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(1/4220) Distinct clinical and laboratory activity of two recombinant interleukin-2 preparations.

Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is a potent lymphokine that activates natural killer cells, T cells, and other cells of the immune system. Several distinct recombinant human IL-2 preparations have shown antitumor activity, particularly for renal cell cancer and melanoma. Somewhat distinct immune and clinical effects have been noted when different IL-2 preparations have been tested clinically; however, the regimens and doses used were not identical. To compare these more directly, we have evaluated two clinical recombinant IL-2 preparations in vitro and in vivo using similar regimens and similar IUs of IL-2. We used the Food and Drug Administration-approved, commercially available Chiron IL-2 and the Hoffmann LaRoche (HLR) IL-2 supplied by the National Cancer Institute. Using equivalent IUs of IL-2, we noted quantitative differences in vitro and in vivo in the IL-2 activity of these two preparations. In patients receiving comparable IUs of the two preparations, HLR IL-2 induced the release of more soluble IL-2 receptor alpha into the serum than Chiron IL-2. In addition, more toxicities were noted in patients receiving 1.5 x 10(6) IU of HLR IL-2 than were seen in patients treated with 1.5 x 10(6) or even 4.5 x 10(6) IU of Chiron IL-2. These toxicities included fever, nausea and vomiting, and hepatic toxicity. In vitro proliferative assays using IL-2-dependent human and murine cell lines indicated that the IU of HLR IL-2 was more effective than Chiron IL-2 at inducing tritiated thymidine incorporation. Using flow cytometry, we also found quantitative differences in the ability of these two preparations to bind to IL-2 receptors. These findings indicate that approximately 3-6 IU of Chiron IL-2 are required to induce the same biological effect as 1 IU of HLR IL-2.  (+info)

(2/4220) Survey of total error of precipitation and homogeneous HDL-cholesterol methods and simultaneous evaluation of lyophilized saccharose-containing candidate reference materials for HDL-cholesterol.

BACKGROUND: Standardization of HDL-cholesterol is needed for risk assessment. We assessed for the first time the accuracy of HDL-cholesterol testing in The Netherlands and evaluated 11 candidate reference materials (CRMs). METHODS: The total error (TE) of HDL-cholesterol measurements was assessed in native human sera by 25 Dutch clinical chemistry laboratories. Concomitantly, the suitability of lyophilized, saccharose-containing CRMs (n = 11) for HDL-cholesterol was evaluated. RESULTS: In the precipitation method group, which included 25 laboratories and four methods, the mean (minimum-maximum) TE was 11.5% (2.7-25.2%), signifying that 18 of 25 laboratories satisfied the TE goal of +info)

(3/4220) Rapid and sensitive quantification of Borrelia burgdorferi-infected mouse tissues by continuous fluorescent monitoring of PCR.

The quantity of Borrelia burgdorferi organisms in tissue samples is an important determinant for infection studies in the mouse model of Lyme disease. This report presents the development of a rapid and sensitive external-standard-based PCR assay for the absolute quantification of B. burgdorferi in mouse tissue samples. The assay uses a double-stranded DNA dye to continuously monitor product formation and in less than an hour was able to quantify samples ranging up to 6 log units in concentration. The PCR efficiencies of the sample and the standard were matched by using a standard composed of purified B. burgdorferi chromosome mixed with tissue-matched mouse genome lacking bacterial DNA. Normalization of B. burgdorferi quantities to the mouse nidogen gene allowed comparison of B. burgdorferi numbers in samples isolated from different tissues and strains. PCR analysis of the chromosomal gene recA in cultured B. burgdorferi was consistent with a single recA per bacterium. The parameters defined in this assay should be applicable to quantification of other organisms, even infectious agents for which no ready source of DNA standard is available. In summary, this report presents a rapid external-standard-based PCR method for the quantification of B. burgdorferi in mouse DNA samples.  (+info)

(4/4220) High-performance liquid chromatography column switching applied to the trace determination of herbicides in environmental and drinking water samples.

