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Van Der Auwera I.,University of Antwerp | Peeters D.,University of Antwerp | Benoy I.H.,Laboratory for Molecular Biology | Elst H.J.,University of Antwerp | And 7 more authors.
British Journal of Cancer | Year: 2010

Background: The detection, enumeration and isolation of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) have considerable potential to influence the clinical management of patients with breast cancer. There is, however, substantial variability in the rates of positive samples using existing detection techniques. The lack of standardisation of technology hampers the implementation of CTC measurement in clinical routine practice. Methods: This study was designed to directly compare three techniques for detecting CTCs in blood samples taken from 76 patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) and from 20 healthy controls: the CellSearch CTC System, the AdnaTest Breast Cancer Select/Detect and a previously developed real-time qRT-PCR assay for the detection of CK-19 and mammaglobin transcripts. Results: As a result, 36% of patients with MBC were positive by the CellSearch System, 22% by the AdnaTest, 26% using RT-PCR for CK-19 and 54% using RT-PCR for mammaglobin. Samples were significantly more likely to be positive for at least one mRNA marker using RT-PCR than using the CellSearch System (P0.001) or the AdnaTest (P0.001). Conclusion: We observed a substantial variation in the detection rates of CTCs in blood from breast cancer patients using three different techniques. A higher rate of positive samples was observed using a combined qRT-PCR approach for CK-19 and mammaglobin, which suggests that this is currently the most sensitive technique for detecting CTCs. © 2010 Cancer Research UK. All rights reserved.

Peeters D.J.E.,University of Antwerp | Van Den Eynden G.G.,University of Antwerp | Van Dam P.-J.,University of Antwerp | Prove A.,University of Antwerp | And 7 more authors.
British Journal of Cancer | Year: 2011

Background:The enumeration of circulating tumour cells (CTC) has prognostic significance in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) and monitoring of CTC levels over time has considerable potential to guide treatment decisions. However, little is known on CTC kinetics in the human bloodstream.Methods:In this study, we compared the number of CTC in both 7.5 ml central venous blood (CVB) and 7.5 ml peripheral venous blood (PVB) from 30 patients with MBC starting with a new line of chemotherapy.Results:The number of CTC was found to be significantly higher in CVB (median: 43.5; range: 0-4036) than in PVB (median: 33; range: 0-4013) (P0.001). When analysing samples pairwise, CTC counts were found to be significantly higher in CVB than in PVB in 12 out of 26 patients with detectable CTC. In contrast, only 2 out of 26 patients had higher CTC counts in PVB as compared with CVB, whereas in 12 remaining patients no significant difference was seen. The pattern of CTC distribution was independent of the sites of metastatic involvement.Conclusion:A substantial difference in the number of CTC was observed between CVB and PVB of patients with MBC. Registration of the site of blood collection is warranted in studies evaluating the role of CTC assessment in these patients. © 2011 Cancer Research UK All rights reserved.

Magnesium - a nutrient found in many foods - helps control how cells keep their own form of time to cope with the natural environmental cycle of day and night. The discovery in cells is expected to be linked to whole body clocks which influence daily cycles - or circadian rhythms - of sleeping and waking, hormone release, body temperature and other important bodily functions in people. The surprising discovery may aid the development of chronotherapy - treatment scheduled according to time of day - in people, and the development of new crop varieties with increased yields or adjustable harvesting seasons. Experiments in three major types of biological organisms - human cells, algae, and fungi - found in each case that levels of magnesium in cells rise and fall in a daily cycle. Scientists found that this oscillation was critical to sustain the 24-hour clock in cells. They were surprised to discover that it also had an enormous impact on metabolism in cells - how fast cells can convert nutrients into energy - throughout the course of a day. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh and the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge used molecular analysis to find that concentrations of magnesium rose and fell in a 24-hour cycle in all cell types, and that this impacts on the cells' internal clocks. Further tests showed that magnesium levels were linked to the cells' ability to burn energy. It was already known that magnesium is essential to help living things convert food into fuel, but scientists were surprised to discover that it also controls when this biological function takes place, and how efficiently. Their study, published in Nature, was supported by the Royal Society, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust. Dr Gerben van Ooijen, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, who led the study, said: "Internal clocks are fundamental to all living things. They influence many aspects of health and disease in our own bodies, but equally in crop plants and micro-organisms. It is now essential to find out how these fundamentally novel observations translate to whole tissue or organisms, to make us better equipped to influence them in complex organisms for future medical and agricultural purposes." The study's other senior author, Dr John O'Neill of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, said: "Although the clinical relevance of magnesium in various tissues is beginning to garner more attention, how magnesium regulates our body's internal clock and metabolism has simply not been considered before. The new discovery could lead to a whole range of benefits spanning human health to agricultural productivity." Explore further: Ancient body clock discovered that helps to keep all living things on time

Simon G.,Swine Virology Immunology Unit | Larsen L.E.,Technical University of Denmark | Durrwald R.,IDT | Foni E.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dellEmilia Romagna | And 28 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Swine influenza causes concern for global veterinary and public health officials. In continuing two previous networks that initiated the surveillance of swine influenza viruses (SIVs) circulating in European pigs between 2001 and 2008, a third European Surveillance Network for Influenza in Pigs (ESNIP3, 2010-2013) aimed to expand widely the knowledge of the epidemiology of European SIVs. ESNIP3 stimulated programs of harmonized SIV surveillance in European countries and supported the coordination of appropriate diagnostic tools and subtyping methods. Thus, an extensive virological monitoring, mainly conducted through passive surveillance programs, resulted in the examination of more than 9 000 herds in 17 countries. Influenza A viruses were detected in 31% of herds examined from which 1887 viruses were preliminary characterized. The dominating subtypes were the three European enzootic SIVs: avian-like swine H1N1 (53.6%), human-like reassortant swine H1N2 (13%) and human-like reassortant swine H3N2 (9.1%), as well as pandemic A/H1N1 2009 (H1N1pdm) virus (10.3%). Viruses from these four lineages co-circulated in several countries but with very different relative levels of incidence. For instance, the H3N2 subtype was not detected at all in some geographic areas whereas it was still prevalent in other parts of Europe. Interestingly, H3N2-free areas were those that exhibited highest frequencies of circulating H1N2 viruses. H1N1pdm viruses were isolated at an increasing incidence in some countries from 2010 to 2013, indicating that this subtype has become established in the European pig population. Finally, 13.9% of the viruses represented reassortants between these four lineages, especially between previous enzootic SIVs and H1N1pdm. These novel viruses were detected at the same time in several countries, with increasing prevalence. Some of them might become established in pig herds, causing implications for zoonotic infections. © 2014 Simon et al.

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