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Public awareness of ‘red flag’ symptoms for head and neck cancer is low. There is a lack of evidence regarding patient concerns and expectations in consultations for cancer assessment.
This prospective questionnaire study examined the symptoms, concerns and expectations of 250 consecutive patients attending an ‘urgent suspicion of cancer’ clinic at a tertiary referral centre.
The patients’ most frequent responses regarding their concerns were ‘no concerns’ (n = 72, 29 per cent); ‘all symptoms’ were a cause for concern (n = 65, 26 per cent) and ‘neck lump’ was a symptom causing concern (n = 37, 17 per cent). The expectations of patients attending clinic were that they would find out what was wrong with them, followed by having no expectations at all. Overall patient knowledge of red flag symptoms was lacking and their expectations were low.
Patients with non-cancer symptoms are frequently referred with suspected cancer. Patients with red flag symptoms are not aware of their significance and they have low expectations of healthcare.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Studies to evaluate the effect of application time of day (TOD) and protoporphyrinogen IX oxidase (PPO)-inhibiting herbicide–resistant Palmer amaranth on the efficacy of commonly used herbicides was conducted in Tennessee in 2017 and 2018. Treatments of fomesafen, lactofen, acifluorfen, paraquat, glufosinate, glufosinate plus fomesafen, paraquat plus fomesafen, and paraquat plus metribuzin were applied to PPO-resistant (PPO-R) and PPO-susceptible (PPO-S) Palmer amaranth at sunrise and midday. Control of Palmer amaranth with acifluorfen, glufosinate, and glufosinate plus fomesafen was greater with the midday application. However, control of Palmer amaranth with paraquat-based treatments was greater with the sunrise application. TOD effects on PPO-inhibiting herbicides and paraquat-based treatments were more prominent for the PPO-R Palmer amaranth biotype. The TOD effect observed when applying glufosinate in early morning hours on PPO-S Palmer amaranth can be minimized by adding fomesafen to the tank mix. However, this strategy did not provide consistent performance on PPO-R Palmer amaranth. The percentages of living Palmer amaranth plants and control were greater when paraquat plus metribuzin was applied to both biotypes. These results highlight the necessity of at least two effective herbicide sites of action for POST applications intended for controlling PPO-R Palmer amaranth. In addition, the timing of herbicide applications can affect their activity in both PPO-R and PPO-S Palmer amaranth populations.
The completion of a laser safety course remains a core surgical curriculum requirement for otolaryngologists training in the UK. This project aimed to develop a comprehensive laser safety course utilising both technical and non-technical skills simulation.
Otolaryngology trainees and consultants from the West of Scotland Deanery attended a 1-day course comprising lectures, two high-fidelity simulation scenarios and a technical simulation of safe laser use in practice.
The course, and in particular the use of simulation training, received excellent feedback from otolaryngology trainees and consultants who participated. Both simulation scenarios were validated for future use in laser simulation.
The course has been recognised as a laser safety course sufficient for the otolaryngology Certificate of Completion of Training. To the authors’ knowledge, this article represents the first description of using in situ non-technical skills simulation training for teaching laser use in otolaryngology.
Waterhemp [Amaranthus tuberculatus (Moq.) J. D. Sauer] and Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson) are troublesome weeds of row-crop production in the United States. Their dioecious reproductive systems ensure outcrossing, facilitating rapid evolution and distribution of resistances to multiple herbicides. Little is known, however, about the genetic basis of dioecy in Amaranthus species. In this work, we use restriction site–associated DNA sequencing (RAD-Seq) to investigate the genetic basis of sex determination in A. tuberculatus and A. palmeri. For each species, approximately 200 plants of each sex were sampled and used to create RAD-Seq libraries. The resulting libraries were separately bar-coded and then pooled for sequencing with the Illumina platform, yielding millions of 64-bp reads. These reads were analyzed to identify sex-specific and sex-biased sequences. We identified 345 male-specific sequences from the A. palmeri data set and 2,754 male-specific sequences in A. tuberculatus. An unexpected 723 female-specific sequences were identified in a subset of the A. tuberculatus females; subsequent research, however, indicated female specificity of these markers was limited to the population from which they were identified. Primer sets designed to specifically amplify male-specific sequences were tested for accuracy on multiple, geographically distinct populations of A. tuberculatus and A. palmeri, as well as other Amaranthus species. Two primer sets for A. palmeri and four primer sets for A. tuberculatus were each able to distinguish between male and female plants with at least 95% accuracy. In the near term, sex-specific markers will be useful to the A. tuberculatus and A. palmeri research communities (e.g., to predict sex for crossing experiments). In the long-term, this research will provide the foundational tools for detailed investigations into the molecular biology and evolution of dioecy in weedy Amaranthus species.
