[Effect of zoledronic acid treatment on pain and quality of life in patients with metastatic bone disease suffering from breast and prostate cancer - Multicenter, prospective, observational study]

PÁPAI Zsuzsanna, LANDHERR László, SPEER Gábor

DECEMBER 10, 2012

LAM KID - 2012;2(04)

[INTRODUCTION - Metastatic bone disease is frequently associated with breast and prostate cancer. Bisphosphonate treatment of bone metastases is palliative: its primary goal is to relieve pain, while it's also important to decrease the risk of bone fractures, prolong survival and maintain physical activity of the patients. Pain is the most common symptom of bone metastases. PATIENTS AND METHODS - In total 845 patients were enrolled in our open, multicenter, prospective, observational study, the first of its kind in Hungary. The agent tested was zoledronic acid (Zometa®). Duration of the study was 20 months and its primary goal was to assess the correlation between pain and quality of life during the treatment of patients with bone metastases from breast or prostate carcinoma. RESULTS - During the 18 months of the study, the average intensity of pain, measured on the visual analog scale showed a 42% reduction (p<0.0001). By the end of the 18. month, the ratio of patients free of symptoms has increased by 15% and the number of patients with substantial complaints has decreased by 73%. CONCLUSION - Our study supports the observation published in the international literature that in patients with bone metastases from breast and prostate cancer, zoledronic acid treatment is beneficial for reducing pain and thus for improving quality of life.]



Further articles in this publication


[Diffusely increasing neck fat mass]


[Adherence of Hungarian postmenopausal women with osteoporosis]

LAKATOS Péter, TÓTH Emese, LANG Zsolt, NAGY Bence, SZEKERES László, TAKÁCS István

[INTRODUCTION - Osteoporosis is defined as a loss of bone tissue and bone mass that leads to a compromised trength and quality of bones and thus to an increased risk of fractures. In many women, menopausal hormonal changes are associated with an increased bone loss. This population has postmenopausal osteoporosis. The essence of osteporosis treatment is the adequate calcium and vitamin D supplementation, which, if needed, might be combined with drug therapy to inhibit the process of bone loss. METHODS - We assessed the adherence to therapy of Hungarian patients and its effect on the risk of bone fractures, using data recorded by the National Health Insurance Fund Administration between 2004 and 2010 (n=223068, mean age: 69.9 years). We performed a statistical analyses of the available data. Medication possession ratio (MPR) for each treatment and the ratio of patients receiving continuous treatment in the study period (for 12, 18 and 24 months) were estimated. Medication persistence was investigated using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. A multivariate Cox proportional hazard model was used to determine the factors influencing the risk of fracture. RESULTS, CONCLUSION - The results of our study show that medication adherence to treatment is low among Hungarian patients [mean MPR: 57.9%; 95% CI (57.7%- 58.0%) and persistence rate: 32.4%; 95% CI (32.2%-32.6%) in the first year]. These parameters are substantially influenced by the administration route and the frequency of treatments [mean MPR ranged 41.5%- 100% and persistence rates ranged 18.8%- 100% in the first year, differences between subgroups were significant (p<0,05)]. Our compliance as well as persistance studies showed that parenteral administration had more beneficial effects. Confirming our preliminary hypotheses, the improvement of patient compliance significantly reduced fracture risk (good compliance was defined as MPR>80%, which was associated with RR: 0.57, p<0.05 for fracture risk). Further improvement might be achieved by parenteral administration [RR for fracture risk 0.60 compared with non-compliant patients and 0.44 compared with compliant subgroups treated with oral and parenteral medications (p<0.05)].]


[The effects of targeted therapies on bones]


[Arthritis is associated with local as well as generalised bone loss. It is likely that similar inflammatory/immunological factors contribute to both types of bone loss. Today, the main targets of arthritis therapy are proinflammatory citokines (TNF-alpha, IL-1, IL-6, in the future IL-17) and the inhibition of B and T cells. All biological therapies have been proved to slow down the development of focal joint destruction. TNF-inhibitors in particular have been demonstrated to have a beneficial effect on generalised osteoporosis. In ankylosing spondylitis, generalised osteoporosis and locally increased bone formation occur at the same time, creating a controversial situation. Further studies are needed for a better understanding of the effects of targeted therapy on bones.]


