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Clinical Oncology

DECEMBER 30, 2019

[Targeted and immune therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma: Predictions for 2019 and beyond]

MASATOSHI Kudo

[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 Oncology

AUGUST 30, 2019

[Role of calcium metabolism in malignant diseases]

MÉSZÁROS Szilvia, TAKÁCS István

[Calcium plays a key role in a wide range of biologic functions. It is involved in skeletal mineralization, muscle functions, nerve transmission, and hormonal secretion and modulate various cellular functions too. Lines of research, on possible association of calcium metabolism regulation with tumorigenesis have been extensively studied in the recent decades. Implying disruptions and/or alterations of known regulatory and molecular pathways can lead to severe, sometimes life-threatening complications. The shift in physiological regulation and pathological factors also affect bone metastases and hypercalcaemia in cancer patients. For this reason, it is important to know about the changes in calcium metabolism and its treatment options in cancerous diseases.]

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.

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.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[A forgotten physician in the history of Hungarian Psychiatry. Dr. Ferenc Klein’s biography]

SZABÓ József

[The Psychiatry Department of St. Raphael’s Hospital in Zala County celebrated its 110th anniversary last year. This important anniversary raised the idea of studying deeper than usual the life of our professional ancestors. We tried to discover the personality, character, and oeuvre of our first appointed chief physician Ferenc Klein while using historical recollections and press articles published by our county, city and hospital. An image of a prominent physician, psychiatrist, patriot and individual was emerging before our very eyes by processing the available sources. As a pulmonologist, a field surgeon, or a psychiatrist he was able to meet the expectations of his age. He was highly appreciated by his patients and the people of Zalaegerszeg. Despite his significant oeuvre and martyrdom, he sank in oblivion and his name was not preserved either in the history of psychiatry or in the general memory. In the present study, we want to commemo­rate him by collecting and publishing his biography. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

JULY 01, 2020

[The significance of the identification of SARS-CoV-2 virus and the possible errors of the sampling method]

NOSZEK László

[The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus while emerging suddenly and spreading throughout the globe challenged seriously also the modern medicine. Diag­nostic methods recognising viral infections of the upper airways developed essentially in the last 20 years, and it was specifically progressing during the SARS and MERS epidemics thus facilitating the recognition and identifica­tion of infections by influenza, RS- and adenoviruses as well. Nevertheless the present novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) also de­mon­strated that the relatively simple procedures of naso- and oropharyngeal sampling are fallible too. Thus they may have a relatively high risk of false-negative outcomes. However the correct sampling prior the RT-PCR tests provides reliable diagnosis by high sensitivity and specificity. Thus improving the quality of sampling and avoiding failures by correct training and education of the personnel make more reliable the detection of viral infection or indicate recovery after the infection. Finally, this is a key issue while overcoming the present pan­demic.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

JULY 01, 2020

[Persisting Hashimoto’s thyroiditis converting to Graves’ disease]

TÓTH Géza

[Graves’disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are the two most important types of autoimmune thyroid dis­eases. Autoimmune hyperthyroidism commonly leads later on to hypothyroidism. The conversion from persisting Hashimoto-thyroiditis to hyperthyroidism is rare in the literature. The author presents the cases of two patients, whose Hashimoto’s thyroiditis treated with thyroxin for years, changed into Graves’ hyperthyroidism sponta­neously. CASE REPORT – The patients had been diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism since several years. The clinical symp­­toms, the low peripheral hormone le­vels, the high level of antithyroid antibo­dies and the ultrasound imaging confirmed the hypertrophic form of Hashimoto’s thy­roiditis. After several years of high dose le­vothyroxin treatment, clinical symptoms of hyperthyroidism have appeared. After omit­ting the substitution, the thyroid hormone levelled off at high values and the level of anti-TSH receptor antibodies raised too. The diffuse, obviously increased blood flow of the thyroid glands, and in one of the patients the thyroid scan, confirmed the Graves’ disease. During the thyreostatic treatment, the symptoms of the patients disappeared, they became euthyreoid and the antibody levels decreased as well. The Graves’ disease and the Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have many common features. These immunological, ge­netic and other common features enable the mutual transition of these two diseases.]

