Lege Artis Medicinae

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

NAGY Zsuzsanna

NOVEMBER 20, 2010

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2010;20(11)

[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.]

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[Patient Safety, the Latest Trend in Improving the Quality of Healthcare]

BOGNÁR Ágnes

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[Renal care - possibilities of complex organ protection]

WAGNER Gyula, AMMA Zoltán, JUHÁSZ László, KULCSÁR Katalin

[The authors analyse data of the last ten years of renal care. According to the principles of care they prefer to have contact at least once to all patients with an estimated clearance less than 60 ml/min, and on a regular basis to those with less than 30 ml/min. Their fundamental ambition is to develop the most favourable therapy for the patients together with general practitioners and with representatives of other specialities. The most important aim is to reduce cardio-renal morbidity and mortality. Early detection and effective treatment of target organ damage are the tools for this. It is clear from their previous work that it was not successful in the first period of care (2000-2005) especially in patients with diabetic nephropathy. Before the initiation of renal replacement therapy only half of the patients have been seen by a nephrologist. One-year-mortality after initiating dialysis was significant among patients who did not receive such care. Their medication was also not up-to-date. Through regular continuing medical education for general practitioners and in close collaboration with diabetologist colleagues the number of patients taken care of has doubled. Furthermore, the proportion of patients with hypertension or diabetes as an underlying disease among the patients receiving renal care increased to 68%. These findings may contribute to that their patients receive effective treatment taking the actual therapeutic recommendations into account. Hopefully it will be apparent in the hard end-points at the time of the analysis of the second period.]

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[Waiting for a saviour - to the margin of a working paper]

KAPÓCS Gábor

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[Clinical outcome 16 years after the IFN-beta-1b trial]

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[Headache in everyday medical practice]

ERTSEY Csaba

[Headache is one of the most common complaints in clinical practice. The International Headache Society’s current classification distinguishes two major categories of headache: primary and secondary (symptomatic) headache types. The former types, which account for the majority of headaches, are caused by a functional disorder in a structurally intact nervous system and are characterised by stereotypical attacks that resolve - in most cases - spontaneously after a certain period, the duration of which is characteristic for each headache type. The diagnosis of primary headaches is based on a detailed history of the attacks and negative results on a neurological examination. At the first presentation of the patient, it should be determined whether a potentially serious or life-threatening condition might be present, whether the type of the patient’s headache can be ascertained according to the IHS’s criteria, and what kind of examinations are needed to establish the correct diagnosis. A detailed history is the cornerstone of the diagnosis of primary headaches and it cannot be substituted by instrumental examinations. The use of imaging and other examination methods is necessary for the diagnosis of secondary headaches, but if the patient’s history and the results of the neurological investigation are fully consistent with a primary headache type, instrumental examinations are unlikely to provide any additional information. Although establishing the correct diagnosis is often time-consuming, it is necessary for the efficient treatment.]

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Clinical Oncology

[Neoadjuvant therapy in breast cancer – an update]

KAHÁN Zsuzsanna, RUSZ Orsolya, UHERCSÁK Gabriella, NIKOLÉNYI Alíz

[Traditionally, neoadjuvant systemic therapy (NST) serves as treatment of advanced breast cancer to achieve technical operability by resulting in tumor regression. Nowadays, NST is advantageous in all cases if adjuvant systemic therapy is needed, since the in vivo study of its effect provides possibility for the estimation of prognosis, the treatment may be modifi ed according to the therapeutic response, the systemic therapy starts earlier as compared to adjuvant therapy, and fi nally, it may result in the reduction of surgical and radiotherapeutical radicality. The type of NST should be selected on the basis of tumor features refl ecting treatment sensitivity. In case of chemosensitive cancers, chemotherapy is taxane- and anthracycline-based, and the planned dose should be delivered prior to surgery. In HER2-positive cancers, the addition of an anti-HER2 agent doubles the rate of pathological complete regressions. In hormone-sensitive tumors, the standard neoadjuvant endocrine therapy consists of an aromatase inhibitor (postmenopause), or tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor combined with an LHRH analog (premenopause) for 4-8 months that is continued following the surgery in the adjuvant setting. For the early evaluation of the effect of NST, serial tumor biopsy or imaging studies (MRI, PET) seem promising. Sentinel lymph node biopsy around the NST should be practiced with prudence; it may warrant the avoidance of axillary blockdissection in some cases. For the design of radiotherapy, the initial stage and the degree of regression are considered.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The clinical importance of HER2 expression in breast cancer]

