Clinical Oncology

[Aspiration cytology in tumor diagnostics]

JÁRAY Balázs

FEBRUARY 20, 2014

Clinical Oncology - 2014;1(01)

[Aspiration cytology (fi ne-needle aspiration, FNA) has increasing role in cancer diagnostics. The review briefl y introduces the relevant methods, their place in the clinical protocolls to identify the given lesions, emphasising advantages and disadvantages. An overview is given on the acceptance of FNA worldwide, and also in Hungary based on private experiences. In certain cases examples are summarized how FNA can contribute to the identifi cation of the diseases, with some important comments, such as the limitations of the method. Finally, the expected results are evaluated, together with the possibilities to optimalize the outcome.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Oncology

[Management of febrile neutropenia in the oncological practice]


[Febrile neutropenia is one of the most feared complications of anti-tumor therapy. It can either herald potentially fatal infection or contribute to suboptimal dose-intensity of cancer treatment. Optimal management of affected patients is based upon a multi-disciplinary approach dependent on several factors. Knowledge on institutional epidemiology and predefi ned management strategies improve quality and outcome of anti-infective therapy. In an era of more and more resistant pathogens and erosion of the antimicrobial armamentarium clinicians taking care of cancer patients carry increased responsibility in their professional activity. Here questions of practical importance related to prevention and therapy of neutropenic infections are outlined.]

Clinical Oncology

[Management of renal cancer]

MARÁZ Anikó, SZŰCS Miklós

[Targeted anti-cancer agents are used as standard therapies in case of advanced or metastatic clear cell renal carcinoma. Neovascularisation plays an important role in the progression of hypervascularized cancers. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is the key molecule in this mechanism. Most of the registered agents inhibit the angiogenesis by blocking the VEGF signalling pathway. It can occur if an antibody binds to the VEGF, so the linkage to the receptor is blocked. This happens in case of bevacizumab. Another mechanism is the inhibition of the intracellular compound of VEGF receptor by tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI). Sorafenib, sunitinib, pazopanib and axitinib belong to this group. Other well-known mechanism of action is the inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) receptor, like temsirolimus and everolimus. Based on randomised controlled trials sunitinib, pazopanib or IFNα-bevacizumab combination is recommended fi rst-line according to the international recommendations in case of good and moderate prognosis. For patients with poor prognosis temsirolimus is the standard therapy. In second-line, after ineffective cytokine therapy, sorafenib, pazopanib and axitinib are the supported options. If TKI is ineffective, everolimus or axitinib can be administered. In the latest recommendations sorafenib is another possible option (off label). After two TKIs, only everolimus is registered for third-line therapy. Life expectancy of patients can further be improved as the number of targeted drugs increases, more effective agents appear and as appropriate sequences and their benefi cial effects are recognised.]

Clinical Oncology

[Management of pancreatic cancer today]


[Pancreatic cancer (PC) is a major health problem with a poor prognosis. The number of patients with PC is increasing globally. There are no screening tests for early detection of PC, but even when diagnosed early, surgery is possible in only a minority of cases. Managing PC remains a big challenge. For selected patients with borderline or unresectable disease, neoadjuvant therapy offers the potential for tumor downstaging. In patients with resectable disease, adjuvant chemotherapy improves the fi ve year survival rate, whereas the use of adjuvant radiochemotherapy is still controversial. In metastatic cancer, monotherapy with gemcitabine remained the main therapeutic option during more than 10 years. Many different combinations with other drugs and new targeted therapies have been tested with gemcitabine. Only a combination of erlotinib and gemcitabine has shown a modest survival benefi t until now. Many gene alterations that directly contribute to pancreas tumorigenesis have been identifi ed or are under active investigation. Recently, the FOLFIRINOX regimen has been reported to be more active than gemcitabine in selected metastatic patients. Quality of life is an extremly important factor, when treating a patient with PC. CA 19-9 serum level can provide important information with regards to prognosis, overall survival, and response to chemotherapy as well as predict post-operative recurrence. There is a strong need for other predictive biomarkers to select patients, who might benefi t from available and new therapeutic options.]

Clinical Oncology

[Resistancy and/or progression - Failure or only a short stop]


[Nowadays, with the continuously in creasing demand for targeted diagnostics and therapy, we are approaching an ideal stage when the most effective treat ment for a given patient could be selected. However, some basic problems are still waiting to be solved. One major hurdle is the heterogeneity, the formation of subclones with different signifi cance during progression, but with the capacity to overgrow after the failure of the initial therapy. The importance of this phenomenon is refl ected in the daily practice where targeted therapy is allowed to treat only locally extended or metastatizing tumors. Therefore, it is not as to nishing, that the clinical success is usually tem po rary, the disease in spite of the good response at the beginning will progress. The main reason is the resistancy against the carefully analysed and applied therapeutic drugs, which has several options (e.g. new mutations, crosstalks between pathways, faults of feed-backs, etc.). This review focuses on the acquired resistancy with some relevant examples. Among the open questions we can recall e.g. the resistancy in combination therapy, or the suggested link between resistancy and progression including the potential use of drug rechallenge.]

Clinical Oncology

[First-line treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer]


[The restructuration of Hungarian oncological attendance and medicinal fi nancing resulted in the more intensive participation of clinical oncologists in the therapy of patients with ovarian cancer. The aim of the authors was not to defi ne the taxative therapeutic recommendations, but to give an overview on the development of the therapy and to introduce the deliberation aspects and therapeutic alternatives. While the primary and secondary prevention have developed in case of cervical cancer - with the possibility of eradication - the improvement of surgical techniques and clinical oncological treatments may result in the decrease of mortality in ovarian cancer. It is important to emphasis that only the appropriately aligned application of the two therapeutic modalities can lead to the desired outcome. It has become clear by the end of the ‘90s, that paclitaxel-carboplatin combination is the standard chemotherapy against ovarian cancer. Alternative cytostatic treatments like intraperitoneal treatment and triplets were not breakthroughs. The dose intensive treatment increased the survival rates besides good tolerability, however the results require further confi rmation. Neoadjuvant therapy should be considered in case of patients with advanced and metastatic disease in selected cases. Recently, therapeutic use of angiogenesis inhibition comes with signifi cant improvement. Bevacizumab is the fi rst of targeted therapies, and studies on the effectiveness of similar compounds are under way.]

