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  • Broch, Kaspar; Gude, Einar; Karason, Kristjan; Dellgren, GÖran; Radegran, Goran; Gjesdal, Grunde; Gustafsson, Finn; Eiskjaer, Hans; Lommi, Jyri; Pentikäinen, Markku; Lemström, Karl B.; Andreassen, Arne K.; Gullestad, Lars (2020)
    Background Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is characterized by diffuse thickening of the arterial intima. Statins reduce the incidence of CAV, but despite the use of statins, CAV remains one of the leading causes of long-term death after heart transplant. Inhibitors of proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9 (PCSK9) substantially reduce cholesterol levels but have not been tested in heart transplant recipients. Methods The Cholesterol lowering with EVOLocumab to prevent cardiac allograft Vasculopathy in De-novo heart transplant recipients (EVOLVD) trial ( Identifier: NCT03734211) is a randomized, double-blind trial designed to test the effect of the PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab on coronary intima thickness in heart transplant recipients. Adults who have received a cardiac transplant within the past 4-8 weeks are eligible. Exclusion criteria include an estimated glomerular filtration rate <20 mL/min/1.73 m(2), renal replacement therapy, or contraindications to coronary angiography with intravascular ultrasound. 130 patients will be randomized (1:1) to 12-month treatment with evolocumab or matching placebo. The primary endpoint is the coronary artery intima thickness as measured by intravascular ultrasound. Conclusion The EVOLVD trial is a randomized clinical trial designed to show whether treatment with the PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab can ameliorate CAV over the first year after heart transplant.
  • Braun, Oscar Ö.; Nilsson, Johan; Gustafsson, Finn; Dellgren, Göran; Fiane, Arnt E.; Lemström, Karl; Hubbert, Laila; Hellgren, Laila; Lund, Lars H. (2019)
    Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess complications and mortality and its predictors, with continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (CF-LVADs) in the Nordic Countries. Design: This was a retrospective, international, multicenter cohort study. Results: Between 1993 and 2013, 442 surgically implanted long-term mechanical assist devices were used among 8 centers in the Nordic countries. Of those, 238 were CF-LVADs (HVAD or HeartMate II) implanted in patients >18 years with complete data. Postoperative complications and survival were compared and Cox proportion hazard regression analysis was used to identify predictors of mortality. The overall Kaplan-Meier survival rate was 75% at 1 year, 69% at 2 years and 63% at 3 years. A planned strategy of destination therapy had poorer survival compared to a strategy of bridge to transplantation or decision (2-year survival of 41% vs. 76%, p <.001). The most common complications were non-driveline infections (excluding sepsis) (44%), driveline infection (27%), need for continuous renal replacement therapy (25%) and right heart failure (24%). In a multivariate model age and left ventricular diastolic dimension was left as independent risk factors for mortality with a hazard ratio of 1.35 (95% confidence interval (CI) [1.01-1.80], p = .046) per 10 years and 0.88 (95% CI [0.72-0.99], p = .044) per 5 mm, respectively. Conclusion: Outcome with CF LVAD in the Nordic countries was comparable to other cohorts. Higher age and destination therapy require particularly stringent selection.
  • Dellgren, Goran; Lund, Thomas Kromann; Raivio, Peter; Leuckfeld, Inga; Svahn, Johan; Magnusson, Jesper; Riise, Gerdt C. (2020)
    Background A low level of evidence exists regarding the choice of calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) for immunosuppression after lung transplantation (LTx). Therefore, we designed a randomized clinical trial according to good clinical practice rules to compare tacrolimus with cyclosporine after LTx. Methods The ScanCLAD study is an investigator-initiated, pragmatic, controlled, randomized, open-label, multicenter study evaluating if an immunosuppressive protocol based on anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) induction, once-daily tacrolimus dose, mycophenolate mofetil, and corticosteroid reduces the incidence of chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD) after LTx, compared to a cyclosporine-based protocol with all other immunosuppressive and prophylactic drugs being identical between groups. All patients will be followed for 3 years to determine the main endpoint of CLAD. The study is designed for superiority, and power calculations show that 242 patients are needed. Also, the study is designed with more than 10 substudies addressing other important and unresolved issues in LTx. In addition, the ScanCLAD study enabled the synchronization of the treatment and follow-up protocols of the lung transplantation programs of all five Scandinavian lung transplantation centers. Planned Outcomes Recruitment started in 2016. At the end of April 2019, 227 patients were randomized. We anticipate the last patient to be randomized in autumn 2019, and thus the last patient visits will be in 2022. The ScanCLAD study is enrolling and investigates which CNI is to be preferred from a CLAD perspective after LTx. Trial Registry Number ScanCLAD trial registered at before patient enrollment (NCT02936505). EUDRACT number 2015-004137-27.
