The patterns of modern science and changes in the medical model can result in the transformation of the current state of individualized and health medicines into being the primary trend in medical development. Chinese and Western medical systems are dissimilar in terms of value orientations, thinking style, and research directions because of their different historical and cultural backgrounds. Individualized treatment in modern medicine is mainly established based on individual genome information and the differences in mononucleotide polymorphi-sms. However, such treatment method is expensive, creates an uncertain genetic marker, and leads to different result interpretations, among other problems. The Chinese constitutional theory developed in the 1970s expresses the principle behind Chinese health medicine and individual treatment and provides the corresponding methods. The Chinese constitutional theory divides the constitution of the Chinese population into nine categories based on established classification criteria. It promotes the study of the relationship of each constitution to diseases and Chinese medicine preparation toward adjusting the constitution and preventing diseases. The theory also provides methods and tools for individualized treatment. Constitution identification shows the direction and provides the core technology for the evaluation of the health status. By combining the developments in modern biotechnology, new diagnostic techniques and treatment models of constitution-differentiation, disease-differentiation, and syndrome-differentiation can be established for the development of individualized Chinese medicine treatment and health medicine for the international medical community.
Inflammation is important in the pathogenesis and development of cardiovascular diseases. Recent studies show that vagus nerve stimulation inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokine production through “the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway,” more specifically via the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR). In the current study, the role of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway during septic shock, hypertension, and myocardial infarction is reviewed, and its possible clinical implications in cardiovascular diseases are discussed.
Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a unique, accessible, and non-controversial source of early stem cells that can be readily manipulated. As the most common pluripotent cell, bone marrow-derived MSCs display limitations with the progress of stem cell therapy. By contrast, umbilical cord-derived cells, which have plentiful resources, are more accessible. However, several uncertain aspects, such as the effect of donor selection or culture conditions, long-term therapeutic effects, product consistency, and potential tumorigenicity, are the bottleneck in this clinical therapy. MSCs are predicted to undergo an unprecedented development in clinical treatment when a generally acknowledged criterion emerges. In the current paper, we highlight the application of umbilical cord-derived MSCs in skin therapies based on our previous studies, as well as the achievements of our peers in this field. This paper focuses on the strategies, challenges, and potential of this novel therapy.
Natural killer (NK) cells are considered to be critical players in anticancer immunity. However, cancers are able to develop mechanisms to escape NK cell attack or to induce defective NK cells. Current NK cell-based cancer immunotherapy is aimed at overcoming NK cell paralysis through several potential approaches, including activating autologous NK cells, expanding allogeneic NK cells, usage of stable allogeneic NK cell lines and genetically modifying fresh NK cells or NK cell lines. The stable allogeneic NK cell line approach is more practical for quality-control and large-scale production. Additionally, genetically modifying NK cell lines by increasing their expression of cytokines and engineering chimeric tumor antigen receptors could improve their specificity and cytotoxicity. In this review, NK cells in tumor immunotherapy are discussed, and a list of therapeutic NK cell lines currently undergoing preclinical and clinical trials of several kinds of tumors are reviewed.
Antitumor angiogenic therapy has been shown promising in the treatment of several advanced cancers since the approval of the first antiangiogenic drug Avastin in 2004. Although the current antiangiogenic drugs reduce the density of tumor blood vessels and result in tumor shrinkage at the early stage of treatment, recent studies have shown that antiangiogenic therapy has transient and insufficient efficacy, resulting in tumor recurrence in patients after several months of treatment. Blockage of blood and oxygen supplies creates a hypoxic and acidic microenvironment in the tumor tissues, which fosters tumor cells to become more aggressive and metastatic. In 2001, Jain proposed tumor vascular normalization as an alternative approach to treating cancers based on the pioneering work on tumor blood vessels by several other researchers. At present, normalizing the disorganized tumor vasculature, rather than disrupting or blocking them, has emerged as a new option for anticancer therapy. Preclinical and clinical data have shown that tumor vascular normalization using monoclonal antibodies, proteins, peptides, small molecules, and pericytes resulted in decreased tumor size and reduced metastasis. However, current tumor vascular normalizing drugs display moderate anticancer efficacy. Accumulated data have shown that a variety of vasculogenic/angiogenic tumor cells and genes play important roles in tumor neovascularization, growth, and metastasis. Therefore, multiple-targeting of vasculogenic tumor cells and genes may improve the efficacy of tumor vascular normalization. To this end, the combination of antiangiogenic drugs with tumor vascular normalizing therapeutics, as well as the integration of Western medicine with traditional Chinese medicine, may provide a good opportunity for discovering novel tumor vascular normalizing drugs for an effective anticancer therapy.
The harmonic scalpel is a hemostatic device primarily designed for use in laparoscopic surgery. During the last few years, many surgeons have begun to use the harmonic scalpel in open surgery. Several papers have cited the benefits of the device compared with conventional knot-tying techniques; however, no evidence showing the advantages of using the harmonic scalpel in complicated abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) surgery has been presented. The aim of the present study is to determine the value of the harmonic scalpel in open operation for AAA. A total of 153 patients who underwent open surgery for AAA at the Department of Vascular Surgery of Guangdong General Hospital, China between January 2001 and December 2010, were retrospectively analyzed. Open surgery performed with the harmonic scalpel on 105 patients was compared with open operation using conventional knot-tying techniques on 48 patients. The operative time, intraoperative blood loss, total postoperative drainage fluid volumes, hospital stay, and postoperative complications between the two groups were compared. The harmonic scalpel group was associated with a shorter operation time (113.2±23.6 min vs. 232.1±39.2 min,
The application of main methodologies for clinical decision-making by residents in emergency medical practice was assessed, and issues in this area were investigated. The treatments provided to 2 611 critical patients by the Peking Union Medical College Hospital of were analyzed by independent investigators who evaluated the main clinical decision-making processes applied by the hospital residents. The application of decision-making strategies by PG1 and PG3 groups, which means the residents in first year and the third year, were compared. The patients were treated according to pattern recognition (43.0%), hypothetico-deductive reasoning (23.4%), event-driven models (19.3%), and rule-using algorithms (5.9%). A significant difference was found between PG1 and PG3 groups (χ2=498.01,