Lege Artis Medicinae

[Changes in the hormonal therapy of breast cancer patients]


AUGUST 20, 2002

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2002;12(08)

[The hormonal therapy for breast cancer patients seems to be changing. At present the new, third generation aromatase inhibitors are the standard second line therapy for postmenopausal, receptor positive advanced breast cancer patients. Currently, tamoxifen (TAM) stands as the ”gold standard” first line therapy, with ist role changing, due to the aromatase inhibitors which seems to be more effective than TAM and have less side-effects. For these reasons, aromatase inhibitors may be useful in the adjuvant setting, but long-term side-effects are not yet known. In the next few years, sufficient experience will be gained with these drugs which might help us to change practice. Pure antioestrogens are also promising new drugs. Recently, the LHRH analogues were the preferred drug of choice in premenopausal women, in contrast to surgical or radiological ovarian ablation. All receptor positive breast cancer patients should receive hormonal therapy, regardless of age, menopausal status, node status, tumour size, but we should avoid hormonal therapy for the endocrine nonresponsive patients.]



Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The importance of endothelial dysfunction and possibilities of its treatment in chronic heart failure]


[Endothelial cells - under autocrine and paracrine control - may have a central role in the regulation of vascular tone. Endothelial dysfunction is a very early sign of heart failure but the clinical consequence is not well understood. Recent evidence suggests that upregulation of the neuro-endocrine-, and the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system would lead to increased tissue- and circulating angiotensin-II levels. Elevated concentration of angiotensin-II provides a mechanism by which vasomotor responses to nitric oxide, prostaglandins are blunted, while the effects of vasoconstrictors such as thromboxans, endothelin and chatecholamins are enhanced. The higher basal vascular tone leads to the degeneration and atrophy of skeletal muscle, moreover to the the ischaemic damage of myocardial cells. Because renin-angiotensinaldosterone system is under genetic control, the deleterious effects of angiotensin-II depends on the angiotensin-converting enzyme gene. Pharmacological attempts to counteract endothelial dysfunction in heart failure may include the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, which can potentially improve the endothel dependent vasodilatation response. The importance of measuring endothelial function by non-invasive techniques is yet unknown, thus, before we introduce the widespread testing of patients for endothelial function, more research has to be done.]

Lege Artis Medicinae


Lege Artis Medicinae

[Physicians’ attitudes and suppositions in 2001 in the Polyclinic of the Hospitaller Brothers in Budapest]


[INTRODUCTION - Following the total socioeconomic changes in Hungary in 1989, no scientific analysis has been made about physicians' religious attributes in the new circumstances. These attributes, after four decades of political anticlericalism may affect essentially the ideological and socio-economic patterns of medical professionalism. Hungary’s 2001 census favoured such an inquiry, since it went back to the traditional questions about religious affiliations. METHODS - The ”sensitive” questions ot the census were accepted without any obstacle in the whole population and backed up the present study together with the newly established religious atmosphere in the hospital of roman catholic Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God, which was reopened on the 1st of July, 2000. The collection of data started in November 2000 ending in December 2001. All 98 full time employed physicians participated in the inquiry carried out by personal interviews guided by the same 51 questions. Following more than half a century span, the aim of the present study was to gain measurable information about the doctors’ unknown religious affiliation and its impact on clinical problems with ethical dimensions. RESULTS - All the doctors cooperated willingly in face-to-face interviews. There was a high proportion of religious affiliation (83 persons out of 98) without any sign of mysticism in the professional values. However, the pre-eminent role of psychological factors in the healing process was stressed, opposed to the simplified materialism of medicine. The same ideological pattern was represented while ranking other professions in the social hierarchy. No physicians experienced a conflict between their religious belief and professional activity in the dayto- day service. CONCLUSION - According to the extremely underpaid medical profession in Hungary, doctors of the new hospital do not believe that now they should tolerate their underpaid status as altruistic missionaries. However, they know exactly that balancing professionalism and business of medicine, is not a task for a single hospital but an urgent one of the whole society.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Quality assessment in the management of acute coronary syndromes]


[INTRODUCTION AND METHODS - Quality monitoring activities are essential for improving the care of acute coronary patients. The aim of our study was to establish a registry and assess the adherence to widely used quality indicators. We investigated two groups of patients, those admitted to our Intensive Care Unit with the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (Group 1) and unstable angina (Group 2). RESULTS - Group 1. consisted of 173 patients, of whom 60% was eligible for thrombolysis. In 5 cases no acute reperfusion therapy was done. For reperfusion we used systemic thrombolysis in 74% and primary coronary angioplasty in 26%. The prehospital delay was 150 minutes, the ”door-to-needle” time and the ”door-toballoon” time were 30 minutes and 102 minutes, respectively. 95% of the patients received aspirin, 79% beta-blocker, 82% angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor and 39% cholesterol lowering medications. Group 2. included 84 patients, most of them had high risk features according to the Braunwald classification and the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association guideline. Coronary angiography was performed in 80 cases. Regarding revascularization, 43 patients underwent coronary bypass surgery, 30 percutan angioplasty with stent implantation in 18. In this group aspirin was given in 82, unfractionated heparin in 9, low molecular weight heparin in 49, glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor in 15 cases. 21 patients received intravenous nitroglycerin, 70 patients betablocker and 57 patients cholesterol lowering drugs. DISCUSSION - Quality management is extremely useful in assessing our practice, our shortcomings and developments.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Esomeprazole compared with lansoprazole in the treatment of erosive esophagitis]


