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Poulsen A.A.,University of Queensland | Sharpley C.F.,University of New England of Australia | Baumann K.C.,Materials Center | Poulsen M.G.,Materials Center
Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology | Year: 2015

Introduction Cancer care workers experience high levels of occupational stress that can have adverse mental and physical health consequences. Educating health professionals about self-care practices throughout their careers can potentially build resilience. Our study aimed to evaluate the effects of an educational intervention to improve recovery from job stress, increase satisfaction with current self-care practices and improve sleep quality. Methods An equivalent, randomised comparison, pretest-post-test intervention design was used to investigate the effects of a 1-day workshop (plus educational material) compared with written educational material alone, on measures of recovery experiences (i.e. psychological detachment from work, relaxation, mastery experiences and control over leisure), satisfaction with recovery-related self-care practices and perceived sleep quality of 70 cancer care workers. Results Workshop participants reported greater mean changes 6 weeks post-workshop for total recovery experiences (F(1,69) = 8.145, P = .008), self-care satisfaction (F(1,69) = 8.277, P = .005) and perceived sleep quality (F(1,69) = 9.611, P = .003). There was a decline in the scores of the control group over the 6-week period for all measures. Workshop participants not only avoided this decline, but demonstrated increased mean scores, with a significant main effect 6 weeks post-workshop, compared with the control group (F(3,63) = 4.262, P = .008). Conclusions A 1-day intervention workshop improved recovery skills, satisfaction with self-care practices and perceived sleep quality of oncology nurses and radiation therapists. Outcomes were enhanced when participants actively participated in experiential group-based learning compared with receiving written material alone. This intervention has the potential to enhance resilience and prevent burnout at different points in a cancer worker's career. © 2015 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.


Bettington C.S.,Materials Center | Tripcony L.,Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospital | Bryant G.,Materials Center | Hickey B.,Materials Center | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology | Year: 2013

Purpose To compare survival outcomes for two fractionation schedules of thoracic radiotherapy, both given over 3 weeks, in patients with limited stage small cell lung cancer (LS-SCLC). Methods and Materials At Radiation Oncology Mater Centre (ROMC) and the Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital (RBWH), patients with LS-SCLC treated with curative intent are given radiotherapy (with concurrent chemotherapy) to a dose of either 40 Gy in 15 fractions ('the 40 Gy/15# group') or 45 Gy in 30 fractions ('the 45 Gy/30# group'). The choice largely depends on institutional preference. Both these schedules are given over 3 weeks, using daily and twice-daily fractionation respectively. The records of all such patients treated from January 2000 to July 2009 were retrospectively reviewed and survival outcomes between the two groups compared. Results Of 118 eligible patients, there were 38 patients in the 40 Gy/15# group and 41 patients in the 45 Gy/30# group. The median relapse-free survival time was 12 months in both groups. Median overall survival was 21 months (95% CI 2-37 months) in the 40 Gy/15# group and 26 months (95% CI 1-48 months) in the 45 Gy/30# group. The 5-year overall survival rates were 20% and 25%, respectively (P = 0.24). On multivariate analysis, factors influencing overall survival were: whether prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) was given (P = 0.01) and whether salvage chemotherapy was given at the time of relapse (P = 0.057). Conclusions Given the small sample size, the potential for selection bias and the retrospective nature of our study it is not possible to draw firm conclusions regarding the efficacy of hypofractionated thoracic radiotherapy compared with hyperfractionated accelerated thoracic radiotherapy however hypofractionated radiotherapy may result in equivalent relapse-free survival. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology © 2013 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.


Foroudi F.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute | Foroudi F.,University of Melbourne | Pham D.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute | Rolfo A.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute | And 13 more authors.
Radiotherapy and Oncology | Year: 2014

