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(1/20433) Tumour ablation and hepatic decompensation rates in multi-agent chemoembolization of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Thirty-seven cirrhotic patients with 62 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) foci--most Child-Pugh class B or C and/or with large, inoperable tumours--underwent 148 sessions of transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) using lipiodol, doxorubicin and cisplatin. Treatment efficacy was assessed by serial hepatic arteriography in 34/37 (91.9%) patients and abdominal CT scanning in 3/37 (8.1%) patients. Child-Pugh status was determined prior to each treatment session. Varying degrees of control of tumour neovascularity occurred for a median 390 days (range 90 to > 1680 days) in 33/34 (97.1%) patients in whom progress hepatic arteriography was performed. Ablation of tumour neovascularity occurred in 6/6 (100%), 4/12 (33.3%) and 6/16 (37.5%) patients with HCC diameters < 4 cm, 4-7 cm and > 8 cm, respectively (p < 0.02). Significantly more sessions were required for ablation of larger tumours (p < 0.05). Recurrent HCC was detected in 50% of patients after a median 240 days (range 60-1120 days). Deterioration in Child-Pugh status followed a session of TACE on 19/148 (12.8%) occasions but resulted in unscheduled hospitalization on only 4/148 (2.7%) occasions, the highest incidence (8.3%) in Child-Pugh C patients. Actuarial survival was 27/36 (75.0%) at 6 months, 17/34 (50.0%) at 12 months, 14/34 (41.2%) at 18 months, 9/31 (29.0%) at 24 months and 4/27 (14.8%) at 36 months. Multi-agent TACE with lipiodol, doxorubicin and cisplatin provides a useful anti-tumour effect, even in cirrhotic patients with large HCCs. The incidence of clinically significant deterioration in hepatic function due to ischaemia of non-tumorous liver is acceptably low, even in Child-Pugh C patients.  (+info)

(2/20433) Intensive weekly chemotherapy is not effective in advanced pancreatic cancer patients: a report from the Italian Group for the Study of Digestive Tract Cancer (GISCAD).

Twenty-two patients, with locally advanced unresectable and/or metastatic pancreatic carcinoma, received weekly administration of cisplatin 40 mg m(-2), 5-fluorouracil 500 mg m(-2), epidoxorubicin 35 mg m(-2), 6S stereoisomer of leucovorin 250 mg m(-2) and glutathione 1.5 mg m(-2), supported by a daily administration of lenograstim at a dose of 5 microg kg(-1). Nineteen patients were men and three were women. Median age was 63 years (range 47-70). At study entry, pain was present in 15 out of 22 patients (68%) with a mean value of Scott-Huskisson scale of 27.6+/-23.8, whereas a weight loss >10% was present in 15 patients. After eight weekly treatments, three partial responses were achieved for a response rate of 13% (95% CI 0-26%), five patients had stable disease and 14 progressed on therapy. Pain was present in 9 out of 22 patients (40%) with a mean value of Scott-Huskisson scale of 12.3+/-18.4. Eight patients (36%) (three partial response and five stable disease) had a positive weight change. Toxicity was mild: WHO grade III or IV toxicity was recorded in terms of anaemia in 7 out of 188 cycles (3.7%), of neutropenia in 9 out of 188 cycles (4.7%) and of thrombocytopenia in 3 out of 188 cycles (1.5%). Median survival of all patients was 6 months. The outcome of this intensive chemotherapy regimen does not support its use in pancreatic cancer.  (+info)

(3/20433) Early death during chemotherapy in patients with small-cell lung cancer: derivation of a prognostic index for toxic death and progression.

Based on an increased frequency of early death (death within the first treatment cycle) in our two latest randomized trials of combination chemotherapy in small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), we wanted to identify patients at risk of early non-toxic death (ENTD) and early toxic death (ETD). Data were stored in a database and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify predictive factors for early death. During the first cycle, 118 out of 937 patients (12.6%) died. In 38 patients (4%), the cause of death was sepsis. Significant risk factors were age, performance status (PS), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and treatment with epipodophyllotoxins and platinum in the first cycle (EP). Risk factors for ENTD were age, PS and LDH. Extensive stage had a hazard ratio of 1.9 (P = 0.07). Risk factors for ETD were EP, PS and LDH, whereas age and stage were not. For EP, the hazard ratio was as high as 6.7 (P = 0.0001). We introduced a simple prognostic algorithm including performance status, LDH and age. Using a prognostic algorithm to exclude poor-risk patients from trials, we could minimize early death, improve long-term survival and increase the survival differences between different regimens. We suggest that other groups evaluate our algorithm and exclude poor prognosis patients from trials of dose intensification.  (+info)

(4/20433) Profound variation in dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase activity in human blood cells: major implications for the detection of partly deficient patients.

Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) is responsible for the breakdown of the widely used antineoplastic agent 5-fluorouracil (5FU), thereby limiting the efficacy of the therapy. To identify patients suffering from a complete or partial DPD deficiency, the activity of DPD is usually determined in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBM cells). In this study, we demonstrated that the highest activity of DPD was found in monocytes followed by that of lymphocytes, granulocytes and platelets, whereas no significant activity of DPD could be detected in erythrocytes. The activity of DPD in PBM cells proved to be intermediate compared with the DPD activity observed in monocytes and lymphocytes. The mean percentage of monocytes in the PBM cells obtained from cancer patients proved to be significantly higher than that observed in PBM cells obtained from healthy volunteers. Moreover, a profound positive correlation was observed between the DPD activity of PBM cells and the percentage of monocytes, thus introducing a large inter- and intrapatient variability in the activity of DPD and hindering the detection of patients with a partial DPD deficiency.  (+info)

(5/20433) Patterns of care and survival for adolescents and young adults with acute leukaemia--a population-based study.

