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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Simultaneous subdural, subarachnoideal and intracerebral haemorrhage after rupture of a peripheral middle cerebral artery aneurysm

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The cause of intracerebral, subarachnoid and subdural haemorrhage is different, and the simultaneous appearance in the same case is extremely rare. We describe the case of a patient with a ruptured aneurysm on the distal segment of the middle cerebral artery, with a concomitant subdural and intracerebral haemorrhage, and a subsequent secondary brainstem (Duret) haemorrhage. The 59-year-old woman had hypertension and diabetes in her medical history. She experienced anomic aphasia and left-sided headache starting one day before admission. She had no trauma. A few minutes after admission she suddenly became comatose, her breathing became superficial. Non-contrast CT revealed left sided fronto-parietal subdural and subarachnoid and intracerebral haemorrhage, and bleeding was also observed in the right pontine region. The patient had leucocytosis and hyperglycemia but normal hemostasis. After the subdural haemorrhage had been evacuated, the patient was transferred to intensive care unit. Sepsis developed. Echocardiography did not detect endocarditis. Neurological status, vigilance gradually improved. The rehabilitation process was interrupted by epileptic status. Control CT and CT angiography proved an aneurysm in the peripheral part of the left middle cerebral artery, which was later clipped. Histolo­gical examination excluded mycotic etiology of the aneu­rysm and “normal aneurysm wall” was described. The brain stem haemorrhage – Duret bleeding – was presumably caused by a sudden increase in intracranial pressure due to the supratentorial space occupying process and consequential trans-tentorial herniation. This case is a rarity, as the patient not only survived, but lives an active life with some residual symptoms.

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Clinical Neuroscience

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