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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

AUGUST 30, 2019

[Role of calcium metabolism in malignant diseases]


[Calcium plays a key role in a wide range of biologic functions. It is involved in skeletal mineralization, muscle functions, nerve transmission, and hormonal secretion and modulate various cellular functions too. Lines of research, on possible association of calcium metabolism regulation with tumorigenesis have been extensively studied in the recent decades. Implying disruptions and/or alterations of known regulatory and molecular pathways can lead to severe, sometimes life-threatening complications. The shift in physiological regulation and pathological factors also affect bone metastases and hypercalcaemia in cancer patients. For this reason, it is important to know about the changes in calcium metabolism and its treatment options in cancerous diseases.]

Clinical Oncology

AUGUST 30, 2019


KIS Erika Gabriella

[Tumors with standard electrochemotherapy (ECT) has raised over the past decade from skin cancers to locally advanced or metastatic tumors. The procedure became a reliable alternative of other local tumor ablation methods, because of its patient tolerability, effi cacy across histotypes, and repeatability. ECT is based on the physical phenomenon of reversible electroporation; short electric pulses are applied to tumor nodules to achieve transient cell membrane permeabilization to otherwire poorly permeant chemotherapy drugs, which consequently increases cytotoxicity. At present recognized indications include superfi cial metastases of malignant melanoma, breast cancer, head and neck skin tumors, Kaposi sarcoma, primary and recurrent nonmelanoma skin cancers, and in well-selected patients mucosal oropharyngeal cancers. Emerging applications include skin metastases from visceral or hematological malignancies, vulvar cancer, certain benign skin lesions, and the combination of ECT with systemic immunotherapy. Thanks to the technical developments, the new ECT indications are deep-seated tumors, including bone metastases, liver malignancies, pancreatic and prostate cancers with the use of long needle variable geometry electrodes. Herein we review the present status of ECT from the basic principles to emerging applications, and report the effi cacy of standard ECT across histotypes.]

Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Prognostic significance of invasion in glioblastoma]


[Glioblastoma is the most common malignant CNS tumor, its surgical removal is hindered by the tumors invasive nature, while current anti-tumor therapies show limited effectiveness – mean overall survival is 16-24 months. Some patients show minimal response towards standard oncotherapy, however there are no routinely available prognostic and predictive markers in clinical practice to identify the background of mentioned differences in prognosis. This research aims to identify the prognostic significance of invasion-related extracellular (ECM) components. Patient groups with different prognoses were created (OS: group A <16 months, group B > 16 months), and internationally recognized prognostic markers (IDH1 mutation and MGMT promoter hyper-methylation) were tested in the flash-frozen tumor samples. Furthermore, the mRNA levels of 46 invasion-related ECM molecules were measured. Clinical data of the patients who have been operated on at the University of Debrecen Clinical Center Department of Neurosurgery and treated at the Department of Clinical Oncology showed no significant differences except for survival data (OS and PFS), and reoperation rate. All samples were IDH wild type. MGMT promoter hypermethylation rate showed significant differences (28.6% vs 68.8%). The expressional pattern of the invasion-related ECM molecules, i.e. the invasion spectrum also showed major differences, integrin β2, cadherin-12, FLT4/VEGFR-3 and versican molecules having signficantly different mRNA levels. The accuracy of the inivasion spectrum was tested by statistical classifier, 83.3% of the samples was sorted correctly, PPV was 0.93. The difference found in the reoperation rate when comparing different prognostic groups aligns with literature data. MGMG promoter region methylation data in Hungarian samples has not been published yet, and further confirming current knowledge urges the implementation of MGMT promoter analysis in clinical practice. Studying the invasion spectrum provides extra information on tumors, as a prognostic marker it helps recognizing more aggressive tumors, and calls attention to the necessity of using anti-invasive agents in GBM therapies in the future.]

Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

Late simultaneous carcinomatous meningitis, temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting with mono-symptomatic vertigo – a clinico-pathological case reporT

JARABIN András János, KLIVÉNYI Péter, TISZLAVICZ László, MOLNÁR Anna Fiona, GION Katalin, FÖLDESI Imre, KISS Geza Jozsef, ROVÓ László, BELLA Zsolt

Although vertigo is one of the most common complaints, intracranial malignant tumors rarely cause sudden asymmetry between the tone of the vestibular peripheries masquerading as a peripheral-like disorder. Here we report a case of simultaneous temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting as acute unilateral vestibular syndrome, due to the reawakening of a primary gastric signet ring cell carcinoma. Purpose – Our objective was to identify those pathophysiological steps that may explain the complex process of tumor reawakening, dissemination. The possible causes of vestibular asymmetry were also traced. A 56-year-old male patient’s interdisciplinary medical data had been retrospectively analyzed. Original clinical and pathological results have been collected and thoroughly reevaluated, then new histological staining and immunohistochemistry methods have been added to the diagnostic pool. During the autopsy the cerebrum and cerebellum was edematous. The apex of the left petrous bone was infiltrated and destructed by a tumor mass of 2x2 cm in size. Histological reexamination of the original gastric resection specimen slides revealed focal submucosal tumorous infiltration with a vascular invasion. By immunohistochemistry mainly single infiltrating tumor cells were observed with Cytokeratin 7 and Vimentin positivity and partial loss of E-cadherin staining. The subsequent histological examination of necropsy tissue specimens confirmed the disseminated, multi-organ microscopic tumorous invasion. Discussion – It has been recently reported that the expression of Vimentin and the loss of E-cadherin is significantly associated with advanced stage, lymph node metastasis, vascular and neural invasion and undifferentiated type with p<0.05 significance. As our patient was middle aged and had no immune-deficiency, the promoting factor of the reawakening of the primary GC malignant disease after a 9-year-long period of dormancy remained undiscovered. The organ-specific tropism explained by the “seed and soil” theory was unexpected, due to rare occurrence of gastric cancer to metastasize in the meninges given that only a minority of these cells would be capable of crossing the blood brain barrier. Patients with past malignancies and new onset of neurological symptoms should alert the physician to central nervous system involvement, and the appropriate, targeted diagnostic and therapeutic work-up should be established immediately. Targeted staining with specific antibodies is recommended. Recent studies on cell lines indicate that metformin strongly inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition of gastric cancer cells. Therefore, further studies need to be performed on cases positive for epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2020

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.

Lege Artis Medicinae

JANUARY 20, 2020

[Personality development in East and West, and some clinical implications ]


[Exploring human personality focused mainly on trait and state markers of behaviour so far. Nevertheless, the concept of the universal, culture-independent model of personality carries more disturbing difficulties: hardly understandable inter-cultural conflicts, culture-related mental disorders and scientific experiences with unexpected outcomes. It can be hypothesized, that beside personality concept represented by the Euro-Atlantic civilisation and mainstream psychology there is an alternative concept of personality. Opposed to the independent, autonomous ego concept of individualistic cultures, collectivistic (primarily far-eastern) cultures are providing an interdependent model. According to this model, the core element of personality are determined rather by social embedding instead of the person’s own characteristics, which are secondary to the personal traits and characteristics. This study attempts to briefly outline the concept of interdependent personality, with some illustrative clinical examples. ]

Clinical Oncology

FEBRUARY 20, 2019

[Molecular subtypes and the evolution of treatment decisions in metastatic colorectal cancer]

RODRIGO Dienstmann, RAMON Salazar, JOSEP Tabernero

[Colorectal cancer (CRC) has clinically-relevant molecular heterogeneity at multiple levels: genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics and microenvironment features. Genomic events acquired during carcinogenesis remain drivers of cancer progression in the metastatic setting. For example, KRAS and NRAS mutations defi ne a population refractory to EGFR monoclonal antibodies, BRAFV600E mutations associate with poor outcome under standard therapies and response to targeted inhibitors in combinations, while HER2 amplifi cations confer unique sensitivity to double HER2 blockade. Multiple rare gene alterations driving resistance to EGFR monoclonal antibodies have been described with signifi cant overlap in primary and acquired mechanisms, in line with a clonal selection process. In this context, sequential analysis of circulating tumor DNA has the potential to guide drug development in a treatment refractory setting. Rare kinase fusion events and complex alterations in genes involved in DNA damage repair have been described, with emerging evidence for targetability. On the other hand, transcriptomic subtypes and pathway activation signatures have also shown prognostic and potential predictive value in metastatic CRC. These markers refl ect stromal and immune microenvironment interactions with cancer cells. For example, the microsatellite instable (MSI) or POLE ultramutant CRC population is particularly sensitive to immune checkpoint inhibitors, while tumors with a mesenchymal phenotype are characterized by activation of immunosuppressive molecules that mandate stratifi ed development of novel immunotherapy combinations. In this manuscript we review the expanding landscape of targetable oncogenic alterations and signatures in metastatic CRC and discuss the clinical implementation of novel molecular diagnostic tests.]

Clinical Oncology

FEBRUARY 20, 2019

[Liquid biopsy in clinical oncology – fine-tuning precision medicine]

PRISKIN Katalin, PINTÉR Lajos, JAKSA Gábor, PÓLYA Sára, KAHÁN Zsuzsa, SÜKÖSD Farkas, HARACSKA Lajos

[The classical method of genetically characterising a tumour requires tissue biopsy with which a small sample is removed from the affected organ. This sample represents the tumour in the further analyses. However, the localised nature of sample collection limits representative characterisation. The so-called circulating tumour DNA, isolated from blood plasma after a simple sample collection, potentially enables the oncological analysis of all tumour tissues carrying genetic alterations that can be identifi ed as markers. In order to maximally exploit the potentials of circulating tumour DNA, we must adjust the analytical tools to its specifi c features. The preanalytical handling and storage of the sample signifi cantly infl uences its further usability. In order to be able to detect a potential mutation in a mostly wild-type background, the development of new, specifi c methods is needed, most of which are based on next-generation sequencing techniques. In the past decades, the pronounced decrease in the costs of such techniques led to an accumulation of an immense amount of genetic information on tumorigenesis. Due to the development of sequencing technologies, the turnaround times of tests also decreased enabling their employment in routine care besides research. Starting from our research, this can be realised via three approaches: technological development, the implementation of our already existing diagnostic methods in liquid biopsy, and the construction of well-planned disease-specifi c gene panels. Based on international trends and our experience in serum diagnostics, we are certain that liquid biopsy will become a central pillar of oncological screening and precision oncology in the near future.]

Hypertension and nephrology

OCTOBER 23, 2019

[Non-invasive evaluation of cardiovascular risk in pediatric chronic kidney disease patients]

BÁRCZI Adrienn, DÉGI Arianna Amália, KIS Éva, REUSZ György

[Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Similar to adults, children with CKD experience a high burden of traditional and uremia-associated risk factors. Recent years, several studies were published in connection with cardiovascular risk factors, patomechanism, and early markers of cardiovascular diseases. Early signs of cardiomyopathy, such as left ventricular hypertrophy or dysfunction, and markers of atherosclerosis, such as increased intima-media thickness of the carotid artery or increased wall stiffness of the aorta are frequently present in early stages of CKD in children. As prevention is important in pediatrics, the evaluation of subtle changes of the cardiovascular system provide opportunity for early treatment and that enables children to develop normally and have a better long-term quality of life. Recently, newer non-invasive cardiovascular imaging modalities have been emerged to diagnose subclinical alterations of the heart and vessels in this specific population with kidney disease. In this review, we provide an overwiev of the emerging imaging techniques used to detect early subclinical organ damage in pediatric chronic kidney disease patients.]