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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 Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

Risk factors related to intracranial infections after transsphenoidal pituitary adenomectomy under endoscope

XU Yifan, HE Yuxin , XU Wu, LU Tianyu, LIANG Weibang, JIN Wei

Background – Up to now, the risk factors related to intracranial infections after transsphenoidal pituitary adenomectomy remain controversial. Purpose – To analyze the risk factors related to intracranial infections after transsphenoidal pituitary adenomectomy under an endoscope, and to provide evidence for preventing and controlling the occurrence and development of infections. A total of 370 patients receiving endoscopic transsphenoidal pituitary adenomectomy in our hospital from January 2014 to October 2017 were selected. The risk factors related to postoperative intracranial infections were analyzed. The hospitalization lengths and expenditures of patients with and without intracranial infections were compared. Of the 370 patients, 18 underwent postoperative intracranial infections, with the infection rate of 4.86%. Intraoperative blood loss >120 mL, cerebrospinal leakage, diabetes, preoperative use of hormones, macroadenoma as well as surgical time >4 h all significantly increased the infection rate (P<0.05). Preoperative use of antibacterial agents prevented intracranial infection. Compared with patients without intracranial infections, the infected ones had significantly prolonged hospitalization length and increased expenditure (P<0.05). Discussion – It is of great clinical significance to analyze the risk factors related to intracranial infection after endoscopic transsphenoidal pituitary adenomectomy, aiming to prevent and to control the onset and progression of infection. Intracranial infections after endoscopic transsphenoidal pituitary adenomectomy were affected by many risk factors, also influencing the prognosis of patients and the economic burden.

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

Positive airway pressure normalizes glucose metabolism in obstructive sleep apnea independent of diabetes and obesity

KABELOĞLU Vasfiye, SENEL Benbir Gulçin, KARADENIZ Derya

The relationship among obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) and obesity is very complex and multi-directional. Obesity and increased visceral fat are important perpetuating factors for DM2 in patients with OSAS. On the other hand, OSAS itself leads to obesity by causing both leptin and insulin resistance as a consequence of activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Risk for developing DM2 further increases in patients with OSAS and obesity. Data regarding effects of positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy, gold standard treatment for OSAS, on glycemic control were inconsistent due to variability in duration of and adherence to PAP therapy. In our cohort study we investigated effects of PAP treatment on glucose metabolism in normal-weighted non-diabetic OSAS patients, in obese non-diabetic OSAS patients, and in OSAS patients with DM2. We prospectively analyzed 67 patients diagnosed with OSAS and documented to be effectively treated with PAP therapy for three months. Apnea-hypopnea index was highest in the diabetic group, being significantly higher than in the normal-weighted group (p=0.021). Mean HOMA values were significantly higher in obese (p=0.002) and diabetic group (p=0.001) than normal-weighted group; the differences were still significant after PAP therapy. HbA1c levels were significantly higher in diabetic group compared to those in normal-weighted (p=0.012) and obese (p=0.001) groups. After PAP treatment, decrease in HbA1c levels were significant in normal-weighted (p=0.008), obese (p=0.034), and diabetic (p=0.011) groups. There was no correlation with the change in HbA1c levels and age (p=0.212), BMI (p=0.322), AHI (p=0.098) or oxygen levels (p=0.122). Our study showed that treatment of OSAS by PAP therapy offers beneficial effect on glucose metabolism, not only in diabetic patients, but also in obese and normal-weighted OSAS patients. Although data regarding overall effects of PAP therapy on glycemic control present contradictory results in the literature, it should be emphasized that duration and adherence to PAP therapy were main determinants for beneficial outcome of treatment.

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.]

Hypertension and nephrology

NOVEMBER 04, 2020

[Covid-19 and the diabetes mellitus]

SIMONYI Gábor

[In late 2019 the epidemic of new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) from Wuhan, China, posed major challenges to the health systems of even the most developed countries. High mortality of the disease has been observed mainly in the elderly and in those with various cardiovascular and metabolic comorbidities. In this summary, the relationship between diabetes mellitus]

Lege Artis Medicinae

OCTOBER 21, 2020

[Epidemiology of diabetes mellitus and diabetes-related eye complications in Hungary]

TÓTH Gábor, NÉMETH János

[Diabetes mellitus is a disease of civilization and a leading cause of blindness among people of working age in developed countries. It’s prevalence is estimated to be 9.9% in the adult population in Hungary, based on this, the estimated number of people with diabetes mellitus was 807 000 in 2015 in our country. Almost every fifth people with diabetes mellitus has some form of diabetic retinopathy in Hungary. Among diabetic persons 0.3% is blind and 0.3% has serious visual impairment due to not adequately treated diabetes mellitus. The total prevalence-based diabetes retinopathy-associated economic burden was 43.66 billion HUF in 2018 in our country. The two major cost drivers were anti-VEGF injections and vitrectomies; they covered almost the four-fifths of the total cost among people with diabetes mellitus. We have to emphasize the importance of prevention, healthy nutrition and frequent sport activity in the fight against diabetes mellitus and overweight. With at least annually performed eye examinations in people with diabetes mellitus and timely treatment of diabetic retinopathy, visual impairment and blindness due to complications of diabetes mellitus can be prevented. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

