated GH and IGF-1 levels, the effectiveness of current therapies, and the potential role of novel treatments for acromegaly will be discussed. Clinical burden of acromegaly and benefits associated with management of GH and IGF-1 levels will be reviewed. Major treatment paradigms in acromegaly include surgery, medical therapy, and radiotherapy. With medical therapies, such as somatostatin analogs, dopamine agonists, and GH receptor antagonists, a substantial proportion of patients achieve reduced GH and normalized IGF-1 levels. In addition, signs and symptoms, quality of life, and comorbidities have also been reported to improve to varying degrees in patients who achieve biochemical control. Currently, there are several innovative therapies in development to improve patient outcomes, patient use, and access. Timely biochemical control of acromegaly ensures that the patient can ultimately improve morbidity and mortality from this disease and its extensive consequences. PMID:27471378

  9. Clinical importance of achieving biochemical control with medical therapy in adult patients with acromegaly

    PubMed Central

    Christofides, Elena A

    2016-01-01

    In acromegaly, achieving biochemical control (growth hormone [GH] level <1.0 ng/mL and age- and sex-normalized levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 [IGF-1]) through timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment provides an opportunity to improve patient outcomes. Diagnosis of acromegaly is challenging because it is rooted in observing subtle clinical manifestations, and it is typical for acromegaly to evolve for up to 10 years before it is recognized. This results in chronic exposure to elevated levels of GH and IGF-1 and delay in patients receiving appropriate treatment, which consequently increases mortality risk. In this review, the clinical impact of elevated GH and IGF-1 levels, the effectiveness of current therapies, and the potential role of novel treatments for acromegaly will be discussed. Clinical burden of acromegaly and benefits associated with management of GH and IGF-1 levels will be reviewed. Major treatment paradigms in acromegaly include surgery, medical therapy, and radiotherapy. With medical therapies, such as somatostatin analogs, dopamine agonists, and GH receptor antagonists, a substantial proportion of patients achieve reduced GH and normalized IGF-1 levels. In addition, signs and symptoms, quality of life, and comorbidities have also been reported to improve to varying degrees in patients who achieve biochemical control. Currently, there are several innovative therapies in development to improve patient outcomes, patient use, and access. Timely biochemical control of acromegaly ensures that the patient can ultimately improve morbidity and mortality from this disease and its extensive consequences. PMID:27471378

  10. Academic abilities in children and adolescents with a history of autism spectrum disorders who have achieved optimal outcomes.

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    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 as having achieved "optimal outcomes." Performance of 32 individuals who achieved optimal outcomes, 41 high-functioning individuals with a current autism spectrum disorder diagnosis (high-functioning autism), and 34 typically developing peers was compared on measures of decoding, reading comprehension, mathematical problem solving, and written expression. Groups were matched on age, sex, and nonverbal IQ; however, the high-functioning autism group scored significantly lower than the optimal outcome and typically developing groups on verbal IQ. All three groups performed in the average range on all subtests measured, and no significant differences were found in performance of the optimal outcome and typically developing groups. The high-functioning autism group scored significantly lower on subtests of reading comprehension and mathematical problem solving than the optimal outcome group. These findings suggest that the academic abilities of individuals who achieved optimal outcomes are similar to those of their typically developing peers, even in areas where individuals who have retained their autism spectrum disorder diagnoses exhibit some ongoing difficulty.

  11. Role of well-being therapy in achieving a balanced and individualized path to optimal functioning.

    PubMed

    Ruini, Chiara; Fava, Giovanni A

    2012-01-01

    A specific psychotherapeutic strategy for increasing psychological well-being and resilience, well-being therapy (WBT), based on Ryff's conceptual model, has been developed and tested in a number of randomized controlled trials. The findings indicate that flourishing and resilience can be promoted by specific interventions leading to a positive evaluation of one's self, a sense of continued growth and development, the belief that life is purposeful and meaningful, the possession of quality relations with others, the capacity to manage effectively one's life and a sense of self-determination. A decreased vulnerability to depression, mood swings and anxiety has been demonstrated after WBT in high-risk populations. School interventions based on the principles of WBT have been found to yield both promotion of well-being and decrease of distress compared with control groups. The differential technical characteristics and indications of WBT are described, with a special reference to the promotion of an individualized and balanced path to achieve optimal human functioning, avoiding the polarities in positive psychological dimensions. PMID:22570318

  12. Paving the critical path: how can clinical pharmacology help achieve the vision?

    PubMed

    Lesko, L J

    2007-02-01

    It has been almost 3 years since the launch of the FDA critical path initiative following the publication of the paper "Innovation or Stagnation: Challenges and Opportunities on the Critical Path of New Medical Product Development." The initiative was intended to create an urgency with the drug development enterprise to address the so-called "productivity problem" in modern drug development. Clinical pharmacologists are strategically aligned with solutions designed to reduce late phase clinical trial failures to show adequate efficacy and/or safety. This article reviews some of the ways that clinical pharmacologists can lead and implement change in the drug development process. It includes a discussion of model-based, semi-mechanistic drug development, drug/disease models that facilitate informed clinical trial designs and optimal dosing, the qualification process and criteria for new biomarkers and surrogate endpoints, approaches to streamlining clinical trials and new types of interaction between industry and FDA such as the end-of-phase 2A and voluntary genomic data submission meetings respectively. PMID:17259944

  13. Calibration of STUD+ parameters to achieve optimally efficient broadband adiabatic decoupling in a single transient

    PubMed

    Bendall; Skinner

    1998-10-01

    for a single sech/tanh pulse. Residual splitting of the centerband, normally associated with incomplete or inefficient decoupling, is not seen in sech/tanh decoupling and therefore cannot be used as a measure of adiabatic decoupling efficiency. The calibrated experimental performance levels achieved in this study are within 20% of theoretical performance levels derived previously for ideal sech/tanh decoupling at high power, indicating a small scope for further improvement at practical RF power levels. The optimization procedures employed here will be generally applicable to any good combination of adiabatic inversion pulse and phase cycle. Copyright 1998 Academic Press. PMID:9761708

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

    PubMed

    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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

    Lorenz, Laura S; Chilingerian, Jon A

    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

  20. Diabetic gastrointestinal autonomic neuropathy: current status and new achievements for everyday clinical practice.

    PubMed

    Gatopoulou, A; Papanas, N; Maltezos, E

    2012-09-01

    Gastrointestinal symptoms occur frequently among patients with diabetes mellitus and are associated with considerable morbidity. Diabetic gastrointestinal autonomic neuropathy represents a complex disorder with multifactorial pathogenesis, which is still not well understood. It appears to involve a spectrum of metabolic and cellular changes that affect gastrointestinal motor and sensory control. It may affect any organ in the digestive system. Clinical manifestations are often underestimated, and therefore autonomic neuropathy should be suspected in all diabetic patients with unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms. Advances in technology have now enabled assessment of gastrointestinal motor function. Moreover, novel pharmacological approaches, along with endoscopic and surgical treatment options, contribute to improved outcomes. This review summarises the progress achieved in diabetic gastrointestinal autonomic neuropathy during the last years, focusing on clinical issues of practical importance to the everyday clinician. PMID:22863425

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  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. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Workshop on Optimizing Clinical Trial Design for the... ``Optimizing Clinical Trial Design for the Development of Pediatric Cardiovascular Devices.'' The topic to be... various efficient and pragmatic clinical trial designs that are conducive to overcoming the challenges...

  8. The relationship between medical students’ epistemological beliefs and achievement on a clinical performance examination

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Sun-A; Chung, Eun-Kyung; Han, Eui-Ryoung; Woo, Young-Jong; Kevin, Deiter

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: This study was to explore the relationship between clinical performance examination (CPX) achievement and epistemological beliefs to investigate the potentials of epistemological beliefs in ill-structured medical problem solving tasks. Methods: We administered the epistemological beliefs questionnaire (EBQ) to fourth-year medical students and correlated the results with their CPX scores. The EBQ comprised 61 items reflecting five belief systems: certainty of knowledge, source of knowledge, rigidity of learning, ability to learn, and speed of knowledge acquisition. The CPX included scores for history taking, physical examination, and patient-physician interaction. Results: The higher epistemological beliefs group obtained significantly higher scores on the CPX with regard to history taking and patient-physician interaction. The epistemological beliefs scores on certainty of knowledge and source of knowledge were significantly positively correlated with patient-physician interaction. The epistemological beliefs scores for ability to learn were significantly positively correlated with those for history taking, physical examination, and patient-physician interaction. Conclusion: Students with more sophisticated and advanced epistemological beliefs stances used more comprehensive and varied approaches in the patient-physician interaction. Therefore, educational efforts that encourage discussions pertaining to epistemological views should be considered to improve clinical reasoning and problem-solving competence in the clinic setting. PMID:26838566

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Lee, Ho Sup; Min, Chang-Ki

    2016-09-01

    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

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

    PubMed

    Lee, Ho Sup; Min, Chang-Ki

    2016-09-01

    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.

  14. Pre-operative Thresholds for Achieving Meaningful Clinical Improvement after Arthroscopic Treatment of Femoroacetabular Impingement

    PubMed Central

    Nwachukwu, Benedict U.; Fields, Kara G.; Nawabi, Danyal H.; Kelly, Bryan T.; Ranawat, Anil S.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: Knowledge of the thresholds and determinants for successful femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) treatment is evolving. The primary purpose of this study was to define pre-operative outcome score thresholds that can be used to predict patients most likely to achieve meaningful clinically important difference (MCID) after arthroscopic FAI treatment. Secondarily determinants of achieving MCID were evaluated. Methods: A prospective institutional hip arthroscopy registry was reviewed to identify patients with FAI treated with arthroscopic labral surgery, acetabular rim trimming, and femoral osteochondroplasty. The modified Harris Hip Score (mHHS), the Hip Outcome Score (HOS) and the international Hip Outcome Tool (iHOT-33) tools were administered at baseline and at one year post-operatively. MCID was calculated using a distribution-based method. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to calculate cohort-based threshold values predictive of achieving MCID. Area under the curve (AUC) was used to define predictive ability (strength of association) with AUC >0.7 considered acceptably predictive. Univariate and multivariable analyses were used to analyze demographic, radiographic and intra-operative factors associated with achieving MCID. Results: There were 374 patients (mean + SD age, 32.9 + 10.5) and 56.4% were female. The MCID for mHHS, HOS activities of daily living (HOS-ADL), HOS Sports, and iHOT-33 was 8.2, 8.4,14.5, and 12.0 respectively. ROC analysis (threshold, % achieving MCID, strength of association) for these tools in our population was: mHHS (61.6, 78%, 0.68), HOS-ADL (83.8, 68%, 0.84), HOS-Sports (63.9, 64%, 0.74), and iHOT-33 (54.3, 82%, 0.65). Likelihood for achieving MCID declined above and increased below these thresholds. In univariate analysis female sex, femoral version, lower acetabular outerbridge score and increasing CT sagittal center edge angle (CEA) were predictive of achieving MCID. In multivariable analysis

  15. Lipid target achievement among patients with very high and high cardiovascular risk in a lipid clinic.

    PubMed

    Barkas, Fotios; Liberopoulos, Evangelos N; Kostapanos, Michael S; Liamis, George; Tziallas, Dimitrios; Elisaf, Moses

    2015-04-01

    This was a retrospective study that assessed achievement of lipid-lowering treatment targets in the setting of a University Hospital Lipid Clinic. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) goal attainment according to National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III) and European Society of Cardiology/European Atherosclerosis Society (ESC/EAS) guidelines was recorded in 1000 consecutive adult patients followed for ≥3 years (mean 8 years). The LDL-C targets according to the NCEP ATP III were attained by 66% and 86% of patients with "very high" (n = 477) and "high" (n = 408) cardiovascular risk, respectively. Fewer patients were within LDL-C goals according to the ESC/EAS guidelines: 25% and 42%. Overall, 92% of the patients were on statins: 67% were on statin monotherapy, while 33% were on combinations with ezetimibe (25%), ω-3 fatty acids (5%), fibrates (4%), or colesevelam (2%). Even in a specialist lipid clinic, a large proportion of patients are not at goal according to the recent ESC/EAS guidelines. PMID:24830420

  16. 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

  17. Fairness: How to Achieve It and How to Optimize in a Fair-Division Procedure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Michael A.; Cohen, Stanley F.

    2004-01-01

    A simple and practical application of mathematics is for fairly resolving the dispute of division of items for which two parties have equal claim. Basic properties of fair division are explained, which would enable students to learn concepts on optimization without introducing calculus.

  18. Achieving diverse and monoallelic olfactory receptor selection through dual-objective optimization design.

    PubMed

    Tian, Xiao-Jun; Zhang, Hang; Sannerud, Jens; Xing, Jianhua

    2016-05-24

    Multiple-objective optimization is common in biological systems. In the mammalian olfactory system, each sensory neuron stochastically expresses only one out of up to thousands of olfactory receptor (OR) gene alleles; at the organism level, the types of expressed ORs need to be maximized. Existing models focus only on monoallele activation, and cannot explain recent observations in mutants, especially the reduced global diversity of expressed ORs in G9a/GLP knockouts. In this work we integrated existing information on OR expression, and constructed a comprehensive model that has all its components based on physical interactions. Analyzing the model reveals an evolutionarily optimized three-layer regulation mechanism, which includes zonal segregation, epigenetic barrier crossing coupled to a negative feedback loop that mechanistically differs from previous theoretical proposals, and a previously unidentified enhancer competition step. This model not only recapitulates monoallelic OR expression, but also elucidates how the olfactory system maximizes and maintains the diversity of OR expression, and has multiple predictions validated by existing experimental results. Through making an analogy to a physical system with thermally activated barrier crossing and comparative reverse engineering analyses, the study reveals that the olfactory receptor selection system is optimally designed, and particularly underscores cooperativity and synergy as a general design principle for multiobjective optimization in biology.

  19. 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…

  20. Achieving diverse and monoallelic olfactory receptor selection through dual-objective optimization design.

    PubMed

    Tian, Xiao-Jun; Zhang, Hang; Sannerud, Jens; Xing, Jianhua

    2016-05-24

    Multiple-objective optimization is common in biological systems. In the mammalian olfactory system, each sensory neuron stochastically expresses only one out of up to thousands of olfactory receptor (OR) gene alleles; at the organism level, the types of expressed ORs need to be maximized. Existing models focus only on monoallele activation, and cannot explain recent observations in mutants, especially the reduced global diversity of expressed ORs in G9a/GLP knockouts. In this work we integrated existing information on OR expression, and constructed a comprehensive model that has all its components based on physical interactions. Analyzing the model reveals an evolutionarily optimized three-layer regulation mechanism, which includes zonal segregation, epigenetic barrier crossing coupled to a negative feedback loop that mechanistically differs from previous theoretical proposals, and a previously unidentified enhancer competition step. This model not only recapitulates monoallelic OR expression, but also elucidates how the olfactory system maximizes and maintains the diversity of OR expression, and has multiple predictions validated by existing experimental results. Through making an analogy to a physical system with thermally activated barrier crossing and comparative reverse engineering analyses, the study reveals that the olfactory receptor selection system is optimally designed, and particularly underscores cooperativity and synergy as a general design principle for multiobjective optimization in biology. PMID:27162367

  1. 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.

  2. What level of accuracy is achievable for preclinical dose painting studies on a clinical irradiation platform?

    PubMed

    Trani, Daniela; Reniers, Brigitte; Persoon, Lucas; Podesta, Mark; Nalbantov, Georgi; Leijenaar, Ralph T H; Granzier, Marlies; Yaromina, Ala; Dubois, Ludwig; Verhaegen, Frank; Lambin, Philippe

    2015-05-01

    in a rat tumor model on a clinical platform, with a high accuracy achieved in the delivery of complex dose distributions. Our work demonstrates the technical feasibility of this approach and enables future investigations on the therapeutic effect of preclinical dose painting strategies using a state-of-the-art clinical platform.

  3. Achieving Optimal Self-Adaptivity for Dynamic Tuning of Organic Semiconductors through Resonance Engineering.

    PubMed

    Tao, Ye; Xu, Lijia; Zhang, Zhen; Chen, Runfeng; Li, Huanhuan; Xu, Hui; Zheng, Chao; Huang, Wei

    2016-08-01

    Current static-state explorations of organic semiconductors for optimal material properties and device performance are hindered by limited insights into the dynamically changed molecular states and charge transport and energy transfer processes upon device operation. Here, we propose a simple yet successful strategy, resonance variation-based dynamic adaptation (RVDA), to realize optimized self-adaptive properties in donor-resonance-acceptor molecules by engineering the resonance variation for dynamic tuning of organic semiconductors. Organic light-emitting diodes hosted by these RVDA materials exhibit remarkably high performance, with external quantum efficiencies up to 21.7% and favorable device stability. Our approach, which supports simultaneous realization of dynamically adapted and selectively enhanced properties via resonance engineering, illustrates a feasible design map for the preparation of smart organic semiconductors capable of dynamic structure and property modulations, promoting the studies of organic electronics from static to dynamic. PMID:27403886

  4. 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

  5. Optimal thickness of silicon membranes to achieve maximum thermoelectric efficiency: A first principles study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mangold, Claudia; Neogi, Sanghamitra; Donadio, Davide

    2016-08-01

    Silicon nanostructures with reduced dimensionality, such as nanowires, membranes, and thin films, are promising thermoelectric materials, as they exhibit considerably reduced thermal conductivity. Here, we utilize density functional theory and Boltzmann transport equation to compute the electronic properties of ultra-thin crystalline silicon membranes with thickness between 1 and 12 nm. We predict that an optimal thickness of ˜7 nm maximizes the thermoelectric figure of merit of membranes with native oxide surface layers. Further thinning of the membranes, although attainable in experiments, reduces the electrical conductivity and worsens the thermoelectric efficiency.

  6. NOTE: On the clinical spatial resolution achievable with protons and heavier charged particle radiotherapy beams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreo, Pedro

    2009-06-01

    The 'sub-millimetre precision' often claimed to be achievable in protons and light ion beam therapy is analysed using the Monte Carlo code SHIELD-HIT for a broad range of energies. Based on the range of possible values and uncertainties of the mean excitation energy of water and human tissues, as well as of the composition of organs and tissues, it is concluded that precision statements deserve careful reconsideration for treatment planning purposes. It is found that the range of I-values of water stated in ICRU reports 37, 49 and 73 (1984, 1993 and 2005) for the collision stopping power formulae, namely 67 eV, 75 eV and 80 eV, yields a spread of the depth of the Bragg peak of protons and heavier charged particles (carbon ions) of up to 5 or 6 mm, which is also found to be energy dependent due to other energy loss competing interaction mechanisms. The spread is similar in protons and in carbon ions having analogous practical range. Although accurate depth-dose distribution measurements in water can be used at the time of developing empirical dose calculation models, the energy dependence of the spread causes a substantial constraint. In the case of in vivo human tissues, where distribution measurements are not feasible, the problem poses a major limitation. In addition to the spread due to the currently accepted uncertainties of their I-values, a spread of the depth of the Bragg peak due to the varying compositions of soft tissues is also demonstrated, even for cases which could be considered practically identical in clinical practice. For these, the spreads found were similar to those of water or even larger, providing support to international recommendations advising that body-tissue compositions should not be given the standing of physical constants. The results show that it would be necessary to increase the margins of a clinical target volume, even in the case of a water phantom, due to an 'intrinsic basic physics uncertainty', adding to those margins usually

  7. [Clinical efficacy and achievement of a complete remission in depression: increasing interest in treatment with escitalopram].

    PubMed

    Favré, P

    2012-02-01

    Such a prevalent disease as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), associated with prominent impairment in physical and social functioning, implies as well an increased morbidity and mortality. Long-term treatments are required due to the frequent occurrence of relapses. Patient compliance is a core factor in both acute and continuation treatment, closely related to tolerability issues. We have partially reviewed the literature published on PubMed since 2004 which assess the relative antidepressant efficacy of escitalopram and comparator antidepressants in adult patients who met DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD). Clinically important differences exist between commonly prescribed antidepressants. These analyses are in favor of a superior efficacy and tolerability of long-term escitalopram treatment (10 to 20mg/day) compared with active controls, including selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (paroxetine, citalopram, bupropion, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline), serotonin/noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) (venlafaxine, milnacipran and duloxetine) and noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants (NaSSAs) (mirtazapine). Cipriani et al. (2009) have performed a network meta-analysis of 12 new generation antidepressants. They have shown that clinically important differences exist between commonly prescribed antidepressants for both efficacy and acceptability in favor of escitalopram and sertraline in acute treatment, defined as 8-week treatment. Kasper et al. (2009) conducted a post-hoc pooled analysis of data from two 6-month randomized controlled trials that revealed superior efficacy and tolerability of escitalopram when compared with paroxetine. The pooled analysis of four randomized, double-blind, active comparator, 6-month trials in MDD, by Wade et al. (2009), showed that short-term outcomes may predict long-term treatment compliance and outcomes. A higher probability of achieving remission was associated with responding

  8. CIEF method optimization: development of robust and reproducible protein reagent characterization in the clinical immunodiagnostic industry.

    PubMed

    Bonn, Ryan; Rampal, Sushma; Rae, Tracey; Fishpaugh, Jeffrey

    2013-03-01

    Several method parameters have been refined for application of CIEF methods to provide optimal capillary robustness and performance longevity while maintaining desired analytical output for the ever increasing characterization scrutiny of protein reagents used in clinical assay formulations. Demonstrated here are significant modifications to the existing protocols in order to attain a robust, reproducible method that achieves as much as a 20-fold increase in the number of consecutive runs before capillary degradation. Not only is it a concern for the rudimentary analysis of acidic and basic components of the isoform profile for monoclonal antibodies, but a comprehensive identification of each individual isoform to obtain a characteristic fingerprint is necessary for minor distinguishable properties between multiple proteins in unambiguous identification. In order to maintain the integrity of these modifications, extensive studies were conducted on an implemented system suitability standard protein with specifically defined parameters indicating either sufficient or poor separation performance.

  9. 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.

  10. Optimization of the cooling profile to achieve crack-free Yb:S-FAP crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, H. S.; Qiu, S. R.; Zheng, L. L.; Schaffers, K. I.; Tassano, J. B.; Caird, J. A.; Zhang, H.

    2008-08-01

    Yb:S-FAP [Yb 3+:Sr 5(PO 4) 3F] crystals are an important gain medium for diode-pumped laser applications. Growth of 7.0 cm diameter Yb:S-FAP crystals utilizing the Czochralski (CZ) method from SrF 2-rich melts often encounters cracks during the post-growth cool-down stage. To suppress cracking during cool-down, a numerical simulation of the growth system was used to understand the correlation between the furnace power during cool-down and the radial temperature differences within the crystal. The critical radial temperature difference, above which the crystal cracks, has been determined by benchmarking the simulation results against experimental observations. Based on this comparison, an optimal three-stage ramp-down profile was implemented, which produced high-quality, crack-free Yb:S-FAP crystals.

  11. Optimization of the cooling profile to achieve crack-free Yb:S-FAP crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Fang, H; Qiu, S; Kheng, L; Schaffers, K; Tassano, J; Caird, J; Zhang, H

    2007-08-20

    Yb:S-FAP [Yb{sup 3+}:Sr{sub 5}(PO{sub 4}){sub 3}F] crystals are an important gain medium for diode-pumped laser applications. Growth of 7.0 cm diameter Yb:S-FAP crystals utilizing the Czochralski (CZ) method from SrF{sub 2}-rich melts often encounter cracks during the post growth cool down stage. To suppress cracking during cool down, a numerical simulation of the growth system was used to understand the correlation between the furnace power during cool down and the radial temperature differences within the crystal. The critical radial temperature difference, above which the crystal cracks, has been determined by benchmarking the simulation results against experimental observations. Based on this comparison, an optimal three-stage ramp-down profile was implemented and produced high quality, crack-free Yb:S-FAP crystals.

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

    PubMed

    Dutta, Anindita; Bahar, Ivet

    2010-09-01

    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 data set 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.

  13. Achievable Convergence Angle and the Effect of Preparation Design on the Clinical Outcome of Full Veneer Crowns in Dogs

    PubMed Central

    Soukup, Jason W.; Snyder, Christopher J.; Karls, Tina L.; Riehl, Jessica

    2012-01-01

    Summary It is widely accepted that the convergence angle of a full veneer crown preparation should be as close to parallel as possible to attain adequate retention/resistance. The shape of the dog’s canine tooth limits the veterinary dentists’ ability to achieve the recommended convergence angle. However, the clinically achievable convergence angle of the canine tooth in dogs has not been evaluated. In addition, the convergence angle and other physical properties of a preparation, such as height and base diameter, have been shown to affect the retention/resistance of full veneer crowns, in vitro. This effect has not been evaluated clinically in the dog. Physical properties of 32 stone dies from full veneer crowns of canine teeth were studied to evaluate the clinically achievable convergence angle and the potential effect physical properties of the preparation had on the clinical outcome of the restoration. The clinically achievable convergence angle was much higher than the current recommendation. There was an association, albeit not statistically significant, between physical properties of a preparation (convergence angle, height, base diameter) and the clinical outcome of the restoration. PMID:21916370

  14. 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

    2015-05-01

    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.

  15. Standardization and Optimization of Computed Tomography Protocols to Achieve Low-Dose

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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 we summarize approaches to reduce dose, as discussed in lectures comprising the first session of the 2013 UCSF Virtual Symposium on Radiation Safety in 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. PMID:24589403

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:27234674

  19. 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.

  20. Evaluation of preceptors and skills achievement by clinical pharmacy clerkship students during their clinical rotations at University of Gondar, Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    Belachew, Sewunet Admasu; Abegaz, Tadesse Melaku; Bhagavathula, Akshaya Srikanth; Getachew, Henok; Tefera, Yonas Getaye

    2016-01-01

    Aim To investigate the overall experiences of clinical pharmacy students during their clinical attachments and to understand the breadth and depth of clinical skills provided by their preceptors. Methods A cross-sectional study using a self-administered questionnaire containing 34 items to obtain feedback from the clerkship students from June to July 2015. Data analysis was performed to calculate mean, standard deviation, percentages, and multiple logistic regression using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software Version 22. Statistical significance was set at P<0.01. Results All 58 clerkship students actively participated in the study, yielding a response rate of 100%. While students ranked their clerkship experience as moderate, >15% remarked that they did not receive enough opportunities to hone their pharmaceutical care documentation skills. A relatively high percentage of students (32.8%) strongly agreed that their preceptors had provided ample opportunity to discuss the patient problems at the bedside and encouraged them to express their opinions regarding patients’ drug therapeutic issues. This study also revealed that students’ continuity in developing their therapeutic and disease process knowledge was significantly associated with the preceptor’s ability to provide adequate training and orientation (P =0.01), engagement in clinical pharmacy activities (P =0.01), regular review of students’ work (P =0.01), and instruction to students before entering clinical sites (P =0.00). Conclusion The findings of this study reveal that a majority of the students were moderately satisfied with the clinical training program and preceptors need to demonstrate effective pharmaceutical care processes in their clinical sites. PMID:27099540

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. Reduction of exposure to acrylamide: achievements, potential of optimization, and problems encountered from the perspectives of a Swiss enforcement laboratory.

    PubMed

    Grob, Koni

    2005-01-01

    The most important initiatives taken in Switzerland to reduce exposure of consumers to acrylamide are the separate sale of potatoes low in reducing sugars for roasting and frying, the optimization of the raw material and preparation of french fries, and campaigns to implement suitable preparation methods in the gastronomy and homes. Industry works on improving a range of other products. Although these measures can reduce high exposures by some 80%, they have little effect on the background exposure resulting from coffee, bread, and numerous other products for which no substantial improvement is in sight. At this stage, improvements should be achieved by supporting voluntary activity rather than legal limits. Committed and consistent risk communication is key, and the support of improvements presupposes innovative approaches.

  5. Optimization Correction Strength Using Contra Bending Technique without Anterior Release Procedure to Achieve Maximum Correction on Severe Adult Idiopathic Scoliosis

    PubMed Central

    Rahyussalim, Ahmad Jabir; Saleh, Ifran; Purnaning, Dyah; Kurniawati, Tri

    2016-01-01

    Adult scoliosis is defined as a spinal deformity in a skeletally mature patient with a Cobb angle of more than 10 degrees in the coronal plain. Posterior-only approach with rod and screw corrective manipulation to add strength of contra bending manipulation has correction achievement similar to that obtained by conventional combined anterior release and posterior approach. It also avoids the complications related to the thoracic approach. We reported a case of 25-year-old male adult idiopathic scoliosis with double curve. It consists of main thoracic curve of 150 degrees and lumbar curve of 89 degrees. His curve underwent direct contra bending posterior approach using rod and screw corrective manipulation technique to achieve optimal correction. After surgery the main thoracic Cobb angle becomes 83 degrees and lumbar Cobb angle becomes 40 degrees, with 5 days length of stay and less than 800 mL blood loss during surgery. There is no complaint at two months after surgery; he has already come back to normal activity with good functional activity. PMID:27064801

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. Nonlinear speech analysis algorithms mapped to a standard metric achieve clinically useful quantification of average Parkinson's disease symptom severity

    PubMed Central

    Tsanas, Athanasios; Little, Max A.; McSharry, Patrick E.; Ramig, Lorraine O.

