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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 30986 matches for " Thomas Efferth "
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E-Learning in Pharmacology and Pharmacy
Thomas Efferth
Education Sciences , 2011, DOI: 10.3390/educ1010004
Abstract: Computer-based learning facilitates a shift from externally controlled to self-directed learning. Universities and other educational institutions are challenged by these developments and must react appropriately to meet the requirements of education. The term e-learning has been coined to describe a wide range of diverse learning and teaching strategies based on the use of electronic devices. Recently developed concepts in the science of education and learning provide appropriate frameworks for novel e-learning scenarios. The present review introduces strategies and concepts for the implementation of e-learning in academic and non-academic programs and gives an overview of current e-learning activities in pharmacology.
The European directive on traditional herbal medicinal products: friend or foe for plant-based therapies?
Thomas Efferth
Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao , 2012,
Ten Years’ Experience with an E-Learning Lecture Series on Cancer Biology and Pharmacology
Thomas Efferth
Education Sciences , 2013, DOI: 10.3390/educsci3010001
Abstract: In life sciences, the internet is an indispensable medium for research, but has not yet realized its full potential for teaching. The concept of e-learning has been developed over the past decades for undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programs. We set up an e-learning lecture on cancer biology and pharmacology that was first offered in 2003 to students of Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Heidelberg and to students of Pharmacy at the University of Mainz, Germany. The present paper recapitulates the first decade of experiences with this e-learning lecture from both the students’ and the teachers’ perspectives. A total of 317 students during the past 10 years participated in a survey. In general, the students enjoyed the possibilities that self-controlled learning offers. E-learning interested them as a novel educational method. They felt quite comfortable listening to the material despite the interdisciplinary nature of the lectures, which included molecular biological, pharmacological and medical aspects of cancer biology and pharmacology. This lecture was the first e-learning experience for the majority of students, and their impressions were generally positive. The students not only indicated that they would like to continue with e-learning, but also would recommend e-learning to other students. Remarkably, the majority of students would like to see more e-learning offered in their present curricula. They indicated interest in mixed forms of traditional learning and e-learning (“blended learning”), although it is recognized that face-to-face contact between teachers and students is critical. Overall, many students would consider e-learning for further and continuing education after graduation.
Polo-like kinase 1 as target for cancer therapy
Lily Wei?, Thomas Efferth
Experimental Hematology & Oncology , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/2162-3619-1-38
Abstract: Polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) plays a critical role in cell division and represents a promising target for cancer therapy. Several small molecule inhibitors of polo-like kinase 1 have been described. In the present review, we focus on the biology of the Plk1 enzyme and the significance of small molecule inhibitors as novel candidates for cancer therapy. Polo-like kinases are serine-threonine protein kinases. There are four different polo-like kinases (Plk 1-4), of which Plk1 is the best studied. All Plks consist of an amino-terminal catalytic kinase domain, which is responsible for ATP-binding and enzyme activation, and a carboxy-terminal polo box domain (PBD). The PBD is involved in phosphopeptide binding and consists of either one (in Plk 4) or two sequence motifs (in Plk 1, Plk 2, and Plk 3) which each consist of 80 residues [1]. Phosphopeptides bind to the two motif-PBDs at the consensus sequence S-pS/pT-P/X [2]. The PBDs of the four Plks are similar, but not identical and have different binding affinities. Plk1 and Plk 2 share the most similar PBDs, whereas Plk4’s PBD is most dissimilar. Because the Plk4 PBD consists of only one motif, it does not form a binding pocket as the other Plks do [1,3]. Plk1 consists of 603 amino acids [4].Plks possess a conserved catalytic kinase domain, which consists of two lobes, each composed of a polypeptide chain. A hinge region connects these two lobes allowing their rotation. ATP molecules can bind at the gap between the two polypeptide chains. The binding pocket structure is highly conserved among all Plks. In general, all protein kinases reveal similar ATP-binding pockets, which may pose problems in developing highly specific kinase inhibitors [1,3].Protein kinases are important for a multitude of cellular signal transduction reactions and are, therefore, subject to strong regulation. They can be activated or inactated by interaction with other proteins, peptides, or small molecules or by translocation in the cell. Protein kina
Transport processes of radiopharmaceuticals and -modulators
Thomas Efferth, Peter Langguth
Radiation Oncology , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/1748-717x-6-59
