AIM: To define the histopathological features predictive of post-transplant hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) recurrence after transarterial chemoembolization, applicable for recipient risk stratification.
The purpose of the present study was to organize the parameters involved in experimental allotransplantation in rodents to elaborate the most suitable model to supply the scarcity of islet donors. We used the PubMed database to systematically search for published articles containing the keywords “rodent islet transplantation” to review. We included studies that involved allotransplantation experiments with rodents’ islets, and we reviewed the reference lists from the eligible publications that were retrieved. We excluded articles related to isotransplantation, autotransplantation and xenotransplantation,i.e., transplantation in other species. A total of 25 studies related to allotransplantation were selected for systematic review based on their relevance and updated data. Allotransplantation in rodents is promising and continues to develop. Survival rates of allografts have increased with the discovery of new immunosuppressive drugs and the use of different graft sites. These successes suggest that islet transplantation is a promising method to overcome the scarcity of islet donors and advance the treatment options for type 1 diabetes.
Extraintestinal manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are a systemic illness that may affect up to half of all patients. Among the extraintestinal manifestations of IBD, those involving the lungs are relatively rare and often overlooked. However, there is a wide array of such manifestations, spanning from airway disease to lung parenchymal disease, thromboembolic disease, pleural disease, enteric-pulmonary fistulas, pulmonary function test abnormalities, and adverse drug reactions. The spectrum of IBD manifestations in the chest is broad, and the manifestations may mimic other diseases. Although infrequent, physicians dealing with IBD must be aware of these conditions, which are sometimes life-threatening, to avoid further health impairment of the patients and to alleviate their symptoms by prompt recognition and treatment. Knowledge of these manifestations in conjunction with pertinent clinical data is essential for establishing the correct diagnosis and treatment. The treatment of IBD-related respiratory disorders depends on the specific pattern of involvement, and in most patients, steroids are required in the initial management. Corticosteroids, both systemic and aerosolized, are the mainstay therapeutic approach, while antibiotics must also be administered in the case of infectious and suppurative processes, whose sequelae sometimes require surgical intervention.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome and is one of the most prevalent liver disorders worldwide. NAFLD can gradually progress to liver inflammation, fibrosis, cirrhosis and even hepatocellular carcinoma. However, the pathogenesis of NAFLD is complex, and no efficient pharmaceutic treatments have yet been established for NAFLD. Accumulating data have shown that the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) plays important roles not only in bile acid metabolism, but also in lipid and carbohydrate homeostasis, inflammatory responses, among others. In this review, we aim to highlight the role of FXR in the pathogenesis and treatment of NAFLD.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small noncoding RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate the expression of many target genesviamRNA degradation or translation inhibition. Many studies have shown that miRNAs are involved in the modulation of gene expression and replication of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) and play a pivotal role in host-virus interactions. Increasing evidence also demonstrates that viral infection leads to alteration of the miRNA expression profile in hepatic tissues or circulation. The deregulated miRNAs participate in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) initiation and progression by functioning as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes by targeting various genes involved in cancer-related signaling pathways. The distinct expression pattern of miRNAs may be a useful marker for the diagnosis and prognosis of virus-related diseases considering the limitation of currently used biomarkers. Moreover, the role of deregulated miRNA in host-virus interactions and HCC development suggested that miRNAs may serve as therapeutic targets or as tools. In this review, we summarize the recent findings about the deregulation and the role of miRNAs during HBV/HCV infection and HCC development, and we discuss the possible mechanism of action of miRNAs in the pathogenesis of virus-related diseases. Furthermore, we discuss the potential of using miRNAs as markers for diagnosis and prognosis as well as therapeutic targets and drugs.
