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(1/2648) Use of positron emission tomography in evaluation of brachial plexopathy in breast cancer patients.

18-Fluoro-2-deoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) has previously been used successfully to image primary and metastatic breast cancer. In this pilot study, 19 breast cancer patients with symptoms/signs referrable to the brachial plexus were evaluated with 18FDG-PET. In 11 cases computerized tomography (CT) scanning was also performed. Of the 19 patients referred for PET study, 14 had abnormal uptake of 18FDG in the region of the symptomatic plexus. Four patients had normal PET studies and one had increased FDG uptake in the chest wall that accounted for her axillary pain. CT scans were performed in 9 of the 14 patients who had positive brachial plexus PET studies; six of these were either normal or showed no clear evidence of recurrent disease, while three CTs demonstrated clear brachial plexus involvement. Of two of the four patients with normal PET studies, one has had complete resolution of symptoms untreated while the other was found to have cervical disc herniation on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. The remaining two patients almost certainly had radiation-induced plexopathy and had normal CT, MRI and PET study. These data suggest that 18FDG-PET scanning is a useful tool in evaluation of patients with suspected metastatic plexopathy, particularly if other imaging studies are normal. It may also be useful in distinguishing between radiation-induced and metastatic plexopathy.  (+info)

(2/2648) Quality of life and performance in advanced head and neck cancer patients on concomitant chemoradiotherapy: a prospective examination.

PURPOSE: To prospectively evaluate performance and quality of life (QOL) in advanced-stage head and neck cancer (HNC) patients on a curative-intent, concomitant-chemoradiotherapy (CT/XRT) (twice-daily radiation, fluorouracil, hydroxyurea, and cisplatin) regimen aimed at improving locoregional control, survival, and QOL. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Sixty-four patients were assessed before, during, and at 3-month intervals after treatment. Standardized measures of QOL (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Head and Neck), performance (Performance Status Scale for Head and Neck Cancer Patients and Karnofsky Performance Status Rating Scale), and patient-reported symptoms (McMaster University Head and Neck Radiotherapy Questionnaire) were administered. RESULTS: Acute treatment toxicities were severe, with declines in virtually all QOL and functional domains. Marked improvement was seen by 12 months; general functional and physical measures returned to baseline levels of good to excellent. Although up to a third of the patients continued to report problems with swallowing, hoarseness, and mouth pain, these difficulties were present in similar magnitudes before treatment. The following symptoms were more frequent at 12 months: dry mouth (58% v 17%), difficulties tasting (32% v 8%), and soft food diet (82% v 42%). Twelve-month diet was not related to pretreatment functioning, disease, treatment, or patient characteristics. Twelve-month QOL was best predicted by pretreatment QOL, with very little relationship to residual side effects or functional impairments. Small numbers of patients in four of the five disease sites precluded examination of outcome by site. CONCLUSION: These data support the feasibility of intense CT/XRT as primary treatment for advanced HNC. Results confirm acute toxicity but indicate that many of the treatment-related performance and QOL declines resolve by 12 months. The persistent inability to eat a full range of foods warrants further attention and monitoring.  (+info)

(3/2648) p53 and p16INK4A mutations during the progression of glomus tumor.

Glomus tumors are significantly rare tumors of carotid body. The great majority of these tumors are benign in character. Here we present two brothers with hereditary glomus jugulare tumor who had consanguineous parents. Radiotherapy was applied approximately 8 and 10 years ago for treatment in both cases. Eight years later, one of these cases came to our notice due to relapse. The mutation pattern of p53, p57KIP2, p16INK4A and p15NK4B genes which have roles in the cell cycle, was analyzed in tumor samples obtained from the two affected cases in the initial phase and from one of these cases at relapse. The DNA sample obtained from the case in initial diagnosis phase revealed no p53, p57KIP2, p16INK4A or p15INK4B mutation. He is still in remission phase. Despite the lack of p53, p57KIP2, p16INK4A and p15INK4B mutation at initial diagnosis the tumor DNA of the other case in relapse revealed p53 codon 243 (ATG-->ATC; met-->ile) and p16 codon 97 (GAC-->AAC; asp-->asn) missense point mutations. No loss of heterozygosity in p53 and p16INK4A was observed by microsatellite analysis of tumoral tissues in these cases. P53 and p16INK4A mutations observed in relapse phase were in conserved regions of both genes. No previous reports have been published with these mutations in glomus tumor during progression. The mutation observed in this case may due to radiotherapy. In spite of this possibility, the missense point mutations in conserved region of p53 and p16INK4A genes may indicate the role of p53 and p16INK4A in tumor progression of glomus tumors.  (+info)

(4/2648) Radiation induced endothelial cell retraction in vitro: correlation with acute pulmonary edema.

