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Lege Artis Medicinae

APRIL 18, 2020

[Interrelations between antidepressants and diabetes]

HARGITTAY Csenge, GONDA Xénia, MÁRKUS Bernadett, VÖRÖS Krisztián, TABÁK Gy. Ádám, KALABAY László, RIHMER Zoltán, TORZSA Péter

[Diabetes and depression are frequent comorbidities. They are a heavy burden by themselves, however, as comorbidities increase additionally the number of diabetes-related complications, morbidity, and mortality. In the background of interrelations, there are both well-known and hypothetical mechanisms. The aim of the present review is to outline these interrelations between antidepressants and diabetes and to discuss the effect of medications on carbohydrate metabolism respectively. Anti­depressant treatment on the one hand may improve mood, cognitive function and medication adherence leading to an improved glucose metabolism, on the other hand through their metabolic side effects, they may worsen carbohydrate metabolism. Concerning metabolic side effects, selec­tive serotonin reuptake inhibitors are the sa­fest, while tricyclic antidepressants and mo­noamine oxidase inhibitors should be administered under close monitoring. Se­rotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors may deteriorate gly­cae­mic control via increased noradre­nergic activation. Novel antidepressants, how­ever, have a neutral or positive impact on gly­caemic measures. Screening for and temporally adjusted treatment of depres­sion may decrease the risk of comorbidities ge­nerated complications. While caring for diabetic patients with depression, one should consider metabolic side effects of antidepressants and close monitoring of carbohydrate metabolism.]

Clinical Neuroscience

MARCH 30, 2016

[The importance of anticoagulant therapy in patients with artial fibrillation in stroke prevention – summary of international data and novel therapeutic modalities]

MIROLOVICS Ágnes, PAPP Csaba, ZSUGA Judit, BERECZKI Dániel

[The most common cardiogenic cause of ischaemic stroke is atrial fibrillation which increases the probability of stroke five-fold and doubles case fatality. Based on international data the incidence of atrial fibrillation is approx. 2% however this rapidly increases with age. The necessity of using oral anticoagulants in the prevention of non-valvular atrial fibrillation related stroke is decided based on estimated stroke risk. The CHADS2 and the more predictive CHA2DS2-VASc scales are used for this purpose while the bleeding risk of patients treated with anticoagulant may be estimated by the HAS-BLED scoring scale. For decades oral anticoagulation meant using vitamin-K antagonists. Based on international data we can see that rate of anticoagulation is unacceptably low, furthermore most of the anticoagulated patients aren’t within the therapeutic range of INR (INR: 2-3). A lot of disadvantages of vitamin-K antagonists are known (e.g. food-drug interaction, need for regular coagulation monitoring, increased risk of bleeding), therefore compounds with new therapeutic target have been developed. The novel oral anticoagulants (NOAC) can be divided in two major subgroups: direct thrombin inhibitors (dabigatran etexilate) and Xa-factor inhibitors (rivaroxaban, apixaban, edoxaban). These products are administered in fix doses, they less frequently interact with other medications or food, and regular coagulation monitoring is not needed when using these drugs. Moreover several studies have shown that they are at least as effective in the prevention of ischaemic stroke than the vitamin-K antagonists, with no more haemorrhagic complications.]

Clinical Oncology

APRIL 10, 2019

[CDK 4/6 Inhibitors in Breast Cancer: Current Controversies and Future Directions]

SPRING M. Laura, WANDER A. Seth, ZANGARDI Mark, BARDIA Aditya

[Purpose of review: To describe the clinical role of CDK 4/6 inhibitors in hormone receptor-positive (HR+) metastatic breast cancer (HR+MBC) as well as current controversies and evolving areas of research. Recent fi ndings: Palbociclib, ribociclib, and abemaciclib are each approved in combination with an aromatase inhibitor or fulvestrant for HR+MBC. Abemaciclib is also approved as monotherapy for pre-treated patients. Key questions in the fi eld include whether all patients with HR+MBC should receive a CDK 4/6 inhibitor up front versus later line, impact on overall survival, role of continued CDK 4/6 blockade, mechanism of clinical resistance, and treatment sequencing. Summary: The development of CDK 4/6 inhibitors has changed the therapeutic management of HR+MBC. Additional research is needed to determine optimal treatment sequencing, understand mechanisms governing resistance, and develop novel therapeutic strategies to circumvent or overcome clinical resistance and further improve the outcomes of patients with MBC.]