Abstract: Together with surgery and chemotherapy, radiotherapy represents one of the main pillars of cancer therapy. The field of radiology for image-based cancer diagnostics experiences rapid progress in the past years making both radiotherapy and -diagnostic to indispensible components in cancer care.A number of strategies have been developed to increase efficacy of radiotherapeutic and -diagnostic approaches by pharmaceuticals. This represents exciting interdisciplinary opportunities for research in medicine and physics on the one hand and pharmacy and pharmacology on the other hand.Traditionally, the term "radiopharmaceutical" has been used for drugs labeled with radioactive tracers for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes. Due to the enormous progress in the past decade, the interface between drug treatment and radiotherapy became much broader. Many drugs have been described to sensitize tumor cells to radiotherapy or to protect normal tissues from radiation-induced injuries. In a broader sense, those drugs are also "radiopharmaceuticals". Even drugs which increase the efficacy of other forms of radiation-based therapy have to be named in this context, e.g. 8-methoxypsoralen in UVA-therapy or enhancers of photodynamic drugs. In order to avoid confusion with the term "radiopharmaceutical" in the narrow sense, we propose the term radiomodulator for drugs sensitizing tumor cells or protecting normal tissues to all forms of radiation therapy.The multiple and partly heterogeneous aspects of radiopharmaceuticals and -modulators can be separated into three major fields:(1) Radiopharmaceuticals are used in nuclear medicine as tracers for diagnostics and therapy of many diseases. Technetium 99m (Tc-99m) serves as gamma-rays-emitting tracer nuclide for many radiopharmaceuticals. More than 30 different Tc-99m-based radiopharmaceuticals are known, which are used for imaging and functional studies in diverse organs, e.g. brain, lung, kidneys, liver, skeleton etc. [1]. They also serve f
Cameroonian Medicinal Plants: Pharmacology and Derived Natural Products
Victor Kuete,Thomas Efferth
Frontiers in Pharmacology , 2010, DOI: 10.3389/fphar.2010.00123
Abstract: Many developing countries including Cameroon have mortality patterns that reflect high levels of infectious diseases and the risk of death during pregnancy and childbirth, in addition to cancers, cardiovascular diseases and chronic respiratory diseases that account for most deaths in the developed world. Several medicinal plants are used traditionally for their treatment. In this review, plants used in Cameroonian traditional medicine with evidence for the activities of their crude extracts and/or derived products have been discussed. A considerable number of plant extracts and isolated compounds possess significant antimicrobial, anti-parasitic including antimalarial, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetes, and antioxidant effects. Most of the biologically active compounds belong to terpenoids, phenolics, and alkaloids. Terpenoids from Cameroonian plants showed best activities as anti-parasitic, but rather poor antimicrobial effects. The best antimicrobial, anti-proliferative, and antioxidant compounds were phenolics. In conclusion, many medicinal plants traditionally used in Cameroon to treat various ailments displayed good activities in vitro. This explains the endeavor of Cameroonian research institutes in drug discovery from indigenous medicinal plants. However, much work is still to be done to standardize methodologies and to study the mechanisms of action of isolated natural products.
In Silico Analysis of Microarray-Based Gene Expression Profiles Predicts Tumor Cell Response to Withanolides
Thomas Efferth,Henry Johannes Greten
Microarrays , 2012, DOI: 10.3390/microarrays1010044
Abstract: Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal (Indian ginseng, winter cherry, Solanaceae) is widely used in traditional medicine. Roots are either chewed or used to prepare beverages (aqueous decocts). The major secondary metabolites of Withania somnifera are the withanolides, which are C-28-steroidal lactone triterpenoids. Withania somnifera extracts exert chemopreventive and anticancer activities in vitro and in vivo. The aims of the present in silico study were, firstly, to investigate whether tumor cells develop cross-resistance between standard anticancer drugs and withanolides and, secondly, to elucidate the molecular determinants of sensitivity and resistance of tumor cells towards withanolides. Using IC 50 concentrations of eight different withanolides (withaferin A, withaferin A diacetate, 3-azerininylwithaferin A, withafastuosin D diacetate, 4-B-hydroxy-withanolide E, isowithanololide E, withafastuosin E, and withaperuvin) and 19 established anticancer drugs, we analyzed the cross-resistance profile of 60 tumor cell lines. The cell lines revealed cross-resistance between the eight withanolides. Consistent cross-resistance between withanolides and nitrosoureas (carmustin, lomustin, and semimustin) was also observed. Then, we performed transcriptomic microarray-based COMPARE and hierarchical cluster analyses of mRNA expression to identify mRNA expression profiles predicting sensitivity or resistance towards withanolides. Genes from diverse functional groups were significantly associated with response of tumor cells to withaferin A diacetate, e.g. genes functioning in DNA damage and repair, stress response, cell growth regulation, extracellular matrix components, cell adhesion and cell migration, constituents of the ribosome, cytoskeletal organization and regulation, signal transduction, transcription factors, and others.