    2011-01-01

    The standard reference clinical score quantifying average Parkinson's disease (PD) symptom severity is the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). At present, UPDRS is determined by the subjective clinical evaluation of the patient's ability to adequately cope with a range of tasks. In this study, we extend recent findings that UPDRS can be objectively assessed to clinically useful accuracy using simple, self-administered speech tests, without requiring the patient's physical presence in the clinic. We apply a wide range of known speech signal processing algorithms to a large database (approx. 6000 recordings from 42 PD patients, recruited to a six-month, multi-centre trial) and propose a number of novel, nonlinear signal processing algorithms which reveal pathological characteristics in PD more accurately than existing approaches. Robust feature selection algorithms select the optimal subset of these algorithms, which is fed into non-parametric regression and classification algorithms, mapping the signal processing algorithm outputs to UPDRS. We demonstrate rapid, accurate replication of the UPDRS assessment with clinically useful accuracy (about 2 UPDRS points difference from the clinicians' estimates, p < 0.001). This study supports the viability of frequent, remote, cost-effective, objective, accurate UPDRS telemonitoring based on self-administered speech tests. This technology could facilitate large-scale clinical trials into novel PD treatments. PMID:21084338

  10. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-05-15

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Achieving collaboration in ethical decision making: strategies for nurses in clinical practice.

    PubMed

    Wocial, L D

    1996-01-01

    Ethical decision making is a process that combines justice and caring in moral reflection to select sound choices. Nurses and physicians often have different perspectives on how to resolve ethical dilemmas. Satisfactory resolution depends on overcoming conflict and achieving collaboration between members of the health care team. Conflict can occur on a number of different levels. For example, it can be between nurses, nurses and physicians or the entire health care team and the patient. This article helps prepare critical care nurses to handle ethical dilemmas in crisis situations by providing them with specific strategies that help promote collaboration in resolving ethical dilemmas. PMID:8715871

  14. 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

  15. Clinical perspectives of platelet transfusions: defining the optimal dose.

    PubMed

    Strauss, R G

    1995-01-01

    To halt bleeding in patients with severe thrombocytopenia due to bone marrow failure, it is desirable to achieve a post-transfusion blood platelet count of 40 x 10(9)/L by platelet transfusions. Based on calculations of corrected count increments, each 1 x 10(11) platelets transfused will increase the blood platelet count approximately 10 x 10(9)/L per each square meter of patient body surface area. Thus, the post-transfusion blood platelet count will be approximately 20 x 10(9)/L following transfusion of 3 x 10(11) platelets to a 5 foot, 8 inch patient weighing 170 pounds (2.0 m2), who is bleeding because of a pre-transfusion platelet count of 5 x 10(9)/L. The post-transfusion platelet count likely will be even lower in sick patients (sepsis, amphotericin B plus antibiotic therapy, splenomegaly, graft-vs.-host disease, etc.) or if platelets are lost from the unit by leukofiltration before transfusion. Although a dose of 3 x 10(11) platelets is acceptable, in a regulatory sense for product quality, it is inadequate to control bleeding in most thrombocytopenic adult patients. Adjusting dose for body size, bleeding patients with pre-transfusion blood platelet of < 10 x 10(9)/L and weighing > 120 pounds should receive approximately 6 x 10(11) platelets, those weighing 30 to 120 pounds should receive 3 x 10(11) platelets, and infants weighing < 30 pounds (15 kg) should receive 5-10 ml/kg of platelet concentrate.

  16. Nutrition and education. IV. Clinical signs of malnutrition and its relationship with socioeconomic, anthropometric, dietetic and educational achievement parameters.

    PubMed

    Ivanovic Marincovich, D

    1992-03-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of clinical signs of malnutrition, and to measure the interrelationship with socioeconomic, anthropometric, dietetic and educational achievement parameters. A random sample of 550 Chilean elementary and high school graduates (1:1), of both sexes (1:1), from public and private schools (1:1) and from high, medium and low socioeconomic status (SES) (1:1:1), was chosen in the Metropolitan Area of Santiago, Chile. SES was measured through the Graffar Modified Scale. Clinical signs of malnutrition were assessed according to Jelliffe. Nutritional status was determined by means of anthropometric measurements: percentages of weight/age (W/A), height/age (H/A) and weight for height (W/H) were compared with the WHO Tables; head circumference/age (HC/A) with the Tanner Tables, and branchial anthropometric parameters by applying the Frisancho norms. Standard procedures for the 24 hour dietary recall interviews were used to collect data, and adequacy of intake was assessed by the FAO/WHO pattern. Educational achievement (EA) was measured through the Achievement Evaluation Program, (AEP) and Academic Aptitude Test (AAT) in elementary and high school graduates, respectively. Results showed that apart from caries (87.5%), most prevalent clinical signs of malnutrition were dermatosis (13.4%), follicular hyperkeratosis type I (13.2%), nasolabial dyssebacea (7.9%), lustreless hair (7.7%), angular stomatitis (4.4%) and cheilosis (2.7%). The number of clinical signs of malnutrition was found inversely and significantly associated with SES, H/A, vitamin A and calcium intake, as well as with EA, besides registering a lower nutrient intake, specially for energy, riboflavin and niacin.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:27480702

  2. 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.

  3. Optimal and minimax three-stage designs for phase II oncology clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Chen, Kun; Shan, Michael

    2008-01-01

    The common objective of oncology phase II trials is to evaluate the anti-tumor activity of a new agent and to determine whether the new drug warrants further investigation. For cancer drugs that significantly shrink tumors, response (CR and PR) rate is usually the primary endpoint in cancer phase II trials for testing H(0): Por=P(1), where P(0) and P(1) are response rates which does not or does warrant further investigation given the rate of false positive (alpha) and false negative (beta). Multiple-stage designs including two-stage and three-stage have been developed by several authors. For example, Simon's optimal two-stage design [Simon R. Optimal two-stage designs for phase II clinical trials. Control Clin Trials 1989;10:1-10], Ensign et al. optimal three-stage design with restriction at the first stage [Ensign LG, Gehan EA, Kamen DS, Thall PF. An optimal three-stage design for phase II clinical trials. Stat Med 1994;13:1727-1736], Chen's optimal three-stage design without any restriction [Chen TT. Optimal three-stage designs for phase II clinical trials. Stat Med 1997;16:2701-2711], etc. However, all the above designs only early terminate a trial due to lack of activity of the study drug. Fleming's multiple-stage design [Fleming TR. One-sample multiple testing procedure for phase II clinical trials. Biometrics 1982;38:143-151] allows early stopping for either sufficient activity or lack of activity. But his design does not attempt to optimize its efficiency. We extend Chen's [Chen TT. Optimal three-stage designs for phase II clinical trials Stat Med 1997;16:2701-2711] design and propose an optimal and a minimax design for three-stage cancer phase II trials which allows early stopping under both hypotheses. The design is optimal in the sense that the average sample number (ASN) is minimized under P=P(0). The minimax design minimizes the maximal sample size (N) and then given this value of N minimizes the average sample number under P=P(0

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Reducing the Academic Risks of Over-Optimism: The Longitudinal Effects of Attributional Retraining on Cognition and Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haynes, Tara L.; Ruthig, Joelle C.; Perry, Raymond P.; Stupnisky, Robert H.; Hall, Nathan C.

    2006-01-01

    Although optimism is generally regarded as a positive dispositional characteristic, unmitigated optimism can be problematic. The adaptiveness of overly optimistic expectations in novel or unfamiliar settings is questionable because individuals have little relevant experience on which to base such expectations. In this four-phase longitudinal…

  8. 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.

  9. Optimization of clinical teaching unit call schedules at the Ottawa hospital through tabu search heuristics.

    PubMed

    White, Christine A; White, George M

    2002-01-01

    The task of scheduling medical staff for evening rounds in the Clinical Teaching Unit of the Ottawa Hospital is a long complicated task due to its complexity. Three main classifications of staff, combined with various rotations, skill sets, clinical teams and vacation periods have combined to create a difficult scheduling problem. As there were no commercial packages available to solve this particular task, a study was made of heuristic scheduling and optimization techniques and a program based on a variation of the tabu search heuristic was written and tested. This system is being used to schedule medical staff at the Ottawa Hospital.

  10. 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. PMID:25670382

  11. 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.

  12. Two flavonolignans from milk thistle (Silybum marianum) inhibit CYP2C9-mediated warfarin metabolism at clinically achievable concentrations.

    PubMed

    Brantley, Scott J; Oberlies, Nicholas H; Kroll, David J; Paine, Mary F

    2010-03-01

    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 (IC(50) of 8.2, 18, 74, and >100 microM, 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 microM), rCYP2C9 2 (9.3 versus 19 microM), and rCYP2C9 3 (2.4 versus 9.3 microM). Using a matrix of five substrate (1-15 microM) and six inhibitor (1-80 microM) concentrations and HLMs, both diastereoisomers inhibited (S)-warfarin 7-hydroxylation in a manner described best by a mixed-type inhibition model (K(i) values of 4.8 and 10 microM for silybin B and silybin A, respectively). These observations, combined with the high systemic silibinin concentrations (>5-75 microM) achieved in a phase I study involving prostate cancer patients, prompt clinical evaluation of a potential warfarin-milk thistle interaction.

  13. 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

  14. Optimizing Performance on Linux Clusters Using Advanced Communication Protocols: Achieving Over 10 Teraflops on a 8.6 Teraflops Linpack-Rated Linux Cluster

    SciTech Connect

    Krishnan, Manoj Kumar; Nieplocha, Jarek

    2005-04-26

    Advancements in high-performance networks (Quadrics, Infiniband or Myrinet) continue to improve the efficiency of modern clusters. However, the average application efficiency is as small fraction of the peak as the system’s efficiency. This paper describes techniques for optimizing application performance on Linux clusters using Remote Memory Access communication protocols. The effectiveness of these optimizations is presented in the context of an application kernel, dense matrix multiplication. The result was achieving over 10 teraflops on HP Linux cluster on which LINPACK performance is measured as 8.6 teraflops.

  15. 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

  16. Economic comparison of common treatment protocols and J5 vaccination for clinical mastitis in dairy herds using optimized culling decisions.

    PubMed

    Kessels, J A; Cha, E; Johnson, S K; Welcome, F L; Kristensen, A R; Gröhn, Y T

    2016-05-01

    This study used an existing dynamic optimization model to compare costs of common treatment protocols and J5 vaccination for clinical mastitis in US dairy herds. Clinical mastitis is an infection of the mammary gland causing major economic losses in dairy herds due to reduced milk production, reduced conception, and increased risk of mortality and culling for infected cows. Treatment protocols were developed to reflect common practices in dairy herds. These included targeted therapy following pathogen identification, and therapy without pathogen identification using a broad-spectrum antimicrobial or treating with the cheapest treatment option. The cost-benefit of J5 vaccination was also estimated. Effects of treatment were accounted for as changes in treatment costs, milk loss due to mastitis, milk discarded due to treatment, and mortality. Following ineffective treatments, secondary decisions included extending the current treatment, alternative treatment, discontinuing treatment, and pathogen identification followed by recommended treatment. Average net returns for treatment protocols and vaccination were generated using an existing dynamic programming model. This model incorporates cow and pathogen characteristics to optimize management decisions to treat, inseminate, or cull cows. Of the treatment protocols where 100% of cows received recommended treatment, pathogen-specific identification followed by recommended therapy yielded the highest average net returns per cow per year. Out of all treatment scenarios, the highest net returns were achieved with selecting the cheapest treatment option and discontinuing treatment, or alternate treatment with a similar spectrum therapy; however, this may not account for the full consequences of giving nonrecommended therapies to cows with clinical mastitis. Vaccination increased average net returns in all scenarios.

  17. 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. PMID:26526165

  18. 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…

  19. Optimal management of Alzheimer’s disease patients: Clinical guidelines and family advice

    PubMed Central

    Haberstroh, Julia; Hampel, Harald; Pantel, Johannes

    2010-01-01

    Family members provide most of the patient care and administer most of the treatments to patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Family caregivers have an important impact on clinical outcomes, such as quality of life (QoL). As a consequence of this service, family caregivers suffer high rates of psychological and physical illness as well as social and financial burdens. Hence, it is important to involve family caregivers in multimodal treatment settings and provide interventions that are both suitable and specifically tailored to their needs. In recent years, several clinical guidelines have been presented worldwide for evidence-based treatment of AD and other forms of dementia. Most of these guidelines have considered family advice as integral to the optimal clinical management of AD. This article reviews current and internationally relevant guidelines with emphasis on recommendations concerning family advice. PMID:20520788

  20. The role of observational studies in optimizing the clinical management of chronic myeloid leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Catherine; Zyczynski, Teresa; Khoury, H. Jean

    2015-01-01

    Survival has increased dramatically for patients with chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CP-CML) using BCR-ABL targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such that life expectancy is expected to approximate that of patients without CP-CML. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies provide valuable insights into the management of chronic diseases such as CP-CML. RCTs are undoubtedly the backbone of clinical research, and the ‘gold standard’ for evaluating the efficacy and safety of new therapies. However, many questions surrounding the optimal management of patients with CML remain unanswered, and it is widely accepted that these questions will be best answered by evaluating the use of available therapies in clinical practice. Observational studies can extend the knowledge base beyond the clinical trial setting and thus capture a more accurate picture of everyday clinical practice, particularly patients’ experiences of long-term CML treatment. There is therefore growing interest in and appreciation of the value of observational research. This review article will examine the relative merits of RCTs and observational studies in the setting of CML, highlighting those factors – such as the advancing age of the CML patient population and growing importance of patient-reported outcomes – that mean that observational studies should play an important role in shaping clinical practice. This article also provides an overview of what observational studies have told us thus far about the optimal management of patients with CML, outlines some of the key remaining unanswered clinical questions in CML, and summarizes ongoing observational studies designed to provide answers to these key questions. PMID:25642311

  1. The role of observational studies in optimizing the clinical management of chronic myeloid leukemia.

    PubMed

    Mauro, Michael J; Davis, Catherine; Zyczynski, Teresa; Khoury, H Jean

    2015-02-01

    Survival has increased dramatically for patients with chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CP-CML) using BCR-ABL targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such that life expectancy is expected to approximate that of patients without CP-CML. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies provide valuable insights into the management of chronic diseases such as CP-CML. RCTs are undoubtedly the backbone of clinical research, and the 'gold standard' for evaluating the efficacy and safety of new therapies. However, many questions surrounding the optimal management of patients with CML remain unanswered, and it is widely accepted that these questions will be best answered by evaluating the use of available therapies in clinical practice. Observational studies can extend the knowledge base beyond the clinical trial setting and thus capture a more accurate picture of everyday clinical practice, particularly patients' experiences of long-term CML treatment. There is therefore growing interest in and appreciation of the value of observational research. This review article will examine the relative merits of RCTs and observational studies in the setting of CML, highlighting those factors - such as the advancing age of the CML patient population and growing importance of patient-reported outcomes - that mean that observational studies should play an important role in shaping clinical practice. This article also provides an overview of what observational studies have told us thus far about the optimal management of patients with CML, outlines some of the key remaining unanswered clinical questions in CML, and summarizes ongoing observational studies designed to provide answers to these key questions.

  2. Codon optimization, promoter and expression system selection that achieved high-level production of Yarrowia lipolytica lipase in Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Wen-Jing; Yang, Jiang-Ke; Mao, Lin; Miao, Li-Hong

    2015-04-01

    Lipase (EC 3.1.1.3) stands amongst the most important and promising biocatalysts for industrial applications. In this study, in order to realize a high-level expression of the Yarrowia lipolytica lipase gene in Pichia pastoris, we optimized the codon of LIP2 by de novo gene design and synthesis, which significantly improved the lipase expression when compared to the native lip2 gene. We also comparatively analyzed the effects of the promoter types (PAOX1 and PFLD1) and the Pichia expression systems, including the newly developed PichiaPink system, on lipase production and obtained the optimal recombinants. Bench-top scale fermentation studies indicated that the recombinant carrying the codon-optimized lipase gene syn-lip under the control of promoter PAOX1 has a significantly higher lipase production capacity in the fermenter than other types of recombinants. After undergoing methanol inducible expression for 96h, the wet cell weight of Pichia, the lipase activity and the protein content in the fermentation broth reached their highest values of 262g/L, 38,500U/mL and 2.82g/L, respectively. This study has not only greatly facilitated the bioapplication of lipase in industrial fields but the strategies utilized, such as de novo gene design and synthesis, the comparative analysis among promoters and different generations of Pichia expression systems will also be useful as references for future work in this field. PMID:25765312

  3. Use of Lipid-Lowering Medications and the Likelihood of Achieving Optimal LDL-Cholesterol Goals in Coronary Artery Disease Patients.

    PubMed

    Karalis, Dean G; Victor, Brett; Ahedor, Lilian; Liu, Longjian

    2012-01-01

    Background. In clinical practice, most coronary artery disease patients are not achieving their recommend LDL-cholesterol goal of <70 mg/dL. Methods. We conducted a retrospective analysis of outpatient electronic health records and the most recent lipid profile, lipid-lowering medications and doses were collected. Results. We identified 9950 coronary artery disease patients. Only 37% on a statin alone achieved an LDL-cholesterol of <70 mg/dL, and most were on moderate-to-high-potency statins. The intensity of statin therapy did not improve LDL-cholesterol goal attainment. Among patients on combination therapy, 41% on statin plus ezetimibe and 46% on statin plus niacin achieved an LDL-cholesterol of <70 mg/dL (P = 0.01 and <0.0001 versus statin alone). If patients were switched to a high-potency statin LDL-cholesterol goal attainment of <70 mg/dL would increase to 46% and would increase up to 72% with combination therapy. Conclusions. Most coronary artery disease patients in clinical practice do not attain an LDL-cholesterol of <70 mg/dL, even among patients on high potency statins. The combination of statin plus either ezetimibe or niacin is the most effective regimen to achieve an LDL-cholesterol of <70 mg/dL, however, these drug combinations are used infrequently in clinical practice.

  4. An alternative clinical approach to achieve greater anterior than posterior maxillary expansion in cleft lip and palate patients.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Dauro Douglas; Bartolomeo, Flávia Uchôa Costa; Cardinal, Lucas; Figueiredo, Daniel Santos Fonseca; Palomo, Juan Martin; Andrade, Ildeu

    2014-11-01

    Cleft lip and palate patients commonly present maxillary constriction, particularly in the anterior region. The aim of this case report was to describe an alternative clinical approach that used a smaller Hyrax screw unconventionally positioned to achieve greater anterior than posterior expansion in patients with complete unilateral cleft lip and palate. The idea presented here is to take advantage of a reduced dimension screw to position it anteriorly. When only anterior expansion was needed (patient 1), the appliance was soldered to the first premolar bands and associated to a transpalatal arch cemented to the first molars. However, when overall expansion was required (patient 2), the screw was positioned anteriorly, but soldered to the first molar bands. Intercanine, premolar, and first molar widths were measured on dental casts with a digital caliper. Pre-expansion and postexpansion radiographs and tomographies were also evaluated. A significant anterior expansion and no intermolar width increase were registered in the first patient. Although patient 2 also presented a greater anterior than posterior expansion, a noteworthy expansion occurred at the molar region. The alternative approach to expand the maxilla in cleft patients reported here caused greater anterior than posterior expansion when the Mini-Hyrax was associated to a transpalatal arch, and its reduced dimension also minimized discomfort and facilitated hygiene.

  5. 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. PMID:26951724

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Model for optimal space and staff efficiency in an otolaryngology clinic.

    PubMed

    Benninger, M S; Strode, S R

    1998-10-01

    Maximizing efficiency of staff and resources is one method of reducing costs without affecting quality. Using a methodology similar to that used to maximize efficiency of airline-gate use, we developed a model with which to evaluate nursing support staff and clinical examining-room resources in a general otolaryngology clinic. For 144 patients over 7 consecutive clinic days, with four otolaryngologists and various combinations of support staff and examining rooms, we measured space and staff resource use, including total clinic time, number of patients seen, patient waiting time, physician and nurse productivity, and examining-room use. A simulation model was used as the medium of analysis to define parameters of the patient encounter. We identified optimal efficiency when there were three examining rooms and one and one-half nursing staff per physician or five examining rooms and three nursing staff for two simultaneously practicing physicians. Compared with a model of two rooms and one nursing staff member, our ideal model increased the percentage of the physicians' time spent in direct contact with patients from 84% to 92%. Visit length decreased from 81 minutes to 57 minutes, the average time from check-in to examination decreased from 47 to 16 minutes, and it became possible for three additional patients to be seen each day. Additional rooms and support staff, in comparison with the optimally efficient distribution, did not significantly affect these parameters. Maximizing efficiency with the use of this methodology can decrease waiting times for patients, resulting in greater patient satisfaction, improved physician productivity, total number of patients seen, and increased total contact time between physicians and patients.

  9. 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

  10. Maximizing and Optimizing the Large Scale Deployment of Renewable Energy: Achieving the U.S. Government's Goal of 20% by 2030

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alliss, R.; Apling, D.; Kiley, H.; Mason, M.

    2011-12-01

    The United States Government has an ambitious goal of growing renewable energy from 1% to 20% by 2030. Two key challenges exist in order to realize this target: Creating system-level approaches to overall generation capacity expansion and integration, including difficult policy changes, and addressing the variability issues of wind and solar generation. These challenges are addressed using MORE Power (Maximizing and Optimizing Renewable Energy), a system level planning tool designed to optimize the placement of wind and solar sites to maximize high quality, useable power. This planning tool uses historical, high resolution, measurements of wind and solar parameters along with a unique, non-linear, optimization algorithm to optimize the placement of sites given a set of user specified input parameters. MORE Power is quantifying the real value of transmission as an enabler to aggregate diverse variable resources which in turn is incentivizing transmission developers to expand the grid. In addition, the issue of grid stability becomes even more critical as larger deployment of renewable resources come online. MORE Power is identifying the benefits of larger balancing areas as an enabler for greater stability and therefore a reduced need to keep transmission capacity in reserve. In the end, by addressing and minimizing the impacts of the natural variability of wind and solar, a reduction in price volatility results which favorably impacts the consumer. This presentation will show examples of how MORE Power is being used to address the variability issue of renewables in order to achieve the 20% deployment target by 2030.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Optimal azimuthal orientation for Si(111) double-crystal monochromators to achieve the least amount of glitches in the hard X-ray region.

    PubMed

    Tang, Zheng; Zheng, Lirong; Chu, Shengqi; Wu, Min; An, Pengfei; Zhang, Long; Hu, Tiandou

    2015-09-01

    Simulations of the periods, split regularities and mirror symmetries of the glitch pattern of a Si(111) crystal along with the azimuthal angles are presented. The glitch patterns of Si(111) double-crystal monochromators (DCMs) are found to be the superposition of the two sets of glitch patterns from the two crystals. The optimal azimuthal orientation ϕ1,2 = [(2n+1)π]/6 (n = 0, ±1, ±2…) for Si(111) DCMs to achieve the least amount of glitches in the hard X-ray region has been suggested.

  14. Achieving standardized medication data in clinical research studies: two approaches and applications for implementing RxNorm.

    PubMed

    Richesson, Rachel L; Smith, Susan B; Malloy, Jamie; Krischer, Jeffrey P

    2010-08-01

    The National Institutes of Health has proposed a roadmap for clinical research. Test projects of this roadmap include centralized data management for distributed research, the harmonization of clinical and research data, and the use of data standards throughout the research process. In 2003, RxNorm was named as a standard for codifying clinical drugs. Clinical researchers looking to implement RxNorm have few template implementation plans. Epidemiological studies and clinical trials (types of clinical research) have different requirements for model standards and best implementation tools. This paper highlights two different (epidemiological and intervention) clinical research projects, their unique requirements for a medication standard, the suitability of RxNorm as a standard for each, and application and process requirements for implementation. It is hoped that our experience of selecting and implementing the RxNorm standard to address varying study requirements in both domestic and international settings will be of value to other efforts. PMID:20703919

  15. Achieving standardized medication data in clinical research studies: two approaches and applications for implementing RxNorm.

    PubMed

    Richesson, Rachel L; Smith, Susan B; Malloy, Jamie; Krischer, Jeffrey P

    2010-08-01

    The National Institutes of Health has proposed a roadmap for clinical research. Test projects of this roadmap include centralized data management for distributed research, the harmonization of clinical and research data, and the use of data standards throughout the research process. In 2003, RxNorm was named as a standard for codifying clinical drugs. Clinical researchers looking to implement RxNorm have few template implementation plans. Epidemiological studies and clinical trials (types of clinical research) have different requirements for model standards and best implementation tools. This paper highlights two different (epidemiological and intervention) clinical research projects, their unique requirements for a medication standard, the suitability of RxNorm as a standard for each, and application and process requirements for implementation. It is hoped that our experience of selecting and implementing the RxNorm standard to address varying study requirements in both domestic and international settings will be of value to other efforts.

  16. 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

  17. Strategies to optimize lithium-ion supercapacitors achieving high-performance: Cathode configurations, lithium loadings on anode, and types of separator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Wanjun; Li, Yangxing; Fitch, Brian; Shih, Jonathan; Doung, Tien; Zheng, Jim

    2014-12-01

    The Li-ion capacitor (LIC) is composed of a lithium-doped carbon anode and an activated carbon cathode, which is a half Li-ion battery (LIB) and a half electrochemical double-layer capacitor (EDLC). LICs can achieve much more energy density than EDLC without sacrificing the high power performance advantage of capacitors over batteries. LIC pouch cells were assembled using activated carbon (AC) cathode and hard carbon (HC) + stabilized lithium metal power (SLMP®) anode. Different cathode configurations, various SLMP loadings on HC anode, and two types of separators were investigated to achieve the optimal electrochemical performance of the LIC. Firstly, the cathode binders study suggests that the PTFE binder offers improved energy and power performances for LIC in comparison to PVDF. Secondly, the mass ratio of SLMP to HC is at 1:7 to obtain the optimized electrochemical performance for LIC among all the various studied mass ratios between lithium loading amounts and active anode material. Finally, compared to the separator Celgard PP 3501, cellulose based TF40-30 is proven to be a preferred separator for LIC.

  18. 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

  19. Maximize the benefit of SNCR: Combine SNCR with combustion optimization and achieve 50% NOx reduction from a low NOx burner baseline

    SciTech Connect

    Trego, P.; Schindler, E.

    2000-07-01

    PECO Energy Company operates one coal fired boiler at its Cromby Generating Facility. Cromby Unit 1 is a B and W front fired unit rated at 160 MW. The units boiler has been retrofitted with low NOx burners and overfire air ports. Due to NOx allowance pricing, PECO began evaluating options for reducing Cromby's NOx emissions. SNCR was evaluated at the best option for the plant even though the furnace exit temperatures and CO were high at practical injection locations. RJM Corporation, a Fuel Tech NOxOUT{trademark} Implementer, was selected to supply the system because of their extensive experience in solving combustion problems and applying NOxOUT SNCR systems on utility boilers. In order to reduce emissions during the 1999 NOx season, the deadline for an operational system was set at June 2nd. The project was issued on a fast track schedule starting February 2, 1999. The boiler was started up on June 2 on schedule after a six week maintenance outage. The project's 25% NOx reduction target was achieved after two weeks of combustion optimization. Combustion optimization was followed by NOxOUT A reagent injection system optimization which resulted in a 50% combined NOx reduction. Other benefits included a reduction in CO to less than 100 ppm and a 33% reduction in LOI.

  20. Optimal DNA isolation method for detection of bacteria in clinical specimens by broad-range PCR.

    PubMed

    Rantakokko-Jalava, Kaisu; Jalava, Jari

    2002-11-01

    Broad-range amplification of bacterial DNA from clinical specimens has proved useful for the diagnosis of various bacterial infections, especially during antimicrobial treatment of the patient. Optimal sample processing protocols for diagnostic broad-range bacterial PCR should release DNA from an array of target organisms with equal efficiencies and wash out inhibitory factors from various sample types without introducing bacterial DNA contamination to the amplification reaction. In the present study, two physical cell wall disintegration methods, bead beating and sonication, for enhanced detection of organisms with difficult-to-lyse cell walls were studied. The analytical sensitivities of several commercially available DNA purification kits, which were used with and without additional cell disintegration steps, were compared by using dilution series of model bacteria. Selected purification methods were used to process routine clinical specimens in parallel with the standard phenol-ether DNA extraction, and the results obtained by bacterial PCR and sequencing with the two template preparations were compared. The method with the DNA isolation kit with the lowest detection limits from the bacterial suspensions (Masterpure) did not prove to be superior to the standard method when the two methods were applied to 69 clinical specimens. For another set of 68 clinical specimens, DNA purified with a glass fiber filter column (High Pure) with an additional sonication step yielded results well in accord with those obtained by the standard method. Furthermore, bacterial DNA was detected in four samples that remained PCR negative by the standard method, and three of these contained DNA from gram-positive pathogens. Three samples were positive by the standard method only, indicating the limitations of applying any single method to all samples.