  • Cooperative Weichteilsarkom; Scheer, Monika; Vokuhl, Christian; Blank, Bernd; Jahnukainen, Kirsi; Koscielniak, Ewa (2019)
    Background To evaluate optimal therapy and potential risk factors. Methods Data of DSRCT patients Results Median age of 60 patients was 14.5 years. Male:female ratio was 4:1. Tumors were abdominal/retroperitoneal in 56/60 (93%). 6/60 (10%) presented with a localized mass, 16/60 (27%) regionally disseminated nodes, and 38/60 (63%) with extraperitoneal metastases. At diagnosis, 23/60 (38%) patients had effusions, 4/60 (7%) a thrombosis, and 37/54 (69%) elevated CRP. 40/60 (67%) patients underwent tumor resection, 21/60 (35%) macroscopically complete. 37/60 (62%) received chemotherapy according to CEVAIE (ifosfamide, vincristine, actinomycin D, carboplatin, epirubicin, etoposide), 15/60 (25%) VAIA (ifosfamide, vincristine, adriamycin, actinomycin D) and, 5/60 (8%) P6 (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, ifosfamide, etoposide). Nine received high-dose chemotherapy, 6 received regional hyperthermia, and 20 received radiotherapy. Among 25 patients achieving complete remission, 18 (72%) received metronomic therapies. Three-year event-free (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were 11% (+/- 8 confidence interval [CI] 95%) and 30% (+/- 12 CI 95%), respectively, for all patients and 26.7% (+/- 18.0 CI 95%) and 56.9% (+/- 20.4 CI 95%) for 25 patients achieving remission. Extra-abdominal site, localized disease, no effusion or ascites only, absence of thrombosis, normal CRP, complete tumor resection, and chemotherapy with VAIA correlated with EFS in univariate analysis. In multivariate analysis, significant factors were no thrombosis and chemotherapy with VAIA. In patients achieving complete remission, metronomic therapy with cyclophosphamide/vinblastine correlated with prolonged time to relapse. Conclusion Pleural effusions, venous thrombosis, and CRP elevation were identified as potential risk factors. The VAIA scheme showed best outcome. Maintenance therapy should be investigated further.
  • Jahnukainen, Timo; Lauronen, Jouni; Raissadati, Alireza; Pihkala, Jaana I.; Ylinen, Elisa; Puntila, Juha Tapani; Salminen, Jukka T.; Pätilä, Tommi; Mattila, Ilkka P.; Jalanko, Hannu Jaakko (2019)
    Background: The appearance of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibodies after solid organ transplantation predisposes recipients to graft dysfunction. In theory, vascular homografts, which are widely used in children with congenital heart defects, may cause allosensitization. Material/Methods: In this single-center retrospective study, the presence of pre-existing HLA antibodies in pediatric heart trans- plant (HTx) recipients with a vascular homograft was evaluated in a cohort of 12 patients. HLA antibodies were screened before and after HTx and positive screening results were confirmed and identified using the Luminex (R) single antigen bead method. Endomyocardial biopsies (EMB) and coronary angiography studies were re-evaluated to assess the prevalence of acute rejections and coronary artery change in these patients. Results: At the time of HTx, 8 patients (67%) had HLA antibodies detected by the Luminex assay, none of which were heart donor specific (DSA). All patients had negative leukocyte crossmatch. One patient developed DSAs against homograft donor prior to HTx. After the HTx, 5 patients (42%) developed DSAs against the heart donor and 4 patients (40%) against the homograft donor. In 2 patients (17%), the antibodies were against both heart and homograft donors. The rejection rate or prevalence of coronary artery vasculopathy did not differ significantly between the homograft cohort and our historical controls. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the prevalence of DSAs against homograft donor prior to HTx is relatively rare. However, almost half of the patients developed DSAs against homograft post-HTx. The clinical importance of these antibodies warrants further studies.
  • Aaltonen, Kari I.; Rosenström, Tom; Jylhä, Pekka; Holma, Irina; Holma, Mikael; Pallaskorpi, Sanna; Riihimäki, Kirsi; Suominen, Kirsi; Vuorilehto, Maria; Isometsä, Erkki T. (2020)
    Background: Preceding suicide attempts strongly predict future suicidal acts. However, whether attempting suicide per se increases the risk remains undetermined. We longitudinally investigated among patients with mood disorders whether after a suicide attempt future attempts occur during milder depressive states, indicating a possible lowered threshold for acting. Methods: We used 5-year follow-up data from 581 patients of the Jorvi Bipolar Study, Vantaa Depression Study, and Vantaa Primary Care Depression Study cohorts. Lifetime suicide attempts were investigated at baseline and during the follow-up. At follow-up interviews, life-chart data on the course of the mood disorder were generated and suicide attempts timed. By using individual-level data and multilevel modeling, we investigated at each incident attempt the association between the lifetime ordinal number of the attempt and the major depressive episode (MDE) status (full MDE, partial remission, or remission). Results: A total of 197 suicide attempts occurred among 90 patients, most during MDEs. When the dependencies between observations and individual liabilities were modeled, no association was found between the number of past suicide attempts at the time of each attempt and partial remissions. No association between adjusted inter-suicide attempt times and the number of past attempts emerged during follow-up. No indication for direct risk-increasing effects was found. Conclusion: Among mood disorder patients, repeated suicide attempts do not tend to occur during milder depressive states than in the preceding attempts. Previous suicide attempts may indicate underlying diathesis, future risk being principally set by the course of the disorder itself.
