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: 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.
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: 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: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 258 community dwelling women from urban and rural settings who participated in health campaigns. In order to reduce the sampling bias, half of the study population performed the self-sampling prior to the physician sampling while the other half performed the self-sampling after the physician sampling, randomly. Acquired samples were assessed for cytological changes as well as HPV DNA detection.
RESULTS: The mean age of the subjects was 40.4±11.3 years. The prevalence of abnormal cervical changes was 2.7%. High risk and low risk HPV genotypes were found in 4.0% and 2.7% of the subjects, respectively. A substantial agreement was observed between self-sampling and the physician obtained sampling in cytological diagnosis (k=0.62, 95%CI=0.50, 0.74), micro-organism detection (k=0.77, 95%CI=0.66, 0.88) and detection of hormonal status (k=0.75, 95%CI=0.65, 0.85) as well as detection of high risk (k=0.77, 95%CI=0.4, 0.98) and low risk (K=0.77, 95%CI=0.50, 0.92) HPV. Menopausal state was found to be related with 8.39 times more adequate cell specimens for cytology but 0.13 times less adequate cell specimens for virological assessment.
CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed that self-sampling has a good agreement with physician sampling in detecting HPV genotypes. Self-sampling can serve as a tool in HPV screening while it may be useful in detecting cytological abnormalities in Malaysia.
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: 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: 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.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the association of premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer risk with dietary carbohydrate, fiber and sugar intake.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This population based case-control study was conducted in Malaysia with 382 breast cancer patients and 382 controls. Food intake pattern was assessed via an interviewer-administered food frequency questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to compute odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) and a broad range of potential confounders were included in analysis.
RESULTS: A significant two fold increased risk of breast cancer among premenopausal (OR Q4 to Q1=1.93, 95%CI: 1.53-2.61, p-trend=0.001) and postmenopausal (OR Q4 to Q1=1.87, 95%CI: 1.03-2.61, p-trend=0.045) women was observed in the highest quartile of sugar. A higher intake of dietary fiber was associated with a significantly lower breast cancer risk among both premenopausal (OR Q4 to Q1=0.31, 95%CI: 0.12-0.79, p-trend=0.009) and postmenopausal (OR Q4 to Q1=0.23, 95%CI: 0.07-0.76, p-trend=0.031) women.
CONCLUSIONS: Sugar and dietary fiber intake were independently related to pre- and postmenopausal breast cancer risk. However, no association was observed for dietary carbohydrate intake.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: MTG and SRM was analyzed for their reducing power ability, ABTS radical inhibition and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazylfree radicals scavenging activities. Furthermore, the antiproliferation efficacy was evaluated using MTT assay on K 562 and HCT116 cancer cell lines versus NIH/3T3 and CCD18-Co normal cell lines respectively.
RESULTS: SRM and MTG demonstrate moderate antioxidant value with ABTS assay (Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC): 2.25±0.02 mmol trolox / mmol and 1.96±0.04 mmol trolox / mmol respectively) and DPPH (IC50=3.75±0.04 mg/mL and IC50=2.28±0.02 mg/mL respectively). Both MTG and SRM demonstrate equal potency (IC50=25.20±1.53 and IC50= 22.19±1.06 respectively) towards K 562 cell lines, comparable to control, betulinic acid (BA) (IC5024.40±1.26). Both compounds showed concentration-dependent cytototoxicity effects and exert profound antiproliferative efficacy at concentration > 100 μM towards HCT 116 and K 562 cancer cell lines, comparable to those of BA and 5-FU (5-Fluorouracil). Furthermore, both MTG and SRM exhibit high selectivity towards HCT 116 cell lines with selective indexes of 3.14 and 2.93 respectively compared to 5-FU (SI=0.60).
CONCLUSIONS: These findings revealed that the medicinal and nutitional values of mitragynine obtained from ketum leaves that growth in tropical forest of Southeast Asia and its analogues does not limited to analgesic properties but could be promising antioxidant and anticancer or chemopreventive compounds.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, data were extracted from the pharmacy database of University Malaya Medical Center (UMMC) responsible for dispensing records of patients stored in the pharmacy's Medication Management and Use System (Ascribe). We analyzed the use of psychotropics in patients from the oncology ward and cardiology from 2008 to 2012. Odds ratios (ORs) were adjusted for age, gender and ethnicity.
RESULTS: A total of 3,345 oncology patients and 8,980 cardiology patients were included. Oncology patients were significantly more often prescribed psychotropic drugs (adjusted OR: anxiolytic/hypnotic=5.55 (CI: 4.64-6.63); antidepressants=6.08 (CI: 4.83-7.64) and antipsychotics=5.41 (CI: 4.17-7.02). Non-Malay female cancer patients were at significantly higher risk of anxiolytic/hypnotic use.
CONCLUSIONS: Psychotropic drugs prescription is common in cancer patients. Anxiolytic/hypnotic prescription rates are significantly higher in non-Malay female patients in Malaysia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty five female Sprague Dawley rats at age 21-day old were divided into 4 groups; Group 1 (control, n=10), Group 2 (PF4, n=5), Group 3 (rapamycin, n=10) and Group 4 (rapamycin+PF4, n=10). MNU was administered intraperitionally, dosed at 70 mg/kg body weight. The rats were treated when the tumors reached the size of 14.5 ± 0.5 mm and subsequently sacrificed after 5 days. Rapamycin and PF4 were administered as focal intralesional injections at the dose of 20 μg/lesion. The tumor tissue was then subjected to histopathological examinations for morphological appraisal and immunohistochemical assessment of the pro-apoptotic marker, Bax and anti-apoptotic markers, Bcl-2 and survivin.
RESULTS: The histopathological pattern of the untreated control cohort showed that the severity of the malignancy augments with mammary tumor growth. Tumors developing in untreated groups were more aggressive whilst those in treated groups demonstrated a transformation to a less aggressive subtype. Combined treatment resulted in a significant reduction of tumor size without phenotypic changes. Bax, the pro-apoptotic marker, was significantly expressed at higher levels in the rapamycin-treated and rapamycin+PF4-treated groups compared to controls (p<0.05). Consequently, survivin was also significantly downregulated in the rapamycin-treated and rapamycin+PF4-treated group and this was significantly different when compared to controls (p).
CONCLUSIONS: In our rat model, it could be clearly shown that rapamycin specifically affects Bax and survivin signaling pathways in activation of apoptosis. We conclude that rapamycin plays a critical role in the induction of apoptosis in MNU-induced mammary carcinoma.