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Med. Sci., Volume 12, Issue 1 (March 2024) – 16 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Despite the huge impact that cardiovascular disease has on health worldwide, there remains a paucity of meaningful treatment options in patients that are not amenable to endovascular or surgical intervention. In this study, we undertake a comprehensive review of the current state of research on the extracellular matrix for the treatment of cardiovascular pathologies with a particular emphasis on ischemic heart disease. We discuss in detail the various components of the extracellular matrix and the effect of tissue source material on the effects of the extracellular matrix when used as a treatment for myocardial ischemia. Furthermore, we discuss the current limitations and potential future directions of this field of research. View this paper
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13 pages, 1025 KiB  
Review
Pituitary Adenoma in the Philippines: A Scoping Review on the Treatment Gaps, Challenges, and Current State of Care
by Mykha Marie B. Tabuzo, Mary Angeline Luz U. Hernandez, Annabell E. Chua, Patricia D. Maningat, Harold Henrison C. Chiu and Roland Dominic G. Jamora
Med. Sci. 2024, 12(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci12010016 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 643
Abstract
Background: Pituitary adenomas are benign brain tumors that impose a heavy burden on patients worldwide. The local burden of disease is yet to be established due to scarcity of data. In line with this, this study aims to present the challenges and gaps [...] Read more.
Background: Pituitary adenomas are benign brain tumors that impose a heavy burden on patients worldwide. The local burden of disease is yet to be established due to scarcity of data. In line with this, this study aims to present the challenges and gaps in the treatment of pituitary adenomas in the Philippines. Methods: A scoping review of available relevant literature on epidemiology, clinical experience with treatment, health financing, and healthcare delivery system based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-analysis guidelines extension for Scoping Reviews was conducted. Results: The scarcity of updated local clinical data, inequity of distribution of resources, inadequate government support, and lack of affordable diagnostic testing, medications, and neurosurgical procedures are the factors that hinder provision of adequate care of pituitary adenomas in the Philippines. Conclusion: There are notable treatment gaps in the management of pituitary adenomas in the Philippines, which may be addressed by strengthening universal healthcare. Strategies to address these gaps were proposed, including improving public-private insurance coverage, increasing manpower, enhancing accessibility to resources, and spreading more awareness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases)
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12 pages, 870 KiB  
Article
Survival Analysis of Male Patients with Brain Metastases at Initial Breast Cancer Diagnosis over the Last Decade
by Jorge Avila, Julieta Leone, Carlos T. Vallejo and José P. Leone
Med. Sci. 2024, 12(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci12010015 - 10 Mar 2024
Viewed by 810
Abstract
Breast cancer in men represents approximately 1% of all breast cancer diagnoses. Among all patients with breast cancer, approximately 30% will develop brain metastases. Over the past decade, there have been multiple advances in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer; however, long-term outcomes [...] Read more.
Breast cancer in men represents approximately 1% of all breast cancer diagnoses. Among all patients with breast cancer, approximately 30% will develop brain metastases. Over the past decade, there have been multiple advances in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer; however, long-term outcomes of this presentation in male patients are lacking. We evaluated male patients with de novo stage IV breast cancer using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database from 2010 to 2019. Overall survival (OS) was estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method and differences between groups were compared using log rank tests. In total, 22 male patients with brain metastases at initial breast cancer diagnosis were included. Patients with HR-positive/HER2-negative tumors had the longest OS (median 13 months). Factors associated with shorter overall survival were advanced age, unmarried marital status, lower household income, and grade III disease, among others. Brain metastases remains an unmet medical need for patients with breast cancer; the development of new drugs may provide an improvement in overall survival for male patients in the future. Full article
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12 pages, 293 KiB  
Article
Immunogenetic Background of Chronic Lymphoproliferative Disorders in Romanian Patients—Case Control Study
by Maria Tizu, Bogdan Calenic, Ion Maruntelu, Andreea Mirela Caragea, Adriana Talangescu, Larisa Ursu, Corina Rotarescu, Mariana Surugiu, Alexandra Elena Constantinescu and Ileana Constantinescu
