Clinical Oncology

[A structured approach to test the clinical benefi t of treatments of advanced cancer]

ALESSANDRO Pastorino, ALBERTO Sobrero

SEPTEMBER 05, 2015

Clinical Oncology - 2015;2(03)

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Clinical Oncology

[Treatment of testicular germ cell tumors – an up-date]

BAKI Márta

[The frequency of germ cell tumors is about 1% of all male cancers. The incidence increases in developed countries. The prevalence is the highest among the young males. The histologic type, extent of disease and therapy is based on international guidelines. The surgery, radio- and chemotherapy can achieve cure in the germ cell cancer patients. Regarding the late toxicity, the minimal invasive tumors are suggested to keep on the wait and see policy. The complex therapy of poor risk groups reached more than 80% permanent remission rate. The chemotherapy is based on cisplatin, but in second and third line therapy paclitaxel, gemcitabin and oxaliplatin is widely used. After the cure of germ cell cancer patients the careful follow up is mandatory.]

Clinical Oncology

[Angiogenesis – antiangiogenesis]

PAKU Sándor, SEBESTYÉN Anna, KOPPER László

[Tumor growth requires vascularization to be supplied by oxygen and nutritients. The vascular network could be different between tumors, even during the development of the same tumor (local and systemic spreading), from the occupation of already present vessels to the real angiogenesis (i.e, proliferation of endothelial cells). Moreover, the tumor cells can create channels, mimicking the normal vessels. This spectrum in morphology should be refl ected in the therapeutic response, in the effectiveness of antiangiogens, but the how is unknown. It is sure that acceptable clinical activity can be achieved only with combinations, both with traditional cytotoxic and targeting drugs. The clinical advantage can be hampered by increased toxicity, demanding supportive actions. One of the key decisions is to select the proper therapy considering the patient and the tumor characteristics (today increasingly at molecular level) and predict the response to the therapy. Such (bio)markers are still missing, although intensive research trying the best. Since the main target of antiangiogenic drugs (today and tomorrow) the VEGF/R family, a useful marker is expected from them. The inhibition of angiogenesis is a logical step against the solid tumors and these steps slowly but steadily can improve the patients life-time, as well as their quality of life.]

Clinical Oncology

[Mucositis - prevention and therapy]

NAGY Zsuzsanna, VALTINYI Dorottya

[Side-effects are critical challenges in cancer therapy. These complications can threaten the quality of life, sometimes the life itself. One of the most frequent side effects is mucositis, the damage of mucosa, either in the oral cavity (oral mucositis, OM), or in the gastrointestinal tract (gastrointestinal mucositis, GIM). Prevention is a key action for the effi cient supportation. Recognition of OM is relative easy, but of GIM is rather diffi cult. The risk factors could come from the patients and/or can be caused by the therapy. The successful management of mucositis mostly depends on the cooperation of the patient, which is highly infl uenced by the success of care (e.g. decreasing the level of pain). In general, mucositis (especially oral mucositis) a well managable disease, burt more informations are required to increase the quality of prevention and therapy. Such expectation could be realized by specifi c and sensitive biomarkers, however, they are still missing]

Clinical Oncology

[Ablation of liver cancer]

DOROS Attila

[Ablative therapies of the malignant liver tumors are used frequently all over the world. It is a very well tolareted minimally invasive treatment, followed by a short observation period. Patients might be sent home within 24 hours. Nowadays, there is suffi cient data supporting its effectiveness in the treatment of early primary liver cancer, equalling the results of surgical resection. The situation is different in liver metastasis, especially from coloectal cancer. In these cases ablative techniques have a supporting role, limiting their action on the multimorbid patients and small non-resectable tumors. These facts and trends - worldwide and in Hungary - are discussed, focusing on effectiveness, places in therapeutic protocols and domestic diffi culties.]

Clinical Oncology

[New challenges and possibilities in the chemotherapy of small cell lung cancer]

SZONDY Klára, OSTOROS Gyula

[The small cell lung cancer is characterized as a rapidly proliferating systemic neoplasm, where the basic treatment modality is the chemotherapy . Even in the surgically treated cases the platina based chemotherapy combination is obligatory before and after the surgical resection, combined with preventiv cranial irradiation to minimize the risk of the cranial metastases. The platina based chemo-radiotherapy is the gold standard in the locally advanced cases. Palliativ local irradiation could be useful for pain relief or decompression in the metastatic cases. Prophylactic cranial irradiation strongly recommended in any cases. There are no newly developed drugs for the treatment of SCLC, however it is a chemosensitive carcinoma. Topotecan could be effective in second or third line therapy , especially in brain metastasis.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

Late simultaneous carcinomatous meningitis, temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting with mono-symptomatic vertigo – a clinico-pathological case reporT