  1. 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.

  2. Simple subgroup approximations to optimal treatment regimes from randomized clinical trial data.

    PubMed

    Foster, Jared C; Taylor, Jeremy M G; Kaciroti, Niko; Nan, Bin

    2015-04-01

    We consider the use of randomized clinical trial (RCT) data to identify simple treatment regimes based on some subset of the covariate space, A. The optimal subset, A, is selected by maximizing the expected outcome under a treat-if-in-A regime, and is restricted to be a simple, as it is desirable that treatment decisions be made with only a limited amount of patient information required. We consider a two-stage procedure. In stage 1, non-parametric regression is used to estimate treatment effects for each subject, and in stage 2 these treatment effect estimates are used to systematically evaluate many subgroups of a simple, prespecified form to identify A. The proposed methods were found to perform favorably compared with two existing methods in simulations, and were applied to prehypertension data from an RCT. PMID:25398774

  3. Towards Clinically Optimized MRI-guided Surgical Manipulator for Minimally Invasive Prostate Percutaneous Interventions: Constructive Design*

    PubMed Central

    Eslami, Sohrab; Fischer, Gregory S.; Song, Sang-Eun; Tokuda, Junichi; Hata, Nobuhiko; Tempany, Clare M.; Iordachita, Iulian

    2013-01-01

    This paper undertakes the modular design and development of a minimally invasive surgical manipulator for MRI-guided transperineal prostate interventions. Severe constraints for the MRI-compatibility to hold the minimum artifact on the image quality and dimensions restraint of the bore scanner shadow the design procedure. Regarding the constructive design, the manipulator kinematics has been optimized and the effective analytical needle workspace is developed and followed by proposing the workflow for the manual needle insertion. A study of the finite element analysis is established and utilized to improve the mechanism weaknesses under some inevitable external forces to ensure the minimum structure deformation. The procedure for attaching a sterile plastic drape on the robot manipulator is discussed. The introduced robotic manipulator herein is aimed for the clinically prostate biopsy and brachytherapy applications. PMID:24683502

  4. 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

  5. An optimal adaptive design to address local regulations in global clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Luo, Xiaolong; Shih, Weichung Joe; Ouyang, S Peter; Delap, Robert J

    2010-01-01

    After multi-regional clinical trials (MRCTs) have demonstrated overall significant effects, evaluation for a region-specific effect is often important. Recent guidance from regulatory authorities regarding evaluation for possible country-specific effects has led to research on statistical designs that incorporate such evaluations in MRCTs. These statistical designs are intended to use the MRCTs to address the requirements for global registration of a medicinal product. Adding a regional requirement could change the probability for declaring positive effect for the region when there is indeed no treatment difference as well as when there is in fact a true difference within the region. In this paper, we first quantify those probability structures based on the guidance issued by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) of Japan. An adaptive design is proposed to consider those probabilities and to optimize the efficiency for regional objectives. This two-stage approach incorporates comprehensive global objectives into an integrated study design and may mitigate the need for a separate local bridging study. A procedure is used to optimize region-specific enrollment based on an objective function. The overall sample size requirement is assessed. We will use simulation analyses to illustrate the performance of the proposed study design. PMID:20872620

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:23668338

  10. Using optimal combination of teaching-learning methods (open book assignment and group tutorials) as revision exercises to improve learning outcome in low achievers in biochemistry.

    PubMed

    Rajappa, Medha; Bobby, Zachariah; Nandeesha, H; Suryapriya, R; Ragul, Anithasri; Yuvaraj, B; Revathy, G; Priyadarssini, M

    2016-07-01

    Graduate medical students of India are taught Biochemistry by didactic lectures and they hardly get any opportunity to clarify their doubts and reinforce the concepts which they learn in these lectures. We used a combination of teaching-learning (T-L) methods (open book assignment followed by group tutorials) to study their efficacy in improving the learning outcome. About 143 graduate medical students were classified into low (<50%: group 1, n = 23), medium (50-75%: group 2, n = 74), and high (>75%: group 3, n = 46) achievers, based on their internal assessment marks. After the regular teaching module on the topics "Vitamins and Enzymology", all the students attempted an open book assignment without peer consultation. Then all the students participated in group tutorials. The effects on the groups were evaluated by pre and posttests at the end of each phase, with the same set of MCQs. Gain from group tutorials and overall gain was significantly higher in the low achievers, compared to other groups. High and medium achievers obtained more gain from open book assignment, than group tutorials. The overall gain was significantly higher than the gain obtained from open book assignment or group tutorials, in all three groups. All the three groups retained the gain even after 1 week of the exercise. Hence, optimal use of novel T-L methods (open book assignment followed by group tutorials) as revision exercises help in strengthening concepts in Biochemistry in this oft neglected group of low achievers in graduate medical education. © 2016 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 44(4):321-325, 2016.

  11. A Novel Hybridization of Applied Mathematical, Operations Research and Risk-based Methods to Achieve an Optimal Solution to a Challenging Subsurface Contamination Problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, K. D.; Pinder, G. F.

    2013-12-01

    The objective of the project is the creation of a new, computationally based, approach to the collection, evaluation and use of data for the purpose of determining optimal strategies for investment in the solution of remediation of contaminant source areas and similar environmental problems. The research focuses on the use of existing mathematical tools assembled in a unique fashion. The area of application of this new capability is optimal (least-cost) groundwater contamination source identification; we wish to identify the physical environments wherein it may be cost-prohibitive to identify a contaminant source, the optimal strategy to protect the environment from additional insult and formulate strategies for cost-effective environmental restoration. The computational underpinnings of the proposed approach encompass the integration into a unique of several known applied-mathematical tools. The resulting tool integration achieves the following: 1) simulate groundwater flow and contaminant transport under uncertainty, that is when the physical parameters such as hydraulic conductivity are known to be described by a random field; 2) define such a random field from available field data or be able to provide insight into the sampling strategy needed to create such a field; 3) incorporate subjective information, such as the opinions of experts on the importance of factors such as locations of waste landfills; 4) optimize a search strategy for finding a potential source location and to optimally combine field information with model results to provide the best possible representation of the mean contaminant field and its geostatistics. Our approach combines in a symbiotic manner methodologies found in numerical simulation, random field analysis, Kalman filtering, fuzzy set theory and search theory. Testing the algorithm for this stage of the work, we will focus on fabricated field situations wherein we can a priori specify the degree of uncertainty associated with the

  12. 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.

  13. Reliably Detecting Clinically Important Variants Requires Both Combined Variant Calls and Optimized Filtering Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Field, Matthew A.; Cho, Vicky

    2015-01-01

    A diversity of tools is available for identification of variants from genome sequence data. Given the current complexity of incorporating external software into a genome analysis infrastructure, a tendency exists to rely on the results from a single tool alone. The quality of the output variant calls is highly variable however, depending on factors such as sequence library quality as well as the choice of short-read aligner, variant caller, and variant caller filtering strategy. Here we present a two-part study first using the high quality ‘genome in a bottle’ reference set to demonstrate the significant impact the choice of aligner, variant caller, and variant caller filtering strategy has on overall variant call quality and further how certain variant callers outperform others with increased sample contamination, an important consideration when analyzing sequenced cancer samples. This analysis confirms previous work showing that combining variant calls of multiple tools results in the best quality resultant variant set, for either specificity or sensitivity, depending on whether the intersection or union, of all variant calls is used respectively. Second, we analyze a melanoma cell line derived from a control lymphocyte sample to determine whether software choices affect the detection of clinically important melanoma risk-factor variants finding that only one of the three such variants is unanimously detected under all conditions. Finally, we describe a cogent strategy for implementing a clinical variant detection pipeline; a strategy that requires careful software selection, variant caller filtering optimizing, and combined variant calls in order to effectively minimize false negative variants. While implementing such features represents an increase in complexity and computation the results offer indisputable improvements in data quality. PMID:26600436

  14. (90) Y/(177) Lu-labelled Cetuximab immunoconjugates: radiochemistry optimization to clinical dose formulation.

    PubMed

    Chakravarty, Rubel; Chakraborty, Sudipta; Sarma, Haladhar Dev; Nair, K V Vimalnath; Rajeswari, Ardhi; Dash, Ashutosh

    2016-07-01

    Radiolabelled monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are increasingly being utilized in cancer theranostics, which is a significant move toward tailored treatment for individual patients. Cetuximab is a recombinant, human-mouse chimeric IgG1 mAb that binds to the epidermal growth factor receptor with high affinity. We have optimized a protocol for formulation of clinically relevant doses (~2.22 GBq) of (90) Y-labelled Cetuximab and (177) Lu-labelled Cetuximab by conjugation of the mAb with a suitable bifunctional chelator, N-[(R)-2-amino-3-(paraisothiocyanato-phenyl)propyl]-trans-(S,S)-cyclohexane-1,2-diamine-N,N,N',N″,N″-pentaacetic acid (CHX-A″-DTPA). The radioimmunoconjugates demonstrated reasonably high specific activity (1.26 ± 0.27 GBq/mg for (90) Y-CHX-A″-DTPA-Cetuximab and 1.14 ± 0.15 GBq/mg for (177) Lu-CHX-A″-DTPA-Cetuximab), high radiochemical purity (>95%) and appreciable in vitro stability under physiological conditions. Preliminary biodistribution studies with both (90) Y-CHX-A″-DTPA-Cetuximab and (177) Lu-CHX-A″-DTPA-Cetuximab in Swiss mice bearing fibrosarcoma tumours demonstrated significant tumour uptake at 24-h post-injection (p.i.) (~16%ID/g) with good tumour-to-background contrast. The results of the biodistribution studies were further corroborated by ex vivo Cerenkov luminescence imaging after administration of (90) Y-CHX-A″-DTPA-Cetuximab in tumour-bearing mice. The tumour uptake at 24 h p.i. was significantly reduced with excess unlabelled Cetuximab, suggesting that the uptake was receptor mediated. The results of this study hold promise, and this strategy should be further explored for clinical translation. PMID:27264196

  15. Clinically significant responses achieved with romidepsin across disease compartments in patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Ellen J.; Kim, Youn H.; Rook, Alain H.; Lerner, Adam; Duvic, Madeleine; Reddy, Sunil; Robak, Tadeusz; Becker, Jürgen C.; Samtsov, Alexey; McCulloch, William; Waksman, Joel; Whittaker, Sean

    2015-01-01

    Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a rare heterogeneous group of non-Hodgkin lymphomas that arises in the skin but can progress to systemic disease (lymph nodes, blood, viscera). Historically, in clinical trials of CTCL there has been little consistency in how responses were defined in each disease “compartment”; some studies only assessed responses in the skin. The histone deacetylase inhibitor romidepsin is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of CTCL in patients who have received at least one prior systemic therapy. Phase II studies that led to approval used rigorous composite end points that incorporated disease assessments in all compartments. The objective of this analysis was to thoroughly examine the activity of romidepsin within each disease compartment in patients with CTCL. Romidepsin was shown to have clinical activity across disease compartments and is suitable for use in patients with CTCL having skin involvement only, erythroderma, lymphadenopathy and/or blood involvement. PMID:25791237

  16. Clinically significant responses achieved with romidepsin across disease compartments in patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ellen J; Kim, Youn H; Rook, Alain H; Lerner, Adam; Duvic, Madeleine; Reddy, Sunil; Robak, Tadeusz; Becker, Jürgen C; Samtsov, Alexey; McCulloch, William; Waksman, Joel; Whittaker, Sean

    2015-01-01

    Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a rare heterogeneous group of non-Hodgkin lymphomas that arises in the skin but can progress to systemic disease (lymph nodes, blood, viscera). Historically, in clinical trials of CTCL there has been little consistency in how responses were defined in each disease "compartment"; some studies only assessed responses in the skin. The histone deacetylase inhibitor romidepsin is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of CTCL in patients who have received at least one prior systemic therapy. Phase II studies that led to approval used rigorous composite end points that incorporated disease assessments in all compartments. The objective of this analysis was to thoroughly examine the activity of romidepsin within each disease compartment in patients with CTCL. Romidepsin was shown to have clinical activity across disease compartments and is suitable for use in patients with CTCL having skin involvement only, erythroderma, lymphadenopathy and/or blood involvement.

  17. Donepezil across the spectrum of Alzheimer's disease: dose optimization and clinical relevance.

    PubMed

    Lee, J-H; Jeong, S-K; Kim, B C; Park, K W; Dash, A

    2015-05-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an irreversible and progressive neurodegenerative disorder. AD is the most common cause of dementia worldwide, and its incidence is increasing in line with population aging. The primary feature of AD is progressive cognitive decline, and severe AD is characterized by reduced communication skills and mobility. However, successful treatment can substantially improve quality of life. Donepezil is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor approved for use across the full spectrum of mild, moderate, and severe AD. Donepezil has been available at doses of 5 or 10 mg once daily for more than a decade and, more recently, a single high once-daily sustained-release 23-mg dose has been approved for treatment of patients with moderate to severe AD. The rationale for the higher dose formulation was the expected increase in acetylcholinesterase inhibition given the dose-response relationship of donepezil, with the benefits of the higher dose being most apparent in patients with more advanced AD. Donepezil 5 and 10 mg/day have been well studied in mild-to-moderate AD, and a clinical trial has confirmed the benefits of donepezil 23 mg/day in patients with moderate to severe AD, particularly for language and visuospatial ability. This review presents an overview of the evidence for donepezil across the spectrum of AD, with a focus on dose optimization for disease progression.

  18. 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

  19. Optimizing Bi2O3 and TiO2 to achieve the maximum non-linear electrical property of ZnO low voltage varistor

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In fabrication of ZnO-based low voltage varistor, Bi2O3 and TiO2 have been used as former and grain growth enhancer factors respectively. Therefore, the molar ratio of the factors is quit important in the fabrication. In this paper, modeling and optimization of Bi2O3 and TiO2 was carried out by response surface methodology to achieve maximized electrical properties. The fabrication was planned by central composite design using two variables and one response. To obtain actual responses, the design was performed in laboratory by the conventional methods of ceramics fabrication. The actual responses were fitted into a valid second order algebraic polynomial equation. Then the quadratic model was suggested by response surface methodology. The model was validated by analysis of variance which provided several evidences such as high F-value (153.6), very low P-value (<0.0001), adjusted R-squared (0.985) and predicted R-squared (0.947). Moreover, the lack of fit was not significant which means the model was significant. Results The model tracked the optimum of the additives in the design by using three dimension surface plots. In the optimum condition, the molars ratio of Bi2O3 and TiO2 were obtained in a surface area around 1.25 point that maximized the nonlinear coefficient around 20 point. Moreover, the model predicted the optimum amount of the additives in desirable condition. In this case, the condition included minimum standard error (0.35) and maximum nonlinearity (20.03), while molar ratio of Bi2O3 (1.24 mol%) and TiO2 (1.27 mol%) was in range. The condition as a solution was tested by further experiments for confirmation. As the experimental results showed, the obtained value of the non-linearity, 21.6, was quite close to the predicted model. Conclusion Response surface methodology has been successful for modeling and optimizing the additives such as Bi2O3 and TiO2 of ZnO-based low voltage varistor to achieve maximized non-linearity properties. PMID

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Mantel, Irmela

    2015-01-01

    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

  2. Simple subgroup approximations to optimal treatment regimes from randomized clinical trial data

    PubMed Central

    Foster, Jared C.; Taylor, Jeremy M.G.; Kaciroti, Niko; Nan, Bin

    2015-01-01

    We consider the use of randomized clinical trial (RCT) data to identify simple treatment regimes based on some subset of the covariate space, \\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \\usepackage{amsmath} \\usepackage{wasysym} \\usepackage{amsfonts} \\usepackage{amssymb} \\usepackage{amsbsy} \\usepackage{upgreek} \\usepackage{mathrsfs} \\setlength{\\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \\begin{document} }{}$A$\\end{document}. The optimal subset, \\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \\usepackage{amsmath} \\usepackage{wasysym} \\usepackage{amsfonts} \\usepackage{amssymb} \\usepackage{amsbsy} \\usepackage{upgreek} \\usepackage{mathrsfs} \\setlength{\\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \\begin{document} }{}$\\hat {A}$\\end{document}, is selected by maximizing the expected outcome under a treat-if-in-\\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \\usepackage{amsmath} \\usepackage{wasysym} \\usepackage{amsfonts} \\usepackage{amssymb} \\usepackage{amsbsy} \\usepackage{upgreek} \\usepackage{mathrsfs} \\setlength{\\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \\begin{document} }{}$A$\\end{document} regime, and is restricted to be a simple, as it is desirable that treatment decisions be made with only a limited amount of patient information required. We consider a two-stage procedure. In stage 1, non-parametric regression is used to estimate treatment effects for each subject, and in stage 2 these treatment effect estimates are used to systematically evaluate many subgroups of a simple, prespecified form to identify \\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \\usepackage{amsmath} \\usepackage{wasysym} \\usepackage{amsfonts} \\usepackage{amssymb} \\usepackage{amsbsy} \\usepackage{upgreek} \\usepackage{mathrsfs} \\setlength{\\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \\begin{document} }{}$\\hat {A}$\\end{document}. The proposed methods were found to perform favorably compared with two existing methods in simulations, and were applied to prehypertension data from an RCT. PMID:25398774

  3. New evidence-based adaptive clinical trial methods for optimally integrating predictive biomarkers into oncology clinical development programs

    PubMed Central

    Beckman, Robert A.; Chen, Cong

    2013-01-01

    Predictive biomarkers are important to the future of oncology; they can be used to identify patient populations who will benefit from therapy, increase the value of cancer medicines, and decrease the size and cost of clinical trials while increasing their chance of success. But predictive biomarkers do not always work. When unsuccessful, they add cost, complexity, and time to drug development. This perspective describes phases 2 and 3 development methods that efficiently and adaptively check the ability of a biomarker to predict clinical outcomes. In the end, the biomarker is emphasized to the extent that it can actually predict. PMID:23489587

  4. 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.

  5. Clinical Evaluation of Direct Aperture Optimization When Applied to Head-And-Neck IMRT

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, Stephen Williams, Matthew

    2008-04-01

    Direct Machine Parameter Optimization (DMPO) is a leaf segmentation program released as an optional item of the Pinnacle planning system (Philips Radiation Oncology Systems, Milpitas, CA); it is based on the principles of direct aperture optimization where the size, shape, and weight of individual segments are optimized to produce an intensity modulated radiation treatment (IMRT) plan. In this study, we compare DMPO to the traditional method of IMRT planning, in which intensity maps are optimized prior to conversion into deliverable multileaf collimator (MLC) apertures, and we determine if there was any dosimetric improvement, treatment efficiency gain, or planning advantage provided by the use of DMPO. Eleven head-and-neck patients treated with IMRT had treatment plans generated using each optimization method. For each patient, the same planning parameters were used for each optimization method. All calculations were performed using Pinnacle version 7.6c software and treatments were delivered using a step-and-shoot IMRT method on a Varian 2100EX linear accelerator equipped with a 120-leaf Millennium MLC (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA). Each plan was assessed based on the calculation time, a conformity index, the composite objective value used in the optimization, the number of segments, monitor units (MUs), and treatment time. The results showed DMPO to be superior to the traditional optimization method in all areas. Considerable advantages were observed in the dosimetric quality of DMPO plans, which also required 32% less time to calculate, 42% fewer MUs, and 35% fewer segments than the conventional optimization method. These reductions translated directly into a 29% decrease in treatment times. While considerable gains were observed in planning and treatment efficiency, they were specific to our institution, and the impact of direct aperture optimization on plan quality and workflow will be dependent on the planning parameters, planning system, and

  6. Optimizing resources for the surgical care of children: an American Pediatric Surgical Association Outcomes and Clinical Trials Committee consensus statement.

    PubMed

    Goldin, Adam B; Dasgupta, Roshni; Chen, Li Ern; Blakely, Martin L; Islam, Saleem; Downard, Cynthia D; Rangel, Shawn J; St Peter, Shawn D; Calkins, Casey M; Arca, Marjorie J; Barnhart, Douglas C; Saito, Jacqueline M; Oldham, Keith T; Abdullah, Fizan

    2014-05-01

    The United States' healthcare system is facing unprecedented pressures: the healthcare cost curve is not sustainable while the bar of standards and expectations for the quality of care continues to rise. Systems committed to the surgical treatment of children will likely require changes and reorganization. Regardless of these mounting pressures, hospitals must remain focused on providing the best possible care to each child at every encounter. Available clinical expertise and hospital resources should be optimized to match the complexity of the treated condition. Although precise criteria are lacking, there is a growing consensus that the optimal combination of clinical experience and hospital resources must be defined, and efforts toward this goal have been supported by the Regents of the American College of Surgeons, the members of the American Pediatric Surgical Association, and the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA) Board of Directors. The topic of optimizing outcomes and the discussion of the concepts involved have unfortunately become divisive. Our goals, therefore, are 1) to provide a review of the literature that can provide context for the discussion of regionalization, volume, and optimal resources and promote mutual understanding of these important terms, 2) to review the evidence that has been published to date in pediatric surgery associated with regionalization, volume, and resource, 3) to focus on a specific resource (anesthesia), and the association that this may have with outcomes, and 4) to provide a framework for future research and policy efforts.

  7. Challenges in achieving optimal glycemic control in type 2 diabetes patients with declining renal function: The Southeast Asia perspective.

    PubMed

    Cc Chow, Francis; Chan, Siew-Pheng; Hwu, Chii-Min; Suwanwalaikorn, Sompongse; Wu, Akira Yt; Gan, Susan Yu; Zacarias, Manuel B

    2012-12-20

    It is well recognised that Asia is at the epicenter of the global type 2 diabetes epidemic. Driven by socioeconomic changes involving industrialization, urbanization and adoption of Western lifestyles, the unprecedented increases in the prevalence of diabetes are particularly evident in Southeast Asia. The impact of diabetes is immense, and despite evidence of the benefit of optimal glucose control in reducing the risk of disease progression and development of macrovascular and microvascular complications, many individuals in this region remain poorly controlled. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an increasingly common diabetes-associated complication in Asian patients. Furthermore, Southeast Asia has one of the highest rates of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the world. Consequently, CKD in diabetes is associated with considerable morbidity and cardiovascular-related mortality, highlighting the need to screen and assess patients early in the course of the disease. The management of type 2 diabetes patients with declining renal function represents a significant challenge. Many of the older antidiabetic agents, such as metformin and sulfonylureas, are limited in their utility in CKD as a result of contraindications or hypoglycemic episodes. In contrast, dipeptidyl-peptidase IV inhibitors have provided a welcome addition to the therapeutic armamentarium for achieving glycemic control in these special populations. With comparable efficacy to and more favorable pharmacokinetic and side-effect profiles than traditional therapies, agents in this drug class, such as linagliptin, offer a more tailored approach to disease control in type 2 diabetes patients with declining renal function.

  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. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. Identification of Threshold Prostate Specific Antigen Levels to Optimize the Detection of Clinically Significant Prostate Cancer by Magnetic Resonance Imaging/Ultrasound Fusion Guided Biopsy

    PubMed Central

    Shakir, Nabeel A.; George, Arvin K.; Siddiqui, M. Minhaj; Rothwax, Jason T.; Rais-Bahrami, Soroush; Stamatakis, Lambros; Su, Daniel; Okoro, Chinonyerem; Raskolnikov, Dima; Walton-Diaz, Annerleim; Simon, Richard; Turkbey, Baris; Choyke, Peter L.; Merino, Maria J.; Wood, Bradford J.; Pinto, Peter A.

    2015-01-01

    cancer upgrading with targeted biopsy increases with an increasing prostate specific antigen cutoff. Above a prostate specific antigen threshold of 5.2 ng/ml most upgrading to clinically significant disease was achieved by targeted biopsy. In our population this corresponded to potentially sparing biopsy in 36% of patients who underwent multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging. Below this value 12-core biopsy detected more clinically insignificant cancer. Thus, the diagnostic usefulness of targeted biopsy is optimized in patients with prostate specific antigen 5.2 ng/ml or greater. PMID:25117476

  15. Optimizing the design and analysis of clinical functional magnetic resonance imaging research studies.

    PubMed

    Carter, Cameron S; Heckers, Stephan; Nichols, Thomas; Pine, Daniel S; Strother, Stephen

    2008-11-15

    With the widespread availability of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), there has been rapid progress in identifying neural correlates of cognition and emotion in the human brain. In conjunction with basic research studies, fMRI has been increasingly applied in clinical disorders, making it a central research tool in human psychopathology, psychopharmacology, and genetics. In the present article, we discuss a number of conceptual and methodological challenges that confront the implementation of fMRI in clinical and translational research, and we offer a set of recommendations intended to enhance the interpretability and reproducibility of results in clinical fMRI.

  16. Optimization of lentiviral vectors generation for biomedical and clinical research purposes: contemporary trends in technology development and applications.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Pankaj; Woon-Khiong, Chan

    2011-04-01

    Classical non-viral methods of gene transfer, such as chemical transfection, have met with limited success of instillation of genetic material into non-proliferating cells in vitro. Among the different kinds of viral vectors, Lentiviral vectors (LVs) have emerged as robust and versatile tool for ex vivo and in vivo gene delivery into multiple cell types including non-dividing cells such as neurons. The capacity of LVs to maintain stable, long-term transgene expression and the substantial flexibility in the design of the expression cassettes account for their increasing use in various pre-clinical and clinical applications. Additionally, LVs have been hugely successful in reprogramming induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Recent development using LVs in conjunction with a Cre-Lox based reversible system has opened up many new possibilities towards therapeutic application of iPSC technology in various clinical settings. Moreover, improvements in term of biosafety and efficacy, achieved either by modifying the vector design or by involving integration-deficient LVs (IDLVs), have important implications for adoption of LV as the vector of choice for clinical trials. Several human gene therapy clinical trials evaluating the use of LVs for treatment: of human diseases such as Parkinson's disease, β-thalassemia, X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), and AIDS are currently ongoing. This review will describe the state of the art achieved by LV technology, its impact on biomedical research, and implications to human clinical trials as therapeutic gene delivery vehicle for a wide range of infectious and genetic diseases.

  17. A Randomized Clinical Trial to Determine Optimal Infertility Treatment in Older Couples: The Forty and Over Treatment Trial (FORT-T)

    PubMed Central

    Goldman, Marlene B.; Thornton, Kim L.; Ryley, David; Alper, Michael M.; Fung, June L.; Hornstein, Mark D.; Reindollar, Richard H.

    2014-01-01

    Objective To determine optimal infertility therapy in women at the end of their reproductive potential. Design Randomized clinical trial. Setting Academic medical centers and private infertility center in a state with mandated insurance coverage. Patients Couples with ≥ 6 months of unexplained infertility; female partner aged 38–42. Interventions Randomized to treatment with 2 cycles of clomiphene citrate (CC) and intrauterine insemination (IUI), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)/IUI, or immediate IVF, followed by IVF if not pregnant. Main Outcome Measures Proportion with a clinically recognized pregnancy, number of treatment cycles, and time to conception after 2 treatment cycles and at the end of treatment. Results 154 couples were randomized to receive CC/IUI (N=51), FSH/IUI (N=52), or immediate IVF (N=51); 140 (90.9%) couples initiated treatment. Cumulative clinical pregnancy rates per couple after the first 2 cycles of CC/IUI, FSH/IUI, or immediate IVF were 21.6%, 17.3%, and 49.0%, respectively. After all treatment, 71.4% (110/154) of couples conceived a clinically recognized pregnancy and 46.1% delivered at least one live-born baby. 84.2% of all live born infants resulting from treatment were achieved from IVF. There were 36% fewer treatment cycles in the IVF arm compared to either COH/IUI arm and couples conceived a pregnancy leading to a live birth after fewer treatment cycles. Conclusions An RCT to compare treatment initiated with 2 cycles of COH/IUI to immediate IVF in older women with unexplained infertility demonstrated superior pregnancy rates with fewer treatment cycles in the immediate IVF group. PMID:24796764

  18. 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.

  19. Drug efficiency: a new concept to guide lead optimization programs towards the selection of better clinical candidates.

