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Lege Artis Medicinae

OCTOBER 21, 2020

[Atherosclerosis: an ancient process in a new interpretation]


[The progress of atherosclerosis starts in childhood and lasts until the body dies. Most cardiovascular diseases and deaths can be traced back to atherosclerotic vascular changes. The process is thousands of years old, but its complex pathophysiology becomes recognized and realised only nowadays. Based on the evidence available today, atherosclerosis is such a chronic inflammatory disease of large- and medium-sized arteries, which is characterized by lipoproteins and immune cells transformed through oxidative and other changes and subendothelial accumulation of extracellular matrix. Innate and adaptive immunity provide a complex regulating system of atherogenesis, which while directing specifically the pro-atherogenic inflammatory and atheroprotective anti-inflammatory processes intensify plaque progression or even stabilize them respectively. With our growing knowledge about the pathology of atherogenesis, we can further improve the identification of cardiovascular risk conditions and apply more personalized therapeutic strategies.]

Clinical Neuroscience

MAY 30, 2020


[Family planning in multiple sclerosis: conception, pregnancy, breastfeeding]

RÓZSA Csilla

[Family planning is an exceptionally important question in multiple sclerosis, as women of childbearing age are the ones most often affected. Although it is proven that pregnancy does not worsen the long-term prognosis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, many patients are still doubtful about having children. This question is further complicated by the fact that patients – and often even doctors – are not sufficiently informed about how the ever-increasing number of available disease-modifying treatments affect pregnancies. Breastfeeding is an even less clear topic. Patients usually look to their neurologists first for answers concerning these matters. It falls to the neurologist to rationally evaluate the risks and benefits of contraception, pregnancy, assisted reproduction, childbirth, breastfeeding and disease modifying treatments, to inform patients about these, and then together come to a decision about the best possible therapeutic approach, taking the patients’ individual family plans into consideration. Here we present a review of relevant literature adhering to international guidelines on the topics of conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding, with a special focus on the applicability of approved disease modifying treatments during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The goal of this article is to provide clinicians involved in the care of MS patients with up-to-date information that they can utilize in their day-to-day clinical practice. ]

Clinical Oncology

APRIL 10, 2019

[Metals and cancer]

VETLÉNYI Enikő, RÁCZ Gergely

[We often tend to forget about our environment when looking for the origin of a disease. Inhaled air, drinking water and food, substances in contact with the skin all have an effect on the human body. Metals are indispensable parts of our everyday lives, their mining, processing and use cause a continuous exposure to them. Metal exert their effects on the body in various ways. Many of them are essential for maintaining homeostasis, but excessive or harmful metal intake can lead to health damage, including tumour formation through multiple attack points. Metals substitute each other during different transport processes and in the structure of proteins, they cause oxidative stress and bind to DNA, thereby damaging it. Applying them appropriately, the proapoptotic effect of the metal compounds is brought to the fore, thus becoming a therapeutic tool for tumours. Nowadays, platinum(II) compounds are widely used as chemotherapeutic agents and there are many ongoing studies to fi nd metal compounds with an ideal therapeutic and side-effect profi le. The aims of this article were to draw the attention to the dangers of metals in relation to cancer and to highlight their diverse application possibilities in current and future cancer therapy and diagnostics.]

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

[Role of infl ammation in the carcinogenesis]

KOPPER László, TÍMÁR József

[Chronic infl ammation is an important promoter of the carcinogenesis of several cancer types and also an important contributor to mutagenicity beside the known carcinogens. Beside the continous regeneration of the affected epithelia chronic infl ammation provide a special microenvironment intra and extracellular environment which support malignant transformation and block emerging immune reactions. On the other hand, cancer is generating chronic infl ammation itself independent from its role in the carcinogenic process. It is due to cancer necrosis as well as to the production of infl ammatory cytokines. Cancer-induced infl ammatory reactions block antitumoral immune responses and continous monitoring of this process provide valuable clinical parameter of cancer progression.]

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

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

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.]

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.]