OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the determinants of surgery choice in Asian patients with early breast cancer in a middle-income country.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: 184 patients with early breast cancer treated between Jan 2008 and Dec 2010 were recruited to complete a questionnaire. Chi-square test was used to analyze the association between surgery choice and demographic and tumour factors, surgeon recommendation, family member and partner opinions, fear of recurrence, avoidance of second surgery, fear of disfigurement, interference with sex life, fear of radiation and loss of femininity.
RESULTS: 85 (46%) had BCS while 99 (54%) had mastectomy. Age >60, Chinese ethnicity, lower education level, and larger tumour size were significantly associated with mastectomy. Surgeon recommendation was important in surgery choice. Although both groups did not place much importance on interference with sex life, 14.1% of the BCS group felt it was very important compared to 5.1% in the mastectomy group and this was statistically significant. There was no statistical difference between the two groups in terms of the other factors. When analyzed by ethnicity, significantly more Malay and Indian women considered partner and family member opinions very important and were more concerned about loss of femininity compared to Chinese women. There were no statistical differences between the three ethnic groups in terms of the other factors.
CONCLUSIONS: When counseling on surgical options, the surgeon has to take into account the ethnicity, social background and education level, age and reliance on partner and family members. Decision-making is usually a collective effort rather than just between the patient and surgeon, and involving the whole family into the process early is important.
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.
AIM: The main purpose of this study was to determine the level of knowledge and attitudes regarding pain among nurses working in tertiary care in a local setting and the factors that may be associated with this.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional research study used a modified version of the Nurses' Knowledge and Attitudes Survey (NKAS) regarding pain. Basic demographic data were obtained for further correlation with the level of pain knowledge.
RESULTS: A total of 566 nurses, 34 male and 532 female, volunteered to participate in this study. The response rate (RR) was 76%, with an overall mean percentage score of 42.7±10.9 (range: 5-92.5). The majority of participants were younger nurses below 40 years of age and more than 70% had worked for less than 10 years (6.6±4.45). Up to 92% had never had any formal education in pain management in general. The total mean score of correct answers was 58.6±9.58, with oncology nursing staff scoring a higher percentage when compared with nurses from other general and critical care wards (63.52±9.27, p<0.045). Only 2.5% out of all participants obtained a score of 80% or greater. The majority of the oncology nurses achieved the expected competency level (p<0.03).
CONCLUSIONS: The present findings give further support for the universal concern about poor knowledge and attitudes among nurses related to the optimal management of pain. The results indicated that neither number of years working nor age influenced the level of knowledge or attitudes of the practising nurses. Oncology nursing staff consistently scored better than the rest of the cohort. This reflects that clinical experience helps to improve attitudes and knowledge concerning better pain management.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 898 students from 21 schools across comprehensive- and partial-SFL states were recruited. SHS exposures and respiratory symptoms were assessed via questionnaire. Prenatal and postnatal SHS exposure information was obtained from parental-completed questionnaire.
RESULTS: The prevalence of respiratory symptoms was: 11.9% ever wheeze, 5.6% current wheeze, 22.3% exercise-induced wheeze, 12.4% nocturnal cough, and 13.1% self-reported asthma. SHS exposure was most frequently reported in restaurants. Hierarchical logistic regression indicates living in a comprehensive-SFL state was not associated with a lower risk of reporting asthma symptoms. SHS exposure in public transport was linked to increased risk for wheeze (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) 16.6; 95%confidence interval (CI), 2.69-101.7) and current wheezing (AOR 24.6; 95%CI, 3.53-171.8).
CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents continue to be exposed to SHS in a range of public venues in both comprehensive- and partial-SFL states. Respiratory symptoms are common among those reporting SHS exposure on public transportation. Non-compliance with SFL appears to be frequent in many venues across Malaysia and enforcement should be given priority in order to reduce exposure.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: E-cadherin and Galectin-9 expression was examined by immunohistochemistry in 32 cases of OSCC of the buccal mucosa (13 with and 19 without lymph node metastasis), as well as 6 samples of reactive lesions and 5 of normal buccal mucosa.
RESULTS: The expression of E-cadherin in OSCC was significantly lower than the control tissues but galectin-9 expression was conversely higher. Median E-cadherin HSCOREs between OSCCs positive and negative for nodal metastasis were not significantly different. Mean HSCOREs for galectin-9 in OSCC without lymph node metastasis (127.7 ± 81.8) was higher than OSCC with lymph node metastasis (97.9 ± 62.9) but this difference was not statistically significant.
CONCLUSIONS: E-cadherin expression is reduced whilst galectin-9 expression is increased in OSCC. However, the present results suggest that E-cadherin and galectin-9 expression may not be useful as prognostic markers for OSCC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cervical scrapings were collected from women attending clinics for routine Pap smear screening. HPV-DNA was detected by PCR using MY09/11 and GP5+/GP6+ primer sets and genotyping was accomplished by cycle-sequencing.
