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Nosocomial transmission of COVID-19 among immunocompromised hosts can have a serious impact on COVID-19 severity, underlying disease progression and SARS-CoV-2 transmission to other patients and healthcare workers within hospitals. We experienced a nosocomial outbreak of COVID-19 in the setting of a daycare unit for paediatric and young adult cancer patients. Between 9 and 18 November 2020, 473 individuals (181 patients, 247 caregivers/siblings and 45 staff members) were exposed to the index case, who was a nursing staff. Among them, three patients and four caregivers were infected. Two 5-year-old cancer patients with COVID-19 were not severely ill, but a 25-year-old cancer patient showed prolonged shedding of SARS-CoV-2 RNA for at least 12 weeks, which probably infected his mother at home approximately 7–8 weeks after the initial diagnosis. Except for this case, no secondary transmission was observed from the confirmed cases in either the hospital or the community. To conclude, in the day care setting of immunocompromised children and young adults, the rate of in-hospital transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was 1.6% when applying the stringent policy of infection prevention and control, including universal mask application and rapid and extensive contact investigation. Severely immunocompromised children/young adults with COVID-19 would have to be carefully managed after the mandatory isolation period while keeping the possibility of prolonged shedding of live virus in mind.
The possibility that the immune system can be harnessed to play a role in eradicating leukemia has long been an attractive concept. Numerous experiments in animal models have convincingly shown that T-lymphocytes recognize and kill malignant cells. However, human immunotherapy with non-specific stimulants, such as BCG (Calmette–Guérin bacillus), has not had a successful history. Recently, improved knowledge of the molecular basis of antigen presentation and T-cell recognition of antigen has made it clear that tumors possess antigens that could be targets for activated T-cells. Interest in cellular immunotherapy has also been stimulated by clinical studies showing the efficacy of unmanipulated donor T-cells as therapy for relapse after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT). In this chapter we review clinical immunotherapy strategies now being applied in the treatment of leukemia.
Immune system recognition of tumor cells
Recent advances in basic immunology have provided important insights into the mechanisms by which the immune system recognizes tumor cells. Dissection of the processes of antigen presentation and T-cell recognition of antigen has yielded particularly useful information in this regard. Advances in genomics have also simplified the identification of putative tumor antigens through the use of new informatics tools to deduce epitopes from candidate genes.
To improve the IPD reliability of NAND flash memory, plasma oxidation was introduced as the post-treatment process of ONO (Oxide/Nitride/Oxide) IPD. The LP-CVD SiO2 modified by plasma oxidation showed the excellent electrical properties. e.g., low leakage current, high breakdown voltage etc. By the analysis of Tof-SIMS and XRR, we could observe the several changes of physical characteristics such as the reduction of impurities (H, N etc.), the increase of oxide density, and the improvement of oxide surface roughness. We found out the appropriate treatment condition to be able to densify oxide layer without the addition of ONO Equivalent Oxide Thickness (EOT). The LP-CVD SiO2 prepared by plasma oxidation was used for the ONO IPD of 50nm NAND flash device and also compared with the conventional LP-CVD SiO2 in the aspect of the IPD reliability.
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally
written up for the volume.
Recent advancements in various industries have necessitated the
development of new engineering materials exhibiting superior properties
of different character. For example, composite electroplating renders
excellent corrosion- and wear-resistant materials with good lubrication
behavior and chemical stability. Nanometer-sized diamond particles are
expected to be good dispersion materials in electro-less composite
plating. However, the processing conditions and characteristics of
metal/diamond composites are not well understood so far. In this
investigation, we developed new processes for co-deposition of
Ni-P/diamond composite films on steel plates using the commercial
electrolyte composed of nickel sulfate and sodium hypophosphite. No
additives were applied in this process as in the conventional methods for
the efficient dispersion of diamond particles. The diamond particles of a
few hundred nanometer size were dispersed in an ultrasonic bath of
de-ionized water. The zeta potential of the diamond solution was measured
prior to the incorporation into the electrolyte. The morphology of the
prepared films was characterized by FESEM. Based on the FESEM images, the
size distribution of the diamond particles was determined using an image
analyzer program. The micro-hardness, the coefficient of friction, and
the corrosion potential were measured by Vickers hardness tester,
tribometer and potentiometer, respectively. The present experimental
results revealed remarkable differences in the values of the
micro-hardness, the coefficient of friction, and the corrosion potential,
compared to those of conventional diamond-free electro-less Ni-P plates.
Process conditions were optimized in terms of the concentration of
diamond particles, ultrasonic dispersion time, and pH of the electrolyte.
As the concentration of diamond particles increased from 0.5to 3g/l, the
zeta potential was decreasing with more particles aggregated. The higher
the diamond concentration, the higher the volume fraction of diamond
particles co-deposited in the nickel matrix. In turn, the coefficient of
friction and corrosion potential increasd with the increasing diamond
concentration. The particle size distribution was the most uniform in the
samples prepared at the concentration of 1.0g/l. The best mechanical
properties were obtained when the dispersion time was 30min. and the pH
High plasma level of cholesterol is a well-known risk factor for atherosclerotic diseases. Oxidized LDL induces cellular and nuclear damage that leads to apoptotic cell death. We tested the hypothesis that flavonoids may function as antioxidants with regard to LDL incubated with 5 μm-Cu2+ alone or in combination with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Cytotoxicity and formation of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances induced by Cu2+-oxidized LDL were examined in the presence of various subtypes of flavonoid. Flavanols, flavonols and flavanones at a non-toxic dose of 50 μm markedly inhibited LDL oxidation by inhibiting the formation of peroxidative products. In contrast, the flavones luteolin and apigenin had no such effect, with >30 % of cells killed after exposure to 0.1 mg LDL/ml. Protective flavonoids, especially (−)-epigallocatechin gallate, quercetin, rutin and hesperetin, inhibited HUVEC nuclear condensation and fragmentation induced by Cu2+-oxidized LDL. In addition, immunochemical staining and Western blot analysis revealed that anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 expression was enhanced following treatment with these protective flavonoids. However, Bax expression and caspase-3 cleavage stimulated by 18 h incubation with oxidized LDL were reduced following treatment with these protective flavonoids. The down-regulation of Bcl-2 and up-regulation of caspase-3 activation were reversed by the cytoprotective flavonoids, (−)-epigallocatechin gallate, quercetin and hesperetin, at ≥10 μm. These results suggest that flavonoids may differentially prevent Cu2+-oxidized LDL-induced apoptosis and promote cell survival as potent antioxidants. Survival potentials of certain flavonoids against cytotoxic oxidized LDL appeared to stem from their disparate chemical structure. Furthermore, dietary flavonoids may have therapeutic potential for protecting the endothelium from oxidative stress and oxidized LDL-triggered atherogenesis.
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