Interferon-alpha does not improve outcome at one year in patients with diffuse cutaneous scleroderma: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. (1/3016)

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether interferon-alpha (IFNalpha) reduces the severity of skin involvement in early (<3 years) diffuse scleroderma. METHODS: In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, 35 patients with early scleroderma received subcutaneous injections of either IFNalpha (13.5 x 10(6) units per week in divided doses) or indistinguishable placebo. Outcomes assessed were the modified Rodnan skin score, as determined by a single observer at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months, as well as data on renal, cardiac, and lung function. Pre- and posttreatment skin biopsy samples were analyzed and blood was obtained for assessment of procollagen peptide levels. RESULTS: There were 11 withdrawals from the IFNalpha group and 3 from the placebo group due to either toxicity, lack of efficacy, or death. In the intent-to-treat analysis, there was a greater improvement in the skin score in the placebo group between 0 and 12 months (mean change IFNalpha -4.7 versus placebo -7.5; P = 0.36). There was also a greater deterioration in lung function in patients receiving active therapy, as assessed by either the forced vital capacity (mean change IFNalpha -8.2 versus placebo +1.3; P = 0.01) or the diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (mean change IFNalpha -9.3 versus placebo +4.7; P = 0.002). Skin biopsy showed no significant decrease in collagen synthesis in the IFNalpha group, and no significant differences in the levels of procollagen peptides were seen between the 2 groups. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that IFNalpha is of no value in the treatment of scleroderma, and that it may in fact be deleterious.  (+info)

Elevated carboxy terminal cross linked telopeptide of type I collagen in alcoholic cirrhosis: relation to liver and kidney function and bone metabolism. (2/3016)

BACKGROUND: The carboxy terminal cross linked telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP) has been put forward as a marker of bone resorption. Patients with alcoholic liver disease may have osteodystrophy. AIMS: To assess circulating and regional concentrations of ICTP in relation to liver dysfunction, bone metabolism, and fibrosis. METHODS: In 15 patients with alcoholic cirrhosis and 20 controls, hepatic venous, renal venous, and femoral arterial concentrations of ICTP, and bone mass and metabolism were measured. RESULTS: Circulating ICTP was higher in patients with cirrhosis than in controls. No overall significant hepatic disposal or production was found in the patient or control groups but slightly increased production was found in a subset of patients with advanced disease. Significant renal extraction was observed in the controls, whereas only a borderline significant extraction was observed in the patients. Measurements of bone mass and metabolism indicated only a mild degree of osteodystrophy in the patients with cirrhosis. ICTP correlated significantly in the cirrhotic patients with hepatic and renal dysfunction and fibrosis, but not with measurements of bone mass or metabolism. CONCLUSIONS: ICTP is highly elevated in patients with cirrhosis, with no detectable hepatic net production or disposal. No relation between ICTP and markers of bone metabolism was identified, but there was a relation to indicators of liver dysfunction and fibrosis. As the cirrhotic patients conceivably only had mild osteopenia, the elevated ICTP in cirrhosis may therefore primarily reflect liver failure and hepatic fibrosis.  (+info)

Biochemical markers of bone turnover in breast cancer patients with bone metastases: a preliminary report. (3/3016)

BACKGROUND: Some biochemical markers of bone turnover are expected to reflect the disease activity of metastatic bone tumor. In the present study six biochemical markers were evaluated to determine appropriate markers for the detection of metastatic bone tumors from breast cancer (BC). METHODS: A panel of bone turnover markers was assessed in 11 normocalcemic patients with bone metastases from BC and in 19 BC patients without clinical evidence of bone metastases. Bone formation was investigated by measuring serum bone isoenzyme of alkaline phosphatase (BALP), osteocalcin (OC) and carboxy-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen (PICP): Bone resorption was investigated by measuring serum carboxy-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP), fasting urinary pyridinoline (Pyr) and deoxypyridinoline (D-Pyr). RESULTS: PICP was influenced by age and menopausal status. Significant correlations were observed between each of bone turnover markers except between BALP and OC. The mean levels of the six bone turnover markers were higher in patients with bone metastases than in those without them and significance was observed except for OC. The best diagnostic efficiency by receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was provided by ICTP followed by Pyr or D-Pyr, BALP, PICP and OC and significance was observed between ICTP and OC. Multiple logistic regression analysis adjusted by age revealed that the only significant marker related to bone metastases was ICTP. CONCLUSIONS: Serum ICTP appears to be the leading marker of bone metastases from BC. However, to reveal the clinical usefulness of these markers, further examination will be needed to account for the ease and cost-effectiveness of the measurements.  (+info)

