The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
Clinical decision making is under increased scrutiny due to concerns about the cost and quality of medical care. Variability in physician decision making is common, in part because of deficiencies in the knowledge base, but also due to the difference in physicians' approaches to clinical problem solving. Evaluation of patient prognosis is a critical factor in the selection of therapy, and careful attention to methodology is essential to provide reliable information. Randomized controlled clinical trials provide the most solid basis for the establishment of broad therapeutic principles. Because randomized studies cannot be performed to address every question, observational studies will continue to play a complementary role in the evaluation of therapy. Randomized studies in progress, meta analyses of existing data, and increased use of administrative and collaborative clinical data bases will improve the knowledge base for decision making in the future.
The activities of 6 enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism were estimated in superficial transitional cell carcinomas from 103 patients undergoing transurethral resection of the bladder for the first time. The patients were followed by quarterly endoscopic examinations for a maximum of 81 months (median 33 months). During followup 24 patients had progressive disease. The activities of phosphofructokinase and phosphohexose isomerase were significantly lower in tumors from patients whose disease had superficially invaded the lamina propria (stage pT1) than in others in whom it was confined to the bladder mucosa (stage pTa). Similarly the activities of the 2 enzymes were significantly higher in well differentiated (grade 1) than in moderately well differentiated (grade 2) carcinomas. Univariate analyses using the log rank test showed that neither pathological stage nor malignancy grade of the carcinoma was a significant factor in predicting the risk of progression. Of the 6 enzymes, below median activities of phosphofructokinase, lactate dehydrogenase and phosphohexose isomerase were associated with a significantly increased risk of progression in these patients. Multivariate analyses using Cox's proportional hazards model showed that the activity of lactic dehydrogenase in superficial transitional cell carcinoma is an independent prognostic factor in predicting the risk of progression. It is postulated that the measurements of the activities of the 3 enzymes in tumors from patients with superficial transitional cell carcinoma might help to select individual patients with a high risk of progression for adjuvant intravesical treatments.
Most analyses of risk factors affecting survival after coronary artery bypass graft surgery have not differentiated among factors that influence early and late survival. For this reason, a multiphase model was applied to survival data from 2,967 patients undergoing a first coronary artery bypass graft at the Duke University Medical Center between 1969 and 1984. There were 709 deaths during follow-up to 19.6 years. The data were analyzed using a multivariable survival model that separates the underlying hazard function into as much as three different phases, each incorporating separate risk factors. Two distinct phases were detected. One phase dominated early survival (0-1 year), and the second phase dominated late survival (greater than 1 year). Surgery performed earlier in our experience was associated with elevated risk of dying in both phases but with different magnitudes, whereas lower ejection fraction, greater extent of coronary disease, older age, conduction abnormality, and history of hypertension were associated with elevated risk of dying similarly in both phases (p less than 0.05). Severity of angina symptoms and lower weight were associated with an elevated risk of dying only in the early phase (p less than 0.05; because few of the patients were obese, estimates of the relative risk of morbid obesity could not be estimated), whereas vascular disease, diabetes, and extent of myocardial damage were associated with an elevated risk of dying only in the late phase (p less than 0.05). These data illustrate both the differential influence of risk factors over time and the importance of multiphase models.
