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1.
EPMA J ; : 1-20, 2022 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1797482

ABSTRACT

Breast cancer incidence is actually the highest one among all cancers. Overall breast cancer management is associated with challenges considering risk assessment and predictive diagnostics, targeted prevention of metastatic disease, appropriate treatment options, and cost-effectiveness of approaches applied. Accumulated research evidence indicates promising anti-cancer effects of phytochemicals protecting cells against malignant transformation, inhibiting carcinogenesis and metastatic spread, supporting immune system and increasing effectiveness of conventional anti-cancer therapies, among others. Molecular and sub-/cellular mechanisms are highly complex affecting several pathways considered potent targets for advanced diagnostics and cost-effective treatments. Demonstrated anti-cancer affects, therefore, are clinically relevant for improving individual outcomes and might be applicable to the primary (protection against initial cancer development), secondary (protection against potential metastatic disease development), and tertiary (towards cascading complications) care. However, a detailed data analysis is essential to adapt treatment algorithms to individuals' and patients' needs. Consequently, advanced concepts of patient stratification, predictive diagnostics, targeted prevention, and treatments tailored to the individualized patient profile are instrumental for the cost-effective application of natural anti-cancer substances to improve overall breast cancer management benefiting affected individuals and the society at large.

2.
EPMA J ; : 1-29, 2021 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588706

ABSTRACT

Homocysteine (Hcy) metabolism is crucial for regulating methionine availability, protein homeostasis, and DNA-methylation presenting, therefore, key pathways in post-genomic and epigenetic regulation mechanisms. Consequently, impaired Hcy metabolism leading to elevated concentrations of Hcy in the blood plasma (hyperhomocysteinemia) is linked to the overproduction of free radicals, induced oxidative stress, mitochondrial impairments, systemic inflammation and increased risks of eye disorders, coronary artery diseases, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, thrombotic events, cancer development and progression, osteoporosis, neurodegenerative disorders, pregnancy complications, delayed healing processes, and poor COVID-19 outcomes, among others. This review focuses on the homocysteine metabolism impairments relevant for various pathological conditions. Innovative strategies in the framework of 3P medicine consider Hcy metabolic pathways as the specific target for in vitro diagnostics, predictive medical approaches, cost-effective preventive measures, and optimized treatments tailored to the individualized patient profiles in primary, secondary, and tertiary care.

3.
EPMA J ; 12(3): 307-324, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1544595

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is rapidly spreading worldwide. Drug therapy is one of the major treatments, but contradictory results of clinical trials have been reported among different individuals. Furthermore, comprehensive analysis of personalized pharmacotherapy is still lacking. In this study, analyses were performed on 47 well-characterized COVID-19 drugs used in the personalized treatment of COVID-19. METHODS: Clinical trials with published results of drugs use for COVID-19 treatment were collected to evaluate drug efficacy. Drug-to-Drug Interactions (DDIs) were summarized and classified. Functional variations in actionable pharmacogenes were collected and systematically analysed. "Gene Score" and "Drug Score" were defined and calculated to systematically analyse ethnicity-based genetic differences, which are important for the safer use of COVID-19 drugs. RESULTS: Our results indicated that four antiviral agents (ritonavir, darunavir, daclatasvir and sofosbuvir) and three immune regulators (budesonide, colchicine and prednisone) as well as heparin and enalapril could generate the highest number of DDIs with common concomitantly utilized drugs. Eight drugs (ritonavir, daclatasvir, sofosbuvir, ribavirin, interferon alpha-2b, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and ceftriaxone had actionable pharmacogenomics (PGx) biomarkers among all ethnic groups. Fourteen drugs (ritonavir, daclatasvir, prednisone, dexamethasone, ribavirin, HCQ, ceftriaxone, zinc, interferon beta-1a, remdesivir, levofloxacin, lopinavir, human immunoglobulin G and losartan) showed significantly different pharmacogenomic characteristics in relation to the ethnic origin of the patient. CONCLUSION: We recommend that particularly for patients with comorbidities to avoid serious DDIs, the predictive, preventive, and personalized medicine (PPPM, 3 PM) strategies have to be applied for COVID-19 treatment, and genetic tests should be performed for drugs with actionable pharmacogenes, especially in some ethnic groups with a higher frequency of functional variations, as our analysis showed. We also suggest that drugs associated with higher ethnic genetic differences should be given priority in future pharmacogenetic studies for COVID-19 management. To facilitate translation of our results into clinical practice, an approach conform with PPPM/3 PM principles was suggested. In summary, the proposed PPPM/3 PM attitude should be obligatory considered for the overall COVID-19 management. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s13167-021-00247-0.