There is little consensus on how best to manage head and neck cancer with palliative intent. Predicting outcome is difficult and reported survival varies. The present study sought to delineate local practice and outcomes in patients treated with palliative intent.
The clinical records of all head and neck cancer patients treated with palliative intent presenting between 2015 and 2016 to our multidisciplinary team were reviewed.
Eighty-four patients (21.5 per cent) were treated with palliative intent. All had squamous cell carcinoma. Mean survival time was 151 days (standard deviation = 121.1; range, 8–536 days). Of the patients, 83.3 per cent had a palliative care referral; 74.1 per cent had a hospice referral. Patients received a variety of interventions, and there was an associated complication in 8.2 per cent. The mean number of days spent in hospital for interventions was 11.9 days (standard deviation = 12.5; range, 0–41 days).
Different interventions are used to manage head and neck cancer patients with palliative intent, and these may be associated with significant morbidity. Survival time is variable, often several months; thus, any treatment must take into account morbidity in conjunction with the patient's wishes.
Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) has been associated with depression and can have an impact on quality of life. Therefore, researchers have suggested the potential utility of psychological interventions for targeting depression among CSU patients. Psychological interventions that may hold the most promise are those that are brief and easily transportable, such as brief behavioural activation treatment for depression. We report results of a preliminary investigation of an uncontrolled open trial of a one-session behavioural activation treatment for depression designed for patients with CSU (BATD-CSU) at a university-based allergy and immunology clinic. Participants were 11 females with chronic, poorly controlled urticaria and symptoms of depression. Following the completion of pretreatment questionnaires, participants were administered BATD-CSU primarily by non-mental health professionals trained and supervised in its delivery. One month post-BATD-CSU, participants completed follow-up questionnaires. Participants exhibited significant reductions in depression severity, avoidance/rumination, and work/school impairment. BATD-CSU was also associated with improvements in urticaria control one month post-treatment. Moreover, five of nine patients reported reliable and clinically significant improvement on at least one outcome. Results demonstrate that BATD-CSU may have benefits for CSU patients even when consisting of one session and delivered by professionals with limited background in psychological interventions, thus speaking to its feasibility and transportability.
Contextually appropriate interventions delivered by primary maternal care providers (PMCPs) might be effective in reducing the treatment gap for perinatal depression.
To compare high-intensity treatment (HIT) with low-intensity treatment (LIT) for perinatal depression.
Cluster randomised clinical trial, conducted in Ibadan, Nigeria between 18 June 2013 and 11 December 2015 in 29 maternal care clinics allocated by computed-generated random sequence (15 HIT; 14 LIT). Interventions were delivered individually to antenatal women with DSM-IV (1994) major depression by trained PMCPs. LIT consisted of the basic psychosocial treatment specifications in the World Health Organization Mental Health Gap Action Programme – Intervention Guide. HIT comprised LIT plus eight weekly problem-solving therapy sessions with possible additional sessions determined by scores on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). The primary outcome was remission of depression at 6 months postpartum (EPDS < 6).
There were 686 participants; 452 and 234 in HIT and LIT arms, respectively, with both groups similar at baseline. Follow-up assessments, completed on 85%, showed remission rates of 70% with HIT and 66% with LIT: risk difference 4% (95% CI −4.1%, 12.0%), adjusted odds ratio 1.12 (95% CI 0.73, 1.72). HIT was more effective for severe depression (odds ratio 2.29; 95% CI 1.01, 5.20; P = 0.047) and resulted in a higher rate of exclusive breastfeeding. Infant outcomes, cost-effectiveness and adverse events were similar.
Except among severely depressed perinatal women, we found no strong evidence to recommend high-intensity in preference to low-intensity psychological intervention in routine primary maternal care.
Swimming propagules (embryos and larvae) are a critical component of the life histories of benthic marine animals. Larvae that feed (planktotrophic) have been assumed to swim faster, disperse farther and have more complex behavioural patterns than non-feeding (lecithotrophic) larvae. However, a number of recent studies challenge these early assumptions, suggesting a need to revisit them more formally. The current review presents a quantitative analysis of swimming speed and body size in planktotrophic and lecithotrophic propagules across five major marine phyla (Porifera, Cnidaria, Annelida, Mollusca and Echinodermata). Results of the comparative study showed that swimming speed differences among ciliated propagules can be driven by taxonomy, adult mobility (motile vs sessile) and/or larval nutritional mode. On a phylogenetic level, distinct patterns emerge across phyla and life stages, whereby planktotrophic propagules swim faster in some of them, and lecithotrophic propagules swim faster in others. Interestingly, adults with sessile and sedentary lifestyles produce propagules that swam faster than the propagules produced by motile adults. Understanding similarities and differences among marine propagules associated with different reproductive strategies and adult lifestyles are significant from ecological, evolutionary and applied perspectives. Patterns of swimming can directly impact the dispersal/recruitment potential with incidence on the design of larval rearing methods and marine protected areas.