Clinical Oncology

FEBRUARY 20, 2019

[Practical use of meta-analyses in predicting disease risk, outcome, and therapy response in breast cancer]

KAHÁN Zsuzsanna, TARI Gergely, ENYEDI Márton, HARACSKA Lajos

[Germinal BRCA status infl uences patient care both in early and advanced/metastatic breast cancer. Ideally, the patient should make the decision on the type of surgery or the avoidance of radiotherapy being aware of the BRCA status; based on the most recent clinical studies, this knowledge may infl uence the type of chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant, adjuvant, or metastatic setting or may raise the use of emerging targeted therapies. DNA-targeting cytostatic agents, mostly platinum agents and PARP inhibitors that act by inducing synthetic lethality, provide specifi c therapies in BRCA-mutant cases. The optimum place and sequence of these specifi c agents in treatment, however, are not known yet. International guidelines promote BRCA testing for the specifi cation of treatment strategy in all HER2-negative advanced/metastatic breast cancer cases (NCCN) or at least in all cases when, based on certain predictors, the presence of mutations is likely (ESMO). Recently, the methods employed for BRCA testing have improved immensely and are widely available through the services of various providers. For the identifi cation of the mutation, sequencing of the whole genes is needed, which can be achieved faster and more cost-effi ciently using next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms compared to previous methods. It is the responsibility of the physician to consider the possibility of BRCA mutations and to raise the issue of BRCA testing to the patient if the family history, the age, previous malignant disease(s) of the patient, or the cancer features are suggestive of genetic risk.]

Clinical Oncology

FEBRUARY 20, 2019

[Molecular subtypes and the evolution of treatment decisions in metastatic colorectal cancer]

RODRIGO Dienstmann, RAMON Salazar, JOSEP Tabernero

[Colorectal cancer (CRC) has clinically-relevant molecular heterogeneity at multiple levels: genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics and microenvironment features. Genomic events acquired during carcinogenesis remain drivers of cancer progression in the metastatic setting. For example, KRAS and NRAS mutations defi ne a population refractory to EGFR monoclonal antibodies, BRAFV600E mutations associate with poor outcome under standard therapies and response to targeted inhibitors in combinations, while HER2 amplifi cations confer unique sensitivity to double HER2 blockade. Multiple rare gene alterations driving resistance to EGFR monoclonal antibodies have been described with signifi cant overlap in primary and acquired mechanisms, in line with a clonal selection process. In this context, sequential analysis of circulating tumor DNA has the potential to guide drug development in a treatment refractory setting. Rare kinase fusion events and complex alterations in genes involved in DNA damage repair have been described, with emerging evidence for targetability. On the other hand, transcriptomic subtypes and pathway activation signatures have also shown prognostic and potential predictive value in metastatic CRC. These markers refl ect stromal and immune microenvironment interactions with cancer cells. For example, the microsatellite instable (MSI) or POLE ultramutant CRC population is particularly sensitive to immune checkpoint inhibitors, while tumors with a mesenchymal phenotype are characterized by activation of immunosuppressive molecules that mandate stratifi ed development of novel immunotherapy combinations. In this manuscript we review the expanding landscape of targetable oncogenic alterations and signatures in metastatic CRC and discuss the clinical implementation of novel molecular diagnostic tests.]

Clinical Oncology

DECEMBER 10, 2018

[Treatment of head and neck cancer]

KATONA Csilla, LANDHERR László

[Head and neck cancers cause worldwide a signifi cant problem in health care systems. Despite great advances in therapeutic modalities its prognosis has not changed in the past few decades. It is mainly caused by classical risk factors, like alcohol consumption and smoking, but in a signifi cant number of oropharyngeal cancers HPV infection plays a major role, which is associated with a new patient group characterized by a much better prognosis and therapeutic response. In the diagnostic phase staging examinations (CT scan, MRI, FDG-PET) are also involved which are necessary to multidisciplinary decision making. It can be largely infl uenced by the patient’s preference. The therapy is based on multimodality approach; surgery, radiotherapy, chemoirradiation, chemotherapy and the combination of these are used in early or locally advanced tumours. Targeted agents like EGFR inhibitors are partly used in the recurrent/metastatic setting or in combination with radiotherapy. Immun checkpoint inhibitors are new therapeutic options for pretreated, recurrent/metastatic patients and their role is under investigation in earlier therapeutic lines. Several clinical trials aim treatment desintensifi cation strategies in HPV positive tumours. Molecular genetic tests try to defi ne subgroups of patients to plan individualized treatment. Regarding the signifi cant functional and aesthetic damage of both disease and treatment, supportive care and rehabilitation are of great importance.]

Clinical Oncology

DECEMBER 10, 2018

[Advancing therapies in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer]

GIULIA Baciarello, MARCO Gicci, KARIM Fizazi

[Introduction: Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer world wide and is the most frequently detected cancer in the European Union in men over 50 years of age. Androgen deprivation therapy remains the corner stone of treatment for recurrent or metastatic disease. Unfortunately, nearly all patients will develop resistance to androgen blockade leading to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Over the last 10 years, new treatment shaved ramatically improved overall survival of men with mCRPC. Current therapies are basedon AR-axis inhibitors and taxane-based chemotherapies, aswell as radiopharmaceuticals and Sipuleucel T. Areas covered: The authors provide a review of the current fi eld of systemic therapy in metastatic CRPC. This is followed by an in-depth analysis of recent developments in treatment, and the biological rationale behind these therapies. Expert opinion: Since several trials with docetaxel or novel hormonal agents showed improvement in overall survival in metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer, aswell as in non-metastatic castrationresistant patients, it is expected that a growing subgroup of patients will be expose dearlierto chemotherapy and to AR targeted agents. It becomes then fundamental to fi nd novel strategies to over come drug resistance and further improve survival.]

Clinical Oncology

DECEMBER 10, 2018

[PI3K–AKT–mTOR pathway as a therapeutic target]

KOPPER László

[The PI3K-AKT-mTOR is one of the most busy signalling pathway, accepting and sending the message to the effector compartment. The pathway is very complex with activators (see the name), and inhibitors, as PTEN. Depending of the cell type this pathway participates in almost all functions of a given cell. The members of the pathway may have genetic failures, as a consequence, the risk for the development of different diseases, including cancer is high. Therefore it is logical to produce drugs to inhibit the dysregulated function. Unfortunately, despite the promising preclinical effectivity, so far only 4 drugs can be used to treat cancer patients. There are some hypothesis for the in effectivity, e.g. no useful marker for patient selection, high toxicity, false drivers for targeting. What is sure, combination therapy is much better than monotherapy]

Lege Artis Medicinae

NOVEMBER 15, 2019

[Hypertension in the elderly ]

BARNA István

[Elevated isolated systolic pressure is the most common and greatest cardiovascular risk factor with age. The prevalence of hypertension increases with age and ex­ceeds 60% over 70 years. Proper treatment of hypertension in the elderly, even in very old age (> 80 years), increases life expectancy and reduces the risk of cardiovascular events. For patients over 65 years of age, the target blood pressure range is between 130-139 / 70-80 mmHg if the patient tolerates the treatment. In elderly patients with poorer conditions, systolic blood pressure may be <150 mmHg. White-coat hypertension is common, nondipper ratio is increased, autonomic nervous system dysregulation is more common, and orthostatic decrease of blood pressure. The renal function is decreased or already impaired, often resulting in poorer therapeutic cooperation due to impaired cognitive function. The blood pressure lowering effect of targeted lifestyle changes may be the same as medication monotherapy, with the main disadvantage of decreasing adherence over time, for which a proper physician-patient relationship is essential. First-line agents for the treatment of elderly hypertension include angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), long-acting calcium channel blockers, and thiazide, thiazide-like diuretics. Beta-blockers should be used in the treatment of elderly hypertension if they have other indications (coronary heart disease, heart failure, arrhythmias). More than 70% of hypertensive patients should use combination therapy to achieve target blood pressure. Take advantage of fixed dose combination to improve compliance to optimize treatment. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

NOVEMBER 15, 2019

[Neuropathic pain: spotligth on amitriptyline]

FEHÉR Gergely, POHL Marietta, KAPUS Krisztián, GOMBOS Katalin, PUSCH Gabriella, MÁK Kornél, KOLTAI Katalin, BANK Gyula, KÓSA Gábor, VARJASI Gábor, TIBOLD Antal

[The management of neuropathic pain is a challenge both for patients and medical professioners. A novel approach is recommended for its management based on the novel neurobiological results of pain research. Multidisciplinary teams and medical consensus are required due to the variety of symptoms and concomittant psychopathology. This approach allows us to avoid extensive diagnostic and trerapeutic workups and appropiate treatment for our patients. Most extensive evidence is available for pharmacological treatment, and currently recommended first-line treatments include antidepressants (tricyclic agents and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) and anticonvulsants (gabapentin and pregabalin). The aim of our review was to collect articles focusing on the efficacy of the most widely available and cheapest tricyclic agent, amitriptyline in different neuropathic pain conditions. ]