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BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Proton International and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) announced today they are securing necessary approvals to begin construction this year of a proton therapy center that will provide cancer patients with an effective treatment option that is an alternative to traditional radiation therapy. Proton therapy is a highly precise treatment for treating cancer and some non-cancerous tumors without many of the side effects that often accompany traditional radiation therapy. This will be the 4th of 7 centers Proton International has been involved with as one of the world’s leading developers of facilities offering this advanced therapy. The UAB center, which will be the first in the State, has been approved by an Administrative Law Judge appointed by the Alabama State Health Planning and Development Agency. The two-year construction process is expected to begin this year with an opening planned for 2019. Proton International will build and own the center with UAB physicians providing clinical services and providing the leadership for education and research within the facility. “This is a significant step forward in cancer treatment for residents of Alabama and surrounding areas,” said Will Ferniany, PhD, and CEO of the UAB Health System. “Proton therapy is an extremely advanced cancer-fighting technology. Coupled with the skill, experience and resources of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, the UAB Proton Therapy Center will be a life-changing resource for thousands of cancer patients throughout our region.” The Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute Designated Cancer Center in Alabama. “UAB is joining a stellar group of 25 of the nation’s top hospitals and cancer treatment centers providing proton therapy to patients,” said Chris Chandler, CEO, who founded Proton International after developing, opening and overseeing the operation of some of the first proton centers in the U.S. and Europe. “This center will have advanced proton therapy technology – a fully featured system with dynamic peak pencil beam scanning, developed by Varian Medical Systems an important technology leader.” “Recent advances in imaging have made proton therapy much more viable,” said John Fiveash, M.D., professor in the UAB Department of Radiation Oncology. “It uses sophisticated imaging to create a 3D image of the tumor. It then delivers a focused beam of radiation, custom-sized and shaped, so that it paints the tumor site while leaving surrounding tissue generally untouched, reducing collateral damage.” It is conservatively estimated that some 250,000 cancer patients in the U.S. alone could benefit from proton therapy, which is mainly being used to treat solid cancer tumors, including tumors of the brain and central nervous system, spine, head and neck, lung, prostate, liver, gastrointestinal tract and colon, and some breast tumors. While it primarily treats single-site tumors, it can in some cases be used for treating cancer that has spread (metastasized) to surrounding tissue because of its focused dose capabilities. Protons are widely used to treat children, who are particularly sensitive to the effects of radiation therapy. Because of its precision in targeting tumors, proton therapy greatly reduces damage to nearby healthy tissue, which is the cause of most short- and long-term side-effects, including cancer recurrence later in life. The three-story UAB Proton Center will be built on the Campus of UAB. Planning and pre-treatment will continue to be done at UAB’s Hazelrig-Salter Radiation Oncology Center and medical staff will be exclusively from UAB. The center will enroll its patients in national proton therapy registries and will participate in clinical research studies to advance the application of proton therapy and determine best practices. In partnering with Proton International UAB has a team of proven providers. Proton International is currently participating in the development of 7 centers two of which are under construction; another set to break ground in March, and a memorandum of understanding approved for 4 others. PI’s turnkey development model significantly lowers project risk and provides access to long-term funding. For this project UAB and PI have selected Varian Medical Systems, an innovator in proton therapy systems Varian has been a longtime partner with UAB in the delivery of radiation therapy, and this new proton system will integrate UAB’s existing network of Varian products, including TrueBeam linear accelerators, Eclipse treatment planning, and ARIA information system. UAB Medicine comprises the School of Medicine and the $3 billion UAB Health System that includes all of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s patient-care activities and 2,300 licensed beds in six hospitals, one of which is UAB Hospital — the third-largest public hospital in the United States, winner of the Women's Choice award, and one of U.S. News and World Report's Best Hospitals. UAB is the state of Alabama’s largest single employer and an internationally renowned research university and academic health center; its professional schools and specialty patient-care programs are consistently ranked among the nation’s top 50. UAB is the largest academic medical center in Alabama and one of the top four largest academic medical centers in the United States. UAB’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science is advancing innovative discoveries for better health as a two-time recipient of the prestigious Center for Translational Science Award. Find more information at www.uab.edu and www.uabmedicine.org. Proton International (PI) www.protonintl.com has an experienced team dedicated to bringing proton therapy to patients. The company works with hospitals and physician groups to develop one- and two-room proton therapy facilities, as well as larger facilities, on a turnkey basis. The PI team has developed and operated large centers and as well as the smaller alternatives. PI has centers under construction with Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich., and the University Medical Center in Groningen, The Netherlands; as well as an upcoming project with Delray Medical Center, Delray Beach, Fla. PI’s business model ensures that projects are completed on time, on budget, and within the scope and needs of the Institution. Services include business planning, organizational structure, financing, building design and construction, installation and commissioning, equipment, staff training and more.

