Characteristics of Opioid-Users Whose Death Was Related to Opioid-Toxicity: A Population-Based Study in Ontario, Canada.

Characteristics of opioid-users whose death was related to opioid-toxicity: a population-based study in ontario, Canada.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(4): e60600
Madadi P, Hildebrandt D, Lauwers AE, Koren G

The impact of the prescription opioid public health crisis has been illustrated by the dramatic increase in opioid-related deaths in North America. We aimed to identify patterns and characteristics amongst opioid-users whose cause of death was related to opioid toxicity.This was a population-based study of Ontarians between the years 2006 and 2008. All drug-related deaths which occurred during this time frame were reviewed at the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario, and opioid-related deaths were identified. Medical, toxicology, pathology, and police reports were comprehensively reviewed. Narratives, semi-quantitative, and quantitative variables were extracted, tabulated, and analyzed.Out of 2330 drug-related deaths in Ontario, 58% were attributed either in whole or in part, to opioids (n?=?1359). Oxycodone was involved in approximately one-third of all opioid-related deaths. At least 7% of the entire cohort used opioids that were prescribed for friends and/or family, 19% inappropriately self-administered opioids (injection, inhalation, chewed patch), 3% were recently released from jail, and 5% had been switched from one opioid to another near the time of death. Accidental deaths were significantly associated with personal history of substance abuse, enrollment in methadone maintenance programs, cirrhosis, hepatitis, and cocaine use. Suicides were significantly associated with mental illness, previous suicide attempts, chronic pain, and a history of cancer. SIGNIFICANCECONCLUSION: These results identify novel, susceptible groups of opioid-users whose cause of death was related to opioids in Ontario and provide the first evidence to assist in quantifying the contribution of opioid misuse and diversion amongst opioid-related mortality in Canada. Multifaceted prevention strategies need to be developed based on subpopulations of opioid users. HubMed – drug


Differential expression of prognostic proteomic markers in primary tumour, venous tumour thrombus and metastatic renal cell cancer tissue and correlation with patient outcome.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(4): e60483
Laird A, O’Mahony FC, Nanda J, Riddick AC, O’Donnell M, Harrison DJ, Stewart GD

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most deadly of urological malignancies. Metastatic disease affects one third of patients at diagnosis with a further third developing metastatic disease after extirpative surgery. Heterogeneity in the clinical course ensures predicting metastasis is notoriously difficult, despite the routine use of prognostic clinico-pathological parameters in risk stratification. With greater understanding of pathways involved in disease pathogenesis, a number of biomarkers have been shown to have prognostic significance, including Ki67, p53, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 (VEGFR1) and ligand D (VEGFD), SNAIL and SLUG. Previous pathway analysis has been from study of the primary tumour, with little attention to the metastatic tumours which are the focus of targeted molecular therapies. As such, in this study a tissue microarray from 177 patients with primary renal tumour, renal vein tumour thrombus and/or RCC metastasis has been created and used with Automated Quantitative Analysis (AQUA) of immunofluorescence to study the prognostic significance of these markers in locally advanced and metastatic disease. Furthermore, this has allowed assessment of differential protein expression between the primary tumours, renal vein tumour thrombi and metastases. The results demonstrate that clinico-pathological parameters remain the most significant predictors of cancer specific survival; however, high VEGFR1 or VEGFD can predict poor cancer specific survival on univariate analysis for locally advanced and metastatic disease. There was significantly greater expression of Ki67, p53, VEGFR1, SLUG and SNAIL in the metastases compared with the primary tumours and renal vein tumour thrombi. With the exception of p53, these differences in protein expression have not been shown previously in RCC. This confirms the importance of proliferation, angiogenesis and epithelial to mesenchymal transition in the pathogenesis and metastasis of RCC. Importantly, this work highlights the need for further pathway analysis of metastatic tumours for overcoming drug resistance and developing new therapies. HubMed – drug


An innovative strategy for dual inhibitor design and its application in dual inhibition of human thymidylate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase enzymes.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(4): e60470
Arooj M, Sakkiah S, Cao GP, Lee KW

Due to the diligence of inherent redundancy and robustness in many biological networks and pathways, multitarget inhibitors present a new prospect in the pharmaceutical industry for treatment of complex diseases. Nevertheless, to design multitarget inhibitors is concurrently a great challenge for medicinal chemists. We have developed a novel computational approach by integrating the affinity predictions from structure-based virtual screening with dual ligand-based pharmacophore to discover potential dual inhibitors of human Thymidylate synthase (hTS) and human dihydrofolate reductase (hDHFR). These are the key enzymes in folate metabolic pathway that is necessary for the biosynthesis of RNA, DNA, and protein. Their inhibition has found clinical utility as antitumor, antimicrobial, and antiprotozoal agents. A druglike database was utilized to perform dual-target docking studies. Hits identified through docking experiments were mapped over a dual pharmacophore which was developed from experimentally known dual inhibitors of hTS and hDHFR. Pharmacophore mapping procedure helped us in eliminating the compounds which do not possess basic chemical features necessary for dual inhibition. Finally, three structurally diverse hit compounds that showed key interactions at both active sites, mapped well upon the dual pharmacophore, and exhibited lowest binding energies were regarded as possible dual inhibitors of hTS and hDHFR. Furthermore, optimization studies were performed for final dual hit compound and eight optimized dual hits demonstrating excellent binding features at target systems were also regarded as possible dual inhibitors of hTS and hDHFR. In general, the strategy used in the current study could be a promising computational approach and may be generally applicable to other dual target drug designs. HubMed – drug



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