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London, Canada

The Robarts Research Institute is in London, Ontario, Canada with a staff of more than 600 people. Robarts scientists include physicians and physicists, biologists and biomedical engineers, and the range of diseases they study include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and many forms of cancer. It is also well known for its medical imaging research. Robarts was amalgamated with the University of Western Ontario in July 2007, leaving the Perimeter Institute as the only independent scientific research institution in Canada. Wikipedia.


Feagan B.G.,Robarts Research Institute
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

Oral 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) preparations were intended to avoid the adverse effects of sulfasalazine (SASP) while maintaining its therapeutic benefits. Previously, it was found that 5-ASA drugs in doses of at least 2 g/day, were more effective than placebo but no more effective than SASP for inducing remission in ulcerative colitis. This updated review includes more recent studies and evaluates the efficacy and safety of 5-ASA preparations used for the treatment of mild to moderately active ulcerative colitis. The primary objectives were to assess the efficacy, dose-responsiveness and safety of oral 5-ASA compared to placebo, SASP, or 5-ASA comparators for induction of remission in active ulcerative colitis. A secondary objective of this systematic review was to compare the efficacy and safety of once daily dosing of oral 5-ASA with conventional (two or three times daily) dosing regimens. A computer-assisted literature search for relevant studies (inception to January 20, 2012) was performed using MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library. Review articles and conference proceedings were also searched to identify additional studies. Studies were accepted for analysis if they were randomized controlled clinical trials of parallel design, with a minimum treatment duration of four weeks. Studies of oral 5-ASA therapy for treatment of patients with active ulcerative colitis compared with placebo, SASP or other formulations of 5-ASA were considered for inclusion. Studies that compared once daily 5-ASA treatment with conventional dosing of 5-ASA (two or three times daily) and 5-ASA dose ranging studies were also considered for inclusion. The outcomes of interest were the failure to induce global/clinical remission, global/clinical improvement, endoscopic remission, endoscopic improvement, adherence, adverse events, withdrawals due to adverse events, and withdrawals or exclusions after entry. Trials were separated into five comparison groups: 5-ASA versus placebo, 5-ASA versus sulfasalazine, once daily dosing versus conventional dosing, 5-ASA versus comparator 5-ASA, and 5-ASA dose-ranging. Placebo-controlled trials were subgrouped by dosage. SASP-controlled trials were subgrouped by 5-ASA/SASP mass ratios. Once daily versus conventional dosing studies were subgrouped by formulation. 5-ASA-controlled trials were subgrouped by common 5-ASA comparators (e.g. Asacol, Claversal, Salofalk and Pentasa). Dose-ranging studies were subgrouped by 5-ASA formulation. We calculated the relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for each outcome. Data were analyzed on an intention to treat basis. Forty-eight studies (7776 patients) were included. The majority of included studies were rated as low risk of bias. 5-ASA was significantly superior to placebo with regard to all measured outcome variables. Seventy-two per cent of 5-ASA patients failed to enter clinical remission compared to 85% of placebo patients (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.91). A dose-response trend for 5-ASA was also observed. No statistically significant differences in efficacy were found between 5-ASA and SASP. Fifty-four per cent of 5-ASA patients failed to enter remission compared to 58% of SASP patients (RR 0.90, 95% CI 0.77 to 1.04). No statistically significant differences in efficacy or adherence were found between once daily and conventionally dosed 5-ASA. Forty-two per cent of once daily patients failed to enter clinical remission compared to 44% of conventionally dosed patients (RR 0.95, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.10). Eight per cent of patients dosed once daily failed to adhere to their medication regimen compared to 6% of conventionally dosed patients (RR 1.36, 95% CI 0.64 to 2.86). There does not appear to be any difference in efficacy among the various 5-ASA formulations. Forty-eight per cent of patients in the 5-ASA group failed to enter remission compared to 50% of patients in the 5-ASA comparator group (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.03). A pooled analysis of the ASCEND (I, II and III, n = 1459 patients) studies found no statistically significant difference in clinical improvement between Asacol 4.8 g/day and 2.4 g/day used for the treatment of moderately active ulcerative colitis. Thirty-seven per cent of patients in the 4.8 g/day group failed to improve clinically compared to 41% of patients in the 2.4 g/day group (RR 0.89; 95% CI 0.78 to 1.01). Subgroup analysis indicated that patients with moderate disease may benefit from the higher dose of 4.8 g/day. One study compared (n = 123 patients) Pentasa 4 g/day to 2.25 g/day in patients with moderate disease. Twenty-five per cent of patients in the 4 g/day group failed to improve clinically compared to 57% of patients in the 2.25 g/day group (RR 0.44; 95% CI 0.27 to 0.71). A pooled analysis of two studies comparing MMX mesalamine 4.8 g/day to 2.4 g/day found no statistically significant difference in efficacy (RR 1.03, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.29). 5-ASA was generally safe and common adverse events included flatulence, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, headache and worsening ulcerative colitis. There were no statistically significant differences in the incidence of adverse events between 5-ASA and placebo, once daily and conventionally dosed 5-ASA, 5-ASA and comparator 5-ASA formulation and 5-ASA dose ranging (high dose versus low dose) studies. SASP was not as well tolerated as 5-ASA. Twenty-nine percent of SASP patients experienced an adverse event compared to 15% of 5-ASA patients (RR 0.48, 95% CI 0.37 to 0.63). 5-ASA was superior to placebo and no more effective than SASP. Considering their relative costs, a clinical advantage to using oral 5-ASA in place of SASP appears unlikely. 5-ASA dosed once daily appears to be as efficacious and safe as conventionally dosed 5-ASA. Adherence does not appear to be enhanced by once daily dosing in the clinical trial setting. It is unknown if once daily dosing of 5-ASA improves adherence in a community-based setting. There do not appear to be any differences in efficacy or safety among the various 5-ASA formulations. A daily dosage of 2.4 g appears to be a safe and effective induction therapy for patients with mild to moderately active ulcerative colitis. Patients with moderate disease may benefit from an initial dose of 4.8 g/day.