4.
EPMA J ; 12(2): 177-197, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1300539

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Ginseng, a traditional herbal medicine, has been used for thousands of years to treat various diseases including metabolic syndrome (MS). However, the underlying mechanism(s) of such beneficial actions of ginseng against MS is poorly understood. Emerging evidence indicates a close association of the host gut microbiota with MS. The present study was conducted to examine, whether the beneficial effects of Korean red ginseng (KRG) against MS could be influenced by gut microbial population and whether gut microbial profile could be considered a valuable biomarker for targeted treatment strategy for MS in compliance with the predictive, preventive, and personalized medicine (PPPM / 3PM). METHODS: This clinical study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluating the effects of KRG treatment for 8 weeks on patients with MS. The anthropometric parameters, vital signs, metabolic biomarkers, and gut microbial composition through 16S rRNA gene sequencing were assessed at the baseline and endpoint. The impact of KRG was also evaluated after categorizing the subjects into responders and non-responders, as well as enterotypes 1 and 2 based on their gut microbial profile at the baseline. RESULTS: Fifty out of 60 subjects who meet the MS criteria completed the trial without showing adverse reactions. The KRG treatment caused a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure (SBP). Microbial analysis revealed a decrease in Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and an increase in Bacteroidetes in response to KRG. In patient stratification analysis, the responders showing marked improvement in the serum levels of lipid metabolic biomarkers TC and LDL due to the KRG treatment exhibited higher population of both the family Lachnospiraceae and order Clostridiales compared to the non-responders. The homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and insulin level were decreased in enterotype 1 (Bacteroides-abundant group) and increased in enterotype 2 (prevotella-abundant group) following the KRG treatment. CONCLUSION: In this study, the effects of KRG on the glucose metabolism in MS patients were influenced by the relative abundances of gut microbial population and differed according to the individual enterotype. Therefore, the analysis of enterotype categories is considered to be helpful in predicting the effectiveness of KRG on glucose homeostasis of MS patients individually. This will further help to decide on the appropriate treatment strategy for MS, in compliance with the perspective of PPPM.

5.
EPMA J ; 12(1): 41-55, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1227927

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/AIMS: The papillomacular bundle (PMB) area is an important anatomical site associated with central vision. As preventive medicine and health screening examinations are now becoming commonplace, the incidental detection of papillomacular bundle defect (PMBD) on fundus photography has been increasing. However, clinical significance of incidental PMBD has not been well documented to date. Thus, through long-term and longitudinal observation, we aimed to investigate the risk factors for the development and progression of PMBD and its predictive role associated with systemic diseases and glaucoma. METHODS: This longitudinal study included subjects who had undergone standardized health screening. We retrospectively reviewed patients for whom PMBD had been detected in fundus photography and followed up for more than 5 years. For a comparative analysis, non-PMBD groups of age- and gender-matched healthy controls were selected. RESULTS: A total of about 67,000 fundus photographs were analyzed for 8.0 years, and 587 PMBD eyes were found. Among them, 234 eyes of 234 patients who had had fundus photographs taken for more than 5 years were finally included. A total of 216 eyes (92.3%) did not progress during the 8.1 ± 2.7 years, whereas 18 eyes (7.7%) showed progression at 7.6 ± 2.9 years after initial detection. A multivariate logistic regression analysis using 224 non-PMBD healthy controls revealed low body mass index (BMI < 20 kg/m2), systemic hypertension, and sclerotic changes of retinal artery as the significant risk factors for the development of PMBD. Regarding PMBD progression, low BMI, concomitant retinal nerve fiber layer defect (RNFLD) at non-PMB sites, optic disc hemorrhage, and higher vertical cup/disc ratio were individual significant risk factors. CONCLUSION: PMBD is associated with ischemic effects. Although the majority of PMBD do not progress, some of cases are associated with glaucomatous damage in a long-term way. PMBD might be a personalized indicator representing ischemia-associated diseases and a predictive factor for diagnosis and preventive management of glaucoma.

