* Microbial and metabolic features associated with outcome of infliximab therapy in pediatric Crohn's disease.
- Gut microbial dysbiosis and altered metabonomics have been implicated in the pathogenesis of Crohn's disease (CD). The aim of our study was to characterize the gut microbiome structure and metabolic activities in pediatric CD patients with different clinical outcomes after infliximab (IFX) therapy. Fecal samples were collected from 20 healthy children and 29 newly diagnosed pediatric CD patients. 16S rRNA/ITS2 gene sequencing and targeted metabolomics analysis were applied to profile the gut bacterial microbiome, mycobiome, and metabolome, respectively. Pediatric CD patients exhibited lower relative abundances of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)-producing bacteria including Faecalibacterium, Clostridium clusters IV and XIVb, Roseburia, and Ruminococcus, which were correlated with reduced fecal levels of SCFAs. Decreased unconjugated bile acids (BAs) pool size and a lower unconjugated/conjugated BAs ratio were associated with reduced relative abundances of Bifidobacterium and Clostridium clusters IV and XIVb which contain bile salt hydrolases (BSH) genes. IFX treatment enriched the BSH-producing bacteria in CD subjects, which may explain a decreased level of conjugated BAs and an increase in unconjugated BAs as well as the unconjugated/conjugated BAs ratio. Furthermore, a sustained response (SR) of IFX therapy was associated with higher abundances of Methylobacterium, Sphingomonas, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus, and higher fecal concentrations of amino acids, including L-aspartic acid, linoleic acid, and L-lactic acid at baseline. Our study suggests that the effects of IFX might be partially mediated by enriching bacteria taxa that producing SCFAs and BSH thereby inhibiting inflammation and restoring the BA metabolism. Some fecal bacteria and metabolites may be predictive of outcomes of IFX therapy for pediatric CD patients.
* The Effect of Nutritional Support on the Disease Progression and Survival in Pediatric Patients with Solid Tumors.
- Cancer is one of the leading causes of death for children; however, appropriate nutritional status can positively affect survival. The aim of this study was to determine to what extent malnutrition risk screening and intensified nutrition support, provided by a professional team, promoted disease progression and survival in pediatric patients with solid tumors. 145 pediatric cancer patients (average age 6.3 ± 5.6 and 6.7 ± 5.4 years) with solid tumors undergoing chemotherapy participated in the study. Two 3-year periods were studied: 2009-2011 and 2012-2014. Patient characteristics and treatment protocols were identical, but in Period 2, with the foundation of our nutrition support team malnutrition risk screening was made mandatory upon every hospital admission. As a result of intensified nutrition support the time from diagnosis to completion of treatment (802 vs. 512 day, p < 0.001) and the need for antimycotic treatment reduced significantly (47.8% vs. 29.1%, p = 0.036). The total percentage of surviving children was 60.3% and 75.0% in Period 1 and 2 respectively. Decrease in weight-for-height percentile during treatment and central nervous system tumors are significant predictors of a less favorable survival. Malnutrition risk screening and intensified nutrition therapy have positive effects on nutritional status and therefore patient survival in pediatric cancer patients.