Feagan B.G.,Robarts Research Institute
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

Oral 5-aminosalicylic (5-ASA) preparations were intended to avoid the adverse effects of sulfasalazine (SASP) while maintaining its therapeutic benefits. Previously, it was found that 5-ASA drugs were more effective than placebo but had a statistically significant therapeutic inferiority relative to SASP. This updated review includes more recent studies and evaluates the effectiveness, dose-responsiveness, and safety of 5-ASA preparations used for maintenance of remission in quiescent ulcerative colitis. The primary objectives were to assess the efficacy, dose-responsiveness and safety of oral 5-ASA compared to placebo, SASP, or 5-ASA comparators for maintenance of remission in quiescent ulcerative colitis. A secondary objective was to compare the efficacy and safety of once daily dosing of oral 5-ASA with conventional (two or three times daily) dosing regimens. A literature search for relevant studies (inception to January 20, 2012) was performed using MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library. Review articles and conference proceedings were also searched to identify additional studies. Studies were accepted for analysis if they were randomized controlled trials with a minimum treatment duration of six months. Studies of oral 5-ASA therapy for treatment of patients with quiescent ulcerative colitis compared with placebo, SASP or other 5-ASA formulations were considered for inclusion. Studies that compared once daily 5-ASA treatment with conventional dosing of 5-ASA and 5-ASA dose ranging studies were also considered for inclusion. The primary outcome was the failure to maintain clinical or endoscopic remission. Secondary outcomes included adherence, adverse events, withdrawals due to adverse events, and withdrawals or exclusions after entry. Trials were separated into five comparison groups: 5-ASA versus placebo, 5-ASA versus sulfasalazine, once daily dosing versus conventional dosing, 5-ASA versus comparator 5-ASA formulation, and 5-ASA dose-ranging. Placebo-controlled trials were subgrouped by dosage. Once daily versus conventional dosing studies were subgrouped by formulation. 5-ASA-controlled trials were subgrouped by common 5-ASA comparators (e.g. Asacol and Salofalk). Dose-ranging studies were subgrouped by 5-ASA formulation. We calculated the relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for each outcome. Data were analyzed on an intention to treat basis. Thirty-eight studies (8127 patients) were included. The majority of included studies were rated as low risk of bias. Eight studies were rated at high risk of bias. Six of these studies were single-blind and two studies were open-label. However, the two open-label studies and four of the single-blind studies utilized investigator performed endoscopy as an endpoint, which may protect against bias. 5-ASA was significantly superior to placebo for maintenance of clinical or endoscopic remission. Forty-one per cent of 5-ASA patients relapsed compared to 58% of placebo patients (7 studies, 1298 patients; RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.62 to 0.77). There was a trend towards greater efficacy with higher doses of 5-ASA with a statistically significant benefit for the 1 to 1.9 g/day (RR 0.65; 95% CI 0.56 to 0.76) and the > 2 g/day subgroups (RR 0.73, 95% CI 0.60 to 0.89). SASP was significantly superior to 5-ASA for maintenance of remission. Forty-eight per cent of 5-ASA patients relapsed compared to 43% of SASP patients (12 studies, 1655 patients; RR 1.14, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.27). A GRADE analysis indicated that the overall quality of the evidence for the primary outcome for the placebo and SASP-controlled studies was high. No statistically significant differences in efficacy or adherence were found between once daily and conventionally dosed 5-ASA. Twenty-nine per cent of once daily patients relapsed over 12 months compared to 31% of conventionally dosed patients (7 studies, 2826 patients; RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.83 to 1.03). Fourteen per cent of patients in the once daily group failed to adhere to their medication regimen compared to 11% of patients in the conventional dosing group (5 studies, 1161 patients; RR 1.21, 95% CI 0.90 to 1.63). There does not appear to be any difference in efficacy among the various 5-ASA formulations. Thirty-eight per cent of patients in the 5-ASA group relapsed compared to 37% of patients in the 5-ASA comparator group (5 studies, 457 patients; RR 1.01, 95% CI 0.80 to 1.28). A pooled analysis of two studies showed no statistically significant difference in efficacy between Balsalazide 6 g and 3 g/day. Twenty-three per cent of patients in the 6 g/day group relapsed compared to 33% of patients in the 3 g/day group (216 patients; RR 0.72; 95% CI 0.46 to 1.13). One study found Balsalazide 4 g to be superior to 2 g/day. Thirty-seven per cent of patients in the 4 g/day Balsalazide group relapsed compared to 55% of patients in the 2 g/day group (133 patients; RR 0.66; 95% CI 0.45 to 0.97). One study found a statistically significant difference between Salofalk granules 3 g and 1.5 g/day. Twenty-five per cent of patients in the Salofalk 3 g/day group relapsed compared to 39% of patients in the 1.5 g/day group (429 patients; RR 0.65; 95% CI 0.49 to 0.86). Common adverse events included flatulence, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, headache, dyspepsia, and nasopharyngitis. There were no statistically significant differences in the incidence of adverse events between 5-ASA and placebo, 5-ASA and SASP, once daily and conventionally dosed 5-ASA, 5-ASA and comparator 5-ASA formulations and 5-ASA dose ranging studies. The trials that compared 5-ASA and SASP may have been biased in favour of SASP because most trials enrolled patients known to be tolerant to SASP which may have minimized SASP-related adverse events. 5-ASA was superior to placebo for maintenance therapy in ulcerative colitis. However, 5-ASA had a statistically significant therapeutic inferiority relative to SASP. Oral 5-ASA administered once daily is as effective and safe as conventional dosing for maintenance of remission in quiescent ulcerative colitis. There does not appear to be any difference in efficacy or safety between the various formulations of 5-ASA. Patients with extensive ulcerative colitis or with frequent relapses may benefit from a higher dose of maintenance therapy. High dose therapy appears to be as safe as low dose and is not associated with a higher incidence of adverse events.