6.
EPMA J ; : 1-14, 2021 Mar 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1227926

ABSTRACT

Chronic liver disease management is a comprehensive approach requiring multi-professional expertise and well-orchestrated healthcare measures thoroughly organized by responsible medical units. Contextually, the corresponding multi-faceted chain of healthcare events is likely to be severely disturbed or even temporarily broken under the force majeure conditions such as global pandemics. Consequently, the chronic liver disease is highly representative for the management of any severe chronic disorder under lasting pandemics with unprecedented numbers of acutely diseased persons who, together with the chronically sick patient cohorts, have to be treated using the given capacity of healthcare systems with their limited resources. Current study aimed at exploring potentially negative impacts of the SARS CoV-2 outbreak on the quality of the advanced chronic liver disease (ACLD) management considering two well-classified parameters, namely, (1) the continuity of the patient registrations and (2) the level of mortality rates, comparing pre-COVID-19 statistics with these under the current pandemic in Slovak Republic. Altogether 1091 registrations to cirrhosis registry (with 60.8% versus 39.2% males to females ratio) were included with a median age of 57 years for patients under consideration. Already within the very first 3 months of the pandemic outbreak in Slovakia (lockdown declared from March 16, 2020, until May 20, 2020), the continuity of the patient registrations has been broken followed by significantly increased ACLD-related death rates. During this period of time, the total number of new registrations decreased by about 60% (15 registrations in 2020 versus 38 in 2018 and 38 in 2019). Corresponding mortality increased by about 52% (23 deaths in 2020 versus 10 in 2018 and 12 in 2019). Based on these results and in line with the framework of 3PM guidelines, the pandemic priority pathways (PPP) are strongly recommended for maintaining tertiary care uninterrupted. For the evidence-based implementation of PPP, creation of predictive algorithms and individualized care strategy tailored to the patient is essential. Resulting classification of measures is summarized as follows:The Green PPP Line is reserved for prioritized (urgent and comprehensive) treatment of patients at highest risk to die from ACLD (tertiary care) as compared to the risk from possible COVID-19 infection.The Orange PPP Line considers patients at middle risk of adverse outcomes from ACLD with re-addressing them to the secondary care. As further deterioration of ACLD is still probable, pro-active management is ascertained with tertiary center serving as the 24/7 telemedicine consultation hub for a secondary facility (on a physician-physician level).The Red PPP Line is related to the patients at low risk to die from ACLD, re-addressing them to the primary care. Since patients with stable chronic liver diseases without advanced fibrosis are at trivial inherent risk, they should be kept out of the healthcare setting as far as possible by the telemedical (patient-nurse or patient- physician) measurements. The assigned priority has to be monitored and re-evaluated individually-in intervals based on the baseline prognostic score such as MELD. The approach is conform with principles of predictive, preventive and personalized medicine (PPPM / 3PM) and demonstrates a potential of great clinical utility for an optimal management of any severe chronic disorder (cardiovascular, neurological and cancer) under lasting pandemics.

7.
EPMA J ; 11(2): 289-309, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1086691

ABSTRACT

RELEVANCE: Ivermectin, as an old anti-parasite drug, can suppress almost completely the growth of various human cancers, including ovarian cancer (OC). However, its anticancer mechanism remained to be further studied at the molecular levels. Ivermectin-related molecule-panel changes will serve a useful tool for its personalized drug therapy and prognostic assessment in OCs. PURPOSE: To explore the functional significance of ivermectin-mediated lncRNA-EIF4A3-mRNA axes in OCs and ivermectin-related molecule-panel for its personalized drug therapy monitoring. METHODS: Based on our previous study, a total of 16 lncRNA expression patterns were analyzed using qRT-PCR before and after ivermectin-treated different OC cell lines (TOV-21G and A2780). Stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC)-based quantitative proteomics was used to analyze the protein expressions of EIF4A3 and EIF4A3-binding mRNAs in ovarian cancer cells treated with and without ivermectin. A total of 411 OC patients from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database with the selected lncRNA expressions and the corresponding clinical data were included. Lasso regression was constructed to examine the relationship between lncRNA signature and OC survival risk. The overall survival analysis between high-risk and low-risk groups used the Kaplan-Meier method. Heatmap showed the correlation between risk groups and clinical characteristics. The univariate and multivariate models were established with Cox regression. RESULTS: SILAC-based quantitative proteomics found the protein expression levels of EIF4A3 and 116 EIF4A3-binding mRNAs were inhibited by ivermectin in OC cells. Among the analyzed 16 lncRNAs (HCG15, KIF9-AS1, PDCD4-AS1, ZNF674-AS1, ZNRF3-AS1, SOS1-IT1, LINC00565, SNHG3, PLCH1-AS1, WWTR1-AS1, LINC00517, AL109767.1, STARD13-IT1, LBX2-AS1, LEMD1-AS1, and HOXC-AS3), only 7 lncRNAs (HCG15, KIF9-AS1, PDCD4-AS1, ZNF674-AS1, ZNRF3-AS1, SOS1-IT1, and LINC00565) were obtained for further lasso regression when combined with the results of drug testing and overall survival analysis. Lasso regression identified the prognostic model of ivermectin-related three-lncRNA signature (ZNRF3-AS1, SOS1-IT1, and LINC00565). The high-risk and low-risk groups based on the prognostic model were significantly related to overall survival and clinicopathologic characteristics (survival status, lymphatic invasion, cancer status, and clinical stage) in OC patients and remained independent risk factors according to multivariate COX analysis (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Those findings provided the potential targeted lncRNA-EIF4A3-mRNA pathways of ivermectin in OC, and constructed the effective prognostic model, which benefits discovery of novel mechanism of ivermectin to suppress ovarian cancer cells, and the ivermectin-related molecule-panel changes benefit for its personalized drug therapy and prognostic assessment towards its predictive, preventive, and personalized medicine (PPPM) in OCs.

