MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed genotyping for both SNPs for 250 GIC patients and 572 healthy volunteers using a polymerase chain reaction- restriction fragment length polymorphism approach. We validated heterozygosity and homozygosity for both SNPs using direct sequencing.
RESULTS: The presence of a variant 194Trp allele in the Arg194Trp SNP was significantly associated with a higher risk of GIC, especially with gastric and colorectal cancers. We additionally found that the variant 399Gln allele in Arg399Gln SNP was associated with a greater risk of developing gastric cancer. Our combined analysis revealed that inheritance of variant alleles in both SNPs increased the GIC risk in Sabah population. Based on our etiological analysis, we found that subjects ≥50 years and males who carrying the variant 194Trp allele, and Bajau subjects carrying the 399Gln allele had a significantly increased risk of GIC.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that inheritance of variant alleles in XRCC1 Arg194Trp and Arg399Gln SNPs may act as biomarkers for the early detection of GIC, especially for gastric and colorectal cancers in the Sabah population.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the quality of life (QOL) scores among breast cancer patients at a Malaysian public hospital.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study of breast cancer patients was conducted between March to June 2013. QOL scores were determined using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) and its breast cancer supplementary measure (QLQ-BR23). Both the QLQ-C30 and QLQ-BR23 assess items from functional and symptom scales. The QLQ-C30 in addition also measures the Global Health Status (GHS). Systematic random sampling was used to recruit patients.
RESULTS: 223 breast cancer patients were recruited with a response rate of 92.1%. The mean age of the patients was 52.4 years (95% CI = 51.0, 53.7, SD=10.3). Majority of respondents are Malays (60.5%), followed by Chinese (19.3%), Indians (18.4%), and others (1.8%). More than 50% of respondents are at stage III and stage IV of malignancy. The mean Global Health Status was 65.7 (SD = 21.4). From the QLQ-C30, the mean score in the functioning scale was highest for 'cognitive functioning' (84.1, SD=18.0), while the mean score in the symptom scale was highest for 'financial difficulties' (40.1, SD=31.6). From the QLQ-BR23, the mean score for functioning scale was highest for 'body image' (80.0, SD=24.6) while the mean score in the symptom scale was highest for 'upset by hair loss' (36.2, SD=29.4). Two significant predictors for Global Health Status were age and employment. The predictors explained 10.6% of the variation of global health status (R2=0.106).
CONCLUSIONS: Age and employment were found to be significant predictors for Global Health Status (GHS). The Quality of Life among breast cancer patients reflected by the GHS improves as age and employment increases.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The case records of 125 patients with NSCLC and brain metastases consecutively treated with radiotherapy at two tertiary centres from January 2006 to June 2012 were analysed for patient, tumour and treatment-related prognostic factors. Patients receiving SRS/SRT were treated using Cyberknife. Variables were examined in univariate and multivariate testing.
RESULTS: Overall median survival was 3.4 months (95%CI: 1.7-5.1). Median survival for patients with multiple metastases receiving WBRT was 1.5 months, 1-3 metastases receiving WBRT was 3.6 months and 1-3 metastases receiving surgery or SRS/SRT was 8.9 months. ECOG score (≤2 vs >2, p=0.001), presence of seizure (yes versus no, p=0.031), treatment modality according to number of brain metastases (1-3 metastases+surgery or SRS/SRT±WBRT vs 1-3 metastases+WBRT only vs multiple metastases+WBRT only, p=0.007) and the use of post-therapy systemic treatment (yes versus no, p=0.001) emerged as significant on univariate analysis. All four factors remained statistically significant on multivariate analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: ECOG ≤2, presence of seizures, oligometastatic disease treated with aggressive local therapy (surgery or SRS/SRT) and the use of post-therapy systemic treatment are favourable prognostic factors in NSCLC patients with brain metastases.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients who were treated with first line palliative chemotherapy for de novo MBC from 2002-2011 in UMMC were identified from the UMMC Breast Cancer Registry. Information collected included patient demographics, histopathological features, treatment received, including the different chemotherapy regimens, and presence of FN and TRD. FN was defined as an oral temperature >38.5° or two consecutive readings of >38.0° for 2 hours and an absolute neutrophil count <0.5x109/L, or expected to fall below 0.5x109/L (de Naurois et al, 2010). TRD was defined as death occurring during or within 30 days of the last chemotherapy treatment, as a consequence of the chemotherapy treatment. Statistical analysis was performed using the SPSS version 18.0 software. Survival probabilities were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and differences in survival compared using log-rank test.
