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(1/857) Second-line treatment for primary central nervous system lymphoma.

Failure after first-line treatment was reported in 35-60% of immunocompetent patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL). There are currently no reports focusing on salvage therapy. This review analyses prognostic factors and the efficacy of salvage therapy by focusing on data from papers reporting results of first-line treatment in 355 cases. The study group consisted of 173 patients presenting treatment failure. The interval between failure and death (TTD) was compared for age at relapse (< or =60 vs. >60 years), type of failure (relapse vs. progression), time to relapse (< or =12 vs. >12 months) and salvage treatment (yes vs no). Median TTD was similar in younger and older patients (P = 0.09). Relapsed patients had a longer TTD than patients with progressive disease (P = 0.002). Early relapse led to a shorter TTD than late relapse (P = 0.005). Median TTD was 14 months for patients who underwent salvage therapy and 2 months for untreated cases (P<0.00001). A multivariate analysis showed an independent prognostic role for salvage therapy and time to relapse. Age and type of failure had no predictive value. Salvage therapy significantly improves outcome and, possibly, quality of life. As many different treatments were used conclusions cannot be made regarding an optimal treatment schedule.  (+info)

(2/857) Neurologic complications of systemic cancer.

Neurologic complications occur frequently in patients with cancer. After routine chemotherapy, these complications are the most common reason for hospitalization of these patients. Brain metastases are the most prevalent complication, affecting 20 to 40 percent of cancer patients and typically presenting as headache, altered mental status or focal weakness. Other common metastatic complications are epidural spinal cord compression and leptomeningeal metastases. Cord compression can be a medical emergency, and the rapid institution of high-dose corticosteroid therapy, radiation therapy or surgical decompression is often necessary to preserve neurologic function. Leptomeningeal metastases should be suspected when a patient presents with neurologic dysfunction in more than one site. Metabolic encephalopathy is the common nonmetastatic cause of altered mental status in cancer patients. Cerebrovascular complications such as stroke or hemorrhage can occur in a variety of tumor-related conditions, including direct invasion, coagulation disorders, chemotherapy side effects and nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis. Radiation therapy is the most commonly employed palliative measure for metastases. Chemotherapy or surgical removal of tumors is used in selected patients.  (+info)

(3/857) Phase II trial of primary chemotherapy followed by reduced-dose radiation for CNS germ cell tumors.

PURPOSE: A prospective phase II study was initiated to assess the response rate, survival, and late effects of treatment in patients with newly diagnosed CNS germ cell tumors (GCT), using etoposide plus cisplatin followed by radiation therapy prescribed by extent of disease, histology, and response to chemotherapy. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Seventeen patients aged 8 to 24 years with histologically proven CNS GCT received etoposide (100 mg/m2/d) plus cisplatin (20 mg/m2/d) daily for 5 days every 3 weeks for four cycles, followed by radiation therapy. Nine patients had germinomas; eight had mixed GCT. Four patients (three with germinomas and one with mixed GCT) presented with leptomeningeal dissemination. RESULTS: Radiographically, 14 of 17 patients were assessable for response; 11 patients experienced complete regression, and three had major partial regression before radiation. Six of seven assessable patients with elevated CSF levels of alpha-fetoprotein or betahuman chorionic gonadotropin had normalization with chemotherapy alone; all normalized with combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy. All 17 patients are alive without evidence of disease (median follow-up, 51 months). One patient developed a relapse in the spinal leptomeninges and was rendered free of disease with spinal radiation more than 5 years ago. One patient developed carotid stenosis requiring surgery. Thus far, only minimal long-term deterioration in neurocognitive function has been detected as a consequence of protocol treatment. CONCLUSION: Conventional-dose intravenous chemotherapy with etoposide and cisplatin can effect tumor regression in a high proportion of patients with CNS GCT, including those with leptomeningeal metastases. Acute and long-term toxicities are acceptable. Progression-free survival and overall survival are excellent.  (+info)

(4/857) Third International Meeting on von Hippel-Lindau disease.

Five years after the identification of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene, physicians, scientists and concerned VHL family members met to review the current state of knowledge on the diagnosis and treatment of VHL and to summarize the latest information on the biochemistry of the VHL protein (pVHL). The NIH and University of Pennsylvania groups reported the detection of germ-line mutations in 100% (93 of 93) of VHL families studied. Several studies determined the frequency of VHL germ-line mutations in individuals with a single manifestation of VHL without a family history of VHL. National groups to improve the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with VHL disease have been established in Great Britain, Denmark, France, Holland, Italy, Japan, Poland, and the United States. Evidence for the existence of genes that modify the expression of VHL was presented. The VHL protein appears to have several distinct functions: (a) down-regulation of hypoxia-inducible mRNAs; (b) proper assembly of the extracellular fibronectin matrix; (c) regulation of exit from the cell cycle; and (d) regulation of expression of carbonic anhydrases 9 and 12.  (+info)

(5/857) Cancer surveillance series [corrected]: brain and other central nervous system cancers: recent trends in incidence and mortality.

