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Visconti L.,Hasselt University | Visconti L.,Center for General Practice | Visconti L.,Maastricht University | Nelissen K.,Hasselt University | And 11 more authors.
Biomarkers in Medicine | Year: 2014

Through their tumor-promoting and/or tumor-suppressive properties, cytokines can influence progression of cancer. We systematically reviewed the current literature on the prognostic value of the circulating cytokines IL-1α/, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, TNF-α, TGF- and IFN- to predict overall and disease-free survival in any type of cancer patients. PubMed was systematically searched and based on eligibility assessment using our five criteria of the Reporting Recommendations for Tumor Marker Prognostic Studies (REMARK) checklist, six unique studies were reviewed. Elevated IL-6 and IL-10 levels seem independently associated with worse prognosis in terms of overall and disease-free survival. The prognostic value of IL-1α/, IL-8, IL-12, TNF-α, TGF- and IFN- could not be demonstrated. The small number of selected studies underlines the need for large well-designed prospective studies, using the REMARK checklist as a guideline, to determine which cytokines have prognostic value on survival in cancer patients. © 2014 Future Medicine Ltd.

Spiegel W.,Medical University of Vienna | Mlczoch-Czerny M.-T.,Wilhelminen Hospital of the City of Vienna | Jens R.,Center for General Practice | Dowrick C.,University of Liverpool
Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice | Year: 2012

Rationale, aims and objectives: In Austria, the participation of general practitioners (GPs) in so-called 'quality circles for pharmacotherapy' (QCPs) was taken as a special approach to increase the use of generics and possibly, to improve the quality and efficiency of prescribing patterns in primary care. This study aimes at exploring GPs' perception of QCPs whether they think that taking part has helped to change their prescribing habits, their opinions on generics in general and the issues that arise for them in attempting to promote their use. Methods: Qualitative analysis was used to evaluate QCP protocols for their potential to evoke discussion in the group and for their relevance to our study questions. Results: Of the 821 self-employed GPs in Vienna under contract with the Vienna District Health Insurance Fund 445 took part at least once in the study period. Seven main topics, which provide insight into various aspects of patient care in primary care, were identified: QCPs work, generic drug prescription, problems related to the sale of generics, patient counselling and education, therapy adherence, coordination of care, competence and medical education. From all prescribed drugs for which generics were available in the fourth quarter of the year 2003 GPs prescribed 33.91% generics, in the fourth quarter of 2004 43.97%, in the fourth quarter of 2005 46.31%, and in the fourth quarter of 2006 49.88%. Conclusions: Peer review groups can be an important method of quality improvement in GPs' prescribing behaviour in favour of generics. QCPs also facilitate the exchange between GPs on problems encountered and provide feedback to policy makers. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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