    PubMed

    Braggio, Simone; Montanari, Dino; Rossi, Tino; Ratti, Emiliangelo

    2010-07-01

    As a result of their wide acceptance and conceptual simplicity, drug-like concepts are having a major influence on the drug discovery process, particularly in the selection of the 'optimal' absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity and physicochemical parameters space. While they have an undisputable value when assessing the potential of lead series or in evaluating inherent risk of a portfolio of drug candidates, they result much less useful in weighing up compounds for the selection of the best potential clinical candidate. We introduce the concept of drug efficiency as a new tool both to guide the drug discovery program teams during the lead optimization phase and to better assess the developability potential of a drug candidate.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Searching ClinicalTrials.gov and the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform to inform systematic reviews: what are the optimal search approaches?*

    PubMed Central

    Glanville, Julie M.; Duffy, Steven; McCool, Rachael; Varley, Danielle

    2014-01-01

    Background: Since 2005, International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) member journals have required that clinical trials be registered in publicly available trials registers before they are considered for publication. Objectives: The research explores whether it is adequate, when searching to inform systematic reviews, to search for relevant clinical trials using only public trials registers and to identify the optimal search approaches in trials registers. Methods: A search was conducted in ClinicalTrials.gov and the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) for research studies that had been included in eight systematic reviews. Four search approaches (highly sensitive, sensitive, precise, and highly precise) were performed using the basic and advanced interfaces in both resources. Results: On average, 84% of studies were not listed in either resource. The largest number of included studies was retrieved in ClinicalTrials.gov and ICTRP when a sensitive search approach was used in the basic interface. The use of the advanced interface maintained or improved sensitivity in 16 of 19 strategies for Clinicaltrials.gov and 8 of 18 for ICTRP. No single search approach was sensitive enough to identify all studies included in the 6 reviews. Conclusions: Trials registers cannot yet be relied upon as the sole means to locate trials for systematic reviews. Trials registers lag behind the major bibliographic databases in terms of their search interfaces. Implications: For systematic reviews, trials registers and major bibliographic databases should be searched. Trials registers should be searched using sensitive approaches, and both the registers consulted in this study should be searched. PMID:25031558

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Posterior resin-based composite restorations: clinical recommendations for optimal success.

    PubMed

    Ritter, A V

    2001-01-01

    Resin-based composites are increasingly used for the restoration of defects in posterior teeth. This review describes, illustrates and discusses important clinical aspects of the posterior composite technique. A relatively new stratification concept oriented to the development of functional and anatomic restorations is proposed.

  7. [The study of dynamics of clinical and molecular phenotypes in the generalized form of myasthenia with optimized and combined treatment].

    PubMed

    Drozd, O A; Efremov, V V; Romantsov, M G; Sarvilina, I V

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the study was the research of clinical and molecular phenotypes in the generalized form of myasthenia with optimized treantment, which includes the application of basic mode of the treatment and meglumine sodium succinate, and also the combined mode of the treatment, which includes the mode of the treatment and meglumine sodium succinate and ozonotherapy. The most epressed improvement of indicators of the clinical and neurologic status (the eliminaton of motoring breakdown, eye movement disrders, the weaknesses of mimic, respiratory and chewing muscles, bulbar syndrome, the doubling in eye and ptosis, pharyngeal violations and increase in volume of movement of eyes) was observed in the group of patients receiving the combined therapy. The reduction of the epressiveness of the defeat of the neuromotor device and the decrement of the amplitude of the various degree of M-answer in patients with myasthenla is revealed in the application of the combined therapy in the comparison with the application of the basic and optimized therapy. For the first time we have investigaed the dynamics of the intensity of the expression of specfic peptides and proteins in blood serum in patients with the application of basic therapy, reamberin and ozonotherapy, which have allowed to open the new mechanisms of the efficiency ofthe combined therapy of the disease.

  8. Novel coagulation factor concentrates: issues relating to their clinical implementation and pharmacokinetic assessment for optimal prophylaxis in haemophilia patients.

    PubMed

    Ljung, R; Auerswald, G; Benson, G; Jetter, A; Jiménez-Yuste, V; Lambert, T; Morfini, M; Remor, E; Sørensen, B; Salek, S Z

    2013-07-01

    Prophylaxis is considered the optimal treatment regimen for patients with severe haemophilia, and may be especially important in the prevention of joint disease. Novel coagulation factor concentrates with prolonged half-lives promise to improve patient treatment by enabling prophylaxis with less frequent dosing. With the call to individualize therapy in haemophilia, there is growing awareness of the need to use pharmacokinetic (PK) assessments to tailor prophylaxis. However, for new factor concentrates, it is not yet known which PK values will be most informative for optimizing prophylaxis. This topic was explored at the Eighth Zurich Haemophilia Forum. On the basis of our clinical experience and a discussion of the literature, we report key issues relating to the PK assessment of new coagulation factors and include suggestions on the implementation of PK data to optimize therapy. As both inter- and intra-individual variability in factor half-life have been reported, we suggest that frequent PK assessments should be conducted. However, to diminish the burden of more frequent sampling, sparser sampling strategies and the use of population modelling should be considered. Guidelines on how to assay new factor concentrates, and which PK parameters should be measured, are needed. Concerns were raised regarding the possibility of breakthrough bleeding, and current thinking on how to prevent breakthrough bleeding may no longer be appropriate. Finally, as treatment adherence may be more important to ensure that a therapeutic level of a new coagulation factor concentrate is maintained, behavioural techniques could be implemented to help to improve treatment adherence.

  9. Histone deacetylase inhibitor romidepsin induces HIV expression in CD4 T cells from patients on suppressive antiretroviral therapy at concentrations achieved by clinical dosing.

    PubMed

    Wei, Datsen George; Chiang, Vicki; Fyne, Elizabeth; Balakrishnan, Mini; Barnes, Tiffany; Graupe, Michael; Hesselgesser, Joseph; Irrinki, Alivelu; Murry, Jeffrey P; Stepan, George; Stray, Kirsten M; Tsai, Angela; Yu, Helen; Spindler, Jonathan; Kearney, Mary; Spina, Celsa A; McMahon, Deborah; Lalezari, Jacob; Sloan, Derek; Mellors, John; Geleziunas, Romas; Cihlar, Tomas

    2014-04-01

    Persistent latent reservoir of replication-competent proviruses in memory CD4 T cells is a major obstacle to curing HIV infection. Pharmacological activation of HIV expression in latently infected cells is being explored as one of the strategies to deplete the latent HIV reservoir. In this study, we characterized the ability of romidepsin (RMD), a histone deacetylase inhibitor approved for the treatment of T-cell lymphomas, to activate the expression of latent HIV. In an in vitro T-cell model of HIV latency, RMD was the most potent inducer of HIV (EC50 = 4.5 nM) compared with vorinostat (VOR; EC50 = 3,950 nM) and other histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors in clinical development including panobinostat (PNB; EC50 = 10 nM). The HIV induction potencies of RMD, VOR, and PNB paralleled their inhibitory activities against multiple human HDAC isoenzymes. In both resting and memory CD4 T cells isolated from HIV-infected patients on suppressive combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), a 4-hour exposure to 40 nM RMD induced a mean 6-fold increase in intracellular HIV RNA levels, whereas a 24-hour treatment with 1 µM VOR resulted in 2- to 3-fold increases. RMD-induced intracellular HIV RNA expression persisted for 48 hours and correlated with sustained inhibition of cell-associated HDAC activity. By comparison, the induction of HIV RNA by VOR and PNB was transient and diminished after 24 hours. RMD also increased levels of extracellular HIV RNA and virions from both memory and resting CD4 T-cell cultures. The activation of HIV expression was observed at RMD concentrations below the drug plasma levels achieved by doses used in patients treated for T-cell lymphomas. In conclusion, RMD induces HIV expression ex vivo at concentrations that can be achieved clinically, indicating that the drug may reactivate latent HIV in patients on suppressive cART.

  10. Combined array CGH plus SNP genome analyses in a single assay for optimized clinical testing.

    PubMed

    Wiszniewska, Joanna; Bi, Weimin; Shaw, Chad; Stankiewicz, Pawel; Kang, Sung-Hae L; Pursley, Amber N; Lalani, Seema; Hixson, Patricia; Gambin, Tomasz; Tsai, Chun-hui; Bock, Hans-Georg; Descartes, Maria; Probst, Frank J; Scaglia, Fernando; Beaudet, Arthur L; Lupski, James R; Eng, Christine; Cheung, Sau Wai; Bacino, Carlos; Patel, Ankita

    2014-01-01

    In clinical diagnostics, both array comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping have proven to be powerful genomic technologies utilized for the evaluation of developmental delay, multiple congenital anomalies, and neuropsychiatric disorders. Differences in the ability to resolve genomic changes between these arrays may constitute an implementation challenge for clinicians: which platform (SNP vs array CGH) might best detect the underlying genetic cause for the disease in the patient? While only SNP arrays enable the detection of copy number neutral regions of absence of heterozygosity (AOH), they have limited ability to detect single-exon copy number variants (CNVs) due to the distribution of SNPs across the genome. To provide comprehensive clinical testing for both CNVs and copy-neutral AOH, we enhanced our custom-designed high-resolution oligonucleotide array that has exon-targeted coverage of 1860 genes with 60,000 SNP probes, referred to as Chromosomal Microarray Analysis - Comprehensive (CMA-COMP). Of the 3240 cases evaluated by this array, clinically significant CNVs were detected in 445 cases including 21 cases with exonic events. In addition, 162 cases (5.0%) showed at least one AOH region >10 Mb. We demonstrate that even though this array has a lower density of SNP probes than other commercially available SNP arrays, it reliably detected AOH events >10 Mb as well as exonic CNVs beyond the detection limitations of SNP genotyping. Thus, combining SNP probes and exon-targeted array CGH into one platform provides clinically useful genetic screening in an efficient manner.

  11. Combined array CGH plus SNP genome analyses in a single assay for optimized clinical testing

    PubMed Central

    Wiszniewska, Joanna; Bi, Weimin; Shaw, Chad; Stankiewicz, Pawel; Kang, Sung-Hae L; Pursley, Amber N; Lalani, Seema; Hixson, Patricia; Gambin, Tomasz; Tsai, Chun-hui; Bock, Hans-Georg; Descartes, Maria; Probst, Frank J; Scaglia, Fernando; Beaudet, Arthur L; Lupski, James R; Eng, Christine; Wai Cheung, Sau; Bacino, Carlos; Patel, Ankita

    2014-01-01

    In clinical diagnostics, both array comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping have proven to be powerful genomic technologies utilized for the evaluation of developmental delay, multiple congenital anomalies, and neuropsychiatric disorders. Differences in the ability to resolve genomic changes between these arrays may constitute an implementation challenge for clinicians: which platform (SNP vs array CGH) might best detect the underlying genetic cause for the disease in the patient? While only SNP arrays enable the detection of copy number neutral regions of absence of heterozygosity (AOH), they have limited ability to detect single-exon copy number variants (CNVs) due to the distribution of SNPs across the genome. To provide comprehensive clinical testing for both CNVs and copy-neutral AOH, we enhanced our custom-designed high-resolution oligonucleotide array that has exon-targeted coverage of 1860 genes with 60 000 SNP probes, referred to as Chromosomal Microarray Analysis – Comprehensive (CMA-COMP). Of the 3240 cases evaluated by this array, clinically significant CNVs were detected in 445 cases including 21 cases with exonic events. In addition, 162 cases (5.0%) showed at least one AOH region >10 Mb. We demonstrate that even though this array has a lower density of SNP probes than other commercially available SNP arrays, it reliably detected AOH events >10 Mb as well as exonic CNVs beyond the detection limitations of SNP genotyping. Thus, combining SNP probes and exon-targeted array CGH into one platform provides clinically useful genetic screening in an efficient manner. PMID:23695279

  12. Value of Urine Lipoarabinomannan Grade and Second Test for Optimizing Clinic-based Screening for HIV-associated Pulmonary Tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Drain, Paul K.; Losina, Elena; Coleman, Sharon M.; Giddy, Janet; Ross, Douglas; Katz, Jeffrey N.; Bassett, Ingrid V.

    2014-01-01

    Background We assessed the role of urine LAM (lipoarabinomannan) grade and a second LAM test for HIV-associated pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) screening in outpatient clinics in South Africa. Methods We enrolled newly-diagnosed HIV-infected adults (≥18 years) at 4 clinics, excluding those on TB therapy. Participants provided sputum for AFB microscopy and culture. Nurses conducted two rapid urine LAM tests at the point-of-care, and graded positive results from low (“faint”) to high (5+). Culture-confirmed pulmonary TB was the gold standard. We used area under receiver operating curves (AUROC) to compare screening strategies. Results Among 320 HIV-infected adults, median CD4 was 248/mm3 (IQR 107–379/mm3); 54 (17%) were TB culture-positive. 52 (16%) of all participants were LAM-positive by either test; correlation between LAM tests was high. Among 10 “faint” positive results, 2 (20%) had culture-positive TB. Using ≥1+ LAM grade as positive, one LAM test had sensitivity of 41% (95% CI 28–55%) and specificity of 92% (95% CI 88–95%). A 2 LAM test strategy had a sensitivity of 43% (95% CI 29–57%). One LAM test ≥1+ grade (AUROC=0.66; 95% CI 0.60–0.73) was significantly better than sputum AFB alone. The optimal strategy was sequentially performing one LAM test followed by sputum AFB if LAM grade <1+ (AUROC=0.70; 95% CI 0.63–0.77), which had sensitivity of 48% (95% CI 34–62%) and specificity of 91% (95% CI 87–94%). Conclusions In this clinic-based study, “faint” line was a false-positive, second urine LAM test added no value, and an optimal screening strategy was one LAM test followed by sputum AFB microscopy for urine LAM-negative people. PMID:25415288

  13. Dream Busters...Clinic Income.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hasler, John F.

    1995-01-01

    Several approaches that could allow dental schools to conduct clinical care programs more profitably in a difficult economic and health-care climate are offered. Focus is on organizing delivery systems around patient-centered care, achieving optimal care quality, enhancing clinic revenue, minimizing operating costs, and becoming better positioned…

  14. Optimizing clinical outcomes of transcatheter aortic valve implantation patients with comorbidities.

    PubMed

    O'Sullivan, Crochan J; Wenaweser, Peter

    2015-12-01

    Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has revolutionized the management of high-risk or inoperable patients presenting with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis (AS). There are several factors to consider to optimize patient outcomes from TAVI. Before TAVI, patient selection is key and an understanding the effects of common comorbidities on outcomes after TAVI is critical. Some comorbidities share common risk factors with AS (e.g. coronary artery disease), others are directly or indirectly caused or exacerbated by severe AS (e.g. atrial fibrillation, pulmonary hypertension, mitral regurgitation, tricuspid regurgitation and right ventricular dysfunction), whereas others are not directly related to severe AS (e.g. chronic kidney disease and chronic lung disease). Choice of transcatheter heart valve prosthesis, vascular access route and mode of anesthesia are important considerations during TAVI. New onset conduction disturbances and arrhythmias remain a vexing issue after TAVI. The aim of the present review is to provide an overview of these issues.

  15. 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

  16. Optimization of a Goal Maintenance Task for Use in Clinical Applications

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, Dori; Poppe, Andrew B.; Barch, Deanna M.; Carter, Cameron S.; Gold, James M.; Ragland, John D.; Silverstein, Steven M.; Strauss, Milton E.; MacDonald, Angus W.

    2012-01-01

    Background: We sought to develop a Dot Pattern Expectancy task (DPX) to assess goal maintenance for use in clinical trials. Altering the standard task created 5 versions of the DPX to compare—a standard version and 4 others. Alterations in the interstimulus interval (ISI) length and the strength of a learned prepotent response distinguished the different tasks. These adjustments were designed to decrease administration time and/or improve reliability of the data. Methods: We determined participant eligibility in an initial session (the first of 3) using clinical interviewing tools. The initial session also included a demographic assessment and assessments of community functioning and symptom severity. All versions of the DPX were administered, across 3 sessions. Specific deficits on the context processing compared with difficulty control condition were evaluated using mixed-effects logistic regression within a hierarchical linear model. Results: We analyzed the data from 136 control participants and 138 participants with schizophrenia. Relative to a difficulty control condition, patients performed worse than controls on context processing conditions that required goal maintenance. ISI did not predict errors. Stronger prepotency was associated with increased errors in the difficulty control relative to context processing condition for controls, which improved the interpretability of findings for patients. Reliability was acceptable for a version of the task with a 10-minute running time. Conclusions: The best compromise between task duration and interpretability occurred on a version with a short ISI and a strong prepotency. PMID:22199092

  17. 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

  18. Optimizing stroke clinical trial design: estimating the proportion of eligible patients

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Alexis; Castle, Amanda; Merino, José G.; Hsia, Amie; Kidwell, Chelsea S.; Warach, Steven

    2010-01-01

    Background and Purpose Clinical trial planning and site selection require an accurate estimate of the number of eligible patients at each site. In this study, we developed a tool to calculate the proportion of patients that would meet a specific trial's age, baseline severity and time to treatment inclusion criteria. Methods From a sample of 1322 consecutive patients with acute ischemic cerebrovascular syndromes, we developed regression curves relating the proportion of patients within each range of the three variables. We used half the patients to develop the model, and the other half to validate it by comparing predicted versus actual proportions that met the criteria for four current stroke trials. Results The predicted proportion of patients meeting inclusion criteria ranged from 6% to 28% among the different trials. The proportion of trial-eligible patients predicted from the first half of the data was within 0.4% to 1.4% of the actual proportion of eligible patients. This proportion increased logarithmically with NIHSS score and time from onset: lowering the baseline limits of the NIHSS score and the treatment window would have the greatest impact on the proportion of patients eligible for a stroke trial. Conclusions This model helps estimate the proportion of stroke patients eligible for a study based on different upper and lower limits for age, stroke severity and time to treatment, and may be a useful tool in clinical trial planning. PMID:20798375

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

    PubMed

    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

  20. DWI of Prostate Cancer: Optimal b-Value in Clinical Practice

    PubMed Central

    Manenti, Guglielmo; Vasili, Erald; Bonanno, Elena; Simonetti, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Aim. To compare the diagnostic performance of diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) using b-values of 1000 s/mm2 and 2000 s/mm2 at 3 Tesla (T) for the evaluation of clinically significant prostate cancer. Matherials and Methods. Seventy-eight prostate cancer patients underwent a 3T MRI scan followed by radical prostatectomy. DWI was performed using b-values of 0, 1000, and 2000 s/mm2 and qualitatively analysed by two radiologists. ADC maps were obtained at b-values of 1000 and 2000 s/mm2 and quantitatively analyzed in consensus. Results. For diagnosis of 78 prostate cancers the accuracy of DWI for the young reader was significantly greater at b = 2000 s/mm2 for the peripheral zone (PZ) but not for the transitional zone (TZ). For the experienced reader, DWI did not show significant differences in accuracy between b-values of 1000 and 2000 s/mm2. The quantitative analysis in the PZ and TZ was substantially superimposable between the two b-values, albeit with a higher accuracy with a b-value of 2000 s/mm2. Conclusions. With a b-value of 2000 s/mm2 at 3T both readers differentiated clinical significant cancer from benign tissue; higher b-values can be helpful for the less experienced readers. PMID:24693438

  1. Toward an optimized therapy for tuberculosis? Drugs in clinical trials and in preclinical development.

    PubMed

    Ma, Zhenkun; Lienhardt, Christian

    2009-12-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be one of the greatest challenges in the global public health arena. Current therapeutic agents against TB are old and inadequate, particularly in the face of many new challenges. Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) has become prevalent in many parts of the world and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) is rapidly emerging. There are few or essentially no effective drugs available to treat these drug-resistant forms of TB. TB and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection has become another major problem in areas with high prevalence of HIV infection. Simultaneous treatment of TB and HIV is difficult due to the severe drug-drug interactions between the first-line rifamycin-containing TB therapy and antiretroviral agents. However, there have been some encouraging developments in TB drug research and development within the past decade. At present there are 6 compounds, including 3 novel agents, in late stages of clinical development. There are even larger numbers of compounds and projects in the TB drug pipeline at the discovery stage and in early stages of clinical development, mainly targeting treatment shortening and drug resistance. Despite these encouraging developments, the current TB drug pipeline is not sufficient to address the multitude of challenges inherent in the current standard of TB therapy. A stronger TB drug pipeline and a new paradigm for the development of novel TB drug combinations are needed.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Determination of optimal operation time for the management of acute cholecystitis: a clinical trial

    PubMed Central

    Ucar, Ahmet Deniz; Yakan, Savas; Carti, Erdem Baris; Coskun, Ali; Erkan, Nazif; Yildirim, Mehmet

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Although all studies have reported that laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is a safe and effective treatment for acute cholecystitis, the optimal timing for the procedure is still the subject of some debate. Aim This retrospective analysis of a prospective database was aimed at comparing early with delayed LC for acute cholecystitis. Material and methods The LC was performed in 165 patients, of whom 83 were operated within 72 h of admission (group 1) and 82 patients after 72 h (group 2) with acute cholecystitis between January 2012 and August 2013. All data were collected prospectively and both groups compared in terms of age, sex, fever, white blood count count, ultrasound findings, operation time, conversion to open surgery, complications and mean hospital stay. Results The study included 165 patients, 53 men and 112 women, who had median age 54 (20–85) years. The overall conversion rate was 27.9%. There was no significant difference in conversion rates (21% vs. 34%) between groups (p = 0.08). The operation time (116 min vs. 102 min, p = 0.02) was significantly increased in group 1. The complication rates (9% vs. 18%, p = 0.03) and total hospital stay (3.8 days vs. 7.9 days, p = 0.001) were significantly reduced in group 1. Conclusions Early LC within 72 h of admission reduces complications and hospital stay and is the preferred approach for acute cholecystitis. PMID:25097711

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Bisphosphonates in the management of postmenopausal osteoporosis – optimizing efficacy in clinical practice

    PubMed Central

    Bock, Oliver; Felsenberg, Dieter

    2008-01-01

    Nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates are potent inhibitors of osteoclastic bone resorption. With their individually proven efficacy to significantly reduce the incidence of vertebral and/or non-vertebral fractures and with their overall beneficial safety profile, alendronate, ibandronate, risedronate, and zoledronate are considered today a treatment of first choice in postmenopausal osteoporosis. However, treatment effects in an individual patient and cost-effectiveness in public health perspective are vitally dependent on the long-term patient adherence as well as on compliance and persistence. As compliance and persistence with daily oral bisphosphonates are shown to be suboptimal in many patients, leading to an increased fracture incidence in non-compliant patients, there is a need to improve overall adherence for bisphosphonate treatment in order to achieve maximum treatment effects. One option is to extend dosing intervals to weekly (alendronate, risedronate) or monthly (ibandronate) oral regimens. Less frequent oral regimens are generally preferred by majority of patients. Another alternative is intravenous, instead of oral application (ibandronate, zoledronate). Treatment acceptance could be further improved by IV bisphosphonates with their benefit of only quarterly, or even once-yearly, application. Treatment decisions should be based on anti-fracture efficacy data first. In addition, to ensure best possible patient adherence and maximum treatment benefits, physicians should consider individual patient conditions affecting compliance and persistence as well as patient preferences. PMID:18686751

  11. 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. PMID:25751207

  12. Clinical review: optimizing enteral nutrition for critically ill patients - a simple data-driven formula

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    In modern critical care, the paradigm of 'therapeutic nutrition' is replacing traditional 'supportive nutrition'. Standard enteral formulas meet basic macro- and micronutrient needs; therapeutic enteral formulas meet these basic needs and also contain specific pharmaconutrients that may attenuate hyperinflammatory responses, enhance the immune responses to infection, or improve gastrointestinal tolerance. Choosing the right enteral feeding formula may positively affect a patient's outcome; targeted use of therapeutic formulas can reduce the incidence of infectious complications, shorten lengths of stay in the ICU and in the hospital, and lower risk for mortality. In this paper, we review principles of how to feed (enteral, parenteral, or both) and when to feed (early versus delayed start) patients who are critically ill. We discuss what to feed these patients in the context of specific pharmaconutrients in specialized feeding formulations, that is, arginine, glutamine, antioxidants, certain ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids, hydrolyzed proteins, and medium-chain triglycerides. We summarize current expert guidelines for nutrition in patients with critical illness, and we present specific clinical evidence on the use of enteral formulas supplemented with anti-inflammatory or immune-modulating nutrients, and gastrointestinal tolerance-promoting nutritional formulas. Finally, we introduce an algorithm to help bedside clinicians make data-driven feeding decisions for patients with critical illness. PMID:22136305

  13. Optimal systemic therapy for early breast cancer in women: a clinical practice guideline.

    PubMed

    Eisen, A; Fletcher, G G; Gandhi, S; Mates, M; Freedman, O C; Dent, S F; Trudeau, M E

    2015-03-01

    The Breast Cancer Disease Site Group of Cancer Care Ontario identified the need for new guidelines for the adjuvant systemic therapy of early-stage breast cancer. The specific question to be addressed was "What is the optimal adjuvant systemic therapy for female patients with early-stage operable breast cancer, when patient and disease factors are considered?" A systematic review was prepared based on literature searches conducted using the medline and embase databases for the period January 2008 to March 5, 2012, and updated to May 12, 2014. Guidelines were located from that search, from the Standards and Guidelines Evidence directory of cancer guidelines, and from the Web sites of major guideline organizations. The literature located was subdivided into the broad categories of chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and therapy targeted to her2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2). Although several of the systemic therapies discussed in this guideline can be considered in the neoadjuvant setting, the review focused on trials with rates of disease-free and overall survival as endpoints and thus excluded several trials that used pathologic complete response as a primary endpoint. Based on the systematic review, the working group drafted recommendations on the use of chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and targeted therapy; based on their professional experience, they also drafted recommendations on patient and disease characteristics and recurrence risk. The literature review and draft recommendations were circulated to a consensus panel of medical oncologists who had expertise in breast cancer and who represented the regions of Ontario. Items without initial consensus were discussed at an in-person consensus meeting held in Toronto, November 23, 2012. The final recommendations are those for which consensus was reached before or at the meeting. Some of the key evidence was revised after the updated literature search. Evidence reviews for systemic chemotherapy, endocrine

  14. Clinical grade purification and expansion of NK cell products for an optimized manufacturing protocol.

    PubMed

    Koehl, Ulrike; Brehm, Claudia; Huenecke, Sabine; Zimmermann, Stefanie-Yvonne; Kloess, Stephan; Bremm, Melanie; Ullrich, Evelyn; Soerensen, Jan; Quaiser, Andrea; Erben, Stephanie; Wunram, Claudia; Gardlowski, Tanja; Auth, Eileen; Tonn, Torsten; Seidl, Christian; Meyer-Monard, Sandrine; Stern, Martin; Passweg, Jakob; Klingebiel, Thomas; Bader, Peter; Schwabe, Dirk; Esser, Ruth

    2013-01-01

    Allogeneic natural killer (NK) cells are used for adoptive immunotherapy after stem cell transplantation. In order to overcome technical limitations in NK cell purification and activation, the following study investigates the impact of different variables on NK cell recovery, cytotoxicity, and T-cell depletion during good manufacturing practice (GMP)-grade NK cell selection. Forty NK cell products were derived from 54 unstimulated donor leukaphereses using immunomagnetic CD3 T-cell depletion, followed by a CD56 cell enrichment step. For T-cell depletion, either the depletion 2.1 program in single or double procedure (D2.11depl, n = 18; D2.12depl, n = 13) or the faster depletion 3.1 (D3.1, n = 9) was used on the CliniMACS instrument. Seventeen purified NK cell products were activated in vitro by IL-2 for 12 days. The whole process resulted in a median number of 7.59 × 10(8) CD56(+)CD3(-) cells with both purity and viability of 94%, respectively. The T-cell depletion was significantly better using D2.11depl/2depl compared to D3.1 (log 4.6/log 4.9 vs. log 3.7; p < 0.01) and double procedure in two stages led always to residual T cells below 0.1%. In contrast D3.1 was superior to D2.11depl/2depl with regard to recovery of CD56(+)CD3(-) NK cells (68% vs. 41%/38%). Concomitant monocytes and especially IL-2 activation led to increased NK cell activity against malignant target cells compared to unstimulated NK cells, which correlated with both up-regulation of natural cytotoxicity receptors and intracellular signaling. Overall, wide variations in the NK cell expansion rate and the distribution of NK cell subpopulations were found. In conclusion, our results indicate that GMP-grade purification of NK cells might be improved by a sequential processing of T-cell depletion program D2.1 and D3.1. In addition NK cell expansion protocols need to be further optimized.

  15. International Study to Predict Optimized Treatment for Depression (iSPOT-D), a randomized clinical trial: rationale and protocol

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Clinically useful treatment moderators of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) have not yet been identified, though some baseline predictors of treatment outcome have been proposed. The aim of iSPOT-D is to identify pretreatment measures that predict or moderate MDD treatment response or remission to escitalopram, sertraline or venlafaxine; and develop a model that incorporates multiple predictors and moderators. Methods/Design The International Study to Predict Optimized Treatment - in Depression (iSPOT-D) is a multi-centre, international, randomized, prospective, open-label trial. It is enrolling 2016 MDD outpatients (ages 18-65) from primary or specialty care practices (672 per treatment arm; 672 age-, sex- and education-matched healthy controls). Study-eligible patients are antidepressant medication (ADM) naïve or willing to undergo a one-week wash-out of any non-protocol ADM, and cannot have had an inadequate response to protocol ADM. Baseline assessments include symptoms; distress; daily function; cognitive performance; electroencephalogram and event-related potentials; heart rate and genetic measures. A subset of these baseline assessments are repeated after eight weeks of treatment. Outcomes include the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (primary) and self-reported depressive symptoms, social functioning, quality of life, emotional regulation, and side-effect burden (secondary). Participants may then enter a naturalistic telephone follow-up at weeks 12, 16, 24 and 52. The first half of the sample will be used to identify potential predictors and moderators, and the second half to replicate and confirm. Discussion First enrolment was in December 2008, and is ongoing. iSPOT-D evaluates clinical and biological predictors of treatment response in the largest known sample of MDD collected worldwide. Trial registration International Study to Predict Optimised Treatment - in Depression (iSPOT-D) ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00693849 URL: http

  16. Use of response surface methodology in a fed-batch process for optimization of tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates to achieve high levels of canthaxanthin from Dietzia natronolimnaea HS-1.

