Topic Review
Use of COVID-19 Boosters among Health Care Providers
While the World Health Organization (WHO) has de-escalated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from a global health emergency, ongoing discussions persist as new viral variants. This article aimed to consolidate German recommendations and international research to offer health care providers (HCPs) a comprehensive guide on COVID-19 boosters in 2024. 
  • 2
  • 26 Feb 2024
Topic Review
Pathological Features of Pineal Parenchymal Tumors
Pineal parenchymal cell tumors (PPT) are a rare group of tumors representing less than 1% of all primary central nervous system neoplasms. Originating from pineocytes or their precursor cells, these tumors pose unique challenges both during the diagnostic assessment and clinical management. 
  • 4
  • 26 Feb 2024
Topic Review
Development and Regulatory Approval of Biosimilars
Biological therapies have transformed high-burden treatments. As the patent and exclusivity period for biological medicines draws to a close, there is a possibility for the development and authorization of biosimilars. These products boast comparable levels of safety, quality, and effectiveness to their precursor reference products. Biosimilars, although similar to reference products, are not identical copies and should not be considered generic substitutes for the original. Their development and evaluation involve a rigorous step-by-step process that includes analytical, functional, and nonclinical evaluations and clinical trials. Clinical studies conducted for biosimilars aim to establish similar efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity, rather than demonstrating a clinical benefit, as with the reference product.   
  • 4
  • 26 Feb 2024
Topic Review
Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance-Based Techniques
Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging has an important emerging role in the evaluation and management of patients with cardiomyopathies, especially in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). It allows a non-invasive characterization of myocardial tissue, thus assisting early diagnosis and precise phenotyping of the different cardiomyopathies, which is an essential step for early and individualized treatment of patients.
  • 6
  • 26 Feb 2024
Topic Review
PPARγ Modulators in Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is one of the most lethal malignancies worldwide. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ, NR1C3) is a ligand-activated transcriptional factor that governs the expression of genes involved in glucolipid metabolism, energy homeostasis, cell differentiation, and inflammation. Multiple studies have demonstrated that PPARγ activation exerts anti-tumor effects in lung cancer through regulation of lipid metabolism, induction of apoptosis, and cell cycle arrest, as well as inhibition of invasion and migration. Interestingly, PPARγ activation may have pro-tumor effects on cells of the tumor microenvironment, especially myeloid cells. Recent clinical data has substantiated the potential of PPARγ agonists as therapeutic agents for lung cancer. Additionally, PPARγ agonists also show synergistic effects with traditional chemotherapy and radiotherapy. However, the clinical application of PPARγ agonists remains limited due to the presence of adverse side effects.
  • 32
  • 26 Feb 2024
Topic Review
Respiratory Dysfunction in Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative brain disease that is the most common cause of dementia among the elderly. In addition to dementia, which is the loss of cognitive function, including thinking, remembering, and reasoning, and behavioral abilities, AD patients also experience respiratory disturbances. The most common respiratory problems observed in AD patients are pneumonia, shortness of breath, respiratory muscle weakness, and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The latter is considered an outcome of Alzheimer’s disease and is suggested to be a causative factor.
  • 6
  • 26 Feb 2024
Topic Review
Residual Neuromuscular Block
Residual neuromuscular block (RNMB) remains a significant safety concern for patients throughout the perioperative period and is still widely under-recognized by perioperative healthcare professionals. Current literature suggests an association between RNMB and an increased risk of postoperative pulmonary complications, a prolonged length of stay in the post anesthesia care unit (PACU), and decreased patient satisfaction. The 2023 American Society of Anesthesiologists Practice Guidelines for Monitoring and Antagonism of Neuromuscular Blockade provide guidance for the use of quantitative neuromuscular monitoring coupled with neuromuscular reversal to recognize and reduce the incidence of RNMB. Using sugammadex for the reversal of neuromuscular block as well as quantitative neuromuscular monitoring to quantify the degree of neuromuscular block may significantly reduce the risk of RNMB among patients undergoing general anesthesia. Studies are forthcoming to investigate how using neuromuscular blocking agent reversal with quantitative monitoring of the neuromuscular block may further improve perioperative patient safety.
  • 36
  • 26 Feb 2024
Topic Review
Primary Stabbing Headache in Children and Adolescents
Primary Stabbing Headache (PSH) is characterized by brief, focal, and paroxysmal pain (“stab”), occurring sporadically or in clusters. Data on pediatric cases are poor. The prevalence of PSH and probable PSH varies from 2.5 to 10% among children with primary headaches and it is higher among children aged less than 6 years old. The mean age of onset is between 7 and 11 years of age. Attack duration greatly varies, ranging from a few seconds to several minutes. The intensity of pain is usually from moderate to severe. Associated symptoms are infrequent but may be observed (mainly photophobia, vertigo, nausea, and vomiting). Neuroradiological findings are usually unremarkable; Electroencephalographic (EEG) may show sporadic epileptiform abnormalities (up to 30% of cases). Preventive therapy is anecdotal, including treatment with indomethacin, trazodone, valproate, and amitriptyline.
  • 32
  • 26 Feb 2024
Topic Review
Diabetes Peptide-Based Drugs
Peptides continue to gain significance in the pharmaceutical arena. Since the unveiling of insulin in 1921, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorised around 100 peptides for various applications. Peptides, although initially derived from endogenous sources, have evolved beyond their natural origins, exhibiting favourable therapeutic effectiveness. The FDA has authorized a variety of medications for the treatment of diabetes, each designed to target different receptors and operate through diverse mechanisms, depending on the specific type of diabetes being addressed.
  • 12
  • 26 Feb 2024
Topic Review
Venetoclax and Hypomethylating Agent Combination in Myeloid Malignancies
There has been a widespread adoption of hypomethylating agents (HMA: 5-Azacytidine (5-Aza)/decitabine) and venetoclax (Ven) for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML); however, the mechanisms behind the combination’s synergy are poorly understood. Monotherapy often encounters resistance, leading to suboptimal outcomes; however, the combination of HMA and Ven has demonstrated substantial improvements in treatment responses.
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  • 26 Feb 2024
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