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  • Kekoni, Jouni (Helsingin yliopisto, 1999)
    In the present work, effects of stimulus repetition and change in a continuous stimulus stream on the processing of somatosensory information in the human brain were studied. Human scalp-recorded somatosensory event-related potentials (ERPs) and magnetoencephalographic (MEG) responses rapidly diminished with stimulus repetition when mechanical or electric stimuli were applied to fingers. On the contrary, when the ERPs and multi-unit a ctivity (MUA) were directly recorded from the primary (SI) and secondary (SII) somatosensory cortices in a monkey, there was no marked decrement in the somatosensory responses as a function of stimulus repetition. These results suggest that this rate effect is not due to the response diminution in the SI and SII cortices. Obviously the responses to the first stimulus after a long "silent" period are nhanced due to unspecific initial orientation, originating in more broadly distributed and/or deeper neural structures, perhaps in the prefrontal cortices. With fast repetition rates not only the late unspecific but also some early specific somatosensory ERPs were diminished in amplitude. The fast decrease of the ERPs as a function of stimulus repetition is mainly due to the disappearance of the orientation effect and with faster repetition rates additively due to stimulus specific refractoriness. A sudden infrequent change in the continuous stimulus stream also enhanced somatosensory MEG responses to electric stimuli applied to different fingers. These responses were quite similar to those elicited by the deviant stimuli alone when the frequent standard stimuli were omitted. This enhancement was obviously due to the release from refractoriness because the neural structures generating the responses to the infrequent deviants had more time to recover from the refractoriness than the respective structures for the standards. Infrequent deviant mechanical stimuli among frequent standard stimuli also enhanced somatosensory ERPs and, in addition, they elicited a new negative wave which did not occur in the deviants-alone condition. This extra negativity could be recorded to deviations in the stimulation site and in the frequency of the vibratory stimuli. This response is probably a somatosensory analogue of the auditory mismatch negativity (MMN) which has been suggested to reflect a neural mismatch process between the sensory input and the sensory memory trace.
  • Toppinen-Tanner, Salla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The major changes that have been witnessed in today's workplaces are challenging the mental well-being of employed people. Stress and burnout are considered to be modern epidemics, and their importance to physical health and work ability has been acknowledged world-wide. The aim of the thesis was to study the concept of burnout as a process proceeding from its antecedents, through the development of the syndrome, and to its outcomes. Several work-related factors considered antecedents of burnout were studied in different occupational groups. The syndrome of burnout is seen as consisting of three dimensions - exhaustion, cynicism and lack of professional efficacy - and different alternatives for the sequential development of these dimensions were tested. Furthermore, several indicators of the severely detrimental health and work ability outcomes of burnout were investigated in a longitudinal study design. The research questions were as follows. 1) Is burnout, as measured with the Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey (MBI-GS), a three-dimensional construct and how invariant is the factorial structure across occupations (Finnish) and national samples (Finnish, Swedish and Dutch)? How persistent is exhaustion over time? 2) What is the sequential process of burnout? Is it similar across occupations? How do work stressors relate to the process? 3) How does burnout relate to severe health consequences as well as temporary and chronic work disability according to hospitalization periods, sick-leave episodes and receiving disability pensions? The data were collected between 1986 and 2005. The population of the study consisted of respondents to a company-wide questionnaire survey carried out in 1996-1997 (N=9705, response rate 63%). The participants comprised 6025 blue-collar workers and 3680 white-collar workers. The majority were men (N=7494) and the average age was 43.7 years. In addition, a sample from the population had responded to a questionnaire survey in 1988, which was combined with the 1996 data to form panel data on 713 respondents. The register-based data were collected between 1986 and 2005 from 1) the company's occupational health services' records for a sample of respondents from the 1996 questionnaire survey (sick-leave data), 2) hospitalization records from the Hospital discharge register, and 3) disability pension records from the Finnish Centre for Pensions. These data were combined person by person with the 1996 questionnaire survey data with the help of personal identification numbers which were saved with the study numbers by the researchers. The results showed that burnout consists of three separate but correlating