Elevation of alpha2(I) collagen, a suppressor of Ras transformation, is required for stable phenotypic reversion by farnesyltransferase inhibitors. (4/3016)

Farnesyltransferase inhibitors (FTIs) are a novel class of anticancer drugs that can reverse Ras transformation. One of the intriguing aspects of FTI biology is that continuous drug exposure is not necessary to maintain phenotypic reversion. For example, after a single exposure to FTIs, Ha-Ras-transformed fibroblasts revert to a flat and anchorage-dependent phenotype that persists for many days after processed Ras has returned to pretreatment levels. In this study, we show that persistence of the reverted state is mediated by elevated expression of the collagen isoform alpha2(I), a suppressor of Ras transformation the transcription of which is repressed by activated Ras and derepressed by FTI treatment. To our knowledge, this is the first report identifying an FTI-regulated gene which is linked to phenotypic reversion. The finding that extracellular matrix alterations can influence the kinetics of reversion supports our assertion that Rho-regulated cell adhesion parameters are a crucial determinant of the cellular response to FTIs.  (+info)

Relationship between urinary pyridinium cross-links, disease activity and disease subsets of ankylosing spondylitis. (5/3016)

OBJECTIVE: In this study, we aimed to determine the urinary levels of pyridinium cross-links and urinary beta-isomerized fragments derived from the C-telopeptide of the alpha1 chain of type I collagen (beta-CTX) as markers of bone resorption in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and to study their relationship to markers of disease activity [erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)] and to disease subsets of this condition. METHODS: The serum calcium, osteocalcin (OC), parathormone (PTH), 25 OHD3 levels, beta-CTX and the urinary combined free pyridinolines (f-Pyr + f-Dpyr), urinary free deoxypyridinoline (f-Dpyr) and urinary free pyridinoline (f-Pyr) were evaluated and compared in 32 AS patients and 25 controls. Bone mineral density (BMD) was evaluated at the lumbar spine and the femoral neck. RESULTS: The serum markers of bone metabolism (serum calcium, PTH, 25 OHD3 and OC) were in the normal range in the AS group. AS patients had a lowered lumbar spine BMD (P = 0.01) (corresponding T score: P = 0.03), but femoral neck BMD did not differ significantly between AS and controls (P = 0.08) (corresponding T score: P = 0.11). There was no difference in the urinary levels of pyridinium cross-links and beta-CTX between AS patients and controls. A positive correlation between ESR, (f-Pyr + f-Dpyr) (r = 0.42; P = 0.018) and f-Dpyr (r = 0.49; P = 0.005) was observed. In the different disease subsets of AS, we found that patients with peripheral involvement had higher (f-Pyr + f-Dpyr) (P = 0.04) and f-Dpyr levels (P = 0.04), patients with early disease had elevated (f-Pyr + f-Dpyr) (P = 0.01), f-Dpyr (P = 0.02) and f-Pyr (P = 0.01) levels, and that those with raised ESR had enhanced f-Dpyr (P = 0.009) excretion. Patients were then stratified according to disease duration, peripheral involvement and sex, and this allowed us to observe that only urinary f-Dpyr remained elevated in patients independently from these variables and that raised ESR is the more relevant parameter for explaining this high level of excretion. CONCLUSION: We conclude that there was no difference in the levels of urinary pyridinium cross-links and beta-CTX between AS and controls. However, urinary excretion of some of these collagen compounds was enhanced in subgroups of AS, mainly in patients with raised ESR. Thus, AS patients with laboratory evidence of active disease could have a higher risk of bone loss.  (+info)

Circulating biochemical markers of bone remodeling in uremic patients. (6/3016)

Chronic renal failure is often associated with bone disorders, including secondary hyperparathyroidism, aluminum-related low-turnover bone disease, osteomalacia, adynamic osteopathy, osteoporosis, and skeletal beta2-microglobulin amyloid deposits. In spite of the enormous progress made during the last few years in the search of noninvasive methods to assess bone metabolism, the distinction between high- and low-turnover bone diseases in these patients still frequently requires invasive and/or costly procedures such as bone biopsy after double tetracycline labeling, scintigraphic-scan studies, computed tomography, and densitometry. This review is focused on the diagnostic value of several new serum markers of bone metabolism, including bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (bAP), procollagen type I carboxy-terminal extension peptide (PICP), procollagen type I cross-linked carboxy-terminal telopeptide (ICTP), pyridinoline (PYD), osteocalcin, and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) in patients with chronic renal failure. Most of the observations made by several groups converge to the conclusion that serum bAP is the most sensitive and specific marker to evaluate the degree of bone remodeling in uremic patients. Nonetheless, PYD and osteocalcin, in spite of their retention and accumulation in the serum of renal insufficient patients, are also excellent markers of bone turnover. The future generalized use of these markers, individually or in combination with other methods, will undoubtedly improve the diagnosis and the treatment of the complex renal osteodystrophy.  (+info)

