An intervention to reduce playground equipment hazards.
OBJECTIVES: A community intervention trial was carried out to evaluate the relative effectiveness of two methods of reducing playground hazards in schools. The study hypotheses were: (1) a health promotion programme addressing barriers to implementing the New Zealand Playground Safety Standard will reduce playground hazards and (2) the intervention programme will be more successful than providing information alone. METHODS: Twenty four schools in Wellington, New Zealand were randomly allocated into two groups of 12 and their playgrounds audited for hazards. After the audit, the intervention group received a health promotion programme consisting of information about the hazards, an engineer's report, regular contact and encouragement to act on the report, and assistance in obtaining funding. The control group only received information about hazards in their playground. RESULTS: After 19 months, there was a significant fall in hazards in the intervention schools compared with the control schools (Mann-Whitney U test, p = 0.027). No intervention schools had increased hazards and eight out of 12 had reduced them by at least three. In contrast, only two of the control schools had reduced their hazards by this amount, with three others increasing their hazards in that time. CONCLUSIONS: It is concluded that working intensively with schools to overcome barriers to upgrading playground equipment can lead to a reduction in hazards, and that this form of intensive intervention is more effective than providing information alone. (+info)
Attenuated, replication-competent herpes simplex virus type 1 mutant G207: safety evaluation of intracerebral injection in nonhuman primates.
This study examined the safety of intracerebral inoculation of G207, an attenuated, replication-competent herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) recombinant, in nonhuman primates. Sixteen New World owl monkeys (Aotus nancymae [karyotype 1, formerly believed to be A. trivirgatus]), known for their exquisite susceptibility to HSV-1 infection, were evaluated. Thirteen underwent intracerebral inoculation with G207 at doses of 10(7) or 10(9) PFU, two were vehicle inoculated, and one served as an infected wild-type control and received 10(3) PFU of HSV-1 strain F. HSV-1 strain F caused rapid mortality and symptoms consistent with HSV encephalitis, including fever, hemiparesis, meningitis, and hemorrhage in the basal ganglia. One year after G207 inoculation, seven of the animals were alive and exhibited no evidence of clinical complications. Three deaths resulted from nonneurologic causes unrelated to HSV infection, and three animals were sacrificed for histopathologic examination. Two animals were reinoculated with G207 (10(7) PFU) at the same stereotactic coordinates 1 year after the initial G207 inoculation. These animals were alive and healthy 2 years after the second inoculation. Cerebral magnetic resonance imaging studies performed both before and after G207 inoculation failed to reveal radiographic evidence of HSV-related sequelae. Despite the lack of outwardly observable HSV pathology, measurable increases in serum anti-HSV titers were detected. Histopathological examination of multiple organ tissues found no evidence of HSV-induced histopathology or dissemination. We conclude that intracerebral inoculation of up to 10(9) PFU of G207, well above the efficacious dose in mouse tumor studies, is safe and therefore appropriate for human clinical trials. (+info)
Implications of the human immunodeficiency virus epidemic for control and eradication of measles.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected persons may be important, unrecognized transmitters of measles virus, thwarting eradication efforts. We reviewed the published English-language literature on measles and measles immunization in HIV-infected persons to investigate the clinical features of measles, the responses to measles immunization, and the safety of measles vaccine in HIV-infected persons and, conversely, the effect of measles and measles immunization on HIV infection. HIV-infected persons with measles are likely to have uncharacteristic clinical findings and severe illness, with high rates of pneumonitis and death. Primary and secondary failure of measles vaccine in HIV-infected children may permit transmission of measles virus in spite of high rates of immunization coverage. A factor that complicates measles-control efforts in areas of high prevalence of HIV is the potential for fatal infection with measles vaccine virus. Further research on the impact of the HIV epidemic on measles and measles immunization is necessary to guide strategies for the eradication of measles. (+info)
Application of complementary DNA microarray technology to carcinogen identification, toxicology, and drug safety evaluation.
One major challenge facing today's cancer researchers and toxicologists is the development of new approaches for the identification of carcinogens and other environmental hazards. Here, we describe the potential impact of emerging technologies for measuring gene expression profiles on carcinogen identification and on the general field of toxicology. An example of one of these technologies is the use of cDNA microarray chips. We provide an overview to the key questions that are confronting investigators charged with determining the relative safety of natural or synthetic chemicals to which humans are exposed, followed by a discussion of how cDNA microarray technology may be applied to these questions. Gene chip technology is still a relatively new technology, and only a handful of studies have demonstrated its utility. However, as the technical hurdles to development are passed, the use of this methodology in addressing the questions raised here will be critical to increase the sensitivity of detection of the potential toxic effects of environmental chemicals and to understand their risks to humans. (+info)
Genetically modified organisms: an analysis of the regulatory framework currently employed within the European Union.