Med. Sci. 2024, 12(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci12010014 - 23 Feb 2024
Viewed by 865
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The implications of the genetic component in the initiation and development of chronic lymphoproliferative disorders have been the subject of intense research efforts. Some of the most important genes involved in the occurrence and evolution of these pathologies are the [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The implications of the genetic component in the initiation and development of chronic lymphoproliferative disorders have been the subject of intense research efforts. Some of the most important genes involved in the occurrence and evolution of these pathologies are the HLA genes. The aim of this study is to analyze, for the first time, possible associations between chronic lymphoproliferative diseases and certain HLA alleles in the Romanian population. Materials and Methods: This study included 38 patients with chronic lymphoproliferative disorders, diagnosed between 2021 and 2022 at Fundeni Clinical Institute, Bucharest, Romania, and 50 healthy controls. HLA class I and class II genes (HLA-A/B/C, HLA-DQB1/DPB1/DRB1) were investigated by doing high resolution genotyping using sequence specific primers (SSP). Results: Several HLA alleles were strongly associated with chronic lymphoproliferative disorders. The most important finding was that the HLA-C*02:02 (p = 0.002, OR = 1.101), and HLA-C*12:02 (p = 0.002, OR = 1.101) have a predisposing role in the development of chronic lymphoproliferative disorders. Moreover, we identified that HLA-A*11:01 (p = 0.01, OR = 0.16), HLA-B*35:02 (p = 0.037, OR = 0.94), HLA-B*81:01 (p = 0.037, OR = 0.94), HLA-C*07:02 (p = 0.036, OR = 0.34), HLA-DRB1*11:01 (p = 0.021, OR = 0.19), and HLA-DRB1*13:02 (p = 0.037, OR = 0.94), alleles have protective roles. Conclusions: Our study indicates that HLA-C*02:02 and HLA-C*12:02 are positively associated with chronic lymphoproliferative disorders for our Romanian patients while HLA-DRB1*11:01, HLA-DRB1*13:02, and HLA-B*35:02 alleles have a protective role against these diseases. Full article
7 pages, 215 KiB  
Brief Report
Association of Cannabis Use Disorder with Major Adverse Cardiac and Cerebrovascular Events in Older Non-Tobacco Users: A Population-Based Analysis
by Avilash Mondal, Sriharsha Dadana, Poojan Parmar, Maneeth Mylavarapu, Qiming Dong, Samia Rauf Butt, Abeera Kali, Bhaswanth Bollu and Rupak Desai
Med. Sci. 2024, 12(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci12010013 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1155
Abstract
Background: Tobacco use disorder (TUD) adversely impacts older patients with established cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. However, CVD risk in chronic habitual cannabis users without the confounding impact of TUD hasn’t been explored. We aimed to determine the risk of major adverse cardiac and [...] Read more.
Background: Tobacco use disorder (TUD) adversely impacts older patients with established cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. However, CVD risk in chronic habitual cannabis users without the confounding impact of TUD hasn’t been explored. We aimed to determine the risk of major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) in older non-tobacco smokers with established CVD risk with vs. without cannabis use disorder (CUD). Methods: We queried the 2019 National Inpatient Sample for hospitalized non-tobacco smokers with established traditional CVD risk factors aged ≥65 years. Relevant ICD-10 codes were used to identify patients with vs. without CUD. Using multivariable logistic regression, we evaluated the odds of MACCE in CUD cohorts compared to non-CUD cohorts. Results: Prevalence of CUD in the sample was 0.3% (28,535/10,708,815, median age 69), predominantly male, black, and non-electively admitted from urban teaching hospitals. Of the older patients with CVD risk with CUD, 13.9% reported MACCE. The CUD cohort reported higher odds of MACCE (OR 1.20, 95% CI 1.11–1.29, p < 0.001) compared to the non-CUD cohort. Comorbidities such as hypertension (OR 1.9) and hyperlipidemia (OR 1.3) predicted a higher risk of MACCE in the CUD cohort. The CUD cohort also had higher unadjusted rates of acute myocardial infarction (7.6% vs. 6%) and stroke (5.2% vs. 4.8%). Conclusions: Among older non tobacco smokers with known CVD risk, chronic cannabis use had a 20% higher likelihood of MACCE compared to those who did not use cannabis. Full article
25 pages, 8632 KiB  
Review
Hereditary Renal Cancer Syndromes
by Grigory A. Yanus, Ekaterina Sh. Kuligina and Evgeny N. Imyanitov
Med. Sci. 2024, 12(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci12010012 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1237
Abstract
Familial kidney tumors represent a rare variety of hereditary cancer syndromes, although systematic gene sequencing studies revealed that as many as 5% of renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) are associated with germline pathogenic variants (PVs). Most instances of RCC predisposition are attributed to the [...] Read more.