[Everyday decisions regarding osteoporosis treatment]


[Efficient, new medicines as well as recent scientific results have substantially changed the options and daily practice of osteoporosis treatment. Besides the indicated duration of therapies, their indication has also changed in several key points, and the range of possibilities for switching therapies have expanded. Despite the availability of a steadily increasing number of data, large-scale studies do not always help making therapeutic decisions, so we have to rely on professional protocols and our own experience, as well as on logical thinking. Moreover, we also have to observe financial regulations. This summary is intended to serve as a guideline for the most important decision situations from the initiation of therapy until its cessation.]


[The importance of balneotherapy in osteology]


[The authors overview the role of hydro-and balneotherapy in osteology. AsHungary is very rich in thermal-mineralwater, this kind of therapy has a greatimportance in the rehabilitation of locomo-tor diseases. In the past years, an increasingnumber of data have been published aboutthe immunomodulatory, metabolic andanalgesic role of hydro- and balneothera-py. Although balneotherapy’s mechanismof action has not been clarified yet, a num-ber of reviews and metaanalyses havefound that hydro- and balneotherapy havea beneficial effect on locomotor diseases.The majority of these articles - many ofthem written by Hungarian authors - dis-cusses the treatment of arthrosis. Further-more, an increasing amount of data isavailable on calcium supplementation withmineral water. In this paper, we discuss therole of hydro- and balneotherapy in thetherapy of osteological diseases, on thebasis of the available evidence. ]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Examining the psychometric properties of a new quality of life questionnaire in migraineurs]


[Background - The deleterious effect of primary headaches on the sufferers’ quality of life (QOL) has been abundantly documented using both generic and headache-specific instruments. The currently used questionnaires focus on a limited number of factors and therefore may not be sensitive enough to detect the effect of headache type and headache characteristics on QOL, despite the obvious clinical differences. We have devised a comprehensive questionnaire that may be more sensitive to the burden of headache. Objective - To assess the psychometric properties of the new questionnaire on a group of migraineurs. Patients and method - We studied 117 migraineurs who completed the validated Hungarian version of the SF-36 generic QOL measure and our new, 25-item questionnaire. Reliability was assessed by internal consistency, measured by Cronbach’s a of all items. Content validity was exam- ined by calculating the correlation of the items with subscales of the SF-36 measure. The correlation of the patients’ migraine characteristics with the questionnaire’s items was used to assess criterion validity. Results - The questionnaire was quick and easy to administer. The questionnaire demonstrated good reliability, with Cronbach’s alpha being 0.893. Content validity was adequate; most “physical” items of the new questionnaire showed significant correlations with the bodily pain and role physical SF-36 subscales and most “psychical” and “social” items were correlated with mental health and social functioning SF-36 subscales. Criterion validity was adequate, with headache severity being correlated with most of the items. Discussion - In this study the new headache-specific quality of life instrument showed adequate psychometric properties.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Earlier and more efficiently: the role of deep brain stimulation for parkinson’s disease preserving the working capabilities]

DELI Gabriella, BALÁS István, KOMOLY Sámuel, DÓCZI Tamás, JANSZKY József, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsanna, NAGY Ferenc, BOSNYÁK Edit, KOVÁCS Norbert

[Background – The recently published “EarlyStim” study demonstrated that deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) with early fluctuations is superior to the optimal pharmacological treatment in improving the quality of life and motor symptoms, and preserving sociocultural position. Our retrospective investigation aimed to evaluate if DBS therapy was able to preserve the working capabilities of our patients. Methods – We reviewed the data of 39 young (<60 years-old) PD patients who underwent subthalamic DBS implantation at University of Pécs and had at least two years follow-up. Patients were categorized into two groups based on their working capabilities: Patients with active job (“Job+” group, n=15) and retired patients (without active job, “Job-” group, n=24). Severity of motor symptoms (UPDRS part 3), quality of life (EQ-5D) and presence of active job were evaluated one and two years after the operation. Results – As far as the severity of motor symptoms were concerned, similar (approximately 50%) improvement was achieved in both groups. However, the postoperative quality of life was significantly better in the Job+ group. Majority (12/15, 80%) of Job+ group members were able to preserve their job two years after the operation. However, only a minimal portion (1/24, 4.2%) of the Job- group members was able to return to the world of active employees (p<0.01, McNemar test). Conclusion – Although our retrospective study has several limitations, our results fit well with the conclusions of “EarlyStim” study. Both of them suggest that with optimal timing of DBS implantation we may preserve the working capabilities of our patients.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[End of the line? Addenda to the health and social care career of psychiatric patients living in Hungary’s asylums]


