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Clinical Oncology

APRIL 30, 2020

[Coronavirus pandemic – new challenges in oncotherapy]

MINÁROVITS János

[This review outlines some of the basic observations related to coronaviruses infecting animals and describes – in a nutshell – the characteristics of human coronaviruses causing mild or severe respiratory diseases in infected individuals. A special attention is given to SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of the current coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, and to the pathomechanism of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which is also accompanied with multiorgan failure in a subset of infected patients. Recently discovered unique molecular features of SARS-CoV-2 are described as well. These molecular cues may affect human to human virus transmission whereas they are absent, remarkably, from the other lung-targeting highly pathogenic human coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV) which did not spread all over the world. The possibilities of active immunization to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and the development of selective small molecule inhibitors curbing the replication of the virus are also touched upon. The review closes with a few remarks regarding the Hungarian and international recommendations concerning the treatment of SARSCoV- 2 infected cancer patients.]

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

DECEMBER 30, 2019

[Prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism in cancer patients]

[Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common and severe complication of cancer. Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are the second most common cause of death in cancer patients. Cancer, tumor-related factors as well as patient’s general condition and comorbidities are responsible for the increased risk of VTE. Chemotherapy is one of the most important risk factors for VTE, increasing incidence of VTE by 6.5-fold. In my paper, current guidelines for cancer VTE prevention and treatment are reviewed. Hospitalized patients with active tumor are at higher risk for VTE, and thrombosis prophylaxis is recommended in all cases. Extensive, routine prophylaxis for advanced cancer patients receiving chemotherapy is not recommended, but may be considered in high-risk ambulatory cancer patients (Khorana-score ≥ 3). Risk factors may change during the course of cancer disease, and the score should be continually reviewed and prophylactic treatment changed as necessary. LMWH is the recommended agent for both primary and secondary prophylaxis/treatment. Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are knocking on our door, but results from further clinical trials are pending to determine their exact role.]

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.]

Hypertension and nephrology

NOVEMBER 04, 2020

[Hypertension and Covid-19 - part II.]

SZÉKÁCS Béla, KÉKES Ede, NAGY Judit, KOVÁCS Tibor

[The authors review those components and mechanisms in the two major regulatory systems of circulation and inflammation-coagulation whose internal balance and interactions are pathologically altered during SARS-CoV-2 infection, thereby enhancing lung and systemic inflammation threatening to enter into severe clinical condition. They examine the question of how – in addition to potentially promoting the coronavirus cellular entry and penetration – the RAS inhibitor therapy affects these changes and whether can be supposed difference between the anti-/pro-inflammatory influence of ACEi and ARB treatment of old hypertensive patients representing a remarkably high proportion of victims in COVID-19 epidemic. The paper is focussing to the pathomechanical background of inflammation beyond the direct immunological response to the infection: to the significance of immunological alterations characterizing old hypertensive patients also in basic condition, and to the key components as angiotensin II, ACE2, angiotensin1-7, bradykinin, ARB and ACEi. In conclusion a consideration on optimal point of action is offered in RASi treated and SARS-CoV-2 infected (old) hypertensive patients.]

Hypertension and nephrology

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Treatment and care of hypertensive patients during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. Possibilities and effectiveness of telemedicine]