RESULTS: Between 1st January 2002 and 31st December 2011, 424 patients with MBC were treated in UMMC. A total of 186 out of 221 patients with de novo MBC who received first line palliative chemotherapy were analyzed. The mean age of patients in this study was 49.5 years (range 24 to 74 years). Biologically, ER status was negative in 54.4% of patients and Her-2 status was positive in 31.1%. A 5-flourouracil, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide (FEC) chemotherapy regimen was chosen for 86.6% of the cases. Most patients had multiple metastatic sites (58.6%). The main result of this study showed a FN rate of 5.9% and TRD rate of 3.2%. The median survival (MS) for the entire cohort was 19 months. For those with multiple metastatic sites, liver only, lung only, bone only and brain only metastatic sites, the MS was 18, 24, 19, 24 and 8 months respectively (p-value= 0.319).
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, we surmise that FEC is a safe regimen with acceptable FN and TRD rates for de novo MBC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: cDNAs from 41 OSCC samples with and without risk habits were included in this study. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to analyze KRT13, FAIM2 and CYP2W1 in OSCC. The housekeeping gene (GAPDH) was used as an endogenous control.
RESULTS: Of the 41 OSCC samples, KRT13 was down-regulated in 40 samples (97.6%), while FAIM2 and CYP2W1 were down-regulated in 61.0% and 48.8%, respectively. Overall, there were no associations between KRT13, FAIM2 and CYP2W1 expression with risk habits, selected socio-demographic and clinico-pathological parameters and patient survival.
CONCLUSIONS: Although this study was unable to show significance, there were some tendencies in the associations of KRT13, FAIM2 and CYP2W1 expression in OSCC with selected clinic-pathological parameters and survival.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was conducted by distribution of a questionnaire developed as part of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey to Form 4 student in 3 schools at Shah Alam.
RESULTS: Prevalence of smoking (current smokers) was 7.5%. Almost half of the children came from families where one or both parents smoked and a third of the parents had no discussion regarding consequences of smoking with them. A large number of students were classified as "triers" as they had tried smoking and were unsure of whether they would not be smoking in the future. Contrary to our expectations, students generally felt smoking did make one feel more uncomfortable and helped one to reduce body weight. Most students seemed to be aware of the ill-effects of smoking on health. They felt they had received adequate information from school regarding the effects on smoking on health.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that even though Form 4 students in Shah Alam were knowledgeable about ill-effects of smoking and were taught so as part of their school curriculum, the prevalence of smoking was still high. Students in the "trier group" represent a potential group of future smokers and strategies targeting tobacco control may be aimed at tackling these vulnerable individuals. Efforts are also needed to help educate secondary school children about common misconceptions and dispel myths associated with cigarette smoking.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The Management and Science University conducted a cross-sectional study analyzing responses through cross-tabulation with the socio-demographic data collected.
