Riviste scientifiche

Mediterranean diet linked to higher chance of successful IVF

New Scientist - Ma, 30/01/2018 - 01:05
A study of nearly 250 women in Greece suggests that a Mediterranean diet might increase the chances of successfully having a baby via IVF fertility treatment

Correction: Immune-related genetic enrichment in frontotemporal dementia: An analysis of genome-wide association studies

PLoS Medicine - Lu, 29/01/2018 - 23:00

by Iris Broce, Celeste M. Karch, Natalie Wen, Chun C. Fan, Yunpeng Wang, Chin Hong Tan, Naomi Kouri, Owen A. Ross, Günter U. Höglinger, Ulrich Muller, John Hardy, International FTD-Genomics Consortium , Parastoo Momeni, Christopher P. Hess, William P. Dillon, Zachary A. Miller, Luke W. Bonham, Gil D. Rabinovici, Howard J. Rosen, Gerard D. Schellenberg, Andre Franke, Tom H. Karlsen, Jan H. Veldink, Raffaele Ferrari, Jennifer S. Yokoyama, Bruce L. Miller, Ole A. Andreassen, Anders M. Dale, Rahul S. Desikan, Leo P. Sugrue

PD-L1 checkpoint inhibition and anti-CTLA-4 whole tumor cell vaccination counter adaptive immune resistance: A mouse neuroblastoma model that mimics human disease

PLoS Medicine - Lu, 29/01/2018 - 23:00

by Priya Srinivasan, Xiaofang Wu, Mousumi Basu, Christopher Rossi, Anthony D. Sandler


Adaptive immune resistance induces an immunosuppressive tumor environment that enables immune evasion. This phenomenon results in tumor escape with progression and metastasis. Programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expressed on tumors is thought to inhibit tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) through programmed cell death 1 (PD1), enabling adaptive immune resistance. This study investigates the role of PD-L1 in both mouse and human neuroblastoma immunity. The consequence of PD-L1 inhibition is characterized in the context of an established whole tumor cell vaccine.

Methods and findings

A mouse model of neuroblastoma was investigated using an Id2 knockdown whole cell vaccine in combination with checkpoint inhibition. We show that immunogenic mouse neuroblastoma acquires adaptive immune resistance by up-regulating PD-L1 expression, whereas PD-L1 is of lesser consequence in nonimmunogenic neuroblastoma tumors. Combining PD-L1 checkpoint inhibition with whole tumor cell/anti-CTLA-4 vaccination enhanced tumor cell killing, cured mice with established tumors, and induced long-term immune memory (6 months). From an evaluation of patient neuroblastoma tumors, we found that the inflammatory environment of the mouse neuroblastoma mimicked human disease in which PD-L1 expression was associated directly with TILs and lower-risk tumors. High-risk patient tumors were lacking both TILs and PD-L1 expression. Although a correlation in immunity seems to exist between the mouse model and human findings, the mouse tumor model is induced and not spontaneously occurring, and furthermore, the number of both mouse and human correlates is limited.


This study demonstrates the role PD-L1 plays in neuroblastoma’s resistance to immunity and defines the nonredundant effect of combination checkpoint inhibition with vaccine therapy in a mouse model. High-risk, nonimmunogenic human tumors display both diminished PD-L1 expression and adaptive immune resistance. Paradoxically, high-risk tumors may be more responsive to effective vaccine therapy because of their apparent lack of adaptive immune resistance.

Snake alarm call makes birds scan for approaching predators

New Scientist - Lu, 29/01/2018 - 21:00
The ability to visualise an object associated with a sound was once thought to be unique to humans. But some birds seem to have that ability as well, a study has found

Dark matter near black holes sends gamma rays from galaxy’s core

New Scientist - Lu, 29/01/2018 - 18:44
An overabundance of gamma rays come from the centre of our galaxy. Dark matter annihilating near the edges of medium-sized black holes could be the source

Vaping could cause cancer – but it’s still safer than smoking

New Scientist - Lu, 29/01/2018 - 16:51
When human lung and bladder cells are grown in the lab, they turn cancerous at a higher rate if exposed to nicotine compounds found in e-cigarettes

Facebook is making a chatbot that can fill awkward silences

New Scientist - Lu, 29/01/2018 - 15:38
Giving chatbots an artificial personality can help them make small talk – though some just end up talking about themselves

Ancient jawbone suggests humans left Africa 50,000 years earlier

New Scientist - Lu, 29/01/2018 - 13:30
We thought that Homo sapiens were confined to Africa until 120,000 years ago, but a jawbone from an Israeli cave reveals an exodus over 170,000 years ago

What does China’s monkey breakthrough mean for human cloning?