PALO ALTO, Calif. and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Oct. 28, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OCRX), today announced that Willard Dere, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center and former Senior Vice President in Research and Development at Amgen, has been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors. “We are delighted to welcome Will to our Board of Directors,” said Linda Grais, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Ocera. “His 25 years of seasoned industry expertise in drug development and regulatory matters, as well as his deep understanding of patient care, will bring important perspective to Ocera at a pivotal time.” “We are thrilled to have Will join the Ocera Board,” said Eckard Weber, M.D., Chairman. “With the depth of his experience in clinical development, I am confident he will add significantly to Ocera’s future success.” “I am honored to join the board of a company pursuing novel therapeutics for liver diseases and excited to help Ocera pursue its goals,” said Dr. Dere. “I look forward to working with such an esteemed team.” Dr. Dere will be joining Chairman, Eckard Weber, M.D., Partner, Domain Associates; President and Chief Executive Officer of Ocera, Linda Grais, M.D., Lead Independent Director, Steven James, former President and Chief Executive Officer, Labrys Biologics, Inc.; Nina Kjellson, General Partner, Canaan Partners; Michael Powell, Ph.D., General Partner, Sofinnova Ventures, Anne M. VanLent, President of AMV Advisors; and Wendell Wierenga, Ph.D., former Executive Vice President, Research and Development at Santarus, Inc. Dr. Dere serves as the Professor of Internal Medicine; B. Lue and Hope S. Bettilyon Presidential Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine for Diabetes Research, Executive Director of Personalized Health, and Co-Principal Investigator of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center. Prior to re-joining academia in November 2014, Dr. Dere was in the biopharmaceutical industry for 25 years. He joined Amgen in 2003 where he held multiple roles including head of global development, international research and development, and both corporate and international chief medical officer. He led the development program for Prolia and several other programs, and retired from Amgen in October 2014. He began his career at Eli Lilly in 1989, and held a number of different global roles in clinical pharmacology, regulatory affairs, and both early-stage translational, and late-stage clinical research. While at Eli Lilly, he led the development of Evista and Forteo. Since 2014, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of Radius Health and serves on the scientific advisory board of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. In addition, he joined the Board of Directors of BioMarin in July 2016. Dr. Dere attended undergraduate and medical school at the University of California, Davis. He trained in internal medicine at the University of Utah and endocrinology/ metabolism at the University of California at San Francisco, and was on the Internal Medicine faculty at the University of Utah for 4 years during which time he was recognized annually with teaching awards. He has published numerous articles; wrote and co-edited a primary care textbook; was awarded the 2008 transformational leadership award from his alma mater; and is a fellow in the American College of Physicians. Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of OCR-002 (ornithine phenylacetate) in both intravenous and oral formulations. OCR-002 is an ammonia scavenger and has been granted orphan drug designation and Fast Track status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of hyperammonemia and resultant hepatic encephalopathy (HE) in patients with acute liver failure and acute-on-chronic liver disease. This press release contains "forward-looking" statements, including, without limitation, all statements related to the addition of a new company director. Any statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Words such as "believe," "expected," "hope," "plan," "potential," "will" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon Ocera's current expectations. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and Ocera's actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, including those risks and uncertainties discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in Ocera's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015 and subsequent filings with the SEC. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Ocera undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.

