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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 Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

TLR4 (Toll-like receptor-4) expression and frontal-cingulate volumes in schizophrenia

LI Hua, KÉRI Szabolcs

Evidence suggests that pathogen-associated pattern recognition receptors (Toll-like receptors, TLRs) are implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. TLRs are important in both peripheral immune responses and neuronal plasticity. However, the relationship between peripheral TLR expression and regional brain volumes is unknown in schizophrenia. We therefore assessed 30 drug-naïve, first-episode patients with schizophrenia. TLR4+/TLR1+ monocytes were measured using flow-cytometry. High resolution magnetic resonance images (T1 MRI) were obtained and analyzed with FreeSurfer. Results revealed significant negative correlations between the percentage of TLR4+ monocytes, mean fluorescent intensities, and brain volumes in frontal and anterior cingulate regions. The measures of TLR1+ monocytes did not show significant relationships with regional brain volumes. These results raise the possibility that abnormal TLR-activation is associated with decreased brain volumes in schizophrenia.

Lege Artis Medicinae

JULY 01, 2020

[Persisting Hashimoto’s thyroiditis converting to Graves’ disease]


[Graves’disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are the two most important types of autoimmune thyroid dis­eases. Autoimmune hyperthyroidism commonly leads later on to hypothyroidism. The conversion from persisting Hashimoto-thyroiditis to hyperthyroidism is rare in the literature. The author presents the cases of two patients, whose Hashimoto’s thyroiditis treated with thyroxin for years, changed into Graves’ hyperthyroidism sponta­neously. CASE REPORT – The patients had been diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism since several years. The clinical symp­­toms, the low peripheral hormone le­vels, the high level of antithyroid antibo­dies and the ultrasound imaging confirmed the hypertrophic form of Hashimoto’s thy­roiditis. After several years of high dose le­vothyroxin treatment, clinical symptoms of hyperthyroidism have appeared. After omit­ting the substitution, the thyroid hormone levelled off at high values and the level of anti-TSH receptor antibodies raised too. The diffuse, obviously increased blood flow of the thyroid glands, and in one of the patients the thyroid scan, confirmed the Graves’ disease. During the thyreostatic treatment, the symptoms of the patients disappeared, they became euthyreoid and the antibody levels decreased as well. The Graves’ disease and the Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have many common features. These immunological, ge­netic and other common features enable the mutual transition of these two diseases.]

Hypertension and nephrology

JUNE 24, 2020

[Covid-19 and the kidney]

PATÓ Éva, DEÁK György

[Covid-19 pandemy has emerged from Wuhan, China in December 2019. The infection affects not only the lung but other organs such as the kidney, as well. The relation between Covid-19 infection and the kidney is bidirectional. On one hand, Covid-19 infection may cause kidney damage in 50-75% of the cases resulting in proteinuria, haematuria and acute kidney injury (AKI). The etiology of AKI is multifactorial. Main pathogenic mechanisms are direct proximal tubular cell damage, sepsis-related haemodinamic derangement, citokine storm and hypercoagulability. The virus enters proximal tubular cells and podocytes via the ACE2 receptor followed by multiplication in the lysomes and consequential cell lesion. Histopathology shows acute tubular necrosis and acute tubulointerstitial nephritis. AKI is a strong predictor of mortality in critically ill patients. On the other hand, the risk of Covid-19 infection and mortality is substantially increased in patients with chronic kidney disease – especially in those with a kidney transplant or on dialysis – due to their immunocompromised status. Among haemodialysis patients, infection may spread very easily due to the possibility of getting contacted in the ambulance car or at the dialysis unit. The mortality rate of patients on renal replacement therapy with Covid-19 infection is 20-35%. In order to avoid mass infection it is obligatory to employ preventive measures and implement restricions along with (cohors) isolation of infected patients. In Hungary, every dialysis or kidney transplant patient with Covid-19 infection should be admitted to dedicated Covid-19 wards.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

APRIL 18, 2020

[What is worth to know about COVID-19 for (not only) a cardiologist]

HEPP Tamás, CSÉKE Balázs, BENCZÚR Béla

[SARS-CoV-2 virus infection sprang from Wuhan the capital of the Chinese Hubei province, at the end of 2019 and caused a worldwide pandemic with 1.5 million confirmed cases and claimed almost 100 000 victims until the beginning of April, 2020. First analyses of Chinese COVID-patients confirmed that diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases were highly prevalent among SARS-CoV2 infected patients, and might be associated with poor outcome. As previously shown for SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2 similarly utilizes ACE2 as receptor for viral alveolar cell entry. A suspicion has arisen that the widely used ACE-inhibitor/ARB therapy could be potentially harmful for patients suffering from COVID-19 infection as these agents upregulate the ACE2-expressions. From the other point RAAS-blockade might be beneficial due to fact that ACE2 counters the deleterious effects of Angiotensin II. Authors provide a comprehensive over­view of the most recent literature and summarize the link between COVID-19 and car­diovascular disease. It is important to em­phasize that there are no available hu­man evidences confirming if the RAAS-in­hi­bitor therapy were harmful or helpful in pa­tients suffering from COVID-19.]

Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2020

Myasthenia gravis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, or both?

ERDOGAN Cagdas, TEKIN Selma, ÜNLÜTÜRK Zeynep, GEDIK Korkut Derya

Myasthenia gravis (MG) and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) are autoimmune disorders that may cause weakness in the extremities. The coexistence of MG and GBS in the same patient has rarely been reported previously. A 52-year-old male presenting with ptosis of the left eye that worsened with fatigue, especially toward evening, was evaluated in our outpatient department. His acetylcholine receptor antibody results were positive, supporting the diagnosis of MG. His medical history revealed a post-infectious acute onset of weakness in four extremities, difficulty in swallowing and respiratory failure, which was compatible with a myasthenic crisis; however, his nerve conduction studies and albuminocytologic dissociation at the time were compatible with GBS. With this case report, we aimed to mention this rare coincidental state, discuss possible diagnoses and review all other similar cases in the literature with their main features.

Clinical Oncology

APRIL 10, 2019

[CDK 4/6 Inhibitors in Breast Cancer: Current Controversies and Future Directions]


[Purpose of review: To describe the clinical role of CDK 4/6 inhibitors in hormone receptor-positive (HR+) metastatic breast cancer (HR+MBC) as well as current controversies and evolving areas of research. Recent fi ndings: Palbociclib, ribociclib, and abemaciclib are each approved in combination with an aromatase inhibitor or fulvestrant for HR+MBC. Abemaciclib is also approved as monotherapy for pre-treated patients. Key questions in the fi eld include whether all patients with HR+MBC should receive a CDK 4/6 inhibitor up front versus later line, impact on overall survival, role of continued CDK 4/6 blockade, mechanism of clinical resistance, and treatment sequencing. Summary: The development of CDK 4/6 inhibitors has changed the therapeutic management of HR+MBC. Additional research is needed to determine optimal treatment sequencing, understand mechanisms governing resistance, and develop novel therapeutic strategies to circumvent or overcome clinical resistance and further improve the outcomes of patients with MBC.]

Clinical Oncology

APRIL 10, 2019

[Current views on the male breast cancer]

BAKI Márta

[Breast cancer in men is a rare disease, and accounts for only 1% of all diagnosed breast cancers. Hungarian incidence by available data much higher. The greatest risk factor of male breast cancer the elevated estrogen concentration in the body. Genetic disorders, as a Klinefelter syndrome and estrogen exposures and other metabolic changes might cause the male breast cancer. Symptom duration is longer than female population and the male breast cancers diagnosed in older ages and advanced stages. Frequency of BRCA2 mutation is probably 10% among male patients. The most common type is invasive ductal carcinoma with estrogen and progesterone receptor positivity. Diagnostic, surgical, radiation procedures and chemotherapy probably same as female breast cancer. The guidelines recommend as in adjuvant and curative setting the tamoxifen and other selective estrogen receptor modulators treatment. By large nation based registry the survival rate is different from male and female breast cancers. New biomarkers, genetic changes are under investigation to understand munch better the male breast cancer.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

NOVEMBER 15, 2019

[Hypertension in the elderly ]

BARNA István

[Elevated isolated systolic pressure is the most common and greatest cardiovascular risk factor with age. The prevalence of hypertension increases with age and ex­ceeds 60% over 70 years. Proper treatment of hypertension in the elderly, even in very old age (> 80 years), increases life expectancy and reduces the risk of cardiovascular events. For patients over 65 years of age, the target blood pressure range is between 130-139 / 70-80 mmHg if the patient tolerates the treatment. In elderly patients with poorer conditions, systolic blood pressure may be <150 mmHg. White-coat hypertension is common, nondipper ratio is increased, autonomic nervous system dysregulation is more common, and orthostatic decrease of blood pressure. The renal function is decreased or already impaired, often resulting in poorer therapeutic cooperation due to impaired cognitive function. The blood pressure lowering effect of targeted lifestyle changes may be the same as medication monotherapy, with the main disadvantage of decreasing adherence over time, for which a proper physician-patient relationship is essential. First-line agents for the treatment of elderly hypertension include angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), long-acting calcium channel blockers, and thiazide, thiazide-like diuretics. Beta-blockers should be used in the treatment of elderly hypertension if they have other indications (coronary heart disease, heart failure, arrhythmias). More than 70% of hypertensive patients should use combination therapy to achieve target blood pressure. Take advantage of fixed dose combination to improve compliance to optimize treatment. ]