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Sarcoidois is an inflammatory disease of unknown origin characterized by the abnormal accumulation of noncaseating granulomas at sites of disease activity in multiple organs throughout the body with a predilection for the lungs. Because the exact trigger that leads to disease activity is still under investigation, current treatment options are contingent on the organ or organs affected. Corticosteroids are the therapy of choice, but antimalarials and TNF-α antagonists are also commonly prescribed. Recent findings provide evidence for the use of CD20 B-cell-depleting therapy as an alternative method of choice. However, because sarcoidosis is predominantly a T-helper cell-driven disorder, an overwhelming amount of compelling evidence exists for the use of CD4(+) T-cell targeted therapy.
BACKGROUND - Based on results of clinical trials, inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are the most-effective controller medications for preventing asthma-related exacerbations, yet few studies in real-life populations have evaluated the comparative effectiveness of ICS.
OBJECTIVE - To determine the likelihood of asthma exacerbations among children with asthma after initiation of controller medications: ICS, leukotriene antagonists (LTRA), and ICS-long-acting β-agonist (LABA) combination therapy.
METHODS - This was a retrospective cohort study of subjects who were part of the Population-Based Effectiveness in Asthma and Lung Diseases Network. We conducted Cox regression analyses by adjusting for baseline covariates, adherence by using proportion of days covered, and high-dimensional propensity scores. The main outcome measurements were emergency department visits, hospitalizations, or oral corticosteroid use.
RESULTS - Our population included 15,567 health plan subjects and 10,624 TennCare Medicaid subjects with uncontrolled asthma. Overall adherence to controller medications was low, with no more than 50% of the subjects refilling the medication after the initial fill. For subjects with allergic rhinitis, the subjects in TennCare Medicaid treated with LTRAs were less likely to experience ED visits (hazard ratio 0.44 [95% CI, 0.21-0.93]) compared with the subjects treated with ICS. For all other groups, the subjects treated with LTRA or ICS-LABA were just as likely to experience ED visits or hospitalizations, or need oral corticosteroids as the subjects treated with ICS.
CONCLUSION - Risks of asthma-related exacerbations did not differ between children who initiated LTRA and ICS. These findings may be explainable by LTRA, which has similar effectiveness as ICS in real-life usage by residual confounding by indication or other unmeasured factors.
Copyright © 2014 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Second-line therapy for corticosteroid-refractory or -dependent acute graft-versus-host disease remains ill-defined, due to limited efficacy of drugs and evolving clinical trial endpoints. Six-month freedom from treatment failure has been proposed as a novel clinical trial endpoint and is defined by the absence of death, malignancy relapse/progression, or addition of a next line of systemic immunosuppressive therapy within 6 months of intervention and prior to diagnosis of chronic graft-versus-host disease. We analyzed the 6-month freedom from treatment failure endpoint in 128 patients enrolled from three centers who were treated with extracorporeal photopheresis as second-line therapy for acute graft-versus-host disease. The incidence of 6-month freedom from treatment failure was 77.3% with a 2-year survival rate of 56%. Corticosteroid dose or response status at onset of second-line therapy did not influence outcome. Higher grade of acute graft-versus-host disease (grade 2 versus grades 3-4) at onset of photopheresis predicted for poor outcome as measured by survival (hazard ratio 2.78, P<0.001), non-relapse mortality (hazard ratio 2.78, P=0.001) and 6-month freedom from treatment failure (hazard ratio 3.05, P<0.001). For the 91 patients who achieved 6-month freedom from treatment failure, 1-year, 2-year and 3-year survival rates were 78.9%, 70.8% and 69.5%, respectively. Six-month freedom from treatment failure is a reasonable early surrogate for outcome and should be considered as a clinical trial endpoint. This study demonstrates the durable effect of photopheresis as second-line therapy for corticosteroid-refractory or -dependent acute graft-versus-host disease using 6-month freedom from treatment failure as the primary endpoint.
Copyright© Ferrata Storti Foundation.
The optimal therapy for steroid-refractory (SR) acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is undefined. We studied patients with SR aGVHD, comparing extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP; n = 57) and anticytokine therapy (n = 41). In multivariate analyses, ECP, adjusted for steroid dose (odds ratio, 3.42; P = .007), and grade >II aGVHD (odds ratio, 68; P < .001) were independent predictors of response. ECP therapy, adjusted for conditioning regimen intensity and steroid dose, was associated with superior survival (hazard ratio [HR], 4.6; P = .016) in patients with SR grade II aGVHD. Grade >II aGVHD at onset of salvage therapy (HR, 9.4; P < .001) and lack of response to therapy (HR, 3.09; P = .011) were associated with inferior survival. These findings require validation in a prospective randomized study.