Recent advances in genomic medicine have opened up the possibility of tailored medicine that may eventually replace traditional “one-size-fits all” approaches to the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In addition to exploring the interactions between hosts and microbes, referred to as the microbiome, a variety of strategies that can be tailored to an individual in the coming era of personalized medicine in the treatment of IBD are being investigated. These include prompt genomic screening of patients at risk of developing IBD, the utility of molecular discrimination of IBD subtypes among patients diagnosed with IBD, and the discovery of proteome biomarkers to diagnose or predict cancer risks. Host genetic factors influence the etiology of IBD, as do microbial ecosystems in the human bowel, which are not uniform, but instead represent many different microhabitats that can be influenced by diet and might affect processes essential to bowel metabolism. Further advances in basic research regarding intestinal inflammation may reveal new insights into the role of inflammatory mediators, referred to as the inflammasome, and the macromolecular complex of metabolites formed by intestinal bacteria. Collectively, knowledge of the inflammasome and metagenomics will lead to the development of biomarkers for IBD that target specific pathogenic mechanisms involved in the spontaneous progress of IBD. In this review article, our recent results regarding the discovery of potential proteomic biomarkers using a label-free quantification technique are introduced and on-going projects contributing to either the discrimination of IBD subtypes or to the prediction of cancer risks are accompanied by updated information from IBD biomarker research.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common cancer and third leading cause of cancer-related death in the world. The Barcelona clinic liver cancer classification is the current standard classification system for the clinical management of patients with HCC and suggests that patients with intermediate-stage HCC benefit from transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE). Interventional treatments such as TACE, balloon-occluded TACE, drug-eluting bead embolization, radioembolization, and combined therapies including TACE and radiofrequency ablation, continue to evolve, resulting in improved patient prognosis. However, patients with advanced-stage HCC typically receive only chemotherapy with sorafenib, a multi-kinase inhibitor, or palliative and conservative therapy. Most patients receive palliative or conservative therapy only, and approximately 50% of patients with HCC are candidates for systemic therapy. However, these patients require therapy that is more effective than sorafenib or conservative treatment. Several researchers try to perform more effective therapies, such as combined therapies (TACE with radiotherapy and sorafenib with TACE), modified TACE for HCC with arterioportal or arteriohepatic vein shunts, TACE based on hepatic hemodynamics, and isolated hepatic perfusion. This review summarizes the published data and data on important ongoing studies concerning interventional treatments for unresectable HCC and discusses the technical improvements in these interventions, particularly for advanced-stage HCC.
Human milk is considered to be the optimal source of infant nutrition. Some of the benefits of breastfeeding have been ascribed to human milk oligosaccharides (HMO). For instance, HMO can affect faecal characteristics such as stool consistency and stool frequency. Such effects on stool characteristics can be beneficial for young infants as hard stools and even constipation is common in that age group. Prebiotics in infant milk formulas have been introduced to exert similar functionalities. A specific mixture of prebiotics consists of a combination of short chain galacto-oligosaccharides and long-chain fructo-oligosaccharides (scGOS/lcFOS) in a ratio of 9:1. This specific mixture has been developed to closely resemble the molecular size composition of HMO. Many studies have been done with scGOS/lcFOS, and indicators for digestive comfort have often been included as secondary outcomes. This review summarizes the effects of scGOS/lcFOS (9:1) on stool consistency, stool frequency and transit time in healthy term and preterm infants. In several of the studies with scGOS/lcFOS in a ratio of 9:1 in infant milk formulas, positive effects of this mixture on stool characteristics such as stool consistency and stool frequency were observed. As stool consistency was shown to be correlated to whole gut transit time, scGOS/lcFOS can be hypothesised to have a role in reducing the risk of constipation.
The field of bariatric surgery has been rapidly growing and evolving over the past several decades. During the period that obesity has become a worldwide epidemic, new interventions have been developed to combat this complex disorder. The development of new laparoscopic and minimally invasive treatments for medically-complicated obesity has made it essential that gastrointestinal physicians obtain a thorough understanding of past developments and possible future directions in bariatrics. New laparoscopic advancements provide patients and practitioners with a variety of options that have an improved safety profile and better efficacy without open, invasive surgery. The mechanisms of weight loss after bariatric surgery are complex and may in part be related to altered release of regulatory peptide hormones from the gut. Endoscopic techniques designed to mimic the effects of bariatric surgery and endolumenal interventions performed entirely through the gastrointestinal tract offer potential advantages. Several of these new techniques have demonstrated promising, preliminary results. We outline herein historical and current trends in the development of bariatric surgery and its transition to safer and more minimally invasive procedures designed to induce weight loss.