JARABIN András János, KLIVÉNYI Péter, TISZLAVICZ László, MOLNÁR Anna Fiona, GION Katalin, FÖLDESI Imre, KISS Geza Jozsef, ROVÓ László, BELLA Zsolt

Although vertigo is one of the most common complaints, intracranial malignant tumors rarely cause sudden asymmetry between the tone of the vestibular peripheries masquerading as a peripheral-like disorder. Here we report a case of simultaneous temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting as acute unilateral vestibular syndrome, due to the reawakening of a primary gastric signet ring cell carcinoma. Purpose – Our objective was to identify those pathophysiological steps that may explain the complex process of tumor reawakening, dissemination. The possible causes of vestibular asymmetry were also traced. A 56-year-old male patient’s interdisciplinary medical data had been retrospectively analyzed. Original clinical and pathological results have been collected and thoroughly reevaluated, then new histological staining and immunohistochemistry methods have been added to the diagnostic pool. During the autopsy the cerebrum and cerebellum was edematous. The apex of the left petrous bone was infiltrated and destructed by a tumor mass of 2x2 cm in size. Histological reexamination of the original gastric resection specimen slides revealed focal submucosal tumorous infiltration with a vascular invasion. By immunohistochemistry mainly single infiltrating tumor cells were observed with Cytokeratin 7 and Vimentin positivity and partial loss of E-cadherin staining. The subsequent histological examination of necropsy tissue specimens confirmed the disseminated, multi-organ microscopic tumorous invasion. Discussion – It has been recently reported that the expression of Vimentin and the loss of E-cadherin is significantly associated with advanced stage, lymph node metastasis, vascular and neural invasion and undifferentiated type with p<0.05 significance. As our patient was middle aged and had no immune-deficiency, the promoting factor of the reawakening of the primary GC malignant disease after a 9-year-long period of dormancy remained undiscovered. The organ-specific tropism explained by the “seed and soil” theory was unexpected, due to rare occurrence of gastric cancer to metastasize in the meninges given that only a minority of these cells would be capable of crossing the blood brain barrier. Patients with past malignancies and new onset of neurological symptoms should alert the physician to central nervous system involvement, and the appropriate, targeted diagnostic and therapeutic work-up should be established immediately. Targeted staining with specific antibodies is recommended. Recent studies on cell lines indicate that metformin strongly inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition of gastric cancer cells. Therefore, further studies need to be performed on cases positive for epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

Clinical Neuroscience

Alexithymia is associated with cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease

SENGUL Yildizhan, KOCAK Müge, CORAKCI Zeynep, SENGUL Serdar Hakan, USTUN Ismet

Cognitive dysfunction (CD) is a common non-motor symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Alexithy­mia is a still poorly understood neuropsychiatric feature of PD. Cognitive impairment (especially visuospatial dysfunction and executive dysfunction) and alexithymia share com­mon pathology of neuroanatomical structures. We hypo­thesized that there must be a correlation between CD and alexithymia levels considering this relationship of neuroanatomy. Objective – The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between alexithymia and neurocognitive function in patients with PD. Thirty-five patients with PD were included in this study. The Toronto Alexithymia Scale–20 (TAS-20), Geriatric Depression Inventory (GDI) and a detailed neuropsychological evaluation were performed. Higher TAS-20 scores were negatively correlated with Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) similarities test score (r =-0.71, p value 0.02), clock drawing test (CDT) scores (r=-0.72, p=0.02) and verbal fluency (VF) (r=-0.77, p<0.01). Difficulty identifying feelings subscale score was negatively correlated with CDT scores (r=-0.74, p=0.02), VF scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04), visual memory immediate recall (r=-0.74, p=0.01). VF scores were also correlated with difficulty describing feelings (DDF) scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04). There was a reverse relationship bet­ween WAIS similarities and DDF scores (r=-0.70, p=0.02), and externally oriented-thinking (r=-0.77,p<0.01). Executive function Z score was correlated with the mean TAS-20 score (r=-62, p=0.03) and DDF subscale score (r=-0.70, p=0.01) Alexithymia was found to be associated with poorer performance on visuospatial and executive function test results. We also found that alexithymia was significantly correlated with depressive symptoms. Presence of alexithymia should therefore warn the clinicians for co-existing CD.

Clinical Neuroscience

[What happens to vertiginous population after emission from the Emergency Department?]

MAIHOUB Stefani, MOLNÁR András, CSIKÓS András, KANIZSAI Péter, TAMÁS László, SZIRMAI Ágnes

[Background – Dizziness is one of the most frequent complaints when a patient is searching for medical care and resolution. This can be a problematic presentation in the emergency department, both from a diagnostic and a management standpoint. Purpose – The aim of our study is to clarify what happens to patients after leaving the emergency department. Methods – 879 patients were examined at the Semmel­weis University Emergency Department with vertigo and dizziness. We sent a questionnaire to these patients and we had 308 completed papers back (110 male, 198 female patients, mean age 61.8 ± 12.31 SD), which we further analyzed. Results – Based on the emergency department diagnosis we had the following results: central vestibular lesion (n = 71), dizziness or giddiness (n = 64) and BPPV (n = 51) were among the most frequent diagnosis. Clarification of the final post-examination diagnosis took several days (28.8%), and weeks (24.2%). It was also noticed that 24.02% of this population never received a proper diagnosis. Among the population only 80 patients (25.8%) got proper diagnosis of their complaints, which was supported by qualitative statistical analysis (Cohen Kappa test) result (κ = 0.560). Discussion – The correlation between our emergency department diagnosis and final diagnosis given to patients is low, a phenomenon that is also observable in other countries. Therefore, patient follow-up is an important issue, including the importance of neurotology and possibly neurological examination. Conclusion – Emergency diagnosis of vertigo is a great challenge, but despite of difficulties the targeted and quick case history and exact examination can evaluate the central or peripheral cause of the balance disorder. Therefore, to prevent declination of the quality of life the importance of further investigation is high.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The Comprehensive Aphasia Test in Hungarian]

ZAKARIÁS Lilla, RÓZSA Sándor, LUKÁCS Ágnes

[In this paper we present the Comprehensive Aphasia Test-Hungarian (CAT-H; Zakariás and Lukács, in preparation), an assessment tool newly adapted to Hungarian, currently under standardisation. The test is suitable for the assessment of an acquired language disorder, post-stroke aphasia. The aims of this paper are to present 1) the main characteristics of the test, its areas of application, and the process of the Hungarian adaptation and standardisation, 2) the first results from a sample of Hungarian people with aphasia and healthy controls. Ninety-nine people with aphasia, mostly with unilateral, left hemisphere stroke, and 19 neurologically intact control participants were administered the CAT-H. In addition, we developed a questionnaire assessing demographic and clinical information. The CAT-H consists of two parts, a Cognitive Screening Test and a Language Test. People with aphasia performed significantly worse than the control group in all language and almost all cognitive subtests of the CAT-H. Consistent with our expectations, the control group performed close to ceiling in all subtests, whereas people with aphasia exhibited great individual variability both in the language and the cognitive subtests. In addition, we found that age, time post-onset, and type of stroke were associated with cognitive and linguistic abilities measured by the CAT-H. Our results and our experiences clearly show that the CAT-H provides a comprehensive profile of a person’s impaired and intact language abilities and can be used to monitor language recovery as well as to screen for basic cognitive deficits in aphasia. We hope that the CAT-H will be a unique resource for rehabilitation professionals and aphasia researchers in aphasia assessment and diagnostics in Hungary. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

Evaluation of the effectiveness of transforaminal epidural steroid injection in far lateral lumbar disc herniations

EVRAN Sevket, KATAR Salim

Far lateral lumbar disc herniations (FLDH) consist approximately 0.7-12% of all lumbar disc herniations. Compared to the more common central and paramedian lumbar disc herniations, they cause more severe and persistent radicular pain due to direct compression of the nerve root and dorsal root ganglion. In patients who do not respond to conservative treatments such as medical treatment and physical therapy, and have not developed neurological deficits, it is difficult to decide on surgical treatment because of the nerve root damage and spinal instability risk due to disruption of facet joint integrity. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of transforaminal epidural steroid injection (TFESI) on the improvement of both pain control and functional capacity in patients with FLDH. A total of 37 patients who had radicular pain caused by far lateral disc herniation which is visible in their lumbar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, had no neurological deficit and did not respond to conservative treatment, were included the study. TFESI was applied to patients by preganglionic approach. Pre-treatment Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores of the patients were compared with the 3rd week, 3rd month and 6th month scores after the procedure. The mean initial VAS score was 8.63 ± 0.55, while it was 3.84 ± 1.66, 5.09 ± 0.85, 4.56 ± 1.66 at the 3rd week, 3rd month and 6th month controls, respectively. This decrease in the VAS score was found statistically significant (p = 0.001). ODI score with baseline mean value of 52.38 ± 6.84 was found to be 18.56 ± 4.95 at the 3rd week, 37.41 ± 14.1 at the 3rd month and 34.88 ± 14.33 at the 6th month. This downtrend of pa­tient’s ODI scores was found statistically significant (p = 0.001). This study has demonstrated that TFESI is an effective method for gaining increased functional capacity and pain control in the treatment of patients who are not suitable for surgical treatment with radicular complaints due to far lateral lumbar disc hernia.