Purpose To assess whether online adaptive radiotherapy for bladder cancer is feasible across multiple Radiation Oncology departments using different imaging, delivery and recording technology. Materials and methods A multi-centre feasibility study of online adaptive radiotherapy, using a choice of three "plan of the day", was conducted at 12 departments. Patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer were included. Departments were activated if part of the pilot study or after a site-credentialing visit. There was real time review of the first two cases from each department. Results 54 patients were recruited, with 50 proceeding to radiotherapy. There were 43 males and 7 females with a mean age of 78 years. The tumour stages treated included T1 (1 patient), T2 (35), T3 (10) and T4 (4). One patient died of an unrelated cause during radiotherapy. The three adaptive plans were created before the 10th fraction in all cases. In 8 (16%) of the patients, a conventional plan using a 'standard' CTV to PTV margin of 1.5 cm was used for one or more fractions where the pre-treatment bladder CTV was larger than any of the three adaptive plans. The bladder CTV extended beyond the PTV on post treatment imaging in 9 (18%) of the 49 patients. Conclusions From a technical perspective an online adaptive radiotherapy technique can be instituted in a multi-centre setting. However, without further bladder filling control or imaging, a CTV to PTV margin of 7 mm is insufficient. © © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Home > Press > Faster, finer filtration: The right blend of polymers enables rapid and molecule-selective filtering of tiny particles from water Abstract: A method of fabricating polymer membranes with nanometer-scale holes that overcomes some practical challenges has been demonstrated by KAUST researchers. Porous membranes can filter pollutants from a liquid, and the smaller the holes, the finer the particles the membrane can remove. The KAUST team developed a block copolymer membrane with pores as small as 1.5 nanometers but with increased water flux, the volume processed per hour by a membrane of a certain area. A nanofilter needs to be efficient at rejecting specific molecules, be producible on a large scale, filter liquid quickly and be resistant to fouling or the build-up of removed micropollutants on the surface. Block copolymers have emerged as a viable material for this application. Their characteristics allow them to self-assemble into regular patterns that enable the creation of nanoporous materials with pores as small as 10 nanometers. However, reducing the size further to three nanometers has only been possible by post-treating the membrane (depositing gold, for example2). Moreover, smaller holes usually reduce the water flux. Klaus-Viktor Peinemann from the KAUST Advanced Membranes & Porous Materials Center and Suzana Nunes from the KAUST Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division formed a multidisciplinary team to find a solution. "We mixed two block copolymers in a casting solution, tuning the process by choosing the right copolymer systems, solvents, casting conditions," explained Haizhou Yu, a postdoctoral fellow in Peinemann's group. This approach is an improvement on alternatives because it doesn't require material post-treatment. Peinemann and colleagues blended polystyrene-b-poly(acrylic acid) and polystyrene-b-poly(4-vinylpyridine) in a ratio of six to one. This created a sponge-like layer with a 60 nanometer film on top. Material analysis showed that nanoscale pores formed spontaneously without the need for direct patterning1. The researchers used their nanofiltration material to filter the biological molecule protoporphyrin IX from water. The filter simultaneously allowed another molecule, lysine, to pass through, demonstrating its molecular selectivity. The researchers were able to filter 540 liters per hour for every square meter of membrane, which is approximately 10 times faster than commercial nanofiltration membranes. The groups teamed up with Victor Calo from the University's Physical Science and Engineering Division to develop computer models to understand the mechanism of pore formation. They showed that the simultaneous decrease in pore size and increase in flux was possible because, while the pores are smaller, the pore density in the block copolymer is higher. "In the future, we hope to optimize membranes for protein separation and other applications by changing the copolymer composition, synthesizing new polymers and mixing with additives," said Nunes. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


News Article | December 14, 2015
Site: www.cemag.us

A method of fabricating polymer membranes with nanometer-scale holes that overcomes some practical challenges has been demonstrated by researchers at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Porous membranes can filter pollutants from a liquid, and the smaller the holes, the finer the particles the membrane can remove. The KAUST team developed a block copolymer membrane with pores as small as 1.5 nanometers but with increased water flux, the volume processed per hour by a membrane of a certain area. A nanofilter needs to be efficient at rejecting specific molecules, be producible on a large scale, filter liquid quickly and be resistant to fouling or the build-up of removed micropollutants on the surface. Block copolymers have emerged as a viable material for this application. Their characteristics allow them to self-assemble into regular patterns that enable the creation of nanoporous materials with pores as small as 10 nanometers. However, reducing the size further to three nanometers has only been possible by post-treating the membrane (depositing gold, for example). Moreover, smaller holes usually reduce the water flux. Klaus-Viktor Peinemann from the KAUST Advanced Membranes & Porous Materials Center and Suzana Nunes from the KAUST Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division formed a multidisciplinary team to find a solution. “We mixed two block copolymers in a casting solution, tuning the process by choosing the right copolymer systems, solvents, casting conditions," explaines Haizhou Yu, a postdoctoral fellow in Peinemann’s group. This approach is an improvement on alternatives because it doesn’t require material post-treatment. Peinemann and colleagues blended polystyrene-b-poly(acrylic acid) and polystyrene-b-poly(4-vinylpyridine) in a ratio of six to one. This created a sponge-like layer with a 60 nanometer film on top. Material analysis showed that nanoscale pores formed spontaneously without the need for direct patterning. The researchers used their nanofiltration material to filter the biological molecule protoporphyrin IX from water. The filter simultaneously allowed another molecule, lysine, to pass through, demonstrating its molecular selectivity. The researchers were able to filter 540 liters per hour for every square meter of membrane, which is approximately 10 times faster than commercial nanofiltration membranes. The groups teamed up with Victor Calo from the University's Physical Science and Engineering Division to develop computer models to understand the mechanism of pore formation. They showed that the simultaneous decrease in pore size and increase in flux was possible because, while the pores are smaller, the pore density in the block copolymer is higher. “In the future, we hope to optimize membranes for protein separation and other applications by changing the copolymer composition, synthesizing new polymers and mixing with additives,” says Nunes. Release Date: December 13, 2015 Source: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology


News Article | December 14, 2015
Site: phys.org

A method of fabricating polymer membranes with nanometer-scale holes that overcomes some practical challenges has been demonstrated by KAUST researchers. Porous membranes can filter pollutants from a liquid, and the smaller the holes, the finer the particles the membrane can remove. The KAUST team developed a block copolymer membrane with pores as small as 1.5 nanometers but with increased water flux, the volume processed per hour by a membrane of a certain area. A nanofilter needs to be efficient at rejecting specific molecules, be producible on a large scale, filter liquid quickly and be resistant to fouling or the build-up of removed micropollutants on the surface. Block copolymers have emerged as a viable material for this application. Their characteristics allow them to self-assemble into regular patterns that enable the creation of nanoporous materials with pores as small as 10 nanometers. However, reducing the size further to three nanometers has only been possible by post-treating the membrane (depositing gold, for example). Moreover, smaller holes usually reduce the water flux. Klaus-Viktor Peinemann from the KAUST Advanced Membranes & Porous Materials Center and Suzana Nunes from the KAUST Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division formed a multidisciplinary team to find a solution. "We mixed two block copolymers in a casting solution, tuning the process by choosing the right copolymer systems, solvents, casting conditions," explained Haizhou Yu, a postdoctoral fellow in Peinemann's group. This approach is an improvement on alternatives because it doesn't require material post-treatment. Peinemann and colleagues blended polystyrene-b-poly(acrylic acid) and polystyrene-b-poly(4-vinylpyridine) in a ratio of six to one. This created a sponge-like layer with a 60 nanometer film on top. Material analysis showed that nanoscale pores formed spontaneously without the need for direct patterning. The researchers used their nanofiltration material to filter the biological molecule protoporphyrin IX from water. The filter simultaneously allowed another molecule, lysine, to pass through, demonstrating its molecular selectivity. The researchers were able to filter 540 liters per hour for every square meter of membrane, which is approximately 10 times faster than commercial nanofiltration membranes. The groups teamed up with Victor Calo from the University's Physical Science and Engineering Division to develop computer models to understand the mechanism of pore formation. They showed that the simultaneous decrease in pore size and increase in flux was possible because, while the pores are smaller, the pore density in the block copolymer is higher. "In the future, we hope to optimize membranes for protein separation and other applications by changing the copolymer composition, synthesizing new polymers and mixing with additives," said Nunes. Explore further: A nano-Solution to global water problem: Nanomembranes could filter bacteria More information: Haizhou Yu et al. Self-Assembled Asymmetric Block Copolymer Membranes: Bridging the Gap from Ultra- to Nanofiltration, Angewandte Chemie International Edition (2015). DOI: 10.1002/anie.201505663


PubMed | University of Queensland, University of New South Wales and Materials Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of medical imaging and radiation oncology | Year: 2015

