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Clinical Alert: Commonly Used Three-drug Regimen for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Found Harmful

October 24th, 2011 by Bruce Abbott

link to the alert  (

NIH Stops One Treatment Arm of Trial; Other Two Treatments to Continue

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, has stopped one arm of a three arm multi-center, clinical trial studying treatments for the lung-scarring disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) for safety concerns. The trial found that people with IPF receiving a currently used triple-drug therapy consisting of prednisone, azathioprine, and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) had worse outcomes than those who received placebos or inactive substances.

“These findings underscore why treatments must be evaluated in a rigorous manner,” said Susan B. Shurin, M.D., acting director of the NHLBI. “This combination therapy is widely used in patients with IPF, but has not previously been studied in direct comparison to a placebo for all three drugs.”

The interim results from this study showed that compared to placebo, those assigned to triple therapy had greater mortality (11 percent versus 1 percent), more hospitalizations (29 percent versus 8 percent), and more serious adverse events (31 percent versus 9 percent) and also had no difference in lung function test changes. Participants randomly assigned to the triple- therapy arm also remained on their assigned treatment at a much lower rate (78 percent adherence versus 98 percent adherence).

“Anyone on some combination of these medications with questions or concerns should consult with their health care provider and not simply stop taking the drugs,” said Ganesh Raghu, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle and a co-chair of this IPF study. “It is important to realize that these results definitively apply only to patients with well-defined IPF and not to people taking a combination of these drugs for other lung diseases or conditions.”

The other two study arms, or intervention groups, of this IPF trial comparing NAC alone to placebo alone will continue. In stopping this part of the trial, the NHLBI accepted the recommendation of the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) – an independent advisory group of experts in lung disease, biostatistics, medical ethics, and clinical trial design. The DSMB has been monitoring the study since it began.

This study, called PANTHER-IPF (Prednisone, Azathioprine, and N-acetylcysteine: A Study that Evaluates Response in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis) was designed and conducted by the Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Clinical Research Network, funded by the NHLBI. The PANTHER-IPF study was designed to evaluate whether this commonly used triple-therapy regimen could slow disease progression and improve lung function in people with moderate IPF.

PANTHER-IPF was the first study in IPF comparing the effectiveness of this combined treatment to a placebo for all three drugs. Each participant had a one in three chance of being randomized to receive the triple drug regimen, NAC alone, or placebo for a period of up to 60 weeks.

“We will continue to analyze the data to try to understand why this particular combination may be detrimental in people with IPF,” said Fernando Martinez, M.D., professor of medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and co-chair of the PANTHER-IPF study. “The results are not explained by any differences between the two groups before the treatments started.”

IPF is a progressive and currently incurable disease characterized by the buildup of fibrous scar tissue within the lungs. This accumulation of scar tissue leads to breathing difficulties, coughing, chest pain, and fatigue. Approximately 200,000 people in the United States have IPF. The cause or causes of IPF remain unknown; as a result treatment options remain limited. PANTHER-IPF began enrollment in October 2009.

The study had enrolled 238 of a planned 390 participants prior to the stop announcement. Participants ranged from 48 to 85 years of age, with an average age of 68. The placebo and NAC arms will continue enrolling and following their participants, and this part of the PANTHER-IPF study is expected to be completed by late 2013.

In addition to NIH funding, the Cowlin Family Fund at Chicago Community Trust provided financial support for this study. Zambon donated the NAC and matching placebo; the prednisone, azathioprine, and their matching placebos were purchased using study funds.

Find more information about this clinical trial at

To arrange an interview with an NHLBI spokesperson, please contact the NHLBI Communications Office at (301) 496-4236 or


Part of the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) plans, conducts, and supports research related to the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart, blood vessel, lung, and blood diseases; and sleep disorders. The Institute also administers national health education campaigns on women and heart disease, healthy weight for children, and other topics. NHLBI press releases and other materials are available online at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): 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. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

Open Access Week Events Oct 24-28

October 21st, 2011 by Mary Wood

Open Access Week 2011 events at UC Davis
Hosted by the UC Davis Libraries and Davis Open Science

Please join us! Everyone is welcome
Contact Phoebe Ayers, with any questions

for complete post, see original by Phoebe, PSE Library blog
additional information at Davis Wiki Open Science Week



“New Directions in Scholarly Communication” (WEBCAST)

  • Monday, October 24, 10:00am-1:00pm (see here for schedule)
  • Shown in Shields Library Instruction Room (2nd floor)


Beyond the Impact Factor: Getting your research noticed in the algorithmic era

  • William Gunn, Head of Academic Outreach for Mendeley
  • Tuesday October 25, 11:00am-12:00pm
  • Shields Library Instruction Room (2nd floor)


“Things I wish I knew three years ago” : Open Science Tools

  • Jason Moore, Carl Boettiger and Luke Peterson
  • Friday October 28, 12:00am-1:30pm – with lunch!
  • 1127 Kemper Hall



Workshop on Mendeley

  • William Gunn, Head of Academic Outreach at Mendeley
  • Tuesday October 25, 1:30pm-2:30pm
  • Room 1204, Medical Education Building, Sacramento Health Sciences Campus

Census Bureau Publishes Health Insurance Coverage Estimates for All Counties

October 15th, 2011 by Bruce Abbott

from the announcement:

The U.S. Census Bureau today (Oct. 13, 2011) released 2008 and 2009 estimates of health insurance coverage for each of the nation’s roughly 3,140 counties. Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) are currently the only source for estimates of health insurance coverage status for every county in the nation.

