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Clinical Oncology

APRIL 30, 2020

[Hormone replacement therapy in cancer survivors – Review of the literature]

DELI Tamás, OROSZ Mónika, JAKAB Attila

[Rapid advance in oncology leads to increasing survival of oncologic patients. More and more of them live long enough to reach either the natural age of menopause or, as a side effect of their oncotherapy, experience the cessation of gonadal function, leading to premature ovarian insuffi ciency, with disturbing vasomotor symtoms and long-term negative cardiovascular and skeletal effects. Thus, an ever increasing number of cancer survivors search endocrinologic help in the form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The misinterpretation of the WHI (Women’s Health Initiative) Study has lead to an irrational fear of female hormone replacement, both by the general population and medical professionals. It has seemed the logical and safe conclusion to many physicians to avoid HRT, supposing that this attitude defi nitely causes no harm, whereas the decision of prescribing estrogen alone or with progestins might bear oncologic and thromboembolic risks and may even lead to litigation in case of a potentially related complication. However, it was known even before the WHI results that premature menopause and hypogonadism decreases the life expectancy of women by years through its skeletal and cardiovascular effects, and this negative effect correlates with the length of the hypoestrogenaemic period. Yet, the oncologic risk of HRT is extremely diffi cult to assess. In this work we review the latest evidence from in vitro experiments to clinical studies. We group tumours regarding the oncologic risk of properly chosen female hormone replacement therapy in cancer survivors as follows: ’HRT is advanageous’ (e.g. endometrial cancer type I, cervical adenocarcinoma, haematologic malignancies, local cutaneous malignant melanoma, colorectal cancer, hepatocellular cancer); ’HRT is neutral’ (e.g. BRCA 1/2 mutation carriers without cancer, endometrial cancer type II, uterinal carcinosarcoma and adenosarcoma, certain types of ovarian cancer, cervical, vaginal and vulvar squamous cell carcinoma, prolactinoma, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer); ’HRT is relatively contraindicated’ for various reasons (e.g. leiomyosarcoma, certain types of ovarian tumours, brain tumours, advanced metastatic malignant melanoma, lung cancer, gastric cancer, bladder cancer); ’HRT is diasadvantageous and thus contraindicated’ (e.g. breast cancer, endometrial stroma sarcoma, meningioma, glioma, hormone receptor positive gastric and bladder cancer).]

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

AUGUST 30, 2019

[Electrochemotherapy]

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

Neuroscience highlights: Main cell types underlying memory and spatial navigation

KRABOTH Zoltán, KÁLMÁN Bernadette

Interest in the hippocampal formation and its role in navigation and memory arose in the second part of the 20th century, at least in part due to the curious case of Henry G. Molaison, who underwent brain surgery for intractable epilepsy. The temporal association observed between the removal of his entorhinal cortex along with a significant part of hippocampus and the developing severe memory deficit inspired scientists to focus on these regions. The subsequent discovery of the so-called place cells in the hippocampus launched the description of many other functional cell types and neuronal networks throughout the Papez-circuit that has a key role in memory processes and spatial information coding (speed, head direction, border, grid, object-vector etc). Each of these cell types has its own unique characteristics, and together they form the so-called “Brain GPS”. The aim of this short survey is to highlight for practicing neurologists the types of cells and neuronal networks that represent the anatomical substrates and physiological correlates of pathological entities affecting the limbic system, especially in the temporal lobe. For that purpose, we survey early discoveries along with the most relevant neuroscience observations from the recent literature. By this brief survey, we highlight main cell types in the hippocampal formation, and describe their roles in spatial navigation and memory processes. In recent decades, an array of new and functionally unique neuron types has been recognized in the hippocampal formation, but likely more remain to be discovered. For a better understanding of the heterogeneous presentations of neurological disorders affecting this anatomical region, insights into the constantly evolving neuroscience behind may be helpful. The public health consequences of diseases that affect memory and spatial navigation are high, and grow as the population ages, prompting scientist to focus on further exploring this brain region.

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.

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.

