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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 Oncology

FEBRUARY 28, 2020

[Neoadjuvant and palliative drug therapy for bladder cancer]


[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.]

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

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

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 Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

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


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.

Hypertension and nephrology

JUNE 24, 2020

[Treatment of hypertension in patients with chronic renal failure]


[The prevalence of chronic renal failure and hypertension is steadily increasing worldwide. The risk of possible cardiovascular death in patient with advanced renal failure is greater than the risk of progression to end-stage renal failure. Therefore treating and achieving target blood pressure is important in order to slow renal function decline in parallel with cardiovascular risk reduction. However, guidelines do not specify a single blood pressure target to be achieved in patients with renal failure, but suggest evidence based, reno- and cardioprotective therapy. This paper summarizes the clinical practice of treating hypertension (drug and nondrug treatment, therapeutic algorithm, target value, effectiveness of therapy) in patients with chronic renal failure.]

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]


[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

JANUARY 30, 2020

[Current questions of multiple sclerosis: the secunder progressive form of the disease]


[Recent data suggest that long-term worsening is common in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients and is largely independent of relapses or new lesion formation on brain MRI. The current definition of secunder progressive multiple sclerosis is worsening of disability independent of relapses over at least 6-month interval. Early focal inflammatory disease activity and spinal cord lesion are predictors of very-long term disease outcomes in relapse - onset multiple sclerosis. The potential of PET imaging to visualize hidden inflammation in MS brain in vivo is an important contribution for better understanding the progression of the disease. Therefore, PET imaging is a promising tool in detecting the conversion from relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis to secunder progressive form of multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, neuro-axonal damage is the pathological substrate of permanent disability in different neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis. The neurofilament proteins have promise in this context because their levels rise upon neuro-axonal damage not only in the cerebrospinal fluid but also in blood. Patients with increased serum levels of neurofilament at baseline, independent of other clinical and MRI variables, experience significantly more brain and spinal cord volume loss over 2 years and 5 years of follow-up. The kynurenine-pathway abnormalities may be associated with the swich from early-mild stage multiple sclerosis to debilitating progressive forms of the disease. Analysis of these metabolites in serum may have application as multiple sclerosis disease biomarkers. Free radical action has been suggested as a causal factor in the illness. Increased free radical production and consumption of the scavenger molecules were found during the active phase of the disease. Based on the clinical findings (EXPAND Study) and pathomechanism of the disease siponimod is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of relapsing remitting forms of multiple sclerosis, to include secunder progressive multiple sclerosis with active disease, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and clinically isolated syndrome.]