Familial kidney tumors represent a rare variety of hereditary cancer syndromes, although systematic gene sequencing studies revealed that as many as 5% of renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) are associated with germline pathogenic variants (PVs). Most instances of RCC predisposition are attributed to the loss-of-function mutations in tumor suppressor genes, which drive the malignant progression via somatic inactivation of the remaining allele. These syndromes almost always have extrarenal manifestations, for example, von Hippel–Lindau (VHL) disease, fumarate hydratase tumor predisposition syndrome (FHTPS), Birt–Hogg–Dubé (BHD) syndrome, tuberous sclerosis (TS), etc. In contrast to the above conditions, hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma syndrome (HPRCC) is caused by activating mutations in the MET oncogene and affects only the kidneys. Recent years have been characterized by remarkable progress in the development of targeted therapies for hereditary RCCs. The HIF2aplha inhibitor belzutifan demonstrated high clinical efficacy towards VHL-associated RCCs. mTOR downregulation provides significant benefits to patients with tuberous sclerosis. MET inhibitors hold promise for the treatment of HPRCC. Systematic gene sequencing studies have the potential to identify novel RCC-predisposing genes, especially when applied to yet unstudied populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Clinical Advances in Kidney Cancer)
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26 pages, 1117 KiB  
Review
Clinical Evidence on the Potential Beneficial Effects of Diet and Dietary Supplements against COVID-19 Infection Risk and Symptoms’ Severity
by Eleni Pavlidou, Efthymios Poulios, Sousana K. Papadopoulou, Aristeidis Fasoulas, Antonios Dakanalis and Constantinos Giaginis
Med. Sci. 2024, 12(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci12010011 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1591
Abstract
Background: Diet and dietary supplements aim to add trace elements, vitamins, and minerals to the body to improve human health and boost the immune system. In the previous few years, the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strain has been threatening the health of individuals and [...] Read more.
Background: Diet and dietary supplements aim to add trace elements, vitamins, and minerals to the body to improve human health and boost the immune system. In the previous few years, the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strain has been threatening the health of individuals and public health more broadly, with rates of intensive care unit cases on the rise, while long-term COVID-19 complications are persisting until today. In the peculiar circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, in combination with disease prevention techniques, the strengthening of the immune system is considered particularly important to enable it to effectively respond to and eliminate the SARS-CoV-2 viral pathogen in the event of infection. The purpose of the current literature review is to thoroughly summarize and critically analyze the current clinical data concerning the potential beneficial effects of diet and dietary supplements against COVID-19 infection risk and symptoms’ severity. The micronutrients/supplements examined in this study in relation to COVID-19 infection are vitamins A, B, C, and D, zinc, selenium, magnesium, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, glutamine, resveratrol, beta-glucans, and probiotics. The potential effects of dietary patterns such as the Mediterranean diet against SARS-CoV-2 infection risk and symptoms’ severity were also analyzed. Our literature review suggests that micro- and macronutrient supplementation and a healthy diet and lifestyle may provide support to immune system function, with beneficial effects both before and during SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, additional studies are recommended to draw safe conclusions and formulate dietary recommendations concerning dietary supplements and their possible effects on preventing and co-treating COVID-19 disease. Full article
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17 pages, 6640 KiB  
Review
Portable Dynamic Chest Radiography: Literature Review and Potential Bedside Applications
by Maurizio Cè, Giancarlo Oliva, Francesca Lucrezia Rabaiotti, Laura Macrì, Sharon Zollo, Alessandro Aquila and Michaela Cellina
Med. Sci. 2024, 12(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci12010010 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1309
Abstract
Dynamic digital radiography (DDR) is a high-resolution radiographic imaging technique using pulsed X-ray emission to acquire a multiframe cine-loop of the target anatomical area. The first DDR technology was orthostatic chest acquisitions, but new portable equipment that can be positioned at the patient’s [...] Read more.