We have stratified the cancer risk implications of lobular pattern in situ neoplasias of the breast by separating marked examples of this histologic spectrum (lobular carcinoma in situ [LCIS]) from lesser examples (atypical lobular hyperplasia). The lesser-developed examples have been shown previously to have a lower relative risk (RR) of later invasive carcinoma of the breast (IBC). Forty-eight examples of LCIS were found in 10,542 otherwise benign breast biopsies, representing an incidence of 0.5%. Nine patients were excluded from follow-up because of bilateral mastectomy within 6 months of entry biopsy, IBC within 6 months of entry biopsy, or prior IBC. Follow-up of the remaining 39 patients was complete, averaged 18 years, and revealed an RR of subsequent IBC of 6.9 (P less than .00001). Average overall follow-up for LCIS patients was 19 years; it was 25 years for those alive and free of IBC at the time of their follow-up interview. Neither family history of IBC nor postmenopausal estrogen therapy further affected risk. The absolute risk of IBC after LCIS was 17% at 15 years (adjusted for withdrawals), and the RR was 8.0 in the first 15 years of follow-up compared with the general population. An analysis based on a time-dependent hazards model found that during the first 15 years following biopsy women with LCIS had 10.8 times the risk of breast cancer compared with biopsied women of comparable age who lacked proliferative disease. Some previously published articles reporting lobular neoplasia (LN) suggest that those series with the greatest incidences of LN (whether termed LN or LCIS) have the lowest RR of subsequent breast cancer. Those series with higher incidences of LN include less well-developed histologic patterns of LN (atypical lobular hyperplasia). We conclude that our study of LN and studies performed by others support the higher risk of IBC after histologically flagrant examples (LCIS, about nine times higher) and a relatively lower but definable risk after more histologically subtle examples (atypical lobular hyperplasia, four to five times lower). This relative cancer risk is probably not constant over more than 15 years; thus, cancer risk 15 to 25 years after initial diagnosis of LCIS is uncertain.
The authors studied the historical spread of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in homosexual/bisexual men and projected its future spread in these men using data from an AIDS-free cohort recruited during late 1984 in Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dates of preentry seroconversion in HIV-1 seroprevalent men were estimated using study entry values of hematologic variables influenced by HIV-1 infection. The authors used survival methods incorporating truncation to determine numbers/dates of seroconversion for men with a pre-1984 AIDS diagnosis who were selectively excluded by design from the 1984 AIDS-free cohort. Overall, the annual seroconversion hazard rose progressively from 0.4% in 1978 to 13.8% in 1983, dropped to 4.6% in 1985, and remained relatively stable at 1.1-2.2% from 1986 to 1990. By January 1990, almost 46% of men who were seronegative in 1978 had seroconverted. The authors estimated historical rates of spread by city, age, education, and ethnicity to examine the effects of these factors in the early and continuing stages of the HIV-1 epidemic. There were striking differences among cities with respect to pre-1985 seroconversion rates but not with respect to post-1985 seroconversion rates. Age, education, and ethnicity were all associated with 1978-1990 seroconversion rates. Future seroconversion among homosexual men was predicted assuming that the "stabilized" 1986-1990 hazards (stratified by age) observed here will be representative of future rates. Truncated Kaplan-Meier methods gave the probability of a seronegative 20-year-old man's remaining seronegative in subsequent years. Such a man has a 20.2% chance of seroconverting before reaching the age of 25 years (a 4.4% yearly hazard). The annual hazard drops to 2.5% between 25 and 30 years, to about 1.5% between 30 and 45 years, and to 1.0% between 45 and 55 years. The overall probability of seroconversion prior to age 55 years is about 50%, with seroconversion still continuing at and after age 55. Given that this cohort consists of volunteers receiving extensive anti-HIV-1 transmission education, the future seroconversion rates of the general homosexual population may be even higher than those observed here.
BACKGROUND - The purpose of this study was to describe the long-term event-free survival patterns of patients with significant coronary artery disease treated medically versus patterns of those treated surgically and to evaluate the factors associated with improved event-free survival.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We studied the results of 5,824 patients undergoing medical and surgical therapy for ischemic heart disease from 1969 to 1984, with follow-up to 1991. Events considered for this evaluation were nonfatal myocardial infarction or cardiovascular death. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to determine factors differentially affecting surgical event-free survival. The survival benefits previously reported for bypass surgery in this population were largely preserved when event-free survival was examined. The two factors associated with significant event-free survival benefits for surgically treated patients were more severe coronary artery disease and a more recent surgery data. Patients with more severe coronary obstruction had a greater relative improvement with surgery in event-free survival than did patients with less severe anatomic disease. Event-free survival with surgery progressively improved over the period of the study and, by 1984, was significantly better than medical therapy for most patient subgroups. Patients with poor prognosis because of risk factors such as older age, severe angina, or left ventricular dysfunction had a risk reduction with surgery proportional to their overall risk under medical therapy.
CONCLUSIONS - Higher-risk patients with more severe disease (due to either coronary disease or other risk factors and age) should be considered for coronary revascularization because it is in these patients that coronary artery bypass graft surgery has the greatest impact in reducing future cardiovascular events.