Browsing by Subject "PLACEBO"

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  • Holster, Savanne; Hooiveld, Guido J.; Repsilber, Dirk; de Vos, Willem M.; Brummer, Robert J.; König, Julia (2019)
    Faecal microbiota transfer (FMT) consists of the introduction of new microbial communities into the intestine of a patient, with the aim of restoring a disturbed gut microbiota. Even though it is used as a potential treatment for various diseases, it is unknown how the host mucosa responds to FMT. This study aims to investigate the colonic mucosa gene expression response to allogenic (from a donor) or autologous (own) FMT in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In a recently conducted randomised, double-blinded, controlled clinical study, 17 IBS patients were treated with FMT by colonoscopy. RNA was isolated from colonic biopsies collected by sigmoidoscopy at baseline, as well as two weeks and eight weeks after FMT. In patients treated with allogenic FMT, predominantly immune response-related gene sets were induced, with the strongest response two weeks after the FMT. In patients treated with autologous FMT, predominantly metabolism-related gene sets were affected. Furthermore, several microbiota genera showed correlations with immune-related gene sets, with different correlations found after allogenic compared to autologous FMT. This study shows that the microbe-host response is influenced by FMT on the mucosal gene expression level, and that there are clear differences in response to allogenic compared to autologous FMT.
  • Hjortsberg, Catharina; Bergman, Annika; Bjarnason, Anton; Heikkila, Hannele; Rielmgren, Jonas; Svensson, Ake; Tennvall, Gunnel Ragnarson (2011)
  • Hemilä, Harri (2008)
    In their paper discussing the importance of double-blinding in controlled trials, Furberg and Soliman stated that one of the established and fundamental principles for avoiding the problem of bias is to keep the study participants and the investigators blinded, or masked, to the identity of the assigned interventions. As a support to this argument they described the subgroup findings of Karlowski et al.s trial, which examined the effect of vitamin C supplementation on the commoncold[2,3]. Furberg and Soliman put a great weight on the importance of double-blinding, yet they are lax on other fundamental principles of controlled trial.
  • Holster, S.; Repsilber, D.; Geng, D.; Hyotylainen, T.; Salonen, A.; Lindqvist, C. M.; Rajan, S. K.; de Vos, W. M.; Brummer, R. J.; König, J. (2021)
    Faecal microbiota transfer (FMT) consists of the infusion of donor faecal material into the intestine of a patient with the aim to restore a disturbed gut microbiota. In this study, it was investigated whether FMT has an effect on faecal microbial composition, its functional capacity, faecal metabolite profiles and their interactions in 16 irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients. Faecal samples from eight different time points before and until six months after allogenic FMT (faecal material from a healthy donor) as well as autologous FMT (own faecal material) were analysed by 16S RNA gene amplicon sequencing and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GS-MS). The results showed that the allogenic FMT resulted in alterations in the microbial composition that were detectable up to six months, whereas after autologous FMT this was not the case. Similar results were found for the functional profiles, which were predicted from the phylogenetic sequencing data. While both allogenic FMT as well as autologous FMT did not have an effect on the faecal metabolites measured in this study, correlations between the microbial composition and the metabolites showed that the microbe-metabolite interactions seemed to be disrupted after allogenic FMT compared to autologous FMT. This shows that FMT can lead to altered interactions between the gut microbiota and its metabolites in IBS patients. Further research should investigate if and how this affects efficacy of FMT treatments.
  • Murtojärvi, Mika; Halkola, Anni S.; Airola, Antti; Laajala, Teemu D.; Mirtti, Tuomas; Aittokallio, Tero; Pahikkala, Tapio (2020)
    Introduction Predictive survival modeling offers systematic tools for clinical decision-making and individualized tailoring of treatment strategies to improve patient outcomes while reducing overall healthcare costs. In 2015, a number of machine learning and statistical models were benchmarked in the DREAM 9.5 Prostate Cancer Challenge, based on open clinical trial data for metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). However, applying these models into clinical practice poses a practical challenge due to the inclusion of a large number of model variables, some of which are not routinely monitored or are expensive to measure. Objectives To develop cost-specified variable selection algorithms for constructing cost-effective prognostic models of overall survival that still preserve sufficient model performance for clinical decision making. Methods Penalized Cox regression models were used for the survival prediction. For the variable selection, we implemented two algorithms: (i) LASSO regularization approach; and (ii) a greedy cost-specified variable selection algorithm. The models were compared in three cohorts of mCRPC patients from randomized clinical trials (RCT), as well as in a real-world cohort (RWC) of advanced prostate cancer patients treated at the Turku University Hospital. Hospital laboratory expenses were utilized as a reference for computing the costs of introducing new variables into the models. Results Compared to measuring the full set of clinical variables, economic costs could be reduced by half without a significant loss of model performance. The greedy algorithm outperformed the LASSO-based variable selection with the lowest tested budgets. The overall top performance was higher with the LASSO algorithm. Conclusion The cost-specified variable selection offers significant budget optimization capability for the real-world survival prediction without compromising the predictive power of the model.
