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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Volume 13 Issue 2 2010

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Response of Pancreatic Cancer Cell Lines to the Polyamine Analog, PG-11047

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is a deadly malignancy (1). While the etiology of this specific cancer type is not well known, it has been suspected that polyamine dysregulation may play a critical role in the proliferation of cancer cells (2). Polyamines are organic compounds that promote normal cell growth and survival, yet the dysfunction of their inherent regulatory controls has been identified as a recurrent component of several cancers (2). Here, we examine the effects of PG-11047, a drug targeted to interfere with polyamine regulation, on several PDA cell lines. Following exposure to PG-11047, 72-hour cancer cell growth inhibition was determined to produce a drug dose response curve. The PDA cell lines showed a variable range of response to PG-11047, with certain cell lines being sensitive to the drug and others being resistant. Genome-wide mRNA expression profiles of the cancer cell line were supervised with drug sensitivity data to discover molecular correlates of drug response. These variable responses indicate that certain cancer subtypes may proliferate due to polyamine dysregulation while the resistant cancer subtypes do not. These results have importance for the personalization of cancer therapy in PDA.

The Aging Brain: Are two pathologies worse than one? White matter hyperintensities, beta-amyloid, and cognition in normal elderly

White matter hyperintensities (WMH)—areas of increased signal on T2 and Fluid Attenuated Inversion Recovery (FLAIR) MRI images—and beta-amyloid (ABeta) plaques—an Alzheimer’s disease pathology—are commonly found in the brains of cognitively normal elderly people. Although previous studies have looked at these pathologies, the interaction between them remains unclear. This study investigated the potential of WMH and ABeta burden in predicting cognition in normal elderly. FLAIRs of 45 local elderly participants were used to quantify WMH volumes to determine WMH load; and a Pittsburg Compound B (PIB) index obtained with positron emission tomography (PET) was used as a measure of ABeta burden. Hierarchical regressions of WMH volume and PIB group predicting executive function, working memory, and episodic memory were done. Results showed a trend towards a WMH and PIB interaction with episodic memory, suggesting that WMH and ABeta burden together may cause worse episodic memory than either of those pathologies by itself. Additionally, we found that education may be modulating the effects of WMH on executive function.

Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practice towards Epilepsy (KAPE) Survey of Chinese and Vietnamese College Students in the U.S.

We conducted the first national cross-sectional survey of Chinese and Vietnamese American adults about their knowledge, attitudes, and practice towards epilepsy. We used a convenience sampling method to recruit 2,831 adults in 37 cities from 7 states. In this article, we present our results from the analysis of a subset of the college student population. A 34-item survey instrument available in English, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), and Vietnamese was administered by trained surveyors to 371 college students in 4 states. Chinese and Vietnamese college students generally held the same attitudes towards and had similar misunderstandings about epilepsy. One notable disparity in attitudes is that 15% of Chinese, as compared to 40% of Vietnamese, felt that PWE have below-average intelligence. We found that misunderstandings about and discrimination towards epilepsy among college students generally did not differ between different genders or ethnicities.