8.
EPMA J ; 11(2): 139-145, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1084756

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Changes in platelet count are common in COVID-19 patients. The platelet count reflects the thrombocyte turnover, acting as a sensitive indicator of illness severity that is of great clinical utility to monitor a quickly changing health condition of patients affected by aggressive viral infections. This study aims to investigate the significance of platelet count during the progression of the disease in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: A total of 532 COVID-19 patients were involved in the cohort study from the First People's Hospital of Jiangxia District in Wuhan from January 7, 2020, to February 28, 2020. We collected the clinical characteristics and laboratory data of patients. Patients still hospitalized before February 29, 2020, died on admission, with malignant tumors, previous gastrointestinal surgery, missing baseline platelet count, or platelet count detected only once, were excluded. We used a generalized additive model and generalized additive mixed model to compare trends in platelet count over time among survivors and non-survivors, with an adjustment for potential confounders. RESULTS: During the follow-up, twenty-nine subjects died (mortality rate, 5.45%). The platelets among non-survivors decreased and among survivors increased gradually within 1 week after admission. In addition, the difference between the two groups showed an increasing trend during 1 week after admission. This difference increased by an average of 5.3 × 10^9/L daily. CONCLUSIONS: In the early stage, platelet count can dynamically reflect the pathophysiological changes in COVID-19 patients. Early decrease in platelet count was associated with mortality in patients with COVID-19. Causality, however, cannot be deduced from our data.

9.
EPMA J ; 11(4): 581-601, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-932654

ABSTRACT

The long evolutionary battle between humans and pathogens has played an important role in shaping the current network of host-pathogen interactions. Each organ brings new challenges from the perspective of a pathogen to establish a suitable niche for survival while subverting the protective mechanisms of the host. Lungs, the organ for oxygen exchange, have been an easy target for pathogens due to its accessibility. The organ has evolved diverse capabilities to provide the flexibility required for an organism's health and at the same time maintain protective functionality to prevent and resolve assault by pathogens. The pathogenic invasions are strongly challenged by healthy lung architecture which includes the presence and activity of the epithelium, mucous, antimicrobial proteins, surfactants, and immune cells. Competitively, the pathogens in the form of viruses, bacteria, and fungi have evolved an arsenal of strategies that can over-ride the host's protective mechanisms. While bacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) can survive in dormant form for years before getting active in humans, novel pathogens can wreak havoc as they pose a high risk of morbidity and mortality in a very short duration of time. Recently, a coronavirus strain SARS-CoV-2 has caused a pandemic which provides us an opportunity to look at the host manipulative strategies used by respiratory pathogens. Their ability to hide, modify, evade, and exploit cell's processes are key to their survival. While pathogens like M. tuberculosis have been infecting humans for thousands of years, SARS-CoV-2 has been the cause of the recent pandemic. Molecular understanding of the strategies used by these pathogens could greatly serve in design of predictive, preventive, personalized medicine (PPPM). In this article, we have emphasized on the clinically relevant evasive strategies of the pathogens in the lungs with emphasis on M. tuberculosis and SARS-CoV-2. The molecular basis of these evasive strategies illuminated through advances in genomics, cell, and structural biology can assist in the mapping of vulnerable molecular networks which can be exploited translationally. These evolutionary approaches can further assist in generating screening and therapeutic options for susceptible populations and could be a promising approach for the prediction, prevention of disease, and the development of personalized medicines. Further, tailoring the clinical data of COVID-19 patients with their physiological responses in light of known host-respiratory pathogen interactions can provide opportunities to improve patient profiling and stratification according to identified therapeutic targets.

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