ABSTRACT: When James Parkinson described the classical symptoms of the disease he could hardly foresee the evolution of our understanding over the next two hundred years. Nowadays, Parkinson's disease is considered a complex multifactorial disease in which genetic factors, either causative or susceptibility variants, unknown environmental cues, and the potential interaction of both could ultimately trigger the pathology. Noteworthy advances have been made in different fields from the clinical phenotype to the decoding of some potential neuropathological features, among which are the fields of genetics, drug discovery or biomaterials for drug delivery, which, though recent in origin, have evolved swiftly to become the basis of research into the disease today. In this review, we highlight some of the key advances in the field over the past two centuries and discuss the current challenges focusing on exciting new research developments likely to come in the next few years. Also, the importance of pre-motor symptoms and early diagnosis in the search for more effective therapeutic options is discussed.
Project description:Despite various clinical modalities available for patients, heart disease remains among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Genetic medicine, particularly mRNA, has broad potential as a therapeutic. More specifically, mRNA-based protein delivery has been used in the fields of cancer and vaccination, but recent changes to the structural composition of mRNA have led the scientific community to swiftly embrace it as a new drug to deliver missing genes to injured myocardium and many other organs. Modified mRNA (modRNA)-based gene delivery features transient but potent protein translation and low immunogenicity, with minimal risk of insertional mutagenesis. In this review, we compared and listed the advantages of modRNA over traditional vectors for cardiac therapy, with particular focus on using modRNA therapy in cardiac repair. We present a comprehensive overview of modRNA's role in cardiomyocyte (CM) proliferation, cardiac vascularization, and prevention of cardiac apoptosis. We also emphasize recent advances in modRNA delivery strategies and discuss the challenges for its clinical translation.
Project description:Erdheim-Chester disease is a rare non-Langerhans cell histiocytosis with multisystem involvement and insidious symptoms. In this article, we describe an interesting case of Erdheim-Chester disease that was eventually diagnosed 8 years after symptoms initially started.
Project description:Immunotherapy is often perceived as a relatively recent advance. In reality, however, one should be looking for the beginnings of cancer immunotherapy under different names as far as in the Antiquity. The first scientific attempts to modulate patients' immune systems to cure cancer can be attributed to two German physicians, Fehleisen and Busch, who independently noticed significant tumor regression after erysipelas infection. The next significant advances came from William Bradley Coley who is known today as the Father of Immunotherapy. It was Coley who first attempted to harness the immune system for treating bone cancer in 1891. His achievements were largely unnoticed for over fifty years, and several seminal discoveries in the field of Immunology, such as the existence of T cells and their crucial role in immunity in 1967, stepped up the research toward cancer immunotherapy known today. The following paper tracks cancer immunotherapy from its known beginnings up until recent events, including the 2018 Nobel Prize award to James Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their meticulous work on checkpoint molecules as potential therapeutic targets. That work has led to the successful development of new checkpoint inhibitors, CAR T-cells and oncolytic viruses and the pace of such advances brings the highest hope for the future of cancer treatment.
Project description:While advances in patient care and immunosuppressive pharmacotherapies have increased the lifespan of heart allograft recipients, there are still significant comorbidities post-transplantation and 5-year survival rates are still significant, at approximately 70%. The last decade has seen massive strides in genomics and other omics fields, including transcriptomics, with many of these advances now starting to impact heart transplant clinical care. This review summarizes a number of the key advances in genomics which are relevant for heart transplant outcomes, and we highlight the translational potential that such knowledge may bring to patient care within the next decade.
Project description:Parkinson disease (PD) is a relatively common disorder of the nervous system that afflicts patients later in life with tremor, slowness of movement, gait instability, and rigidity. Treatment of these cardinal features of the disease is a success story of modern science and medicine, as a great deal of disability can be alleviated through the pharmacological correction of brain dopamine deficiency. Unfortunately these therapies only provide temporary, though significant, relief from early symptoms and do not halt disease progression. In addition, pathological changes outside of the motor system leading to cognitive, autonomic, and psychiatric symptoms are not sufficiently treated by current therapies. Much as the discovery of dopamine deficiency led to powerful treatments for motor symptoms, recent discoveries concerning the role of specific genes in PD pathology will lead to the next revolution in disease therapy. Understanding why and how susceptible cells in motor and nonmotor regions of the brain die in PD is the first step toward preventing this cell death and curing or slowing the disease. In this review we discuss recent discoveries in the fields of diagnosis and treatment of PD and focus on how a better understanding of disease mechanisms gained through the study of monogenetic forms of PD has provided novel therapeutic targets.