symptoms: exhaustion, cynicism and lack of professional efficacy. As a syndrome, burnout was strongly related to job stressors at work, and seemed to develop from exhaustion through cynicism to lack of professional efficacy in a similar manner among white-collar and blue-collar employees. The results also showed that exhaustion persisted even after eight years of follow-up but did not predict cynicism or lack of professional efficacy after that amount of time. Nor were job stressors longitudinally related to burnout. Longitudinal results were obtained for the severe health-related consequences of burnout. The investigated outcomes represented different phases of health deterioration ranging from sick-leaves and hospitalization periods to receiving work disability pensions. The results showed that burnout syndrome, and its elements of exhaustion and cynicism, were related to future mental and cardiovascular disorders as indicated by hospitalization periods. Burnout was also related to future sick-leave periods due to mental, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disorders. Of the separate elements, exhaustion was related to the same three categories of disorder, cynicism to mental, musculoskeletal and digestive disorders, and lack of professional efficacy to mental and musculoskeletal disorders. Burnout also predicted receiving disability pensions due to mental and musculoskeletal disorders among initially healthy subjects. Exhaustion was related to receiving disability pensions even when self-reported chronic illness was taken into account. The results suggest that burnout is a multidimensional, chronic, work-related syndrome, which may have serious consequences for health and work ability.
  • Ilveskero, Sorella (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
  • Salo, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2004)
  • Uittamo, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Oral cancer is the seventh most common cancer worldwide and its incidence is increasing. The most important risk factors for oral cancer are chronic alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking, up to 80 % of oral carcinomas are estimated to be caused by alcohol and tobacco. They both trigger an increased level of salivary acetaldehyde, during and after consumption, which is believed to lead to carcinogenesis. Acetaldehyde has multiple mutagenic features and it has recently been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen for humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Acetaldehyde is metabolized from ethanol by microbes of oral microbiota. Some oral microbes possess alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme (ADH) activity, which is the main enzyme in acetaldehyde production. Many microbes are also capable of acetaldehyde production via alcohol fermentation from glucose. However, metabolism of ethanol into acetaldehyde leads to production of high levels of this carcinogen. Acetaldehyde is found in saliva during and after alcohol consumption. In fact, rather low ethanol concentrations (2-20mM) derived from blood to saliva are enough for microbial acetaldehyde production. The high acetaldehyde levels in saliva after alcohol challenge are explained by the lack of oral microbiota and mucosa to detoxify acetaldehyde by metabolizing it into acetate and acetyl coenzymeA. The aim of this thesis project was to specify the role of oral microbes in the in vitro production of acetaldehyde in the presence of ethanol. In addition, it was sought to establish whether microbial metabolism could also produce acetaldehyde from glucose. Furthermore, the potential of xylitol to inhibit ethanol metabolism and acetaldehyde production was explored. Isolates of oral microbes were used in the first three studies. Acetaldehyde production was analyzed after ethanol, glucose and fructose incubation with gas chromatography measurement. In studies I and III, the ADH enzyme activity of some microbes was measured by fluorescence. The effect of xylitol was analyzed by incubating microbes with ethanol and xylitol. The fourth study was made ex vivo and microbial samples obtained from different patient groups were analyzed. This work has demonstrated that isolates of oral microbiota are able to produce acetaldehyde in the presence of clinically relevant ethanol and glucose concentrations. Significant differences were found between microbial species and isolates from different patient groups. In particular, the ability of candidal isolates from APECED patients to produce significantly more acetaldehyde in glucose incubation compared to healthy and cancer patient isolates is an interesting observation. Moreover, xylitol was found to reduce their acetaldehyde production significantly. Significant ADH enzyme activity was found in the analyzed high acetaldehyde producing streptococci and candida isolates. In addition, xylitol was found to reduce the ADH enzyme activity of C. albicans. Some results from the ex vivo study were controversial, since acetaldehyde production did not correlate as expected with the amount of microbes in the samples. Nevertheless, the samples isolated from patients did produce significant amounts of acetaldehyde with a clinically relevant ethanol concentration.