Acute pancreatitis is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders worldwide. It requires acute hospitalization, with a reported annual incidence of 13 to 45 cases per 100000 persons. In severe cases there is persistent organ failure and a mortality rate of 15% to 30%, whereas mortality of mild pancreatitis is only 0% to 1%. Treatment principles of necrotizing pancreatitis and the role of surgery are still controversial. Despite surgery being effective for infected pancreatic necrosis, it carries the risk of long-term endocrine and exocrine deficiency and a morbidity and mortality rate of between 10% to 40%. Considering high morbidity and mortality rates of operative necrosectomy, minimally invasive strategies are being explored by gastrointestinal surgeons, radiologists, and gastroenterologists. Since 1999, several other minimally invasive surgical, endoscopic, and radiologic approaches to drain and debride pancreatic necrosis have been described. In patients who do not improve after technically adequate drainage, necrosectomy should be performed. When minimal invasive management is unsuccessful or necrosis has spread to locations not accessible by endoscopy, open abdominal surgery is recommended. Additionally, surgery is recognized as a major determinant of outcomes for acute pancreatitis, and there is general agreement that patients should undergo surgery in the late phase of the disease. It is important to consider multidisciplinary management, considering the clinical situation and the comorbidity of the patient, as well as the surgeons experience.
Since the first report on laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy (LDP) appeared in the 1990s, the procedure has been performed increasingly frequently to treat both benign and malignant lesions of the pancreas. Many earlier publications have shown LDP to be a good alternative to open distal pancreatectomy for benign lesions, although this has never been studied in a prospective, randomized manner. The evidence for the use of LDP to treat adenocarcinoma of the pancreas is not as well established. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the current evidence for LDP in cases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. We conducted a review of English language publications reporting LDP results between 1990 and 2013. All studies reporting results in patients with histologically proven pancreatic adenocarcinoma were included. Thirty-nine publications were found and included in the results for a total of 309 cases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma (potential double publications were not eliminated). Most LDP procedures are performed in selected cases and generally involve smaller tumors than open distal pancreatectomy (ODP) procedures. Some of the papers report unselected cases and include procedures on larger tumors. The number of lymph nodes harvested using LDP is comparable to the number obtained with ODP, as is the frequency of R0 resections. Current data suggest that similar short term oncological results can be obtained using LDP as those obtained using ODP.
Biliary lithiasis is an endemic condition in both Western and Eastern countries, in some studies affecting 20% of the general population. In up to 20% of cases, gallbladder stones are associated with common bile duct stones (CBDS), which are asymptomatic in up to one half of cases. Despite the wide variety of examinations and techniques available nowadays, two main open issues remain without a clear answer: how to cost-effectively diagnose CBDS and, when they are finally found, how to deal with them. CBDS diagnosis and management has radically changed over the last 30 years, following the dramatic diffusion of imaging, including endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and magnetic resonance cholangiography (MRC), endoscopy and laparoscopy. Since accuracy, invasiveness, potential therapeutic use and cost-effectiveness of imaging techniques used to identify CBDS increase together in a parallel way, the concept of “risk of carrying CBDS” has become pivotal to identifying the most appropriate management of a specific patient in order to avoid the risk of “under-studying” by poor diagnostic work up or “over-studying” by excessively invasive examinations. The risk of carrying CBDS is deduced by symptoms, liver/pancreas serology and ultrasound. “Low risk” patients do not require further examination before laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Two main “philosophical approaches” face each other for patients with an “intermediate to high risk” of carrying CBDS: on one hand, the “laparoscopy-first” approach, which mainly relies on intraoperative cholangiography for diagnosis and laparoscopic common bile duct exploration for treatment, and, on the other hand, the “endoscopy-first” attitude, variously referring to MRC, EUS and/or endoscopic retrograde cholangiography for diagnosis and endoscopic sphincterotomy for management. Concerning CBDS diagnosis, intraoperative cholangiography, EUS and MRC are reported to have similar results. Regarding management, the recent literature seems to show better short and long term outcome of surgery in terms of retained stones and need for further procedures. Nevertheless, open surgery is invasive, whereas the laparoscopic common bile duct clearance is time consuming, technically demanding and involves dedicated instruments. Thus, although no consensus has been achieved and CBDS management seems more conditioned by the availability of instrumentation, personnel and skills than cost-effectiveness, endoscopic treatment is largely preferred worldwide.