    PubMed

    Nasri Nasrabadi, Mohammad Reza; Razavi, Seyed Hadi

    2010-04-01

    In this work, we applied statistical experimental design to a fed-batch process for optimization of tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) intermediates in order to achieve high-level production of canthaxanthin from Dietzia natronolimnaea HS-1 cultured in beet molasses. A fractional factorial design (screening test) was first conducted on five TCA cycle intermediates. Out of the five TCA cycle intermediates investigated via screening tests, alfaketoglutarate, oxaloacetate and succinate were selected based on their statistically significant (P<0.05) and positive effects on canthaxanthin production. These significant factors were optimized by means of response surface methodology (RSM) in order to achieve high-level production of canthaxanthin. The experimental results of the RSM were fitted with a second-order polynomial equation by means of a multiple regression technique to identify the relationship between canthaxanthin production and the three TCA cycle intermediates. By means of this statistical design under a fed-batch process, the optimum conditions required to achieve the highest level of canthaxanthin (13172 + or - 25 microg l(-1)) were determined as follows: alfaketoglutarate, 9.69 mM; oxaloacetate, 8.68 mM; succinate, 8.51 mM.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kwak, Minjung; Jung, Sin-Ho

    2014-01-01

    Summary 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. PMID:24338995

  18. The content of African diets is adequate to achieve optimal efficacy with fixed-dose artemether-lumefantrine: a review of the evidence.

    PubMed

    Premji, Zulfiqarali G; Abdulla, Salim; Ogutu, Bernhards; Ndong, Alice; Falade, Catherine O; Sagara, Issaka; Mulure, Nathan; Nwaiwu, Obiyo; Kokwaro, Gilbert

    2008-01-01

    A fixed-dose combination of artemether-lumefantrine (AL, Coartem(R)) has shown high efficacy, good tolerability and cost-effectiveness in adults and children with uncomplicated malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Lumefantrine bioavailability is enhanced by food, particularly fat.As the fat content of sub-Saharan African meals is approximately a third that of Western countries, it raises the question of whether fat consumption by African patients is sufficient for good efficacy. Data from healthy volunteers have indicated that drinking 36 mL soya milk (containing only 1.2 g of fat) results in 90% of the lumefantrine absorption obtained with 500 mL milk (16 g fat). African diets are typically based on a carbohydrate staple (starchy root vegetables, fruit [plantain] or cereals) supplemented by soups, relishes and sauces derived from vegetables, pulses, nuts or fish. The most important sources of dietary fat in African countries are oil crops (e.g. peanuts, soya beans) and cooking oils as red palm, peanut, coconut and sesame oils. Total fat intake in the majority of subSaharan countries is estimated to be in the range 30-60 g/person/day across the whole population (average 43 g/person/day). Breast-feeding of infants up to two years of age is standard, with one study estimating a fat intake of 15-30 g fat/day from breast milk up to the age of 18 months. Weaning foods typically contain low levels of fat, and the transition from breast milk to complete weaning is associated with a marked reduction in dietary fat. Nevertheless, fat intake >10 g/day has been reported in young children post-weaning. A randomized trial in Uganda reported no difference in the efficacy of AL between patients receiving supervised meals with a fixed fat content (~23 g fat) or taking AL unsupervised, suggesting that fat intake at home was sufficient for optimal efficacy. Moreover, randomized trials in African children aged 5-59 months have shown similar high cure rates to those observed in

  19. The content of African diets is adequate to achieve optimal efficacy with fixed-dose artemether-lumefantrine: a review of the evidence

    PubMed Central

    Premji, Zulfiqarali G; Abdulla, Salim; Ogutu, Bernhards; Ndong, Alice; Falade, Catherine O; Sagara, Issaka; Mulure, Nathan; Nwaiwu, Obiyo; Kokwaro, Gilbert

    2008-01-01

    A fixed-dose combination of artemether-lumefantrine (AL, Coartem®) has shown high efficacy, good tolerability and cost-effectiveness in adults and children with uncomplicated malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Lumefantrine bioavailability is enhanced by food, particularly fat. As the fat content of sub-Saharan African meals is approximately a third that of Western countries, it raises the question of whether fat consumption by African patients is sufficient for good efficacy. Data from healthy volunteers have indicated that drinking 36 mL soya milk (containing only 1.2 g of fat) results in 90% of the lumefantrine absorption obtained with 500 mL milk (16 g fat). African diets are typically based on a carbohydrate staple (starchy root vegetables, fruit [plantain] or cereals) supplemented by soups, relishes and sauces derived from vegetables, pulses, nuts or fish. The most important sources of dietary fat in African countries are oil crops (e.g. peanuts, soya beans) and cooking oils as red palm, peanut, coconut and sesame oils. Total fat intake in the majority of subSaharan countries is estimated to be in the range 30–60 g/person/day across the whole population (average 43 g/person/day). Breast-feeding of infants up to two years of age is standard, with one study estimating a fat intake of 15–30 g fat/day from breast milk up to the age of 18 months. Weaning foods typically contain low levels of fat, and the transition from breast milk to complete weaning is associated with a marked reduction in dietary fat. Nevertheless, fat intake >10 g/day has been reported in young children post-weaning. A randomized trial in Uganda reported no difference in the efficacy of AL between patients receiving supervised meals with a fixed fat content (~23 g fat) or taking AL unsupervised, suggesting that fat intake at home was sufficient for optimal efficacy. Moreover, randomized trials in African children aged 5–59 months have shown similar high cure rates to those observed

  20. Achieving Finite Element Mesh Quality via Optimization of the Jacobian Matrix Norm and Associated Quantities, Part II - A Framework for Volume Mesh Optimization and the Condition Number of the Jacobian Matrix

    SciTech Connect

    Knupp, P.M.

    1999-03-26

    Three-dimensional unstructured tetrahedral and hexahedral finite element mesh optimization is studied from a theoretical perspective and by computer experiments to determine what objective functions are most effective in attaining valid, high quality meshes. The approach uses matrices and matrix norms to extend the work in Part I to build suitable 3D objective functions. Because certain matrix norm identities which hold for 2 x 2 matrices do not hold for 3 x 3 matrices. significant differences arise between surface and volume mesh optimization objective functions. It is shown, for example, that the equivalence in two-dimensions of the Smoothness and Condition Number of the Jacobian matrix objective functions does not extend to three dimensions and further. that the equivalence of the Oddy and Condition Number of the Metric Tensor objective functions in two-dimensions also fails to extend to three-dimensions. Matrix norm identities are used to systematically construct dimensionally homogeneous groups of objective functions. The concept of an ideal minimizing matrix is introduced for both hexahedral and tetrahedral elements. Non-dimensional objective functions having barriers are emphasized as the most logical choice for mesh optimization. The performance of a number of objective functions in improving mesh quality was assessed on a suite of realistic test problems, focusing particularly on all-hexahedral ''whisker-weaved'' meshes. Performance is investigated on both structured and unstructured meshes and on both hexahedral and tetrahedral meshes. Although several objective functions are competitive, the condition number objective function is particularly attractive. The objective functions are closely related to mesh quality measures. To illustrate, it is shown that the condition number metric can be viewed as a new tetrahedral element quality measure.

  1. 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.

  2. A new adaptive design based on Simon's two-stage optimal design for phase II clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Jin, Hua; Wei, Zhen

    2012-11-01

    Phase II clinical trials are conducted to determine whether a new agent or drug regimen has sufficient promise in treating cancer to merit further testing in larger groups of patients. Both ethical and practical considerations often require early termination of phase II trials if early results clearly indicate that the new regimen is not active or worthy of further investigation. Simon's two-stage designs (1989) are common methods for conducting phase II studies investigating new cancer therapies. Banerjee and Tsiatis (2006) proposed an adaptive two-stage design which allows the sample size at the second stage to depend on the results at the first stage. Their design is more flexible than Simon's, but it is somewhat counter-intuitive: as the response in the first stage increases, the second-stage sample size increases till a certain point and then abruptly becomes zero. In this paper, based on Simon's two-stage optimal design, we propose a new adaptive one which depends on the first stage results using the restrict conditions the conditional type I error and the conditional power. Comparisons are made between Banerjee and Tsiatis' results and our new adaptive designs. PMID:22772088

  3. Optimizing pulmonary rehabilitation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease--practical issues: a Canadian Thoracic Society Clinical Practice Guideline.

    PubMed

    Marciniuk, Darcy D; Brooks, Dina; Butcher, Scott; Debigare, Richard; Dechman, Gail; Ford, Gordon; Pepin, Veronique; Reid, Darlene; Sheel, Andrew W; Stickland, Micheal K; Todd, David C; Walker, Shannon L; Aaron, Shawn D; Balter, Meyer; Bourbeau, Jean; Hernandez, Paul; Maltais, Francois; O'Donnell, Denis E; Bleakney, Donna; Carlin, Brian; Goldstein, Roger; Muthuri, Stella K

    2010-01-01

    Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) participation is the standard of care for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who remain symptomatic despite bronchodilator therapies. However, there are questions about specific aspects of PR programming including optimal site of rehabilitation delivery, components of rehabilitation programming, duration of rehabilitation, target populations and timing of rehabilitation. The present document was compiled to specifically address these important clinical issues, using an evidence-based, systematic review process led by a representative interprofessional panel of experts. The evidence reveals there are no differences in major patient-related outcomes of PR between nonhospital- (community or home sites) or hospital-based sites. There is strong support to recommend that COPD patients initiate PR within one month following an acute exacerbation due to benefits of improved dyspnea, exercise tolerance and health-related quality of life relative to usual care. Moreover, the benefits of PR are evident in both men and women, and in patients with moderate, severe and very severe COPD. The current review also suggests that longer PR programs, beyond six to eight weeks duration, be provided for COPD patients, and that while aerobic training is the foundation of PR, endurance and functional ability may be further improved with both aerobic and resistance training. PMID:20808973

  4. Relationship Between the Clinical Components of the Boder Test of Reading-Spelling Patterns and the Stanford Achievement Test: Validity of the Boder.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hooper, Stephen R.

    1988-01-01

    Investigated the concurrent validity of the diagnostic components of the Boder Test of Reading-Spelling Patterns with the reading and spelling measures of the Stanford Achievement Reading Test (SAT) in 87 reading-disabled elementary school students. Results indicated the relationship between the reading components of the Boder and SAT were…

  5. Achieving deeper molecular response is associated with a better clinical outcome in chronic myeloid leukemia patients on imatinib front-line therapy

    PubMed Central

    Etienne, Gabriel; Dulucq, Stéphanie; Nicolini, Franck-Emmanuel; Morisset, Stéphane; Fort, Marie-Pierre; Schmitt, Anna; Etienne, Madeleine; Hayette, Sandrine; Lippert, Eric; Bureau, Caroline; Tigaud, Isabelle; Adiko, Didier; Marit, Gérald; Reiffers, Josy; Mahon, François-Xavier

    2014-01-01

    Sustained imatinib treatment in chronic myeloid leukemia patients can result in complete molecular response allowing discontinuation without relapse. We set out to evaluate the frequency of complete molecular response in imatinib de novo chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia patients, to identify base-line and under-treatment predictive factors of complete molecular response in patients achieving complete cytogenetic response, and to assess if complete molecular response is associated with a better outcome. A random selection of patients on front-line imatinib therapy (n=266) were considered for inclusion. Complete molecular response was confirmed and defined as MR 4.5 with undetectable BCR-ABL transcript levels. Median follow up was 4.43 years (range 0.79–10.8 years). Sixty-five patients (24%) achieved complete molecular response within a median time of 32.7 months. Absence of spleen enlargement at diagnosis, achieving complete cytogenetic response before 12 months of therapy, and major molecular response during the year following complete cytogenetic response was predictive of achieving further complete molecular response. Patients who achieved complete molecular response had better event-free and failure-free survivals than those with complete cytogenetic response irrespective of major molecular response status (95.2% vs. 64.7% vs. 27.7%, P=0.00124; 98.4% vs. 82.3% vs. 56%, P=0.0335), respectively. Overall survival was identical in the 3 groups. In addition to complete cytogenetic response and major molecular response, further deeper molecular response is associated with better event-free and failure-free survivals, and complete molecular response confers the best outcome. PMID:24362549

  6. Achieving optimal SERS through enhanced experimental design

    PubMed Central

    Fisk, Heidi; Westley, Chloe; Turner, Nicholas J.

    2016-01-01

    One of the current limitations surrounding surface‐enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is the perceived lack of reproducibility. SERS is indeed challenging, and for analyte detection, it is vital that the analyte interacts with the metal surface. However, as this is analyte dependent, there is not a single set of SERS conditions that are universal. This means that experimental optimisation for optimum SERS response is vital. Most researchers optimise one factor at a time, where a single parameter is altered first before going onto optimise the next. This is a very inefficient way of searching the experimental landscape. In this review, we explore the use of more powerful multivariate approaches to SERS experimental optimisation based on design of experiments and evolutionary computational methods. We particularly focus on colloidal‐based SERS rather than thin film preparations as a result of their popularity. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:27587905

  7. Translating the therapeutic potential of neurotrophic factors to clinical 'proof of concept': a personal saga achieving a career-long quest.

    PubMed

    Bartus, Raymond T

    2012-11-01

    While the therapeutic potential of neurotrophic factors has been well-recognized for over two decades, attempts to translate that potential to the clinic have been disappointing, largely due to significant delivery obstacles. Similarly, gene therapy (or gene transfer) emerged as a potentially powerful, new therapeutic approach nearly two decades ago and despite its promise, also suffered serious setbacks when applied to the human clinic. As advances continue to be made in both fields, ironically, they may now be poised to complement each other to produce a translational breakthrough. The accumulated data argue that gene transfer provides the 'enabling technology' that can solve the age-old delivery problems that have plagued the translation of neurotrophic factors as treatments for chronic central nervous system diseases. A leading translational program applying gene transfer to deliver a neurotrophic factor to rejuvenate and protect degenerating human neurons is CERE-120 (AAV2-NRTN). To date, over two dozen nonclinical studies and three clinical trials have been completed. A fourth (pivotal) clinical trial has completed all dosing and is currently evaluating safety and efficacy. In total, eighty Parkinson's disease (PD) subjects have thus far been dosed with CERE-120 (some 7 years ago), representing over 250 cumulative patient-years of exposure, with no serious safety issues identified. In a completed sham-surgery, double-blinded controlled trial, though the primary endpoint (the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UDPRS) motor off score measured at 12 months) did not show benefit from CERE-120, several important motor and quality of life measurements did, including the same UPDRS-motor-off score, pre-specified to also be measured at a longer, 18-month post-dosing time point. Importantly, not a single measurement favored the sham control group. This study therefore, provided important, well-controlled evidence establishing 'clinical proof of concept' for

  8. General Rules for the Clinical and Pathological Study of Primary Liver Cancer, Nationwide Follow-Up Survey and Clinical Practice Guidelines: The Outstanding Achievements of the Liver Cancer Study Group of Japan.

    PubMed

    Kudo, Masatoshi; Kitano, Masayuki; Sakurai, Toshiharu; Nishida, Naoshi

    2015-10-01

    This review outlines the significance of establishing general rules, a nationwide follow-up survey, and clinical practice guidelines for liver cancer in Japan. The general rules are an essential part of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treatment, enabling a 'common language' to be used in daily clinical practice and for the nationwide follow-up survey. The Japanese General Rules for the Clinical and Pathological Study of Primary Liver Cancer, which provide detailed descriptions of HCC, are excellent and are unique to Japan. Items in the General Rules for the Clinical and Pathological Study of Primary Liver Cancer are used substantially in another important project, the Nationwide Follow-Up Survey of Primary Liver Cancer, which has been rigorously undertaken with great effort by the Liver Cancer Study Group of Japan biannually since 1969. Both evidence-based and consensus-based treatment algorithms for HCC are used to complement each other in clinical practice in Japan.

  9. 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.

  10. Optimization of the decision-making process for the selection of therapeutics to undergo clinical testing for spinal cord injury in the North American Clinical Trials Network.

    PubMed

    Guest, James; Harrop, James S; Aarabi, Bizhan; Grossman, Robert G; Fawcett, James W; Fehlings, Michael G; Tator, Charles H

    2012-09-01

    The North American Clinical Trials Network (NACTN) includes 9 clinical centers funded by the US Department of Defense and the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. Its purpose is to accelerate clinical testing of promising therapeutics in spinal cord injury (SCI) through the development of a robust interactive infrastructure. This structure includes key committees that serve to provide longitudinal guidance to the Network. These committees include the Executive, Data Management, and Neurological Outcome Assessments Committees, and the Therapeutic Selection Committee (TSC), which is the subject of this manuscript. The NACTN brings unique elements to the SCI field. The Network's stability is not restricted to a single clinical trial. Network members have diverse expertise and include experts in clinical care, clinical trial design and methodology, pharmacology, preclinical and clinical research, and advanced rehabilitation techniques. Frequent systematic communication is assigned a high value, as is democratic process, fairness and efficiency of decision making, and resource allocation. This article focuses on how decision making occurs within the TSC to rank alternative therapeutics according to 2 main variables: quality of the preclinical data set, and fit with the Network's aims and capabilities. This selection process is important because if the Network's resources are committed to a therapeutic, alternatives cannot be pursued. A proposed methodology includes a multicriteria decision analysis that uses a Multi-Attribute Global Inference of Quality matrix to quantify the process. To rank therapeutics, the TSC uses a series of consensus steps designed to reduce individual and group bias and limit subjectivity. Given the difficulties encountered by industry in completing clinical trials in SCI, stable collaborative not-for-profit consortia, such as the NACTN, may be essential to clinical progress in SCI. The evolution of the NACTN also offers substantial

  11. Simply the best: teaching gerontological nursing students to teach evidence-based practice. Creating tip sheets can help achieve the goal of implementing EBP in clinical facilities.

    PubMed

    Schoenfelder, Deborah Perry

    2007-08-01

    This article describes a teaching strategy used in an undergraduate gerontological nursing clinical course to familiarize students with evidence-based practice. Students are required to read and summarize an assigned evidence-based practice guideline published by The University of Iowa Gerontological Nursing Interventions Research Center. They then develop a "tip sheet," based on the assigned guideline, to disseminate to health care staff at their practicum sites, which is either a long-term care facility or a hospital-based skilled nursing facility. Nursing students' reactions to the assignment and nursing staff's responses to the tip sheets are discussed.

  12. Long-Term (Six Years) Clinical Outcome Discrimination of Patients in the Vegetative State Could be Achieved Based on the Operational Architectonics EEG Analysis: A Pilot Feasibility Study.

    PubMed

    Fingelkurts, Andrew A; Fingelkurts, Alexander A; Bagnato, Sergio; Boccagni, Cristina; Galardi, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    Electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings are increasingly used to evaluate patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) or assess their prognosis outcome in the short-term perspective. However, there is a lack of information concerning the effectiveness of EEG in classifying long-term (many years) outcome in chronic DOC patients. Here we tested whether EEG operational architectonics parameters (geared towards consciousness phenomenon detection rather than neurophysiological processes) could be useful for distinguishing a very long-term (6 years) clinical outcome of DOC patients whose EEGs were registered within 3 months post-injury. The obtained results suggest that EEG recorded at third month after sustaining brain damage, may contain useful information on the long-term outcome of patients in vegetative state: it could discriminate patients who remain in a persistent vegetative state from patients who reach a minimally conscious state or even recover a full consciousness in a long-term perspective (6 years) post-injury. These findings, if confirmed in further studies, may be pivotal for long-term planning of clinical care, rehabilitative programs, medical-legal decisions concerning the patients, and policy makers. PMID:27347266

  13. Long-Term (Six Years) Clinical Outcome Discrimination of Patients in the Vegetative State Could be Achieved Based on the Operational Architectonics EEG Analysis: A Pilot Feasibility Study

    PubMed Central

    Fingelkurts, Andrew A.; Fingelkurts, Alexander A.; Bagnato, Sergio; Boccagni, Cristina; Galardi, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    Electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings are increasingly used to evaluate patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) or assess their prognosis outcome in the short-term perspective. However, there is a lack of information concerning the effectiveness of EEG in classifying long-term (many years) outcome in chronic DOC patients. Here we tested whether EEG operational architectonics parameters (geared towards consciousness phenomenon detection rather than neurophysiological processes) could be useful for distinguishing a very long-term (6 years) clinical outcome of DOC patients whose EEGs were registered within 3 months post-injury. The obtained results suggest that EEG recorded at third month after sustaining brain damage, may contain useful information on the long-term outcome of patients in vegetative state: it could discriminate patients who remain in a persistent vegetative state from patients who reach a minimally conscious state or even recover a full consciousness in a long-term perspective (6 years) post-injury. These findings, if confirmed in further studies, may be pivotal for long-term planning of clinical care, rehabilitative programs, medical-legal decisions concerning the patients, and policy makers. PMID:27347266

  14. Preservation of micronutrients during rapeseed oil refining: a tool to optimize the health value of edible vegetable oils? Rationale and design of the Optim'Oils randomized clinical trial.

    PubMed

    Gladine, C; Meunier, N; Blot, Adeline; Bruchet, Lucile; Pagès, X; Gaud, M; Floter, E; Metin, Z; Rossignol, A; Cano, N; Chardigny, J M

    2011-03-01

    Numerous micronutrients naturally abundant in oilseeds prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases by reducing cholesterolemia and oxidative stress. These micronutrients include phytosterols and various antioxidants such as polyphenols, tocopherols and coenzyme Q10/Q9 but most of them are lost during the oilseed oil refining. The main objective of the Optim'Oil project was to modify the processes of oil refining in order to reduce the lost of micronutrients. Two clinical trials (cross-over, monocentric, randomized, double-blind and controlled) were designed to investigate the effect of an optimized rapeseed oil 1) on cardiovascular biomarkers (long-term study) and 2) on oxidative stress parameters (post-prandial study). For the long-term study, 59 volunteers ingested daily 20 g of oil and 22 g of margarine (optimized or standard) for 2 periods of 3 weeks separated by a 3-week wash-out period. Blood samples were collected at the beginning and at the end of each period. For the post-prandial study, a sub-group of 16 volunteers came fasted at the laboratory and took 300 mL of a test meal containing 60% of the optimized or standard oils. Blood samples were collected before and during 6h after the test meal intake. In comparison with the standard oil and margarine, the optimized oil and margarine exhibit as expected an increased content of phytosterol (+22%), polyphenols (× 11), tocopherols (+131%) and coenzyme Q10/Q9 (+165%). Overall, conditions of this study were relevant to investigate the effect of the optimized rapeseed oil and margarine on the cardiovascular risk and the oxidative stress.

  15. 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

  16. Similar Clinical and Surgical Outcomes Achieved with Early Compared to Late Anti-TNF Induction in Mild-to-Moderate Ulcerative Colitis: A Retrospective Cohort Study

    PubMed Central

    Fedorak, Darryl K.; Dieleman, Levinus A.; Halloran, Brendan P.

    2016-01-01

    Background. Biologic agents targeting tumor necrosis factor alpha are effective in the management of ulcerative colitis (UC), but their use is often postponed until after failure of other treatment modalities. Objectives. We aim to determine if earlier treatment with infliximab or adalimumab alters clinical and surgical outcomes in UC patients. Methods. A retrospective cohort study was conducted evaluating UC outpatients treated with infliximab or adalimumab from 2003 to 2014. Patients were stratified by time to first anti-TNF exposure; early initiation was defined as starting treatment within three years of diagnosis. Primary outcomes were colectomy, UC-related hospitalization, and clinical secondary loss of response. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to assess time to the primary outcomes. Results. 115 patients were included (78 infliximab, 37 adalimumab). Median follow-up was 175.6 weeks (IQR 72.4–228.4 weeks). Fifty-seven (49.6%) patients received early anti-TNF therapy; median time to treatment in this group was 38.1 (23.3–91.0) weeks compared to 414.0 (254.0–561.3) weeks in the late initiator cohort (p < 0.0001). Patients treated with early anti-TNF therapy had more severe endoscopic disease at induction (mean Mayo endoscopy subscore 2.46 (SD ± 0.66) versus 1.86 (±0.67), p < 0.001) and trended towards increased risk of colectomy (17.5% versus 8.6%, p = 0.16) and UC-related hospitalization (43.9% versus 27.6%, p = 0.07). In multivariate regression analysis, early anti-TNF induction was not associated with colectomy (HR 2.02 [95% CI: 0.57–7.20]), hospitalization (HR 1.66 [0.84–3.30]), or secondary loss of response (HR 0.86 [0.52–1.42]). Conclusions. Anti-TNF therapy is initiated earlier in patients with severe UC but earlier treatment does not prevent hospitalization, colectomy, or secondary loss of response. PMID:27478817

  17. 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

  18. 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 Central

    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.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:22955212

  19. [Achievement of therapeutic target in subjects on statin treatment in clinical practice. Results of the STAR (Statins Target Assessment in Real practice) study].

    PubMed

    Degli Esposti, Luca; Sangiorgi, Diego; Arca, Marcello; Vigna, Giovanni B; Budal, Stefano; Degli Esposti, Ezio

    2011-12-01

    The primary aim of the STAR Study (Statins Target Assessment in Real practice) was to determine the LDL-cholesterol reduction and to analyse patient's and therapeutic factors associated to LDL-cholesterol target attainment in newly treated subjects with statins in an unselected population in clinical practice setting. Administrative databases (including pharmaceutical prescriptions and hospital admissions) and laboratory test databases (including LDL-cholesterol values) of five local health units, distributed in Emilia Romagna, Toscana and Umbria, were linked. A retrospective cohort study was conducted and all subjects aged > or =18 years with a first prescription for statins (newly treated subjects) between January 1st, 2007 and June 30th, 2008 were included. All statin prescriptions over a 12 months follow-up period were considered and used to calculate adherence to treatment. Baseline and follow-up LDL-cholesterol, respectively, were defined according to the nearest determination to the first prescription for statins and to the end of the follow-up period. A total of 3.232 subjects was included, 1.516 males (47%) and 1.716 females (53%), with an average age equal to 65.9 +/- 11.3 years. Among included subjects, 22.,6% had a gap to LDL-cholesterol target <10%, 30.0% between 10 and 29%, 20.7% between 30 and 49%, and 26.7% . or =50%. Among those with a gap to target > or =50%, 30-49%, and 10-29%, respectively, LDL-cholesterol target was attained by 7.1%, 41.8%, and 62.% of subjects. LDL-cholesterol target attainment was associated to gap to target, adherence with treatment, and type of statin. PMID:22567731

  20. 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. PMID:26775063

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Self-Beliefs and Student Goal Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wesson, Caroline J.; Derrer-Rendall, Nicola M.

    2011-01-01

    Two preliminary studies are presented investigating the self-beliefs that may affect goal achievement in a student population. In Study 1, goal achievement on an abstract task, where goals are externally set by others, is considered in relation to students' levels of optimism. In Study 2, goal achievement on academic performance, where goals are…

  5. Optimization and life-cycle cost of health clinic PV system for a rural area in southern Iraq using HOMER software

    SciTech Connect

    Al-Karaghouli, Ali; Kazmerski, L.L.

    2010-04-15

    This paper addresses the need for electricity of rural areas in southern Iraq and proposes a photovoltaic (PV) solar system to power a health clinic in that region. The total daily health clinic load is 31.6 kW h and detailed loads are listed. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) optimization computer model for distributed power, ''HOMER,'' is used to estimate the system size and its life-cycle cost. The analysis shows that the optimal system's initial cost, net present cost, and electricity cost is US$ 50,700, US$ 60,375, and US$ 0.238/kW h, respectively. These values for the PV system are compared with those of a generator alone used to supply the load. We found that the initial cost, net present cost of the generator system, and electricity cost are US$ 4500, US$ 352,303, and US$ 1.332/kW h, respectively. We conclude that using the PV system is justified on humanitarian, technical, and economic grounds. (author)

  6. Recommendations for standardizing glucose reporting and analysis to optimize clinical decision making in diabetes: the ambulatory glucose profile.

    PubMed

    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.

  7. Recommendations for standardizing glucose reporting and analysis to optimize clinical decision making in diabetes: the Ambulatory Glucose Profile (AGP).