  • Cork, Michael J.; Eckert, Laurent; Simpson, Eric L.; Armstrong, April; Barbarot, Sebastien; Puig, Luis; Girolomoni, Giampiero; de Bruin-Weller, Marjolein; Wollenberg, Andreas; Kataoka, Yoko; Remitz, Anita; Beissert, Stefan; Mastey, Vera; Ardeleanu, Marius; Chen, Zhen; Gadkari, Abhijit; Chao, Jingdong (2020)
    Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) profoundly affects quality of life (QoL). Dupilumab significantly improves clinical outcomes, is well tolerated, and approved to treat inadequately controlled moderate-to-severe AD in adults; however, its effect on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) is not fully characterized. Objective: To evaluate the impact of dupilumab on patient-reported AD symptoms and QoL. Methods: Pooled data were analyzed from two identically designed phase 3 studies, LIBERTY AD SOLO 1 (NCT02277743) and SOLO 2 (NCT02277769), assessing the following PROs: Peak Pruritus Numerical Rating Scale (NRS), Pruritus Categorical Scale, SCORing AD (SCORAD), Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), Patient-Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), five-dimension EuroQoL questionnaire (EQ-5D), and patient-assessed disease status and treatment effectiveness. Results: Dupilumab rapidly improved (vs. placebo) Peak Pruritus NRS scores by day 2 (p <.05), anxiety and depression (HADS), and QoL (DLQI) by week 2, and maintained through week 16 (p <.0001). At week 16, more dupilumab-treated than placebo-treated patients reported improvement in SCORAD itch and sleep, and no pain/discomfort (EQ-5D) (p <.0001). Limitations: Cultural differences of translated PROs. Conclusion: Dupilumab had a significant, positive impact on AD symptoms, including itch, sleep, pain, anxiety and depression, and QoL in adults with moderate-to-severe AD.
  • Matikainen, Niina; Söderlund, Sanni; Björnson, Elias; Pietiläinen, Kirsi; Hakkarainen, Antti; Lundbom, Nina; Taskinen, Marja-Riitta; Boren, Jan (2019)
    Aims Patients with type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) exhibit considerable residual risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). There is, therefore, increasing interest in targeting postprandial lipid metabolism and remnant cholesterol. Treatment with the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analogue liraglutide reduces CVD risk by mechanisms that remain unexplained in part. Here we investigated the effects of liraglutide intervention on ectopic fat depots, hepatic lipogenesis and fat oxidation, postprandial lipid metabolism and glycaemia in humans with type 2 diabetes. Methods The effect of liraglutide was investigated in 22 patients with adequately controlled type 2 diabetes. Patients were randomly allocated, in a single-blind fashion, to either liraglutide 1.8 mg or placebo once daily for 16 weeks. Because liraglutide is known to promote weight loss, the study included dietary counselling to achieve similar weight loss in the liraglutide and placebo groups. Cardiometabolic responses to a high-fat mixed meal were measured before and at the end of the liraglutide intervention. Results Weight loss at Week 16 was similar between the groups: -2.4 kg (-2.5%) in the liraglutide group and -2.1 kg (-2.2%) in the placebo group. HBA1c improved by 6.4 mmol/mol (0.6%) in the liraglutide group (P = 0.005). Liver fat decreased in both groups, by 31% in the liraglutide group and by 18% in the placebo group, but there were no significant changes in the rate of hepatic de novo lipogenesis or beta-hydroxybutyrate levels, a marker of fat oxidation. We observed significant postprandial decreases in triglycerides only in plasma, chylomicrons and VLDL, and remnant particle cholesterol after treatment in the liraglutide group. Fasting and postprandial apoCIII concentrations decreased after liraglutide intervention and these changes were closely related to reduced glycaemia. In relative importance analysis, approximately half of the changes in postprandial lipids were explained by reductions in apoCIII concentrations, whereas less than 10% of the variation in postprandial lipids was explained by reductions in weight, glycaemic control, liver fat or postprandial insulin responses. Conclusions Intervention with liraglutide for 16 weeks produces multiple improvements in cardiometabolic risk factors that were not seen in the placebo group, despite similar weight loss. Of particular importance was a marked reduction in postprandial atherogenic remnant particles. The underlying mechanism may be improved glycaemic control, which leads to reduced expression of apoCIII, a key regulator of hypertriglyceridaemia in hyperglycaemic patients.