Dynamic digital radiography (DDR) is a high-resolution radiographic imaging technique using pulsed X-ray emission to acquire a multiframe cine-loop of the target anatomical area. The first DDR technology was orthostatic chest acquisitions, but new portable equipment that can be positioned at the patient’s bedside was recently released, significantly expanding its potential applications, particularly in chest examination. It provides anatomical and functional information on the motion of different anatomical structures, such as the lungs, pleura, rib cage, and trachea. Native images can be further analyzed with dedicated post-processing software to extract quantitative parameters, including diaphragm motility, automatically projected lung area and area changing rate, a colorimetric map of the signal value change related to respiration and motility, and lung perfusion. The dynamic diagnostic information along with the significant advantages of this technique in terms of portability, versatility, and cost-effectiveness represents a potential game changer for radiological diagnosis and monitoring at the patient’s bedside. DDR has several applications in daily clinical practice, and in this narrative review, we will focus on chest imaging, which is the main application explored to date in the literature. However, studies are still needed to understand deeply the clinical impact of this method. Full article
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13 pages, 8752 KiB  
Review
Revealing Insights: A Comprehensive Overview of Gastric Outlet Obstruction Management, with Special Emphasis on EUS-Guided Gastroenterostomy
by Dimitrios Ziogas, Thomas Vasilakis, Christina Kapizioni, Eleni Koukoulioti, Georgios Tziatzios, Paraskevas Gkolfakis, Antonio Facciorusso and Ioannis S. Papanikolaou
Med. Sci. 2024, 12(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci12010009 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1491
Abstract
Gastric outlet obstruction (GOO) poses a common and challenging clinical scenario, characterized by mechanical blockage in the pylorus, distal stomach, or duodenum, resulting in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and early satiety. Its diverse etiology encompasses both benign and malignant disorders. [...] Read more.
Gastric outlet obstruction (GOO) poses a common and challenging clinical scenario, characterized by mechanical blockage in the pylorus, distal stomach, or duodenum, resulting in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and early satiety. Its diverse etiology encompasses both benign and malignant disorders. The spectrum of current treatment modalities extends from conservative approaches to more invasive interventions, incorporating procedures like surgical gastroenterostomy (SGE), self-expandable metallic stents (SEMSs) placement, and the advanced technique of endoscopic ultrasound-guided gastroenterostomy (EUS-GE). While surgery is favored for longer life expectancy, stents are preferred in malignant gastric outlet stenosis. The novel EUS-GE technique, employing a lumen-apposing self-expandable metal stent (LAMS), combines the immediate efficacy of stents with the enduring benefits of gastroenterostomy. Despite its promising outcomes, EUS-GE is a technically demanding procedure requiring specialized expertise and facilities. Full article
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28 pages, 3256 KiB  
Review
The Current State of Extracellular Matrix Therapy for Ischemic Heart Disease
by Khaled Hamsho, Mark Broadwin, Christopher R. Stone, Frank W. Sellke and M. Ruhul Abid
Med. Sci. 2024, 12(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci12010008 - 29 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1372
Abstract
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a three-dimensional, acellular network of diverse structural and nonstructural proteins embedded within a gel-like ground substance composed of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans. The ECM serves numerous roles that vary according to the tissue in which it is situated. In [...] Read more.