A prospective randomized study of megestrol acetate and ibuprofen in gastrointestinal cancer patients with weight loss. (1/1704)

The use of megestrol acetate in the treatment of weight loss in gastrointestinal cancer patients has been disappointing. The aim of the present study was to compare the combination of megestrol acetate and placebo with megestrol acetate and ibuprofen in the treatment of weight loss in such patients. At baseline, 4-6 weeks and 12 weeks, patients underwent measurements of anthropometry, concentrations of albumin and C-reactive protein and assessment of appetite, performance status and quality of life using EuroQol-EQ-5D and EORTC QLQ-C30. Thirty-eight and 35 patients (median weight loss 18%) were randomized to megestrol acetate/placebo or megestrol acetate/ibuprofen, respectively, for 12 weeks. Forty-six (63%) of patients failed to complete the 12-week assessment. Of those evaluable at 12 weeks, there was a decrease in weight (median 2.8 kg) in the megestrol acetate/placebo group compared with an increase (median 2.3 kg) in the megestrol acetate/ibuprofen group (P<0.001). There was also an improvement in the EuroQol-EQ-5D quality of life scores of the latter group (P<0.05). The combination of megestrol acetate/ibuprofen appeared to reverse weight loss and appeared to improve quality of life in patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer. Further trials of this novel regimen in weight-losing patients with hormone-insensitive cancers are warranted.  (+info)

Predicting delayed anxiety and depression in patients with gastrointestinal cancer. (2/1704)

The aim of this study was to examine the possibility of predicting anxiety and depression 6 months after a cancer diagnosis on the basis of measures of anxiety, depression, coping and subjective distress associated with the diagnosis and to explore the possibility of identifying individual patients with high levels of delayed anxiety and depression associated with the diagnosis. A consecutive series of 159 patients with gastrointestinal cancer were interviewed in connection with the diagnosis, 3 months (non-cured patients only) and 6 months later. The interviews utilized structured questionnaires assessing anxiety and depression [Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) scale], coping [Mental Adjustment to Cancer (MAC) scale] and subjective distress [Impact of Event (IES) scale]. Patient anxiety and depression close to the diagnosis were found to explain approximately 35% of the variance in anxiety and depression that was found 6 months later. The addition of coping and subjective distress measures did little to improve that prediction. A model using (standardized) cut-off scores of moderate to high anxiety, depression (HAD) and intrusive thoughts (IES subscale) close to the diagnosis to identify patients at risk for delayed anxiety and depression achieved a sensitivity of 75% and a specificity of 98%. Levels of anxiety and depression at diagnosis predicted a similar status 6 months later. The results also indicated that the HAD scale in combination with the IES intrusion subscale may be used as a tool for detecting patients at risk of delayed anxiety and depression.  (+info)

Management and outcome of patients undergoing surgery after acute upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage. Steering Group for the National Audit of Acute Upper Gastrointestinal Haemorrhage. (3/1704)

Most patients with acute upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage are managed conservatively or with endoscopic intervention but some ultimately require surgery to arrest the haemorrhage. We have conducted a population-based multicentre prospective observational study of management and outcomes. This paper concerns the subgroup of 307 patients who had an operation because of continued or recurrent haemorrhage or high risk of further bleeding. The principal diagnostic group was those with peptic ulcer. Of 2071 patients with peptic ulcer presenting with acute haemorrhage, 251 (12%) had an operative intervention with a mortality of 24%. In the non-operative group mortality was 10%. The operative intervention rate increased with risk score, ranging from 0% in the lowest risk categories to 38% in the highest. Much of the discrepancy between operative and non-operative mortality was explainable by case mix; however, for high-risk cases mortality was significantly higher in the operated group. In 78% of patients who underwent an operation for bleeding peptic ulcer there had been no previous attempt at endoscopic haemostasis. For patients admitted to surgical units, the operative intervention rate was about four times higher than for those admitted under medical teams. In patients with acute upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage operative intervention is infrequent and largely confined to the highest-risk patients. The continuing high mortality in surgically treated patients is therefore to be expected. The reasons for the low use of endoscopic treatment before surgery are not revealed by this study, but wider use of such treatments might further reduce the operative intervention rate. Physicians and surgeons have not yet reached consensus on who needs surgery and when.  (+info)

Mutations of c-kit JM domain are found in a minority of human gastrointestinal stromal tumors. (4/1704)

The c-kit gene encodes a transmembrane receptor kinase (KIT) which is expressed in the majority of human gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), a subtype of gastrointestinal mesenchymal neoplasms. A previous study identified mutations in the juxtamembrane (JM) domain of c-kit in five of six GISTs (Science 279: 577, 1998). To better define the frequency and spectrum of c-kit gene mutations in mesenchymal neoplasms of the GI tract that had been characterized for KIT protein expression, we examined archived tissue samples for mutations in the JM domain by PCR amplification and DNA sequencing. c-kit JM domain mutations were found in nine of 56 mesenchymal tumors (46 GISTs, eight leiomyomas, two leiomyosarcomas) and occurred exclusively in GISTs (21%). Seven of the nine mutations consisted of intragenic deletions of one to 19 codons. There was one insertion mutation that added 12 codons and one missense mutation (Val560Asp). None of the mutations disrupted the downstream reading frame of the gene. The single missense mutation (Val560Asp) is very similar to the only other missense mutation reported in GISTs (Val599Asp). Of the 46 GISTs, 43 were strongly positive for KIT protein expression and negative for diffuse expression of desmin. Neither KIT expression nor gene mutations were found in gastrointestinal leiomyomas or leiomyosarcomas. We conclude that mutation of the c-kit JM domain does not occur in gastrointestinal mesenchymal neoplasms with well developed-smooth muscle differentiation, and is restricted to GISTs. However, since these mutations are only found in a minority of GISTs, further investigation into the mechanisms of c-kit gene activation in this group of neoplasms is warranted.  (+info)