RESULTS: A total of 635 women were recruited into the study with mean ± SD age of 43 ± 10.5 years. Of these 92.6% (588/635) were reported as within normal limits (WNL) on cytology. The presence of HPV infection detected by nested MY/GP+-PCR was 4.4% (28/635). The overall prevalence of high-risk HPV (HR-HPV) in abnormal Pap smears was 53.8% (7/13). HPVs were also seen in 3.1% (18/588) of smears reported as WNL by cytology and 5.9% (2/34) in smears unsatisfactory for evaluation.
CONCLUSIONS: The overall percentage of HPV positivity in routine cervical screening samples is comparable with abnormal findings in cytology. Conventional Pap smear 'missed' a few samples. Since HPV testing is expensive, our results may provide valuable information for strategising implementation of effective cervical cancer screening in a country with limited resources like Malaysia. If Pap smear coverage could be improved, HPV testing could be used as an adjunct method on cases with ambiguous diagnoses.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We selected 157 NPC cases and 136 controls from two hospitals in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for this study. The polymorphisms studied were genotyped by PCR-RFLP assay and allele and genotype frequencies, haplotype and linkage disequilibrium were determined using SNPstat software.
RESULTS: For the XPD Lys751Gln polymorphism, the frequency of the Lys allele was higher in cases than in controls (94.5% versus 85.0%). For the XRCC1 Arg280His polymorphism, the frequency of Arg allele was 90.0% and 89.0% in cases and controls, respectively and for XRCC1 Arg399Gln the frequency of the Arg allele was 72.0% and 72.8% in cases and controls respectively. All three polymorphisms were in linkage disequilibrium. The odds ratio from haplotype analysis for these three polymorphisms and their association with NPC was 1.93 (95%CI: 0.90-4.16) for haplotype CGC vs AGC allele combinations. The global haplotype association with NPC gave a p-value of 0.054.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides an estimate of allele and genotype frequencies of XRCC1Arg280His, XRCC1 Arg399Gln and XPD Lys751Gln polymorphisms in the Malaysian population and showed no association with nasopharyngeal cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The clinical characteristics, presenting symptoms and survival of RCC patients (n=151) treated at UMMC from 2003-2012 were analysed. Symptoms evaluated were macrohaematuria, flank pain, palpable abdominal mass, fever, lethargy, loss of weight, anaemia, elevated ALP, hypoalbuminemia and thrombocytosis. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were performed to determine the prognostic significance of these presenting symptoms. Kaplan Meier and log rank tests were employed for survival analysis.
RESULTS: The 2002 TNM staging was a prognostic factor (p<0.001) but Fuhrman grading was not significantly correlated with survival (p=0.088). At presentation, 76.8% of the patients were symptomatic. Generally, symptomatic tumours had a worse survival prognosis compared to asymptomatic cases (p=0.009; HR 4.74). All symptoms significantly affect disease specific survival except frank haematuria and loin pain on univariate Cox regression analysis. On multivariate analysis adjusted for stage, only clinically palpable abdominal mass remained statistically significant (p=0.027). The mean tumour size of palpable abdominal masses, 9.5±4.3cm, was larger than non palpable masses, 5.3±2.7cm (p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report which includes survival information of RCC patients from Malaysia. Here the TNM stage and a palpable abdominal mass were independent predictors for survival. Further investigations using a multicentre cohort to analyse mortality and survival rates may aid in improving management of these patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cost evaluation refers to 2011, the year in which the observation was conducted. Direct costs incurred by hospitals including the drug acquisition, materials and time spent for clinical activities from prescribing to dispensing of home medications were evaluated (MYR 1=$0.32 USD). As reported to be significantly different between two regimens (96.1% vs 81.0%; p=0.017), the complete response rate of acute emesis which was defined as a patient successfully treated without any emesis episode within 24 hours after LEC was used as the main indicator for effectiveness.
RESULTS: Antiemetic drug acquisition cost per patient was 40.7 times higher for the granisetron-based regimen than for the standard regimen (MYR 64.3 vs 1.58). When both the costs for materials and clinical activities were included, the total cost per patient was 8.68 times higher for the granisetron-based regimen (MYR 73.5 vs 8.47). Considering the complete response rates, the mean cost per successfully treated patient in granisetron group was 7.31 times higher (MYR 76.5 vs 10.5). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) with granisetron-based regimen, relative to the standard regimen, was MYR 430.7. It was found to be most sensitive to the change of antiemetic effects of granisetron-based regimen.
CONCLUSIONS: While providing a better efficacy in acute emesis control, the low incidence of acute emesis and high ICER makes use of granisetron as primary prophylaxis in LEC controversial.