Effects of 42 months of GH treatment on bone mineral density and bone turnover in GH-deficient adults. (7/3016)

OBJECTIVE: To study the effects of GH treatment for up to 42 months on bone mineral density (BMD) and bone turnover. DESIGN AND METHODS: BMD with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, serum type I procollagen carboxy-terminal propeptide (PICP), serum type I collagen carboxy-terminal telopeptide (ICTP) and serum IGF-I were assessed in 71 adults with GH deficiency. There were 44 men and 27 women, aged 20 to 59 (median 43) years. Thirty-two patients completed 36 months and 20 patients 42 months of treatment. RESULTS: The BMD increased for up to 30-36 months and plateaued thereafter. In the whole study group, the maximum increase of BMD was 5.0% in the lumbar spine (P<0. 001), 5.9% (P<0.01) in the femoral neck, 4.9% (NS, P>0.05) in the Ward's triangle and 8.2% (P<0.001) in the trochanter area. The serum concentrations of PICP (202.6+/-11.5 vs 116.3+/-5.4 microg/l; mean+/-s.e.m.) and ICTP (10.5+/-0.6 vs 4.4+/-0.3 microg/l) doubled (P<0.001) during the first 6 months of GH treatment but returned to baseline by the end of the study (130.0+/-10.4 and 5.6+/-0.7 microg/l respectively), despite constantly elevated serum IGF-I levels (39. 6+/-4.1 nmol/l at 42 months vs 11.9+/-0.9 nmol/l at baseline; P<0.001). The responses to GH treatment of serum IGF-I, PICP, ICTP (P<0.001 for all; ANOVA) and of the BMD in the lumbar spine (P<0.05), in the femoral neck and the trochanter (P<0.001 for both) were more marked in men than in women. At the end of the study the BMD had increased at the four measurement sites by 5.7-10.6% (P<0.01-0.001) in patients with at least osteopenia at baseline and by 0.1-5.3% (NS P<0.05) in those with normal bone status (P<0.001 for differences between groups; ANOVA). Among patients who completed 36-42 months of treatment, the number of those with at least osteopenia was reduced to more than a half. The response of BMD to GH treatment was more marked in young than in old patients at three measurement sites (P<0. 05-<0.001; ANOVA). In the multiple regression analysis the gender and the pretreatment bone mass appeared to be independent predictors of three measurement sites, whereas the age independently determined only the vertebral BMD. CONCLUSIONS: GH treatment in GH-deficient adults increased BMD for up to 30-36 months, with a plateau thereafter. Concurrently with the plateau in BMD the bone turnover rate normalized. From the skeletal point of view GH-deficient patients exhibiting osteopenia or osteoporosis should be considered as candidates for GH supplementation of at least 3-4 years.  (+info)

Assessment of bone response to systemic therapy in an EORTC trial: preliminary experience with the use of collagen cross-link excretion. European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer. (8/3016)

This study was designed to evaluate new bone resorption and tumour markers as possible alternatives to serial plain radiographs for the assessment of response to treatment. Thirty-seven patients with newly diagnosed bone metastases from breast cancer, randomized to receive oral pamidronate or placebo tablets in addition to anticancer treatment within the context of a multicentre EORTC trial, who were both assessable for radiographic response in bone and had serum and urine samples collected for more than 1 month were studied. The markers of bone metabolism measured included urinary calcium (uCa), hydroxyproline (hyp), the N-telopeptide cross-links of type I collagen (NTx) and total alkaline phosphatase. The tumour markers measured were CA15-3 and cancer-associated serum antigen (CASA). Before treatment, levels of Ntx, uCa and Hyp were elevated in 41%, 24% and 28% respectively, and CA15-3 and CASA increased in 69% and 50%. For assessment of response and identification of progression, Ntx was the most useful bone marker. All markers behaved similarly in no change (NC) and partial response (PR) patients. There was a significant difference (P < or = 0.05) in Ntx levels (compared to baseline) at 1 and 4 months and in CA15-3/CASA at 4 months between patients with PR or NC and those with progressive disease (PD), and at 4 months between those with time to progression (TP) > 7 and those with TP < or = 7 months. The diagnostic efficiency (DE) for prediction of PD following a > 50% increase in Ntx or CA15-3 was 78% and 62% respectively. An algorithm to predict response to therapy has been developed for future prospective evaluation.  (+info)