  • Joensuu, Jussi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    F4 fimbriae of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) are highly stable multimeric structures with a capacity to evoke mucosal immune responses. With these characters F4 offer a unique model system to study oral vaccination against ETEC-induced porcine postweaning diarrhea. Postweaning diarrhea is a major problem in piggeries worldwide and results in significant economic losses. No vaccine is currently available to protect weaned piglets against ETEC infections. Transgenic plants provide an economically feasible platform for large-scale production of vaccine antigens for animal health. In this study, the capacity of transgenic plants to produce FaeG protein, the major structural subunit and adhesin of F4 fimbria, was evaluated. Using the model plant tobacco, the optimal subcellular location for FaeG accumulation was examined. Targeting of FaeG into chloroplasts offered a superior accumulation level of 1% of total soluble proteins (TSP) over the other investigated subcellular locations, namely, the endoplasmic reticulum and the apoplast. Moreover, we determined whether the FaeG protein, when isolated from its fimbrial background and produced in a plant cell, would retain the key properties of an oral vaccine, i.e. stability in gastrointestinal conditions, binding to porcine intestinal F4 receptors (F4R), and inhibition of the F4-possessing (F4+) ETEC attachment to F4R. The chloroplast-derived FaeG protein did show resistance against low pH and proteolysis in the simulated gastrointestinal conditions and was able to bind to the F4R, subsequently inhibiting the F4+ ETEC binding in a dose-dependent manner. To investigate the oral immunogenicity of FaeG protein, the edible crop plant alfalfa was transformed with the chloroplast-targeting construct and equally to tobacco plants, a high-yield FaeG accumulation of 1% of TSP was obtained. A similar yield was also obtained in the seeds of barley, a valuable crop plant, when the FaeG-encoding gene was expressed under an endosperm-specific promoter and subcellularly targeted into the endoplasmic reticulum. Furthermore, desiccated alfalfa plants and barley grains were shown to have a capacity to store FaeG protein in a stable form for years. When the transgenic alfalfa plants were administred orally to weaned piglets, slight F4-specific systemic and mucosal immune responses were induced. Co-administration of the transgenic alfalfa and the mucosal adjuvant cholera toxin enhanced the F4-specific immune response; the duration and number of F4+ E. coli excretion following F4+ ETEC challenge were significantly reduced as compared with pigs that had received nontransgenic plant material. In conclusion, the results suggest that transgenic plants producing the FaeG subunit protein could be used for production and delivery of oral vaccines against porcine F4+ ETEC infections. The findings here thus present new approaches to develop the vaccination strategy against porcine postweaning diarrhea.
  • Kudashev, Igor (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    The methodology of designing normative terminological products has been described in several guides and international standards. However, this methodology is not always applicable to designing translation-oriented terminological products which differ greatly from normative ones in terms of volume, function, and primary target group. This dissertation has three main goals. The first is to revise and enrich the stock of concepts and terms required in the process of designing an LSP dictionary for translators. The second is to detect, classify, and describe the factors which determine the characteristics of an LSP dictionary for translators and affect the process of its compilation. The third goal is to provide recommendations on different aspects of dictionary design. The study is based on an analysis of dictionaries, dictionary reviews, literature on translation-oriented lexicography, material from several dictionary projects, and the results of questionnaires. Thorough analysis of the concept of a dictionary helped us to compile a list of designable characteristics of a dictionary. These characteristics include target group, function, links to other resources, data carrier, list of lemmata, information about the lemmata, composition of other parts of the dictionary, compression of the data, structure of the data, and access structure. The factors which determine the characteristics of a dictionary have been divided into those derived from the needs of the intended users and those reflecting the restrictions of the real world (e.g. characteristics of the data carrier and organizational factors) and attitudes (e.g. traditions and scientific paradigms). The designer of a dictionary is recommended to take the intended users' needs as the starting point and aim at finding the best compromise between the conflicting factors. When designing an LSP dictionary, much depends on the level of knowledge of the intended users about the domain in question as well as their general linguistic competence, LSP competence, and lexicographic competence. This dissertation discusses the needs of LSP translators and the role of the dictionary in the process of translation of an LSP text. It also emphasizes the importance of planning lexicographic products and activities, and addresses many practical aspects of dictionary design.
