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Proton minibeam therapy (PMBT) is a form of spatially fractionated radiotherapy wherein broad beam radiation is replaced with segmented minibeams-either parallel, planar minibeam arrays generated by a multislit collimator or scanned pencil beams that converge laterally at depth to create a uniform dose layer at the tumor. By doing so, the spatial pattern of entrance dose is considerably modified while still maintaining tumor dose and efficacy. Recent studies using computational modeling, phantom experiments, and preclinical models, and early clinical feasibility assessments suggest that unique physical and biological attributes of PMBT can be exploited for future clinical benefit. We outline some of the guiding principle of PMBT in this concise overview of this emerging area of preclinical and clinical research inquiry.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES - Impacts of mindfulness-based programs on blood pressure remain equivocal, possibly because the programs are not adapted to engage with determinants of hypertension, or due to floor effects. Primary objectives were to create a customized Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction (MB-BP) program, and to evaluate acceptability, feasibility, and effects on hypothesized proximal self-regulation mechanisms. Secondary outcomes included modifiable determinants of blood pressure (BP), and clinic-assessed systolic blood pressure (SBP).
METHODS - This was a Stage 1 single-arm trial with one year follow-up. Focus groups and in-depth interviews were performed to evaluate acceptability and feasibility. Self-regulation outcomes, and determinants of BP, were assessed using validated questionnaires or objective assessments. The MB-BP curriculum was adapted from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to direct participants' mindfulness skills towards modifiable determinants of blood pressure.
RESULTS - Acceptability and feasibility findings showed that of 53 eligible participants, 48 enrolled (91%). Of these, 43 (90%) attended at least 7 of the 10 MB-BP classes; 43 were followed to one year (90%). Focus groups (n = 19) and semi-structured interviews (n = 10) showed all participants viewed the delivery modality favorably, and identified logistic considerations concerning program access as barriers. A priori selected primary self-regulation outcomes showed improvements at one-year follow-up vs. baseline, including attention control (Sustained Attention to Response Task correct no-go score, p<0.001), emotion regulation (Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Score, p = 0.02), and self-awareness (Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness, p<0.001). Several determinants of hypertension were improved in participants not adhering to American Heart Association guidelines at baseline, including physical activity (p = 0.02), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension-consistent diet (p<0.001), and alcohol consumption (p<0.001). Findings demonstrated mean 6.1 mmHg reduction in SBP (p = 0.008) at one year follow-up; effects were most pronounced in Stage 2 uncontrolled hypertensives (SBP≥140 mmHg), showing 15.1 mmHg reduction (p<0.001).
CONCLUSION - MB-BP has good acceptability and feasibility, and may engage with self-regulation and behavioral determinants of hypertension.
Purpose Auditory-perceptual assessment, in which trained listeners rate a large number of perceptual features of speech samples, is the gold standard for the differential diagnosis of motor speech disorders. The goal of this study was to investigate the feasibility of applying a similar, formalized auditory-perceptual approach to the assessment of language deficits in connected speech samples from individuals with aphasia. Method Twenty-seven common features of connected speech in aphasia were defined, each of which was rated on a 5-point scale. Three experienced researchers evaluated 24 connected speech samples from the AphasiaBank database, and 12 student clinicians evaluated subsets of 8 speech samples each. We calculated interrater reliability for each group of raters and investigated the validity of the auditory-perceptual approach by comparing feature ratings to related quantitative measures derived from transcripts and clinical measures, and by examining patterns of feature co-occurrence. Results Most features were rated with good-to-excellent interrater reliability by researchers and student clinicians. Most features demonstrated strong concurrent validity with respect to quantitative connected speech measures computed from AphasiaBank transcripts and/or clinical aphasia battery subscores. Factor analysis showed that 4 underlying factors, which we labeled Paraphasia, Logopenia, Agrammatism, and Motor Speech, accounted for 79% of the variance in connected speech profiles. Examination of individual patients' factor scores revealed striking diversity among individuals classified with a given aphasia type. Conclusion Auditory-perceptual rating of connected speech in aphasia shows potential to be a comprehensive, efficient, reliable, and valid approach for characterizing connected speech in aphasia.
