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Clinical Oncology

FEBRUARY 28, 2020

[Opportunities and challenges in online support of cancer patients]

B. PAPP László

[The online support of oncological care may increase patients’ adherence, and by this it can contribute to the effectiveness of treatment, the improvement of quality of life and physician-patient communication as well as to a higher sense of control over the disease. With the online support of supportive care, patients and their relatives can get information on what they can do in order to improve their conditions, how they can recognize side effects and alarming symptoms of complications, what kind of changes they need to make in their lifestyle and how they can reduce the level of distress. Though the positive outcomes are feasible in many cases, quite considerable number of reports in the fi eld do not meet the requirements of evidence. The online support of oncological care may offer considerable opportunities, however, it may further increase inequality: the more educated and well-off patients with higher level of health awareness may benefi t more, meanwhile for the ones at the bottom of digital divide, the disadvantages may increase. The Hungarian internet coverage and accessibility make the broader online support technologically possible, however, its effectiveness may be hindered by the lack of human skills. Therefore, it is a real challenge to establish such platforms that can be used by the broadest spectrum of society, they are comprehensible for patients and their relatives with lower education, but also satisfying for patients and their relatives with higher level of literacy and expectations.]

Clinical Oncology

FEBRUARY 28, 2020

[The treatment of the locally advanced and the metastatic gastric cancer]


[Although signifi cant progress has been made in the treatment of stomach cancer recently, survival results are still quite modest. The purpose of this overview is to take a look into the history of the treatment of locally advanced and metastatic stomach cancer and to present the current treatment standards. It focuses on recent changes in perioperative treatment, as well as the changing of treatment of metastatic patients. The use of multiple line of palliative chemotherapy and the place of the available targeted treatments in metastatic tumours will be analysed in detail. The increasing use and the future possibilities of immunocheckpoint inhibitors will also be discussed. Molecular subtypes of gastric cancer are also mentioned as possible indicators of the choice of therapy. Finally, it intends to give therapeutic proposals to make recommendations to treat the disease taking into account the opportunities in Hungary.]

Clinical Oncology

DECEMBER 30, 2019

[Systemic anticancer therapy in patients undergoing hemodialysis]


[The number of cancer patients receiving regular dialysis treatment is increasing. These patients could benefi t similarly from the regular anticancer therapies. Data of the use of antineoplastic therapies in this vulnerable patient population mainly come from case reports and small case series. The lack of knowledge and lack of practical experiences in this patient group may lead to suboptimal cancer treatment. Defi ning the indication for antineoplastic treatment and choosing the appropriate drug is a challenging task and the patients’ prognosis and quality of life aspects should be evaluated carefully. The timing of anticancer treatment and the dialysis is also an important issue in this decision-making process. Close cooperation between the oncologists and nephrologists is essential in the proper antineoplastic treatment of the dialysed patients.]

Clinical Oncology

AUGUST 30, 2019

[Beyond second line therapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer: a systematic review]

D. Arnold, G. W. Prager, A. Quintela, A. Stein, S. Moreno Vera, J. Taieb

[Background: The optimal chemotherapeutic regimen for use beyond the second line for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) remains unclear. Materials and methods: We systematically searched the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, EMBASE and Medline for records published between January 2002 and May 2017, and cancer congress databases for records published between January 2014 and June 2017. Eligible studies evaluated the effi cacy, safety and patient-reported outcomes of monotherapies or combination therapies at any dose and number of treatment cycles for use beyond the second line in patients with mCRC. Studies were assessed for design and quality, and a qualitative data synthesis was conducted to understand the impact of treatment on overall survival and other relevant cancer-related outcomes. Results: The search yielded 938 references of which 68 were included for qualitative synthesis. There was limited evidence to support rechallenge with chemotherapy, targeted therapy or both. Compared with placebo, an overall survival benefi t for trifl uridine/tipiracil (also known as TAS-102) or regorafenib has been shown for patients previously treated with conventional chemotherapy and targeted therapy. There was no evidence to suggest a difference in effi cacy between these treatments. Patient choice and quality of life at this stage of treatment should also be considered when choosing an appropriate therapy. Conclusions: These fi ndings support the introduction of an approved agent such as trifl uridine/tipiracil or regorafenib beyond the second line before any rechallenge in patients with mCRC who have failed second line treatment.]

Hypertension and nephrology

NOVEMBER 04, 2020

[The role of stress management in the care of hypertension and the treatment of cardiovascular disease]

SOMOGYI Éva, KISS Zoltán, STAUDER Adrienne

[The aim of this paper is to give an overview of the relationship between stress and hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, furthermore to introduce an evidence based stress management intervention available in Hungary. The correlation between cardiovascular disease and psychosocial factors (including concomitant mental disorders as well as personality traits or the effect of social environment) has been established in numerous studies aimed at investigating pathogenesis or various clinical endpoints. The 2016 Guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology include the assessment and the management of psychosocial problems with behavioral medicine interventions as a I.A level recommendation. The implementation of these guidelines in everyday clinical practice is crucial to decrease cardiovascular risk. This involves the training of health care professionals, the facilitation of multidisciplinary collaboration and the integration of behavioral intervention into everyday care. The Williams Life Skills (WLS) program is an evidence based behavioral medicine intervention aiming to improve stress management and communication skills which implemented internationally and also available all over Hungary. It involves the learning of simple coping strategies that facilitate the successful management of every day psychosocial stress situations and the self-conscious reduction of bodily and psychological tensions. In cardiovascular disease, this improves quality of life and survival. The WLS program is especially recommended for healthcare workers to decrease the negative health consequences of their high stress load and to prevent burnout. Stress may affect both doctors and patients during their interactions. Bálint groups have a positive impact on the physician-patient collaboration and help to reduce burnout by improving the understanding of the diseases from a more complex approach.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

