Lege Artis Medicinae

[Sentinel node biopsy in melanoma malignum]

OLÁH Judit, GYULAI Rolland, VARGA János, MOHOS Gábor, KAPITÁNY Klára, PAPOS Miklós, PÁVICS László, VARGA Erika, KOROM Irma, DOBOZY Attila

SEPTEMBER 10, 2001

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2001;11(08-09)

[INTRODUCTION - For many decades there has been no adequate treatment for affected regional lymph nodes in melanoma malignum. In the last couple of years with the implementation of the sentinel lymph node biopsy technique, it became possible to perform selective lymphadenectomy, i.e. to perform radical block dissection only in cases of histologically proven metastases in the sentinel lymph nodes. Since the lymphatic involvement in melanoma malignum is the most important prognostic factor, it is essential to treat lymphatic etastases as early as possible to get the best results. PATIENTS AND METHODS - In the past two years we have removed the sentinel lymph nodes together with primary tumors being 1 mm or thicker, ulcerated and regressive, based on clinical appearance in 120 melanoma cases. RESULTS - Of the 120 sentinel lymph node biopsies 58 contained metastatic cells. Beside tumor thickness, histological features of regression were found to correlate with the positivity of the sentinel nodes in thin melanoma cases. CONCLUSIONS - Sentinel lymph node biopsy is a relatively simple procedure with minimal complication rate. It allows early therapeutical block dissection and the selection of patients who require adjuvant therapy. Our clinical observations suggest that beside tumor thickness and ulceration, the clinical and histological signs of regression are important factors to consider for the indication of sentinel node biopsy.]

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[Anti-atherosclerotic effects of Ca-antagonists in the light of new clinical data]

ALFÖLDI Sándor

[Based on in vitro and animal research, it has been found that calcium antagonist drugs are capable of inhibiting directly the atherosclerotic process. In spite of their advantegous antiatherosclerotic effect, the fast-release, first-generation dihydropyridines had an unfortunate effect on the number of newly developed myocardial infarctions and on cardiovascular mortality. New, controlled clinical studies have found long acting calcium antagonists to decrease significantly the progression of the atherosclerosis in the carotid artery - verified with B-mode ultrasound scans - and the appearance of cardiovascular clinical events, when either proven coronary sclerosis (PREVENT, CAPARES studies) or hypertension (INSIGHT, ELSA, VHAS) was present. If further clinical trials (CAMELOT, NORMALISE - now under way) justify these promising clinical data, then long-acting calcium channel blockers may become new and significant tools in the prevention of the progression and clinical complications of atherosclerotic disease.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Congress of ASH, 2001.]

ALFÖLDI Sándor

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Endothel dysfunction and hypertension]

KELEMEN Judit, BLASKÓ György

[In the past two decade numerous data has been collected about the role of endothelium in the development of several cardiovascular disorders i.e. hypertension, congestive heart failure and atherosclerosis. Endothelial cells had been thought to be passive barriers only, but it turned out that through paracrine and autocrine hormone secretion they take part in modulating and regulating the vasodilator and vasoconstrictor effects being directed to vascular smooth muscle cells. The intact endothelium prevents the adhesion of platelets and monocytes, the platelet aggregation, as well as the migration and proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells. It has been shown that both in experimental and human hypertension the endothelial function i.e. the so-called endothel-dependent vasodilatation is damaged, being the main feature of endothelial dysfunction. In spite of extensive research it is not clear whether endothelial dysfunction is a cause or a consequence of hypertension, with exact pathomechanism being also unclear. Methods, by which this important parameter could be precisely measured are under development. Researchers also examine whether recently used antihypertensive agents could improve or eliminate endothelial dysfunction and whether this effect may offer benefit to patients in terms of morbidity and mortality. This article attempts to summarize the most up-to-date information about the endothelial dysfunction research.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Risk to the fetus in the light of new data]

BODA Domokos

[Extensive research efforts based on principles of evidence-based medicine have helped lately to accumulate large amount of information on the risks to the fetus during pregnancy. As a result, the standpoints concerning risks to the fetus have become more precise in many respects. A number of earlier assumptions have been proven to be exaggerated or unfounded and the range of cases at risk has been narrowed down. This paper presents the most important data on potential risks to the fetus originating from hereditary factors, infections, maternal diseases, drugs, irradiation and special gestational anomalies. The data presented highlight the necessity of identifying the fetal damage during the pregnancy unequivocally, based exclusively on evidence of probative force and with realistic appraisal of the danger of any existent fetal damage.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Wegener’s granulomatosis: diagnostic questions]

CSISZÉR Eszter, SOLTÉSZ Ibolya, FÜZESI Katalin

[INTRODUCTION - Wegener’s granulomatosis is a disease of unknown origin classified as an immune vasculitis. The main pathologic feature is necrotising granulomatous small vessel vasculitis. Clinically the upper and/or lower airways are affected most often as well as the kidneys in the generalised form. The highly specific antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies have diagnostic significance beside the pathology and clinical symptoms. PATIENTS AND METHODS - We have studied the clinical and diagnostic characteristics of 15 cases diagnosed in our centre from the last 25 years. All patients had pulmonary manifestation. We analysed the organ involvement, clinical signs indicating the diagnosis, chest radiography, chances for biopsies of diagnostic significance and the difficulties of differential diagnostics. RESULTS - The diagnosis was made based on histological samples from the upper airways in three cases and from the lower airways in six cases (in four cases the bronchoscopic biopsies were diagnostic, in two patients thoracotomy was necessary). In six cases, clinical signs and typical organ manifestations were the basis of the diagnosis. CONCLUSION - This very rarely occurring disease which is difficult to recognise requires pulmonological examination due to the involvement of lungs. If this diagnosis comes to mind - based on findings of bilateral, multiplex, round pulmonal shadows with cavitation - the pulmonologist should search for other organ manifestations and involve respective specialists. Ideally, diagnosis is established by histopathology or by positive cytoplasmic antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies.]