  • Öz, Bahar (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    According to the literature and statistical figures, professional drivers constitute a high-risk group in traffic and should be investigated in connection with the factors related to safe driving. However, safety-related behaviours and outcomes among professional drivers have attracted very little attention from safety researchers. In addition, comparing different professional and non-professional driver groups in terms of critical on-the-road characteristics and outcomes has been indicated in the literature as being necessary for a more comprehensive understanding of driver groups and the nature of driving itself. The aim of the present study was to investigate professional driving from a safety climate stand point in relation to predominant driving-related factors and by considering the differences between driver groups. Hence, four Sub-studies were conducted according to a framework emphasizing the relationships between safety climate, driver groups, driver stress, human factors (i.e., driver behaviour and performance) and accidents. Demographic information, as well as data for driver behaviour, performance, and driver stress was collected by questionnaire. The data was analysed using factor analysis, analysis of covariance as well as hierarchical and logistic regression analysis. The results revealed multi-dimensional factor structures for the safety climate measures. Considering the relationships between variables, differences were evidenced regarding on-the-road stress reactions, risky driver behaviours and penalties, between the various professional and non-professional driver groups. Driver stress was found to be related to accidents. The results also indicated that the safety climate has positive relationships with both driver behaviour and performance, and as well as involvement in accidents. The present study has a number of critical implications resulting from the fact that the way in which the effects of safety climate on professional driving were investigated, as well as the differences between professional and non-professional driver groups, was unique. Additionally, for the first time, a safety climate scale was developed specifically for professional drivers. According to the results of the study and to previous literature, a tentative model was proposed representing a possible route for the relationships between safety climate, human factors, driver stress, driver groups and accidents, by emphasizing the effects of safety climate.
  • Siironen, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
  • Koskensalo, Selja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    Background and aims: The most important prognostic factor in colorectal cancer (CRC) is tumour stage. Prognosis of local tumours is good, but in tumours with lymph node or distant metastasis, the prognosis is worse. Patients with stage III (Dukes C) tumours usually receive adjuvant chemotherapy. Patients with stage IV (Dukes D) tumours cannot be treated curatively by surgery alone and usually receive chemotherapy. In stage II (Dukes B) disease, adjuvant chemotherapy is recommended for patients at risk for recurrence, such as with tumours with vascular or perineural invasion, or in cases with emergency surgery or insufficient lymph-node harvest. In order to identify better those patients requires additional prognostic factors like biomarkers. Material and methods: Clinical data came from 643 consecutive patients who underwent surgery for colorectal cancer at the Department of Surgery, Meilahti Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital, between 1982 and 1998. Clinical data and archival tissue specimens were available from 623 cases. For MMP-9, a validation series of 213 patients treated between 1998 and 2001 was included. Survival data came from the Population Register Centre of Finland and Statistics Finland. Tissue microarray (TMA) blocks were prepared from re-evaluated histological archive blocks. TMA slides were stained with MMP-2, MMP-7, MMP-8, MMP-9, TATI, trypsinogen-1, trypsinogen-2, p53, Ki-67, and EGFR antibodies. Correlation of immunoexpression of markers with clinicopathological variables was assessed. Survival analysis was performed by the Kaplan-Meier method, and multivariate Cox proportional hazards model. Results: Study I showed strong MMP-7 to be an independent prognostic marker for 5-year survival, but later the difference faded. In Study II, no association was observable between p53 or Ki-67 expression and survival. In Study III, TATI immunoexpression was an independent prognostic marker for improved survival, particularly in subgroups of trypsinogen-1- and trypsinogen-2-positive patients, although trypsinogen-1 and trypsinogen-2 were not prognostic factors. In Study IV, MMP-9 expression was an independent prognostic marker of favourable survival in Dukes B patients, but the validation series did not confirm these results. MMP-2 and MMP-8 immunoexpression lacked any correlation with prognosis. In Study V, EGFR+TATI+ patients had significantly better prognosis than did those with EGFR+TATI-, EGFR-TATI+, or EGFR-TATI-. Conclusion: MMP-7, MMP-9, TATI, and the TATI-EGFR combination can all serve as prognostic biomarkers in CRC.