  • Allum, William; Lordick, Florian; Alsina, Maria; Andritsch, Elisabeth; Ba-Ssalamah, Ahmed; Beishon, Marc; Braga, Marco; Caballero, Carmela; Carneiro, Fatima; Cassinello, Fernando; Dekker, Jan Willem; Delgado-Bolton, Roberto; Haustermans, Karin; Henning, Geoffrey; Hutter, Bettina; Lovey, Jozsef; Netikova, Irena Stenglova; Oberrnannova, Radka; Oberst, Simon; Rostoft, Siri; Saarto, Tiina; Seufferlein, Thomas; Sheth, Sapna; Wynter-Blyth, Venetia; Costa, Alberto; Naredi, Peter Z. (2018)
    Background: ECCO essential requirements for quality cancer care (ERQCC) are checklists and explanations of organisation and actions that are necessary to give high-quality care to patients who have a specific type of cancer. They are written by European experts representing all disciplines involved in cancer care. ERQCC papers give oncology teams, patients, policymakers and managers an overview of the elements needed in any healthcare system to provide high quality of care throughout the patient journey. References are made to clinical guidelines and other resources where appropriate, and the focus is on care in Europe. Oesophageal and gastric: essential requirements for quality care: Oesophageal and gastric (OG) cancers are a challenging tumour group with a poor prognosis and wide variation in outcomes among European countries. Increasing numbers of older people are contracting the diseases, and treatments and care pathways are becoming more complex in both curative and palliative settings. High-quality care can only be a carried out in specialised OG cancer units or centres which have both a core multidisciplinary team and an extended team of allied professionals, and which are subject to quality and audit procedures. Such units or centres are far from universal in all European countries. It is essential that, to meet European aspirations for comprehensive cancer control, healthcare organisations implement the essential requirements in this paper, paying particular attention to multidisciplinarity and patient-centred pathways from diagnosis, to treatment, to survivorship. Conclusion: Taken together, the information presented in this paper provides a comprehensive description of the essential requirements for establishing a high-quality OG cancer service. The ERQCC expert group is aware that it is not possible to propose a one size fits all' system for all countries, but urges that access to multidisciplinary units or centres must be guaranteed for all those with OG cancer.
  • Brausi, Maurizio; Hoskin, Peter; Andritsch, Elisabeth; Banks, Ian; Beishon, Marc; Boyle, Helen; Colecchia, Maurizio; Delgado-Bolton, Roberto; Hoeckel, Michael; Leonard, Kay; Loevey, Jozsef; Maroto, Pablo; Mastris, Ken; Medeiros, Rui; Naredi, Peter; Oyen, Raymond; de Reijke, Theo; Selby, Peter; Saarto, Tiina; Valdagni, Riccardo; Costa, Alberto; Poortmans, Philip (2020)
    Background ECCO Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care (ERQCC) are written by experts representing all disciplines involved in cancer care in Europe. They give oncology teams, patients, policymakers and managers an overview of essential care throughout the patient journey. Prostate cancer Prostate cancer is the second most common male cancer and has a wide variation in outcomes in Europe. It has complex diagnosis and treatment challenges, and is a major healthcare burden. Care must only be a carried out in prostate/urology cancer units or centres that have a core multidisciplinary team (MDT) and an extended team of health professionals. Such units are far from universal in European countries. To meet European aspirations for comprehensive cancer control, healthcare organisations must consider the requirements in this paper, paying particular attention to multidisciplinarity and patient-centred pathways from diagnosis, to treatment, to survivorship.
