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Monitoring of species’ genetic diversity in Europe varies greatly and overlooks potential climate change impacts
Peter Pearman, Olivier Broennimann, Tsipe Aavik, Tamer Albayrak, Paulo Célio Alves, Filipos Aravanopoulos, Laura Bertola, Aleksandra Biedrzycka, Elena Bužan, Vlatka Čubrić Čurik, Katja Kavčič Sonnenschein, Marjana Westergren, 2024, original scientific article

Abstract: Genetic monitoring of populations currently attracts interest in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity but needs long-term planning and investments. However, genetic diversity has been largely neglected in biodiversity monitoring, and when addressed, it is treated separately, detached from other conservation issues, such as habitat alteration due to climate change. We report an accounting of efforts to monitor population genetic diversity in Europe (genetic monitoring effort, GME), the evaluation of which can help guide future capacity building and collaboration towards areas most in need of expanded monitoring. Overlaying GME with areas where the ranges of selected species of conservation interest approach current and future climate niche limits helps identify whether GME coincides with anticipated climate change effects on biodiversity. Our analysis suggests that country area, financial resources and conservation policy influence GME, high values of which only partially match species’ joint patterns of limits to suitable climatic conditions. Populations at trailing climatic niche margins probably hold genetic diversity that is important for adaptation to changing climate. Our results illuminate the need in Europe for expanded investment in genetic monitoring across climate gradients occupied by focal species, a need arguably greatest in southeastern European countries. This need could be met in part by expanding the European Union’s Birds and Habitats Directives to fully address the conservation and monitoring of genetic diversity.
Keywords: genetics, monitoring, population genetic diversity, Europe
Published in DiRROS: 22.01.2024; Views: 135; Downloads: 50
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More losses than gains? : Distribution models predict species-specific shifts in climatic suitability for European beech forest herbs under climate change
Janez Kermavnar, Lado Kutnar, Aleksander Marinšek, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Introduction: Herbaceous plant species constitute an essential element of the flora of European beech (Fagus sylvatica) forests. There is increasing evidence that rapidly changing climate is likely to modify the spatial distribution of plant species. However, we lack understanding of the impact that climate change might have on beech forest herbs across the European continent. We investigated the possible effects of predicted increasing rates of global warming and altered precipitation regimes on 71 forest herbs closely associated with beech forests, but with varying biogeographic and climatic niche attributes. Methods: By using a total of 394,502 occurrence records and an ensemble of species distribution models (SDMs), we quantified the potential current distribution and future (2061-2080) range shifts in climatic suitability (expressed as occurrence probability, OP) according to two climate change scenarios (moderate SSP2-4.5 and severe SSP5-8.5). Results: Overall, precipitation of the warmest quarter and temperature seasonality were the most influential predictors in shaping current distribution patterns. For SSP5-8.5 scenario, all studied species experienced significant reductions (52.9% on average) in the total size of highly suitable areas (OP >0.75). However, the magnitude and directions of changes in the climatic suitability were highly species-specific; few species might even increase OP in the future, particularly in case of SSP2-4.5 scenario. The SDMs revealed the most substantial decline of climatic suitability at the trailing edges in southern Europe. We found that climatic suitability is predicted to show unidirectional northward shift and to move toward higher elevations. The gain/loss ratio was generally higher for narrow-ranged species compared to widespread taxa. Discussion: Our findings are contextualized with regards to potential confounding factors (dispersal limitation, microclimatic buffering) that may mitigate or accelerate climate change impacts. Given the low long-distance migration ability, many beech forest herbs are unlikely to track the velocity with which macroclimatic isotherms are moving toward higher latitudes, making this species group particularly vulnerable to climate change.
Keywords: species distribution modelling, global warming, range shift, climatic niche, biogeography, Europe
Published in DiRROS: 29.11.2023; Views: 183; Downloads: 88
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Landslide monitoring techniques in the Geological Surveys of Europe
Mateja Jemec Auflič, Gerardo Herrera, Rosa María Mateos, Eleftheria Poyiadji, Lídia Quental, Bernardie Severine, Tina Peternel, Laszlo Podolszki, Stefano Calcaterra, Arben Kociu, Bartłomiej Warmuz, Jan Jelének, Kleopas Hadjicharalambous, Gustaf Peterson Becher, Claire Dashwood, Peter Ondrus, Vytautas Minkevičius, Saša Todorović, Jens Jørgen Møller, Jordi Marturia, 2023, review article

Abstract: Landslide monitoring is a mandatory step in landslide risk assessment. It requires collecting data on landslide conditions (e.g., areal extent, landslide kinematics, surface topography, hydrogeometeorological parameters, and failure surfaces) from different time periods and at different scales, from site-specific to local, regional, and national, to assess landslide activity. In this analysis, we collected information on landslide monitoring techniques from 17 members of the Earth Observation and Geohazards Expert Group (from EuroGeoSurveys) deployed between 2005 and 2021. We examined the types of the 75 recorded landslides, the landslide techniques, spatial resolution, temporal resolution, status of the technique (operational, non-operational), time of using (before the event, during the event, after the event), and the applicability of the technique in early warning systems. The research does not indicate the accuracy of each technique but, rather, the extent to which Geological Surveys conduct landslide monitoring and the predominant techniques used. Among the types of landslides, earth slides predominate and are mostly monitored by geological and engineering geological mapping. The results showed that Geological Surveys mostly utilized more traditional monitoring techniques since they have a broad mandate to collect geological data. In addition, this paper provides new insights into the role of the Geological Surveys on landslide monitoring in Europe and contributes to landslide risk reduction initiatives and commitments (e.g., the Kyoto Landslide Commitment 2020).
Keywords: landslide, monitoring techniques, geological data, Geological Surveys of Europe
Published in DiRROS: 30.01.2023; Views: 462; Downloads: 201
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Real-world testing practices, treatment patterns and clinical outcomes in patients from Central Eastern Europe with EGFR-mutated advanced non-small cell lung cancer : a retrospective chart review study (REFLECT)
Urška Janžič, Nina Turnšek, Mircea Dediu, Ivan Shterev Donev, Roxana Lupu, Gabriela Teodorescu, Tudor Ciuleanu, Adam Płużański, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: The targeted therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) against the epidermal growth factor receptor mutation (EGFRm) in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) changed the treatment paradigm. REFLECT study (NCT04031898) explored EGFR/T790M testing and treatment patterns in EGFRm NSCLC patients receiving first- or second-generation (1G/2G) EGFR TKIs as front-line (1L) in eight countries. Pooled data from Central Eastern Europe (CEE) countries from this study (Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Slovenia) are presented here. This physician-led chart review study was conducted in patients with confirmed-EGFRm NSCLC initiating 1L 1G/2G EGFR TKIs between 2015–2018. The CEE cohort included 389 patients receiving 1L erlotinib (37%), afatinib (34%), and gefitinib (29%). Overall, 320 (82%) patients discontinued 1L, and 298 (77%) progression events were registered. Median progression free survival on 1L TKIs was 14.0 (95% CI: 12.6–15.6) months. Median overall survival from 1L start was 26.6 (95% CI: 24.1–29.0) months. Attrition rate between 1L and next line was 30%. Among patients with 1L progression, 200 (67%) were tested for T790M and 58% were positive. This first CEE analysis of treatments and outcomes in EGFRm NSCLC patients highlights the importance of using the most efficacious therapies currently available in 1L to reduce attrition and improve patient outcomes.
Keywords: lung neoplasms, non-small cell lung carcinoma, Eastern Europe, real-world study, REFLECT study, epidermal growth factor receptor, lung cancer
Published in DiRROS: 09.09.2022; Views: 465; Downloads: 185
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Availability and costs of medicines for the treatment of tuberculosis in Europe
Gunar Günther, Lorenzo Guglielmetti, Claude Leu, Christoph Lange, Frank van Leth, 2022, review article