  • Kanerva, Jukka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2002)
  • Koljonen, Virve (Helsingin yliopisto, 2004)
  • Ilmonen, Suvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
  • Taskinen, Minna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Follicular lymphoma (FL) is the second most common non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It is an indolent and clinically heterogeneous disease, which is generally considered incurable. Currently, immunochemotherapy has significantly improved the outcome of FL patients. This is based on the combination of rituximab, a monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody, with chemotherapy, and is used at present as a standard first-line therapy in FL. Thus far, however, patients have been selected for treatment based on clinical risk factors and indices that were developed before the rituximab era. Therefore, there is a growing need to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease, which would not only provide information to predict survival in the rituximab era, but also enable the design of more targeted therapeutic strategies. In this study, our aim was to identify genes predicting the outcome in FL patients treated with immunochemotherapy. Thus, we performed a cDNA microarray with 24 FL patients. When gene expression differences from diagnostic tumour samples were related to the clinical outcome, we identified novel genes with a prognostic impact on survival. The expression of selected genes was further characterized with quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Interestingly, the prognostic influence of these genes was often associated with their expression in non-malignant cells instead of tumour cells. Based on the observed gene expression patterns, we analyzed the abundance and prognostic value of non-malignant immune cells in 95-98 FL patients treated with immunochemotherapy. We observed that a high content of tumour-associated macrophages was a marker of a favourable prognosis. In contrast, the accumulation of mast cells correlated with a poor outcome and was further associated with tumour vascularity. Increased microvessel density also correlated with an inferior outcome. In addition, we used the same microarray data with a systems biology approach to identify signalling pathways or groups of genes capable of separating patients with favourable or adverse outcomes. Among the transcripts, there were many genes associated with signal transducers and activators of the transcription (STAT5a) pathway. When IHC was used as validation, STAT5a expression was mostly observed in T-cells and follicular dendritic cells, and expression was found to predict a favourable outcome. In cell cultures, rituximab was observed to induce the expression of STAT5a-associated interleukins in human lymphoma cell lines, which might provide a possible link for the cross-talk between rituximab-induced FL cells and their microenvironment. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that the microenvironment has a prognostic role in FL patients treated with immunochemotherapy. The results also address the importance of re-evaluating the prognostic markers in the rituximab era of lymphoma therapies.
