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Hypertension and nephrology

DECEMBER 19, 2020


[Arrhythmias in hypertension]


[Hypertension has been recognized as the principal and most common risk factor and underlies many cardiovascular (CV) conditions, including heart failure, coronary artery disease, stroke, and chronic renal failure. Different cardiac arrhythmias have been recognized as clinical manifestations of hypertensive heart disease, related to structural and functional pathophysiological changes of the myocardium, which may predispose to arrhythmias, most commonly atrial fibrillation. Both supraventricular arrhythmias and ventricular arrhythmias may occur in the hypertensive patients, especially when associated with left ventricular hypertrophy or heart failure.]

Clinical Oncology

APRIL 30, 2020

[Coronavirus pandemic – new challenges in oncotherapy]


[This review outlines some of the basic observations related to coronaviruses infecting animals and describes – in a nutshell – the characteristics of human coronaviruses causing mild or severe respiratory diseases in infected individuals. A special attention is given to SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of the current coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, and to the pathomechanism of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which is also accompanied with multiorgan failure in a subset of infected patients. Recently discovered unique molecular features of SARS-CoV-2 are described as well. These molecular cues may affect human to human virus transmission whereas they are absent, remarkably, from the other lung-targeting highly pathogenic human coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV) which did not spread all over the world. The possibilities of active immunization to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and the development of selective small molecule inhibitors curbing the replication of the virus are also touched upon. The review closes with a few remarks regarding the Hungarian and international recommendations concerning the treatment of SARSCoV- 2 infected cancer patients.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

[Lung cancer – a review of thirty years. Thoughts about the past struggles, the present results and promises of the future]


[In the past thirty years there was a huge development in the complex treatment of lung cancer. This development is due mostly to the last decade. Nihilism of lung cancer treatment is over and it is a reality that even patients in advanced stage turn out curable by appropriate therapy and their condition may be changed for a chronic disease while using anti-tumour therapy. Thirty years ago, the realistic life expectancy of six to eight months in advanced stage mounted nowadays significantly, and may surpass even five years in a number of cases. It required adequate diagnostic background, which provided the biomarker based treatment. In early stage surgical resection has a fundamental role, coupled with modern complex neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatment, while new surgical techniques also contributed to the improvement of therapeutic results. The same is true for radiation therapy. The same complex strategy is prevailing also in pharmaceutical options, which are dominated by modalities of cytotoxic chemotherapies and targeted immunothe­rapies. Multidisciplinary teams play a significant role in strategic decisions of lung cancer treatment. The future ways are indicating repeated innovations of tar­geted therapies and extended indica­tions of immunotherapy in terms of precision medicine. However, we must keep in mind also the primary and secondary prevention with effective smoking cessation programs and low-dose chest CT scree­ning applied as usual soon in the risk groups. ]

Clinical Oncology

FEBRUARY 28, 2020

[Non-surgical treatment of ovarian cancer]

PIKÓ Béla, LACZÓ Ibolya,, MARIK László

[The primary surgery with an optimal cytoreduction is an essential step during the treatment of the epithelial ovarian cancer because it determines the effectiveness of other therapeutic options as well. Immediately after the surgery a cytostatic infusion typically 40-42.5 degrees Celsius is pumped directly to the abdomen. During the systemic therapy the main point is the 6 months progression free survival because beyond this time the disease could be considered as platinum sensitive, inside this time as platinum refracter or resistant disease. The cytostatic treatment improved during the years from the alkylating agents through the platinum derivates to the administration of paclitaxel with several combinations of them and with more and more signifi cant results and less side effects. The most signifi cant targeted agents are the angiogenesis inhibitors (mainly the bevacizumab) and the PARP-inhibitors which prevents DNA repairs. In order to a PARP-inhibitor could be administered a platinum sensitivity is required while BRCA mutation not. Recently there are promising clinical researches with immunotherapy as well. The main benefi t of the hormonal therapy is the tolerability. Besides the signifi cant improvement in the systemic agents the role of radiotherapy is more and more decreasing, however the treatment of the whole peritoneal surface – mainly with the modern radiation techniques – could be an alternative solution for the chemotherapy. The palliative irradiation which relieve the symptoms could extend the drug-free period and the combination of radiation and chemotherapy could provide further possibilities.]