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Clinical Oncology

[Practical use of meta-analyses in predicting disease risk, outcome, and therapy response in breast cancer]

KAHÁN Zsuzsanna, TARI Gergely, ENYEDI Márton, HARACSKA Lajos

[Germinal BRCA status infl uences patient care both in early and advanced/metastatic breast cancer. Ideally, the patient should make the decision on the type of surgery or the avoidance of radiotherapy being aware of the BRCA status; based on the most recent clinical studies, this knowledge may infl uence the type of chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant, adjuvant, or metastatic setting or may raise the use of emerging targeted therapies. DNA-targeting cytostatic agents, mostly platinum agents and PARP inhibitors that act by inducing synthetic lethality, provide specifi c therapies in BRCA-mutant cases. The optimum place and sequence of these specifi c agents in treatment, however, are not known yet. International guidelines promote BRCA testing for the specifi cation of treatment strategy in all HER2-negative advanced/metastatic breast cancer cases (NCCN) or at least in all cases when, based on certain predictors, the presence of mutations is likely (ESMO). Recently, the methods employed for BRCA testing have improved immensely and are widely available through the services of various providers. For the identifi cation of the mutation, sequencing of the whole genes is needed, which can be achieved faster and more cost-effi ciently using next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms compared to previous methods. It is the responsibility of the physician to consider the possibility of BRCA mutations and to raise the issue of BRCA testing to the patient if the family history, the age, previous malignant disease(s) of the patient, or the cancer features are suggestive of genetic risk.]

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[Aim of the study: The author’s aim was to present the Point of Care Testing (POCT) laboratory diagnostic methods used during the treatment of emergency cases, on the basis of feedback from paramedical professionals. The survey also investigated the opportunities using the procedure more widely, in keeping with the specifi c professional requirements of the various departments. Methodology and sample: The data was gathered in Budapest, at various departments of the Hungarian National Defence Hospital. A name-based sampling method was used, and the quantitative research involved a prospective cross-sectional, descriptive correlation study using an internet-based questionnaire survey. Results: Based on the opinions of paramedical professionals at the surveyed departments, a signifi cant difference was demonstrated in the ranking of the types of POCT clinical tests. The procedure proved to be exceptionally useful in the treatment of acute cases, although the perception of its effectiveness differed between departments. Conclusions: Priority needs to be given to propagating the theoretical aspects and deepening the practical skills related to POCT clinical procedures. Based on a complex survey of several departments, the POCT procedures proved to be quick, accurate and economical, provided that the paramedical professionals have the appropriate theoretical grounding.]

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Clinical Oncology

[Pregnancy and cancer]

NAGY Zsuzsanna, SZILLER István, VALTINYI Dorottya, HORVÁTH Orsolya

[The joint appearance of pregnancy and cancer is rare. It is highly recommended that the tumorous pregnant should be managed by a multidisciplinary team. The early diagnosis is very important, but it is not easy, because the symptoms of pregnancy and cancer are rather similar. Imaging diagnosis has to avoid ionizing radiation (e.g. PET/CT). The same is true for chemotherapy in the fi rst trimester, due to the increased risk of developmental abnormalities. Consequently, radiation therapy is not allowded throughout the pregnancy, and the chemotherapy in the fi rst trimester is a strong indication for the interruption of pregnancy. Surgery, with good practice, usually can be performed without complications. Chemotherapy, given in the second and third trimester generally follows the standard protocols with a low frequency of developmental errors. Early delivery should not be encouraged, except the delay has a hazardous effect on the mother and/or on the child. The pregnant should be informed about all steps to be an active part of the fi nal decision.]

Lege Artis Medicinae


POÓR Gyula

[Osteoporosis poses a major public health problem worldwide due to the extreme number of patients and to the deterioration of quality of life, disability, excess mortality and costs associated with consequent fractures. Representative studies of the author’s group have previously shown that the average bone mineral density values of the Hungarian population are among the lowest in Europe while the prevalence of vertebral fractures is among the highest in international comparison. This revelation has led to the development of a National Osteoporosis Programme, the key element of which being the setting up of a network of osteoporosis centres that are based on the collaboration of various medical specialists, the availability of advanced diagnostic tools and outstanding therapeutic opportunities. On describing the 10-year activity of the centres, the main diagnostic, prevention and management approaches of osteoporosis are discussed. According to the WHO classification the diagnosis of osteoporosis is based on a low bone mineral density finding supported by the laboratory and radiological exclusion of other metabolic bone diseases and secondary forms of osteoporosis. According to the up-to-date treatment guidelines of osteoporosis, when considering medical treatment, preference should be given to patients with high fracture risk in giving drugs with extensive antifracture efficacy that has been confirmed by studies of evidencebased medicine. Among these drugs the most important are the antiresorptive bisphosphonates that have widely been used in Hungary and the bone forming teriparatide that is expected to gain wider use in the near future with the introduction of public health insurance financing. The efficacy of these specific antiosteoporotics is increased by supplementation with calcium and vitamin D. The internationally acknowledged Hungarian osteoporosis management system offers to Hungarian patients outstanding standards for the prevention and management of osteoporosis.]