News Article | December 13, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A new technique that will allow scientists to determine the effects of turning on and off a set of molecules involved in almost every cellular pathway, determine their downstream effects, and uncover new drug targets has been developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The finding is reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Protein kinases are enzymes involved in almost every biological process. These molecules perform a single action - they transfer phosphate from the energy molecule ATP to other enzymes and proteins. The process is a key mechanism of regulatory control and allows cells to perform all of their functions. Several hundred different kinases work to phosphorylate various proteins and drive the entire range of cellular activities. Understanding precisely how kinases work would reveal cellular pathways that drive cells to become cancerous and identify novel drug targets. Until now, it was difficult to study cellular processes triggered by specific kinases that turn on only briefly, says Andrei Karginov, assistant professor of pharmacology in the UIC College of Medicine. "Previously, we had the ability to artificially turn on a kinase, but we didn't know how to turn it off," Karginov said. "So what we could see was only the result of that kinase being on for a long time." That approach has proved useful to study the prolonged cancer-causing effects of some kinases, Karginov said. "But, in living cells, kinases are often turned only for a set period of time, and the duration of this activation often dictates what will happen to the cell," he said. "To mimic this transient action we had come up with a new strategy." The new procedure allows scientists to turn kinases on, and then off - providing a powerful tool for studying the effects of kinases as they actually work in the body. The researchers used two protein-engineering techniques to switch on and switch off one kinase, called tyrosine kinase c-Src. They were able to observe a series of structural changes when they turned the enzyme on for various periods of time. The first wave of changes, where the cell seemed to expand and then contract, was driven by kinase activation and inactivation. Interestingly, a second expansion sometimes occurred after the kinase had been switched off - depending on how long it had been left on. The experiment demonstrated that even short-term activation of a kinase can have a long-lasting effect on cell behavior, and allowed researchers to identify the molecular mechanism driving these events. Asrar Malik, Jennifer Klomp, Vincent Huyot, Anne-Marie Ray, and Kerrie Collins of the UIC department of pharmacology are co-authors on the paper. This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health grants R21CA159179 and T32 HL007829-22, the Chicago Biomedical Consortium and the UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Science grant UL1TR000050.

News Article | November 21, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Two faculty members at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), José M. Argüello, the Walter and Miriam Rutman Professor of Biochemistry, and L. Ramdas Ram-Mohan, professor of physics, have been elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society. Election as a AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers in recognition of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. This year, 391 members have been awarded this honor. “We are delighted and very proud that Professors Argüello and Ram-Mohan are being honored by the AAAS,” said Bruce Bursten, WPI’s provost and retiring chair of the AAAS Section on Chemistry. “Election as a Fellow of the AAAS is a tangible recognition of our colleagues’ sustained academic excellence and their dedication to research and education.” Argüello was elected by the AAAS Section on Biological Sciences “for distinguished research discoveries elucidating the mechanisms underlying metal ion transport and the role of bacterial metal transporters in agriculture and infectious disease.” A member of the WPI faculty since 1996, he is a biochemist whose research focuses on the structure and function of proteins that transport heavy metals like copper, zinc, cobalt, and iron across cell membranes. These micronutrients perform fundamental functions in all living organisms, for example, maintaining structure, conferring catalytic activity to proteins, and participating in the transport of oxygen in the blood and the synthesis of sugars in plants. Metals also contribute to the virulence of pathogenic microorganisms and the ability of a cell to resist infection. Because of the importance of these basic biological functions, a better understanding of the mechanisms of heavy metal transport has implications for the treatment of a host of diseases, for human and animal nutrition, and for the bioremediation of heavy metal pollution. Argüello, who also holds an appointment as a member of the University of Massachusetts Center for Clinical and Translational Science, received a degree in biological chemistry from the National University of Cordoba and a PhD in biological sciences from the National University of Rio Cuarto in Argentina. He completed postdoctoral work in the Department of Physiology at the University of Pennsylvania and in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Cincinnati. He has received multiple research grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including an NIH Research Development Award for Minority Faculty in 1995 and a $1.3 million award in 2016 for a systematic study of copper in the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a leading cause of hospital-associated infections. He has published nearly 60 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the most-cited biomedical research journal in the world; Argüello was appointed to the journal's editorial board in 2012. He is the co-editor of the 2012 book Topics in Membranes: Metal Transporters (Elsevier). Argüello served as a program director in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at the NSF's Directorate for Biological Sciences in 2009, and in 2010 was appointed to a four-year term on the NIH's Macromolecular Structure and Function (A) study section to participate in the review and evaluation of research proposals aimed at understanding the nature of biological phenomena and applying that knowledge to enhance human health. In 2012, he received WPI’s Board of Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Scholarship. Ram-Mohan was elected by the AAAS Section on Physics “for major contributions to the development of computational algorithms and important advances in theory of electronic and optical properties of solid state and semiconductor materials.” Since joining the WPI faculty in 1978 he has developed an international reputation as a pioneer in solid state physics, a field that has helped propel extraordinary advances in the speed and power of computers, telecommunications systems, lasers, and other high-tech devices. In addition to exploring the quantum mechanical properties of condensed matter, Ram-Mohan has developed powerful computational tools that have made it possible to predict with great accuracy the properties of increasingly complex semiconductor and optoelectronic devices and to precisely control the design of these ubiquitous systems. The director of the university's Center for Computational NanoScience, Ram-Mohan's work on high-energy physics, condensed matter, and semiconductor physics has resulted in more than 200 peer-reviewed publications that have garnered more than 3,800 citations. He is also the founder of wavefunction engineering, a method for specifying certain quantum properties of semiconductor heterostructures—assemblies of two dissimilar semiconductor materials that display unique electrical or optoelectronic properties. This innovative method arises from the application of the finite element method, or FEM, a numerical analysis technique used widely in engineering, to quantum heterostructures. Ram-Mohan, recognized as one of the foremost authorities on FEM, described this new field in his landmark 2002 book, Finite Element and Boundary Element Applications to Quantum Mechanics. He is also the founder of Quantum Semiconductor Algorithms Inc., which he established to commercialize his software for designing quantum semiconductor heterostructures. In 2012 he was named a Coleman Fellow at WPI in recognition of his entrepreneurial experience and expertise. Ram-Mohan's research has earned him numerous awards and honors, including election as a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, the American Vacuum Society, Australian Institute of Physics, and the United Kingdom Institute of Physics. He has received the Engineering Excellence Award of the Optical Society of America and the Department of the Air Force Certificate of Achievement, and served as the Clark Way Harrison Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Washington University in St. Louis in 2005. In 2008 he was awarded the Sarojini Damodaran Fellowship to deliver lectures at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai. WPI has recognized his research, teaching, and service with the Sigma Xi Senior Faculty Award for Research Excellence, the Board of Trustees' Award for Outstanding Creative Scholarship and Research, the Board of Trustees' Award for Outstanding Teaching, and the Chairman’s Exemplary Faculty Prize. Professors Argüello and Ram-Mohan will receive an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin during the AAAS annual meeting on Feb. 18, 2017, in Boston. They join four current AAAS fellows at WPI: Provost Bruce Bursten, Dean of Arts and Sciences Karen Kashmanian Oates, and biology professors David Adams and Pamela Weathers. Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI is one of the nation’s first engineering and technology universities. Its 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. WPI's talented faculty work with students on interdisciplinary research that seeks solutions to important and socially relevant problems in fields as diverse as the life sciences and bioengineering, energy, information security, materials processing, and robotics. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university's innovative Global Projects Program. There are more than 45 WPI project centers throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.