    PubMed

    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

    2013-03-01

    Abstract 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. 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 standardization of analysis and presentation of glucose monitoring data, with the initial focus on data derived from CGM systems. The panel members were introduced to a universal software report, the Ambulatory Glucose Profile (AGP), and asked to provide feedback on its content and functionality, both as a research tool and in clinical settings. This paper 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:26309770

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Optimal case definitions of upper extremity disorder for use in the clinical treatment and referral of patients

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, Keith T; Harris, E Clare; Linaker, Cathy; Ntani, Georgia; Cooper, Cyrus; Coggon, David

    2012-01-01

    Objective Experts disagree about the optimal classification of upper limb disorders (ULDs). To explore whether differential response to treatments offers a basis for choosing between case definitions, we analysed previously published research. Methods We screened 183 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of treatments for ULDs, identified from the bibliographies of 10 Cochrane reviews, four other systematic reviews, and a search in Medline, Embase, and Google Scholar to June 2010. From these, we selected RCTs which allowed estimates of benefit (expressed as relative risks (RRs)) for >1 case definition to be compared when other variables (treatment, comparison group, follow-up time, outcome measure) were effectively held constant. Comparisons of RRs for paired case definitions were summarised by their ratios, with the RR for the simpler and broader definition as the denominator. Result Two RCT reports allowed within-trial comparison of RRs and thirteen others allowed between-trial comparisons. Together these provided 17 ratios of RRs (five for shoulder treatments, 12 for elbow treatments, none for wrist/hand treatments). The median ratio of RRs was 1.0 (range 0.3 to 1.7; interquartile range 0.6 to 1.3). Conclusion Although the evidence base is limited, our findings suggest that for musculoskeletal disorders of the shoulder and elbow, clinicians in primary care will often do best to apply simpler and broader case definitions. Researchers should routinely publish secondary analyses for subgroups of patients by different diagnostic features at trial entry, to expand the evidence base on optimal case definitions for patient management. PMID:22213545

  16. Achieving excellence using an advanced biomaterial: part 1.

    PubMed

    Terry, Douglas A; Leinfelder, Karl F; Blatz, Markcus B

    2009-08-01

    Advancements in material research and adhesive technology have enabled the development of freehand bonding techniques that allow the preservation of remaining tooth structure and conservation of tooth structure during preparation-all while reinforcing the remaining tooth structure and improving the longevity and aesthetics of the restoration. In this article, the clinical concepts discussed were utilized with a recently developed composite resin material to restore the maxillary anterior dentition. Although the long-term benefits of this material remain to be determined, the utilization of this nanohybrid composite in this clinical presentation demonstrated an optimal functional and natural aesthetic result in the anterior region. Part 2 of this article will address the principles, techniques, and other considerations for achieving clinical success with direct posterior composite resin restorations.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Optimizing identification of clinically relevant Gram-positive organisms by use of the Bruker Biotyper matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry system.

    PubMed

    McElvania Tekippe, Erin; Shuey, Sunni; Winkler, David W; Butler, Meghan A; Burnham, Carey-Ann D

    2013-05-01

    Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) can be used as a method for the rapid identification of microorganisms. This study evaluated the Bruker Biotyper (MALDI-TOF MS) system for the identification of clinically relevant Gram-positive organisms. We tested 239 aerobic Gram-positive organisms isolated from clinical specimens. We evaluated 4 direct-smear methods, including "heavy" (H) and "light" (L) smears, with and without a 1-μl direct formic acid (FA) overlay. The quality measure assigned to a MALDI-TOF MS identification is a numerical value or "score." We found that a heavy smear with a formic acid overlay (H+FA) produced optimal MALDI-TOF MS identification scores and the highest percentage of correctly identified organisms. Using a score of ≥2.0, we identified 183 of the 239 isolates (76.6%) to the genus level, and of the 181 isolates resolved to the species level, 141 isolates (77.9%) were correctly identified. To maximize the number of correct identifications while minimizing misidentifications, the data were analyzed using a score of ≥1.7 for genus- and species-level identification. Using this score, 220 of the 239 isolates (92.1%) were identified to the genus level, and of the 181 isolates resolved to the species level, 167 isolates (92.2%) could be assigned an accurate species identification. We also evaluated a subset of isolates for preanalytic factors that might influence MALDI-TOF MS identification. Frequent subcultures increased the number of unidentified isolates. Incubation temperatures and subcultures of the media did not alter the rate of identification. These data define the ideal bacterial preparation, identification score, and medium conditions for optimal identification of Gram-positive bacteria by use of MALDI-TOF MS.

  1. 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.

  2. Selecting an optimal abbreviated ICF set for clinical practice among rehabilitants with subacute stroke: retrospective analysis of patient records.

    PubMed

    Saltychev, Mikhail; Tarvonen-Schröder, Sinikka; Eskola, Merja; Laimi, Katri

    2013-06-01

    To evaluate the adequacy of abbreviated versions of International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) (the WHO ICF Checklist and the ICF Comprehensive Core Set for Stroke) with respect to the specific clinical needs of a stroke rehabilitation unit before their implementation at a practical level. Common descriptions of functional limitations were identified from patient records of 10 subsequent subacute stroke patients referred to an inpatient multiprofessional rehabilitation unit of a university hospital. These descriptions were then converted into ICF categories, and the list was compared with the ICF Checklist of the WHO and the ICF Comprehensive and Brief Core Sets for Stroke developed by the ICF Research Branch. From the study population (50% women), 71 different, second-level ICF categories were identified, averaging 36.4 categories/patient (SD 5.8, range 28-46). Except for one category, all of the categories identified were also found in the ICF Comprehensive Core Set for Stroke. Of the categories identified, 49 (69%) were found in the WHO ICF Checklist. All except one category included in the ICF Brief Core Set for Stroke were also in our list. The Comprehensive Core Set for Stroke was found to be a good potential starting point for the practical implementation of the ICF in a stroke rehabilitation unit.

  3. Towards optimal clinical and epidemiological registration of haematological malignancies: Guidelines for recording progressions, transformations and multiple diagnoses.

    PubMed

    Gavin, Anna; Rous, Brian; Marcos-Gragera, Rafael; Middleton, Richard; Steliarova-Foucher, Eva; Maynadie, Marc; Zanetti, Roberto; Visser, Otto

    2015-06-01

    Haematological malignancies (HM) represent over 6% of the total cancer incidence in Europe and affect all ages, ranging between 45% of all cancers in children and 7% in the elderly. Thirty per cent of childhood cancer deaths are due to HM, 8% in the elderly. Their registration presents specific challenges, mainly because HM may transform or progress in the course of the disease into other types of HM. In the context of cancer registration decisions have to be made about classifying subsequent notifications on the same patient as the same tumour (progression), a transformation or a new tumour registration. Allocation of incidence date and method of diagnosis must also be standardised. We developed European Network of Cancer Registries (ENCR) recommendations providing specific advice for cancer registries to use haematology and molecular laboratories as data sources, conserve the original date of incidence in case of change of diagnosis, make provision for recording both the original as well as transformed tumour and to apply precise rules for recording and counting multiple diagnoses. A reference table advising on codes which reflect a potential transformation or a new tumour is included. This work will help to improve comparability of data produced by population-based cancer registries, which are indispensable for aetiological research, health care planning and clinical research, an increasing important area with the application of targeted therapies.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:27262365

  6. 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.

  7. Meta-analysis is not enough: The critical role of pathophysiology in determining optimal care in clinical nutrition.

    PubMed

    Soeters, Peter; Bozzetti, Federico; Cynober, Luc; Elia, Marinos; Shenkin, Alan; Sobotka, Lubos

    2016-06-01

    Evidence based medicine has preferably been based on prospective randomized controlled trials (PRCT's) and subsequent meta-analyses in many fields including nutrition and metabolism. These meta-analyses often yield convincing, contradictory or no proof of effectiveness. Consequently recommendations and guidelines of varying validity and quality have been published, often failing to convince the medical, insurance and government worlds to support nutritional care. Causes for lack of adequate proof of effectiveness are manifold. Many studies and meta-analyses lacked pathophysiological depth in design and interpretation. Study populations were not homogenous and endpoints not always clearly defined. Patients were included not at nutritional risk, unlikely to benefit from nutritional intervention. Others received nutrients in excess of requirements or tolerance due to organ failure. To include all available studies in a meta-analysis, study quality and homogeneity were only assessed on the basis of formal study design and outcome rather than on patient characteristics. Consequently, some studies showed benefit but included patients suffering harm, other studies were negative but contained patients that benefited. Recommendations did not always emphasize these shortcomings, confusing the medical and nutritional community and creating the impression that nutritional support is not beneficial. Strong reliance on meta-analyses and guidelines shifts the focus of education from studying clinical and nutritional physiology to memorizing guidelines. To prevent or improve malnutrition more physiological knowledge should be acquired to personalize nutritional practices and to more correctly value and evaluate the evidence. This also applies to the design and interpretation of PRCT's and meta-analyses.

  8. Clinical manufacturing of recombinant human interleukin 15. I. Production cell line development and protein expression in E. coli with stop codon optimization.

    PubMed

    Vyas, Vinay V; Esposito, Dominic; Sumpter, Terry L; Broadt, Trevor L; Hartley, James; Knapp, George C; Cheng, Wei; Jiang, Man-Shiow; Roach, John M; Yang, Xiaoyi; Giardina, Steven L; Mitra, George; Yovandich, Jason L; Creekmore, Stephen P; Waldmann, Thomas A; Zhu, Jianwei

    2012-01-01

    Interleukin 15 (IL-15) has shown remarkable biological properties of promoting NK- and T-cell activation and proliferation, as well as enhancing antitumor immunity of CD8(+) T cells in preclinical models. Here, we report the development of an E. coli cell line to express recombinant human Interleukin-15 (rhIL-15) for clinical manufacturing. Human IL-15 cDNA sequence was inserted into a pET28b plasmid and expressed in several E. coli BL21 strains. Through product quality comparisons among several E. coli strains, including E. coli BL21(DE3), BL21(DE3)pLysS, BLR(DE3)pLysS, and BL21-AI, E. coli BL21-AI was selected for clinical manufacturing. Expression optimization was carried out at shake flask and 20-L fermenter scales, and the product was expressed as inclusion bodies that were solubilized, refolded, and purified to yield active rhIL-15. Stop codons of the expression construct were further investigated after 15-20% of the purified rhIL-15 showed an extraneous peak corresponding to an extra tryptophan residue based on peptide mapping and mass spectrometry analysis. It was determined that the presence of an extra tryptophan was due to a stop codon wobble effect, which could be eliminated by replacing TGA (opal) stop codon with TAA (ochre). As a novel strategy, a simple method of demonstrating lack of tRNA suppressors in the production host cells was developed to validate the cells in this study. The E. coli BL21-AI cells containing the rhIL-15 coding sequence with a triplet stop codon TAATAATGA were banked for further clinical manufacturing. PMID:22162520

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.…

  12. 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.

  13. Mobility and Reading Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waters, Theresa Z.

    A study examined the effect of geographic mobility on elementary school students' achievement. Although such mobility, which requires students to make multiple moves among schools, can have a negative impact on academic achievement, the hypothesis for the study was that it was not a determining factor in reading achievement test scores. Subjects…

  14. 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

  15. 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

    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

    2014-11-01

    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.

  16. TRANSLATIONAL PAIN RESEARCH: ACHIEVEMENTS AND CHALLENGES

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Jianren

    2009-01-01

    The achievements in both preclinical and clinical pain research over the past four decades have led to significant progresses in clinical pain management. However, pain research still faces enormous challenges and there remain many obstacles in the treatment of clinical pain, particularly chronic pain. Translational pain research needs to involve a number of important areas including a) bridging the gap between pain research and clinical pain management, b) developing objective pain assessment tools, c) analyzing current theories of pain mechanisms and their relevance to clinical pain, d) exploring new tools for both preclinical and clinical pain research, and e) coordinating research efforts among basic scientists, clinical investigators, and pain medicine practitioners. These issues are discussed in this article in light of the achievements and challenges of translational pain research. PMID:19628433

  17. 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

  18. [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. PMID:25865752

  19. [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.

  20. 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

  1. Clinical impact of induction treatment modalities and optimal timing of radiotherapy for the treatment of limited-stage NK/T cell lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Moon, Joon-Ho; Lee, Bo-Hee; Kim, Jeong-A; Lee, Yoo Jin; Chae, Yee Soo; Yhim, Ho-Young; Kwak, Jae-Yong; Do, Young Rok; Park, Yong; Song, Moo-Kon; Shin, Ho-Jin; Kim, Therasa; Lee, Je-Jung; Yang, Deok-Hwan

    2016-10-01

    This study retrospectively investigated the optimal timing of radiotherapy (RT) in patients with limited-stage extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma (ENTKL). Among 158 patients with newly diagnosed stage I/II ENKTL, 61 patients were treated with sequential chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy (SCRT), 55 with concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by non-anthracycline-based chemotherapy (CCRT/CT), and 42 with chemotherapy (CT) only. The 5-year overall survival (OS) rate did not differ between SCRT (77.7±5.5%) and CCRT/CT (68.9±6.8%; p=0.234). In the SCRT group, 18 patients (29.5%) relapsed within the RT field and 6 (9.8%) at systemic sites, while in the CCRT/CT group, 9 patients (16.4%) relapsed at the primary site and 14 (25.5%) at systemic sites. The 5-year cumulative incidence of relapse (CIR) at primary sites was 26.3% and 19.2% after SCRT and CCRT/CT (p=0.308), while the 5-year CIR of systemic sites was 8.7% and 26.5% after SCRT and CCRT/CT, respectively (p=0.010). In the multivariate analysis, NK/T-cell Prognostic Index score and CR achievement were the most important prognostic factors for survival. Although up-front RT had limitations in systemic disease control and was associated with an increased risk of systemic relapse during RT compared to SCRT, timing of RT did not significantly affect survival outcomes. PMID:27608179

  2. 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.

  3. [The traumatized foot--clinical and radiological study].

    PubMed

    Brunner, U H; Blahs, U; Kenn, R W

    1991-03-01

    Thorough examination of the injured foot is the basis of a complete diagnosis and the foundation for successful therapy. Anatomical and biomechanical knowledge is a necessity to achieve this goal. The radiological diagnostic procedures include plain film, digital subtraction angiography, US, CT and MRI. Only the combination of clinical and radiological assessment will lead to optimal results.

  4. General Achievement Trends: Oklahoma

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  5. General Achievement Trends: Georgia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  6. General Achievement Trends: Nebraska

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  7. General Achievement Trends: Arkansas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  8. General Achievement Trends: Maryland

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  9. General Achievement Trends: Maine

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  10. General Achievement Trends: Iowa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  11. General Achievement Trends: Texas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  12. General Achievement Trends: Hawaii

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  13. General Achievement Trends: Kansas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  14. General Achievement Trends: Florida

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  15. General Achievement Trends: Massachusetts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  16. General Achievement Trends: Tennessee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  17. General Achievement Trends: Alabama

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  18. General Achievement Trends: Virginia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  19. General Achievement Trends: Michigan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  20. General Achievement Trends: Colorado

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  1. Inverting the Achievement Pyramid

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White-Hood, Marian; Shindel, Melissa

    2006-01-01

    Attempting to invert the pyramid to improve student achievement and increase all students' chances for success is not a new endeavor. For decades, educators have strategized, formed think tanks, and developed school improvement teams to find better ways to improve the achievement of all students. Currently, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is…

  2. Achievement Test Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ohio State Dept. of Education, Columbus. Trade and Industrial Education Service.

    The Ohio Trade and Industrial Education Achievement Test battery is comprised of seven basic achievement tests: Machine Trades, Automotive Mechanics, Basic Electricity, Basic Electronics, Mechanical Drafting, Printing, and Sheet Metal. The tests were developed by subject matter committees and specialists in testing and research. The Ohio Trade and…

  3. School Effects on Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nichols, Robert C.

    The New York State Education Department conducts a Pupil Evaluation Program (PEP) in which each year all third, sixth, and ninth grade students in the state are given a series of achievement tests in reading and mathematics. The data accumulated by the department includes achievement test scores, teacher characteristics, building and curriculum…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Achieving Public Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abowitz, Kathleen Knight

    2011-01-01

    Public schools are functionally provided through structural arrangements such as government funding, but public schools are achieved in substance, in part, through local governance. In this essay, Kathleen Knight Abowitz explains the bifocal nature of achieving public schools; that is, that schools are both subject to the unitary Public compact of…

  7. Student Achievement and Motivation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flammer, Gordon H.; Mecham, Robert C.

    1974-01-01

    Compares the lecture and self-paced methods of instruction on the basis of student motivation and achieveme nt, comparing motivating and demotivating factors in each, and their potential for motivation and achievement. (Authors/JR)

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. Regenerative Endodontic Treatment: Report of Two Cases with Different Clinical Management and Outcomes.

    PubMed

    Khoshkhounejad, Mehrfam; Shokouhinejad, Noushin; Pirmoazen, Salma

    2015-06-01

    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 Biodentine(TM) as coronal barriers and different irrigants, which led to different clinical outcomes.

  12. Regenerative Endodontic Treatment: Report of Two Cases with Different Clinical Management and Outcomes.

    PubMed

    Khoshkhounejad, Mehrfam; Shokouhinejad, Noushin; Pirmoazen, Salma

    2015-06-01

    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 Biodentine(TM) as coronal barriers and different irrigants, which led to different clinical outcomes. PMID:26884781

  13. Achieving yield gains in wheat.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Matthew; Foulkes, John; Furbank, Robert; Griffiths, Simon; King, Julie; Murchie, Erik; Parry, Martin; Slafer, Gustavo

    2012-10-01

    Wheat provides 20% of calories and protein consumed by humans. Recent genetic gains are <1% per annum (p.a.), insufficient to meet future demand. The Wheat Yield Consortium brings expertise in photosynthesis, crop adaptation and genetics to a common breeding platform. Theory suggest radiation use efficiency (RUE) of wheat could be increased ~50%; strategies include modifying specificity, catalytic rate and regulation of Rubisco, up-regulating Calvin cycle enzymes, introducing chloroplast CO(2) concentrating mechanisms, optimizing light and N distribution of canopies while minimizing photoinhibition, and increasing spike photosynthesis. Maximum yield expression will also require dynamic optimization of source: sink so that dry matter partitioning to reproductive structures is not at the cost of the roots, stems and leaves needed to maintain physiological and structural integrity. Crop development should favour spike fertility to maximize harvest index so phenology must be tailored to different photoperiods, and sensitivity to unpredictable weather must be modulated to reduce conservative responses that reduce harvest index. Strategic crossing of complementary physiological traits will be augmented with wide crossing, while genome-wide selection and high throughput phenotyping and genotyping will increase efficiency of progeny screening. To ensure investment in breeding achieves agronomic impact, sustainable crop management must also be promoted through crop improvement networks.

  14. 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,…

  15. 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…

  16. 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,…

  17. Leadership Issues: Raising Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horsfall, Chris, Ed.

    This document contains five papers examining the meaning and operation of leadership as a variable affecting student achievement in further education colleges in the United Kingdom. "Introduction" (Chris Horsfall) discusses school effectiveness studies' findings regarding the relationship between leadership and effective schools, distinguishes…

  18. Achievements or Disasters?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goodwin, MacArthur

    2000-01-01

    Focuses on policy issues that have affected arts education in the twentieth century, such as: interest in discipline-based arts education, influence of national arts associations, and national standards and coordinated assessment. States that whether the policy decisions are viewed as achievements or disasters are for future determination. (CMK)

  19. Achieving True Consensus.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Napier, Rod; Sanaghan, Patrick

    2002-01-01

    Uses the example of Vermont's Middlebury College to explore the challenges and possibilities of achieving consensus about institutional change. Discusses why, unlike in this example, consensus usually fails, and presents four demands of an effective consensus process. Includes a list of "test" questions on successful collaboration. (EV)

  20. School Students' Science Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shymansky, James; Wang, Tzu-Ling; Annetta, Leonard; Everett, Susan; Yore, Larry D.

    2013-01-01

    This paper is a report of the impact of an externally funded, multiyear systemic reform project on students' science achievement on a modified version of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) test in 33 small, rural school districts in two Midwest states. The systemic reform effort utilized a cascading leadership strategy…

  1. 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…

  2. Assessing Handwriting Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ediger, Marlow

    Teachers in the school setting need to emphasize quality handwriting across the curriculum. Quality handwriting means that the written content is easy to read in either manuscript or cursive form. Handwriting achievement can be assessed, but not compared to the precision of assessing basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts.…

  3. Intelligence and Educational Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deary, Ian J.; Strand, Steve; Smith, Pauline; Fernandes, Cres

    2007-01-01

    This 5-year prospective longitudinal study of 70,000+ English children examined the association between psychometric intelligence at age 11 years and educational achievement in national examinations in 25 academic subjects at age 16. The correlation between a latent intelligence trait (Spearman's "g"from CAT2E) and a latent trait of educational…

  4. 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.

  5. 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 potential "Robin Hood…

  6. 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…

  7. INTELLIGENCE, PERSONALITY AND ACHIEVEMENT.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MUIR, R.C.; AND OTHERS

    A LONGITUDINAL DEVELOPMENTAL STUDY OF A GROUP OF MIDDLE CLASS CHILDREN IS DESCRIBED, WITH EMPHASIS ON A SEGMENT OF THE RESEARCH INVESTIGATING THE RELATIONSHIP OF ACHIEVEMENT, INTELLIGENCE, AND EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE. THE SUBJECTS WERE 105 CHILDREN AGED FIVE TO 6.3 ATTENDING TWO SCHOOLS IN MONTREAL. EACH CHILD WAS ASSESSED IN THE AREAS OF…

  8. 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…

  9. Motivation and academic achievement in medical students

    PubMed Central

    Yousefy, Alireza; Ghassemi, Gholamreza; Firouznia, Samaneh

    2012-01-01

    Background: Despite their ascribed intellectual ability and achieved academic pursuits, medical students’ academic achievement is influenced by motivation. This study is an endeavor to examine the role of motivation in the academic achievement of medical students. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional correlational study, out of the total 422 medical students, from 4th to final year during the academic year 2007–2008, at School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 344 participated in completion of the Inventory of School Motivation (ISM), comprising 43 items and measuring eight aspects of motivation. The gold standard for academic achievement was their average academic marks at pre-clinical and clinical levels. Data were computer analyzed by running a couple of descriptive and analytical tests including Pearson Correlation and Student's t-student. Results: Higher motivation scores in areas of competition, effort, social concern, and task were accompanied by higher average marks at pre-clinical as well as clinical levels. However, the latter ones showed greater motivation for social power as compared to the former group. Task and competition motivation for boys was higher than for girls. Conclusion: In view of our observations, students’ academic achievement requires coordination and interaction between different aspects of motivation. PMID:23555107

  10. Lake Louise mutation detection meeting 2013: clinical translation of next-generation sequencing requires optimization of workflows and interpretation of variants.

    PubMed

    Smith, Amanda; Boycott, Kym M; Jarinova, Olga

    2014-02-01

    With the exponential reduction of the cost of next-generation sequencing (NGS), it is no longer the generation of data but the analysis and interpretation of massive amounts of sequencing data that are seen as key challenges for the effective integration of these technologies into clinical practice. Clinical geneticists, informaticians, and scientists from 17 countries gathered for the 12th International Symposium on Mutation in the Genome at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (Canada) to discuss technological advances and applications of NGS and consider possible approaches to the challenges of clinical translation. Here, we provide an overview of the main themes of the meeting that included development of innovative solutions for variant sharing, tools and resources for NGS analysis, novel technology and methodology development, NGS-based discovery of disease pathogenesis, development of multigene NGS sequencing panels for clinical use, exploring diagnostic utility of whole-exome and whole-genome sequencing, and, finally, integration of genomic sequencing into the clinic.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. [Let Us to Know the Post-Marketing Clinical Studies and Critical Situation of Study Groups -- Now We Should Talk about How to Achieve the Safe and Most Effective Treatment for Cancer Patients].

    PubMed

    Hamamoto, Maki

    2016-04-01

    Not to leave something to be regretted in the life of patients and their family, it is important to find the best way during and after treatment for cancer. We, cancer survivors association, propose a corporated actions among patients, administration, medical stuffs, and enterprises to solve the problems of clinical studies. And we express our opinion on the present problems and to do for patients and citizens. PMID:27220802

  14. [Let Us to Know the Post-Marketing Clinical Studies and Critical Situation of Study Groups -- Now We Should Talk about How to Achieve the Safe and Most Effective Treatment for Cancer Patients].

    PubMed

    Hamamoto, Maki

    2016-04-01

    Not to leave something to be regretted in the life of patients and their family, it is important to find the best way during and after treatment for cancer. We, cancer survivors association, propose a corporated actions among patients, administration, medical stuffs, and enterprises to solve the problems of clinical studies. And we express our opinion on the present problems and to do for patients and citizens.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Competency in health care management: a training model in epidemiologic methods for assessing and improving the quality of clinical practice through evidence-based decision making.

    PubMed

    Hudak, R P; Jacoby, I; Meyer, G S; Potter, A L; Hooper, T I; Krakauer, H

    1997-01-01

    This article describes a training model that focuses on health care management by applying epidemiologic methods to assess and improve the quality of clinical practice. The model's uniqueness is its focus on integrating clinical evidence-based decision making with fundamental principles of resource management to achieve attainable, cost-effective, high-quality health outcomes. The target students are current and prospective clinical and administrative executives who must optimize decision making at the clinical and managerial levels of health care organizations.

  18. An investigation of nurses' and midwives' academic/clinical workplaces: a healing model to improve and sustain hope, optimism, and resilience in professional practice.

    PubMed

    Glass, Nel

    2009-01-01

    This article reveals the findings from a recent international ethnographic research project on nurses' and midwives' resilience, hope, and optimism in their workplace. The research found that the need for resilience was critical to one's healing in the workplace. An innovative model to respond strategically to the workplace is revealed.

  19. Does achievement motivation mediate the semantic achievement priming effect?

    PubMed

    Engeser, Stefan; Baumann, Nicola

    2014-10-01

    The aim of our research was to understand the processes of the prime-to-behavior effects with semantic achievement primes. We extended existing models with a perspective from achievement motivation theory and additionally used achievement primes embedded in the running text of excerpts of school textbooks to simulate a more natural priming condition. Specifically, we proposed that achievement primes affect implicit achievement motivation and conducted pilot experiments and 3 main experiments to explore this proposition. We found no reliable positive effect of achievement primes on implicit achievement motivation. In light of these findings, we tested whether explicit (instead of implicit) achievement motivation is affected by achievement primes and found this to be the case. In the final experiment, we found support for the assumption that higher explicit achievement motivation implies that achievement priming affects the outcome expectations. The implications of the results are discussed, and we conclude that primes affect achievement behavior by heightening explicit achievement motivation and outcome expectancies. PMID:24820250

  20. 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.

  1. Clinical trials update: Highlights of the Scientific Sessions of Heart Failure 2001, a meeting of the Working Group on Heart Failure of the European Society of Cardiology. CONTAK-CD, CHRISTMAS, OPTIME-CHF.

    PubMed

    Thackray, S; Coletta, A; Jones, P; Dunn, A; Clark, A L; Cleland, J G

    2001-08-01

    This article continues a series of reports summarising recent research developments pertinent to the topic of heart failure. This is a summary of presentations made at Scientific Sessions of Heart Failure 2001, a meeting of the Working Group on Heart Failure of the European Society of Cardiology. Clinical studies of particular interest to people caring for patients with heart failure include CONTAK-CD, CHRISTMAS and further updates on OPTIME-CHF. A brief review of the current status of cardiac resynchronisation therapy is included.

  2. Achieving effective supervision.

    PubMed

    Kavanagh, David J; Spence, Susan H; Wilson, Jill; Crow, Natasha

    2002-09-01

    Supervision probably does have benefits both for the maintenance and improvement of clinical skills and for job satisfaction, but the data are very thin and almost non-existent in the area of alcohol and other drugs services. Because of the potential complexity of objectives and roles in supervision, a structured agreement appears to be an important part of the effective supervision relationship. Because sessions can degenerate easily into unstructured socialization, agendas and session objectives may also be important. While a working alliance based on mutual respect and trust is an essential base for the supervision relationship, procedures for direct observation of clinical skills, demonstration of new procedures and skills practice with detailed feedback appear critical to supervision's impact on practice. To ensure effective supervision, there needs not only to be a minimum of personnel and resources, but also a compatibility with the values and procedures of management and staff, access to supervision training and consultation and sufficient incentives to ensure it continues. PMID:12270075

  3. 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.