OCTOBER 21, 2020

[Attitudes towards obesity in the health care system]


[Bias, prejudice and discrimination are part of the everyday life of people with obesity, even in the health care system. Obesity-related prejudices can lead to disrespectful, humiliating treatment of pa­tients with excess weight and impair the quality of care for patients. There is a bidirectional relationship between stigmatization of obesity and obesity: discrimination against obesity is frequent, while stigmatization experiences lead to additional weight gain and result in avoidance of health care, and health deterioration and increas­ed risk of mortality. The aim of the study is to raise awareness among professionals about obesity-related prejudices and dis­crimination, and to present strategies to reduce stigmatization of obesity in the health care system. All this will serve better care and may have public health significance in the long run.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

JULY 01, 2020

[Minority students in Hungarian medical training]

SZÉL Zsuzsanna

[General health of minority people is usually worse than that of their majority peers and they often expe rience discrimination in the healthcare system. According to international literature, physicians belonging to any minority group are more likely to care for other mi nority people, therefore they may play a key role in reducing healthcare inequities. Anonymous, online questionnaire was distributed to medical students of the four Hungarian universities with medical schools (response rate was 8.86%). In this paper, we analyze our collected data about perceived discrimination with descriptive statistical methods. Results of confirmative statistical analyses (statistical tests) were considered exploratory in nature. 29.6% of respondents self-identified as a member of any minority. 63.0% of minority students and 53.8% of women indicated that they realized discriminated or were harassed in the last 12 months, meanwhile, 37.8% of non-minority students and 31.9% of males have experienced discrimination. Dis­cri­mi­na­tion related to ethnic origin, sexual orientation and disability are regarded as the most widespread forms of discrimination according to our respondents. Students are most likely to say that there is no age related discrimination on the grounds of age – both being under 30 years old (12.0%) and being over 55 (8.6%). Being the member of any minority group seems to have no effect on student’s/ one’s opinion how widespread the forms of dis crimination are. Minority students are more comfortable to work with a member of another minority. However male students feel more uncomfortable to work with a member of sexual or gender minorities compared to female counterparts. Mi­no­rity students tend to be more critical to the universities’ efforts to enhance diversity. Minority students and females may play a key role in reducing discrimination in medical training and in the healthcare system and in providing high-quality care for individuals who belong to any minority. Although there are more females than males in medical training they still report higher occurrence of perceived discrimination. However, it is important to emphasize the low response rate in our study, which does not allow us to draw any general conclusions.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

JULY 01, 2020

[Treatment of hypercholesterolemia in the elderly]

BARNA István

[The percentage of population aged ≥65 years is mounting worldwide, among them those over 75 years is also growing. Athe­ro­scle­rosis is one of the most important and common disorder in the elderly responsible primarily for premature death and cognitive declining and impaired quality of life. Adequate lipid lowering therapy can decrease the risk of cardiovascular events – the main cause behind mortality – can extend life expectancy and improve the quality of life of patients. Effect of dietary treatment on cardiovascular risk reduction is as beneficial as in the younger populations. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular and overall mortality by 26% in males and 20% in females aged ≥65 years. If the medical history is negative for vascu­lar disorders, statin administration as a primary prevention is indicated for patients 65>years. In the population aged 75≥years individual benefit/risk assessment is needed before statin administration. Larger risk reduction can be achieved between 65-75 years than in subjects over 75 years. Concerning secondary prevention, statin treatment is of pre-eminent significance, and its administration is evidence-based in the elderly. For achieving the lipid goals, combined therapy with statin and ezetimibe is recommended in the primary as well as secondary cardiovascular prevention. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

JULY 01, 2020

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


[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

[Sarcopenia – muscle loss – pathomechanism, clinical presentation and metabolic comorbidities]


[Sarcopenia, or the age-related involution of muscle strength and muscle mass, is a serious public health concern, due to the growing number of elderly population caused by nowadays demographic changes i.e. prolonged life expectancy. By ageing, the muscle tissue is shrinking gradually, leading to the loss of muscle strength and masses. This condition is called sarcopenia. Sar­co­penia is the simultaneous decrease of muscle mass, muscle strength and functional independence. In parallel the physical performance deteriorates (weakness, slowness and poor physical balancing). Fatigue, el­derly behaviour and weight loss are the consequences of these accumulating deficits, which associate with cognitive decline and result in increasing social isolation. The primary form of sarcopenia is the decrease of the energy production of muscle cells and then the death of muscle cells. Se­con­dary, endocrine dysfunctions, diseases of the nervous system, decreased physical activity, malnutrition or malabsorption, chronic infection accelerate the process and aggravate the patient’s condition. Complex genetic, biochemical and endocrine mechanisms take part in the development of sarcopenia. This involution is due to the impaired balance of restoring and depleting processes of muscles. A questionnaire and algorithm have been developed to recognize, screen and diagnose the risks of sarcopenic condition; these separate the sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic patients with specific cut-off values. Sar­co­penia can be diagnosed based on walking speed, decreased handgrip strength and measured or calculated muscle mass in persons over 65. Sarcopenia can be considered as a phenomenon of “physiological” aging, however, it becomes a disease when diagnostic cut-offs are exceeded and the patient experiences functional disability and declining quality of life. Prevention and treatment of sarcopenia and reducing the risk of falling are based on regular active resistance and coordination exercises. Options for pharmaceutical treatments are limited since despite of identified molecular targets there are no convincingly effective innovative therapy on the horizon. Nevertheless, there are some weak evidence for efficacy of the application of amino acids stimulating muscle cell differentiation, such as leucine or the analogue of beta-hydoxy-methylbutyrate beside exercise therapy.]