KÉKES Ede, SZEGEDI János, VÁLYI Péter

[The course and outcome of an pandemic caused by coronaviruses are determined by many factors, such as the strength and dose of the infectious virus, the immune system of the affected individual, the underlying diseases, the speed of virus spread, age and environmental factors and methods of control. In old age, there is a significantly higher risk of developing severe cases and fatalities. The rate of loss of life is particularly high in social care and nursing homes. Hypertension as the underlying disease is the most common cause of death, but hypertension alone is not an independence risk factor, but the main reason is the co-morbidities and complications associated with viral infection. In the epidemic situation, the treatment and care of hypertensive patients poses special challenges for health and active primary and specialist care workers and, of course, for hypertonologists. The Hungarian Society of Hypertension expressed its opinions and recommendations to patients living at home and to doctors performing treatment and care during the Covid-19 virus epidemic and summarized the decision-making possibilities derived from the data obtained during the telemedicine consultation. We would like to present the details of the possibilities provided by telemedicine, the practical possibilities and advantages of the different methods of teleconsultation, and the models that can be implemented in a domestic environment. We have taken into account international experience to date, the new e-health strategy for chronic, non-communicable diseases and the WHO concept. Telemedicine, continuous teleconsultation ensures an optimal relationship between the patient and the doctor, increases the patient’s sense of security, improves drug adherence. The doctor receives reliable data about the patient’s condition and can send him instructions as well as information. The development of a harmonious balance between personal contact and telecommunications already shows the future, and the application of these methods must be developed in the epidemic-free period as well. Previous international (TASMINH-4, HOMED-BP etc.) and domestic (CONADPER-HU) studies have proved that telemonitoring of hypertensive patients can be successfully solved, improves patients’ drug adherence, increases the target blood pressure achievement rate and at the same time the patient will be the active part of the treatment. The method is especially useful in rural settlements without a doctor. Telemedicine monitoring of elderly and multimorbid patients is especially useful in social institutions and nursing homes. It is solved the continuous control of vital functions, ensures continuity of contact with the supervising physician and in urgent cases, allows for rapid intervention. Telemedicine is also of great importance due to the lack of human resources, as many things can be solved with such technology, there are no need so many personal encounters. In addition to influencing the course of this pandemic, it also plays an important role in efficiency, headcount, management and “convenience” in general practice and in all formes of medicine. The proposed models can not only be applied in an epidemic situation, but should continue to be part of everyday health work in future.]

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.

Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Pompe disease treated with enzyme replacement therapy in pregnancy]

GROSZ Zoltán, VÁRDI Visy Katalin, MOLNÁR Mária Judit

[Pompe disease is a rare lysosomal storage disease inherited in a recessive manner resulting muscular dystrophy. Due to the lack of the enzyme alpha glucosidase, glycogen accumulates in the cells. In the infantile form of Pompe disease hypotonia and severe cardio-respiratory failure are common leading to death within 2 years if left untreated, while the late-onset form is characterized with limb-girdle and axial muscle weakness accompanied with respiratory dysfunction. Pompe disease has been treated with regular intake of the missing enzyme since 2006, which significantly improved the survival and severity of symptoms in patients of both subtypes. The enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) is safe and well tolerated. However, limited data are available on its use in pregnancy. Our goal is to share our experience and review the literature on the safety of enzyme replacement therapy for Pompe disease during pregnancy and post partum.]

Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

Acute effect of sphenopalatine ganglion block with lidocaine in a patient with SUNCT

KOCATÜRK Mehtap, KOCATÜRK Özcan

Short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing/short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with cranial autonomic features (SUNCT/SUNA) is a rare severe headache. At the time of an attack, it can hinder a patient from eating and requires acute intervention. The sphenopalatine ganglion is an extracranial parasympathetic ganglion with both sensory and autonomic fibers. Sphenopalatine ganglion block has long been used in the treatment of headache, particularly when conventional methods have failed. Here, we present a patient who was resistant to intravenous lidocaine, but responded rapidly to sphenopalatine ganglion block during an acute episode of SUNCT/SUNA.

Lege Artis Medicinae

JULY 01, 2020

[Avoiding unlimited energy drink consumption is a matter of our heart]

DOJCSÁKNÉ Kiss-Tóth Éva

[Energy drinks have been gaining unbroken popularity, especially among youngsters and children since they were introduced to the market. Manufacturers promise to improve performance and stamina with consuming the products, classified as non-alcoholic soft drinks. In addition to the vitamins and plant extracts, they contain a significant amount of caffeine and other stimulants (taurine, guarana). Among the active ingredients, caffeine has an outstanding effect and thereby a danger, since its overconsumption – in addition to milder he­mo­dynamic changes – can cause severe cardio­vascular consequences, cardiac arrhythmias, ion channel diseases, increased blood coagulation, myocardial infarction or reduced cerebral blood flow in susceptible consumers. Many case studies have also reported serious cardiovascular attacks among young chronic energy drink consumers. Health impairments of excessive and long-term consumption of energy drinks have been studied increasingly, however there is limited and contradictory evidence on the safety of consumption and the effectiveness of performance enhancement. ]