Lege Artis Medicinae

[Palliative chemotherapy of solid tumors]


JUNE 20, 2003

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2003;13(05)

[Palliative chemotherapy, as defined, a cytotoxic treatment where the expected result is not sufficient enough to cure the patient but it could relieve the cancer related symptoms. In other words, it is such a treatment where the chance of symptomatic improvement means an overall advantage to the patient compared to the possible disadvantages of toxicity. In the 70s and 80s, only the objective response rate, relapse free interval, and overall survival rates were selected as endpoints when the activity of anticancer agents were investigated. In these studies it was observed that a considerable amount of patient showed significant symptomatic improvement even though the treatment was ineffective according to the measured endpoints. Today, the measurement of quality of life is one of the standard endpoint of such studies. Moreover, quality of life is considered as the most important independent factor when palliative chemotherapy is initiated. It should be noted that remission is not the only and final benefit of chemotherapy. The role and options of palliative chemotherapy in certain tumors are discussed.]



Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[End-of-life care]


[Recently, physicians and medical literature are more concerned about end-of-life care. A review is given of studies dealing with the rights of the dying patient, with advance directives and with possible treatments in the last days of life. A survey was done in author's department on medical therapy of the terminal period of 103 inpatients, died between 01. 10. 2001. and 31. 03. 2002. Comparing these data with those of American, Finnish etc. authors, the treatments seem to be more generous - probably because in Hungary it is not (yet?) usual to ”declare” endof- life care and to withdraw active therapy. However, indication of antibiotics seems to be more clinical (28.1%, vs. 42%-88% given by similar foreign data). Antibiotics are not palliative means, however, they may be administered in the last days, if the patient is suffering from a terminal infection. Indications and choice of antibiotics are suggested in these cases; medical and ethical problems discussed. Physicians can relieve the physical and mental distressing symptoms of the dying patient and ensure human dignity and peace of the last days.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Indications of palliative radiotherapy]


[Radiotherapy - as a part of complex, multidisciplinary therapy - indicated in 70% of patients with malignant tumors during the natural course of the disease. Unfortunately, around 40-50% of patients can not be cured due to the advanced stage, recurrence or dissemination of the disease. In such cases radiotherapy with palliative intention can be used to resolve symptoms, decrease tumor burden and increase the quality of life for the patient. Urgent radiotherapy can overcome special symptoms causing acute life-threatening conditions. The author reviews the main indications, radiotherapy techniques, dose-fractionation schedules and treatment results of palliative and urgent radiotherapy used in the daily clinical practice.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Easing nausea and vomiting in terminally ill cancer patients]


[Nausea and vomiting are very frequent problems in terminally ill cancer patients, with many causes in the background. Repeated vomiting considerably affects patients' quality of life and may also cause numerous complications requiring hospitalization. In palliative care these symptoms need to be alleviated knowing that triggering causes persist. To provide effective symptom control we need to understand the triggering mechanism of vomiting as well as to have a deep knowledge of most important antiemetics and to give efficient drugs regularly.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Therapy of high-intensity cancer pain]


[Although cancer pain is usually a chronic one, in certain cases it needs emergency treatment due to its intensity. By the temporal appearance of pain the author discusses separately the possibilities of treatment of the continuous and the episodic (breakthrough) pain and refers particularly to the neuropathic pain. It is stressed that opiate-responsive continuous severe pain can be diminished most quickly by giving morphine intravenously and a recommendation is drafted how to perform it rapidly but safely. Finally, it is emphasized that the absence of pain analysis and appropriate drug therapy is the most important factor of inadequate pain relief up to now.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[What is personal and what is not]

PÖRCZI Zsuzsanna

All articles in the issue

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[Assessing Quality of life of Women with Cervical Cancer After Treatment]


[To assess sexual function, functionality and quality of life in women with cervical cancer. Descriptive, cross-sectional, quantitative, non-random, purposive sampling of women (N=91) with FIGO stage I/II/III cervical cancer, more than 5 months after last treatment. The study used standard questionnaires with self-designed questions. Data were analysed using Microsoft Excel, descriptive and mathematical statistics (p<0.05). Completers who received radiotherapy scored significantly higher in functional status (p<0.05) and emotional function than those who did not receive radiotherapy (p<0.05). Completers with lower levels of emotional well-being were significantly more likely to have lower levels of sexual function and higher levels of gynaecological problems (p<0.05). Women affected by cervical cancer often experience somatic and psychological disturbances that reflect on quality of life associated with the disease and treatment.]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

[The Effect of Asthma Bronchiale on Everyday life Activities Among Adolescents]

RÁCZ Viktória Kinga, HEGEDŰS Bianka Ágnes , SZEBENI-KOVÁCS Gyula , FERENCZY Mónika