New Scientist - Lu, 29/01/2018 - 11:00
The creation of monkey clones is a big breakthrough, but making a copy of an adult is still not possible and the ethics of cloning remain unchanged

[Editorial] The health of a president: an unnecessary distraction

The Lancet - Sa, 27/01/2018 - 00:00
The respected New York Times physician-journalist, Lawrence K Altman, often wrote about the personal health of US presidential candidates and other elected leaders in high office. He argued that the medical records of each president should be made publicly available and that the public have a right to know that their president is fit to fulfil the role. Last week, the health of President Donald Trump became the subject of sometimes wild political speculation after the release of his first physical examination results since he took office.

[Editorial] Facial injuries

The Lancet - Sa, 27/01/2018 - 00:00
Patients, surgeons, and other health-care professionals met to discuss life after facial injuries at an event on Jan 22 organised by the Royal Society of Medicine and Saving Faces, the facial surgery research foundation. A large proportion of facial injuries result from interpersonal violence, in which the maxillofacial region is frequently targeted. In domestic violence, damage can be very severe due to extreme violence and protracted uninterrupted attacks. In trauma cases, facial injuries are often a sign of extensive injuries and many patients experience associated head injury.

[Editorial] Institutional and coercive mental health treatment in Europe

The Lancet - Sa, 27/01/2018 - 00:00
Images of people incarcerated, unkempt and kept in chains, mocked, and uncared for dominate the history of psychiatry, particularly from the middle ages to the early 20th century. Locked up for years, and forcibly sedated or sterilised, those with mental ill health were subject to inhumane conditions and removed from society, often under the supervision of doctors. What of now? How have things improved for those with mental illnesses?

[Comment] Offline: Why we must learn to love economists

The Lancet - Sa, 27/01/2018 - 00:00
George Bernard Shaw once remarked that, “If all economists were laid end to end, they'd never reach a conclusion.” Since the global financial crisis of 2007–08, economists have suffered a sharp loss of intellectual confidence. Some critics have rejoiced. Yet the fact remains that economics is the discipline that orders our world. Its locus of influence is the national Treasury. It is finance ministers who have the most decisive say about a country's priorities. For health advocates, we have two choices.

[World Report] Mega-crisis in DR Congo

The Lancet - Sa, 27/01/2018 - 00:00
The UN fears the humanitarian crisis in DR Congo will further deteriorate in 2018, putting in jeopardy the lives of over 13 million people. John Zarocostas reports.

[World Report] Senior WHO appointments are praised but raise questions

The Lancet - Sa, 27/01/2018 - 00:00
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom is making progress towards his pledge to transform the global body, but some say that this comes at the cost of transparency. John Zarocostas reports.

[Perspectives] Successful ageing

The Lancet - Sa, 27/01/2018 - 00:00
Increased longevity in many high-income countries has transformed old age. Life expectancy in the UK continues to increase by 2 years per decade, although recent data reveal this is not the case in more socio-economically deprived areas nationally. Between 1991 and 2011, life expectancy for men in the UK increased from 77·9 years to 82·6 years and for women, from 81·5 years to 85·6 years. Unfortunately, these extra years do not seem to be spent in better health, with morbidity and dependency increasing over the past 20 years.

[Obituary] Gian Franco Bottazzo

The Lancet - Sa, 27/01/2018 - 00:00
Researcher on diabetes and autoimmunity. Born in Venice, Italy, on Aug 1, 1946, he died there of bacterial endocarditis on Sept 15, 2017, aged 71 years.

[Correspondence] The updated Physician's Pledge and Chinese junior physicians

The Lancet - Sa, 27/01/2018 - 00:00
On Oct 14, 2017, a newly revised version of the Physician's Pledge1 was approved by the World Medical Association, including several important amendments that are in accordance with the needs of the modern medical profession. Among the Chinese medical community, additional focus and consideration need to be directed towards the revised Physician's Pledge given that the current occupational environment is not ideal, particularly for junior physicians.

[Correspondence] Atezolizumab and bladder cancer: facing a complex disease

The Lancet - Sa, 27/01/2018 - 00:00
Cytotoxic chemotherapy has been the first choice treatment for advanced or metastatic bladder cancer for many years, without substantial insights despite the advent of targeted therapies. Following the enthusiasm for cancer immunotherapy, several trials have investigated checkpoint inhibitors for the treatment of bladder cancer.

[Correspondence] Great expectations

The Lancet - Sa, 27/01/2018 - 00:00
We congratulate Alexander Jobs and colleagues1 (Aug 19, 2017, p 737) for their meta-analysis of trials addressing the optimal timing of an invasive strategy in acute coronary syndromes (ACS), using individual or standardised tabulated data. Their analysis did not support a mortality benefit of an early strategy compared with a delayed strategy.
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