The childhood sarcomas are malignant tumors with high mortality rates. They are divided into two genetic categories: a category without distinct pattern karyotypic changes and the other category showing unique translocations that originate gene rearrangements. This category includes rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), Ewing's sarcoma (ES) and synovial sarcoma (SS). Diverse studies have related development genes, such as; IGF2, IHH, PTCH1 and GLI1 and sarcomatogenesis.
Bone deposition and bone resorption are ongoing dynamic processes, constituting bone remodeling. Some bone tumors, such as osteosarcoma (OS), stimulate focal bone deposition. OS is the most common primary bone tumor in children and young adults. A complex network of genes regulates bone remodeling and alterations in its expression levels can influence the genesis and progression of bone diseases, including OS. We hypothesized that the expression profiles of bone remodeling regulator genes would be correlated with OS biology and clinical features. We used real-time PCR to evaluate the mRNA levels of the tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (ACP5), colony stimulating factor-1 (CSF1R), bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP7), collagen, type XI, alpha 2 (COL11A2), and protein tyrosine phosphatases zeta 1 (PTPRZ1) genes, in 30 OS tumor samples and correlated with clinical and histological data. All genes analyzed, except CSF1R, were differentially expressed when compared with normal bone expression profiles. In our results, OS patients with high levels of COL11A2 mRNA showed worse overall (p = 0.041) and event free survival (p = 0.037). Also, a trend for better overall survival was observed in patients with samples showing higher expression of BMP7 (p = 0.067). COL11A2 overexpression and BMP7 underexpression could collaborate to OS tumor growth, through its central role in bone remodeling process.
Hyperglycemia has been described as a common event occurring during acute lymphocytic leukemia chemotherapy. It is associated with the synergistic effect of L-asparaginase and glucocorticoids, and related to poor outcome. Our goal was to compare clinical and laboratory findings between hyperglycemic episodes occurring during childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia induction chemotherapy. Here we describe 12 (3.8%) high-risk patients of 311 total patients, 9 (75%) of who are female. The 12 patients presented with 16 hyperglycemic episodes classified into adverse or satisfactory categories. There were no differences in clinical or laboratory variables among groups, although the majority of episodes occurred in pubescents, regardless of the type of glucocorticoid employed. Despite the fact that only 1 patient was overweight, pancreatitis was not diagnosed. Although we could not determine whether hyperglycemia predicts an adverse outcome, glucose evaluation played an important role during induction chemotherapy. To date, recognized risk factors for hyperglycemia no longer explain our findings, thus other mechanisms related to insulin secretion and action should be further studied.
Fire is an important agent of disturbance in tropical savannas, but relatively few studies have analyzed how soil-and-litter dwelling arthropods respond to fire disturbance despite the critical role these organisms play in nutrient cycling and other biogeochemical processes. Following the incursion of a fire into a woodland savanna ecological reserve in Central Brazil, we monitored the dynamics of litter-arthropod populations for nearly two years in one burned and one unburned area of the reserve. We also performed a reciprocal transplant experiment to determine the effects of fire and litter type on the dynamics of litter colonization by arthropods. Overall arthropod abundance, the abundance of individual taxa, the richness of taxonomic groups, and the species richness of individual taxa (Formiciade) were lower in the burned site. However, both the ordinal-level composition of the litter arthropod fauna and the species-level composition of the litter ant fauna were not dramatically different in the burned and unburned sites. There is evidence that seasonality of rainfall interacts with fire, as differences in arthropod abundance and diversity were more pronounced in the dry than in the wet season. For many taxa the differences in abundance between burned and unburned sites were maintained even when controlling for litter availability and quality. In contrast, differences in abundance for Collembola, Formicidae, and Thysanoptera were only detected in the unmanipulated samples, which had a lower amount of litter in the burned than in the unburned site throughout most of our study period. Together these results suggest that arthropod density declines in fire-disturbed areas as a result of direct mortality, diminished resources (i.e., reduced litter cover) and less favorable microclimate (i.e., increased litter desiccation due to reduction in tree cover). Although these effects were transitory, there is evidence that the increasingly prevalent fire return interval of only 1-2 years may jeopardize the long-term conservation of litter arthropod communities.
We aimed to evaluate the prognostic significance of traditional clinical predictors in osteosarcoma through an international collaboration of 10 teams of investigators (2680 patients) who participated. In multivariate models the mortality risk increased with older age, presence of metastatic disease at diagnosis, development of local recurrence when the patient was first seen, use of amputation instead of limb salvage/wide resection, employment of unusual treatments, use of chemotherapeutic regimens other than anthracycline and platinum and use of methotrexate. It was also influenced by the site of the tumour. The risk of metastasis increased when metastatic disease was present at the time the patient was first seen and also increased with use of amputation or unusual treatment combinations or chemotherapy regimens not including anthracycline and platinum. Local recurrence risk was higher in older patients, in those who had local recurrence when first seen and when no anthracycline and platinum were used in chemotherapy. Results were similar when limited to patients seen after 1990 and treated with surgery plus combination chemotherapy. This large-scale international collaboration identifies strong predictors of major clinical outcomes in osteosarcoma.
In 1988, we formed a consortium of Brazilian institutions to develop uniform standards for the diagnostic assessment and multidisciplinary treatment of children and adolescents with germ cell tumors. We also implemented the first childhood Brazilian germ cell tumor protocol, GCT-91, evaluating two-agent chemotherapy with cisplatin and etoposide (PE). We now report on the clinical characteristics and survival of children and adolescents with germ cell tumors treated on this protocol.
To identify risk factors associated with nosocomial bloodstream infections caused by multiple clones of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) type IV strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
We investigated the influence of Pinus afforestation on the structure of leaf-litter ant communities in the southeastern Brazilian Atlantic Forest, studying an old secondary forest and a nearly 30 year-old never managed Pinus elliottii reforested area. A total of 12,826 individual ants distributed among 95 species and 32 genera were obtained from 50 1 m(2) samples/ habitat. Of these, 60 species were recorded in the pine plantation and 82 in the area of Atlantic forest; almost 50% of the species found in the secondary forest area were also present in the pine plantation. The number of species per sample was significantly higher in the secondary forest than in the pine plantation. Forest-adapted taxa are the most responsible for ant species richness differences between areas, and the pine plantation is richer in species classified as soil or litter omnivorous-dominants. The specialized ant predators registered in the pine plantation, as seven Dacetini, two Basiceros, two Attini and two Discothyrea, belong to widely distributed species. The NMDS (non-metric multidimensional scaling) ordination also suggested strong differences in similarity among samples of the two areas. Furthermore, this analysis indicated higher sample heterogeneity in the secondary forest, with two clusters of species, while in the pine plantation the species belong to a single cluster. We applied the ant mosaic hypothesis to explain the distribution of the leaf-litter fauna and spatial autocorrelation tests among samples. We argue that the results are likely related to differences in quality and distribution of the leaf-litter between the pine plantation and the secondary area.
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