The Coneybury ‘Anomaly’ is an Early Neolithic pit located just south-east of Stonehenge, Wiltshire. Excavations recovered a faunal assemblage unique in its composition, consisting of both wild and domestic species, as well as large quantities of ceramics and stone tools, including a substantial proportion of blades/bladelets. We present a suite of new isotope analyses of the faunal material, together with ancient DNA sex determination, and reconsider the published faunal data to ask: What took place at Coneybury, and who was involved? We argue on the basis of multiple lines of evidence that Coneybury represents the material remains of a gathering organised by a regional community, with participants coming from different areas. One group of attendees provided deer instead of, or in addition to, cattle. We conclude that the most likely scenario is that this group comprised local hunter-gatherers who survived alongside local farmers.
Protoporphyrinogen IX oxidase (PPO)–inhibiting herbicides (WSSA Group 14) have been used in agronomic row crops for over 50 yr. Broadleaf weeds, including glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth, have been controlled by this herbicide site of action PRE and POST. Recently, Palmer amaranth populations were reported resistant to PPO inhibitors in 2011 in Arkansas, in 2015 in Tennessee, and in 2016 in Illinois. Historically, the mechanism for this resistance involves the deletion of a glycine at position 210 (ΔG210) in a PPO enzyme encoded by the PPX2 gene; however, the ΔG210 deletion did not explain all PPO inhibitor–resistant Palmer amaranth in Tennessee populations. Recently, two new mutations within PPX2 (R128G, R128M) that confer resistance to PPO inhibitors were identified in Palmer amaranth. Therefore, research is needed to document the presence and distribution of the three known mutations that confer PPO inhibitor resistance in Tennessee. In 2017, a survey was conducted in 18 fields with Palmer amaranth to determine whether resistance existed and the prevalence of each known mutation in each field. Fomesafen was applied at 265 g ai ha–1 to Palmer amaranth infestations within each field to select for resistant weeds for later analysis. Where resistance was described (70% of surviving plants), the ΔG210 mutation was detected in 47% of resistant plants. The R128G mutation accounted for 42% of resistance, similar to the frequency of the ΔG210 mutation. The R128M mutation was less frequent than the other two mutations, accounting for only 10% of the resistance. All mutations detected in this study were heterozygous. Additionally, no more than one of the three PPX2 mutations were detected in an individual surviving plant. Similar to previous research, about 70% of PPO resistance was accounted for by these three known mutations, leaving about 30% of resistance not characterized in Tennessee populations. Survivors not showing the three known PPO mutations suggest that other resistance mechanisms are present.
Recently, several incidents of glyphosate failure on junglerice [Echinochloa colona (L.) Link] have been reported in the midsouthern United States, specifically in Mississippi and Tennessee. Research was conducted to measure the magnitude of glyphosate resistance and to determine the mechanism(s) of resistance to glyphosate in E. colona populations from Mississippi and Tennessee. ED50 (dose required to reduce plant growth by 50%) values for a resistant MSGR4 biotype, a resistant TNGR population, and a known susceptible MSGS population were 0.8, 1.62, and 0.23 kg ae ha−1 of glyphosate, respectively. The resistance index calculated from the these ED50 values indicated that the MSGR4 biotype and TNGR population were 4- and 7-fold, respectively, resistant to glyphosate relative to the MSGS population. The absorption patterns of [14C]glyphosate in the TNGR and MSGS populations were similar. However, the MSGS population translocated 13% more [14C]glyphosate out of the treated leaf compared with the TNGR population at 48 h after treatment. EPSPS gene sequence analyses of TNGR E. colona indicated no evidence of any point mutations, but several resistant biotypes, including MSGR4, possessed a single-nucleotide substitution of T for C at codon 106 position, resulting in a proline-to-serine substitution (CCA to TCA). Results from quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses suggested that there was no amplification of the EPSPS gene in the resistant populations and biotypes. Thus, the mechanism of resistance in the MSGR population (and associated biotypes) is, in part, due to a target-site mutation at the 106 loci of the EPSPS gene, while reduced translocation of glyphosate was found to confer glyphosate resistance in the TNGR population.
In Scotland, patients with suspected head and neck cancer are referred on the basis of the Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer, rather than the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines. A chest X-ray should be requested by the general practitioner at the same time as referral for persistent hoarseness. The evidence for this is level 4.
This audit identified adherence to this recommendation and X-ray results. All ‘urgent suspicion of cancer’ referrals to the ENT department in the National Health Service Greater Glasgow and Clyde for 2015–2016 were audited.