  • Taskinen, Seppo; Lohi, Jouko; Koskenvuo, Minna; Taskinen, Mervi (2018)
    Purpose: To evaluate usefulness of cutting needle biopsy (CNB) to recognize pediatric renal tumors and to predict the evolution of histology during preoperative chemotherapy of Wilms tumors. Methods: Ninety pediatric patients were operated for renal tumors at our institution in 1988-2015. We included all 64 patients who had undergone CNB at diagnosis and whose CNB and nephrectomy samples were available for re-evaluation. Results: The CNB was diagnostic in all 59 Wilms tumors but only in two out of live non-Wilms tumors. Anaplasia was missed by CNB in one of three with diffuse anaplasia in nephrectomy specimens. In Wilms tumors the proportions of the blastemal, stromal and epithelial components were 55% (IQR 25-85), 28% (IQR 10-58) and 2% (IQR 0-10) in CNB samples and 5% (IQR 0-64), 15% (IQR 0-50) and 15% (IQR 0-44) in the nephrectomy specimens (p-values 0.002,0.599 and 0.005 respectively). The degree of tumor necrosis was in median 80% (IQR 21-97), after preoperative chemotherapy. The degree of tumor necrosis after chemotherapy had a positive correlation with the proportion of blastemal component (p = 0.008) and a negative correlation with proportion of epithelial component in pre-chemotherapy CNB samples (p <0.001). Conclusions: Wilms tumors are usually recognizable unlike non-Wilms tumors in CNB at diagnosis. In Wilms tumors, high blastemal cell content is associated with significant tumor necrosis during pre-operative chemotherapy. Our results do not support routine use of CNB in diagnosis of renal tumors. Type of study: Retrospective review. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Greer, Mark; Berastegui, Cristina; Jaksch, Peter; Benden, Christian; Aubert, John; Roux, Antoine; Lhuillier, Elodie; Hirschi, Sandrine; Reynaud-Gaubert, Martine; Philit, Francois; Claustre, Johanna; LePalud, Pierre; Stern, Marc; Knoop, Christiane; Vos, Robin; Verschuuren, Erik; Fisher, Andrew; Riise, Gerdt; Hansson, Lennart; Iversen, Martin; Hämmäinen, Pekka; Wedel, Hans; Smits, Jacqueline; Gottlieb, Jens; Holm, Are M. (2018)
    Late-onset noninfectious pulmonary complications (LONIPCs) affect 6% of allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) recipients within 5 years, conferring subsequent 5-year survival of 50%. Lung transplantation is rarely performed in this setting due to concomitant extrapulmonary morbidity, excessive immunosuppression and concerns about recurring malignancy being considered contraindications. This study assesses survival in highly selected patients undergoing lung transplantation for LONIPCs after SCT. SCT patients undergoing lung transplantation at 20 European centres between 1996 and 2014 were included. Clinical data pre- and post-lung transplantation were reviewed. Propensity score-matched controls were generated from the Eurotransplant and Scandiatransplant registries. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazard regression models evaluating predictors of graft loss were performed. Graft survival at 1, 3 and 5 years of 84%, 72% and 67%, respectively, among the 105 SCT patients proved comparable to controls (p=0.75). Sepsis accounted for 15 out of 37 deaths (41%), with prior mechanical ventilation (HR 6.9, 95% CI 1.0-46.7; p Lung transplantation outcomes following SCT were comparable to other end-stage diseases. Lung transplantation should be considered feasible in selected candidates. No SCT-specific factors influencing outcome were identified within this carefully selected patient cohort.
  • RIPTRANS Study Grp Collaborators; Uutela, Aki; Helanterä, Ilkka; Lemström, Karl; Passov, Arie; Syrjälä, Simo; Åberg, Fredrik; Mäkisalo, Heikki; Nordin, Arno; Lempinen, Marko; Sallinen, Ville (2020)
    Introduction Remote ischaemic preconditioning (RIPC) using a non-invasive pneumatic tourniquet is a potential method for reducing ischaemia-reperfusion injury. RIPC has been extensively studied in animal models and cardiac surgery, but scarcely in solid organ transplantation. RIPC could be an inexpensive and simple method to improve function of transplanted organs. Accordingly, we aim to study whether RIPC performed in brain-dead organ donors improves function and longevity of transplanted organs. Methods and analyses RIPTRANS is a multicentre, sham-controlled, parallel group, randomised superiority trial comparing RIPC intervention versus sham-intervention in brain-dead organ donors scheduled to donate at least one kidney. Recipients of the organs (kidney, liver, pancreas, heart, lungs) from a randomised donor will be included provided that they give written informed consent. The RIPC intervention is performed by inflating a thigh tourniquet to 300 mm Hg 4 times for 5 min. The intervention is done two times: first right after the declaration of brain death and second immediately before transferring the donor to the operating theatre. The sham group receives the tourniquet, but it is not inflated. The primary endpoint is delayed graft function (DGF) in kidney allografts. Secondary endpoints include short-term functional outcomes of transplanted organs, rejections and graft survival in various time points up to 20 years. We aim to show that RIPC reduces the incidence of DGF from 25% to 15%. According to this, the sample size is set to 500 kidney transplant recipients. Ethics and dissemination This study has been approved by Helsinki University Hospital Ethics Committee and Helsinki University Hospital's Institutional Review Board. The study protocol was be presented at the European Society of Organ Transplantation congress in Copenhagen 14-15 September 2019. The study results will be submitted to an international peer-reviewed scientific journal for publication.