These estimates are available by sex, age groups, race and Hispanic origin (for states only), and income-to-poverty ratios relevant to the new health care reform legislation and other health programs. They enable local planners to determine, for instance, the counties in which low-income children are most likely to lack health insurance coverage. The data pertain to those under age 65.


link to Small Area Health Insurance Estimates:

EndNote X5: downloading the free licensed version for UC Davis students, staff & faculty

October 11th, 2011 by

My UC Davis Site

Watch all or part of the video on YouTube

Watch the video onYouTube:

For Jeff Magnin’s UWP 104 Class, working on an annotated bibliography with the help of EndNote.
Downloading your free licensed version of EndNote X5 from the MyUCDavis website:
The video will also show an example of seeking a citation style that was not available with the download, namely CSE/CBE.
In the case when you don’t find your preferred Output Style, just go to the website and seach for your required Output Style. Download the files and put them into the Styles folders within your EndNote X5 folder. We walk through the process.

Earlier, I sent 21 citations from the Web of Science database to my EndNote Desktop software.
You may also export your citations as text files from databases that do not have the direct EndNote or EndNote Web support. You can easily import these text files in Endnote format into your EndNote database directly from the EndNote file menu. All of these citations can be reformatted into our preferred format, such as CSE/CBE that is being used in the UWP 104 class.
You will be able to organize your citations and place into their own group folders. You’ll be able to sync your EndNote Desktop version with your EndNote Web account and work with either of your EndNote libraries (desktop or Web) when writing your paper using a popular wordprocessing software such as Word or similar. You’ll find the EndNote toolbar available in your Word software. If you do not see it, take a look in the tools menu.
For further help, be sure to check out the UC Davis Endnote website. We offer classes and ongoing support for EndNote and EndNote Web.

Shields Library Instruction website:
Download your free version of the licensed Endnote X5 using your UC Davis ID and kerberos pass phrase or password.
Check out the vendor’s website for ongoing updated tutorials or to request or download specific output styles that do not ship with the EndNote Software. There are over 5000 styles available at their website:
Be sure to create your EndNote web account:

Libguide for Jeff Magnin’s class: Creating an annotated bibliography, Using Google Scholar to download citations into EndNote, Web of Science and citing your sources using CSE/CBE citation style.

Description of Animal Research in Scientific Publications

October 7th, 2011 by Mary Wood

Guidance for the Description of Animal Research in Scientific Publications (2011)

OLAW News Flash
Posted: September 28, 2011
NIH Office of Extramural Research, Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare

Guidance for the Description of Animal Research in Scientific Publications
Authors: Institute for Laboratory Animal Research ILAR ; National Research Council NRC

The publication of research articles involving animal studies is central to many disciplines in science and biomedicine. Guidance for the Description of Animal Research in Scientific Publications outlines the information that should be included in scientific papers regarding the animal studies to ensure that the study can be replicated. The report urges journal editors to actively promote effective and ethical research by encouraging the provision of sufficient information.

National Academies News
Download the PDF Summary

NIH Medical Research Scholars Program

October 4th, 2011 by Mary Wood

NIH News announced a new scholars program, supported by the Foundation for the National Institutes of HealthPfizer Inc.,  and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

A new Medical Research Scholars Program for medical and dental students will begin in September 2012 in Bethesda, Md., the National Institutes of Health has announced. The program will offer research experiences with intramural investigators from across NIH in basic science laboratories, and in clinical and translational research conducted at the NIH Clinical Center, the world’s largest hospital dedicated to patient-oriented research.

“Medical discoveries of tomorrow depend on the students we train today,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “This program will help ensure that there is a steady pipeline of scientists conducting the full range of biomedical research. The program will offer a broad range of exceptional research opportunities, exposure to cutting edge technology, and critical policy issues for promising students.”

Program applications will be accepted Oct. 1, 2011 through mid-January 2012.
About 40 students are expected to be admitted during the program’s first year.

Application and general information :

NIH Clinical Center, Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education,   Medical Research Scholars Program

UpToDate now available via VPN

October 4th, 2011 by Mary Wood

The clinical human medicine database UpToDate is now available remotely, using VPN.

If you are away from campus and want to access UpToDate,  use your kerberos login and passphrase to connect to VPN,
….click on Electronic Databases,
…… for UpToDate or click on “U” and scroll down,
……… on the UpToDate link

…..from Databases list:

…..UpToDate is a point of care clinical medicine database, providing coverage of over 8500 topics in 17 medical specialties and includes over 97,000 pages of text. From the “About UpToDate” webpage: “Our physician editors and authors review and update our content continuously. An updated version of UpToDate is released every four months.” “UpToDate is an electronic information resource available via the Web and mobile devices. With UpToDate, you can get specific, detailed answers to your clinical questions from the office, exam room or bedside. Over 80 million patient-related problems are researched each year with UpToDate.”

Free Document Delivery Service for Science Faculty Pilot Now Available

October 3rd, 2011 by Deanna Johnson

The UC Davis University Library announces a new pilot program that runs from October 3, 2011 through March 31, 2012.  This exciting pilot allows current and emeritus UC Davis science faculty members to request – for free – copies of print-only format journal articles and print-only format book chapters housed in four UC Davis library buildings.  Additionally, the existing Harvest Request service that allows any student, staff or faculty member to transfer books and bound journals to another library building for pick-up will be expanded for science faculty to include delivery to and from all buildings.

For more information regarding this pilot consult staff at any library public service desk or select the following web page link: