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Browsing by study line "Health Industry and Innovations"

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  • Khalife, Ghida (2024)
    Lung cancer is a significant global health concern, as it remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. While all Nordic countries have shown improvement in the 5-year survival rates for lung cancer patients during the last decade, Finland has lagged in terms of survival outcomes. Previous studies have explored the variations in lung cancer guidelines across Nordic countries. Still, there is limited research that addresses the differences in the countries’ practices that could affect the survival outcomes. This thesis aims to address this knowledge gap by conducting a comprehensive benchmarking comparison of the current care and process practices for lung cancer patients across all Nordic countries. This thesis employed a non-interventional, prospective observational study design with three distinct phases. First, an expert workshop involving lung cancer experts from Finland (N=6) was organized to formulate relevant questions for the structured survey. Second, the survey was constructed via REDCap and distributed to healthcare professionals in Nordic hospitals and primary care units. Lastly, after analyzing the survey results, a Nordic expert workshop (N=8) was conducted to validate the results and identify the most important factors influencing the outcomes. Four main areas of differences in care practices between the Nordic countries were identified: a) discrepancies in access and resources available in primary care units, b) absence or presence of fast-track and structured pathways, c) medication adoption based on reimbursement policies, and d) outcome tracking and monitoring. While the differences in specialized care were minimal, this study emphasizes the need to develop primary care in Finland, in terms of resourcing and processes, to improve lung cancer outcomes. In conclusion, all countries follow similar care guidelines. Thus, differences in early recognition and timely access to care for lung cancer patients may explain the differences in the 5-year survival rates.
  • Pohjankoski, Tiina (2024)
    Amomum villosum Lour. (Zingiberaceae) has been a fundamental component of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, primarily employed in managing gastrointestinal disorders. The commonly utilized component of the plant is the dried and mature fruit known as Amomi fructus, which has been shown to contain multiple active chemical components including volatile oils, polysaccharides and polyphenols. Despite extensive research into the medicinal properties of A. villosum, which encompasses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antitumoral, hypolipidemic and hypoglycaemic effects, much of the focus has been on local inflammatory disease models such as inflammatory bowel disease. However, investigations into its potential efficacy in systemic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis are notably lacking. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation of the synovial joints, leading to joint damage and disability. The effects of novel water and methanol extracts of A. villosum was studied on murine RAW 264.7 macrophages and human dermal fibroblasts (HDF). RAW 264.7 cells are widely used as a model for studying inflammation and immune responses, while HDF cells exhibit relevance to RA through their similarities to synovial fibroblasts and involvement in inflammatory processes, angiogenesis and tissue remodelling. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis revealed the presence of vanillic acid in our extracts, a potent antioxidant with potential therapeutic applications in various inflammatory conditions. Vanillic acid served as a baseline for subsequent in vitro experiments with our extracts. Results from the PrestoBlue cell viability assay demonstrated that water and methanol extracts from A. villosum enhanced HDF cell proliferation. Furthermore, both extracts exhibited antioxidant effects against hydrogen peroxide stimulation in both cell lines. Additionally, the water extract from A. villosum, inhibited the secretion of interleukin-6 in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells. Vanillic acid provided similar results. These findings suggest that the anti-inflammatory properties of A. villosum may offer a novel therapeutic approach for chronic inflammatory diseases.