PURPOSE - Malignant effusions challenge diagnostic accuracy due to cytomorphologic overlaps between various malignant primaries. Workup of this material to establish a correct diagnosis is time consuming and limited by the sparsity of material. In order to circumvent these drawbacks, the use of MALDI imaging MS (IMS) as a diagnostic platform has been explored.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - Cytology cell blocks from malignant effusions (serous ovarian carcinoma and several non-ovarian carcinomas including gastric adenocarcinoma) containing at least 30% neoplastic cells are selected for generation of cytology microarrays (CMA). CMA sections are transferred to conductive glass slides, subjected to on-tissue tryptic digestion, and matrix application for MALDI-IMS analysis.
RESULTS - Supervised classification analysis identifies serous ovarian carcinomas as the source of malignant effusions with a sensitivity of 85.7% when compared to samples from all other included primary sites. When compared to gastric adenocarcinoma, serous ovarian carcinoma samples can be delineated with a sensitivity of 97.3%.
CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE - These preliminary results highlight that MALDI-IMS allows subtyping of malignant effusions to identify the precise origin of neoplastic cells. While achieving similar results compared to classical approaches such as immunocytology, more material is conserved that will be available for further tests.
© 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Sensory processing differences, including responses to auditory, visual, and tactile stimuli, are ideal targets for early detection of neurodevelopmental risks, such as autism spectrum disorder. However, most existing studies focus on the audiovisual paradigm and ignore the sense of touch. In this paper, we present a multisensory delivery system that can deliver audio, visual, and tactile stimuli in a controlled manner and capture peripheral physiological, eye gaze, and electroencephalographic response data. The novelty of the system is the ability to provide affective touch. In particular, we have developed a tactile stimulation device that delivers tactile stimuli to infants with precisely controlled brush stroking speed and force on the skin. A usability study of 10 3-20 month-old infants was conducted to investigate the tolerability and feasibility of the system. Results have shown that the system is well tolerated by infants and all the data were collected robustly. This paper paves the way for future studies charting the sensory response trajectories in infancy.
Research on neuroplasticity in recovery from aphasia depends on the ability to identify language areas of the brain in individuals with aphasia. However, tasks commonly used to engage language processing in people with aphasia, such as narrative comprehension and picture naming, are limited in terms of reliability (test-retest reproducibility) and validity (identification of language regions, and not other regions). On the other hand, paradigms such as semantic decision that are effective in identifying language regions in people without aphasia can be prohibitively challenging for people with aphasia. This paper describes a new semantic matching paradigm that uses an adaptive staircase procedure to present individuals with stimuli that are challenging yet within their competence, so that language processing can be fully engaged in people with and without language impairments. The feasibility, reliability and validity of the adaptive semantic matching paradigm were investigated in sixteen individuals with chronic post-stroke aphasia and fourteen neurologically normal participants, in comparison to narrative comprehension and picture naming paradigms. All participants succeeded in learning and performing the semantic paradigm. Test-retest reproducibility of the semantic paradigm in people with aphasia was good (Dice coefficient = 0.66), and was superior to the other two paradigms. The semantic paradigm revealed known features of typical language organization (lateralization; frontal and temporal regions) more consistently in neurologically normal individuals than the other two paradigms, constituting evidence for validity. In sum, the adaptive semantic matching paradigm is a feasible, reliable and valid method for mapping language regions in people with aphasia.