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a three-dimensional, acellular network of diverse structural and nonstructural proteins embedded within a gel-like ground substance composed of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans. The ECM serves numerous roles that vary according to the tissue in which it is situated. In the myocardium, the ECM acts as a collagen-based scaffold that mediates the transmission of contractile signals, provides means for paracrine signaling, and maintains nutritional and immunologic homeostasis. Given this spectrum, it is unsurprising that both the composition and role of the ECM has been found to be modulated in the context of cardiac pathology. Myocardial infarction (MI) provides a familiar example of this; the ECM changes in a way that is characteristic of the progressive phases of post-infarction healing. In recent years, this involvement in infarct pathophysiology has prompted a search for therapeutic targets: if ECM components facilitate healing, then their manipulation may accelerate recovery, or even reverse pre-existing damage. This possibility has been the subject of numerous efforts involving the integration of ECM-based therapies, either derived directly from biologic sources or bioengineered sources, into models of myocardial disease. In this paper, we provide a thorough review of the published literature on the use of the ECM as a novel therapy for ischemic heart disease, with a focus on biologically derived models, of both the whole ECM and the components thereof. Full article
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12 pages, 4370 KiB  
Review
Leukodystrophy Imaging: Insights for Diagnostic Dilemmas
by Rajvi N. Thakkar, Drashti Patel, Ivelina P. Kioutchoukova, Raja Al-Bahou, Pranith Reddy, Devon T. Foster and Brandon Lucke-Wold
Med. Sci. 2024, 12(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci12010007 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1445
Abstract
Leukodystrophies, a group of rare demyelinating disorders, mainly affect the CNS. Clinical presentation of different types of leukodystrophies can be nonspecific, and thus, imaging techniques like MRI can be used for a more definitive diagnosis. These diseases are characterized as cerebral lesions with [...] Read more.
Leukodystrophies, a group of rare demyelinating disorders, mainly affect the CNS. Clinical presentation of different types of leukodystrophies can be nonspecific, and thus, imaging techniques like MRI can be used for a more definitive diagnosis. These diseases are characterized as cerebral lesions with characteristic demyelinating patterns which can be used as differentiating tools. In this review, we talk about these MRI study findings for each leukodystrophy, associated genetics, blood work that can help in differentiation, emerging diagnostics, and a follow-up imaging strategy. The leukodystrophies discussed in this paper include X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, metachromatic leukodystrophy, Krabbe’s disease, Pelizaeus–Merzbacher disease, Alexander’s disease, Canavan disease, and Aicardi–Goutières Syndrome. Full article
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12 pages, 257 KiB  
Review
Techniques and Technologies to Improve Vein Graft Patency in Coronary Surgery
by Marco Gemelli, Mariangela Addonizio, Veronica Geatti, Michele Gallo, Lauren K. Dixon, Mark S. Slaughter and Gino Gerosa
Med. Sci. 2024, 12(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci12010006 - 11 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1355
Abstract
Vein grafts are the most used conduits in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), even though many studies have suggested their lower patency compared to arterial alternatives. We have reviewed the techniques and technologies that have been investigated over the years with the aim [...] Read more.
Vein grafts are the most used conduits in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), even though many studies have suggested their lower patency compared to arterial alternatives. We have reviewed the techniques and technologies that have been investigated over the years with the aim of improving the quality of these conduits. We found that preoperative and postoperative optimal medical therapy and no-touch harvesting techniques have the strongest evidence for optimizing vein graft patency. On the other hand, the use of venous external support, endoscopic harvesting, vein preservation solution and anastomosis, and graft configuration need further investigation. We have also analyzed strategies to treat vein graft failure: when feasible, re-doing the CABG and native vessel primary coronary intervention (PCI) are the best options, followed by percutaneous procedures targeting the failed grafts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiovascular Disease)
34 pages, 6670 KiB  
Review
Predicting Neuroblastoma Patient Risk Groups, Outcomes, and Treatment Response Using Machine Learning Methods: A Review
by Leila Jahangiri
Med. Sci. 2024, 12(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci12010005 - 06 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1751
Abstract
Neuroblastoma, a paediatric malignancy with high rates of cancer-related morbidity and mortality, is of significant interest to the field of paediatric cancers. High-risk NB tumours are usually metastatic and result in survival rates of less than 50%. Machine learning approaches have been applied [...] Read more.