Molecular Determinants of the Response of Tumor Cells to Boswellic Acids
Tolga Eichhorn,Henry Johannes Greten,Thomas Efferth
Pharmaceuticals , 2011, DOI: 10.3390/ph4081171
Abstract: Frankincense ( Boswellia serrata, B. carterii) is used as traditional remedy to treat inflammatory diseases. The molecular effects of the active ingredients, the boswellic acids, on the immune system have previously been studied and verified in several clinical studies. Boswellic acids also inhibit cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo. The molecular basis of the cytotoxicity of boswellic acids is, however, not fully understood as yet. By mRNA-based microarray, COMPARE, and hierarchical cluster analyses, we identified a panel of genes from diverse functional groups, which were significantly associated with sensitivity or resistance of a- or b-boswellic acids, such as transcription factors, signal transducers, growth regulating genes, genes involved in RNA and protein metabolism and others. This indicates that boswellic acids exert profound cytotoxicity on cancer cells by a multiplicity of molecular mechanisms.
Self-medication with nutritional supplements and herbal over-thecounter products
Tolga Eichhorn,Henry Johannes Greten,Thomas Efferth
Natural Products and Bioprospecting , 2011, DOI: 10.1007/s13659-011-0029-1
Abstract: In recent years, the popularity increased for nutritional supplements and herbal products. Prescription drugs, but not herbal therapies are paid by health insurances. They are sold over-the-counter (OTC) on the patients’ own expense. However, there are potential risks of self-medication, e.g. incorrect self-diagnosis, severe adverse reactions, dangerous drug interactions, risk of addiction etc. They are often used by patients at their own discretion without knowledge of and control by their physicians. Certain users are at risk of intoxication. Multiple medications taken by older patients increase the risk for adverse drug reactions, drug-drug interactions, and compliance problems for this age group (polypharmacy). Herbals should be discontinued prior to operations to avoid interactions with anesthetics or anticoagulants. Herbal preparations may also be carcinogenic or interfere with cancer treatments. Pregnant women use various OTC preparations. However, in many cases, it is unclear whether their use is safe for mother or baby. Self-medication with herbals is also largely distributed among anxious and depressive patients, and patients with other conditions and symptoms. The popularity of herbal products has also brought concerns on quality, efficacy and safety. Cases of botanical misidentification, contaminations with heavy metals, pesticides, radioactivity, organic solvents, microbials as well as adulteration with chemical drugs necessitate the establishment of international quality control standards. Hepatotoxic effects have been reported for more than 300 plant species, and some commonly used herbs have been demonstrated to interact with Western medication. Health care professionals have a critical responsibility assessing the self-care ability of their patients. Databases are available for pharmacists with information on action, side effects and toxicities as well as herb-drug interactions. There is a need for established guidelines regarding the correct use of nutritional supplements and herbal OTC preparations (phytovigilance). Physicians, pharmacists, and other health care professionals have to counsel patients and the general public on the benefits and risks associated with herbal drugs. Information centers for consumers and general practitioners are needed, and convincing evidence on safety and efficacy of herbal products has to be demonstrated in placebo-controlled, double blind and randomized clinical trials.
Shikonin Directly Targets Mitochondria and Causes Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Cancer Cells
Benjamin Wiench,Tolga Eichhorn,Malte Paulsen,Thomas Efferth
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/726025
Abstract: Chemotherapy is a mainstay of cancer treatment. Due to increased drug resistance and the severe side effects of currently used therapeutics, new candidate compounds are required for improvement of therapy success. Shikonin, a natural naphthoquinone, was used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of different inflammatory diseases and recent studies revealed the anticancer activities of shikonin. We found that shikonin has strong cytotoxic effects on 15 cancer cell lines, including multidrug-resistant cell lines. Transcriptome-wide mRNA expression studies showed that shikonin induced genetic pathways regulating cell cycle, mitochondrial function, levels of reactive oxygen species, and cytoskeletal formation. Taking advantage of the inherent fluorescence of shikonin, we analyzed its uptake and distribution in live cells with high spatial and temporal resolution using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. Shikonin was specifically accumulated in the mitochondria, and this accumulation was associated with a shikonin-dependent deregulation of cellular Ca2
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