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[MANAGEMENT OF CUTANEOUS MALIGNANT MELANOMAS]

OLÁH Judit

[Malignant melanoma, the disease originating from pigment cells of the skin, mucous membrane, eye and rarely from other tissues, shows increasing incidence in the Caucasian population. The Hungarian statistical data correspond with the data of other countries. In the early stages of malignant melanoma surgical removal of the tumor is often curative, but patients with disseminated tumors have a poor survival rate. Regrettably, in Hungary the majority of melanoma patients are diagnosed with advanced tumors, with nodal or systemic metastasis. Physicians working in other fields of medicine have a great responsibility in patient education and in early detection of susceptible pigmented lesions. Diagnosis and treatment of malignant melanoma requires an experienced dermatologist. The clinical diagnosis of melanoma is aided by several new techniques, like digital dermatoscopy. In recent years, surgical therapy of malignant melanoma has changed: today we routinely perform sentinel node biopsy. This type of surgical technique requires experience. In advanced disease the use of chemotherapy and immunotherapy requires onco-dermatological experience. Educating the public and physicians provides the basis for prevention. Survival rate is mainly dependent on the quality of primary care which determines survival rate, therefore it is essential that patients with melanomas are followed up in onco-dermatological centers.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Life threatening rare lymphomas presenting as longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis: a diagnostic challenge

TOLVAJ Balázs, HAHN Katalin, NAGY Zsuzsanna, VADVÁRI Árpád, CSOMOR Judit, GELPI Ellen, ILLÉS Zsolt, GARZULY Ferenc

Background and aims – Description of two cases of rare intravascular large B-cell lymphoma and secondary T-cell lymphoma diagnosed postmortem, that manifested clinically as longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM). We discuss causes of diagnostic difficulties, deceptive radiological and histological investigations, and outline diagnostic procedures based on our and previously reported cases. Case reports – Our first case, a 48-year-old female was admitted to the neurological department due to paraparesis. MRI suggested LETM, but the treatments were ineffective. She died after four weeks because of pneumonia and untreatable polyserositis. Pathological examination revealed intravascular large B-cell lymphoma (IVL). Our second case, a 61-year-old man presented with headache and paraparesis. MRI showed small bitemporal lesions and lesions suggesting LETM. Diagnostic investigations were unsuccessful, including tests for possible lymphoma (CSF flow cytometry and muscle biopsy for suspected IVL). Chest CT showed focal inflammation in a small area of the lung, and adrenal adenoma. Brain biopsy sample from the affected temporal area suggested T-cell mediated lymphocytic (paraneoplastic or viral) meningoencephalitis and excluded diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The symptoms worsened, and the patient died in the sixth week of disease. The pathological examination of the presumed adenoma in the adrenal gland, the pancreatic tail and the lung lesions revealed peripheral T-cell lymphoma, as did the brain and spinal cord lesions. Even at histological examination, the T-cell lymphoma had the misleading appearance of inflammatory condition as did the MRI. Conclusion – Lymphoma can manifest as LETM. In cases of etiologically unclear atypical LETM in patients older than 40 years, a random skin biopsy (with subcutaneous adipose tissue) from the thigh and from the abdomen is strongly recommended as soon as possible. This may detect IVL and provide the possibility of prompt chemotherapy. In case of suspicion of lymphoma, parallel examination of the CSF by flow cytometry is also recommended. If skin biopsy is negative but lymphoma suspicion remains high, biopsy from other sites (bone marrow, lymph nodes or adrenal gland lesion) or from a simultaneously existing cerebral lesion is suggested, to exclude or prove diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, IVL, or a rare T-cell lymphoma.

Clinical Oncology

[Pharmacological treatment of metastatic melanoma]

OLÁH Judit, GYULAI Rolland

[Malignant melanoma belongs to the group of relatively easily manageable tumors; if detected and removed early, it rarely metastasizes. Although the visible nature of the primary tumor provides opportunity for early diagnosis, there is a signifi cant portion of patients who receive proper management only with substantial delay. The fact that there are annually 300-400 patients with metastatic disease in Hungary, can be mostly attributed to public unawareness about melanoma, and consequent delay in seeking medical treatment. Metastatic melanoma remains - even today - an incurable disease. Molecular genetic research, however, resulted in revolutionary changes in melanoma management. Today, apart from the classic pathological prognostic factors, information regarding specifi c molecular modifi cations (such as in the expression of the BRAF, NRAS, c-KIT genes and proteins) are inevitable for the setting up of a personalized oncological treatment plan. By targeting members of the MAPK signal transmission pathway (using BRAF- and MEK-inhibitors), signifi cant improvement could be achieved in metastatic melanoma. Similarly, new drugs targeting specifi c immune checkpoint regulators (such as CTLA-4 and PD-1/PD-1L) provide previously unprecedented survival benefi t for melanoma patients. In this review the most recent developments in the fi eld of melanoma management are summarized.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Diagnosis and treatment of melanoma based on European interdisciplinary guideline]

VAJDA Adrienne