Tumorigenesis in Mlh1 and Mlh1/Apc1638N mutant mice. (5/1704)

An3 1 KAL I MutL homologue 1 (MLH1) is a member of the family of proteins required for DNA mismatch repair. Germ-line mutations in MLH1 lead to the cancer susceptibility syndrome hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). We generated mice carrying a null mutation in the Mlh1 gene. We showed that mice heterozygous and homozygous for the Mlh1 gene are predisposed to developing tumors of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, lymphomas, and a number of other tumor types. We also examined the role of adenomatous polyposis coli gene (Apc) gene mutations in the GI tumors of Mlh1 mutant mice by different methods and showed that the GI tumors in Mlh1 mice express little or no adenomatous polyposis coli protein. When an Apc gene mutation was bred into the Mlh1 mutant mice, the GI tumor incidence increased 40-100-fold. The wild-type Apc allele in these tumors was found to contain mutations. Together, these results show that we have developed two mouse models for human HNPCC and that the mechanisms of tumor development in the GI tract of these mice involve loss of Apc gene function in a manner very similar to that seen in the GI tumors of HNPCC.  (+info)

Review article: current status of gastrointestinal carcinoids. (6/1704)

Carcinoid tumours are enigmatic, slow growing malignancies which occur most frequently (74%) in the gastrointestinal tract. In recent years, it has become apparent that the term 'carcinoid' represents a wide spectrum of different neoplasms originating from a variety of different neuroendocrine cell types. Carcinoid lesions are usually identified histologically by their affinity for silver salts, by general neuroendocrine markers, or more specifically by immunocytochemistry using antibodies against their specific cellular products. Within the gut, the most frequent sites are the small bowel (29%), the appendix (19%) and rectum (13%). Clinical manifestations are often vague or absent. Nevertheless, in approximately 10% of patients the tumours secrete bioactive mediators which may engender various elements of characteristic carcinoid syndrome. In many instances the neoplasms are detected incidentally at the time of surgery for other gastrointestinal disorders. The tendency for metastatic spread correlates with tumour size, and is substantially higher in lesions larger than 2.0 cm. An association with noncarcinoid neoplasms is ascribed in 8-17% of lesions. Treatment consists of radical surgical excision of the tumour, although gastric (type I and II) and rectal carcinoids may be managed with local excision. Overall 5-year survival is excellent for carcinoids of the appendix (86%) and rectum (72%), whereas small intestinal (55%), gastric (49%) and colonic carcinoids (42%) exhibit a far worse prognosis.  (+info)

Treatment of upper abdominal malignancies with organ cluster procedures. (7/1704)

Upper abdominal exenteration for upper abdominal malignancies was carried out in 15 patients with removal of the liver, spleen, pancreas, duodendum, all or part of the stomach, proximal jejunum and ascending and transverse colon. Organ replacement was with the liver, pancreas and duodenum plus, in some cases, a short segment of jejunum. Eleven of the 15 patients survived for more than 4 months; 2 died, after 61/2 and 10 months, of recurrent tumor. Of the 9 patients who are surviving after 61/2 to 14 months, recurrent tumor is suspected in only 1 and proven in none. Four patients with sarcomas and carcinoid tumors (2 each) have had no recurrences. The other 5 survivors had duct cell cancers (3 examples), a cholangiocarcinoma (1 example), and a hepatoma (1 example). The experience so far supports further cautious trials with this drastic cancer operation.  (+info)

Enteral nutritional supplementation with key nutrients in patients with critical illness and cancer: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. (8/1704)

OBJECTIVE: To conduct a meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials comparing enteral nutritional support supplemented with key nutrients versus standard enteral nutritional support to determine effects on morbidity and mortality rates and hospital stay. BACKGROUND DATA: Recent studies have shown that malnutrition occurs in up to 30% of patients undergoing gastrointestinal surgery, resulting in an increased risk of postoperative complications and death. With the realization that key nutrients can modulate inflammatory, metabolic, and immune processes, enteral nutritional regimens (supplemented with large amounts of key nutrients) have been developed for clinical use. METHODS: Eleven prospective, randomized controlled trials evaluating 1009 patients treated with combinations of key nutrients (Impact, Immun-Aid) were evaluated. Outcome measures examined were the incidences of pneumonia, infectious complications, and death, and length of hospital stay. Meta-analyses were undertaken to obtain the odds ratio and 95% confidence interval for incidences of infectious complications, pneumonia, and death, and the weighted mean difference and 95% confidence interval for length of hospital stay. RESULTS: The provision of nutritional support supplemented with key nutrients to patients with critical illness resulted in a decrease in infectious complications when compared with patients receiving standard nutritional support and a significant reduction in overall hospital stay. Similar results were documented in patients with gastrointestinal cancer. However, there were no differences between patient groups for either pneumonia or death. CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis has demonstrated that nutritional support supplemented with key nutrients results in a significant reduction in the risk of developing infectious complications and reduces the overall hospital stay in patients with critical illness and in patients with gastrointestinal cancer. However, there is no effect on death. These data have important implications for the management of such patients.  (+info)