Cancer care workers experience high levels of occupational stress that can have adverse mental and physical health consequences. Educating health professionals about self-care practices throughout their careers can potentially build resilience. Our study aimed to evaluate the effects of an educational intervention to improve recovery from job stress, increase satisfaction with current self-care practices and improve sleep quality.An equivalent, randomised comparison, pretest-post-test intervention design was used to investigate the effects of a 1-day workshop (plus educational material) compared with written educational material alone, on measures of recovery experiences (i.e. psychological detachment from work, relaxation, mastery experiences and control over leisure), satisfaction with recovery-related self-care practices and perceived sleep quality of 70 cancer care workers.Workshop participants reported greater mean changes 6 weeks post-workshop for total recovery experiences (F(1,69)=8.145, P=.008), self-care satisfaction (F(1,69)=8.277, P=.005) and perceived sleep quality (F(1,69)=9.611, P=.003). There was a decline in the scores of the control group over the 6-week period for all measures. Workshop participants not only avoided this decline, but demonstrated increased mean scores, with a significant main effect 6 weeks post-workshop, compared with the control group (F(3,63)=4.262, P=.008).A 1-day intervention workshop improved recovery skills, satisfaction with self-care practices and perceived sleep quality of oncology nurses and radiation therapists. Outcomes were enhanced when participants actively participated in experiential group-based learning compared with receiving written material alone. This intervention has the potential to enhance resilience and prevent burnout at different points in a cancer workers career.


Li X.,Nanjing University of Science and Technology | Xiao Y.,Nanjing Normal University | Bergeret A.,Materials Center | Longerey M.,Materials Center | Che J.,Nanjing University of Science and Technology
Polymer Composites | Year: 2014

Polylactide (PLA)/graphene nanocomposites were prepared by a facile and low-cost method of solution-blending of PLA with liquid-phase exfoliated graphene using chloroform as a mutual solvent. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to observe the structure and morphology of the exfoliated graphene. The dispersion of graphene in PLA matrix was examined by scanning electron microscope, X-ray diffraction, and TEM. FTIR spectrum and the relatively low ID/IG ratio in Raman spectroscopy indicate that the structure of graphene sheets (GSs) is intact and can act as good reinforcement fillers in PLA matrix. Thermogravimetric analysis and dynamic mechanical analysis reveal that the addition of GSs greatly improves the thermal stability of PLA/GSs nanocomposites. Moreover, tensile strength of PLA/GSs nanocomposites is much higher than that of PLA homopolymer, increasing from 36.64 (pure PLA) up to 51.14 MPa (PLA/GSs-1.0). POLYM. COMPOS., 35:396-403, 2014. © 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers.


Lehman M.,Princess Alexandra Hospital | Hickey B.,Materials Center
Breast | Year: 2010

The addition of conventional whole breast irradiation (WBI) to breast conserving surgery (BCS) reduces the risk of early breast cancer recurrence and leads to a statistically and clinically significant improvement in overall survival. However, the long duration of conventional WBI regimens negatively impacts on quality of life. This has led investigators to evaluate an alternative approach of delivering radiation to a limited volume of tissue around the tumour cavity only (partial breast irradiation) and delivering a larger than standard dose of radiation with each treatment (accelerated partial breast irradiation, APBI). This approach may be achieved by a number of techniques: interstitial brachytherapy, intracavitary brachytherapy using the Mammosite device, intraoperative techniques using electrons or low-energy photons, external beam radiotherapy or permanent seed implant. This articles will review the rationale for the less that whole breast radiotherapy approach and describe the techniques by which it can be achieved and the results obtained to date. Finally, the 7 prospective randomised controlled trials of conventional WBI versus APBI which are open and currently recruiting patients will be discussed. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Gogna N.K.,Materials Center | Baxi S.,Materials Center | Hickey B.,Materials Center | Baumann K.,Materials Center | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics | Year: 2012

Purpose: Local progression, in patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer, often causes significant morbidity. Pelvic radiotherapy (RT) provides effective palliation in this setting, with most published studies supporting the use of high-dose regimens. The aim of the present study was to examine the role of split-course hypofractionated RT used at our institution in treating this group of patients. Methods and Materials: A total of 34 men with locoregionally progressive hormone-refractory prostate cancer, treated with a split course of pelvic RT (45-60 Gy in 18-24 fractions) between 2000 and 2008 were analyzed. The primary endpoints were the response rate and actuarial locoregional progression-free survival. Secondary endpoints included overall survival, compliance, and acute and late toxicity. Results: The median age was 71 years (range, 53-88). Treatment resulted in an overall initial response rate of 91%, a median locoregional progression-free survival of 43 months, and median overall survival of 28 months. Compliance was excellent and no significant late toxicity was reported. Conclusions: The split course pelvic RT described has an acceptable toxicity profile, is effective, and compares well with other high-dose palliative regimens that have been previously reported. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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