Glioma is the most common lethal tumor of the human brain. The median survival of patients with primary World Health Organization grade IV glioma is only 14.6 months. The World Health Organization classification of tumors of the central nervous system categorized gliomas into lower-grade gliomas and glioblastomas. Unlike primary glioblastoma that usually develop in the elderly, secondary glioblastoma enriched with an isocitrate dehydrogenase mutant typically progresses from lower-grade glioma within 5–10 years from the time of diagnosis. Based on various evolutional trajectories brought on by clonal and subclonal alterations, the evolution patterns of glioma vary according to different theories. Some important features distinguish the normal brain from other tissues, e.g., the composition of the microenvironment around the tumor cells, the presence of the blood-brain barrier, and others. The underlying mechanism of glioma recurrence and evolution patterns of glioma are different from those of other types of cancer. Several studies correlated tumor recurrence with tumor heterogeneity and the immune microenvironment. However, the detailed reasons for the progression and recurrence of glioma remain controversial. In this review, we introduce the different mechanisms involved in glioma progression, including tumor heterogeneity, the tumor microenvironment and drug resistance, and their pre-clinical implements in clinical trials. This review aimed to provide new insights into further clinical strategies for the treatment of patients with recurrent and secondary glioma.

Zhaoshi Bao ,   Yongzhi Wang   et al.
Acupuncture is a promising treatment for relieving pain and improving lower back function in clinical practice. However, evidence from randomized clinical trials (RCTs) remains controversial. Most RCTs conclude that acupuncture procedures for chronic low back pain (CLBP) had no significant difference in efficacy and belonged to placebo. We carefully reviewed and analyzed the methodology and implementation of sham acupuncture in RCTs. Controversial evidence of acupuncture for CLBP is only a microcosm of the evaluation methodological limitation of acupuncture. Inappropriate selection of sham acupuncture controls, rigorous RCT research models, and incorrect interpretation of results may contribute to negative evidence. Evaluating and disregarding the holistic efficacy of acupuncture with an explanatory RCT model based on evaluation drugs may be unwise. Moreover, sham acupuncture is often proven to be non-inert, unreasonable, and with low fidelity. Pitfalls of the explanatory RCT model and sham acupuncture design should be avoided. Establishing a new evaluation system that is in line with the clinical characteristics of acupuncture and obtaining high-quality evidence are difficult but promising tasks.

Xuqiang Wei ,   Baoyan Liu   et al.
The avian influenza A (H7N9) virus is a zoonotic virus that is closely associated with live poultry markets. It has caused infections in humans in China since 2013. Five waves of the H7N9 influenza epidemic occurred in China between March 2013 and September 2017. H7N9 with low-pathogenicity dominated in the first four waves, whereas highly pathogenic H7N9 influenza emerged in poultry and spread to humans during the fifth wave, causing wide concern. Specialists and officials from China and other countries responded quickly, controlled the epidemic well thus far, and characterized the virus by using new technologies and surveillance tools that were made possible by their preparedness efforts. Here, we review the characteristics of the H7N9 viruses that were identified while controlling the spread of the disease. It was summarized and discussed from the perspectives of molecular epidemiology, clinical features, virulence and pathogenesis, receptor binding, T-cell responses, monoclonal antibody development, vaccine development, and disease burden. These data provide tools for minimizing the future threat of H7N9 and other emerging and re-emerging viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2.

Cullin-RING E3 ubiquitin ligase (CRL)-4 is a member of the large CRL family in eukaryotes. It plays important roles in a wide range of cellular processes, organismal development, and physiological and pathological conditions. DDB1- and CUL4-associated factor 8 (DCAF8) is a WD40 repeat-containing protein, which serves as a substrate receptor for CRL4. The physiological role of DCAF8 is unknown. In this study, we constructed knockout mice. Homozygous mice were viable with no noticeable abnormalities. However, the fertility of deficient male mice was markedly impaired, consistent with the high expression of DCAF8 in adult mouse testis. Sperm movement characteristics, including progressive motility, path velocity, progressive velocity, and track speed, were significantly lower in knockout mice than in wild-type (WT) mice. However, the total motility was similar between WT and knockout sperm. More than 40% of spermatids in knockout mice showed pronounced morphological abnormalities with typical bent head malformation. The acrosome and nucleus of knockout sperm looked similar to those of WT sperm. tests showed that the fertilization rate of knockout mice was significantly reduced. The results demonstrated that DCAF8 plays a critical role in spermatogenesis, and DCAF8 is a key component of CRL4 function in the reproductive system.

Xiuli Zhang ,   Zhizhou Xia   et al.

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