All articles in the issue

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[Treating breast cancer patients with fulvestrant - could it be more efficacious?]

NAGY Zsuzsanna

[Fulvestrant, as an estrogen-receptor antagonist, effectively decreases the estrogen effect, which is a key factor in the development, growth and progression of the breast cancer. Its clinical advantage can appear even after several lines of unsuccessful chemo- or hormonal therapy. In our invasive ductal carcinoma cases, the clinical benefit was obvious over 40%. According to recent data using a higher dose better results can be obtained. The same is expected if the drug would be applied at an earlier stage of the disease.]

Hungarian Radiology

[Breast core needle biopsies yielding uncertain results - Experience at the complex mammographic screening unit in Kecskemét]


[INTRODUCTION - On occasion core biopsies yield an inconclusive (B3 or B4) result in the triple diagnostics of breast lesions. These cases may turn to be malignant in the operation specimen. This study evaluates the value of B3 and B4 diagnoses and the consequences of these diagnoses. MATERIALS AND METHODS - Core needle biopsies were generally taken under imaging guidance with an automatic gun using G14 gauge needles. They were evaluated using internationally and nationally accepted categories from B1 to B5. The analysis was based on data collected between 2000 and March 2005. RESULTS - Of the 663 core needle biopsy specimens 31 (4.7%) were classified as B3 and 22 (3.3%) as B4. Specimens were more often fragmented in the latter category (a rate of 0.64 as compared with a rate of 0.26). Patients with a B3 diagnosis were operated on in 23 cases, eight of which turned to be malignant (0.35). B4 diagnoses were followed by operations in 21 cases and were found to be malignant on 19 occasions (0.9). Whenever a B4 diagnosis was associated with radiological findings of malignancy (category 5 on mammography and/or ultrasound) the cases unanimously proved to be malignant. The same association with B3 diagnoses yielded malignancy in a rate of only 0.67. CONCLUSION - Both B3 and B4 diagnoses represent an indication for operation. Our experience suggests that B4 diagnoses when coupled with a radiological opinion of malignancy can be candidates for definitive (therapeutic breast conserving) surgery whereas B3 diagnoses require diagnostic excisions.]


[The role and effects of progestogens in menopausal hormone therapy]

ÁCS Nándor, MERICLI Metin, VERMES Gábor, LANGMÁR Zoltán

[The adequate therapy of postmenopausal hormone deficiency is estrogen replacement. However, the risk of endometrium hyperplasia and carcinoma is significantly increased among users of estrogen as monotherapy.To minimize the risk of endometrial cancer, a progestogen must be added to estrogen therapy. While progestogens may inhibit the cardiovascular effects of estrogens, they do not significantly influence the effects of estrogen on bone. The increased risk of breast cancer among menopausal hormone therapy users seems to be the consequence of progestin administration.There are notable differences among progestins in their effects and side effects, thus, in the future, therapeutic protocols should be tailored individually.The differential effects of various progestogens is an exciting area to study, partly because it may have clinical consequences, partly, because it provides opportunities for far-reaching research.]

Clinical Oncology

[Adjuvant chemotherapy for operable breast cancer]


[The use of adjuvant chemotherapy in early stage breast cancer has made signifi cant progress in the last decades. This review will focus on the benefi cial effects of different chemotherapy regimens on the risk of recurrence and breast cancer mortality.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Measurement of therapeutic response during the primary systemic therapy of breast cancer]

TŐKÉS Tímea, SZENTMÁRTONI Gyöngyvér, LENGYEL Zsolt, GYÖRKE Tamás, DANK Magdolna

[Primary systemic therapy (PST), also called as neoadjuvant therapy has a substantial role in the treatment of patients with breast cancer. There is an increasing need among clinicians for the monitoring of therapeutic effectiveness. Beyond simple physical examination, diagnostic imaging tools have the most important role in the measurement of the therapeutic response. Selecting the appropriate imaging method is crucial for the correct evaluation of the therapeutic response and for planning further therapy. In this paper we review breast imaging modalities currently available in Hungary and detail the efficiency of these modalities in the evaluation of the therapeutic response.]