KAHÁN Zsuzsanna

[HER2 (neu/c-erbB-2) is a member of the EGF receptor family. It is activated without binding a specific ligand that leads to malignant transformation and tumor progression. Overexpression of HER2 is detected in approximately one quarter of human breast cancers. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization (FISH) are the most widely used techniques in studying HER2 expression. HER2 positivity indicates worse outcome in node positive breast cancer and increasing number of studies show unfavourable prognosis in node negative cases as well. Recent data indicate that the knowledge of HER2 status may promote therapeutic decision. The generally applied cyclophosphamide- methotrexate-5-fluorouracil (CMF) polychemotherapy seems to provide no benefit in HER2 positive cases in contrast with HER2 negative breast cancer patients. Interestingly, doseintensive doxorubicin based chemotherapy gives better results in HER2 positive than in HER2 negative tumors. Determination of HER2 expression has great importance before therapeutic application of the humanized antibody trastuzumab (Herceptin). HER2 overexpression usually correlates well with estrogen and progesterone receptor negativity and hormone-resistance, therefore hormonal therapy is not justified for these patients. Some experimental and clinical data indicate that in case of simultaneous HER2 and ER positivity tamoxifen worsens treatment results which may be prevented by the coadministration of tamoxifen and trastuzumab. Emerging experimental and clinical data about HER2 has led to a new stage of individual treatment of breast cancer patients. The knowledge of HER2 status promotes antitumor intervention based on molecular characteristics of breast cancers. Therefore, reliable HER2 tests are needed in the everyday practice.]

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[Long survival with multimodal therapy]

MÉSZÁROS Edina, LANDHERR László

[Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and leading cause of cancer death in women worldwide. Approxi­mately two-thirds of cases are potencially sensitive to endocrine therapy. Fulvestrant is a selective estrogen receptor downregulator indicated for the treatment of postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor positive, locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer for disease relapse on or after adjuvant antiestrogen therapy, or disease progression on therapy with antiestrogen. We are reporting here a nearly ten-years-long sucessful combination of multiple treatment lines of anti-estrogen treatment, chemotherapy and radiotherapy in a case of a patient with hormone receptor positive, HER2 negative breast cancer with pulmonary metastases.]

Hungarian Radiology

[Results of non-operative pathological breast diagnostics - One year experience at the Bács-Kiskun County Teaching Hospital]

CSERNI Gábor, AMBRÓZAY Éva, SERÉNYI Péter, BORI Rita, LŐRINCZ Margit, LÓRÁND Katalin

[INTRODUCTION - Non-operative cytological and histopathological assessment of breast lesions are part of the triple (physical, imaging and pathologic) diagnostic approach and allow a more precise planning of surgical procedures. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages; currently, core biopsy is believed to be more efficient in reaching the diagnostic target. PATIENTS AND METHODS - Breast specimens with a histological diagnosis at the Department of Pathology of the Bács-Kiskun County Teaching Hospital were analysed for their preoperative pathology, using the conventional C1-5 and B1-5 diagnostic categories. RESULTS - 295 cytology and 130 core needle biopsy cases were analysed. The rate of non diagnostic (C1 and B1) material was higher for cytology (0.18 versus 0.08 in general; 0.09 versus 0.01 for malignant cases). The rate of cases with an uncertain diagnostic category (C3 and C4 or B3 and B4) was also higher for the cytology specimens (0.24 versus 0.07). False-negative and false-positive cases were rare, but still more frequent among cytology specimens. CONCLUSION - Core needle biopsy performs better than fine needle aspiration cytology in the establishment of a nonoperative diagnosis at our institution. Despite these results, cytology continues to be the first diagnostic choice, because of its relatively low costs.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[CARCINOMATOUS MENINGITIS]

CSERNI Gábor, VÁGÓ Tibor, TÖRÖK Norbert, GAÁL Zoltán, VELKEI Tamás, SERÉNYI Péter, GÖCZŐ Katalin, TUSA Magdolna, KOVÁCS Katalin, SZŰCS Miklós

[INTRODUCTION - Carcinomatous meningitis is a serious complication of advanced stage solid tumours, which may become more common with improved survival. CASE REPORTS - A 53-year-old woman with a recent history of breast cancer (pT2pN2M0) had been treated by mastectomy and adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She presented with weakness, diplopia and vertigo raising the possibility of vertebrobasilar ischaemia or an intracranial mass. In another patient, a 62-year-old man with hypertension, a stenotic common bile duct had been diagnosed when examined for abdominal complaints. When he presented with a high blood pressure value accompanied by intensive headache, vomiting and bilateral hearing loss, he was thought to have a hypertensive crisis. The rapidly progressive neurological symptoms and the history of breast cancer and findings suggesting pancreatic head tumour, respectively, led to the clinical diagnosis of carcinomatous meningitis in both cases, despite any evidence on CT scans or a negative MR scan, though of limited value, in the first case. This diagnosis was confirmed by the laboratory and cytological findings of the cerebrospinal fluid, and also by the post mortem examination, since both patients died within a month after the onset of the symptoms. The primary tumour in the second patient proved to be a widely metastasizing diffuse type gastric cancer. CONCLUSION - Carcinomatous meningitis has a varying but characteristic presentation which generally makes it easy to diagnose, but it can sometimes present differential diagnostic problems. What we can learn from these two cases may help in recognizing this complication.]