  4. Medical Care in a Free Clinic: A Comprehensive Evaluation of Patient Experience, Incentives, and Barriers to Optimal Medical Care with Consideration of a Facility Fee

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xinwei; Nash, Bee; Sullivan, Sara; Garris, Stephanie; Hardy, Marvin; Lee, Michael; Simms-Cendan, Judith; Pasarica, Magdalena

    2016-01-01

    Free and charitable clinics are important contributors to the health of the United States population. Recently, funding for these clinics has been declining, and it is, therefore, useful to identify what qualities patients value the most in clinics in an effort to allocate funding wisely. In order to identify targets and incentives for improvement of patients’ health, we performed a comprehensive analysis of patients’ experience at a free clinic by analyzing a patient survey (N=94). The survey also assessed patient opinions of a small facility fee, which could be used to offset the decrease in funds. Interestingly, our patients believed it is appropriate to be charged a facility fee (78%) because it increases involvement in their care (r = 0.69, p < 0.001) and self-respect (r = 0.66, p < 0.001). Incentives to medical care include continuity of care, faith-based care, having a patient medical provider partnership, and charging a facility fee. Barriers include affordable housing, transportation, medication, and accessible information. In order to improve medical care in the uninsured population, our study suggested that we need to: 1) offer continuity of medical care; 2) offer affordable preventive health screenings; 3) support affordable transportation, housing, and medications; and 4) consider including a facility fee. PMID:27014534

  5. Current practices in clinical analytics: a hospital survey report.

    PubMed

    Womack, Dana M; Kennedy, Rosemary; Bria, Bill

    2012-01-01

    Clinical analytics must become a pervasive activity in healthcare settings to achieve the global vision for timely, effective, equitable, and excellent care. Global adoption of the Electronic Health Record (EHR) has increased the volume of data available for performance measurement and healthcare organizational capacity for continuous quality improvement. However, EHR adoption does not automatically result in optimal use of clinical data for performance improvement. In order to understand organizational factors related to use of data for clinical analytics, a survey was conducted of hospitals and hospital-based clinics. The survey revealed sub-optimal use of data captured as a byproduct of care delivery, the need for tools and methodologies to assist with data analytics, and the need for disciplined organizational structure and strategies. Informatics nurse professionals are well-positioned to lead analytical efforts and serve as a catalyst in their facility's transformations into a data-driven organization.

  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. 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…

  8. Clinical considerations and rationale for the use of simplified instrumentation in occlusal rehabilitation. Part 2: setting of the articulator and occlusal optimization.

    PubMed

    Gracis, Stefano

    2003-04-01

    In fabricating a prosthetic rehabilitation, whether it consists of just a single crown or a complete-mouth reconstruction, one of the main aims of the clinician is to simplify the procedures and reduce the time necessary to integrate it into the mouth of the patient This article completes the description of the rationale behind the selection of semiadjustable articulators and of a way to transfer to the laboratory technician valuable information that, in the case of extensive rehabilitations, will make occlusal optimization more error free.

  9. Entrepreneur achievement. Liaoning province.

    PubMed

    Zhao, R

    1994-03-01

    This paper reports the successful entrepreneurial endeavors of members of a 20-person women's group in Liaoning Province, China. Jing Yuhong, a member of the Family Planning Association at Shileizi Village, Dalian City, provided the basis for their achievements by first building an entertainment/study room in her home to encourage married women to learn family planning. Once stocked with books, magazines, pamphlets, and other materials on family planning and agricultural technology, dozens of married women in the neighborhood flocked voluntarily to the room. Yuhong also set out to give these women a way to earn their own income as a means of helping then gain greater equality with their husbands and exert greater control over their personal reproductive and social lives. She gave a section of her farming land to the women's group, loaned approximately US$5200 to group members to help them generate income from small business initiatives, built a livestock shed in her garden for the group to raise marmots, and erected an awning behind her house under which mushrooms could be grown. The investment yielded $12,000 in the first year, allowing each woman to keep more than $520 in dividends. Members then soon began going to fairs in the capital and other places to learn about the outside world, and have successfully ventured out on their own to generate individual incomes. Ten out of twenty women engaged in these income-generating activities asked for and got the one-child certificate.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 .

  12. Optimizing utilization of kidneys from deceased donors over 60 years: five-year outcomes after implementation of a combined clinical and histological allocation algorithm.

    PubMed

    Pierobon, Elisa Sefora; Sefora, Pierobon Elisa; Sandrini, Silvio; Silvio, Sandrini; De Fazio, Nicola; Nicola, De Fazio; Rossini, Giuseppe; Giuseppe, Rossini; Fontana, Iris; Iris, Fontana; Boschiero, Luigino; Luigino, Boschiero; Gropuzzo, Maria; Maria, Gropuzzo; Gotti, Eliana; Eliana, Gotti; Donati, Donato; Donato, Donati; Minetti, Enrico; Enrico, Minetti; Gandolfo, Maria Teresa; Teresa, Gandolfo Maria; Brunello, Anna; Anna, Brunello; Libetta, Carmelo; Carmelo, Libetta; Secchi, Antonio; Antonio, Secchi; Chiaramonte, Stefano; Stefano, Chiaramonte; Rigotti, Paolo; Paolo, Rigotti

    2013-08-01

    This 5 year observational multicentre study conducted in the Nord Italian Transplant programme area evaluated outcomes in patients receiving kidneys from donors over 60 years allocated according to a combined clinical and histological algorithm. Low-risk donors 60-69 years without risk factors were allocated to single kidney transplant (LR-SKT) based on clinical criteria. Biopsy was performed in donors over 70 years or 60-69 years with risk factors, allocated to Single (HR-SKT) or Dual kidney transplant (HR-DKT) according to the severity of histological damage. Forty HR-DKTs, 41 HR-SKTs and 234 LR-SKTs were evaluated. Baseline differences generally reflected stratification and allocation criteria. Patient and graft (death censored) survival were 90% and 92% for HR-DKT, 85% and 89% for HR-SKT, 88% and 87% for LR-SKT. The algorithm appeared user-friendly in daily practice and was safe and efficient, as demonstrated by satisfactory outcomes in all groups at 5 years. Clinical criteria performed well in low-risk donors. The excellent outcomes observed in DKTs call for fine-tuning of cut-off scores for allocation to DKT or SKT in high-risk patients.

  13. 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.

  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. PMID:24568282

  15. HEPEX - achievements and challenges!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappenberger, Florian; Ramos, Maria-Helena; Thielen, Jutta; Wood, Andy; Wang, Qj; Duan, Qingyun; Collischonn, Walter; Verkade, Jan; Voisin, Nathalie; Wetterhall, Fredrik; Vuillaume, Jean-Francois Emmanuel; Lucatero Villasenor, Diana; Cloke, Hannah L.; Schaake, John; van Andel, Schalk-Jan

    2014-05-01

    HEPEX is an international initiative bringing together hydrologists, meteorologists, researchers and end-users to develop advanced probabilistic hydrological forecast techniques for improved flood, drought and water management. HEPEX was launched in 2004 as an independent, cooperative international scientific activity. During the first meeting, the overarching goal was defined as: "to develop and test procedures to produce reliable hydrological ensemble forecasts, and to demonstrate their utility in decision making related to the water, environmental and emergency management sectors." The applications of hydrological ensemble predictions span across large spatio-temporal scales, ranging from short-term and localized predictions to global climate change and regional modeling. Within the HEPEX community, information is shared through its blog (www.hepex.org), meetings, testbeds and intercompaison experiments, as well as project reportings. Key questions of HEPEX are: * What adaptations are required for meteorological ensemble systems to be coupled with hydrological ensemble systems? * How should the existing hydrological ensemble prediction systems be modified to account for all sources of uncertainty within a forecast? * What is the best way for the user community to take advantage of ensemble forecasts and to make better decisions based on them? This year HEPEX celebrates its 10th year anniversary and this poster will present a review of the main operational and research achievements and challenges prepared by Hepex contributors on data assimilation, post-processing of hydrologic predictions, forecast verification, communication and use of probabilistic forecasts in decision-making. Additionally, we will present the most recent activities implemented by Hepex and illustrate how everyone can join the community and participate to the development of new approaches in hydrologic ensemble prediction.

  16. The Homogeneity of School Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cahan, Sorel

    Since the measurement of school achievement involves the administration of achievement tests to various grades on various subjects, both grade level and subject matter contribute to within-school achievement variations. To determine whether achievement test scores vary most among different fields within a grade level, or within fields among…

  17. 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

  18. Assisting Pupils in Mathematics Achievement (The Common Core Standards)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ediger, Marlow

    2011-01-01

    Mathematics teachers must expect reasonably high standards of achievement from pupils. Too frequently, pupils attain at a substandard level and more optimal achievement is necessary. Thus, pupils should have self esteem needs met in the school and classroom setting. Thus, learners feel that mathematics is worthwhile and effort must be put forth to…

  19. 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. PMID:21034841

  20. Optimizing qubit phase estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapeau-Blondeau, François

    2016-08-01

    The theory of quantum state estimation is exploited here to investigate the most efficient strategies for this task, especially targeting a complete picture identifying optimal conditions in terms of Fisher information, quantum measurement, and associated estimator. The approach is specified to estimation of the phase of a qubit in a rotation around an arbitrary given axis, equivalent to estimating the phase of an arbitrary single-qubit quantum gate, both in noise-free and then in noisy conditions. In noise-free conditions, we establish the possibility of defining an optimal quantum probe, optimal quantum measurement, and optimal estimator together capable of achieving the ultimate best performance uniformly for any unknown phase. With arbitrary quantum noise, we show that in general the optimal solutions are phase dependent and require adaptive techniques for practical implementation. However, for the important case of the depolarizing noise, we again establish the possibility of a quantum probe, quantum measurement, and estimator uniformly optimal for any unknown phase. In this way, for qubit phase estimation, without and then with quantum noise, we characterize the phase-independent optimal solutions when they generally exist, and also identify the complementary conditions where the optimal solutions are phase dependent and only adaptively implementable.

  1. Dynamic Optimization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laird, Philip

    1992-01-01

    We distinguish static and dynamic optimization of programs: whereas static optimization modifies a program before runtime and is based only on its syntactical structure, dynamic optimization is based on the statistical properties of the input source and examples of program execution. Explanation-based generalization is a commonly used dynamic optimization method, but its effectiveness as a speedup-learning method is limited, in part because it fails to separate the learning process from the program transformation process. This paper describes a dynamic optimization technique called a learn-optimize cycle that first uses a learning element to uncover predictable patterns in the program execution and then uses an optimization algorithm to map these patterns into beneficial transformations. The technique has been used successfully for dynamic optimization of pure Prolog.

  2. 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. PMID:25266429

  3. Optimization and validation of an LC-fLD method for biotin in infant formula, infant cereals, cocoa-malt beverages, and clinical nutrition products.

    PubMed

    Campos Giménez, Esther; Trisconi, Marie-Jose; Kilinc, Tamara; Andrieux, Pierre

    2010-01-01

    A fast and simple chromatographic method to determine biotin in foods is presented. Biotin is extracted using papain (60 degrees C, 1 h). After pH adjustment and filtration, biotin is determined by LC with fluorescence detection using postcolumn reagent avidin-FITC (avidin labeled with fluorescein isothiocyanate). The method has been validated in a large range of products: milk- and soy-based infant formulas, cereals, cocoa-malt beverages, and clinical nutrition products. The method showed recovery rates of 98.1 +/- 5.7% (average +/- SD) in a large range of concentrations. Biotin concentrations determined in infant formula standard reference materials 1846 and 1849 were in agreement with reference values. RSD of repeatability (RSDr) varied from 2.0 to 4.5%, and intermediate reproducibility (RSD(iR)) from 5.8 to 9.4%. LOD and LOQ were 3.0 and 5.0 microg/100 g, respectively. The proposed method is suitable for routine analysis of biotin in fortified foods (infant formulas, infant cereals, cocoa-malt beverages, and clinical nutrition products). It can be used as a faster, more selective, and precise alternative to the classical microbiological determination, and is easily transferable among laboratories.

  4. Optimization and validation of an LC-fLD method for biotin in infant formula, infant cereals, cocoa-malt beverages, and clinical nutrition products.

    PubMed

    Campos Giménez, Esther; Trisconi, Marie-Jose; Kilinc, Tamara; Andrieux, Pierre

    2010-01-01

    A fast and simple chromatographic method to determine biotin in foods is presented. Biotin is extracted using papain (60 degrees C, 1 h). After pH adjustment and filtration, biotin is determined by LC with fluorescence detection using postcolumn reagent avidin-FITC (avidin labeled with fluorescein isothiocyanate). The method has been validated in a large range of products: milk- and soy-based infant formulas, cereals, cocoa-malt beverages, and clinical nutrition products. The method showed recovery rates of 98.1 +/- 5.7% (average +/- SD) in a large range of concentrations. Biotin concentrations determined in infant formula standard reference materials 1846 and 1849 were in agreement with reference values. RSD of repeatability (RSDr) varied from 2.0 to 4.5%, and intermediate reproducibility (RSD(iR)) from 5.8 to 9.4%. LOD and LOQ were 3.0 and 5.0 microg/100 g, respectively. The proposed method is suitable for routine analysis of biotin in fortified foods (infant formulas, infant cereals, cocoa-malt beverages, and clinical nutrition products). It can be used as a faster, more selective, and precise alternative to the classical microbiological determination, and is easily transferable among laboratories. PMID:21140662

  5. Comparison of an effect-model-law-based method versus traditional clinical practice guidelines for optimal treatment decision-making: application to statin treatment in the French population.

    PubMed

    Kahoul, Riad; Gueyffier, François; Amsallem, Emmanuel; Haugh, Margaret; Marchant, Ivanny; Boissel, François-Henri; Boissel, Jean-Pierre

    2014-11-01

    Healthcare authorities make difficult decisions about how to spend limited budgets for interventions that guarantee the best cost-efficacy ratio. We propose a novel approach for treatment decision-making, OMES-in French: Objectif thérapeutique Modèle Effet Seuil (in English: Therapeutic Objective-Threshold-Effect Model; TOTEM). This approach takes into consideration results from clinical trials, adjusted for the patients' characteristics in treatment decision-making. We compared OMES with the French clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for the management of dyslipidemia with statin in a computer-generated realistic virtual population, representing the adult French population, in terms of the number of all-cause deaths avoided (number of avoided events: NAEs) under treatment and the individual absolute benefit. The total budget was fixed at the annual amount reimbursed by the French social security for statins. With the CPGs, the NAEs was 292 for an annual cost of 122.54 M€ compared with 443 with OMES. For a fixed NAEs, OMES reduced costs by 50% (60.53 M€ yr(-1)). The results demonstrate that OMES is at least as good as, and even better than, the standard CPGs when applied to the same population. Hence the OMES approach is a practical, useful alternative which will help to overcome the limitations of treatment decision-making based uniquely on CPGs.

  6. Comparison of an effect-model-law-based method versus traditional clinical practice guidelines for optimal treatment decision-making: application to statin treatment in the French population

    PubMed Central

    Kahoul, Riad; Gueyffier, François; Amsallem, Emmanuel; Haugh, Margaret; Marchant, Ivanny; Boissel, François-Henri; Boissel, Jean-Pierre

    2014-01-01

    Healthcare authorities make difficult decisions about how to spend limited budgets for interventions that guarantee the best cost-efficacy ratio. We propose a novel approach for treatment decision-making, OMES—in French: Objectif thérapeutique Modèle Effet Seuil (in English: Therapeutic Objective–Threshold–Effect Model; TOTEM). This approach takes into consideration results from clinical trials, adjusted for the patients' characteristics in treatment decision-making. We compared OMES with the French clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for the management of dyslipidemia with statin in a computer-generated realistic virtual population, representing the adult French population, in terms of the number of all-cause deaths avoided (number of avoided events: NAEs) under treatment and the individual absolute benefit. The total budget was fixed at the annual amount reimbursed by the French social security for statins. With the CPGs, the NAEs was 292 for an annual cost of 122.54 M€ compared with 443 with OMES. For a fixed NAEs, OMES reduced costs by 50% (60.53 M€ yr−1). The results demonstrate that OMES is at least as good as, and even better than, the standard CPGs when applied to the same population. Hence the OMES approach is a practical, useful alternative which will help to overcome the limitations of treatment decision-making based uniquely on CPGs. PMID:25209407

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. RF Gun Optimization Study

    SciTech Connect

    A. S. Hofler; P. Evtushenko; M. Krasilnikov

    2007-08-01

    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. RF and SRF gun design is further complicated because the bunches are space charge dominated and require additional emittance compensation. A genetic algorithm has been successfully used to optimize DC photo injector designs for Cornell* and Jefferson Lab**, and we propose studying how the genetic algorithm techniques can be applied 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 gun designs that have been benchmarked with beam measurements and simulation.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  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. 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. 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. PMID:27312427

  17. Cherokee Culture and School Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Anthony D.

    1980-01-01

    Compares the effect of cooperative and competitive behaviors of Cherokee and Anglo American elementary school students on academic achievement. Suggests changes in teaching techniques and lesson organization that might raise academic achievement while taking into consideration tribal traditions that limit scholastic achievement in an…

  18. MPQC: Performance Analysis and Optimization

    SciTech Connect

    Sarje, Abhinav; Williams, Samuel; Bailey, David

    2012-11-30

    MPQC (Massively Parallel Quantum Chemistry) is a widely used computational quantum chemistry code. It is capable of performing a number of computations commonly occurring in quantum chemistry. In order to achieve better performance of MPQC, in this report we present a detailed performance analysis of this code. We then perform loop and memory access optimizations, and measure performance improvements by comparing the performance of the optimized code with that of the original MPQC code. We observe that the optimized MPQC code achieves a significant improvement in the performance through a better utilization of vector processing and memory hierarchies.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Dose optimization of breast balloon brachytherapy using a stepping 192Ir HDR source.

    PubMed

    Choi, Chang Hyun; Ye, Sung-Joon; Parsai, E Ishmael; Shen, Sui; Meredith, Ruby; Brezovich, Ivan A; Ove, Roger

    2009-02-03

    There is a considerable underdosage (11%-13%) of PTV due to anisotropy of a stationary source in breast balloon brachytherapy. We improved the PTV coverage by varying multiple dwell positions and weights. We assumed that the diameter of spherical balloons varied from 4.0 cm to 5.0 cm, that the PTV was a 1-cm thick spherical shell over the balloon (reduced by the small portion occupied by the catheter path), and that the number of dwell positions varied from 2 to 13 with 0.25-cm steps, oriented symmetrically with respect to the balloon center. By assuming that the perfect PTV coverage can be achieved by spherical dose distributions from an isotropic source, we developed an optimization program to minimize two objective functions defined as: (1) the number of PTV-voxels having more than 10% difference between optimized doses and spherical doses, and (2) the difference between optimized doses and spherical doses per PTV-voxel. The optimal PTV coverage occurred when applying 8-11 dwell positions with weights determined by the optimization scheme. Since the optimization yields ellipsoidal isodose distributions along the catheter, there is relative skin sparing for cases with source movement approximately tangent to the skin. We also verified the optimization in CT-based treatment planning systems. Our volumetric dose optimization for PTV coverage showed close agreement to linear or multiple-points optimization results from the literature. The optimization scheme provides a simple and practical solution applicable to the clinic.

  2. Optimal tumor shrinkage predicts long-term outcome in advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with target therapy: Result from 3 clinical trials of advanced NSCLC by 1 institution.

    PubMed

    He, Xiaobo; Zhang, Yang; Ma, Yuxiang; Zhou, Ting; Zhang, Jianwei; Hong, Shaodong; Sheng, Jin; Zhang, Zhonghan; Yang, Yunpeng; Huang, Yan; Zhang, Li; Zhao, Hongyun

    2016-08-01

    Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are used as standard therapies for advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with EGFR mutation positive. Because these targeted therapies could cause tumor necrosis and shrinkage, the purpose of the study is to search for a value of optimal tumor shrinkage as an appropriate indicator of outcome for advanced NSCLC.A total of 88 NSCLC enrollees of 3 clinical trials (IRESSA registration clinical trial, TRUST study and ZD6474 study), who received Gefitinib (250 mg, QD), Erlotinib (150 mg, QD), and ZD6474 (100 mg, QD), respectively, during December 2003 and October 2007, were retrospectively analyzed. The response evaluation criteria in solid tumors (RECIST) were used to identify responders, who had complete response (CR) or partial responses (PR) and nonresponders who had stable disease (SD) or progressive disease (PD). Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis was used to find the optimal tumor shrinkage as an indicator for tumor therapeutic outcome. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were performed to compare the progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) between responders and nonresponders stratified based on radiologic criteria.Among the 88 NSCLC patients, 26 were responders and 62 were nonresponders based on RECIST 1.0. ROC indicated that 8.32% tumor diameter shrinkage in the sum of the longest tumor diameter (SLD) was the cutoff point of tumor shrinkage outcomes, resulting in 46 responders (≤8.32%) and 42 nonresponders (≥8.32%). Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses indicated that (1) the responders (≤8.32%) and nonresponders (≥ -8.32%) were significantly different in median PFS (13.40 vs 1.17 months, P < 0.001) and OS (19.80 vs 7.90 months, P < 0.001) and (2) -8.32% in SLD could be used as the optimal threshold for PFS (hazard ratio [HR], 8.11, 95% CI, 3.75 to 17.51, P < 0.001) and OS (HR, 2.36, 95

  3. 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.

  4. Developmental Pathways from Parental Substance Use to Childhood Academic Achievement

    PubMed Central

    Brook, Judith S.; Saar, Naomi S.; Brook, David W.

    2010-01-01

    This cross-sectional study examined the pathways to childhood academic achievement in 209 African American and Puerto Rican children and their mothers. There were three pathways to childhood academic achievement: (a) the mother-child relationship and the child’s personality mediated between parental substance use and childhood academic achievement; (b) the child’s personality mediated between parental education and childhood academic achievement; and (c) there was a direct relationship between the child’s gender and childhood academic achievement. Policy and clinical implications suggest the importance of increasing educational opportunities for all parents, providing substance use treatment and self-esteem workshops, and altering the school curriculum. PMID:20525035

  5. Achievement as Resistance: The Development of a Critical Race Achievement Ideology among Black Achievers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carter, Dorinda J.

    2008-01-01

    In this article, Dorinda Carter examines the embodiment of a critical race achievement ideology in high-achieving black students. She conducted a yearlong qualitative investigation of the adaptive behaviors that nine high-achieving black students developed and employed to navigate the process of schooling at an upper-class, predominantly white,…

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Skin tears: achieving positive clinical and financial outcomes.

    PubMed

    Stephen-Haynes, Jackie

    2012-03-01

    Skin tears are one of the most common wounds found among frail, older individuals, and are considered to be largely preventable. Skin tears occur frequently in those with fragile skin, in neonates and the elderly; particularly those with comorbidities affecting their balance, e.g. postural hypotension, motor neurone disease, diabetes and cerebral vascular accident (CVA). Those taking oral medications including steroids and anticoagulants are also at risk of developing skin tears. The increase in the population of older people is likely to produce a concurrent rise in the number of skin tears. Health professionals and health care assistants have a significant role to play in skin tear prevention, assessment and management.

  9. Shared clinical decision making

    PubMed Central

    AlHaqwi, Ali I.; AlDrees, Turki M.; AlRumayyan, Ahmad; AlFarhan, Ali I.; Alotaibi, Sultan S.; AlKhashan, Hesham I.; Badri, Motasim

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: To determine preferences of patients regarding their involvement in the clinical decision making process and the related factors in Saudi Arabia. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in a major family practice center in King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, between March and May 2012. Multivariate multinomial regression models were fitted to identify factors associated with patients preferences. Results: The study included 236 participants. The most preferred decision-making style was shared decision-making (57%), followed by paternalistic (28%), and informed consumerism (14%). The preference for shared clinical decision making was significantly higher among male patients and those with higher level of education, whereas paternalism was significantly higher among older patients and those with chronic health conditions, and consumerism was significantly higher in younger age groups. In multivariate multinomial regression analysis, compared with the shared group, the consumerism group were more likely to be female [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) =2.87, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.31-6.27, p=0.008] and non-dyslipidemic (AOR=2.90, 95% CI: 1.03-8.09, p=0.04), and the paternalism group were more likely to be older (AOR=1.03, 95% CI: 1.01-1.05, p=0.04), and female (AOR=2.47, 95% CI: 1.32-4.06, p=0.008). Conclusion: Preferences of patients for involvement in the clinical decision-making varied considerably. In our setting, underlying factors that influence these preferences identified in this study should be considered and tailored individually to achieve optimal treatment outcomes. PMID:26620990

  10. 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

  11. Mathematics Achievement in High- and Low-Achieving Secondary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mohammadpour, Ebrahim; Shekarchizadeh, Ahmadreza

    2015-01-01

    This paper identifies the amount of variance in mathematics achievement in high- and low-achieving schools that can be explained by school-level factors, while controlling for student-level factors. The data were obtained from 2679 Iranian eighth graders who participated in the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. Of the…

  12. Thermoacoustic Refrigerator's Stack Optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Fawal, Mawahib Hassan; Mohd-Ghazali, Normah; Yaacob, Mohd. Shafik; Darus, Amer Nordin

    2010-06-01

    The standing wave thermoacoustic refrigerator, which uses sound generation to transfer heat, was developed rapidly during the past four decades. It was regarded as a new, promising and environmentally benign alternative to conventional compression vapor refrigerators, although it was not competitive regarding the coefficient of performance (COP) yet. Thus the aim of this paper is to enhance thermoacoustic refrigerator's stack performance through optimization. A computational optimization procedure of thermoacoustic stack design was fully developed. The procedure was designed to achieve optimal coefficient of performance based on most of the design and operating parameters. Cooling load and acoustic power governing equations were set assuming the linear thermoacoustic theory. Lagrange multipliers method was used as an optimization technique tool to solve the governing equations. Numerical analyses results of the developed design procedure are presented. The results showed that the stack design parameters are the most significant parameters for the optimal overall performance. The coefficient of performance obtained increases by about 48.8% from the published experimental optimization methods. The results are in good agreement with past established studies.

  13. Attribution theory in science achievement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craig, Martin

    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 examining potential malleable factors that may predict science achievement in twelfth graders using 2009 data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Principle component factor analysis was conducted to determine the specific items that contribute to each overall factor. A series of multiple regressions were then analyzed and formed the predictive value of each of these factors for science achievement. All significant factors were ultimately examined together (also using multiple regression) to determine the most powerful predictors of science achievement, identifying factors that predict science achievement, the results of which suggested interventions to strengthen students' science achievement scores and encourage persistence in the sciences at the college level and beyond. Although there is a variety of research highlighting how students in the US are falling behind other developing nations in science and math achievement, as yet, little research has addressed ways of intervening to address this gap. The current research is a starting point, seeking to identify malleable factors that contribute to science achievement. More specifically, this research examined the types of attributions that predict science achievement in twelfth grade students.

  14. Dispositional optimism.

    PubMed

    Carver, Charles S; Scheier, Michael F

    2014-06-01

    Optimism is a cognitive construct (expectancies regarding future outcomes) that also relates to motivation: optimistic people exert effort, whereas pessimistic people disengage from effort. Study of optimism began largely in health contexts, finding positive associations between optimism and markers of better psychological and physical health. Physical health effects likely occur through differences in both health-promoting behaviors and physiological concomitants of coping. Recently, the scientific study of optimism has extended to the realm of social relations: new evidence indicates that optimists have better social connections, partly because they work harder at them. In this review, we examine the myriad ways this trait can benefit an individual, and our current understanding of the biological basis of optimism.

  15. 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.

  16. Clinical management of progressive myopia.

    PubMed

    Aller, T A

    2014-02-01

    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

  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. 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…

  19. Poor Results for High Achievers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bui, Sa; Imberman, Scott; Craig, Steven

    2012-01-01

    Three million students in the United States are classified as gifted, yet little is known about the effectiveness of traditional gifted and talented (G&T) programs. In theory, G&T programs might help high-achieving students because they group them with other high achievers and typically offer specially trained teachers and a more advanced…

  20. 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…

  1. Examination Regimes and Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cosentino de Cohen, Clemencia

    2010-01-01

    Examination regimes at the end of secondary school vary greatly intra- and cross-nationally, and in recent years have undergone important reforms often geared towards increasing student achievement. This research presents a comparative analysis of the relationship between examination regimes and student achievement in the OECD. Using a micro…

  2. General Achievement Trends: New Jersey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  3. 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);…

  4. Family Status and School Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chalker, Rhoda N.; Horns, Virginia

    This study tested the hypothesis that there is no significant difference in reading achievement among children in grades 2 through 5 related to family structure. Researchers administered the Stanford Achievement Test to 119 students in an Alabama city suburban school system. Of the sample, 69 children lived in intact families and 50 lived in…

  5. General Achievement Trends: North Carolina

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center on Education Policy, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This general achievement trends profile includes information that the Center on Education Policy (CEP) and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) obtained from states from fall 2008 through April 2009. Included herein are: (1) Bullet points summarizing key findings about achievement trends in that state at three performance…

  6. Classroom Composition and Achievement Gains.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leiter, Jeffrey

    1983-01-01

    Third-grade students in high ability groups in mathematics achieved greater gains than students in low ability groups. The opposite results occurred in reading achievement. Possible reasons for this difference include different instructional techniques for reading and math and the effect of home environment on learning. (IS)

  7. 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 Better in Their…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Mathematics anxiety and mathematics achievement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherman, Brian F.; Wither (Post.), David P.