  • Thyssen, Jacob P.; Heegaard, Steffen; Ivert, Lena; Remitz, Anita; Agner, Tove; De Bruin-Weller, Marjolein; Huldt-Nystrom, Theis; Korhonen, Laura; Ivert, Lina U.; Leinonen, Pekka; Mandelin, Johanna; Sarnhult, Tore; Schopf, Thomas; Sundlisaeter, Eirik; Thomsen, Simon F.; Tzellos, Thrasyvoulos; Vestergaard, Christian; von Kobyletzki, Laura; Bradley, Maria (2020)
    There is a need for unified guidance on the management of ocular manifestations of atopic dermatitis and ocular manifestations associated with dupilumab in the Nordic region (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden). This initiative gathered Nordic dermatologists and ophthalmologists to identify consensus in this area using a modified Delphi process. The initiative was led by a Nordic expert panel who developed a questionnaire that was circulated to a wider group. The results informed an agenda consisting of 24 statements to be voted on using a 5-point Likert scale at a meeting in Copenhagen on 24 April 2019. A facilitator moderated discussion and revised statements according to expert feedback for a second vote when required to reach consensus. Consensus was reached for 23 statements regarding the diagnosis, treatment and referral of these patients, which we hope will improve patient management in the Nordic region.
  • Komulainen, Kaisla; Airaksinen, Jaakko; Savelieva, Kateryna; Gluschkoff, Kia; García Velázquez, Regina; Elovainio, Marko; Jokela, Markus (2021)
    Depression can be viewed as a network of depressive symptoms that tend to reinforce each other via feedback loops. Specific symptoms of depression may be differently responsive to antidepressant treatment, and some symptoms may be more important than others in the overall improvement of depression associated with treatment. We pooled prospective data from eight industry-sponsored placebo-controlled trials for paroxetine, fluoxetine and imipramine (totaln = 3559) to examine whether improvements in specific depressive symptoms were more strongly related to improvements in other depressive symptoms among patients on active antidepressant treatment as compared to placebo. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Data on treatment was dichotomized into active treatment (receiving any antidepressant agent) vs. placebo. Time-lagged longitudinal analyses suggested that improvement in three symptoms-depressed mood, insomnia, and suicidality-had a broader overall impact on subsequent improvement in other depressive symptoms in the antidepressant condition compared to placebo (i.e., greater out-strength). Moreover, improvements in depressed mood and insomnia were more likely to follow the improvements in other symptoms in the antidepressant condition compared to placebo (i.e., greater in-strength). These results from clinical trial data suggest that depressed mood, insomnia, and suicidality may be particularly important in accounting for the remission and recovery in response to antidepressant treatment.
  • HAROSA II Study Grp; Dauvilliers, Yves; Verbraecken, Johan; Partinen, Markku; Pepin, Jean-Louis (2020)
    Rationale: Excessive daytime sleepiness is a common disabling symptom in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of pitolisant, a selective histamine H3 receptor antagonist with wake-promoting effects, for the treatment of daytime sleepiness in patients with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea refusing continuous positive airway pressure treatment. Methods: In an international, multicenter, double-blind, randomized (3:1), placebo-controlled, parallel-design trial, pitolisant was individually titrated at up to 20 mgld over 12 weeks. The primary endpoint was the change in the Epworth Sleepiness Scale score. Key secondary endpoints were maintenance of wakefulness assessed on the basis of the Oxford Sleep Resistance test, safety, Clinical Global Impression of severity, patient's global opinion, EuroQol quality-of-life questionnaire, and Pichot fatigue questionnaire. Measurements and Main Results: A total of 268 patients with obstructive sleep apnea (75% male; mean age, 52 yr; apnea-hypopnea index, 49/h; baseline sleepiness score, 15.7) were randomized (200 to pitolisant and 68 to placebo) and analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale score was reduced more with pitolisant than with placebo (-2.8; 95% confidence interval, -4.0 to -1.5; P <0.001). Wake maintenance tests were not improved. The Pichot fatigue score was reduced with pitolisant. The overall impact of pitolisant was confirmed by both physicians' and patients' questionnaires. Adverse event incidence, mainly headache, insomnia, nausea, and vertigo, was similar in the pitolisant and placebo groups (29.5% and 25.4%, respectively), with no cardiovascular or other significant safety concerns. Conclusions: Pitolisant significantly reduced self-reported daytime sleepiness and fatigue and improved patient-reported outcomes and physician disease severity assessment in sleepy patients with obstructive sleep apnea refusing or nonadherent to continuous positive airway pressure.
