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Lege Artis Medicinae

APRIL 18, 2020

[Digitally-assisted treatment planning in precision oncology]

PETÁK István, VÁLYI-NAGY István

[The progress of molecular information based on personalized precision medicine has reached a new milestone. Actually, about 6 million mutations of 600 genes may be related to the development of cancer, and on average, 3-4 of these “driver” mutations are present in each patient. Due to the progress in molecular diagnostics, we can now routinely identify the molecular profile of tumors in clinical settings. By clinical translation, there are actually available more than 125 targeted pharmaceuticals and hundreds of such therapies are under clinical trial. As a result, we have many first-line and licenced treatment options to be elected by molecular information as the optimal one for every patient. There is an increasing need for complex informatics solutions by medical software. Geneticists, molecular biologists, molecular pathologists, molecular pharmacologists are already using bioinformatics and interpretation software on their daily work. Today, online digital tools of artificial intelligence are also available for physicians for assisted treatment planning. Telemedicine, videoconferencing provide solutions for interdisciplinary virtual molecular tumor boards, which democratizes the access to precision oncology for all doctors and patients. ]

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

APRIL 30, 2020

[Coronavirus pandemic – new challenges in oncotherapy]

MINÁROVITS János

[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.]

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

APRIL 30, 2020

[Development and 10-year history of a biosimilar: the example of Binocrit®]

AAPRO Matti, KRENDYUKOV Andriy, HÖBEL Nadja, SEIDL Andreas, GASCÓN Pere

[Patent expirations for several biological products have prompted the development of alternative versions, termed ‘biosimilars’, which have comparable quality, safety and effi cacy to a licensed biological medicine (also referred to as the ‘reference’ medicine). The fi rst biosimilars developed in oncology were the supportive-care agents fi lgrastim and epoetin. Binocrit® (HX575) is a biosimilar version of epoetin alfa, indicated in the oncology setting for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced anemia (CIA). The process for development and approval of Binocrit® as a biosimilar included extensive analytical characterization and comparison with the reference epoetin alfa. This was followed by a clinical development program comprising phase I pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic studies to show bioequivalence to the reference medicine and a confi rmatory phase III study to confi rm therapeutic effectiveness in CIA. Since its approval, Binocrit® has been extensively used and studied in real-world clinical practice. The accumulated data confi rm that Binocrit® is an effective and well-tolerated option for the treatment of CIA in patients with cancer.]

Clinical Oncology

APRIL 30, 2020

[Molecular residual tumor monitoring in solid cancers]

SZÁSZ A. Marcell, TOBIÁS Bálint, KÓSA János, LAKATOS Péter

[Blood-based diagnostics has long been used in the oncological practice of solid tumors, but its full potential is just unfolding recently. Quantitative measurement of tumor markers, circulating tumor cells, and some of their products or components have now become available and are part of a multimodal system that provides additive parameters in clinical decision making. The most challenging oncological questions can be answered by the detection, characterization and measurement of circulating free DNA (cfDNA), which, due to its growing importance, bears the potential of incorporation into routine practice. In this overview, we review the „blood impressions” of solid tumors and present the most promising results in different patient groups, especially in lung, breast, colon, and bladder tumors, which are also valid for other solid tumors.]

Clinical Oncology

APRIL 30, 2020

[Tumor induction by chemotherapy]

[Without chemotherapy, the fi ve-year survival rate of detected cancers would be between 0 and 15%, depending on the tumor, and between 17 and 85% with current therapy. Several warnings call attention to the dangers of chemotherapy-induced side effects, most notably the potential for tumor-inducing ability, which can affect 5-10% of patients who have recovered beyond fi ve years. Some systematically applied drugs used in chemotherapy (alkylating agents, etoposide, arsenic trioxide) are able to cause mutations in healthy cells of the patients, increasing the likelihood that the mutated cells will start a later (secondary) tumor formation. In addition to mutagenic effects, some chemotherapeutic agents exert their effects on normal myeloid and epithelial cells of the body, which, by altering the tissue microenvironment, create the potential for malignant transformation. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), which can alter gene expression patterns by tumor cell secreted factors and promote the survival and invasiveness of tumor cells by pro-carcinogenic signals, are very important in this process. It is of utmost importance that doctors, pharmacists, technicians and nurses working with cancer-causing materials do not come into direct contact with dangerous substances and wear appropriate protective equipment.]

Clinical Oncology

APRIL 30, 2020

[Biological clock and cancer]

VELLAINÉ Takács Krisztina, SZTANKOVICS Dániel, HOFFMANN Gyula, KOPPER László, GÁLOSI Rita

[In the present paper, we are giving a review about the circadian rhythm of the biological rhythm, its regulation and relation to tumorigenesis. The circadian rhythm is an approximately 24-hour cycle in biochemical, physiological processes in organisms from unicellular to vertebrates. This biological rhythm is generated by the synchronization of our endogenous clocks and the light as the main “Zeitgeber”. The nucleus suprachiasmaticus (SCN) of the hypothalamus is the region, which is considered to be the circadian “main clock” of the organism and is responsible for coordinating peripheral clocks in different organ systems. At the cellular level, the regulation of the circadian rhythm is basically provided by the so-called “circadian locomotor output cycles kaput” the CLOCK genes. The discovery of those cellular mechanisms was awarded with Nobel Prize in 2017. The CLOCK genes, acting on other effector genes, regulate diurnal rhythm of protein synthesis. More and more data are available, which suggest that there is an association between circadian genes and tumor development. Furthermore, many studies show a link between the shift work and the development of breast and prostate cancer and between mutations in some circadian genes and development of carcinomas. More data suggest a relationship between tumor metabolism and CLOCK genes and their regulations. Based on all these data, the circadian rhythm, so the time of day, may need to be taken into account during cancer therapy.]

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]

OSTOROS Gyula

[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

[Neoadjuvant and palliative drug therapy for bladder cancer]

MARÁZ Anikó

[The survival of patients with muscle-invasive localized bladder cancer is more favorable if they receive neoadjuvant or adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy before or after cystectomy. Based on the meta-analyses, in case of neoadjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy, the 5-year survival benefi t is 5-16%. The outcome is even more favorable in case of patients who respond well to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (pathological complete remission rate 12–50%). More than 3 months delay of cystectomy does not signifi cantly reduce the survival if chemotherapy is performed before the operation. Results of adjuvant phase III studies and meta-analyses are not so unambiguous as neoadjuvant data, but chemotherapy seems to infl uence favorably PD-L1 expression the survival, especially in case of pT3/4 and/or N+ (and high grade or margin positivity) cases. According to the recent publications, outcome data of patients have been effective in case of progression after platinum therapy, in or after second-line and in fi rst-line therapies for cisplatin ineligible, PD-L1 positive patients, respectively. Survival and tumor response data are very promising; in particular stages, they seem to be more effective than the previously administered chemotherapies. Current and ongoing trials are investigating the combinations of new remedies with other immunotherapeutic agents or chemotherapies as well as trying to identify biomarkers in order to further increase effectiveness.]