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Ultrasound imaging for kidney stones suffers from poorer sensitivity, diminished specificity, and overestimation of stone size compared to computed tomography (CT). The purpose of this study was to demonstrate in vitro feasibility of novel ultrasound imaging methods comparing traditional B-mode to advanced beamforming techniques including plane wave synthetic focusing (PWSF), short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) imaging, mid-lag spatial coherence (MLSC) imaging with incoherent compounding, and aperture domain model image reconstruction (ADMIRE). The ultrasound techniques were evaluated using a research-based ultrasound system applied to an in vitro kidney stone model at 4 and 8 cm depths. Stone diameter sizing and stone contrast were compared among the different techniques. Analysis of variance was used to analyze the differences among group means, with p < 0.05 considered significant, and a Student's t test was used to compare each method with B-mode, with p < 0.0025 considered significant. All stones were detectable with each method. MLSC performed best with stone sizing and stone contrast compared to B-mode. On average, B-mode sizing error ± SD was > 1 mm (1.2 ± 1.1 mm), while those for PWSF, ADMIRE, and MLSC were < 1 mm (- 0.3 ± 2.9 mm, 0.6 ± 0.8, 0.8 ± 0.8, respectively). Subjectively, MLSC appeared to suppress the entire background thus highlighting only the stone. The ADMIRE and SLSC techniques appeared to highlight the stone shadow relative to the background. The detection and sizing of stones in vitro are feasible with advanced beamforming methods with ultrasound. Future work will include imaging stones at greater depths and evaluating the performance of these methods in human stone formers.
BACKGROUND - Magnetic compression anastomosis (magnamosis) uses a pair of self-centering magnetic Harrison Rings to create an intestinal anastomosis without sutures or staples. We report the first-in-human case series using this unique device.
STUDY DESIGN - We conducted a prospective, single-center, first-in-human pilot trial to evaluate the feasibility and safety of creating an intestinal anastomosis using the Magnamosis device. Adult patients requiring any intestinal anastomosis to restore bowel continuity were eligible for inclusion. For each procedure, 1 Harrison Ring was placed in the lumen of each intestinal segment. The rings were brought together and mated, and left to form a side to side, functional end to end anastomosis. Device movement was monitored with serial x-rays until it was passed in the stool. Patients were monitored for adverse effects with routine clinic appointments, as well as questionnaires.
RESULTS - Five patients have undergone small bowel anastomosis with the Magnamosis device. All 5 patients had severe systemic disease and underwent complex open urinary reconstruction procedures, with the device used to restore small bowel continuity after isolation of an ileal segment. All devices passed without obstruction or pain. No patients have had any complications related to their anastomosis, including anastomotic leaks, bleeding, or stricture at median follow-up of 13 months.
CONCLUSIONS - In this initial case series from the first-in-human trial of the Magnamosis device, the device was successfully placed and effectively formed a side to side, functional end to end small bowel anastomosis in all 5 patients. No patients have had any anastomotic complications at intermediate follow-up.
Copyright © 2017 American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - The challenging biological and mechanical environment of posterolateral fusion (PLF) requires a carrier that spans the transverse processes and resists the compressive forces of the posterior musculature. The less traumatic posterolateral approach enabled by minimally invasive surgical techniques has prompted investigations into alternative rhBMP-2 carriers that are injectable, settable, and compression-resistant. In this pilot study, we investigated injectable low-viscosity (LV) polymer/composite bone grafts as compression-resistant carriers for rhBMP-2 in a single-level rabbit PLF model.
METHODS - LV grafts were augmented with ceramic microparticles: (1) hydrolytically degradable bioactive glass (BG), or (2) cell-degradable 85% β-tricalcium phosphate/15% hydroxyapatite (CM). Material properties, such as pore size, viscosity, working time, and bulk modulus upon curing, were measured for each LV polymer/ceramic material. An in vivo model of posterolateral fusion in a rabbit was used to assess the grafts' capability to encourage spinal fusion.
RESULTS - These materials maintained a working time between 9.6 and 10.3 min, with a final bulk modulus between 1.2 and 3.1 MPa. The LV polymer/composite bone grafts released 55% of their rhBMP-2 over a 14-day period. As assessed by manual palpation in vivo, fusion was achieved in all (n = 3) animals treated with LV/BG or LV/CM carriers incorporating 430 μg rhBMP-2/ml. Images of μCT and histological sections revealed evidence of bone fusion near the transverse processes.
CONCLUSION - This study highlights the potential of LV grafts as injectable and compression-resistant rhBMP-2 carriers for posterolateral spinal fusion.