Clinical Oncology

[Management of pancreatic cancer today]


FEBRUARY 20, 2014

Clinical Oncology - 2014;1(01)

[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.]



Further articles in this publication

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.]

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

[Aspiration cytology in tumor diagnostics]

JÁRAY Balázs

[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.]

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

[How long the colorectal cancer should be treated?]


[Colorectal cancer is one of the leading cancer-related death worldwide. The optimal treatment duration of metastatic colorectal cancer depends on the individual treatment aim and it should be decided by an onco-team and by the patient. In this review several actual issues will be discussed, like the optimal duration of therapy to reach the secondary resection, the accepted response rate and best treatment strategy in case of non-operable colorectal cancer. Furthermore, emphasis is given to the most useful endpoints to evaluate different therapeutic approaches.]

All articles in the issue

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Hungarian Radiology

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[World Pancreatic Day - Constant vigilance!]

ILLÉS Dóra, CZAKÓ László

[Pancreatic cancer (PaC) is a rare disease. However, it has one of the highest mortality worldwide. In Hungary both the incidence and mortality are among the highest in Europe. Surgery is the only curative method to treat PaC. Unfortunately, PaC is often diagnosed in its inoperative stage due to the asymptomatic/aspecific progression. Unfortunately, there is no effective screening method for PaC. This article aims to raise awareness of PaC risks and symp­tomps upon the World Pancreatic Cancer Day (21.11) which indicate investigations to diagnose PaC in an early stage, in favor of a better outcome of the disease. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

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[Background - Glial tumours represent the most frequent type of primary brain cancers. Gliomas are characterized by heterogeneity that makes the diagnosis, histological classification and the choosing of correct therapy more difficult. Despite the advances in developing therapeutic strategies patients with malignant gliomas have a poor prognosis; therefore glial tumours represent one of the most important areas of cancer research. There are no detailed data on the epidemiology of gliomas in Hungary. Methods - In the first section of our publication, we analysed the histological diagnosed cases between 2007 and 2011 at the Institute of Pathology, University of Debrecen Medical and Health Science Centre. We analyzed the incidence of 214 high-grade gliomas by tumor grades, gender, age, and the anatomical localization. Results - The majority of cases were glioblastoma (182 cases), and the remaining 32 cases were anaplastic gliomas. The mean age of patients was 57 years (±16.4), and the male:female ratio was 1.1:1. The most frequent area of tumors was the frontal lobe followed by the temporal, parietal and occipital lobe. We include new findings published recently about glioma patogenesis, molecular pathways, mutant genes and chromosomal regions. We explain briefly the role of selected important genes in glioma genesis and give an update on knowledge provided by modern molecular methods, which could beneficially influence future therapy and the diagnosis of gliomas.]