RESULTS: The findings of our quantitative analysis suggest that Malaysian youth generally possess a moderate knowledge about cancer. Quantitative analyses found that socioeconomic inequalities and bias in education present as important factors contributing to cancer awareness, prevention, and treatment among Malaysian adolescents.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings indicate that Malaysian youth generally possess a moderate knowledge about cancer but the current deficiencies in initiatives directed to cancer awareness continue to hinder the improvement in prevention of cancer among Malaysian adolescents.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: MCF-7 cells were plated at a density of 15105 cells/well in 6-well plates. After 24h, cells were treated with a series of concentrations of rapamycin while only adding DMEM medium with PEG for the control regiment and grown at 37oC, 5% CO2 and 95% air for 72h. Trypan blue was used to determine the cell viability and proliferation. Untreated and rapamycin-treated MCF-7 cells were also examined for morphological changes with an inverted-phase contrast microscope. Alteration in cell morphology was ascertained, along with a stage in the cell cycle and proliferation. In addition, cytotoxicity testing was performed using normal mouse breast mammary pads.
RESULTS: Our results clearly showed that rapamycin exhibited inhibitory activity on MCF-7 cell lines. The IC50 value of rapamycin on the MCF-7 cells was determined as 0.4μg/ml (p<0.05). Direct observation by inverted microscopy demonstrated that the MCF-7 cells treated with rapamycin showed characteristic features of apoptosis including cell shrinkage, vascularization and autophagy. Cells underwent early apoptosis up to 24% after 72h. Analysis of the cell cycle showed an increase in the G0G1 phase cell population and a corresponding decrease in the S and G2M phase populations, from 81.5% to 91.3% and 17.3% to 7.9%, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that rapamycin may potentially act as an anti-cancer agent via the inhibition of growth with some morphological changes of the MCF-7 cancer cells, arrest cell cycle progression at G0/G1 phase and induction of apoptosis in late stage of apoptosis. Further studies are needed to further characterize the mode of action of rapamycin as an anti-cancer agent.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional analytical study was conducted in Shah Alam, Malaysia. Participants aged ≥ 18 years were selected from restaurants. Data regarding demographic variables, smoking patterns, and knowledge about shisha smoking were collected in local languages. Logistic regression was performed to assess risk factors.
RESULTS: Of 239 participants, 61.9 % were male and 99.2% revealed their smoking status. Some 57.4% were smokers: 50.7% only cigarettes, 5.9% only shisha and 42% both. Mean age of starting cigarette smoking was 17.5 ± 2.4 years and for shisha smoking 18.7 ± 2.0 years. In a univariate model, male gender, age 33-52 years and monthly income > MYR 4,000 increased the risk and unemployment and being a student decreased the risk. In a multivariate model, male gender increased the risk of smoking, while being a student decreased the risk, adjusting for age and income. The perception of shisha being less harmful than cigarettes was present in 14.6% and 7.5% had the opinion that shisha is not harmful at all, while 21.7% said that it is less addictive than cigarettes, 39.7% said that shisha did not contain tar and nicotine, 34.3% said that it did not contain carbon monoxide and 24.3% thought that shisha did not cause health problems.
CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence of shisha and cigarette smoking is high in the general population in Malaysia and knowledge about shisha smoking is relatively low. The findings of our study might have implications for understanding similarities and differences in incidence of shisha and cigarette smoking in other cultural/geographic regions.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: All newly diagnosed patients with squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck (HNSCC) referred for treatment to the Oncology Unit at UMMC from 2003-2010 were retrospectively analyzed. Treatment outcomes were 5-year overall survival (OS), cause specific survival (CSS), loco-regional control (LRC) and radiotherapy (RT) related side effects. Kaplan-Meier and log rank analyses were used to determine survival outcomes, stratified according to American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage.
RESULTS: A total of 130 cases were analysed. Most cases (81.5%) were at late stage (AJCC III-IVB) at presentation. The 5-year OS for the whole study population was 34.4% with a median follow up of 24 months. The 5-year OS according to AJCC stage was 100%, 48.2%, 41.4% and 22.0% for stage I, II, III and IVA-B, respectively. The 5-year overall CSS and LCR were 45.4% and 55.4%, respectively. Late effects of RT were documented in 41.4% of patients. The most common late effect was xerostomia.