Neuroblastoma, a paediatric malignancy with high rates of cancer-related morbidity and mortality, is of significant interest to the field of paediatric cancers. High-risk NB tumours are usually metastatic and result in survival rates of less than 50%. Machine learning approaches have been applied to various neuroblastoma patient data to retrieve relevant clinical and biological information and develop predictive models. Given this background, this study will catalogue and summarise the literature that has used machine learning and statistical methods to analyse data such as multi-omics, histological sections, and medical images to make clinical predictions. Furthermore, the question will be turned on its head, and the use of machine learning to accurately stratify NB patients by risk groups and to predict outcomes, including survival and treatment response, will be summarised. Overall, this study aims to catalogue and summarise the important work conducted to date on the subject of expression-based predictor models and machine learning in neuroblastoma for risk stratification and patient outcomes including survival, and treatment response which may assist and direct future diagnostic and therapeutic efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer and Cancer-Related Research)
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21 pages, 3478 KiB  
Review
Extracellular Vesicles’ Role in Angiogenesis and Altering Angiogenic Signaling
by Maryam Ateeq, Mark Broadwin, Frank W. Sellke and M. Ruhul Abid
Med. Sci. 2024, 12(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci12010004 - 03 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1544
Abstract
Angiogenesis, the process of new blood vessels formation from existing vasculature, plays a vital role in development, wound healing, and various pathophysiological conditions. In recent years, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have emerged as crucial mediators in intercellular communication and have gained significant attention for [...] Read more.
Angiogenesis, the process of new blood vessels formation from existing vasculature, plays a vital role in development, wound healing, and various pathophysiological conditions. In recent years, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have emerged as crucial mediators in intercellular communication and have gained significant attention for their role in modulating angiogenic processes. This review explores the multifaceted role of EVs in angiogenesis and their capacity to modulate angiogenic signaling pathways. Through comprehensive analysis of a vast body of literature, this review highlights the potential of utilizing EVs as therapeutic tools to modulate angiogenesis for both physiological and pathological purposes. A good understanding of these concepts holds promise for the development of novel therapeutic interventions targeting angiogenesis-related disorders. Full article
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9 pages, 802 KiB  
Article
Machine Learning-Based Predictive Model of Aortic Valve Replacement Modality Selection in Severe Aortic Stenosis Patients
by Ronpichai Chokesuwattanaskul, Aisawan Petchlorlian, Piyoros Lertsanguansinchai, Paramaporn Suttirut, Narut Prasitlumkum, Suphot Srimahachota and Wacin Buddhari
Med. Sci. 2024, 12(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci12010003 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1433
Abstract
The current recommendation for bioprosthetic valve replacement in severe aortic stenosis (AS) is either surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) or transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). We evaluated the performance of a machine learning-based predictive model using existing periprocedural variables for valve replacement modality [...] Read more.
The current recommendation for bioprosthetic valve replacement in severe aortic stenosis (AS) is either surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) or transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). We evaluated the performance of a machine learning-based predictive model using existing periprocedural variables for valve replacement modality selection. We analyzed 415 patients in a retrospective longitudinal cohort of adult patients undergoing aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis. A total of 72 clinical variables including demographic data, patient comorbidities, and preoperative investigation characteristics were collected on each patient. We fit models using LASSO (least absolute shrinkage and selection operator) and decision tree techniques. The accuracy of the prediction on confusion matrix was used to assess model performance. The most predictive independent variable for valve selection by LASSO regression was frailty score. Variables that predict SAVR consisted of low frailty score (value at or below 2) and complex coronary artery diseases (DVD/TVD). Variables that predicted TAVR consisted of high frailty score (at or greater than 6), history of coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG), calcified aorta, and chronic kidney disease (CKD). The LASSO-generated predictive model achieved 98% accuracy on valve replacement modality selection from testing data. The decision tree model consisted of fewer important parameters, namely frailty score, CKD, STS score, age, and history of PCI. The most predictive factor for valve replacement selection was frailty score. The predictive models using different statistical learning methods achieved an excellent concordance predictive accuracy rate of between 93% and 98%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiovascular Disease)
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16 pages, 671 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Sleep Quality: Assessing the Efficacy of a Fixed Combination of Linden, Hawthorn, Vitamin B1, and Melatonin
by Matteo De Simone, Rosario De Feo, Anis Choucha, Elena Ciaglia and Francis Fezeu
Med. Sci. 2024, 12(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci12010002 - 28 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1882
Abstract
Sleep is essential for overall health, yet various sleep disorders disrupt normal sleep patterns, affecting duration, quality, and timing. This pilot study investigate the impact of a food supplement (SPINOFF®) on both sleep quality and mental well-being in 41 participants (mean [...] Read more.