[GLP-1 receptor agonists in the elderly]

WINKLER Gábor

[According to current guidelines of type 2 diabetes, treatment, glucagon-like pep­tide (GLP) -1 receptor agonists (RAs) are primary suggested drugs of the early antidiabetic medication, just after the first an­ti­­diabetic metformin. However, more and more arguments support their optional application in old age diabetes. These include multi-target strong glycemic ef­fects, low risk of hypoglycaemia, proven cardio- and nephroprotective nature of long- and ultra long-acting derivatives, multifaceted be­neficial pleiotropic effects, as well as the appearence of their fixed combinations with analogue basal insulins effective in weight loss and lowering the blood pressure. This study reviews specific aspects of blood sugar lowering treatment in the elderly and the potential benefits of choosing GLP-1 RAs in this age group. While presenting data of relevant literature and own experiences it is emphasized, that these preparations can be used safely in long term also in this age group.]

Hypertension and nephrology

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Post-career development of cardiometabolic changes and hypertension in competitive athletes]

LELBACH Ádám, KÁNTOR Márk, KOLLER Ákos

[Regular physical activity is essential in delaying the aging processes (e.g. arterial remodelling – stiffening, metabolism, bodyweight), the beneficial effects of competitive sports – especially strength sports – according to the recent data of the literature are questionable. The beneficial effects of physical activity on the cardiovascular (CV) system are well known, however less is known regarding the delayed impacts of high intensity competitive sports on the CV system, especially after the sport career is over. This review summarizes the effects of active competitive sport and the post-career period on the cardiometabolic system with special attention to the systemic blood pressure and the development of metabolic syndrome. After sport career, the welldeveloped high performance cardiovascular- and metabolic system suddenly is much less used, but still supported by sport-level diet. It is well known that hypertension is a significant pathogenic factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases, characterized – among others – by reduced elasticity of large- and medium- sized vessels thereby importantly contributing to the development of systolic hypertension. Inflammation and thrombus formation both play an important role in the development of vascular injury and atherosclerosis. The increased tone of microvessels can impair the blood supply of certain organs, including the coronary circulation. It has been ample shown, that regular non-competitive, aerobic exercise activities are important factors in preventing hypertension. Such pathological changes become more evident after the development of post-career obesity, as well as the development of hypertension due to the activation of the renin-angiotensin system through sodium retention and other metabolic changes (increased glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, type II diabetes mellitus). It has been ample shown, that regular non-competitive, dynamic aerobic exercise activities are important factors in preventing hypertension. The frequency, intensity, type, and time (FITT) principle of exercise prescription is the first and common therapeutic approach, which represents the translation of cardiovascular basic science research results into hypertension treatment, thus can provide a personalized physical activity program/therapy according to medical needs not just for the post-career sportspersons, but the wide range of patients.]

Hypertension and nephrology

JUNE 24, 2020

[Hypertension and Covid-19 – Part I. Significance of age, underlying diseases, and ACEI/ARB therapy in hypertension and co-morbidities during SARS-Cov2 infection]

KÉKES Ede, SZÉKÁCS Béla, NAGY Judit, KOVÁCS Tibor

[The appearance of the Covid-19 epidemic in different continents shows specific clinical features. Confirmed infected patients are detectable from approximately 30 years, with a maximum between 40 and 70 years of age. At the same time, however, a significant proportion of those who die from the infection come from patients over 65 years. The prevalence and mortality rates of the hypertensive population show a very similar formation. Based on the data collected, it is not surprising that hypertension as the underlying disease in the Covid- 19 epidemic is the first in all analysis. A more precise analysis clarified that it is not hypertension per se, but co-morbidities and complications of hypertension that play a primary role behind large-scale mortality in old age, such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and chronic kidney disease. Data from China, North America, and Italy suggest that hypertension and diabetes – and in North America, pathological obesity – in infected patients actually only reflect the prevalence of these diseases in a given population. The presence of comorbidities (coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, arrhythmia, chronic kidney disease) – based on multivariate logistic regression analysis – presents a more risk for severe clinical course and mortality. Some recent analyses have provided strong evidence that ACEI/ARB treatment does not pose a higher risk for the course or outcome of infection. Their administration is constantly needed in hypertension and comorbidities due to their organ protective and slowing the progression of diseases.]

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.