The efforts of WHO and Pugwash to eliminate chemical and biological weapons--a memoir.
The World Health Organization and the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (Nobel Peace Prize 1995) have been involved in questions concerning chemical and biological arms since the early 1950s. This memoir reviews a number of milestones in the efforts of these organizations to achieve the elimination of these weapons through international treaties effectively monitored and enforced for adherence to their provisions. It also highlights a number of outstanding personalities who were involved in the efforts to establish and implement the two major treaties now in effect, the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972 and the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. (+info)
The efficacy and limitations of repeated slide conferences for improving interobserver agreement when judging nuclear atypia of breast cancer. The Japan National Surgical Adjuvant Study of Breast Cancer (NSAS-BC) Pathology Section.
BACKGROUND: The pathology section of the Japan National Surgical Adjuvant Study of Breast Cancer protocol study was set up to establish histological criteria for assessing high-risk node-negative breast cancers and standardize the subjective criteria used by collaborating pathologists for nuclear grading of cancers. METHODS: In order to standardize the nuclear atypia criteria, five slide conferences were held. A total of 57 observers assigned nuclear atypia scores to 119 breast carcinomas that were presented using a slide projector or a TV monitor and discussed their histological findings. The percentage interobserver agreements per tumor and per conference and kappa value per conference were estimated and compared among the conferences. The percentage intraobserver reproducibility per tumor between the last two conferences was compared with the percentage interobserver agreement for 20 tumors. The kappa value was also calculated for each of 27 observers to evaluate scoring reproducibility. RESULTS: The percentage interobserver agreement per conference was constant (75-78%) throughout the five meetings and the rate of tumors with > 80% agreement per tumor became higher in later conferences. The kappa value was 0.42, 0.25, 0.42, 0.51 and 0.50 for the first, second, third, fourth and fifth conferences, respectively. The tumors with a lower percentage interobserver agreement also had a lower percentage intraobserver reproducibility and such scoring variations were attributed to the intermediate nature of the degree of tumor atypia. In 26 of 27 observers, intraobserver agreement for 20 tumors was estimated from the kappa value to range from moderate to almost perfect. CONCLUSION: We concluded that the repeated slide conferences conducted by the pathology section were an effective means of standardizing the subjective histopathological criteria used to assess tumors. However, the achievement of a good scoring agreement would be difficult for tumors with an intermediate degree of atypia. (+info)
The fate of neuroradiologic abstracts presented at national meetings in 1993: rate of subsequent publication in peer-reviewed, indexed journals.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Abstract presentations are a valuable means of rapidly conveying new information; however, abstracts that fail to eventually become published are of little use to the general medical community. Our goals were to determine the publication rate of neuroradiologic papers originally presented at national meetings in 1993 and to assess publication rate as a function of neuroradiologic subspecialty and study design. METHODS: Proceedings from the 1993 ASNR and RSNA meetings were reviewed. A MEDLINE search encompassing 1993-1997 was performed cross-referencing lead author and at least one text word based on the abstract title. All ASNR and RSNA neuroradiologic abstracts were included. Study type, subspecialty classification, and sample size were tabulated. Publication rate, based on study design and neuroradiologic subspecialty, was compared with overall publication rate. Median duration from meeting presentation to publication was calculated, and the journals of publication were noted. RESULTS: Thirty-seven percent of ASNR abstracts and 33% of RSNA neuroradiologic abstracts were published as articles in indexed medical journals. Publication rates among neuroradiologic subspecialty types were not significantly different. Prospective studies presented at the ASNR were published at a higher rate than were retrospective studies. There was no difference between the publication rate of experimental versus clinical studies. Neuroradiologic abstracts were published less frequently than were abstracts within other medical specialties. Median time between abstract presentation and publication was 15 months. CONCLUSION: Approximately one third of neuroradiologic abstracts presented at national meetings in 1993 were published in indexed journals. This rate is lower than that of abstracts from medical specialties other than radiology. (+info)
Convergence of philosophy and science: the third international congress on vegetarian nutrition.
Populations of vegetarians living in affluent countries appear to enjoy unusually good health, characterized by low rates of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and total mortality. These important observations have fueled much research and have raised 3 general questions about vegetarians in relation to nonvegetarians: Are these observations the result of better nondietary lifestyle factors, such as lower prevalences of smoking and higher levels of physical activity?; Are they the result of lower intakes of harmful dietary components, in particular meat?; and Are they the result of higher intakes of beneficial dietary components that tend to replace meat in the diet? Current evidence suggests that the answer to all 3 questions is "Yes." Low smoking rates contribute importantly to the low rates of cardiovascular disease and many cancers, probably including colon cancer, in Seventh-day Adventists and other vegetarian populations. Also, avoidance of red meat is likely to account in part for low rates of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer, but this does not appear to be the primary reason for general good health in these populations. Evidence accumulated in the past decade emphasizes the importance of adequate consumption of beneficial dietary factors-rather than just the avoidance of harmful factors-including an abundance of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains and regular consumption of vegetable oils, including those from nuts. Although current knowledge already provides general guidance toward healthy diets, accumulated evidence now strongly indicates that diet has a powerful yet complex effect on health and that further investigation is needed. (+info)
CPD and its aftermath: throwing out the baby?
Monitoring of interobserver agreement in nuclear atypia scoring of node-negative breast carcinomas judged at individual collaborating hospitals in the National Surgical Adjuvant Study of Breast Cancer (NSAS-BC) protocol.
BACKGROUND: In the NSAS-BC protocol, the nuclear atypia and mitotic counts are to be judged by pathologists at each participating hospital for assessing high-risk node-negative breast cancers. Therefore, maintenance of interobserver agreement in diagnosis at a higher level is mandatory during the period of patient entry. METHODS: Individual collaborating pathologists originally evaluated the histological eligibility of 107 cases. Three panel pathologists determined consensus diagnoses and 29-37 collaborating pathologists determined modal diagnoses of these cases at three slide conference sessions. The original diagnoses were compared with the consensus and modal diagnoses to estimate the percentage of erroneous judgments. RESULTS: The agreement rate in histological type and nuclear atypia score was 69% (74/107) between the original and consensus diagnoses, 76% (81/107) between the original and modal diagnoses and 86% (92/107) between the consensus and modal diagnoses. The strength of interobserver agreement at the slide conference sessions was moderate (0.447-0.535) by kappa statistics. The original, consensus and modal diagnoses were concordant in 71 cases (66%), but were discordant in 36. Of 35 invasive ductal carcinomas with discordant diagnoses, the discordance arose from the intermediate tumor nature in 15, multiple factors in 13 and erroneous diagnosis in seven (6.5%), if the characteristics of the tumor were judged from the percentage interobserver agreement per tumor at the slide conferences. CONCLUSION: Nuclear atypia scoring given at individual hospitals on case entry was almost reproducible among the pathologists. Continuous efforts are needed to improve interobserver agreement and to decrease erroneous diagnosis for protocol eligibility. (+info)
Using multi media to enhance a flexible learning program: lessons learned.
Central Queensland University is a well-established distance education provider with an internationally recognized reputation in flexible learning. It has a well-developed infrastructure for the preparation of quality print and multimedia learning materials. A symposium and working conference linking twelve sites, including Auckland NZ via video conferencing, and supported by print based materials and web based conferencing was held during November 1998 with the assistance of Telstra's Conferlink. This paper provides the background, organisation, and evaluation results. Our conclusions are that appropriate use of a combination of print based materials, videoconferencing and a web based classroom works well for the provision of continuing education to health professionals. In addition this symposium was able to reach clinicians and demonstrate the value of informatics to support evidence based practice. (+info)