Sleep is essential for overall health, yet various sleep disorders disrupt normal sleep patterns, affecting duration, quality, and timing. This pilot study investigate the impact of a food supplement (SPINOFF®) on both sleep quality and mental well-being in 41 participants (mean age: 45.3 years). Initial assessments revealed sleep disturbances (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index—PSQ—mean score: 8.2) and insomnia symptoms (Insomnia Severity Index—ISI— mean score: 12.7). Mental health assessments showed psychological distress (Dass-21 Depression mean score: 4.2, Anxiety mean score: 6.9, Stress mean score: 11.6, Total mean score: 22.7). This study assessed sleep continuity using Awakenings per Night (ApN) via a smartwatch (HELO HEALTH®) and conducted the study in two phases: baseline (T0) and after 30 days of treatment (T1) (Phase A). No placebo-control was used in this study. After 30 days (Phase B), 21 patients were selected for reassessment. Eleven continued treatment for another 30 days (T2), while ten discontinued. Following the intervention, we observed remarkable improvements in sleep quality and mental distress. The SPINOFF® supplement significantly reduced the PSQI scores (22.4%), indicating enhanced sleep quality. Additionally, there was a 19.6% decrease in ISI scores, demonstrating a reduction in insomnia symptoms. Moreover, overall psychological distress decreased by 19.5% signifying improved psychological well-being. In the second phase, participants who continued treatment experienced more substantial improvements, with a mean decrease of 0.8 points in PSQI scores (±0.9) and a mean decrease of 0.9 points in ISI scores. Our findings suggest that the SPINOFF® supplement has the potential to effectively address both sleep disturbances and psychological distress in our study population. Full article
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22 pages, 813 KiB  
Review
Novel Therapies in Glioblastoma Treatment: Review of Glioblastoma; Current Treatment Options; and Novel Oncolytic Viral Therapies
by Siddharth Shah
Med. Sci. 2024, 12(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci12010001 - 23 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2075
Abstract
One of the most prevalent primary malignant brain tumors is glioblastoma (GB). About 6 incidents per 100,000 people are reported annually. Most frequently, these tumors are linked to a poor prognosis and poor quality of life. There has been little advancement in the [...] Read more.
One of the most prevalent primary malignant brain tumors is glioblastoma (GB). About 6 incidents per 100,000 people are reported annually. Most frequently, these tumors are linked to a poor prognosis and poor quality of life. There has been little advancement in the treatment of GB. In recent years, some innovative medicines have been tested for the treatment of newly diagnosed cases of GB and recurrent cases of GB. Surgery, radiotherapy, and alkylating chemotherapy are all common treatments for GB. A few of the potential alternatives include immunotherapy, tumor-treating fields (TTFs), and medications that target specific cellular receptors. To provide new multimodal therapies that focus on the molecular pathways implicated in tumor initiation and progression in GB, novel medications, delivery technologies, and immunotherapy approaches are being researched. Of these, oncolytic viruses (OVs) are among the most recent. Coupling OVs with certain modern treatment approaches may have significant benefits for GB patients. Here, we discuss several OVs and how they work in conjunction with other therapies, as well as virotherapy for GB. The study was based on the PRISMA guidelines. Systematic retrieval of information was performed on PubMed. A total of 307 articles were found in a search on oncolytic viral therapies for glioblastoma. Out of these 83 articles were meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials, reviews, and systematic reviews. A total of 42 articles were from the years 2018 to 2023. Appropriate studies were isolated, and important information from each of them was understood and entered into a database from which the information was used in this article. One of the most prevalent malignant brain tumors is still GB. Significant promise and opportunity exist for oncolytic viruses in the treatment of GB and in boosting immune response. Making the most of OVs in the treatment of GB requires careful consideration and evaluation of a number of its application factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Tumor Microenvironment)
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