BACKGROUND: Genetic engineering technology is starting to bring many commercial products to the market. These genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their derived products are subject to topical debate as to their benefits and risks. The strengths and weaknesses of the regulatory framework that controls their development and application is central to the question of whether this technology poses significant risk to the public health during this critical phase of its evolution. METHODS: A critical review was carried out of the legal framework regulating the contained use, deliberate release and some aspects of consumer protection relevant to the control of GMOs in Europe and the United Kingdom. RESULTS: The current legal framework is failing to provide a speed of adaptation commensurate with the development of the science of genetic engineering; failing to properly respond to democratic control; failing to resolve significant conflict between the protection of free markets and protection of public health and the environment; and failing to implement obligations on biodiversity. CONCLUSION: The present legal framework must be replaced. Current European Union proposals for new standards of regulation are welcome, but provide only for further incremental change, and do not address some significant fundamental flaws in our current laws. (+info)
Bicalutamide monotherapy versus flutamide plus goserelin in prostate cancer patients: results of an Italian Prostate Cancer Project study.
PURPOSE: To compare the efficacy of bicalutamide monotherapy to maximal androgen blockade (MAB) in the treatment of advanced prostatic cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Previously untreated patients with histologically proven stage C or D disease (American Urological Association Staging System) were randomly allocated to receive either bicalutamide or MAB. After disease progression, patients treated with bicalutamide were assigned to castration. The primary end point for this trial was overall survival. Secondary end points included response to treatment, disease progression, treatment safety, quality-of-life (QOL), and sexual function. RESULTS: A total of 108 patients received bicalutamide and 112 received MAB. There was no difference in the percentage of patients whose prostate-specific antigen returned to normal levels. At the time of the present analysis (median follow-up time, 38 months; range, 1 to 60 months), 129 patients progressed and 89 died. There was no difference in the duration of either progression-free survival or overall survival. However, a survival trend favored bicalutamide in stage C disease but MAB in stage D disease. Overall and subgroup trends were confirmed by multivariate analysis. Serious adverse events and treatment discontinuations were more common in patients receiving MAB (P =.08 and P =.04, respectively). Fewer patients in the bicalutamide group complained of loss of libido (P =. 01) and of erectile dysfunction (P =.002). Significant trends favored bicalutamide-treated patients also with respect to their QOL, namely relative to social functioning, vitality, emotional well-being, and physical capacity. CONCLUSION: Bicalutamide monotherapy yielded comparable results relative to standard treatment with MAB, induced fewer side effects, and produced a better QOL. (+info)
Randomized phase III study of temozolomide versus dacarbazine in the treatment of patients with advanced metastatic malignant melanoma.
PURPOSE: To compare, in 305 patients with advanced metastatic melanoma, temozolomide and dacarbazine (DTIC) in terms of overall survival, progression-free survival (PFS), objective response, and safety, and to assess health-related quality of life (QOL) and pharmacokinetics of both drugs and their metabolite, 5-(3-methyltriazen-1-yl)imidazole-4-carboximide (MTIC). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients were randomized to receive either oral temozolomide at a starting dosage of 200 mg/m(2)/d for 5 days every 28 days or intravenous (IV) DTIC at a starting dosage of 250 mg/m(2)/d for 5 days every 21 days. RESULTS: In the intent-to-treat population, median survival time was 7.7 months for patients treated with temozolomide and 6.4 months for those treated with DTIC (hazards ratio, 1.18; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.92 to 1.52). Median PFS time was significantly longer in the temozolomide-treated group (1.9 months) than in the DTIC-treated group (1.5 months) (P =.012; hazards ratio, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.75). No major difference in drug safety was observed. Temozolomide was well tolerated and produced a noncumulative, transient myelosuppression late in the 28-day cycle. The most common nonhematologic toxicities were mild to moderate nausea and vomiting, which were easily managed. Temozolomide therapy improved health-related QOL; more patients showed improvement or maintenance of physical functioning at week 12. Systemic exposure (area under the curve) to the parent drug and the active metabolite, MTIC, was higher after treatment with oral temozolomide than after IV administration of DTIC. CONCLUSION: Temozolomide demonstrates efficacy equal to that of DTIC and is an oral alternative for patients with advanced metastatic melanoma. (+info)
Multiepitopic B- and T-cell responses induced in humans by a human immunodeficiency virus type 1 lipopeptide vaccine.
We have attempted to develop an anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) lipopeptide vaccine with several HIV-specific long peptides modified by C-terminal addition of a single palmitoyl chain. A mixture of six lipopeptides derived from regulatory or structural HIV-1 proteins (Nef, Gag, and Env) was prepared. A phase I study was conducted to evaluate immunogenicity and tolerance in lipopeptide vaccination of HIV-1-seronegative volunteers given three injections of either 100, 250, or 500 microg of each lipopeptide, with or without immunoadjuvant (QS21). This report analyzes in detail B- and T-cell responses induced by vaccination. The lipopeptide vaccine elicited strong and multiepitopic B- and T-cell responses. Vaccinated subjects produced specific immunoglobulin G antibodies that recognized the Nef and Gag proteins. After the third injection, helper CD4(+)-T-cell responses as well as specific cytotoxic CD8(+) T cells were also obtained. These CD8(+) T cells were able to recognize naturally processed viral proteins. Finally, specific gamma interferon-secreting CD8(+) T cells were also detected ex vivo. (+info)