Clinical Oncology

FEBRUARY 28, 2020

[The treatment of the locally advanced and the metastatic gastric cancer]


[Although signifi cant progress has been made in the treatment of stomach cancer recently, survival results are still quite modest. The purpose of this overview is to take a look into the history of the treatment of locally advanced and metastatic stomach cancer and to present the current treatment standards. It focuses on recent changes in perioperative treatment, as well as the changing of treatment of metastatic patients. The use of multiple line of palliative chemotherapy and the place of the available targeted treatments in metastatic tumours will be analysed in detail. The increasing use and the future possibilities of immunocheckpoint inhibitors will also be discussed. Molecular subtypes of gastric cancer are also mentioned as possible indicators of the choice of therapy. Finally, it intends to give therapeutic proposals to make recommendations to treat the disease taking into account the opportunities in Hungary.]

Clinical Oncology

FEBRUARY 28, 2020

[Treatment sequencing in metastatic colorectal cancer]


[Metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) remains incurable in most cases, but survival has improved with advances in cytotoxic chemotherapy and targeted agents. However, the optimal use and sequencing of these agents across multiple lines of treatment is unclear. Here, we review current treatment approaches and optimal treatment sequencing across the fi rst-, second- and third-line settings in mCRC, including biological aspects affecting sequencing and rechallenge. Effective fi rst-line therapy is a key determinant of treatment outcomes and should be selected after considering both clinical factors and biological markers, notably RAS and BRAF. The second-line regimen choice depends on the systemic therapies given in fi rst-line. Anti-angiogenic agents (e.g. bevacizumab, ramucirumab and afl ibercept) are indicated for most patients, whereas epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors do not improve survival in the second-line setting. Molecular profi ling is important in thirdline treatment, with options in RAS wild-type patients including EGFR inhibitors (cetuximab or panitumumab), regorafenib and trifl uridine/tipiracil. Immunotherapy with pembrolizumab or nivolumab ± ipilimumab may be considered for patients with high microsatellite instability disease. Targeting HER2/neu amplifi cation shows promise for the subset of CRC tumours displaying this abnormality. Sequencing decisions are complicated by the potential for any treatment break or de-escalation to evoke a distinct clinical progression type. Ongoing trials are investigating the optimal sequencing and timing of therapies for mCRC. Molecular profi ling has established new targets, and increasing knowledge of tumour evolution under drug pressure will possibly impact on sequencing.]

Clinical Oncology

FEBRUARY 28, 2020

[Opportunities and challenges in online support of cancer patients]

B. PAPP László

[The online support of oncological care may increase patients’ adherence, and by this it can contribute to the effectiveness of treatment, the improvement of quality of life and physician-patient communication as well as to a higher sense of control over the disease. With the online support of supportive care, patients and their relatives can get information on what they can do in order to improve their conditions, how they can recognize side effects and alarming symptoms of complications, what kind of changes they need to make in their lifestyle and how they can reduce the level of distress. Though the positive outcomes are feasible in many cases, quite considerable number of reports in the fi eld do not meet the requirements of evidence. The online support of oncological care may offer considerable opportunities, however, it may further increase inequality: the more educated and well-off patients with higher level of health awareness may benefi t more, meanwhile for the ones at the bottom of digital divide, the disadvantages may increase. The Hungarian internet coverage and accessibility make the broader online support technologically possible, however, its effectiveness may be hindered by the lack of human skills. Therefore, it is a real challenge to establish such platforms that can be used by the broadest spectrum of society, they are comprehensible for patients and their relatives with lower education, but also satisfying for patients and their relatives with higher level of literacy and expectations.]