We report a population-based study of patterns of care and survival for people with acute leukaemia diagnosed at age 15-29 years during 1984-94 in regions of England and Wales covered by specialist leukaemia registries. There were 879 patients: 417 with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and 462 with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). For ALL, actuarial survival rates were 43% at 5 years after diagnosis and 37% at 10 years. Survival improved significantly between 1984-88 and 1989-94 for those aged 15-19 at diagnosis. Patients entered in national clinical trials and those not entered had similar survival rates. Survival rates were similar at teaching and non-teaching hospitals and at hospitals treating different numbers of study patients per year. For AML, survival rates were 42% at 5 years after diagnosis and 39% at 10 years. Survival improved significantly between 1984-88 and 1989-94. Patients entered in the Medical Research Council AML10 trial had a higher survival rate than those who were in the earlier AML9 trial. Survival did not vary with category of hospital. We conclude that survival has improved for adolescents and young adults with acute leukaemia but that there is at present no evidence that centralized treatment results in a survival benefit for patients in this age group.  (+info)

(6/20433) The minimum CD34 threshold depends on prior chemotherapy in autologous peripheral blood stem cell recipients.

We analysed 57 patients with non-myeloid malignancies who received a non-purged autologous PBSCT. All had similar mobilisation and conditioning regimens. A high prior chemotherapy score and the number of chemotherapy lines used (P = 0.015 and P = 0.01, respectively) were adverse predictors of CD34 cell yields. Lower CD34 values (P = 0.002) were seen in patients treated with potent stem cell toxins (BCNU, melphalan, CCNU and mustine), designated toxicity factor 4 agents (TF4). All patients infused with grafts containing CD34 cell doses between 1.0 and 2.0 x 10(6)/kg (range 1.25-1.90) engrafted by day 51. The only variable associated with slow platelet recovery was exposure to TF4 (P = 0.007). The majority of patients with CD34 >1.0 x 10(6)/kg achieved rapid and sustained engraftment and the only predictive factor of delayed recovery is prior exposure to stem cell toxins. Potential PBSCT candidates should if possible avoid first line and salvage chemotherapy containing TF4 drugs. We therefore advocate a minimum CD34 threshold of >1.0 x 10(6)/kg in patients without extensive prior chemoradiotherapy, and > or = 2.0 x 10(6)/kg in all other patients.  (+info)

(7/20433) Infectious complications in 126 patients treated with high-dose chemotherapy and autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation.

The effect of an extensive prophylactic antimicrobial regimen was prospectively assessed in 126 patients after high-dose chemotherapy and autologous PBSC. They received ciprofloxacin (500 mg/12 h), acyclovir (200 mg/6 h), and itraconazole (200 mg/12 h) orally until neutrophil recovery. Febrile patients received i.v. imipenem (500 mg/6 h) to which vancomycin and amikacin were added if fever persisted for 2-3 and 5 days, respectively. Amphotericin B lipid complex was further given on day 7 or 8 of fever. Median times for a neutrophil count of >0.5 x 10(9)/l and a platelet count of >20 x 10(9)/l were 9 and 11 days. Severe neutropenia (<0.1 x 10(9)/l) lasted for a median of 5 days in which 72% of febrile episodes and 50% of cases of bacteremia occurred. Gram-positive bacteria were isolated in 30 of 40 episodes of bacteremia, 25 of which were caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis. Clinical foci were the intravascular catheter in 35 cases, respiratory infection in 11, cellulitis in two, anal abscess in one, and neutropenic enterocolitis in one. The high incidence of febrile episodes (94%) and bacteremias (31%) may be due to the lack of efficacy of antimicrobial prophylaxis and the persistence of a 5-day period of severe neutropenia.  (+info)

(8/20433) Central venous catheter exchange by guidewire for treatment of catheter-related bacteraemia in patients undergoing BMT or intensive chemotherapy.

Current guidelines for the treatment of catheter-related bacteraemia (CRB) advise against central venous catheter (CVC) exchange because of the potential risk of prolonging infection. However, there are no consistent data proving this recommendation. We evaluated prospectively the usefulness of CVC exchange by guidewire for the treatment of CRB in patients undergoing BMT or intensive chemotherapy. CVC exchange was considered when fever and positive blood cultures persisted after 2 days of adequate antimicrobial therapy and no potential source of bacteraemia other than CVC could be identified. The guidewire exchange was preceded and followed by a slow infusion of adequate antimicrobial therapy. Bacteraemia was confirmed as catheter-related by demonstrating concordance between isolates from the tip and blood cultures by pulsed-field electrophoresis of genomic DNA. This procedure was performed in 19 episodes of bacteraemia during a 1-year period. Fourteen episodes (74%) were catheter-related and 71% of these were due to coagulase-negative staphylococci. Guidewire replacement was accomplished uneventfully 4 days after development of sepsis (range 3-6). In all cases, clinical signs of sepsis disappeared in less than 24 h after replacement. Definitive catheter withdrawal was carried out a median of 16 days (range 3-42) after guidewire exchange; in all cases, the tip culture was negative. We conclude that CVC replacement by guidewire under adequate antimicrobial therapy may be a reasonable option for the treatment of CRB when antimicrobial therapy alone has been unsuccessful.  (+info)