  • Mäkitie, Teemu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2001)
  • Koskinen, Walter (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide. Well-known risk factors include tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption. Overall survival has improved, but is still low especially in developing countries. One reason for this is the often advanced stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis, but also lack of reliable prognostic tools to enable individualized patient treatment to improve outcome. To date, the TNM classification still serves as the best disease evaluation criterion, although it does not take into account the molecular basis of the tumor. The need for surrogate molecular markers for more accurate disease prediction has increased research interests in this field. We investigated the prevalence, physical status, and viral load of human papillomavirus (HPV) in HNSCC to determine the impact of HPV on head and neck carcinogenesis. The prevalence and genotyping of HPV were assessed with an SPF10 PCR microtiter plate-based hybridization assay (DEIA), followed by a line probe-based genotyping assay. More than half of the patients had HPV DNA in their tumor specimens. Oncogenic HPV-16 was the most common type, and coinfections with other oncogenic and benign associated types also existed. HPV-16 viral load was unevenly distributed among different tumor sites; the tonsils harbored significantly greater amounts of virus than other sites. Episomal location of HPV-16 was associated with large tumors, and both integrated and mixed forms of viral DNA were detected. In this series, we could not show that the presence of HPV DNA correlated with survival. In addition, we investigated the prevalence and genotype of HPV in laryngeal carcinoma patients in a prospective Nordic multicenter study based on fresh-frozen laryngeal tumor samples to determine whether the tumors were HPV-associated. These patients were also examined and interviewed at diagnosis for known risk factors, such as tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption, and for several other habituations to elucidate their effects on patient survival. HPV analysis was performed with the same protocols as in the first study. Only 4% of the specimens harbored HPV DNA. Heavy drinking was associated with poor survival. Heavy drinking patients were also younger than nonheavy drinkers and had a more advanced stage of disease at diagnosis. Heavy drinkers had worse oral hygiene than nonheavy drinkers; however, poor oral hygiene did not have prognostic significance. History of chronic laryngitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and orogenital sex contacts were rare in this series. To clarify why vocal cord carcinomas seldom metastasize, we determined tumor lymph vessel (LVD) and blood vessel (BVD) densities in HNSCC patients. We used a novel lymphatic vessel endothelial marker (LYVE-1 antibody) to locate the lymphatic vessels in HNSCC samples and CD31 to detect the blood microvessels. We found carcinomas of the vocal cords to harbor less lymphatic and blood microvessels than carcinomas arising from sites other than vocal cords. The lymphatic and blood microvessel densities did not correlate with tumor size. High BVD was strongly correlated with high LVD. Neither BVD nor LVD showed any association with survival in our series. The immune system plays an important role in tumorigenesis, as neoplastic cells have to escape the cytotoxic lymphocytes in order to survive. Several candidate HLA class II alleles have been reported to be prognostic in cervical carcinomas, an epithelial malignancy resembling HNSCC. These alleles may have an impact on head and neck carcinomas as well. We determined HLA-DRB1* and -DQB1* alleles in HNSCC patients. Healthy organ donors served as controls. The Inno-LiPA reverse dot-blot kit was used to identify alleles in patient samples. No single haplotype was found to be predictive of either the risk for head and neck cancer, or the clinical course of the disease. However, alleles observed to be prognostic in cervical carcinomas showed a similar tendency in our series. DRB1*03 was associated with node-negative disease at diagnosis. DRB1*08 and DRB1*13 were associated with early-stage disease; DRB1*04 had a lower risk for tumor relapse; and DQB1*03 and DQB1*0502 were more frequent in controls than in patients. However, these associations reached only borderline significance in our HNSCC patients.
  • Raj, Rahul (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Background: Prognostic models are important tools for heterogeneity adjustment in traumatic brain injury (TBI). Prognoses after TBI have been particularly challenging to predict, with limited availability of robust prognostic models. TBI patients are by definition trauma patients, and often treated in the intensive care unit (ICU). Several prognostic models for ICU and trauma patients have been developed, although their applicability in patients with TBI is uncertain. Recently, however, some new prognostic models specifically designed for patients with TBI were introduced. Still, the optimal type of prognostic model in TBI remains unknown. Aim: To investigate the applicability of different types of prognostic models in patients with TBI and to develop novel models with enhanced performance to previous models, focusing on long- term outcome prediction. Methods: Four patient databases of patients with TBI treated in the ICU were used to validate three TBI specific models, two computerized tomography (CT) scoring systems, one trauma scoring system, and three intensive care scoring systems. Models were validated by assessing their discrimination using area under the curve (AUC), calibration, and explanatory variation. Logistic regression was used for model customization and development. Models were internally validated using a resample bootstrap technique or a split-sample technique. Primary outcome was six-month mortality and unfavorable neurological outcome by the Glasgow Outcome Scale. 30-day in-hospital mortality was used for the trauma scoring system. Results: Study populations ranged from 342 to 9,915 patients. The TBI models showed the best performance with AUCs between 0.80 and 0.85, followed by the intensive care scoring systems and the CT scores with AUCs between 0.68 to 0.80 and 0.63 to 0.70, respectively. Most models showed poor calibration, although good calibration was achieved following customization. The trauma scoring system exhibited modest to good discrimination (AUC 0.76-0.89) for short-term mortality prediction, but poor calibration. Several new prognostic models, with statistically significant superior performance to previous models were created, among them a combined TBI-ICU model ( IMPACT-APACHE ) and a novel CT scoring system ( The Helsinki CT score ). Using a TBI specific model, based on admission characteristics, up to 40 % of the patient s final long-term outcome could be predicted. Conclusion: The TBI models showed superior predictive performance to the intensive care and trauma scoring systems, showing that TBI patients are a highly specific population in the trauma and ICU setting. Thus, the use of a TBI specific model is advocated in the setting of TBI. The newly proposed models were found to be significant improvements over previous models, but require external validation to show generalizability.
  • Nyman, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common of the non-Hodgkin lymphomas. As DLBCL is characterized by heterogeneous clinical and biological features, its prognosis varies. To date, the International Prognostic Index has been the strongest predictor of outcome for DLBCL patients. However, no biological characters of the disease are taken into account. Gene expression profiling studies have identified two major cell-of-origin phenotypes in DLBCL with different prognoses, the favourable germinal centre B-cell-like (GCB) and the unfavourable activated B-cell-like (ABC) phenotypes. However, results of the prognostic impact of the immunohistochemically defined GCB and non-GCB distinction are controversial. Furthermore, since the addition of the CD20 antibody rituximab to chemotherapy has been established as the standard treatment of DLBCL, all molecular markers need to be evaluated in the post-rituximab era. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the predictive value of immunohistochemically defined cell-of-origin classification in DLBCL patients. The GCB and non-GCB phenotypes were defined according to the Hans algorithm (CD10, BCL6 and MUM1/IRF4) among 90 immunochemotherapy- and 104 chemotherapy-treated DLBCL patients. In the chemotherapy group, we observed a significant difference in survival between GCB and non-GCB patients, with a good and a poor prognosis, respectively. However, in the rituximab group, no prognostic value of the GCB phenotype was observed. Likewise, among 29 high-risk de novo DLBCL patients receiving high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation, the survival of non-GCB patients was improved, but no difference in outcome was seen between GCB and non-GCB subgroups. Since the results suggested that the Hans algorithm was not applicable in immunochemotherapy-treated DLBCL patients, we aimed to further focus on algorithms based on ABC markers. We examined the modified activated B-cell-like algorithm based (MUM1/IRF4 and FOXP1), as well as a previously reported Muris algorithm (BCL2, CD10 and MUM1/IRF4) among 88 DLBCL patients uniformly treated with immunochemotherapy. Both algorithms distinguished the unfavourable ABC-like subgroup with a significantly inferior failure-free survival relative to the GCB-like DLBCL patients. Similarly, the results of the individual predictive molecular markers transcription factor FOXP1 and anti-apoptotic protein BCL2 have been inconsistent and should be assessed in immunochemotherapy-treated DLBCL patients. The markers were evaluated in a cohort of 117 patients treated with rituximab and chemotherapy. FOXP1 expression could not distinguish between patients, with favourable and those with poor outcomes. In contrast, BCL2-negative DLBCL patients had significantly superior survival relative to BCL2-positive patients. Our results indicate that the immunohistochemically defined cell-of-origin classification in DLBCL has a prognostic impact in the immunochemotherapy era, when the identifying algorithms are based on ABC-associated markers. We also propose that BCL2 negativity is predictive of a favourable outcome. Further investigational efforts are, however, warranted to identify the molecular features of DLBCL that could enable individualized cancer therapy in routine patient care.