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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Gennery A.R.,Newcastle General Hospital
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology | Year: 2010

Abstract Several DNA repair pathways have evolved to recognise and repair DNA damaged by exogenous and endogenous agents, in order to maintain genomic integrity. Defects in these pathways can lead to replication errors, loss or rearrangement of genomic material, mutation or cancer and eventual death. The creation of many diverse lymphocyte receptors to identify potential pathogens has evolved by breaking and randomly resorting the gene segments coding for antigen receptors. Subsequent steps utilise the ubiquitous repair proteins. Individuals with defective repair pathways are increasingly recognised with immunodeficiency, many of whom exhibit radiosensitivity. Our understanding of the role of repair proteins in the development of adaptive immunity by VDJ recombination, antibody isotype class switching and affinity maturation by somatic hyper-mutation has made significant progress over the last few years, partly by the identification of new genes involved in human disease. We describe the mechanisms involved in the development of adaptive immunity relating to DNA repair and describe the clinical consequences and treatment developments of primary immunodeficiency resulting from such defects. © 2010 Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media.

Mitchell P.,Newcastle General Hospital
British Journal of Neurosurgery | Year: 2010

In science, when a prevailing model does not fit reality the model is changed to fit better. The process is often accompanied by noisy attempts from some quarters to change reality to fit the model. So it is with randomised trials in surgery, the letter of Helmy et al.1 being an example. The randomised model used in drug trials does not fit surgery well for several well-rehearsed reasons2, a significant point of poor fit being the question of equipoise. © 2010 The Neurosurgical Foundation.

Jaiser S.R.,Newcastle General Hospital | Winston G.P.,National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery
Journal of Neurology | Year: 2010

Acquired copper deficiency has been recognised as a rare cause of anaemia and neutropenia for over half a century. Copper deficiency myelopathy (CDM) was only described within the last decade, and represents a treatable cause of non-compressive myelopathy which closely mimics subacute combined degeneration due to vitamin B12 deficiency. Here, 55 case reports from the literature are reviewed regarding their demographics, aetiology, haematological and biochemical parameters, spinal imaging, treatment and outcome. The pathophysiology of disorders of copper metabolism is discussed. CDM most frequently presented in the fifth and sixth decades and was more common in women (F:M = 3.6:1). Risk factors included previous upper gastrointestinal surgery, zinc overload and malabsorption syndromes, all of which impair copper absorption in the upper gastrointestinal tract. No aetiology was established in 20% of cases. High zinc levels were detected in some cases not considered to have primary zinc overload, and in this situation the contribution of zinc to the copper deficiency state remained unclear. Cytopenias were found in 78%, particularly anaemia, and a myelodysplastic syndrome may have been falsely diagnosed in the past. Spinal MRI was abnormal in 47% and usually showed high T2 signal in the posterior cervical and thoracic cord. In a clinically compatible case, CDM may be suggested by the presence of one or more risk factors and/or cytopenias. Low serum copper and caeruloplasmin levels confirmed the diagnosis and, in contrast to Wilson's disease, urinary copper levels were typically low. Treatment comprised copper supplementation and modification of any risk factors, and led to haematological normalisation and neurological improvement or stabilisation. Since any neurological recovery was partial and case numbers of CDM will continue to rise with the growing use of bariatric gastrointestinal surgery, clinical vigilance will remain the key to minimising neurological sequelae. Recommendations for treatment and prevention are made. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Shabbir F.,Newcastle General Hospital
Dental update | Year: 2011

The oral cavity is an uncommon site for a true lipoma. A distinct histological variant is chondrolipoma, which is a rare oral lesion. A case of chondrolipoma in a 71-year-old male is reported and histology and differential diagnosis are discussed. Clinical Relevance: An oral lump is a common presenting complaint and requires further investigation.

Ford H.E.R.,University of Cambridge | Marshall A.,Warwick Clinical Trials Unit | Bridgewater J.A.,University College London | Janowitz T.,University of Cambridge | And 14 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2014

Background: Second-line chemotherapy for patients with oesophagogastric adenocarcinoma refractory to platinum and fluoropyrimidines has not shown benefits in health-related quality of life (HRQoL). We assessed whether the addition of docetaxel to active symptom control alone can improve survival and HRQoL for patients. Methods: For this open-labelled, multicentre trial, we recruited patients aged 18 years or older from 30 UK centres. Patients were eligible if they had an advanced, histologically confirmed adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus, oesophagogastric junction, or stomach that had progressed on or within 6 months of treatment with a platinum-fluoropyrimidine combination. Patients could have an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2. We randomly assigned patients using a central, computerised minimisation procedure to receive docetaxel plus active symptom control, or active symptom control alone (1:1; stratified by disease status, disease site, duration of response to previous chemotherapy, and performance status). Docetaxel was given at a dose of 75 mg/m2 by intravenous infusion every 3 weeks for up to six cycles. The primary endpoint was overall survival, analysed by intention to treat. This is the report of the planned final analysis. This study is an International Standardised Randomised Controlled Trial, number ISRCTN13366390. Findings: Between April 21, 2008, and April 26, 2012, we recruited 168 patients, allocating 84 to each treatment group. After a median follow-up of 12 months [IQR 10-21]) and 161 (96%) deaths (80 in the docetaxel group, 81 in the active symptom control group), median overall survival in the docetaxel group was 5·2 months (95% CI 4·1-5·9) versus 3·6 months (3·3-4·4) in the active symptom control group (hazard ratio 0·67, 95% CI 0·49-0·92; p=0·01). Docetaxel was associated with higher incidence of grade 3-4 neutropenia (12 [15%] patients vs no patients), infection (15 [19%] patients vs two [3%] patients), and febrile neutropenia (six [7%] patients vs no patients). Patients receiving docetaxel reported less pain (p=0·0008) and less nausea and vomiting (p=0·02) and constipation (p=0·02). Global HRQoL was similar between the groups (p=0·53). Disease specific HRQoL measures also showed benefits for docetaxel in reducing dysphagia (p=0·02) and abdominal pain (p=0·01). Interpretation: Our findings suggest that docetaxel can be recommended as an appropriate second-line treatment for patients with oesophagogastric adenocarcinoma that is refractory to treatment with platinum and fluoropyrimidine. Funding: Cancer Research UK. © 2014 Ford et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY.

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