[The authors are focusing on a special type of long term psychiatric care taking place in Hungary outside of the conventional mental health care system, by introducing some institutional aspects of the not well known world of so called social homes for psychiatric patients (asylums). After reviewing several caracteristics of institutional development of psychiatric care in Hun­gary based on selected Hungarian and in­ternational historical sources, the main struc­tural data of present Hungarian institutional capacities of psychiatric health and social care services are shown. Finally, the authors based on own personal experiences describe several functional ascpects of the largest existing asylum in EU, a so­cial home for long term care of psychiatric pa­tients. By the beginning of the 20th century, Hungarian psychiatric institutions were operating on an infrastructure of three large mental hospitals standing alone and several psychiatric wards incorporated into hospitals. Nevertheless, at the very first session of the Psychiatrists’ Conference held in 1900 many professionals gave warning: mental institutions were overcrowded and the quality of care provided in psychiatric hospital wards, many of which located in the countryside of Hungary, in most cases was far from what would have been professionally acceptable. The solution was seen in the building of new independent mental hospitals and the introduction of a family nursing institution already established in Western Europe; only the latter measure was implemented in the first half of the 20th century but with great success. However, as a result of the socio-political-economic-ideological turn following the Second World War, the institution of family nursing was dismantled while different types of psychiatric care facilities were developed, such as institutionalised hospital and outpatient care. In the meantime, a new type of institution emerged in the 1950s: the social home for psychiatric pa­tients, which provided care for approximately the same number of chronic psychiatric patients nationwide as the number of functioning hospital beds for acute psychiatric patients. This have not changed significantly since, while so­cial homes for psychiatric patients are perhaps less visible to the professional and lay public nowadays, altough their operational conditions are deteriorating of late years. Data show, that for historical reasons the current sys­tem of inpatient psychiatric care is proportionately arranged between health care and social care institutions; each covering one third. Further research is needed to fully explore and understand the current challenges that the system of psychiatric care social- and health care institu­tions are facing. An in-depth analysis would significantly contribute to the comprehensive improvement of the quality of services and the quality of lives of patients, their relatives and the health- and social care professionals who support them. ]

Clinical Oncology

[New aspects in cancer pain relief]


[Authors investigate the new advances in cancer pain relief among the long survival cancer patient, 25-30% of whom suffering from pain. The new molecular targets provide new druggable pain relief options. The changed strategy of pain-killing therapy enhance s the possibility for the long survival cancer patients to decrease problems of the side effects of opiod therapy. The lower doses of opioids in invasive theraputical techniques help patients to live in higher quality of life without the uncomfortable side effects of the drugs.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The quality of life of the cluster headache patients during the active phase of the headache]


[Introduction - Cluster headache (CH), which affects 0.1% of the population, is one of the most painful human conditions: despite adequate treatment, the frequent and severe headaches cause a significant burden to the patients. According to a small number of previous studies, CH has a serious negative effect on the sufferers’ quality of life (QOL). In the current study, we set out to examine the quality of life of the CH patients attending our outpatient service between 2013 and 2016, using generic and headache-specific QOL instruments. Methods - A total of 42 CH patients (16 females and 26 males; mean age: 39.1±13.5 years) completed the SF-36 generic QOL questionnaire and the headache- specific CHQQ questionnaire (Comprehensive Headache- related Quality of life Questionnaire), during the active phase of their headache. Their data were compared to those of patients suffering from chronic tension type headache (CTH) and to data obtained from controls not suffering from significant forms of headache, using Kruskal-Wallis tests. Results - During the active phase of the CH, the patients’ generic QOL was significantly worse than that of normal controls in four of the 8 domains of the SF-36 instrument. Apart from a significantly worse result in the ‘Bodily pain’ SF-36 domain, there were no significant differences between the CH patients’ and the CTH patients’ results. All the dimensions and the total score of the headache-specific CHQQ instrument showed significantly worse QOL in the CH group than in the CTH group or in the control group. Conclusion - Cluster headache has a significant negative effect on the quality of life. The decrease of QOL experienced by the patients was better reflected by the headache-specific CHQQ instrument than by the generic SF-36 instrument. ]