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Objectives: Glioblastoma is a lethal disease in the elderly population. We aimed to evaluate disease and treatment outcomes in the oldest-old patients. Methods: Patients >80 years old with histologically confirmed glioblastoma treated between 2004 and 2009 were identified. We included patients managed with best supportive care (BSC), temozolomide (TMZ) alone, radiotherapy (RT) alone, or concomitantly with TMZ (CRT). Survival outcomes were analyzed using the Kaplan–Meier method. Results: Ultimately, 48 patients were analyzed. Median age and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance Status were 82 years and 2, respectively. The median Age-Adjusted Charlson Index (AAC) was 6. Gross total and subtotal resections were performed in 16.7% and 18.8% of patients, respectively. Biopsy followed by RT alone was the treatment modality for 23/48 (47.9%), while 17/48 (35.4%) received surgery followed by RT alone or CRT. A total of 8 (16.7%) were managed with BSC after biopsy. Median overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were 4.1 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 3.3-4.9) and 2.7 (95% CI 1.5-3.9) months, respectively. Improved median OS was observed in those treated with surgical resection followed by RT alone or CRT (7.1 months), compared to biopsy followed by RT alone (4.2 months) or BSC (2.0 months; p=0.002). Surgical resection, age≤85, and AAC<6 were associated with better OS (p=0.032, p=0.031, and p=0.02, respectively). Cause of death was neurological progression in 56% of cases. RT was well-tolerated. Conclusions: PFS and OS outcomes remain poor in the oldest-old patients (>80 years old). Younger age, lower AAC, surgical resection, and adjuvant treatment were associated with improved OS.
Objectives: This study examined whether children with distinct brain disorders show different profiles of strengths and weaknesses in executive functions, and differ from children without brain disorder. Methods: Participants were children with traumatic brain injury (N=82; 8–13 years of age), arterial ischemic stroke (N=36; 6–16 years of age), and brain tumor (N=74; 9–18 years of age), each with a corresponding matched comparison group consisting of children with orthopedic injury (N=61), asthma (N=15), and classmates without medical illness (N=68), respectively. Shifting, inhibition, and working memory were assessed, respectively, using three Test of Everyday Attention: Children’s Version (TEA-Ch) subtests: Creature Counting, Walk-Don’t-Walk, and Code Transmission. Comparison groups did not differ in TEA-Ch performance and were merged into a single control group. Profile analysis was used to examine group differences in TEA-Ch subtest scaled scores after controlling for maternal education and age. Results: As a whole, children with brain disorder performed more poorly than controls on measures of executive function. Relative to controls, the three brain injury groups showed significantly different profiles of executive functions. Importantly, post hoc tests revealed that performance on TEA-Ch subtests differed among the brain disorder groups. Conclusions: Results suggest that different childhood brain disorders result in distinct patterns of executive function deficits that differ from children without brain disorder. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed. (JINS, 2017, 23, 529–538)
Over the last few decades, democratic theory has grown dramatically in its power and sophistication, fueled by debates among models of democracy. But these debates are increasingly unproductive. Model-based strategies encourage theorists to overgeneralize the place and functions of ideal typical features of democracy, such as deliberation or elections. Here I sketch an alternative strategy based on the question: What kinds of problems does a political system need to solve to count as “democratic”? I suggest three general kinds: it should empower inclusions, form collective agendas and wills, and have capacities to make collective decisions. We can view common practices such as voting and deliberating as means for addressing these problems, and theorize institutional mixes of practices that would maximize a political system's democratic problem-solving capacities. The resulting theories will be both normatively robust and sufficiently fine-grained to frame democratic problems, possibilities, and deficits in complex polities.
Pre-registration teaching of radiotherapy planning in a non-clinical setting should allow students the opportunity to develop clinical decision-making skills. Students frequently struggle with their ability to prioritise and optimise multiple objectives when producing a clinically acceptable plan. Emerging software applications providing quantitative assessment of plan quality are designed for clinical use but may have value for teaching these skills. This project aimed to evaluate the potential value of automated feedback to second year BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy students.