Clinical Oncology

DECEMBER 30, 2019

[Prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism in cancer patients]

[Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common and severe complication of cancer. Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are the second most common cause of death in cancer patients. Cancer, tumor-related factors as well as patient’s general condition and comorbidities are responsible for the increased risk of VTE. Chemotherapy is one of the most important risk factors for VTE, increasing incidence of VTE by 6.5-fold. In my paper, current guidelines for cancer VTE prevention and treatment are reviewed. Hospitalized patients with active tumor are at higher risk for VTE, and thrombosis prophylaxis is recommended in all cases. Extensive, routine prophylaxis for advanced cancer patients receiving chemotherapy is not recommended, but may be considered in high-risk ambulatory cancer patients (Khorana-score ≥ 3). Risk factors may change during the course of cancer disease, and the score should be continually reviewed and prophylactic treatment changed as necessary. LMWH is the recommended agent for both primary and secondary prophylaxis/treatment. Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are knocking on our door, but results from further clinical trials are pending to determine their exact role.]

Clinical Oncology

DECEMBER 30, 2019

[Targeted and immune therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma: Predictions for 2019 and beyond]


[Systemic therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has markedly advanced since the survival benefi t of a molecular targeted agent, sorafenib, were demonstrated in the SHARP and Asia Pacifi c trials in 2007. Treatment options for patients with advanced HCC increased by sorafenib, and long-term survival for patients with advanced stage HCC has become possible to some extent. However, development of a more potent fi rst-line novel molecular targeted agent replacing sorafenib and a potent second-line agent after disease progression on or intolerant to sorafenib has been warranted because sorafenib lacks tumor shrinking/necrotizing effects and induces relatively severe adverse events such as hand foot skin reaction. Many agents in the 1st line and 2nd line setting were attempted to develop between 2007 and 2016, but all of these clinical trials failed. On the other hand, clinical trials of 4 agents (regorafenib, lenvatinib, cabozantinib, and ramucirumab) succeeded in succession in 2017 and 2018, and their use in clinical practice is possible (regorafenib and lenvatinib) or underway (cabozantinib and ramucirumab). Furthermore, all of 5 clinical trials of combination therapy with transcatheter chemoembolization (TACE) plus a molecular targeted agent failed to date, however, the combination of TACE and sorafenib (TACTICS trials) was reported to be successful and presented at ASCO in 2018. Phase 3 clinical trials of immune checkpoint inhibitors and a combination therapy of immune checkpoint inhibitors and molecular targeted agents are also ongoing, which suggests treatment paradigm of HCC in all stages from early, intermediate and advanced stage, is expected to be changed drastically in the very near future.]

Hypertension and nephrology

NOVEMBER 04, 2020

[The role of stress management in the care of hypertension and the treatment of cardiovascular disease]

SOMOGYI Éva, KISS Zoltán, STAUDER Adrienne

[The aim of this paper is to give an overview of the relationship between stress and hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, furthermore to introduce an evidence based stress management intervention available in Hungary. The correlation between cardiovascular disease and psychosocial factors (including concomitant mental disorders as well as personality traits or the effect of social environment) has been established in numerous studies aimed at investigating pathogenesis or various clinical endpoints. The 2016 Guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology include the assessment and the management of psychosocial problems with behavioral medicine interventions as a I.A level recommendation. The implementation of these guidelines in everyday clinical practice is crucial to decrease cardiovascular risk. This involves the training of health care professionals, the facilitation of multidisciplinary collaboration and the integration of behavioral intervention into everyday care. The Williams Life Skills (WLS) program is an evidence based behavioral medicine intervention aiming to improve stress management and communication skills which implemented internationally and also available all over Hungary. It involves the learning of simple coping strategies that facilitate the successful management of every day psychosocial stress situations and the self-conscious reduction of bodily and psychological tensions. In cardiovascular disease, this improves quality of life and survival. The WLS program is especially recommended for healthcare workers to decrease the negative health consequences of their high stress load and to prevent burnout. Stress may affect both doctors and patients during their interactions. Bálint groups have a positive impact on the physician-patient collaboration and help to reduce burnout by improving the understanding of the diseases from a more complex approach.]