[The aim of this study is to assess the relationship between the physical activity of asthmatics, sleep disorders, the extent of asthma treatment, and to assess the quality of life in terms of physical activity. We conducted our quantitative, cross-sectional survey between 2020-2021. In a non-randomized, comfort sampling the target group was defined as adolescents aged between 14–18 years, their diagnosis of asthma bronchiale had to be for at least 1 year ago. The data were collected by a self-prepared questionnaire, the domains included: socio-demographic questions related to physical activites, symptoms, sleep disorders, severity of asthma. We used miniAQLQ to assess quality of life. The statistical analysis were performed by using Microsoft Excel 2016 and SPSS v 24 programs. Descriptive statistics (mean, standard deviation, minimum, maximum), two-sample t-test, Chi-square test were performed. The mean age of the respondents was 16±1.51, 38% were boys and 62% were girls (N=105). There was no significant difference between physical activity and the frequency of seizures and sleep disorders (p>0.05). There is a significant difference between the genders and the symptoms increasing with intense exercise (p=0.02). We found significant correlation between the active participations in physical education classes and the severity of the disease (p=0.021). There is a significant correlation between moderate-, social activities and physical activity (p<0.05). Appropriate health education, recommendation in career choices as well as in physical activities done by nurses may lead to decrease in the number of suffocation attacks in cases of adolescents suffering from asthma bronchiale.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Disease burden of Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients and their caregivers]


[Background and purpose - Data on the disease burden of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy are scarce in Hungary. The aim of this study was to assess patients’ and their caregivers’ health related quality of life and healthcare utilisations. Methods - A cross sectional survey was performed as part of the European BURQOL-RD project. The EQ-5D-5L and Barthel Index questionnaires were applied, health care utilisations and patients’ informal carers were surveyed. Results - One symptomatic female carer, 50 children (boys 94%) and six adult patients (five males) participated in the study, the latter two subgroups were included in the analysis. The average age was 9.7 (SD=4.6) and 24.3 (SD=9.8) years, respectively. Median age at time of diagnosis was three years. The average EQ-5D score among children and adults was 0.198 (SD=0.417) and 0.244 (SD=0.322), respectively, the Barthel Index was 57.6 (SD=29.9) and 53.0 (SD=36.5). Score of satisfaction with healthcare (10-point Likert-scale) was mean 5.3 (SD=2.1) and 5.3 (SD=2.9). 15 children were hospitalised in the past 12 months for mean 12.9 (SD=24.5) days. Two patients received help from professional carer. 25 children (mean age 11.1, SD=4.4 years) were helped/supervisied by principal informal carer (parent) for mean 90.1 (SD=44.4) hours/week and further family members helped in 21 cases. Correlation between EQ-5D and Barthel Index was strong and significant (0.731; p<0.01) as well as with informal care time (-0.770; p<0.01), but correlation with satisfaction with health care was not significant (EQ-5D: 0.241; Barthel Index: 0.219; informal care: -0.142). Conclusion - Duchenne muscular dystrophy leads to a significant deterioration in the quality of life of patients. Parents play outstanding role in the care of affected children. This study is the first in the Central and Eastern European region that provides quality of life data in this rare disease for further health economic studies.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Minimally invasive and O-arm assisted en bloc spinal tumor resections ]

SZABÓ Viktor, LAKOSI Ferenc, NAGY Máté, DÓCZI Tamás, BÜKI András, SCHWARCZ Attila

[The en bloc resection of spinal tumors is required in primary spine tumors and in selected cases of secondary spine tumors, where the primary disease is under control and long survival time is expected. Three cases are presented, applying O-arm assisted navigation or minimally invasive anterior approaches for en bloc tumor removal. O-arm navigation assisted osteotomies were carried out to remove a Th.V. breast tumor metastasis en bloc, intact bony part of the Th.V. vertebra was spared. Vertebral corpectomies of a patient with L.IV. chordoma and of a patient with L.V. carcinoid were also performed using minimally invasive, microscope assisted, anterior approaches to the lumbar spine. No morbidity or local recurrence were detected in the patient with breast cancer 1 year after the operation. Nevertheless, new spinal metastasis were revealed 1 year after surgery despite the appropriate oncological treatment. The patient with L.IV. chordoma is still tumor free (last follow-up: 18 month after surgery), but post operatively detected lower limb paresis and gait disturbances are persisted. The posterior healthy bony parts of the spinal column remained intact, since only anterior approaches were used for en bloc L.IV. corpectomy. No morbidity or recurrence was detected in patient with L.V. carcinoid tumor on 1 year follow-up. Both the O-arm navigation assisted surgery and the minimally invasive anterior approaches to the spine can help to reduce surgical morbidity and to spare healthy bony structures of the spine. The later could play important role to provide long term spine stability. The presented new surgical technologies can be accepted only, if they produce at least the same oncological results on longer follow-ups as conventional surgical approaches.]

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. ]