MelanomaDB: A Web Tool for Integrative Analysis of Melanoma Genomic Information to Identify Disease-Associated Molecular Pathways.

MelanomaDB: A Web Tool for Integrative Analysis of Melanoma Genomic Information to Identify Disease-Associated Molecular Pathways.

Front Oncol. 2013; 3: 184
Trevarton AJ, Mann MB, Knapp C, Araki H, Wren JD, Stones-Havas S, Black MA, Print CG

Despite on-going research, metastatic melanoma survival rates remain low and treatment options are limited. Researchers can now access a rapidly growing amount of molecular and clinical information about melanoma. This information is becoming difficult to assemble and interpret due to its dispersed nature, yet as it grows it becomes increasingly valuable for understanding melanoma. Integration of this information into a comprehensive resource to aid rational experimental design and patient stratification is needed. As an initial step in this direction, we have assembled a web-accessible melanoma database, MelanomaDB, which incorporates clinical and molecular data from publically available sources, which will be regularly updated as new information becomes available. This database allows complex links to be drawn between many different aspects of melanoma biology: genetic changes (e.g., mutations) in individual melanomas revealed by DNA sequencing, associations between gene expression and patient survival, data concerning drug targets, biomarkers, druggability, and clinical trials, as well as our own statistical analysis of relationships between molecular pathways and clinical parameters that have been produced using these data sets. The database is freely available at A subset of the information in the database can also be accessed through a freely available web application in the Illumina genomic cloud computing platform BaseSpace at The MelanomaDB database illustrates dysregulation of specific signaling pathways across 310 exome-sequenced melanomas and in individual tumors and identifies the distribution of somatic variants in melanoma. We suggest that MelanomaDB can provide a context in which to interpret the tumor molecular profiles of individual melanoma patients relative to biological information and available drug therapies. HubMed – drug

Effect of genistein administration on the recovery of spermatogenesis in the busulfan-treated rat testis.

Clin Exp Reprod Med. 2013 Jun; 40(2): 60-6
Chi H, Chun K, Son H, Kim J, Kim G, Roh S

Impairment of spermatogenesis has been identified as an inevitable side effect of cancer treatment. Although estrogen treatment stimulates spermatogenic recovery from the impaired spermatogenesis by suppressing the intra-testicular testosterone (ITT) level, side effects of estrogen are still major impediments to its clinical application in humans. Soybeans are rich in genistein, which is a phytoestrogen that binds to estrogen receptors and has an estrogenic effect. We investigated the effects of genistein administration on ITT levels, testis weight, and recovery of spermatogenesis in rats treated with a chemotherapeutic agent, busulfan.Busulfan was administered intraperitoneally to rats, and then a GnRH agonist was injected subcutaneously into the back, or genistein was administered orally.The weight of the testes was significantly reduced by the treatment with busulfan. The testis weight was partially restored after busulfan treatment by additional treatment with either the GnRH agonist or genistein. Busulfan also induced atrophy of a high percentage of the seminiferous tubules, but this percentage was decreased by additional treatment with either the GnRH agonist or genistein. Treatment with genistein was effective at suppressing and maintaining ITT levels comparable to that in the GnRH agonist group.Genistein effectively suppressed ITT levels and stimulated the recovery of spermatogenesis in rats treated with a chemotherapeutic drug. This suggests that genistein may be a substitute for estrogens, for helping humans to recover fertility after cancer therapy without the risk of side effects. HubMed – drug

Exploring gender dimensions of treatment programmes for neglected tropical diseases in Uganda.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013 Jul; 7(7): e2312
Rilkoff H, Tukahebwa EM, Fleming FM, Leslie J, Cole DC

Gender remains a recognized but relatively unexamined aspect of the potential challenges for treatment programmes for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). We sought to explore the role of gender in access to treatment in the Uganda National Neglected Tropical Disease Control Programme.Quantitative and qualitative data was collected in eight villages in Buyende and Kamuli districts, Eastern Uganda. Quantitative data on the number of persons treated by age and gender was identified from treatment registers in each village. Qualitative data was collected through semi-structured interviews with sub-county supervisors, participant observation and from focus group discussions with community leaders, community medicine distributors (CMDs), men, women who were pregnant or breastfeeding at the time of mass-treatment, and adolescent males and females. Findings include the following: (i) treatment registers are often incomplete making it difficult to obtain accurate estimates of the number of persons treated; (ii) males face more barriers to accessing treatment than women due to occupational roles which keep them away from households or villages for long periods, and males may be more distrustful of treatment; (iii) CMDs may be unaware of which medicines are safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women, resulting in women missing beneficial treatments.Findings highlight the need to improve community-level training in drug distribution which should include gender-specific issues and guidelines for treating pregnant and breastfeeding women. Accurate age and sex disaggregated measures of the number of community members who swallow the medicines are also needed to ensure proper monitoring and evaluation of treatment programmes. HubMed – drug