Clinical Oncology

[Immunotherapy of hepatocellular carcinoma]


APRIL 30, 2020

Clinical Oncology - 2020;7(02)

[The systemic treatment of HCC was based exclusively on sorafenib near 10 years. In the past 2-3 years some new molecules demostrated their effectivites in phase III clinical trials. So the immuncheckpoint-inhibitors (ICI) demands their place in systemic treatment of HCC. Nivolumab and pembrolizumab are recommended already in second line in NCCN and ESMO clinical guidelines. Nivolumab demostrated his effectivity against the standard treatment sorafenib in a phase III clinical trial, although the results were not signifi cant. However, the combination treatment of atezolizumab and bevacizumab seems better than sorafenib in a phase III clinical trial, so the combination is recommended already in fi rst line in the NCCN guideline. There are more clinical trials with ICIs in progress as in monotherapy as in combination therapy with other modalities.]


  1. Dél-pesti Centrumkórház – Országos Hematológiai és Infektológiai Intézet, Szent László Telephely, Onkológiai Osztály



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Oncology

[Coronavirus pandemic – new challenges in oncotherapy]


[This review outlines some of the basic observations related to coronaviruses infecting animals and describes – in a nutshell – the characteristics of human coronaviruses causing mild or severe respiratory diseases in infected individuals. A special attention is given to SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of the current coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, and to the pathomechanism of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which is also accompanied with multiorgan failure in a subset of infected patients. Recently discovered unique molecular features of SARS-CoV-2 are described as well. These molecular cues may affect human to human virus transmission whereas they are absent, remarkably, from the other lung-targeting highly pathogenic human coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV) which did not spread all over the world. The possibilities of active immunization to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and the development of selective small molecule inhibitors curbing the replication of the virus are also touched upon. The review closes with a few remarks regarding the Hungarian and international recommendations concerning the treatment of SARSCoV- 2 infected cancer patients.]

Clinical Oncology

[Hormone replacement therapy in cancer survivors – Review of the literature]

DELI Tamás, OROSZ Mónika, JAKAB Attila

[Rapid advance in oncology leads to increasing survival of oncologic patients. More and more of them live long enough to reach either the natural age of menopause or, as a side effect of their oncotherapy, experience the cessation of gonadal function, leading to premature ovarian insuffi ciency, with disturbing vasomotor symtoms and long-term negative cardiovascular and skeletal effects. Thus, an ever increasing number of cancer survivors search endocrinologic help in the form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The misinterpretation of the WHI (Women’s Health Initiative) Study has lead to an irrational fear of female hormone replacement, both by the general population and medical professionals. It has seemed the logical and safe conclusion to many physicians to avoid HRT, supposing that this attitude defi nitely causes no harm, whereas the decision of prescribing estrogen alone or with progestins might bear oncologic and thromboembolic risks and may even lead to litigation in case of a potentially related complication. However, it was known even before the WHI results that premature menopause and hypogonadism decreases the life expectancy of women by years through its skeletal and cardiovascular effects, and this negative effect correlates with the length of the hypoestrogenaemic period. Yet, the oncologic risk of HRT is extremely diffi cult to assess. In this work we review the latest evidence from in vitro experiments to clinical studies. We group tumours regarding the oncologic risk of properly chosen female hormone replacement therapy in cancer survivors as follows: ’HRT is advanageous’ (e.g. endometrial cancer type I, cervical adenocarcinoma, haematologic malignancies, local cutaneous malignant melanoma, colorectal cancer, hepatocellular cancer); ’HRT is neutral’ (e.g. BRCA 1/2 mutation carriers without cancer, endometrial cancer type II, uterinal carcinosarcoma and adenosarcoma, certain types of ovarian cancer, cervical, vaginal and vulvar squamous cell carcinoma, prolactinoma, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer); ’HRT is relatively contraindicated’ for various reasons (e.g. leiomyosarcoma, certain types of ovarian tumours, brain tumours, advanced metastatic malignant melanoma, lung cancer, gastric cancer, bladder cancer); ’HRT is diasadvantageous and thus contraindicated’ (e.g. breast cancer, endometrial stroma sarcoma, meningioma, glioma, hormone receptor positive gastric and bladder cancer).]

Clinical Oncology

[Development and 10-year history of a biosimilar: the example of Binocrit®]


[Patent expirations for several biological products have prompted the development of alternative versions, termed ‘biosimilars’, which have comparable quality, safety and effi cacy to a licensed biological medicine (also referred to as the ‘reference’ medicine). The fi rst biosimilars developed in oncology were the supportive-care agents fi lgrastim and epoetin. Binocrit® (HX575) is a biosimilar version of epoetin alfa, indicated in the oncology setting for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced anemia (CIA). The process for development and approval of Binocrit® as a biosimilar included extensive analytical characterization and comparison with the reference epoetin alfa. This was followed by a clinical development program comprising phase I pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic studies to show bioequivalence to the reference medicine and a confi rmatory phase III study to confi rm therapeutic effectiveness in CIA. Since its approval, Binocrit® has been extensively used and studied in real-world clinical practice. The accumulated data confi rm that Binocrit® is an effective and well-tolerated option for the treatment of CIA in patients with cancer.]

Clinical Oncology

[Molecular residual tumor monitoring in solid cancers]

SZÁSZ A. Marcell, TOBIÁS Bálint, KÓSA János, LAKATOS Péter

[Blood-based diagnostics has long been used in the oncological practice of solid tumors, but its full potential is just unfolding recently. Quantitative measurement of tumor markers, circulating tumor cells, and some of their products or components have now become available and are part of a multimodal system that provides additive parameters in clinical decision making. The most challenging oncological questions can be answered by the detection, characterization and measurement of circulating free DNA (cfDNA), which, due to its growing importance, bears the potential of incorporation into routine practice. In this overview, we review the „blood impressions” of solid tumors and present the most promising results in different patient groups, especially in lung, breast, colon, and bladder tumors, which are also valid for other solid tumors.]