Abstract: Objectives. To evaluate the access to comprehensive diagnostics and novel anti-tuberculosis medicines in European countries. Methods. We investigated access to genotypic and phenotypic M. tuberculosis drug susceptibility testing, availability of anti-tuberculosis drugs and calculated cost of drugs and treatment regimens at major tuberculosis treatment centers in countries of the World Health Organization (WHO) European region where rates of drug-resistant tuberculosis are highest among all WHO regions. Results are stratified by middle-income and high-income countries. Results. Overall, 43 treatment centers in 43 countries participated in the study. For WHO Group A drugs, the frequency of countries with availability of phenotypic drug susceptibility testing was as follows: 30/40 (75%) for levofloxacin, 33/40 (82%) for moxifloxacin, 19/40 (48%) for bedaquiline and 29/40 (72%) for linezolid, respectively. Overall, 36/43 (84%) and 24/43 (56%) of countries had access to bedaquiline and delamanid, while only 6/43 (14%) had access to rifapentine. Treatment of patients with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis with a regimen including a carbapenem was only available in 17/43 (40%) of the countries. Median cost of regimens for drug-susceptible tuberculosis, multidrug-resistant/rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (shorter regimen, including bedaquiline for six months) and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (including bedaquiline, delamanid and a carbapenem) were € 44 (min-max € 15-152), € 764 (min-max € 542-15152) and € 8709 (min-max € 7965-11759) in middle-income countries (n=12), and € 280 (min-max-€78-1084), € 29765 (min-max 11116-40584), € 217591 (min-max € 82827-320146) in high-income countries (n=29). Conclusion. In countries of the WHO Europe Region there is a widespread lack of drug susceptibility testing capacity to new and re-purposed anti-tuberculosis drugs, lack of access to essential medications in several countries and high treatment cost for drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Keywords: tuberculosis - drug therapy, Mycobacterium tuberculosis - drug therapy, health care costs - drug therapy, Europe
Published in DiRROS: 31.08.2022; Views: 626; Downloads: 131
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Terminologies and characteristics of natural mineral and thermal waters in selected European countries
Daniel Elster, Teodóra Szőcs, Nóra Gál, Birgitte Hansen, Denitza D. Voutchkova, Jörg Schullehner, Julie Lions, Lucio Martarelli, Elena Giménez-Forcada, José Angel Díaz-Muñoz, Eline Malcuit, Gerhard Schubert, Gerhard Hobiger, Nina Rman, 2022, review article

Abstract: This study discusses 1) the national legislative frameworks, terminologies, and criteria for the recognition of natural mineral waters and thermal waters in selected European countries (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, France, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and Spain), and 2) it provides a first extensive multi-national overview of hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical characteristics of numerous water sources from those regions.
Keywords: hydrogeology, regulatory framework, hydrogeochemical composition, natural mineral water, thermal water, Europe
Published in DiRROS: 26.07.2022; Views: 624; Downloads: 227
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Results of screening in early and advanced thoracic malignancies in the EORTC pan-European SPECTAlung platform
Marie Morfouace, Silvia Novello, A. Stevovic, C. Dooms, Urška Janžič, Thierry Berghmans, Rafal Dziadziuszko, T. Gorlia, Enriqueta Felip, Benjamin Besse, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Access to a comprehensive molecular alteration screening is patchy in Europe and quality of the molecular analysis varies. SPECTAlung was created in 2015 as a pan-European screening platform for patients with thoracic malignancies. Here we report the results of almost 4 years of prospective molecular screening of patients with thoracic malignancies, in terms of quality of the program and molecular alterations identified. Patients with thoracic malignancies at any stage of disease were recruited in SPECTAlung, from June 2015 to May 2019, in 7 different countries. Molecular tumour boards were organised monthly to discuss patients' molecular and clinical profile and possible biomarker-driven treatments, including clinical trial options. FFPE material was collected and analysed for 576 patients with diagnosis of pleural, lung, or thymic malignancies. Ultimately, 539 patients were eligible (93.6%) and 528 patients were assessable (91.7%). The turn-around time for report generation and molecular tumour board was 214 days (median). Targetable molecular alterations were observed in almost 20% of cases, but treatment adaptation was low (3% of patients). SPECTAlung showed the feasibility of a pan-European screening platform. One fifth of the patients had a targetable molecular alteration. Some operational issues were discovered and adapted to improve efficiency.
Keywords: thoracic neoplasms -- Europe, lung neoplasms -- Europe, diagnostic screening programs -- Europe, malignancies, lung cancer
Published in DiRROS: 24.06.2022; Views: 663; Downloads: 453
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New records and noteworthy data of plants, algae and fungi in SE Europe and adjacent regions, 8
Gordana Tomović, Marko S. Sabovljević, Marjan Niketić, Petya Boycheva, Predrag Lazarević, Eva Kabaš, Danijela Vidaković, Jelena Krizmanić, Lado Kutnar, Janez Kermavnar, Milorad Veljković, Vladan Djordjević, Boris Assyov, Fuat Bozok, Simona Strgulc-Krajšek, Žan Lobnik Cimerman, Sorin Stefanut, Constantin-Ciprian Bîrsan, Alma Hajrudinović-Bogunić, Ante Begić, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: This paper presents new records and noteworthy data on the following taxa in SE Europe and adjacent regions: diatom alga Cylindrotheca gracilis, fungi Laccaria macrocystidiata, liverworts Riccia canaliculata, Riccia cavernosa, and Riccia frostii, mosses Dicranum viride, monocots Arundo donax, Cephalanthera rubra, Epipactis palustris, and Sternbergia colchiciflora and dicots Aconitum anthora and Cephalaria pastricensis are given within SE Europe and adjacent regions.
