Clinical Oncology

[Molecular residual tumor monitoring in solid cancers]

SZÁSZ A. Marcell1, TOBIÁS Bálint2,1, KÓSA János2,1, LAKATOS Péter2,1

APRIL 30, 2020

Clinical Oncology - 2020;7(02)

[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.]

AFFILIATIONS

  1. Semmelweis Egyetem, Belgyógyászati és Onkológiai Klinika, Budapest
  2. PentaCore Laboratórium, Budapest

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[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.]

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

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[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).]

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[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.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

Atypical presentation of late-onset Sandhoff disease: a case report

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Sandhoff disease is a rare type of hereditary (autosomal recessive) GM2-gangliosidosis, which is caused by mutation of the HEXB gene. Disruption of the β subunit of the hexosaminidase (Hex) enzyme affects the function of both the Hex-A and Hex-B isoforms. The severity and the age of onset of the disease (infantile or classic; juvenile; adult) depends on the residual activity of the enzyme. The late-onset form is characterized by diverse symptomatology, comprising motor neuron disease, ataxia, tremor, dystonia, psychiatric symptoms and neuropathy. A 36-year-old female patient has been presenting progressive, symmetrical lower limb weakness for 9 years. Detailed neurological examination revealed mild symmetrical weakness in the hip flexors without the involvement of other muscle groups. The patellar reflex was decreased on both sides. Laboratory tests showed no relevant alteration and routine electroencephalography and brain MRI were normal. Nerve conduction studies and electromyography revealed alterations corresponding to sensory neuropathy. Muscle biopsy demonstrated signs of mild neurogenic lesion. Her younger brother (32-year-old) was observed with similar symptoms. Detailed genetic study detected a known pathogenic missense mutation and a 15,088 base pair long known pathogenic deletion in the HEXB gene (NM_000521.4:c.1417G>A; NM_000521:c.-376-5836_669+1473del; double heterozygous state). Segregation analysis and hexosaminidase enzyme assay of the family further confirmed the diagnosis of late-onset Sandhoff disease. The purpose of this case report is to draw attention to the significance of late-onset Sandhoff disease amongst disorders presenting with proximal predominant symmetric lower limb muscle weakness in adulthood.

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Consensus statement of the Hungarian Clinical Neurogenic Society about the therapy of adult SMA patients]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Rehabilitation possibilities and results after neurosurgical intervention of brain tumors ]

DÉNES Zoltán, TARJÁNYI Szilvia, NAGY Helga

[Objectives - Authors examined the rehabilitation possi­bi­lities, necessities, and results of patients after operation with brain tumor, and report their experiences. Method - Retrospective, descriptive study at the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit, in National Institute for Medical Rehabilitation. Patients - Patients were admitted consecutively after rehabilitation consultation, from different hospitals, following surgical intervention of brain tumors, between 01 January 2001 and 31 December 2016. Patients participated in a postacute inpatient rehabilitation program, in multidisciplinary team-work, leaded by Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine specialist included the following activities: rehabilitation nursing, physical, occupational, speech, psychological and neuropsychological therapy. Results - At the rehabilitation unit, in the sixteen-year period 84 patients were treated after operation with brain tumor. Patients arrived at the unit after an average of 41 days to the time of the surgical intervention (range: 10-139 days), and the mean length of rehabilitation stay was 49 days (range: 2-193 days). The mean age of patients was 58 years (20-91), who were 34 men and 50 women. The main symptoms were hemiparesis (64), cognitive problems (26), dysphagia (23), aphasia (16), ataxia (15), tetraparesis (5), and paraparesis (1). The mean Barthel Index at the time of admission was 35 points, whereas this value was 75 points at discharge. After the inpatient rehabilitation, 73 patients improved functionally, the status of 9 patients did not show clinically relevant changes, and 2 patients deteriorated. During the rehabilitation 10 patients required urgent interhospital transfer to brain surgery units, 9 patients continued their oncological treatment, two patients continued rehabilitation treatment at another rehabilitation unit, and after rehabilitation 73 patients were discharged to their homes. Conclusions - Inpatient rehabilitation treatment could be necessary after operation of patients with brain tumor especially when functional disorders (disability) are present. Consultation is obligatory among the neurosurgeon, rehabilitation physician and the patient to set realistic rehabilitation goals and determine place and method of rehabilitation treatment, but even at malignancies cooperation with oncological specialist also needed. Authors’ experience shows benefits of multidisciplinary rehabilitation for patients after brain tumor surgery. ]