A selective and sensitive coupled-column high-performance liquid chromatographic method is developed for the simultaneous determination of 5 phenylurea herbicides (monuron, linuron, isoproturon, monolinuron, and diuron) in environmental and drinking water samples. Sample clean-up is performed automatically by means of a column switching technique. Using 2 octadecyl silica columns connected via two programmable 6-port valves and ultraviolet detection at 244 nm, the aforementioned compounds can be determined at the low concentration levels required for pesticide residue analysis in water samples. A mobile phase consisting of a mixture of methanol-water (55:45, v/v) is pumped at 1 mL/min. For the 5 phenylureas, high recoveries ranging from 94.9 to 101.6%, good reproducibility with relative standard deviations lower than 5%, and wide linear ranges up to 20 micrograms/L are observed with determination limits of 0.05 microgram/L. The method is successfully applied to the screening of different environmental water samples such as surface, ground, rain, and drinking water.  (+info)

(5/4220) Simple and sensitive analysis of nereistoxin and its metabolites in human serum using headspace solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

A simple method for the analysis of nereistoxin and its metabolites in human serum using headspace solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is developed. A vial containing a serum sample, 5M sodium hydroxide, and benzylacetone (internal standard) is heated to 70 degrees C, and an SPME fiber is exposed for 30 min in the headspace of the vial. The compounds extracted by the fiber are desorbed by exposing the fiber in the injection port of the GC-MS. The calibration curves show linearity in the range of 0.05-5.0 micrograms/mL for nereistoxin and N-methyl-N-(2-methylthio-1-methylthiomethyl)ethylamine, 0.01-5.0 micrograms/mL for S,S'-dimethyl dihydronereistoxin, and 0.5-10 micrograms/mL for 2-methylthio-1-methylthiomethylethylamine in serum. No interferences are found, and the analysis time is 50 min for one sample. In addition, this proposed method is applied to a patient who attempted suicide by ingesting Padan 4R, a herbicide. Padan 4R contains 4% cartap hydrochloride, which is an analogue of nereistoxin. Nereistoxin and its metabolites are detected in the serum samples collected from the patient during hospitalization. The concentration ranges of nereistoxin in the serum are 0.09-2.69 micrograms/mL.  (+info)

(6/4220) A reliability study for evaluating information extraction from radiology reports.

GOAL: To assess the reliability of a reference standard for an information extraction task. SETTING: Twenty-four physician raters from two sites and two specialties judged whether clinical conditions were present based on reading chest radiograph reports. METHODS: Variance components, generalizability (reliability) coefficients, and the number of expert raters needed to generate a reliable reference standard were estimated. RESULTS: Per-rater reliability averaged across conditions was 0.80 (95% CI, 0.79-0.81). Reliability for the nine individual conditions varied from 0.67 to 0.97, with central line presence and pneumothorax the most reliable, and pleural effusion (excluding CHF) and pneumonia the least reliable. One to two raters were needed to achieve a reliability of 0.70, and six raters, on average, were required to achieve a reliability of 0.95. This was far more reliable than a previously published per-rater reliability of 0.19 for a more complex task. Differences between sites were attributable to changes to the condition definitions. CONCLUSION: In these evaluations, physician raters were able to judge very reliably the presence of clinical conditions based on text reports. Once the reliability of a specific rater is confirmed, it would be possible for that rater to create a reference standard reliable enough to assess aggregate measures on a system. Six raters would be needed to create a reference standard sufficient to assess a system on a case-by-case basis. These results should help evaluators design future information extraction studies for natural language processors and other knowledge-based systems.  (+info)

(7/4220) Assessment of serum thyroxine binding capacity-dependent biases in free thyroxine assays.

BACKGROUND: Free thyroxine (FT4) assays may exhibit biases that are related to serum T4 binding capacity (sBC). We describe two tests that can be used to assess the presence and magnitude of sBC-dependent biases in FT4 assays. METHODS: We used a direct equilibrium dialysis FT4 assay as the reference method and compared the results obtained with those of the FT4 assays under investigation, in patient sera having a wide range of sBC. We then compared the expected and observed FT4 results for sera diluted with an inert buffer. Because serum dilution causes a predictable decrease in sBC, an increasingly negative bias on progressive dilution is indicative of a sBC-dependent bias. RESULTS: The automated FT4 assay investigated (Vitros FT4) showed no demonstrable sBC-dependent bias by either test. CONCLUSION: These two tests can be used to screen for sBC-dependent biases in FT4 assays.  (+info)

(8/4220) Effect of diluent temperature on creatine kinase values found for lyophilized controls and reference sera.

We report the effect of temperature of diluent on creatine kinase activity in several lyophilized controls. Creatine kinase activity was significantly greater when the lyophilized control was reconstituted with diluent at 4 degrees C as compared to 25 degrees C. This is an additional source of variation in creatine kinase controls.  (+info)