Lege Artis Medicinae

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[The pain-trigger role of cytokines in the nervous system – the direct analgesic effect of anti-cytokine therapy ]

HODINKA László, VERECKEI Edit

[Nociceptive, neuropathic and central me­chanisms are involved in the perception, transmission and processing of chronic pain and shaping of cerebral pain image. Alar­mins – molecules alarming defence and signing the presence of pathogens and tissue damage - trigger a series of pathogenic events resulting in inflammatory pain stimuli. Proinflammatory cytokines play a determining role in the pain perception at the level of the nervous system. Continuous inflammatory stimuli while sensitizing the periferic and central neurons activate the pain-related cerebral areas and develop the complex pain image, the pain matrix. Ce­reb­ral functional connections are operating in networks and can be visualized by functional MRI. Cytokines activate the neurons directly or indirectly by other neuromediators. Cytokine receptors are expressed on no­ciceptors and even on higher-level neurons and on various non-neural cells, such as microglia and astrocytes. The most ubiquitous cytokines are the Tumour Necrosis Factor and Interleukin 6 in the nervous sys­tem. The signaling pathways are the Nuclear Factor κB and the Janus-kinase enzyme system. The proinflammatory cytokines and the Janus-kinase are therefore primary therapeutic targets. Anti-cytokine biologicals and small molecular kinase inhibitors decrease the pain and improve functional activity in rheumatoid arthritis. Decrease of pain was more pronounced than expected only from the decrease of the clinical biomarkers of inflammation. The early and ra­pid painkiller effect of targeted biological and chemical-biological response modifiers is attributed to their direct analgesic effect on the brain.]

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2020

[Recurrent inhibition during Jendrassik maneuver]

LUKÁCS Miklós

[Objective – Conflicting theoretical models exist regarding the mechanism related to the ability of the Jendrassik maneuver to reinforce reflex parameters. Our objective was to investigate if vigorous handgrip would induce changes in recurrent inhibition of soleus motoneurons. Method – Soleus H reflex was evoked by stimulating the tibial nerve at rest and during bilateral vigorous handgrip, alternating single (H1) and paired stimulation (H2). At paired stimulation we used interstimulus intervals of 10, 15, 20 and 25 ms and supramaximal test stimulus. H1- and H2-wave amplitudes were expressed as percentage of maximal M-wave amplitude. Conditioned H2 wave maximal (H2max) and minimal (H2) amplitudes evoked at rest and expressed as a percentage of the unconditioned H1max amplitude were compared with the corresponding values obtained during handgrip by means of paired Student test and Bonferroni correction. Subjects – At the study participated 28 healthy volunteers. Results – The H1max/Mmax × 100 values obtained during handgrip (37.5±10.1) were significantly higher than those obtained at rest (27.1±7.4). The H2max/H1max × 100-va­lues obtained at paired stimulation were significantly higher during handgrip than at rest, while no significant diffe­rence was found between the H2/H1max × 100-values obtained during handgrip and at rest respectively. Discussion – The H2max/H1max is determined by both the excitability of the motoneurons and the recurrent inhibition elicited by the conditioning stimulus, while H2/H1max indicates only the level of recurrent inhibition. According to our results the Renshaw cells retain their inhibitory effect on the soleus alpha motoneurons during remote muscle contraction. Conclusion – Soleus H reflex enhancement during Jendrassik maneuver is not due to decrease of recurrent inhibition. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2020

[Objective measurement of manual dexterity of Parkinson patients operated with DBS]

SZÁNTÓ Ildikó, SÁNDOR Balázs, KATONA Krisztián, NAGY Máté, JUHÁSZ Annamária, BALÁS István

[The evaluation of hand dexterity is an important marker for the success of DBS (deep brain stimulation) operation in patients with Parkinson’s disease. In this study we applied a simple, semiquantitative optical dental plaque staining technique for the evaluation of the hand dexterity. Ten patient with Parkinson’s disease were involved in the study. After dental students aided tooth brushing, bacterial dental deposits (plaque) were stained then photographed, and quantified under standard conditions before and after DBS surgery. Our results showed a significant decrease in dental plaque deposits after DBS operation. This simple technique seems to be a routinely applicable marker for the evaluation of the hand dexterity. Our future plans is repeating the previous experiement on a higher number of cases.]

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.