News Article | November 18, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Several anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and specific phobias, share a common underlying trait: increased sensitivity to uncertain threat, or fear of the unknown, report researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago. The finding could help steer treatment of these disorders away from diagnosis-based therapies to treating their common characteristics. "We may, one day, open up clinics that focus on treating the underlying common neurobiology of the patient's symptoms instead of individual diagnoses," says Stephanie Gorka, research assistant professor of psychiatry and a clinical psychologist in the UIC College of Medicine. "A treatment, or set of treatments, focused on sensitivity to uncertain threat could result in a more impactful and efficient way of treating a variety of anxiety disorders and symptoms." Uncertain threat is unpredictable in its timing, intensity, frequency or duration and elicits a generalized feeling of apprehension and hypervigilance. "It's what we call anticipatory anxiety," says Gorka, who is corresponding author on the study, published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. "It could be something like not knowing exactly when your doctor will call with test results." When a person is sensitive to uncertain threat, they can spend the entire day anxious and concerned that something bad could happen to them, Gorka said. Panic disorder is one example -- patients are constantly anxious over the fact that they could have a panic attack at any moment, she said. Predictable threat, on the other hand, produces a discrete fight-or-flight response that has a clear trigger, like a hungry bear coming at you, and it abates once the threat has resolved. Previous research by Gorka and colleagues suggests that heightened sensitivity to uncertain threat may be an important factor that characterizes the fear-based internalizing psychopathologies, but most research focuses on panic disorder, so its role in the other fear-based disorders -- particularly social anxiety disorder and specific phobias -- remains unclear. Gorka and her colleagues looked at data from participants who underwent a startle task in two different studies performed at UIC. The two studies, of participants ages 18 to 65, included 25 participants with major depressive disorder; 29 with generalized anxiety disorder; 41 with social anxiety disorder; and 24 with a specific phobia. Forty-one control subjects had no current or prior diagnoses of psychopathology. The researchers measured the participants' eye-blink responses to predictable and unpredictable mild electric shocks to the wrist. To elicit blinking during the shock-task, the participants heard short, acoustic tones via headphones. "No matter who you are or what your mental health status, you are going to blink in response to the tone," Gorka said. "It's a natural reflex, so everyone does it, without exception." The researchers measured the strength of the blinks using an electrode under the participants' eyes. They compared the strength of the blinks in response to tones delivered during the predictable shock to the blinks during the unpredictable shock. They found that participants with social anxiety disorder or a specific phobia blinked much more strongly during the unpredictable shocks, when compared to participants without a mental health diagnosis or to participants with major depressive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. "We classify so many different mood and anxiety disorders, and each has its own set of guidelines for treatment, but if we spend time treating their shared characteristics, we might make better progress," said Dr. K. Luan Phan, professor of psychiatry and director of the mood and anxiety disorders research program and senior author on the study. "Knowing that sensitivity to uncertain threat underlies all of the fear-based anxiety disorders also suggests that drugs that help specifically target this sensitivity could be used or developed to treat these disorders." Lynne Lieberman and Stewart Shankman of UIC are co-authors on the study. This research was funded by grants R01MH101497 and R01MH098093 from the National Institute of Mental Health. Other support was provided by the UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Science award number UL1RR029879 from the National Center for Research Resources.