  • Guinney, Justin; Wang, Tao; Laajala, Teemu D.; Winner, Kimberly Kanigel; Bare, J. Christopher; Neto, Elias Chaibub; Khan, Suleiman A.; Peddinti, Gopal; Airola, Antti; Pahikkala, Tapio; Mirtti, Tuomas; Yu, Thomas; Bot, Brian M.; Shen, Liji; Abdallah, Kald; Norman, Thea; Friend, Stephen; Stolovitzky, Gustavo; Soule, Howard; Sweeney, Christopher J.; Ryan, Charles J.; Scher, Howard I.; Sartor, Oliver; Xie, Yang; Aittokallio, Tero; Zhou, Fang Liz; Costello, James C.; Prostate Canc Challenge DREAM Comm (2017)
    Background Improvements to prognostic models in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer have the potential to augment clinical trial design and guide treatment strategies. In partnership with Project Data Sphere, a not-for-profit initiative allowing data from cancer clinical trials to be shared broadly with researchers, we designed an open-data, crowdsourced, DREAM (Dialogue for Reverse Engineering Assessments and Methods) challenge to not only identify a better prognostic model for prediction of survival in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer but also engage a community of international data scientists to study this disease. Methods Data from the comparator arms of four phase 3 clinical trials in first-line metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer were obtained from Project Data Sphere, comprising 476 patients treated with docetaxel and prednisone from the ASCENT2 trial, 526 patients treated with docetaxel, prednisone, and placebo in the MAINSAIL trial, 598 patients treated with docetaxel, prednisone or prednisolone, and placebo in the VENICE trial, and 470 patients treated with docetaxel and placebo in the ENTHUSE 33 trial. Datasets consisting of more than 150 clinical variables were curated centrally, including demographics, laboratory values, medical history, lesion sites, and previous treatments. Data from ASCENT2, MAINSAIL, and VENICE were released publicly to be used as training data to predict the outcome of interest-namely, overall survival. Clinical data were also released for ENTHUSE 33, but data for outcome variables (overall survival and event status) were hidden from the challenge participants so that ENTHUSE 33 could be used for independent validation. Methods were evaluated using the integrated time-dependent area under the curve (iAUC). The reference model, based on eight clinical variables and a penalised Cox proportional-hazards model, was used to compare method performance. Further validation was done using data from a fifth trial-ENTHUSE M1-in which 266 patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer were treated with placebo alone. Findings 50 independent methods were developed to predict overall survival and were evaluated through the DREAM challenge. The top performer was based on an ensemble of penalised Cox regression models (ePCR), which uniquely identified predictive interaction effects with immune biomarkers and markers of hepatic and renal function. Overall, ePCR outperformed all other methods (iAUC 0.791; Bayes factor >5) and surpassed the reference model (iAUC 0.743; Bayes factor >20). Both the ePCR model and reference models stratified patients in the ENTHUSE 33 trial into high-risk and low-risk groups with significantly different overall survival (ePCR: hazard ratio 3.32, 95% CI 2.39-4.62, p Interpretation Novel prognostic factors were delineated, and the assessment of 50 methods developed by independent international teams establishes a benchmark for development of methods in the future. The results of this effort show that data-sharing, when combined with a crowdsourced challenge, is a robust and powerful framework to develop new prognostic models in advanced prostate cancer.
  • Hemilä, Harri; Chalker, Elizabeth (2020)
    Background Our recent meta-analysis indicated that vitamin C may shorten the length of ICU stay and the duration of mechanical ventilation. Here we analyze modification of the vitamin C effect on ventilation time, by the control group ventilation time (which we used as a proxy for severity of disease in the patients of each trial). Methods We searched MEDLINE, Scopus, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and reference lists of relevant publications. We included controlled trials in which the administration of vitamin C was the only difference between the study groups. We did not limit our search to randomized trials and did not require placebo control. We included all doses and all durations of vitamin C administration. One author extracted study characteristics and outcomes from the trial reports and entered the data in a spreadsheet. Both authors checked the data entered against the original reports. We used meta-regression to examine whether the vitamin C effect on ventilation time depends on the duration of ventilation in the control group. Results We identified nine potentially eligible trials, eight of which were included in the meta-analysis. We pooled the results of the eight trials, including 685 patients in total, and found that vitamin C shortened the length of mechanical ventilation on average by 14% (P = 0.00001). However, there was significant heterogeneity in the effect of vitamin C between the trials. Heterogeneity was fully explained by the ventilation time in the untreated control group. Vitamin C was most beneficial for patients with the longest ventilation, corresponding to the most severely ill patients. In five trials including 471 patients requiring ventilation for over 10 h, a dosage of 1-6 g/day of vitamin C shortened ventilation time on average by 25% (P <0.0001). Conclusions We found strong evidence that vitamin C shortens the duration of mechanical ventilation, but the magnitude of the effect seems to depend on the duration of ventilation in the untreated control group. The level of baseline illness severity should be considered in further research. Different doses should be compared directly in future trials.