BACKGROUND: During the 1980s, the incidence of primary malignant brain and other central nervous system tumors (hereafter called brain cancer) was reported to be increasing among all age groups in the United States, while mortality was declining for persons younger than 65 years. We analyzed these data to provide updates on incidence and mortality trends for brain cancer in the United States and to examine these patterns in search of their causes. METHODS: Data on incidence, overall and according to histology and anatomic site, and on relative survival were obtained from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute for 1975 through 1995. Mortality data were obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics. Medicare procedure claims from the National Cancer Institute's SEER-Medicare database were used for imaging trends. Statistically significant changes in incidence trends were identified, and annual percent changes were computed for log linear models. RESULTS/CONCLUSIONS: Rates stabilized for all age groups during the most recent period for which SEER data were available, except for the group containing individuals 85 years of age or older. Mortality trends continued to decline for the younger age groups, and the steep increases in mortality seen in the past for the elderly slowed substantially. Patterns differed by age group according to the site and grade of tumors between younger and older patients. During the last decade, use of computed tomography scans was relatively stable for those 65-74 years old but increased among those 85 years old or older. IMPLICATIONS: Improvements in diagnosis and changes in the diagnosis and treatment of elderly patients provide likely explanations for the observed patterns in brain cancer trends.  (+info)

(6/857) V(H) gene sequences from primary central nervous system lymphomas indicate derivation from highly mutated germinal center B cells with ongoing mutational activity.

Primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) represents 1% to 3% intracranial tumors. Most PCNSL are located in the brain, and 75% are large B-cell lymphomas. The largest subgroup of these tumors contains cells that resemble centroblasts and has been labelled diffuse centroblastic (polymorphous) lymphoma. To investigate the cell of origin and the clonal history of these tumors, we have analyzed V(H) gene of 5 cases of PCNSL, all confirmed by histological studies to be Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-negative, high-grade diffuse B-cell lymphomas. The V4-34 gene of the V(H)4 family was used in 4 of 5 cases. All V(H) genes were found to have accumulated very high levels of somatic mutation (14% to 25%). In 3 of 5 cases, intraclonal nucleotide heterogeneity, including codon deletion in some clones in 1 case, was observed, indicating that the V(H) genes were still under the influence of the somatic hypermutation mechanism. Analysis of the distribution of silent and replacement mutations showed evidence for preservation of immunoglobulin structure in all cases. These results suggest that, although there is no evidence for germinal center formation in the brain tissue, PCNSL is derived from a B cell with features associated with location in a germinal center environment.  (+info)

(7/857) Association of childhood cancer with factors related to pregnancy and birth.

BACKGROUND: It has been hypothesized that risk factors of childhood cancers may already operate during the prenatal and neonatal period. Results of previous epidemiological studies have been inconsistent. METHODS: During 1992-1997 a large case-control study on childhood cancers and a variety of potential risk factors was conducted in Germany. Cases were ascertained by the German Childhood Cancer Registry. Each case was matched to a population-based control of the same age and gender, sampled from the district where the case lived at the date of diagnosis. For the analyses, 2358 cases and 2588 controls were available. RESULTS: Risk of childhood acute leukaemia increased with maternal age < or =20 years at time of delivery (odds ratio [OR] = 1.9, 95% CI: 1.1-3.2), lower (<2500 g: OR = 1.7, 95% CI: 1.1-2.8) and higher birthweight (>4000 g: OR = 1.4, 95% CI: 1.0-1.8, P < 0.05), and hormonal treatment because of infertility (OR = 1.6, 95% CI: 1.0-2.5, P < 0.05). No associations were seen for parental smoking habits, maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy and fetal losses. Parity was associated only with subgroups of acute leukaemias. Regarding non-Hodgkin's lymphoma we observed an elevated OR for lower birthweight and heavy maternal smoking during pregnancy (>20 cigarettes/day) and a decreased OR for children with one or two siblings. Only a few significant findings were seen for the different groups of solid tumours. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, only weak associations were identified and the evaluated risk factors operating during the neonatal and prenatal period account at most for only a small proportion of childhood cancers.  (+info)

(8/857) Paucity of leukemic progenitor cells in the bone marrow of pediatric B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients with an isolated extramedullary first relapse.

Isolated extramedullary relapse in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) may be accompanied by occult bone marrow disease. We used a highly sensitive assay to quantify leukemic progenitor cells (LPCs) in the bone marrow of such patients. Multiparameter flow cytometry and blast colony assays were used to detect LPCs in the bone marrow of 31 pediatric B-lineage ALL patients with an isolated extramedullary first relapse. Sites of relapse were central nervous system (22 patients), testes (7 patients), and eye (2 patients). Bone marrow (BM) LPC counts ranged from 0/10(6) mononuclear cells (MNCs) to 356/10(6) MNCs (mean +/- SE, 27.8+/-13.1/10(6) MNCs). LPCs were undetectable in 19 patients (61%). The BM LPC burden at the time of extramedullary relapse was similar, regardless of site (Wilcoxon P = 0.77) or time of relapse (Wilcoxon P = 0.80). Compared with higher risk, standard risk at initial diagnosis showed a trend for increased BM LPC burden (mean +/- SE, 44.6+/-17.1 versus 7.5+/-3.3; Wilcoxon P = 0.22). After successful postrelapse induction chemotherapy, LPC counts in 21 evaluated patients ranged from 0/10(6) to 175/10(6) MNCs (mean +/- SE, 15.9+/-9.6/10(6) MNCs). By comparison, LPC burden was higher after successful induction chemotherapy among children with an early BM relapse (range, 0 to 3262/ 106 MNC; mean +/- SE, 166+/-107; Wilcoxon P = 0.11). Thus, not all patients with an extramedullary relapse have occult systemic failure with substantial involvement of the bone marrow, and after reinduction therapy, LPC counts were lower in these patients than in patients treated for an overt BM first relapse.  (+info)