Guan H.-B.,Shenyang University | Wu L.,Center for Clinical and Translational Science | Wu Q.-J.,Renji Hospital | Zhu J.,University of Minnesota | Gong T.,Shenyang University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Background: Previous epidemiologic studies have reported inconsistent results between parity and pancreatic cancer (PC) risk. To our knowledge, a comprehensive and quantitative assessment of this association has not been conducted. Methods: Relevant published studies of parity and PC were identified using MEDLINE (PubMed) and Web of Science databases until November 2013. Two authors (H-BG and LW) independently assessed eligibility and extracted data. Eleven prospective and 11 case-control studies reported relative risk (RR) estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of PC associated with parity. Fixed- and random-effects models were used to estimate the summary RR depending on the heterogeneity of effects. Results: The summary RR for PC comparing the highest versus lowest parity was 0.86 (95% CI: 0.73-1.02; Q = 50.49, P<0.001, I2 = 58.4%). Significant inverse associations were also observed in the studies that adjusted for cigarette smoking (RR = 0.81; 95% CI: 0.68-0.98), Type 2 diabetes mellitus (RR = 0.83; 95% CI: 0.75-0.93), and those that included all confounders or important risk factors (RR = 0.85; 95% CI: 0.76-0.96). Additionally, in the dose-response analysis, the summary RR for per one live birth was 0.97 (95% CI: 0.94-1.01; Q = 62.83, P<0.001, I2 = 69.8%), which also indicated a borderline statistically significant inverse effect of parity on PC risk. No evidence of publication bias and significant heterogeneity between subgroups were detected by meta-regression analyses. Conclusion: In summary, these findings suggest that higher parity is associated with a decreased risk of PC. Future large consortia or pooled studies are warranted to fully adjust for potential confounders to confirm this association. © 2014 Guan et al.

Rainwater-Lovett K.,Johns Hopkins University | Luzuriaga K.,Center for Clinical and Translational Science | Persaud D.,Johns Hopkins University
Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS | Year: 2015

Purpose of review: A single case of sustained HIV control in the absence of antiretroviral therapy or HIV-specific immune responses ensued following 18 months of combination antiretroviral therapy initiated at 30h of age in a perinatally HIV-infected child (the Mississippi child). This case provides proof-of-concept that delay in HIV viremic rebound may ensue following very early treatment (VET) in perinatal infection, likely through marked reduction of latent replication-competent HIV reservoirs.Recent findings: The latent HIV reservoir remains the critical barrier to remission. Several studies indicate that the earlier effective combination antiretroviral therapy is initiated, the smaller the size of the HIV reservoir. The unique ability of perinatally infected neonates to initiate VET at the time of birth maximizes the potential benefits of limiting latent reservoir size and permitting reservoir decay, likely lengthening the duration of remission and limiting the capacity for re-establishment of viremia.This article covers the rationale and feasibility of VET to achieve sustained virologic remission in perinatal infection. Recent studies highlighting the effects of VET on biomarkers of HIV persistence in perinatal HIV infection are reviewed as well as implications and challenges for cure research in pediatric populations. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Wu L.,Center for Clinical and Translational Science | Zhu J.,University of Minnesota
Human Reproduction | Year: 2015