Keywords: new report, Aconitum anthora, Arundo donax, Cephalanthera rubra, Cephalaria pastricensis, Cylindrotheca gracilis, Dicranum viride, Epipactis palustris, Laccaria macrocystidiata, Riccia canaliculata, Riccia cavernosa, Riccia frostii, Sternbergia colchiciflora, SE Europe
Published in DiRROS: 20.04.2022; Views: 558; Downloads: 379
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New records and noteworthy data of plants, algae and fungi in SE Europe and adjacent regions, 7
Marko S. Sabovljević, Gordana Tomović, Predrag Lazarević, Maja Lazarević, Snežana Vukojičić, Snežana Vukojičić, Ivana Trbojević, Jovana Pantović, Simona Strgulc-Krajšek, Darja Kopitar, Uroš Buzurović, Sanja Z. Djurović, Lado Kutnar, Janez Kermavnar, Zbigniew Szeląg, Petya Boycheva, Dobri Ivanov, Milorad Veljković, Vladan Djordjević, Sorin Stefanut, Constantin-Ciprian Bîrsan, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: his paper presents new records and noteworthy data on the following taxa in SE Europe and adjacent regions: stonewort Chara intermedia, liverworts Fossombronia wondraczekii and Pseudomoerckia blyttii, mosses Hamatocaulis vernicosus and Hookeria lucens, monocots Gladiolus palustris, Neotinea tridentata, and Orchis militaris and dicots Cardamine serbica, Cardamine waldsteinii, Hieracium kotschyanum and Pilosella petraea are given within SE Europe and adjacent regions.
Keywords: new report, Cardamine serbica, Cardamine waldsteinii, Chara intermedia, Gladiolus palustris, Fossombronia wondraczekii, Hamatocaulis vernicosus, Hieracium kotschyanum, Hookeria lucens, Neotinea tridentata, Orchis militaris, Pilosella petraea, Pseudomoerckia blyttii, SE Europe
Published in DiRROS: 20.04.2022; Views: 481; Downloads: 356
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Treatment patterns, testing practices, and outcomes in the pre-FLAURA era for patients with EGFR mutation-positive advanced NSCLC : a retrospective chart review (REFLECT)
Alfredo Addeo, Maximilian J Hochmair, Urška Janžič, Elizabeth Dudnik, Andriani Charpidou, Adam Płużański, Tudor Ciuleanu, Ivan Shterev Donev, Judith Elbaz, Jørgen Aarøe, René Ott, Nir Peled, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Background. Immunotherapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) recently became the standard treatment for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Here, we present the first results of a real-world observational study on the effectiveness of ICI monotherapy in patients with advanced NSCLC treated at a single academic center in a Central and Eastern European (CEE) country. Materials and methods. Overall, 66 consecutive patients with advanced NSCLC treated with ICIs in everyday clinical practice, either with first-line pembrolizumab (26 patients) or second-line atezolizumab, nivolumab, or pembrolizumab (40 patients), from August 2015 to November 2018, were included. All data were retrieved from a hospital lung cancer registry, in which the data is collected prospectively. Results. Included patients had a median age of 64 years, most were male (55%), 6% were in performance status >/=2, and 18% had controlled central nervous system metastases at baseline. In first-line, the median progression-free survival (mPFS) was 9.3 months, while the median overall survival (mOS) was not reached. The 1-year overall survival (OS) was 62%. In second-line, the mPFS and mOS were 3.5 months and 9.9 months, respectively, with a 1-year OS of 35%. In the overall population, adverse events of any grade were recorded in 79% of patients and of severe grade (3-4) in 12% of patients. Conclusion. The first real-world outcomes of NSCLC immunotherapy from a CEE country suggest comparable effectiveness to those observed in clinical trials and other real-world series, mainly coming from North America and Western European countries. Further data to inform on the real-world effectiveness of immunotherapy worldwide are needed.
Keywords: non-small cell lung carcinoma, immunotherapy, advanced non-small cell lung cancer, real-world data, Europe, Central Europe, Eastern Europe
Published in DiRROS: 15.12.2021; Views: 753; Downloads: 392
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