Clinical Neuroscience

MAY 30, 2020

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: A single center experience and systemic analysis of cases in Turkey

USLU Ilgen Ferda, ELIF Gökçal, GÜRSOY Esra Azize, KOLUKISA Mehmet, YILDIZ Babacan Gulsen

We aimed to analyze the clinical, laboratory and neuroimaging findings in patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in a single center as well as to review other published cases in Turkey. Between January 1st, 2014 and June 31st, 2017, all CJD cases were evaluated based on clinical findings, differential diagnosis, the previous misdiagnosis, electroencephalography (EEG), cerebrospinal fluid and cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in our center. All published cases in Turkey between 2005-2018 were also reviewed. In a total of 13 patients, progressive cognitive decline was the most common presenting symptom. Two patients had a diagnosis of Heidenhain variant, 1 patient had a diagnosis of Oppenheimer-Brownell variant. Seven patients (53.3%) had been misdiagnosed with depression, vascular dementia, normal pressure hydrocephalus or encephalitis. Eleven patients (87%) had typical MRI findings but only 5 of these were present at baseline. Asymmetrical high signal abnormalities on MRI were observed in 4 patients. Five patients (45.4%) had periodic spike wave complexes on EEG, all appeared during the follow-up. There were 74 published cases in Turkey bet­ween 2005 and 2018, with various clinical presentations. CJD has a variety of clinical features in our patient series as well as in cases reported in Turkey. Although progressive cognitive decline is the most common presenting symptom, unusual manifestations in early stages of the disease might cause misdiagnosis. Variant forms should be kept in mind in patients with isolated visual or cerebellar symptoms. MRI and EEG should be repeated during follow-up period if the clinical suspicion still exists.

Clinical Neuroscience

MAY 30, 2020

[Early experiences in surgical treatment of thoracic disc herniation from posterior transdural approach at Neurosurgery Clinic Szeged University]

MÁRKOS-GERGELY Gellérd, WATFA Kerim, BALÁZSFI Márton, SZEGETI Andrea, BARZÓ Pál

[Background – Because of the rare occurrence of thoracic disc herniation and surgery needed treatment the used approaches and their efficiency are still subjects of discussions. In Hungarian practice, the most frequent explorations are costotransversectomy and laminectomy, but there are many other important methods available like thoracoscopic and posterior transdural approaches. This case report will present the benefits and the surgical procedure of posterior transdural sequesterectomy, carry out for the first time in Hungary at the Neurosurgical Department on Szeged University. Case presentation – A 50-year-old female patient with achondroplasic nanism has been operated several times since 2011. She suffered from a progressive, multi-segment affected degenerative discopathy and myelopathy. Finally in the background of the recurrent paraparesis was confirmed thoracic disc herniations at the levels of T8 and T9. The use of intraoperative electrophysiology was not feasable, because the earlier described cervical myelopathy. For this reason we used the posterior transdural approach, as the best and safest, visual control warranted technique. Conclusions – The posterior transdural approach offers an alternative option for experienced surgeons, furthermore in contrast with traditional, technically difficult to implement or special instrumentation demanding approaches this technique seems to be more efficient.]

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 20, 2015

[Earlier and more efficiently: the role of deep brain stimulation for parkinson’s disease preserving the working capabilities]

DELI Gabriella, BALÁS István, KOMOLY Sámuel, DÓCZI Tamás, JANSZKY József, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsanna, NAGY Ferenc, BOSNYÁK Edit, KOVÁCS Norbert

[Background – The recently published “EarlyStim” study demonstrated that deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) with early fluctuations is superior to the optimal pharmacological treatment in improving the quality of life and motor symptoms, and preserving sociocultural position. Our retrospective investigation aimed to evaluate if DBS therapy was able to preserve the working capabilities of our patients. Methods – We reviewed the data of 39 young (<60 years-old) PD patients who underwent subthalamic DBS implantation at University of Pécs and had at least two years follow-up. Patients were categorized into two groups based on their working capabilities: Patients with active job (“Job+” group, n=15) and retired patients (without active job, “Job-” group, n=24). Severity of motor symptoms (UPDRS part 3), quality of life (EQ-5D) and presence of active job were evaluated one and two years after the operation. Results – As far as the severity of motor symptoms were concerned, similar (approximately 50%) improvement was achieved in both groups. However, the postoperative quality of life was significantly better in the Job+ group. Majority (12/15, 80%) of Job+ group members were able to preserve their job two years after the operation. However, only a minimal portion (1/24, 4.2%) of the Job- group members was able to return to the world of active employees (p<0.01, McNemar test). Conclusion – Although our retrospective study has several limitations, our results fit well with the conclusions of “EarlyStim” study. Both of them suggest that with optimal timing of DBS implantation we may preserve the working capabilities of our patients.]