Copyright © 2013 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Glucocorticoid (GC) induction of the tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT) gene by the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a classic model used to investigate steroid-regulated gene expression. Classic studies analyzing GC-induction of the TAT gene demonstrated that despite having very high affinity for GR, some steroids cannot induce maximal TAT enzyme activity, but the molecular basis for this phenomenon is unknown. Here, we used RT-PCR and chromatin immunoprecipitation to determine TAT mRNA accumulation and GR recruitment to the TAT promoter (TAT-GRE) in rat hepatoma cells induced by seven GR ligands: dexamethasone (DEX), cortisol (CRT), corticosterone (CCS), 11-deoxycorticosterone (DOC), aldosterone (ALD), progesterone (PRG) and 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17P). As expected, DEX, CRT, CCS and ALD all induced both TAT mRNA and GR recruitment to the TAT-GRE, while PRG and 17P did not. However, while DOC could not induce significant TAT mRNA, it did induce robust GR occupancy of the TAT-GRE. DOC also induced recruitment of the histone acetyltransferase p300 to the TAT-GRE as efficiently as DEX. These DOC-induced effects recapitulated at another GR target gene (sulfonyltransferase 1A1), and DOC also failed to promote the multiple changes in gene expression required for glucocorticoid-dependent 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation. Structural simulations and protease sensitivity assays suggest that DOC and DEX induce different conformations in GR. Thus, although steroids that bind GR with high affinity can induce GR and p300 occupancy of target promoters, they may not induce a conformation of GR capable of activating transcription.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Although allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (allo-HSCT) is performed to treat otherwise incurable and fatal diseases, transplantation itself can lead to life-threatening complications due to organ damage. Pulmonary complications remain a significant barrier to the success of allo-HSCT. Lung injury, a frequent complication after allo-HSCT, and noninfectious pulmonary deaths account for a significant proportion of non-relapse mortality. Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) is a common and potentially devastating complication. BOS is now considered a diagnostic criterion of chronic graft-versus-host-disease (cGVHD), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) consensus has been published to establish guidelines for diagnosis and monitoring of BOS. It usually occurs within the first 2 years but may develop as late as 5 years after transplantation. Recent prevalence estimates suggest that BOS is likely underdiagnosed, and when severe BOS does occur, current treatments have been largely ineffective. Prevention and effective novel approaches remain the primary tools in the clinician's arsenal in managing BOS. This article provides an overview of the currently available and novel strategies for BOS, and we also discuss specific preventive interventions to reduce severe BOS after allo-HSCT. Therapeutic trials continue to be needed for this orphan disease.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
INTRODUCTION - The idiopathic inflammatory myopathies are rare diseases for which data regarding the natural history, response to therapies and factors affecting mortality are needed. We performed this study to examine the effects of treatment and clinical features on survival in polymyositis and dermatomyositis patients.
METHODS - A total of 160 consecutive patients (77 with polymyositis and 83 with dermatomyositis) seen at the University of Michigan from 1997 to 2003 were included. Medical records were abstracted for clinical, laboratory and therapeutic data, including initial steroid regimen and immunosuppressive use. State vital records were utilized to derive mortality and cause of death data. Survival was modeled by left-truncated Kaplan-Meier estimation and Cox regression.
RESULTS - The 5- and 10-year survival estimates were 77% (95% CI = 66 to 85), and 62% (95% CI = 48 to 73), respectively, and the rates were similar for polymyositis and dermatomyositis. Survival between the sexes was similar through 5 years and significantly lower thereafter for males (10-year survival: 18% male, 73% female; P = 0.002 for 5- to 10-year interval). The sex disparity was restricted to the polymyositis group. Increased age at diagnosis and non-Caucasian race were associated with lower survival. Intravenous versus oral corticosteroid use was associated with a higher risk of death among Caucasians (HR = 10.6, 95% CI = 2.1 to 52.8). Early survival between patients treated with methotrexate versus azathioprine was similar, but survival at 10 years was higher for the methotrexate-treated group (76% vs 52%, P = 0.046 for 5- to 10-year interval).
CONCLUSIONS - Patients treated initially with intravenous corticosteroids had higher mortality, which was likely related to disease severity. Both methotrexate and azathioprine showed similar early survival benefits as first-line immunosuppressive drugs. Survival was higher between 5 and 10 years in the methotrexate-treated group, but could not be confirmed in multivariable modeling for the full follow-up period. Other important predictors of long-term survival included younger age, female sex and Caucasian race.