    2003-09-01

    This paper is a distillation of the major result from the 1998 Ph.D. thesis of the late David Wither. It details a longitudinal study over five years of the relationship between mathematics anxiety and mathematics achievement. It starts from the already well documented negative correlation between the two, and seeks to establish one of the three hypotheses—that mathematics anxiety causes an impairment of mathematics achievement; that lack of mathematics achievement causes mathematics anxiety; or that there is a third underlying cause of the two.

  15. 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. PMID:21682607

  16. 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....

  17. 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. PMID:26123250

  18. Mastery Achievement of Intellectual Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trembath, Richard J.; White, Richard T.

    1979-01-01

    Mastery learning techniques were improved through mathematics instruction based on a validated learning hierarchy, presenting tasks in a sequence consistent with the requirements of the hierarchy, and requiring learners to demonstrate achievement before being allowed to proceed. (Author/GDC)

  19. Achieving Standards through Environmental Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaspar, Mike

    1999-01-01

    Most states do not have the time or resources to develop environmental education standards from scratch. Highlights the role that environmental education and its interdisciplinary nature can play in helping students achieve. (DDR)

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Heuristic optimization of the scanning path of particle therapy beams

    SciTech Connect

    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.

    2009-06-15

    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.

  3. Methods to optimize selective hyperthermia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowan, Thomas M.; Bailey, Christopher A.; Liu, Hong; Chen, Wei R.

    2003-07-01

    Laser immunotherapy, a novel therapy for breast cancer, utilizes selective photothermal interaction to raise the temperature of tumor tissue above the cell damage threshold. Photothermal interaction is achieved with intratumoral injection of a laser absorbing dye followed by non-invasive laser irradiation. When tumor heating is used in combination with immunoadjuvant to stimulate an immune response, anti-tumor immunity can be achieved. In our study, gelatin phantom simulations were used to optimize therapy parameters such as laser power, laser beam radius, and dye concentration to achieve maximum heating of target tissue with the minimum heating of non-targeted tissue. An 805-nm diode laser and indocyanine green (ICG) were used to achieve selective photothermal interactions in a gelatin phantom. Spherical gelatin phantoms containing ICG were used to simulate the absorption-enhanced target tumors, which were embedded inside gelatin without ICG to simulate surrounding non-targeted tissue. Different laser powers and dye concentrations were used to treat the gelatin phantoms. The temperature distributions in the phantoms were measured, and the data were used to determine the optimal parameters used in selective hyperthermia (laser power and dye concentration for this case). The method involves an optimization coefficient, which is proportional to the difference between temperatures measured in targeted and non-targeted gel. The coefficient is also normalized by the difference between the most heated region of the target gel and the least heated region. A positive optimization coefficient signifies a greater temperature increase in targeted gelatin when compared to non-targeted gelatin, and therefore, greater selectivity. Comparisons were made between the optimization coefficients for varying laser powers in order to demonstrate the effectinvess of this method in finding an optimal parameter set. Our experimental results support the proposed use of an optimization

  4. SWOC: Spectral Wavelength Optimization Code

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruchti, G. R.

    2016-06-01

    SWOC (Spectral Wavelength Optimization Code) determines the wavelength ranges that provide the optimal amount of information to achieve the required science goals for a spectroscopic study. It computes a figure-of-merit for different spectral configurations using a user-defined list of spectral features, and, utilizing a set of flux-calibrated spectra, determines the spectral regions showing the largest differences among the spectra.

  5. The Effect of Primary School Size on Academic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gershenson, Seth; Langbein, Laura

    2015-01-01

    Evidence on optimal school size is mixed. We estimate the effect of transitory changes in school size on the academic achievement of fourth-and fifth-grade students in North Carolina using student-level longitudinal administrative data. Estimates of value-added models that condition on school-specific linear time trends and a variety of…

  6. Two concepts of therapeutic optimism.

    PubMed

    Jansen, Lynn A

    2011-09-01

    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.

  7. Clinically and/or Serologically Misleading Findings Surrounding Immune Haemolytic Anaemias.

    PubMed

    Salama, Abdulgabar

    2015-09-01

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. [Clinical pathology].

    PubMed

    Dimitrijević, Jovan

    2006-05-01

    the organ for transplantation is carried out and ensures a reliable evaluation of the condition of the transplanted organ, enabling appropriate therapy. Autoimmune, hereditary diseases are almost impossible to recognise unless a biopsy is performed as in the examples given. In this work, the 30-year-long results of the cooperation between clinical doctors and pathologists are presented and compared with similar results from modern literature, together with numerous examples that represent significant experiences and achievements of our medicine. PMID:16796169

  12. 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.

  13. Multiple anatomy optimization of accumulated dose

    PubMed Central

    Watkins, W. Tyler; Moore, Joseph A.; Gordon, James; Hugo, Geoffrey D.; Siebers, Jeffrey V.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25370619

  14. 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.

  15. How 'Optimal' are Optimal Sampling Times for Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors in Cancer? Practical Considerations.

    PubMed

    Ward, Michael B; Reuter, Stephanie E; Martin, Jennifer H

    2016-10-01

    Tyrosine kinase inhibitors have been marketed as a fixed dose, 'one size fits all' treatment strategy. Physicians have also been interested in this method of dosing, knowing the complex planning of other current cancer therapies administered on a mg/m(2) or mg/kg basis and subsequent occurrence of dosing error or concern for underdosing. The 'simple and safe' strategy of a single dose of tyrosine kinase inhibitor for cancer has thus been widely adopted. However, the benefits purported to exist in the clinical trials do not appear to be borne out in clinical practice, particularly in solid tumours. In order to investigate whether pharmacokinetic variability is a contributor to the variable outcomes, pharmacokinetic targets to enable individualisation of tyrosine kinase inhibitor administration are now emerging. Evidence suggests there is not a clear relationship of a single dose to maximum plasma concentration (C max), steady-state trough concentration (C trough) or area under the curve (AUC). Furthermore, a significant number of questions remain related to the specific timing and frequency of sample collection required to achieve optimal outcomes. This article reviews the wide variability in the literature on this topic, specifically the different pharmacokinetic targets of the same drug for different cancers, for different states of cancer, and changing pharmacokinetic parameters over a treatment interval in cancer. It appears the optimal sampling times to enable appropriate dose recommendations across patients and diseases may vary, and are not always trough concentrations at steady state. Importantly, the need to be pragmatic in a clinical setting is paramount. Lastly, international collaborations to increase sample size are highly recommended to ensure enough patients are sampled to be sure of a clinical benefit from this concentration-directed methodology.

  16. How 'Optimal' are Optimal Sampling Times for Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors in Cancer? Practical Considerations.

    PubMed

    Ward, Michael B; Reuter, Stephanie E; Martin, Jennifer H

    2016-10-01

    Tyrosine kinase inhibitors have been marketed as a fixed dose, 'one size fits all' treatment strategy. Physicians have also been interested in this method of dosing, knowing the complex planning of other current cancer therapies administered on a mg/m(2) or mg/kg basis and subsequent occurrence of dosing error or concern for underdosing. The 'simple and safe' strategy of a single dose of tyrosine kinase inhibitor for cancer has thus been widely adopted. However, the benefits purported to exist in the clinical trials do not appear to be borne out in clinical practice, particularly in solid tumours. In order to investigate whether pharmacokinetic variability is a contributor to the variable outcomes, pharmacokinetic targets to enable individualisation of tyrosine kinase inhibitor administration are now emerging. Evidence suggests there is not a clear relationship of a single dose to maximum plasma concentration (C max), steady-state trough concentration (C trough) or area under the curve (AUC). Furthermore, a significant number of questions remain related to the specific timing and frequency of sample collection required to achieve optimal outcomes. This article reviews the wide variability in the literature on this topic, specifically the different pharmacokinetic targets of the same drug for different cancers, for different states of cancer, and changing pharmacokinetic parameters over a treatment interval in cancer. It appears the optimal sampling times to enable appropriate dose recommendations across patients and diseases may vary, and are not always trough concentrations at steady state. Importantly, the need to be pragmatic in a clinical setting is paramount. Lastly, international collaborations to increase sample size are highly recommended to ensure enough patients are sampled to be sure of a clinical benefit from this concentration-directed methodology. PMID:27085335

  17. Optimized multi-electrode stimulation increases focality and intensity at target

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dmochowski, Jacek P.; Datta, Abhishek; Bikson, Marom; Su, Yuzhuo; Parra, Lucas C.

    2011-08-01

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) provides a non-invasive tool to elicit neuromodulation by delivering current through electrodes placed on the scalp. The present clinical paradigm uses two relatively large electrodes to inject current through the head resulting in electric fields that are broadly distributed over large regions of the brain. In this paper, we present a method that uses multiple small electrodes (i.e. 1.2 cm diameter) and systematically optimize the applied currents to achieve effective and targeted stimulation while ensuring safety of stimulation. We found a fundamental trade-off between achievable intensity (at the target) and focality, and algorithms to optimize both measures are presented. When compared with large pad-electrodes (approximated here by a set of small electrodes covering 25cm2), the proposed approach achieves electric fields which exhibit simultaneously greater focality (80% improvement) and higher target intensity (98% improvement) at cortical targets using the same total current applied. These improvements illustrate the previously unrecognized and non-trivial dependence of the optimal electrode configuration on the desired electric field orientation and the maximum total current (due to safety). Similarly, by exploiting idiosyncratic details of brain anatomy, the optimization approach significantly improves upon prior un-optimized approaches using small electrodes. The analysis also reveals the optimal use of conventional bipolar montages: maximally intense tangential fields are attained with the two electrodes placed at a considerable distance from the target along the direction of the desired field; when radial fields are desired, the maximum-intensity configuration consists of an electrode placed directly over the target with a distant return electrode. To summarize, if a target location and stimulation orientation can be defined by the clinician, then the proposed technique is superior in terms of both focality

  18. A Study of Mechanical Optimization Strategy for Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Based on an Electromechanical Model

    PubMed Central

    Dou, Jianhong; Xia, Ling; Deng, Dongdong; Zang, Yunliang; Shou, Guofa; Bustos, Cesar; Tu, Weifeng; Liu, Feng; Crozier, Stuart

    2012-01-01

    An optimal electrode position and interventricular (VV) delay in cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) improves its success. However, the precise quantification of cardiac dyssynchrony and magnitude of resynchronization achieved by biventricular (BiV) pacing therapy with mechanical optimization strategies based on computational models remain scant. The maximum circumferential uniformity ratio estimate (CURE) was used here as mechanical optimization index, which was automatically computed for 6 different electrode positions based on a three-dimensional electromechanical canine model of heart failure (HF) caused by complete left bundle branch block (CLBBB). VV delay timing was adjusted accordingly. The heart excitation propagation was simulated with a monodomain model. The quantification of mechanical intra- and interventricular asynchrony was then investigated with eight-node isoparametric element method. The results showed that (i) the optimal pacing location from maximal CURE of 0.8516 was found at the left ventricle (LV) lateral wall near the equator site with a VV delay of 60 ms, in accordance with current clinical studies, (ii) compared with electrical optimization strategy of ERMS, the LV synchronous contraction and the hemodynamics improved more with mechanical optimization strategy. Therefore, measures of mechanical dyssynchrony improve the sensitivity and specificity of predicting responders more. The model was subject to validation in future clinical studies. PMID:23118802

  19. A two-stage sequential linear programming approach to IMRT dose optimization

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hao H; Meyer, Robert R; Wu, Jianzhou; Naqvi, Shahid A; Shi, Leyuan; D’Souza, Warren D

    2010-01-01

    The conventional IMRT planning process involves two stages in which the first stage consists of fast but approximate idealized pencil beam dose calculations and dose optimization and the second stage consists of discretization of the intensity maps followed by intensity map segmentation and a more accurate final dose calculation corresponding to physical beam apertures. Consequently, there can be differences between the presumed dose distribution corresponding to pencil beam calculations and optimization and a more accurately computed dose distribution corresponding to beam segments that takes into account collimator-specific effects. IMRT optimization is computationally expensive and has therefore led to the use of heuristic (e.g., simulated annealing and genetic algorithms) approaches that do not encompass a global view of the solution space. We modify the traditional two-stage IMRT optimization process by augmenting the second stage via an accurate Monte-Carlo based kernel-superposition dose calculations corresponding to beam apertures combined with an exact mathematical programming based sequential optimization approach that uses linear programming (SLP). Our approach was tested on three challenging clinical test cases with multileaf collimator constraints corresponding to two vendors. We compared our approach to the conventional IMRT planning approach, a direct-aperture approach and a segment weight optimization approach. Our results in all three cases indicate that the SLP approach outperformed the other approaches, achieving superior critical structure sparing. Convergence of our approach is also demonstrated. Finally, our approach has also been integrated with a commercial treatment planning system and may be utilized clinically. PMID:20071764

  20. Opportunistic invasive fungal infections: diagnosis & clinical management

    PubMed Central

    Badiee, Parisa; Hashemizadeh, Zahra

    2014-01-01

    Invasive fungal infections are a significant health problem in immunocompromised patients. The clinical manifestations vary and can range from colonization in allergic bronchopulmonary disease to active infection in local aetiologic agents. Many factors influence the virulence and pathogenic capacity of the microorganisms, such as enzymes including extracellular phospholipases, lipases and proteinases, dimorphic growth in some Candida species, melanin production, mannitol secretion, superoxide dismutase, rapid growth and affinity to the blood stream, heat tolerance and toxin production. Infection is confirmed when histopathologic examination with special stains demonstrates fungal tissue involvement or when the aetiologic agent is isolated from sterile clinical specimens by culture. Both acquired and congenital immunodeficiency may be associated with increased susceptibility to systemic infections. Fungal infection is difficult to treat because antifungal therapy for Candida infections is still controversial and based on clinical grounds, and for molds, the clinician must assume that the species isolated from the culture medium is the pathogen. Timely initiation of antifungal treatment is a critical component affecting the outcome. Disseminated infection requires the use of systemic agents with or without surgical debridement, and in some cases immunotherapy is also advisable. Preclinical and clinical studies have shown an association between drug dose and treatment outcome. Drug dose monitoring is necessary to ensure that therapeutic levels are achieved for optimal clinical efficacy. The objectives of this review are to discuss opportunistic fungal infections, diagnostic methods and the management of these infections. PMID:24718393

  1. Primary Mental Abilities and Metropolitan Readiness Tests as Predictors of Achievement in the First Primary Year.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    University City School District, MO.

    The prediction of achievement provides teachers with necessary information to help children attain optimal achievement. If some skill prerequistites to learning which are not fully developed can be identified and strengthened, higher levels of achievement may result. The Metropolitan Readiness Tests (MRT) are routinely given to all University City…

  2. Accelerated Academic Program for Low Achievers. A Program Designed to Raise Aptitude and Achievement of Low-Achieving Elementary Students, August, 1977 - May, 1980.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holly Springs Municipal Separate School Dist., MS.

    In a study of cognitive therapy as a strategy for compensatory education, fourteen low-achieving first graders in the Holly Springs Separate School District (Mississippi) were assigned to treatment conditions consisting of a teacher trained in cognitive therapy, an aide, and a small class size. The therapy relied upon a clinical tutorial model…

  3. Designing Sensor Networks by a Generalized Highly Optimized Tolerance Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyano, Takaya; Yamakoshi, Miyuki; Higashino, Sadanori; Tsutsui, Takako

    A variant of the highly optimized tolerance model is applied to a toy problem of bioterrorism to determine the optimal arrangement of hypothetical bio-sensors to avert epidemic outbreak. Nonlinear loss function is utilized in searching the optimal structure of the sensor network. The proposed method successfully averts disastrously large events, which can not be achieved by the original highly optimized tolerance model.

  4. Florida's Fit to Achieve Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sander, Allan N.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Describes Florida's "Fit to Achieve," a cardiovascular fitness education program for elementary students. Children are taught responsibility for their own cardiovascular fitness through proper exercise, personal exercise habits, and regular aerobic exercise. The program stresses collaborative effort between physical educators and classroom…

  5. Adequacy, Litigation, and Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glenn, William

    2008-01-01

    The court system has been an increasingly important forum in the attempts to remedy the persistent achievement gaps in American education. In the past twenty years, school finance adequacy litigation has replaced desegregation as the most widely used legal strategy in these efforts. Despite the widespread use of adequacy litigation, few…

  6. Scheduling and Achievement. Research Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walker, Karen

    2006-01-01

    To use a block schedule or a traditional schedule? Which structure will produce the best and highest achievement rates for students? The research is mixed on this due to numerous variables such as: (1) socioeconomic levels; (2) academic levels; (3) length of time a given schedule has been in operation; (4) strategies being used in the classrooms;…

  7. 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…

  8. Mobility and the Achievement Gap.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skandera, Hanna; Sousa, Richard

    2002-01-01

    Research indicates that low achievement scores relate significantly to high school mobility rates. One explanation for this relationship is curricular inconsistency. Some suggest that school choice could contribute to a solution by breaking the link between a child's home address and school address, thus allowing students to remain at one school…

  9. The Racial Academic Achievement Gap

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Toneka M.

    2008-01-01

    Closing the racial academic achievement gap is a problem that must be solved in order for future society to properly function. Minorities including African-American and Latino students' standardized test scores are much lower than white students. By the end of fourth grade, African American, Latino, and poor students of all races are two years…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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 culture as…

  13. Achieving Results in MBA Communication.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrett, Deborah J.

    2002-01-01

    Describes how Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Management achieves their mission for the communication program. Discusses three keys to the success of the program: individual coaching, integrated team instruction, and constant assessment of the students and the program. Presents an overview of the program. (SG)

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. Achievement in Two School Cultures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Borth, Audrey M.

    The purpose of the study was to assess non-intellective correlates of achievement in a lower-class, all black, urban elementary school. These students were compared with a University school population which was different in many dimensions. There were residual similarities relative to the general role of the elementary school student. In neither…

  19. Literacy Achievement in Nongraded Classrooms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kreide, Anita Therese

    2011-01-01

    This longitudinal quantitative study compared literacy achievement of students from second through sixth grade based on two organizational systems: graded (traditional) and nongraded (multiage) classrooms. The California Standards Test (CST) scaled and proficiency scores for English-Language Arts (ELA) were used as the study's independent variable…

  20. PREDICTING ACHIEVEMENT FOR DEAF CHILDREN.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    BONHAM, S.J., JR.

    THIS STUDY WAS DONE TO DETERMINE THE PREDICTIVE VALUE OF INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP ACHIEVEMENT TESTS WHEN USED TO EVALUATE DEAF CHILDREN. THE 36 CHILDREN SELECTED FOR THIS STUDY WERE IN GRADES 2, 4, AND 6 IN THE KENNEDY SCHOOL IN DAYTON, OHIO. ALL HAD SEVERE AUDITORY HANDICAPS AND WERE 10 TO 16 YEARS OLD. FOUR PSYCHOLOGISTS ADMINISTERED THE FOLLOWING…

  1. 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…

  2. Perlman receives Sustained Achievement Award

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petit, Charles; Perlman, David

    David Perlman was awarded the Sustained Achievement Award at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, which was held on December 10, 1997, in San Francisco, California. The award recognizes a journalist who has made significant, lasting, and consistent contributions to accurate reporting or writing on the geophysical sciences for the general public.

  3. Great achievements by dedicated nurses.

    PubMed

    Whyte, Alison

    2016-04-27

    Like many nurses, those featured here are motivated by a desire to do everything they can to give high quality care to their patients. Nurses are often reluctant to seek recognition for their achievements, but by talking publicly about the difference they have made, Gillian Elwood, Anja Templin and Sandra Wood are helping to share good practice. PMID:27191295

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Helping Rural Schools Achieve Success.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collins, Susan

    2003-01-01

    Senator Collins of Maine plans to fight for proper federal funding of the Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) that allows rural schools to combine federal funding sources. Collins, and Senator Dianne Feinstein, will soon introduce legislation that will eliminate inequities in the current Social Security law that penalize teachers and other…

  7. 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…

  8. Potential-Based Achievement Goals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elliot, Andrew; Murayama, Kou; Kobeisy, Ahmed; Lichtenfeld, Stephanie

    2015-01-01

    Background: Self-based achievement goals use one's own intrapersonal trajectory as a standard of evaluation, and this intrapersonal trajectory may be grounded in one's past (past-based goals) or one's future potential (potential-based goals). Potential-based goals have been overlooked in the literature to date. Aims: The primary aim of the present…

  9. 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…

  10. Clinical digital photography: implementation of clinical photography for everyday practice.

    PubMed

    Shorey, Robert; Moore, Kenneth

    2009-03-01

    Clinical photography requires a regimented system of image acquisition similar to the regimentation needed for dental radiographs. Clinical digital photographic equipment is rapidly advancing. To achieve the best image quality and resolution, digital single-lens reflex systems are necessary. DSLR clinical systems are made of three components: camera body, macro lens, and flash attachment. Other ancillary equipment is necessary to achieve appropriate clinical image reveals and composition. Recommendations are given to assist in the implementation of clinical photography in the dental practice. PMID:19830983

  11. Optimal Rebinning of Time-of-Flight PET Data

    PubMed Central

    Ahn, Sangtae; Cho, Sanghee; Li, Quanzheng; Lin, Yanguang

    2012-01-01

    Time-of-flight (TOF) positron emission tomography (PET) scanners offer the potential for significantly improved signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and lesion detectability in clinical PET. However, fully 3D TOF PET image reconstruction is a challenging task due to the huge data size. One solution to this problem is to rebin TOF data into a lower dimensional format. We have recently developed Fourier rebinning methods for mapping TOF data into non-TOF formats that retain substantial SNR advantages relative to sinograms acquired without TOF information. However, mappings for rebinning into non-TOF formats are not unique and optimization of rebinning methods has not been widely investigated. In this paper we address the question of optimal rebinning in order to make full use of TOF information. We focus on FORET-3D, which approximately rebins 3D TOF data into 3D non-TOF sinogram formats without requiring a Fourier transform in the axial direction. We optimize the weighting for FORET-3D to minimize the variance, resulting in H2-weighted FORET-3D, which turns out to be the best linear unbiased estimator (BLUE) under reasonable approximations and furthermore the uniformly minimum variance unbiased (UMVU) estimator under Gaussian noise assumptions. This implies that any information loss due to optimal rebinning is as a result only of the approximations used in deriving the rebinning equation and developing the optimal weighting. We demonstrate using simulated and real phantom TOF data that the optimal rebinning method achieves variance reduction and contrast recovery improvement compared to nonoptimized rebinning weightings. In our preliminary study using a simplified simulation setup, the performance of the optimal rebinning method was comparable to that of fully 3D TOF MAP. PMID:21536530

  12. Peritoneal dialysis catheter implantation: avoiding problems and optimizing outcomes.

    PubMed

    Crabtree, John H

    2015-01-01

    The success of peritoneal dialysis (PD) as renal replacement therapy is dependent upon the patient having a functional long-term peritoneal access. There are a number of identified best practices that must be adhered to during PD catheter placement to achieve a durable and infection-resistant access. The clinical setting, available resources, and the employed catheter insertion method may not always permit complete adherence to these practices; however, an attempt should be made to comply with them as closely as possible. Although omission of any one of the practices can lead to catheter loss, departures from some are committed more frequently, manifesting as commonly occurring clinical problems, such as drain pain, catheter tip migration, omental entrapment, pericatheter leaks and hernias, and poor exit-site location. Understanding the technical pitfalls in PD catheter placement that lead to these problems, enable the provider to modify practice habits to avoid them and optimize outcomes. PMID:25338661

  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. 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

  15. Inverse planning optimization method for intensity modulated radiation therapy.

    PubMed

    Lan, Yihua; Ren, Haozheng; Li, Cunhua; Min, Zhifang; Wan, Jinxin; Ma, Jianxin; Hung, Chih-Cheng

    2013-10-01

    In order to facilitate the leaf sequencing process in intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), and design of a practical leaf sequencing algorithm, it is an important issue to smooth the planned fluence maps. The objective is to achieve both high-efficiency and high-precision dose delivering by considering characteristics of leaf sequencing process. The key factor which affects total number of monitor units for the leaf sequencing optimization process is the max flow value of the digraph which formulated from the fluence maps. Therefore, we believe that one strategy for compromising dose conformity and total number of monitor units in dose delivery is to balance the dose distribution function and the max flow value mentioned above. However, there are too many paths in the digraph, and we don't know the flow value of which path is the maximum. The maximum flow value among the horizontal paths was selected and used in the objective function of the fluence map optimization to formulate the model. The model is a traditional linear constrained quadratic optimization model which can be solved by interior point method easily. We believe that the smoothed maps from this model are more suitable for leaf sequencing optimization process than other smoothing models. A clinical head-neck case and a prostate case were tested and compared using our proposed model and the smoothing model which is based on the minimization of total variance. The optimization results with the same level of total number of monitor units (TNMU) show that the fluence maps obtained from our model have much better dose performance for the target/non-target region than the maps from total variance based on the smoothing model. This indicates that our model achieves better dose distribution when the algorithm suppresses the TNMU at the same level. Although we have just used the max flow value of the horizontal paths in the diagraph in the objective function, a good balance has been achieved between

  16. Optimal perfusion during cardiopulmonary bypass: an evidence-based approach.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Glenn S; Hessel, Eugene A; Groom, Robert C

    2009-05-01

    In this review, we summarize the best available evidence to guide the conduct of adult cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) to achieve "optimal" perfusion. At the present time, there is considerable controversy relating to appropriate management of physiologic variables during CPB. Low-risk patients tolerate mean arterial blood pressures of 50-60 mm Hg without apparent complications, although limited data suggest that higher-risk patients may benefit from mean arterial blood pressures >70 mm Hg. The optimal hematocrit on CPB has not been defined, with large data-based investigations demonstrating that both severe hemodilution and transfusion of packed red blood cells increase the risk of adverse postoperative outcomes. Oxygen delivery is determined by the pump flow rate and the arterial oxygen content and organ injury may be prevented during more severe hemodilutional anemia by increasing pump flow rates. Furthermore, the optimal temperature during CPB likely varies with physiologic goals, and recent data suggest that aggressive rewarming practices may contribute to neurologic injury. The design of components of the CPB circuit may also influence tissue perfusion and outcomes. Although there are theoretical advantages to centrifugal blood pumps over roller pumps, it has been difficult to demonstrate that the use of centrifugal pumps improves clinical outcomes. Heparin coating of the CPB circuit may attenuate inflammatory and coagulation pathways, but has not been clearly demonstrated to reduce major morbidity and mortality. Similarly, no distinct clinical benefits have been observed when open venous reservoirs have been compared to closed systems. In conclusion, there are currently limited data upon which to confidently make strong recommendations regarding how to conduct optimal CPB. There is a critical need for randomized trials assessing clinically significant outcomes, particularly in high-risk patients. PMID:19372313

  17. Adhesive crowns and fixed partial dentures fabricated of ceromer/FRC: clinical and laboratory procedures.

    PubMed

    Krejci, I; Boretti, R; Giezendanner, P; Lutz, F

    1998-05-01

    Ceramic optimized polymer and fiber-reinforced composite materials represent a significant development in prosthetic dentistry. When utilized in conjunction with adhesive luting techniques, exceptionally conservative crown and bridge restorations may be achieved. This article discusses utilization of these materials in inlay and onlay restorations, as well as clinical and laboratory procedures for fabrication, preparation, and seating of adhesive crown and bridge restorations. The initial results of restorations utilizing these innovative materials are presented.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. The optimal elastic flagellum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spagnolie, Saverio E.; Lauga, Eric

    2010-03-01

    Motile eukaryotic cells propel themselves in viscous fluids by passing waves of bending deformation down their flagella. An infinitely long flagellum achieves a hydrodynamically optimal low-Reynolds number locomotion when the angle between its local tangent and the swimming direction remains constant along its length. Optimal flagella therefore adopt the shape of a helix in three dimensions (smooth) and that of a sawtooth in two dimensions (nonsmooth). Physically, biological organisms (or engineered microswimmers) must expend internal energy in order to produce the waves of deformation responsible for the motion. Here we propose a physically motivated derivation of the optimal flagellum shape. We determine analytically and numerically the shape of the flagellar wave which leads to the fastest swimming for a given appropriately defined energetic expenditure. Our novel approach is to define an energy which includes not only the work against the surrounding fluid, but also (1) the energy stored elastically in the bending of the flagellum, (2) the energy stored elastically in the internal sliding of the polymeric filaments which are responsible for the generation of the bending waves (microtubules), and (3) the viscous dissipation due to the presence of an internal fluid. This approach regularizes the optimal sawtooth shape for two-dimensional deformation at the expense of a small loss in hydrodynamic efficiency. The optimal waveforms of finite-size flagella are shown to depend on a competition between rotational motions and bending costs, and we observe a surprising bias toward half-integer wave numbers. Their final hydrodynamic efficiencies are above 6%, significantly larger than those of swimming cells, therefore indicating available room for further biological tuning.