This article summarizes the current status of 1H MRS in detecting and quantifying a boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) boron carrier, L-p-boronophenylalanine-fructose (BPA-F) in vivo in the Finnish BNCT project. The applicability of 1H MRS to detect BPA-F is evaluated and discussed in a typical situation with a blood containing resection cavity within the gross tumour volume (GTV). 1H MRS is not an ideal method to study BPA concentration in GTV with blood in recent resection cavity. For an optimal identification of BPA signals in the in vivo 1H MR spectrum, both pre- and post-infusion 1H MRS should be performed. The post-infusion spectroscopy studies should be scheduled either prior to or, less optimally, immediately after the BNCT. The pre-BNCT MRS is necessary in order to utilise the MRS results in the actual dose planning.
The prescription of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs (analgesics) was studied using computerized patient records from a Finnish health centre with a population base of some 27,000 inhabitants. A random sample of every fifth patient visiting the health centre in 1986 was chosen. This study sample consisted of 4,577 patients with 17,021 physician contacts and altogether 14,035 prescriptions during the 1-year follow-up: of these analgesics comprised 14.8%. The proportion of the study population who received at least one analgesic prescription was 23 +/- 1.2% (95% CI). The use of physician contacts as a base revealed 10.7 +/- 0.5% (95% CI) of the contacts with an analgesic prescription. The exposure to analgesics among males increased with age from 17% for those aged 15-34 years to 34% for those aged 75 years or more. Among women, exposure to analgesics increased from 17% (15-34 years) to 41% (75 years or more). Most of patients who received analgesic prescriptions were incidental users (one or two analgesic prescriptions per year). Only 4% of women and 3% of men were categorized as heavy users of analgesics (seven or more analgesic prescriptions per year). The proportion of heavy users increased with age and was highest in the oldest age-group (75 years or more). In order to make informed policy judgements about drug use in society, we need routine sales statistics and patient-specific drug-use data such as those presented in this paper.
A 2-year self-help manual smoking cessation intervention was conducted among a panel of middle-aged Finnish men (n = 265) who were recruited proactively in a longitudinal cardiovascular risk factor surveillance study.
Intervention utilized the stages of change concept of the transtheoretical model. The stages were assessed in the treatment condition at baseline of the cessation study and after that by mail every sixth month. Assessments were followed by an immediate mailing of a stage-based self-help manual matching the stage of change at that time. A usual care group was assessed annually but received no treatment.
Approximately 15% of colorectal cancers exhibit instability of short nucleotide repeat regions, microsatellites. These tumors display a unique clinicopathologic profile and the microsatellite instability status is increasingly used to guide clinical management as it is known to predict better prognosis as well as resistance to certain chemotherapeutics. A panel of five repeats determined by the National Cancer Institute, the Bethesda panel, is currently the standard for determining the microsatellite instability status in colorectal cancer. Recently, a quasimonomorphic mononucleotide repeat 16T/U at the 3' untranslated region of the Ewing sarcoma breakpoint region 1 gene was reported to show perfect sensitivity and specificity in detecting mismatch repair deficient colorectal, endometrial, and gastric cancers in two independent populations. To confirm this finding, we replicated the analysis in 213 microsatellite unstable colorectal cancers from two independent populations, 148 microsatellite stable colorectal cancers, and the respective normal samples by PCR and fragment analysis. The repeat showed nearly perfect sensitivity for microsatellite unstable colorectal cancer as it was altered in 212 of the 213 microsatellite unstable (99.5%) and none of the microsatellite stable colorectal tumors. This repeat thus represents the first potential single marker for detecting microsatellite instability.
Indoor climate of two new blocks of flats was investigated. The case building was built for people with respiratory diseases by following the instructions of the Finnish Classification of Indoor Climate, Construction and Finishing Materials, while the control building was built using conventional building technology. The main indoor air parameters (temperature, relative humidity and levels of CO, CO2, ammonia, total volatile organic compounds, total suspended particles, fungal spores, bacteria and cat, dog and house dust mite allergens) were measured in six apartments of both the buildings on five occasions during the 3-year occupancy. In addition, a questionnaire to evaluate symptoms of the occupants and their satisfaction with their home environment was conducted in connection with indoor air quality (IAQ) measurements. The levels of indoor air pollutants in the case building were, in general, lower than those in the control building. In addition, the asthmatic occupants informed that their symptoms had decreased during the occupancy in the case building. This case study showed that high IAQ is possible to reach by careful design, proper materials and equipment and on high-quality construction with reasonable additional costs. In addition, the study indicated that good IAQ can also be maintained during the occupancy, if sufficient information on factors affecting IAQ and guidance on proper use and care of equipment are available for occupants.
The purpose of the study was to describe the sense of coherence (SOC) of three groups of Finnish polytechnic students (n=287) at the beginning of their studies and to follow it during a period of 3 year amongst the health care students (n=63) of this group. The associations between SOC and smoking, drinking and physical exercise were also studied. The data were collected with a questionnaire which included Antonovsky's (Adv. Nurs. Sci. 1(1983)37) SOC scale. Data analysis was with SPSS statistical software. The students showed a strong sense of coherence at the beginning of their studies. Physical activity was related to the strength of SOC, but no association was found with smoking and drinking. Health care students showed a stronger SOC at the beginning of their studies than the two other groups. During the follow-up focused on the health care students, SOC weakened in 6%, remained unchanged in 65% and strengthened in 32% of the participants. Smoking, drinking and physical exercise showed no association with these changes. Future research should be focused on identifying factors that are related to SOC during education.