STUDY QUESTION Is there an association between oral contraceptive (OC) use and thyroid cancer risk in females? SUMMARY ANSWER OC use is inversely associated with the risk of thyroid cancer in females. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY OC use may be relevant to the risk of thyroid cancer as suggested by some epidemiological studies. However, the findings are inconsistent regarding the effect direction and size. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION This systematic review and meta-analysis included a total of 1906 patients from about 1.3 million individuals who had participated in 9 prospective cohort studies. The follow-up length ranged 7.5-15.9 years. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS PubMed (MEDLINE) was searched through to January 2015 for eligible studies. References of relevant review articles were also manually screened. Prospective cohort studies that evaluated the association between OC use and thyroid cancer risk were included. Study characteristics including patients' characteristics, length of the follow-up and risk estimates were extracted. The quality of the studies was also assessed. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE The included studies were of high methodological quality according to the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale. After pooling risk estimates from all the studies, there was a significant inverse association between the longest versus shortest duration of OC use and the risk of thyroid cancer [relative risk (RR) = 0.84, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.73-0.97], with no considerable heterogeneity (I2 = 26.1%). There was no significant publication bias. The significant association persisted in the subgroup of high-quality studies (RR = 0.84, 95% CI 0.72-0.97). By dose-response analysis, there was a linear relationship (P = 0.0001) between the duration of OC use and thyroid cancer risk. The summary RR for an increment of 1 year of OC use was 0.96 (95% CI 0.94-0.98), with no significant heterogeneity. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION Individual patient data were unavailable for a more accurate estimation. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS These results indicate that OC use may decrease the risk of thyroid cancer in females. This may have implications for women's decisions regarding the use of OC. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

Wang Y.-Z.,Liaoning Medical University | Wu Q.-J.,Shenyang University | Zhu J.,University of Minnesota | Wu L.,Center for Clinical and Translational Science
Cancer Causes and Control | Year: 2015

Purpose: The relationship between fish consumption and multiple myeloma (MM) risk has not been consistent across epidemiological studies. We quantitatively assessed the aforementioned association through a systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods: PubMed was searched through the end of March 2015 for eligible studies. Fixed or random effects models were used to pool risk estimates. Five case–control studies that involved 1,366 cases and 8,259 controls were identified. Three studies had high methodological quality, and two studies had low quality based on the Newcastle–Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale. Results: After pooling all risk estimates, a significant inverse association was found between the highest category versus lowest category of fish consumption and MM risk (relative risk = 0.65, 95 % confidence interval = 0.46–0.91), with relatively high heterogeneity (I2 = 55.6 %). No evidence of publication bias was detected. The inverse association persisted in all subgroups according to study quality, type, location, and whether there were adjustments for confounders, although statistical significance was not detected in all strata. The dose–response analysis suggested a nonlinear dose–response relationship for the association, with the lowest risk linked to fish consumption once per week. Conclusion: This meta-analysis suggests that the highest versus lowest category of fish consumption is inversely associated with MM risk. Furthermore, a nonlinear dose–response relationship was suggested for the association. Because this evidence is based on a small number of retrospective studies with mixed quality and because high heterogeneity was detected, further prospective studies are warranted to validate our findings and better characterize the relationship. © 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

Luan N.-N.,Shenyang University | Wu L.,Center for Clinical and Translational Science | Gong T.-T.,Shenyang University | Wang Y.-L.,Shenyang University | And 2 more authors.
Cancer Causes and Control | Year: 2015

Purpose: Although the relationship between oral contraceptive (OC) use and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk has been studied extensively, the results of epidemiological studies are controversial. Therefore, we carried out a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies to summarize the available evidence and to quantify the potential dose–response relation. Methods: We searched PubMed database for studies of OC use and CRC risk that were published until the end of March 2014. Random- and fixed-effects models were applied to estimate summary relative risks (RRs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs). Results: Twelve cohorts and seventeen case–control studies with a total of 15,790 CRC cases were included in the final analysis. The summary RR for the ever versus never category of OC use was 0.82 (95 % CI 0.76–0.88). Similar result was observed when we compared the longest duration of OC use with the shortest duration (RR = 0.86, 95 % CI 0.76–0.96). Furthermore, the results of stratified analysis were comparable to those of overall meta-analysis. In dose–response analysis, significant inverse associations emerged in nonlinear models for the duration of OC use and CRC (Pnonlinearity = 0.001). The greatest risk reduction was observed when the duration of OC use was approximately 42 months. There was moderate heterogeneity in the analysis, and no evidence of small-study bias was observed. Conclusions: Based on the findings of this meta-analysis, ever use of OC is associated with lower risk of CRC. Additionally, there is a statistically significant nonlinear inverse association between the duration of OC use and CRC risk. © 2014, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

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