Materials and methods
All 26 students studying a pre-registration radiotherapy planning module were provided with automated prediction of relative feasibility for left lung tumour planning targets by planning metrics software. Students were also provided with interim quantitative reports during the development of their plan. Student perceptions of the software were gathered using an anonymous questionnaire. Independent blinded marking of plans was performed after module completion and analysed for correlation with software-assigned marks.
In total, 25 plans were utilised for marking comparison and 16 students submitted feedback relating to the software. Overall, student feedback was positive regarding the software. A ‘strong’ Spearman’s rank-order correlation (rs=0·7165) was evident between human and computer marks (p=0·000055).
Automated software is capable of providing useful feedback to students as a teaching aid, in particular with regard to relative feasibility of goals. The strong correlation between human and computer marks suggests a role in benchmarking or moderation; however, the narrow scope of assessment parameters suggests value as an adjunct and not a replacement to human marking.
Increasing usage of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in radiotherapy (RT) and the advent of MRI-based image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) suggests a need for additional training within the RT profession. This critical review aimed to identify potential gaps in knowledge by evaluating the current skill base in MRI among therapeutic radiographers as evidenced by published research.
Papers related to MRI usage were retrieved. Topic areas included outlining, planning and IGRT; diagnosis, follow-up and staging-related papers were excluded. After selection and further text analysis, papers were grouped by tumour site and year of publication.
The literature search and filtering resulted in a total of 123 papers, of which 66 were related to ‘outlining’, 37 to ‘planning’ and 20 to ‘IGRT’. The main sites of existing MRI expertise in RT were brain, central nervous system, prostate, and head and neck tumours. Expertise was clearly related to regions where MRI offered improved soft-tissue contrast. MRI studies within RT have been published from 2007 onwards at a steadily increasing rate.
Current use of MRI in RT is mainly restricted to sites where MRI offers a considerable imaging advantage over computed tomography. Given the changing use of MRI for image guidance, emerging therapeutic radiographers will require training in MRI interpretation across a wider range of anatomical regions.
To demonstrate the feasibility of applying the Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) to the hunger relief setting, specifically by assessing the nutritional quality of foods ordered by food shelves (front-line food provider) from food banks (warehouse of foods).
This Healthy FOOD (Feedback On Ordering Decisions) observational study used electronic invoices detailing orders made by 269 food shelves in 2013 and analysed in 2015 from two large Minnesota, USA food banks to generate HEI-2010 scores. Initial development and processing procedures are described.
The average total HEI-2010 score for the 269 food shelves was 62·7 out of 100 with a range from 28 to 82. Mean component scores for total protein foods, total vegetables, fatty acids, and seafood and plant proteins were the highest. Mean component score for whole grains was the lowest followed by dairy, total fruits, refined grains and sodium. Food shelves located in micropolitan areas and the largest food shelves had the highest HEI-2010 scores. Town/rural and smaller food shelves had the lowest scores. Monthly and seasonal differences in scores were detected. Limitations to this approach are identified.
Calculating HEI-2010 for food shelves using electronic invoice data is novel and feasible, albeit with limitations. HEI-2010 scores for 2013 identify room for improvement in nearly all food shelves, especially the smallest agencies. The utility of providing HEI-2010 scores to decision makers in the hunger relief setting is an issue requiring urgent study.
This study used a prospective longitudinal design to examine the early developmental pathways that underlie language growth in infants at high risk (n = 50) and low risk (n = 34) for autism spectrum disorder in the first 18 months of life. While motor imitation and responding to joint attention (RJA) have both been found to predict expressive language in children with autism spectrum disorder and those with typical development, the longitudinal relation between these capacities has not yet been identified. As hypothesized, results revealed that 15-month RJA mediated the association between 12-month motor imitation and 18-month expressive vocabulary, even after controlling for earlier levels of RJA and vocabulary. These results provide new information about the developmental sequencing of skills relevant to language growth that may inform future intervention efforts for children at risk for language delay or other developmental challenges.
The Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) project will test the overarching hypothesis that an active hydrological system exists beneath a West Antarctic ice stream that exerts a major control on ice dynamics, and the metabolic and phylogenetic diversity of the microbial community in subglacial water and sediment. WISSARD will explore Subglacial Lake Whillans (SLW, unofficial name) and its outflow toward the grounding line where it is thought to enter the Ross Ice Shelf seawater cavity. Introducing microbial contamination to the subglacial environment during drilling operations could compromise environmental stewardship and the science objectives of the project, consequently we developed a set of tools and procedures to directly address these issues. WISSARD hot water drilling efforts will include a custom water treatment system designed to remove micron and sub-micron sized particles (biotic and abiotic), irradiate the drilling water with germicidal ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and pasteurize the water to reduce the viability of persisting microbial contamination. Our clean access protocols also include methods to reduce microbial contamination on the surfaces of cables/hoses and down-borehole equipment using germicidal UV exposure and chemical disinfection. This paper presents experimental data showing that our protocols will meet expectations established by international agreement between participating Antarctic nations.
Both the plight of African American young people and their feelings and thoughts about this plight are major issues of concern in U.S. politics. In 2003, the Black Youth Project was launched, with funding by the Ford Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to promote both social scientific analysis and public understanding of these issues (the project has an innovative and engaging Website that can be accessed at http://www.blackyouthproject.com/). Cathy J. Cohen is the principal investigator of the project and, in Democracy Remixed, she draws upon a new national survey of black youth to offer a mixed-method empirical description and theoretical analysis of “black youth and the future of American politics.” In this symposium, a diverse group of political and social scientists have been asked to critically assess the book's account and to comment more broadly on the importance of black youth to the future of American politics.—Jeffrey C. Isaac, Editor
We report on the electrical and structural properties of boron-doped diamond tips commonly used for in-situ electromechanical testing during nanoindentation. The boron dopant environment, as evidenced by cathodoluminescence (CL) microscopy, revealed significantly different boron states within each tip. Characteristic emission bands of both electrically activated and nonelectrically activated boron centers were identified in all boron-doped tips. Surface CL mapping also revealed vastly different surface properties, confirming a high amount of nonelectrically activated boron clusters at the tip surface. Raman microspectroscopy analysis showed that structural characteristics at the atomic scale for boron-doped tips also differ significantly when compared to an undoped diamond tip. Furthermore, the active boron concentration, as inferred via the Raman analysis, varied greatly from tip-to-tip. It was found that tips (or tip areas) with low overall boron concentration have a higher number of electrically inactive boron, and thus non-Ohmic contacts were made when these tips contacted metallic substrates. Conversely, tips that have higher boron concentrations and a higher number of electrically active boron centers display Ohmic-like contacts. Our results demonstrate the necessity to understand and fully characterize the boron environments, boron concentrations, and atomic structure of the tips prior to performing in situ electromechanical experiments, particularly if quantitative electrical data are required.
Democracy is about including those who are potentially affected by collective decisions in making those decisions. For this reason, contemporary democratic theory primarily assumes membership combined with effective voice. An alternative to voice is exit: Dissatisfied members may choose to leave a group rather than voice their displeasure. Rights and capacities for exit can function as low-cost, effective empowerments, particularly for those without voice. But because contemporary democratic theory often dismisses exit as appropriate only for economic markets, the democratic potentials of exit have rarely been theorized. Exit-based empowerments should be as central to the design and integrity of democracy as distributions of votes and voice, long considered its key structural features. When they are integrated into other democratic devices, exit-based empowerments should generate and widely distribute usable powers for those who need them most, evoke responsiveness from elites, induce voice, discipline monopoly, and underwrite vibrant and pluralistic societies.