Welcome to Integrative Practitioner
Integrative Practitioner is the leading online resource for integrative healthcare practitioners and professionals, providing its users with access to the most up-to-date information in integrative health news, events, and resources. We aim to support the wide spectrum of integrative healthcare practitioners with educational and informative content that is relevant to their patients and beneficial to their practice.
Where Next for Microbiome Research
presented by Karen Nelson, PhD, et al.
The development of high-throughput sequencing technologies has transformed our capacity to investigate the composition and dynamics of the microbial communities that populate diverse habitats. The short pieces included here briefly consider the challenges and opportunities awaiting microbiome research.Read More >>
Free On Demand Webinar Presented by: James Greenblatt, MD Recorded: October 20, 2014 Fatigue is a familiar obstacle in daily life that can negatively impact work performance, family life, and social relationships. Stress, inactivity, physical and emotional health, and nutrient deficiencies are among the major contributing factors. As energy levels are determined by multiple physiologic and environmental factors, an integrative, comprehensive approach is prudent. James Greenblatt, MD is an integrative psychiatrist and Chief Medical Officer of Walden Behavioral Care in Waltham, MA, and a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at Tufts Medical School. In his 24 years of clinical practice, Dr. Greenblatt has guided countless patients to optimal energy levels, mood and overall well-being through both allopathic and nutritional strategies. In this webinar, Dr. Greenblatt will present recent clinical research findings and practical solutions to relieve occasional fatigue and maximize energy levels in any patient.*
Gain the Whole Perspective
Make plans to attend the upcoming Integrative Healthcare Symposium focus on: the microbiome taking place October 9-10 in Hollywood, Florida. Learn from leading speakers and take a deeper look into the topic of microbiome and how it impacts you and your patients. Visit the EVENT SITE today to learn more.
Botanical and Nutritional Compounds to Optimize Neurocognitive Health
Adaptogenic botanicals, an elite group of herbs, promote natural, healthy function and replenish depleted energy reserves that are essential for cognition, positive mood and restorative sleep. Chronic stress, whether environmental, internal or social, has significant impact on our emotional and mental health because of its adverse effect on the neuroendocrine system. Botanical medicines offer a profound alternative or adjunct to pharmaceutical medicines, especially when used in combination with nutrients and natural compounds to support foundational issues and optimize healthy function of cognition and mood.Read More >>
MORE WHITE PAPERS & REPORTS
Researchers Discover New Biomarker for Predicting Liver Cancer Spread and Survival
- Written by Lindsay Aouled Ezzine
New research has shown that a unique pattern of microRNAs, small RNA molecules that regulate gene activity, can accurately predict whether liver cancer will spread and whether liver cancer patients will have shorter or longer survival, even patients with early stage disease. The study, which appeared online January 7, 2008 in Hepatology, was conducted by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and colleagues at Ohio State University, Columbus, and the Liver Cancer Institute in Shanghai, China.
"The aggressive nature of hepatocellular carcinoma, a prevalent type of liver cancer, is largely due to its tendency to spread or recur after surgery," said the study's lead author, Anuradha Budhu, Ph.D., a staff scientist in the laboratory of Xin Wei Wang, Ph.D., head of the Liver Carcinogenesis Section of NCI's Center for Cancer Research (CCR). "Identifying new diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for liver cancer is a first step in alleviating the dismal outcome of this disease."
MicroRNAs, or miRNAs, have been implicated in various aspects of human disease, including cancer. Their abundance in different tissues and cancer types indicate that miRNAs are functionally significant and have the potential to be used as cancer biomarkers. Since miRNAs can effectively regulate the activity of multiple cancer-related genes and pathways, they are prime candidates for coordinating the intricate events that lead to the spread of cancer, which is known as metastasis.
In this study, Budhu and her colleagues used miRNA microarray techniques, which allows researchers to examine the expression of thousands of genes simultaneously. They analyzed the miRNA expression profiles (shows the extent to which individual miRNAs are turned on or off) in cancerous and noncancerous liver samples from 131 patients with or without metastasis who underwent surgery at the Liver Cancer Institute and Zhongshan Hospital in Shanghai. The analysis revealed a set of 20 miRNAs with different patterns of expression in tumors with metastasis compared to tumors without metastasis. MiRNAs are capable of regulating the expression of one or more genes, including cancer-related genes, potentially affecting multiple cell functions that could lead to malignancy.
"This is an important and unique finding because it is the first study to show that miRNAs play a significant role in liver metastasis," explained Budhu. "In fact, miRNAs have not previously been related to cancer spread in any other organ."
Using the new gene expression profile, the researchers found that patients with the metastasis-miRNA profile had a two-fold higher risk of shorter survival compared to those without the profile. This latest finding in hepatocellular carcinoma, or HCC, in combination with earlier research by this team on early stage HCC and the tumor microenvironment, suggests a real potential for increasing the accuracy of liver cancer diagnosis and prognosis, as well as in monitoring recurrence.
"MiRNAs are also very stable molecules, which is an ideal property that could allow for more dependable measurements in clinical diagnostic or prognostic methods. Since miRNAs can affect multiple genes, including those related to cancer, they are also promising new targets for therapeutic approaches to liver cancer treatment," said Budhu.
HCC is the most common liver cancer diagnosed in adults and has a high prevalence in Asian and African populations. The rate of new HCC cases has been rising over the past 10 years in the United States and occurs twice as often in men as in women. HCC is a very aggressive disease; patients usually survive less than one year after diagnosis. In 2007, an estimated 19,160 Americans were newly diagnosed with liver cancer and an estimated 16,780 people died of the disease.
For more information about cancer, please visit the NCI website at http://www.cancer.gov, or call NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).
For more information on Dr. Wang's research, go to http://ccr.cancer.gov/staff/staff.asp?profileid=5764.
For more information on Dr. Budhu's research, go to http://ccr.cancer.gov/staff/staff.asp?profileid=6709.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
Budhu A, Jia H, Forgues M, Liu C, Goldstein D, Lam A, Zanetti KA, Ye Q, Qin L, Croce CM, Tang ZY, Wang, XW. Identification of Metastasis-related MicroRNAs in Hepatocellular Carcinoma HEP-07-1296. Hepatology. Online January 7, 2008. Vol. 47 No. 1.
Budhu A, Forgues M, Ye Q, Jia H, He P, Zanetti KA, Kammula US, Chen Y, Qin L, Tang Z, and Wang XW. Prediction of venous metastases, recurrence and prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma based on a unique immune response signature of the liver microenvironment. Cancer Cell. August 2006, Vol. 10, Issue 2.