Clinical Oncology

[Tumor induction by chemotherapy]

[Without chemotherapy, the fi ve-year survival rate of detected cancers would be between 0 and 15%, depending on the tumor, and between 17 and 85% with current therapy. Several warnings call attention to the dangers of chemotherapy-induced side effects, most notably the potential for tumor-inducing ability, which can affect 5-10% of patients who have recovered beyond fi ve years. Some systematically applied drugs used in chemotherapy (alkylating agents, etoposide, arsenic trioxide) are able to cause mutations in healthy cells of the patients, increasing the likelihood that the mutated cells will start a later (secondary) tumor formation. In addition to mutagenic effects, some chemotherapeutic agents exert their effects on normal myeloid and epithelial cells of the body, which, by altering the tissue microenvironment, create the potential for malignant transformation. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), which can alter gene expression patterns by tumor cell secreted factors and promote the survival and invasiveness of tumor cells by pro-carcinogenic signals, are very important in this process. It is of utmost importance that doctors, pharmacists, technicians and nurses working with cancer-causing materials do not come into direct contact with dangerous substances and wear appropriate protective equipment.]

All articles in the issue

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[The beneficial effects of treatment with betablockers in patients with chronic heart failure have been demonstrated in several large, prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trials. In large trials with mortality as the endpoint, the long-term use of bisoprolol, carvedilol, nevibolol and metoprolol succinate have been associated with a reduction in total mortality, cardiovascular mortality, sudden cardiac death and death due to progression of heart failure in patients of functional classes II-IV. These favorable clinical experiences warrant a recommendation that beta-blockers should be used in all haemodynamically stable heart failure patients with reduced left ventricular systolic function who are on standard treatment, unless contraindicated. In this review, the most important data of clinical trials and practical considerations of therapy with beta-blockers in heart failure are summarized.]

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UNGUREAN Aurélia, TAJTI János, VÉCSEI László

[Migraine sufferers in Hungary present a major epidemiological challenge with about 12% of the population affected. Authors have reviewed an extensive body of internationally published literature relative to the 5-hydroxi-triptamin receptor agonists such as the triptans. While summarising most relevant data with a view to enable physicians to choose the most effective therapy for an individual, the article also discusses the prevailing questions of efficacy, tolerability and safety. For those patients with differential-diagnostic difficulties referrals should be made to the specialized 'headache centers' of neurological departments.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Neuroprotection in brain ischemia - doubts and hopes]


[In ischaemic stroke the two major potential therapeutic strategies are aimed at either improving cerebral blood flow or directly interacting with the cytotoxic cascade - a large body of evidence gained from animal studies is in support of them. In clinical trials direct neuroprotection by blocking the neurotoxic cascade remained ineffective, although there are several clinical trials still in progress. We summarize the experimental data and present the results of clinical trials and also discuss why so many drugs, which were effective in animal studies, failed in human trials. It is emphasized, that 1. in most animal studies the reduction of infarct size, i.e. the amount of saved penumbral tissue, was the outcome measure, whereas neurological function remained unassessed; 2. the recovery of intellectual performance and higher cortical functions are of major importance in the future quality of life in stroke victims; however, it is impossible to examine these parameters appropriately in animal studies; 3. in many clinical trials the patient population was rather heterogenous and low in number, the study protocol was not optimal and the critical analysis of the subacute and chronic phase was lacking or insufficient. We present the major experimental stroke models, discuss their similarities, differencies and limitations as compared to the human pathophysiological processes. The pitfalls of extrapolating data from animal studies to clinical practice are also summarized. The complex network of functional and morphological intercellular connections, the long timescale of neurotoxic and reparative events and the lessons learned from clinical trials suggest, that the use of drug combinations (therapeutic cocktails) targeting multiple steps of the neurotoxic cascade would hopefully result in more effective treatment of ischaemic stroke. Strategies to facilitate brain plasticity and regeneration is an additional promising tool to enhance recovery in brain ischaemia.]

Clinical Oncology

[Treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma - an update]


[Last time we have described about the modern treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in „Klinikai Onkológia” in 2014 (1) and a detailed guideline regarding epidemiology, treatment according to BCLC staging system has been published as well in a special edition in this year (2). Here, we discuss mainly the fi rst- and second line systemic treatment of HCC according to our experience and the new results of clinical trials. 203 patients were treated in our Department between 2010 and 2016. These results have been presented already on the MKOT conference in 2016. In this year we have started second line systemic therapy with regorafenib in 9 cases.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Antiatherosclerotic effect of ACE inhibitor drugs]


[Based on animal and human research data, it is likely that renin-angiotensin-aldosteron system has an important role in the pathogenesis and progression of atherosclerosis. It has been demonstrated in several large clinical trials that ACE inhibitors reduce the risk of ischemic events in patients with left ventricular dysfunction. Whereas some benefits of ACE inhibitors may be related to the lowering of blood pressure, other specific effects on vasculature have also been proposed. ACE inhibitors appear to possess unique cardioprotective and vasculoprotective properties even for patients without hypertension or left ventricular dysfunction. Recent data suggest that most patient with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease should be considered for ACE inhibitor therapy, unless they are intolerant or have contraindication for the drug. The goal of this article is to review the data from clinical trials that support the anti-atherosclerotic and antiischemic effects of ACE inhibitors.]