Project description:Ovarian cancer (OC) is the most lethal gynecological malignancy. Its insidious nature, manifesting with little to no symptoms until the disease progresses to metastasis, along with a wide diversity of histological subtypes and corresponding clinical behavior, poses significant therapeutic challenges. The genetic profiling of this aggressive tumor and its subtypes has led to the identification of various molecular markers of prognosis. Among these, the miR-200 family of miRNAs appears to play an important role. The deregulated expression of the miR-200 family members has been detected in a variety of OC studies. The present review examines the potential usefulness of the miR-200 family members as prognostic indicators in ovarian cancer and their impact across different OC publications, with a particular focus on prognostic features, such as disease stage, tumor histology, survival and response to chemotherapy. We present the potential usefulness of the miR-200 family genes as prognostic indicators in OC and highlight the tendency that miR-200 overexpression corresponds with an advanced cancer stage.
Project description:Biocontrol agents (BCA) effectively suppress soil-borne disease symptoms using natural antagonistic prokaryotes or eukaryotes. The main issue associated with the application of BCA is that disease reduction effects are unstable under different field conditions. In order to identify potentially effective BCA among several fields, we compared prokaryotic and eukaryotic communities in soil with and without tomato bacterial wilt from three different fields, each of which had the same field management and similar soil characteristics. Soil samples were collected from three fields and two depths because bacterial wilt pathogens were present in soil at a depth greater than 40 cm. We classified soil samples based on the presence or absence of the bacterial phcA gene, a key gene for bacterial wilt pathogenicity and tomato disease symptoms. Pyrosequencing of the prokaryotic 16S rRNA gene and eukaryotic internal transcribed spacer region sequences showed that the diversity and richness of the communities mostly did not correlate with disease symptoms. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic community structures were affected more by regional differences than the appearance of disease. Several prokaryotes and eukaryotes were more abundant in soil that lacked disease symptoms, and eight prokaryotes and one eukaryote of this group were commonly detected among the three fields. Some of these taxa were not previously found in disease-suppressive soil. Our results suggest that several prokaryotes and eukaryotes control plant disease symptoms.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Common etiology of vascular diseases and later-life depression may provide important synergies for prevention. We examined whether standard clinical risk profiles developed for vascular diseases also predict depressive symptoms in older adults. METHODS:Data were drawn from the Whitehall II study with baseline examination in 1991; follow-up screenings in 1997, 2003, and 2008; and additional disease ascertainment from hospital data and registry linkage on 5318 participants (mean age 54.8 years, 31% women) without depressive symptoms at baseline. Vascular risk was assessed with the Framingham Cardiovascular, Coronary Heart Disease, and Stroke Risk Scores. New depressive symptoms at each follow-up screening were identified by General Health Questionnaire caseness, a Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale score ?16, and use of antidepressant medication. RESULTS:Diagnosed vascular disease (that is, coronary heart disease or stroke) was associated with an increased risk for depressive symptoms, age- and sex-adjusted odds ratios from 1.5 (95% confidence interval 1.0-2.2) to 2.0 (1.4-3.0), depending on the indicator of depressive symptoms. Among participants without manifest vascular disease, the Stroke Risk Score was associated with Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale depressive symptoms before age 65 (age- and sex-adjusted odds ratio per 10% absolute change in the score = 3.1 [1.5-6.5]), but none of the risk scores predicted new-onset depressive symptoms in those aged ?65 (odds ratios from .8 to 1.2). CONCLUSIONS:These data suggest that public health measures to improve vascular risk status will influence the incidence of later-life depressive symptoms via reduced rates of manifest vascular disease.
Project description:Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada and remains associated with high mortality. Nevertheless, recent advances in the fields of immuno-oncology and precision medicine have led to significant improvements in clinical outcome in metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (nsclc). Those improvements were facilitated by a greater understanding of the biologic classification of nsclc, which catalyzed discoveries of novel therapies. Here, we present a comprehensive review of the recent avalanche of practice-changing trials in metastatic nsclc, and we offer an approach to the management of this disease from a Canadian perspective. We begin with an overview of the pathologic and molecular characterization of metastatic nsclc. Next, we review the indications for currently approved immune checkpoint inhibitors, and we provide an approach to the management of disease with a driver mutation. Finally, we address future avenues in both diagnostics and therapeutics for patients with advanced and metastatic nsclc.