CONCLUSIONS: The treatment outcome of HNSCC at our centre is lagging behind those of developed nations. Efforts to increase the number of patients presenting in earlier stages, increase in the use of combined modality treatment, especially concurrent chemoradiotherapy and implementation of intensity modulated radiotherapy, may lead to better outcomes for our HNC patients.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the inhibitory effects of PEITC against benzo[a]pyrene-induced rise in rat liver CYP1A1 mRNA and apoprotein levels.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Precision cut rat liver slices were treated with benzo[a]pyrene at 1 and 5 μM in the presence of PEITC (1-25 μM) for 24 hours, followed by determination of CYP1A1 mRNA and apoprotein levels using quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunoblotting.
RESULTS: Findings revealed that PEITC inhibited benzo[a]pyrene-induced rise in rat liver CYP1A1 mRNA in a dose-dependent manner as well as the apoprotein levels of CYP1A.
CONCLUSIONS: It was demonstrated that PEITC can directly inhibit the bioactivation of benzo[a]pyrene, indicating chemopreventive potential.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Formalin-fixed paraffin- embedded tumour tissue of 144 no special type (NST) invasive breast carcinomas histologically diagnosed between January 2009 and December 2012 in Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah, Alor Setar, Kedah were immunostained with COX-2 antibody. COX-2 overexpression was analysed against demographic data, hormone receptor status, HER2- neu overexpression, histological grade, tumour size and lymph node status.
RESULTS: COX-2 was overexpressed in 108/144 (75%) tumours and was significantly more prevalent (87%) in hormone receptor-positive tumours. There was no correlation between COX-2 overexpression and HER2/neu status. Triple negative cancers had the lowest prevalence (46%) (p<0.05). A rising trend of COX-2 overexpression with increasing age was observed. There was a significant inverse relationship with tumour grade (p<0.05), prevalences being 94%, 83% and 66% in grades 1, 2 and 3 tumours, respectively. A higher prevalence of COX-2 overexpression in smaller size tumours was observed but this did not reach statistical significance. There was no relationship between COX-2 expression and lymph node status.
CONCLUSIONS: This study did not support the generally held notion that COX-2 overexpression is linked to poor prognosis, rather supporting a role in tumorigenesis. Larger scale studies with outcome data and basic studies on cancer pathogenetic pathways will be required to cast further light on whether COX-2 inhibitors would have clinical utility in cancer prevention or blockage of cancer progression. In either setting, the pathological assessment for COX-2 overexpression in breast cancers would have an important role in the selection of cancer patients for personalized therapy with COX-2 inhibitors.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This pilot cross-sectional survey was conducted among breast cancer survivors (n=40) who were members of Breast Cancer Support Group Centre Johor Bahru. A validated self-administered questionnaire was used to identify the relationships between socio-demography, medical characteristics and HR-QOL of the participants.
RESULTS: Living with family and completion of treatment were significant predictive factors of self-rated QOL, while living with family and ever giving birth significantly predicted satisfaction with health and physical health. Psychological health had moderate correlations with number of children and early cancer stage. Survivors' higher personal income (>MYR4,500) was the only significant predictor of social relationship, while age, income more than MYR4,500 and giving birth significantly predicted environment domain score.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggested the survivors coped better in all four HR-QOL domains if they were married, lived with family, had children and were employed.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data were collected using questionnaires (demographic questionnaire, Medical characteristics, Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale (MSAS) and Brief COPE scales and analyzed for demographic, and disease-related variable effects on symptom prevalence, severity, distress and coping strategies.