Objective. We hypothesized that initiation of a new disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) would decrease the use of corticosteroids, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and narcotics.Methods. Using administrative databases, we assembled 4 retrospective cohorts of RA patients (1998-2005) and identified 5 groups initiating DMARD regimens: methotrexate (MTX) with (new MTX) or without (first MTX) use of other nonbiologic DMARDs in the previous year; new hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and/or sulfasalazine (SSZ; new HCQ/SSZ)and new leflunomide (new LEF), both with previous use of MTX; and new tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) antagonists(new anti-TNF). We compared within-person differences in any use of cotherapies (≥ prescription) between the 6 months before and the 6-12 months after DMARD initiation.Results. Among 32,476 DMARD initiators, the prevalence of corticosteroid, NSAID, and narcotic use increased by 15%, 5%,and 6%, respectively, in the 6 months before initiation compared to the previous 6 months, suggesting worsening of the disease. In the 6-12 months after initiation for most initiator groups, more patients stopped using corticosteroids and NSAIDs than started, with overall decreases of 8.9% (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 8.4-9.4%) for corticosteroids and 12.9% (95%CI 12.3-13.4%) for NSAIDs. The proportion of narcotic users changed little (overall decrease of 2.5%; 95% CI 1.9-3.0%).Conclusion. Use of all 3 cotherapies increased in the 6 months before initiation of new DMARD regimens for RA. Use of corticosteroids and NSAIDs decreased modestly 6-12 months after initiation, but there was only a very small decrease in narcotic use. These differential changes require further study.
OBJECTIVE - The objective of this systematic literature review was to evaluate the incidences and risks for adverse events (AEs) associated with oral and parenteral corticosteroids. An assessment was performed to estimate the costs of such AEs.
METHODS - A systematic review of literature published from 2007 to 2009 was conducted to identify the incidence rates and risk ratios of corticosteroid-related AEs. The review protocol was developed according to PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. The literature search was expanded to include additional search terms for psychiatric conditions, infections, and peptic ulcers. Costs obtained from a separate narrative literature review were applied to AEs likely to affect third-party payers in the United States.
RESULTS - A total of 357 publications were identified from the primary (n = 323) and secondary (n = 34) searches. Of these, 310 were excluded because they did not evaluate AEs related to corticosteroids, were an excluded publication type, or for other reasons. A final list of 47 studies were used for data extraction. Across patient populations, the most frequently reported corticosteroid-associated AEs were psychiatric events, infections, gastric conditions, and fractures. Corticosteroid-associated AEs reported to occur at an incidence >30% were sleep disturbances, lipodystrophy, adrenal suppression, metabolic syndrome, weight gain, and hypertension. Vertebral fractures were reported at an incidence of 21% to 30%. Dose-response relationships were documented for fractures, acute myocardial infarction, hypertension, and peptic ulcer. The costs of managing AEs that may occur with corticosteroids can be substantial. The literature reported 1-year per-patient costs of up to $26,471.80 for nonfatal myocardial infarction, and per-event costs as high as $18,357.90 for fracture. The findings from the present review should be interpreted cautiously due to several limitations, including the retrospective design of most of the studies identified, risk for confounding due to underlying disease activity or patient population, and the relatively small number of studies that reported each AE association. As this cost analysis was preliminary, a comprehensive pharmacoeconomic analysis should be undertaken to confirm the findings.
CONCLUSION - Based on the findings from this review, systemic corticosteroids are a common cause of AEs that may be costly to payers.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier HS Journals, Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Two open-label studies demonstrated that conversion from mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) to enteric-coated mycophenolate sodium (EC-MPS) significantly reduces gastrointestinal (GI) symptom burden and improves GI-specific health-related quality of life. Using a randomized design, this study evaluated changes in GI symptoms and health-related quality of life in patients converted from MMF to EC-MPS versus patients who continued with MMF-based treatment.
METHODS - In this 4-week, multicenter, randomized, prospective, double-blind, parallel-group trial, renal transplant recipients with GI symptoms receiving MMF plus a calcineurin inhibitor ± corticosteroids were randomized to an equimolar dose of EC-MPS+MMF placebo or continue on their MMF-based regimen+EC-MPS placebo. The primary efficacy outcome was a change from baseline in total Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale score of a minimally important difference of more than or equal to 0.3.
RESULTS - Three hundred ninety-six patients (EC-MPS group: n=199; MMF group: n=197) were included. A greater proportion of EC-MPS patients (62%) reached the primary efficacy outcome compared with MMF patients (55%); however, the difference was not statistically significant (P=0.15). EC-MPS patients had a significantly greater decrease in the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale indigestion syndrome dimension versus MMF patients. Within the subgroups of patients with diabetes, patients transplanted 6 to 12 months of study enrollment, and patients on steroids, a statistically significant greater proportion of EC-MPS versus MMF patients reached the primary efficacy outcome.
CONCLUSIONS - Conversion from MMF to EC-MPS may be associated with improvements in presence and severity of GI symptoms, particularly in patients with indigestion, diabetes, on steroids, and in patients converted between 6 and 12 months posttransplantation.