Spence J.D.,Robarts Research Institute
Neurologic Clinics | Year: 2015

With modern intensive medical therapy, the risk of ipsilateral stroke in patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis (ACS) is below the risk of either carotid stenting or endarterectomy. Routine intervention for ACS is therefore not justified; approximately 90% of patients with ACS would be better off with intensive medical therapy. The few who could benefit can be identified by transcranial Doppler embolus detection or features of vulnerable plaque that can be imaged by 3-dimensional ultrasound, MRI or positron emission tomography/computed tomography; some of these methods are still in development. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


This Opinion article outlines the relative paucity and emphasizes the need to enhance our knowledge of how subsets of natural killer T (NKT) cells mediate immune mechanisms of elimination of microbial pathogens at sites of inflammation or infection. To date, most studies of how NKT cell subsets migrate upon antigen stimulation have focused on NKT cell activation in the spleen, lymph nodes (LN) and liver (1). Thus, there currently exists an unmet need to determine the patterns of recirculation and tissue migration of NKT cell subsets and interacting antigen presenting cells (APCs) that occur at relevant mucosal surfaces in several other organs, including the lung, intestine and colon. This article proposes and highlights the benefit of intravital cellular imaging in vivo of type I and type II NKT cell subsets as an important methodology that may enable the visualization of NKT-APC cellular interactions and enhance the application of this methodology to clinical therapy of antimicrobial immunity. © 2015 Delovitch.


Sacks F.M.,Harvard University | Sacks F.M.,Brigham and Womens Hospital | Stanesa M.,Harvard University | Hegele R.A.,Robarts Research Institute
JAMA Internal Medicine | Year: 2014

IMPORTANCE: Recurrent pancreatitis is a potentially fatal complication of severe hypertriglyceridemia. Genetic defects and lifestyle risk factors may render this condition unresponsive to current treatments. OBSERVATIONS: We report this first case of long-term management of intractable near-fatal recurrent pancreatitis secondary to severe hypertriglyceridemia by a novel use of lomitapide, an inhibitor of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein, recently approved for treatment of familial homozygous hypercholesterolemia. The patient had been hospitalized many times for pancreatitis since age 15 years. Her serum triglyceride level averaged 3900 mg/dL while she received therapy with approved lipid drugs. She is homozygous for a coding mutation (P234L) in lipoprotein lipase, leaving her unable to metabolize triglycerides in chylomicrons and very low density lipoproteins (VLDL). Lomitapide reduces the secretion of chylomicrons and VLDL. Lomitapide, which was started when she was 44 years old after near-fatal pancreatitis, lowered her fasting triglyceride level from greater than 3000 mg/dL to a mean (SD) of 903 (870) mg/dL while she received 30 mg/d and to 524 (265) mg/dL while she received 40 mg/d; eliminated chronic abdominal pain; and prevented pancreatitis. However, fatty liver, present before treatment, progressed to steatohepatitis and fibrosis after 12 to 13 years. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Lomitapide prevented pancreatitis in severe intractable hypertriglyceridemia but at a potential long-term cost of hepatotoxicity. Copyright 2014 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

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