Persistent hoarseness for more than 3 weeks instigated referral in 318 patients (15.7 per cent). Chest X-ray was performed in 120 patients (38 per cent), which showed: no abnormality in 116 (96.7 per cent), features of infection in 2 (1.7 per cent) and something else in 2 patients (1.7 per cent). No chest X-ray altered the management of a patient.
Performance of chest X-ray does not alter management and its removal from the Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer is recommended.
While our fascination with understanding the past is sufficient to warrant an increased focus on synthesis, solutions to important problems facing modern society require understandings based on data that only archaeology can provide. Yet, even as we use public monies to collect ever-greater amounts of data, modes of research that can stimulate emergent understandings of human behavior have lagged behind. Consequently, a substantial amount of archaeological inference remains at the level of the individual project. We can more effectively leverage these data and advance our understandings of the past in ways that contribute to solutions to contemporary problems if we adapt the model pioneered by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis to foster synthetic collaborative research in archaeology. We propose the creation of the Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis coordinated through a U.S.-based National Center for Archaeological Synthesis. The coalition will be composed of established public and private organizations that provide essential scholarly, cultural heritage, computational, educational, and public engagement infrastructure. The center would seek and administer funding to support collaborative analysis and synthesis projects executed through coalition partners. This innovative structure will enable the discipline to address key challenges facing society through evidentially based, collaborative synthetic research.
Giant electromagnetic pulses (EMP) generated during the interaction of high-power lasers with solid targets can seriously degrade electrical measurements and equipment. EMP emission is caused by the acceleration of hot electrons inside the target, which produce radiation across a wide band from DC to terahertz frequencies. Improved understanding and control of EMP is vital as we enter a new era of high repetition rate, high intensity lasers (e.g. the Extreme Light Infrastructure). We present recent data from the VULCAN laser facility that demonstrates how EMP can be readily and effectively reduced. Characterization of the EMP was achieved using B-dot and D-dot probes that took measurements for a range of different target and laser parameters. We demonstrate that target stalk geometry, material composition, geodesic path length and foil surface area can all play a significant role in the reduction of EMP. A combination of electromagnetic wave and 3D particle-in-cell simulations is used to inform our conclusions about the effects of stalk geometry on EMP, providing an opportunity for comparison with existing charge separation models.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
Some 25% of women and 8% of men in the United States have experienced childhood sexual abuse (CSA) before the age of 18. For these individuals, healthcare visits and interactions can be retraumatizing due to perceived similarities to past abuse (e.g., pain, undressing, lack of control). However, no prior studies have provided formal qualitative analyses regarding CSA survivors' reactions to cancer treatment. Therefore, our study's objective was to identify key themes pertaining to CSA survivors' cancer treatment experiences.
Male and female members of the Amazon Mechanical Turk (N = 159, mean age = 44.27 years, SD = 10.02) participated in an anonymous online survey study. The inclusion criteria included reporting: history of CSA; a diagnosis of colorectal, gynecological, breast, or skin cancer; and experience of triggers and/or difficulties during cancer treatment. Participants' responses to open-ended questions were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis.
We identified two primary themes describing CSA survivors' experiences: Theme 1: treatment-related triggers (key subthemes: procedure-related, provider-related, and emotional triggers); and Theme 2: questioning the meaning of cumulative trauma (e.g., “Why me again?”).
Significance of results:
For CSA survivors, cancer and its treatment can trigger thoughts and emotions associated with the original abuse as well as negative evaluations of themselves, the world, and their future. Our findings are consistent with past research on CSA survivors' experiences in non-cancer healthcare settings and add to the literature by highlighting their struggles during cancer treatment. The present results can inform further research on trauma survivors' reactions to cancer treatment and give cancer care providers the context they need to understand and sensitively serve a substantial yet often overlooked patient group.
To calculate the financial burden of recurrent respiratory papilloma. This study is UK-based, where up until now no financial estimates have been calculated for this group of patients.
Recurrent respiratory papilloma is caused by the human papilloma virus (subtypes 6 and 11). The burden for the patient and the healthcare system is significant given the recurrent nature of the disease.
Data were collected, using a questionnaire completed during routine clinical follow up, from a single centre managing recurrent respiratory papilloma in Glasgow, Scotland. Cost information was sourced from the Scottish Government's Information Services Division.
Fourteen patients with active recurrent respiratory papilloma between 2013 and 2014 were identified. The direct measurable cost to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde amounted to £107 478.
Recurrent respiratory papilloma is a benign condition, but the financial implications of diagnosis are significant. Recurrent respiratory papilloma has a natural history of relapse and remission, and patients may require healthcare input over a period of several years.