RESULTS: Symptom prevalence was relatively high and ranged from 14.9% for swelling of arms and legs to 88.1% for lack of energy. This latter was the highest rated symptom in the study. The level of distress was found to be low in three domains. Problem-focused coping strategies were found to be more commonly employed compared to emotion-focused strategies, demonstrating significant associations with sex, age group, educational levels and race. However, there was a positive correlation between emotion-focused strategies and physical and psychological distress, indicating that patients would choose emotion-focused strategies when symptom distress increased.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate that high symptom prevalence rates and coping strategies used render an improvement in current nursing management. Therefore development of symptoms management groups, encouraging the use of self-care diaries and enhancing the quality of psycho- oncology services provided are to be recommended.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The questionnaires were distributed in the Umra Private Hospital in Selangor. The questionnaire had four parts and covered social-demographic questions, respondent knowledge about CRC and colorectal tests, attitude towards CRC and respondentaction regarding CRC. More than half of Malay participants (total n=187) were female (57.2%) and 36.9% of them were working as professionals.
RESULTS: The majority of the participants (93.6%) never had a CRC screening test. The study found that only 10.2% of the study participants did not consider that their chances of getting CRC were high. A high percentage of the participants (43.3%) believed that they would have good chance of survival if the cancer would be found early. About one third of the respondents did not want to do screening because of fear of cancer, and concerns of embarrassment during the procedure adversely affected attitude to CRC screening as well. Age, gender, income, family history of CRC, vegetable intake and physical activity were found to be significant determinants of knowledge on CRC.
CONCLUSIONS: The major barriers identified towards CRC screening identified in our study were fear of pain and embarrassment. The findings have implications for understanding of similarities and differences in attitude to CRC amongst elderly patients in other cultural/ geographic regions.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross sectional study was carried out to examine the breast cancer prevention information seeking behavior among 450 students at one private university in Malaysia.
RESULTS: The mean age of respondents was 25±4.3 years. Common interpersonal information sources were doctors, friends, and nurses and common channel information sources were television, brochure, and internet. Overall, 89.9% used cell phones, 46.1% had an interest in receiving cell phone breast cancer prevention messages, 73.9% used text messaging, and 36.7% had an interest in receiving text breast cancer prevention messages. Bivariate analysis revealed significant differences among age, eduation, nationality and use of cell phones.
CONCLUSIONS: Assessment of health information seeking behavior is important for community health educators to target populations for program development.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed the clinical notes of all patients prescribed with oral capecitabine chemotherapy for any tumour sites in University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) from 1st January 2009 till 31st June 2010. Information collected included patient demographics, histopathological features, treatment received including the different chemotherapy regimens and intent of treatment whether the chemotherapy was given for neoadjuvant, concurrent with radiation, adjuvant or palliative intent. The aim of this study is to establish the pattern of usage, FN and TRD rates with capecitabine in clinical practice outside of clinical trial setting. FN is defined as an oral temperature >38.5°or two consecutive readings of >38.0° for 2 hours and an absolute neutrophil count <0.5 x 109/L, or expected to fall below 0.5 x 109/L (de Naurois et al., 2010). Treatment related death was defined as death occurring during or within 30 days of last chemotherapy treatment.
RESULTS: Between 1st January 2009 and 30th June 2010, 274 patients were treated with capecitabine chemotherapy in UMMC. The mean age was 58 years (range 22 to 82 years). Capecitabine was used in 14 different tumour sites with the colorectal site predominating with a total of 128 cases (46.7%), followed by breast cancer (35.8%). Capecitabine was most commonly used in the palliative setting accounting for 63.9% of the cases, followed by the adjuvant setting (19.7%). The most common regimen was single agent capecitabine with 129 cases (47.1%). The other common regimens were XELOX (21.5%) and ECX (10.2%). The main result of this study showed an overall FN rate of 2.2% (6/274). The overall TRD rate was 5.1% (14/274). The FN rate for the single agent capecitabine regimen was 1.6% (2/129) and the TRD rate was 5.4% (7/129). All the TRDs were with single agent capecitabine regimen were used for palliative intent.
CONCLUSIONS: Oral capecitabine is used widely in clinical practice in a myriad of tumour sites and bears a low risk of febrile neutropaenia. However, capecitabine like any other intravenous chemotherapeutic agent carries a significant risk of treatment related death.