Despite inception over 15 years ago and over 3000 completed procedures, laparoscopic liver resection has remained mainly in the domain of selected centers and enthusiasts. Requirement of extensive open liver resection (OLR) experience, in-depth understanding of anatomy and considerable laparoscopic technical expertise may have delayed wide application. However healthy scepticism of its actual benefits and presence of a potential publication bias; concern about its safety and technical learning curve, are probably equally responsible. Given that a large proportion of our work, at least in transplantation is still OLR, we have attempted to provide an entirely unbiased, mature opinion of its pros and cons in the current invited review. We have divided this review into two sections as we believe they merit separate attention on technical and ethical grounds. The first part deals with laparoscopic liver resection (LLR) in patients who present with benign or malignant liver pathology, wherein we have discussed its overall outcomes; its feasibility based on type of pathology and type of resection and included a small section on application of LLR in special scenarios like cirrhosis. The second part deals with the laparoscopic living donor hepatectomy (LDH) experience to date, including its potential impact on transplantation in general. Donor safety, graft outcomes after LDH and criterion to select ideal donors for LLR are discussed. Within each section we have provided practical points to improve safety in LLR and attempted to reach reasonable recommendations on the utilization of LLR for units that wish to develop such a service.
Pancreatic cancer (PC) is a highly lethal disease and notoriously difficult to treat. Only a small proportion of PC patients are eligible for surgical resection, whilst conventional chemoradiotherapy only has a modest effect with substantial toxicity. Gene therapy has become a new widely investigated therapeutic approach for PC. This article reviews the basic rationale, gene delivery methods, therapeutic targets and developments of laboratory research and clinical trials in gene therapy of PC by searching the literature published in English using the PubMed database and analyzing clinical trials registered on the Gene Therapy Clinical Trials Worldwide website (http://www. wiley.co.uk/genmed/ clinical). Viral vectors are main gene delivery tools in gene therapy of cancer, and especially, oncolytic virus shows brighter prospect due to its tumor-targeting property. Efficient therapeutic targets for gene therapy include tumor suppressor genep53, mutant oncogeneK-ras, anti-angiogenesis geneVEGFR, suicide geneHSK-TK, cytosine deaminase and cytochromep450, multiple cytokine genes and so on. Combining different targets or combination strategies with traditional chemoradiotherapy may be a more effective approach to improve the efficacy of cancer gene therapy. Cancer gene therapy is not yet applied in clinical practice, but basic and clinical studies have demonstrated its safety and clinical benefits. Gene therapy will be a new and promising field for the treatment of PC.
Pancreatic cancer (PC) is one of the most aggressive and lethal neoplastic diseases. A valid alternative to the usual invasive diagnostic tools would certainly be the determination of biomarkers in peripheral fluids to provide less invasive tools for early diagnosis. Nowadays, biomarkers are generally investigated mainly in peripheral blood and tissues through high-throughput omics techniques comparing controlvspathological samples. The results can be evaluated by two main strategies: (1) classical methods in which the identification of significant biomarkers is accomplished by monovariate statistical tests where each biomarker is considered as independent from the others; and (2) multivariate methods, taking into consideration the correlations existing among the biomarkers themselves. This last approach is very powerful since it allows the identification of pools of biomarkers with diagnostic and prognostic performances which are superior to single markers in terms of sensitivity, specificity and robustness. Multivariate techniques are usually applied with variable selection procedures to provide a restricted set of biomarkers with the best predictive ability; however, standard selection methods are usually aimed at the identification of the smallest set of variables with the best predictive ability and exhaustivity is usually neglected. The exhaustive search for biomarkers is instead an important alternative to standard variable selection since it can provide information about the etiology of the pathology by producing a comprehensive set of markers. In this review, the most recent applications of the omics techniques (proteomics, genomics and metabolomics) to the identification of exploratory biomarkers for PC will be presented with particular regard to the statistical methods adopted for their identification. The basic theory related to classical and multivariate methods for identification of biomarkers is presented and then, the most recent applications in this field are discussed.