We determined the effects of low dose radiation (<200 cGy) on the cell-cell integrity of confluent monolayers of pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (PMEC). We observed dose- and time-dependent reversible radiation induced injuries to PMEC monolayers characterized by retraction (loss of cell-cell contact) mediated by cytoskeletal F-actin reorganization. Radiation induced reorganization of F-actin microfilament stress fibers was observed > or =30 minutes post irradiation and correlated positively with loss of cell-cell integrity. Cells of irradiated monolayers recovered to form contact inhibited monolayers > or =24 hours post irradiation; concomitantly, the depolymerized microfilaments organized to their pre-irradiated state as microfilament stress fibers arrayed parallel to the boundaries of adjacent contact-inhibited cells. Previous studies by other investigators have measured slight but significant increases in mouse lung wet weight >1 day post thoracic or whole body radiation (> or =500 cGy). Little or no data is available concerning time intervals <1 day post irradiation, possibly because of the presumption that edema is mediated, at least in part, by endothelial cell death or irreversible loss of barrier permeability functions which may only arise 1 day post irradiation. However, our in vitro data suggest that loss of endothelial barrier function may occur rapidly and at low dose levels (< or =200 cGy). Therefore, we determined radiation effects on lung wet weight and observed significant increases in wet weight (standardized per dry weight or per mouse weight) in < or =5 hours post thoracic exposure to 50 200 cGy x-radiation. We suggest that a single fraction of radiation even at low dose levels used in radiotherapy, may induce pulmonary edema by a reversible loss of endothelial cell-cell integrity and permeability barrier function.  (+info)

(5/2648) When to consider radiation therapy for your patient.

Radiation therapy can be an effective treatment modality for both malignant and benign disease. While radiation can be given as primary treatment, it may also be used pre- or postoperatively, with or without other forms of therapy. Radiation therapy is often curative but is sometimes palliative. There are many methods of delivering radiation effectively. Often, patients tolerate irradiation well without significant complications, and organ function is preserved. To ensure that all patients with cancer have the opportunity to consider all treatment options, family physicians should be aware of the usefulness of radiation therapy.  (+info)

(6/2648) Diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for nonmetastatic breast cancer in Canada, and their associated costs.

In an era of fiscal restraint, it is important to evaluate the resources required to diagnose and treat serious illnesses. As breast cancer is the major malignancy affecting Canadian women, Statistics Canada has analysed the resources required to manage this disease in Canada, and the associated costs. Here we report the cost of initial diagnosis and treatment of nonmetastatic breast cancer, including adjuvant therapies. Treatment algorithms for Stages I, II, and III of the disease were derived by age group (< 50 or > or = 50 years old), principally from Canadian cancer registry data, supplemented, where necessary, by the results of surveys of Canadian oncologists. Data were obtained on breast cancer incidence by age, diagnostic work-up, stage at diagnosis, initial treatment, follow-up practice, duration of hospitalization and direct care costs. The direct health care costs associated with 'standard' diagnostic and therapeutic approaches were calculated for a cohort of 17,700 Canadian women diagnosed in 1995. Early stage (Stages I and II) breast cancer represented 87% of all incident cases, with 77% of cases occurring in women > or = 50 years. Variations were noted in the rate of partial vs total mastectomy, according to stage and age group. Direct costs for diagnosis and initial treatment ranged from $8014 for Stage II women > or = 50 years old, to $10,897 for Stage III women < 50 years old. Except for Stage III women < 50 years old, the largest expenditure was for hospitalization for surgery, followed by radiotherapy costs. Chemotherapy was the largest cost component for Stage III women < 50 years old. This report describes the cost of diagnosis and initial treatment of nonmetastatic breast cancer in Canada, assuming current practice patterns. A second report will describe the lifetime costs of treating all stages of breast cancer. These data will then be incorporated into Statistics Canada's Population Health Model (POHEM) to perform cost-effectiveness studies of new therapeutic interventions for breast cancer, such as the cost-effectiveness of day surgery, or of radiotherapy to all breast cancer patients undergoing breast surgery.  (+info)

(7/2648) In vitro assessment of Lipiodol-targeted radiotherapy for liver and colorectal cancer cell lines.

Intra-arterial Lipiodol has been used to deliver targeted therapies to primary, and some metastatic, liver cancers. Targeted radiotherapy has been used by substituting the iodine in Lipiodol with 131Iodine (131I). Early clinical results are encouraging, but the variable response may partly depend on local pharmacokinetics. This study evaluated the in vitro cytotoxic effects of 131I-Lipiodol on human hepatocellular carcinoma (Hep-G2), human colorectal metastatic cancer (SW620), human colorectal hepatic cancer (LoVo) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) cell lines. The cell cultures were exposed to 131I-Lipiodol for 48 h, following which cell counts and viability were assessed by haemocytometer, S-Rhodamine uptake and radioactivity assay. The effect of exposure to control Lipiodol, 131I-Lipiodol and 131I alone was evaluated. 131I-Lipiodol was cytotoxic against all the cancer cell lines but not against the non-malignant (HUVEC) cell line. The cytotoxicity effects were very similar in all the cancer cell lines. There were no cytotoxic effects following exposure to plain 131I in any of the cell lines (malignant and non-malignant). A similar trend was seen with radioactivity counts using a gamma counter. The cytotoxic effect of 131I-Lipiodol had a graded effect with an increase in cytotoxicity following the increase in the radioactive dose. This study showed that there was a marked cytotoxic effect by 131I-Lipiodol on all the cancer cell lines. There was no difference between the controls and the 131Iodine. This suggests that effective 131I-Lipiodol targeted therapy is dependent on the uptake and retention of Lipiodol by malignant cells.  (+info)

(8/2648) Correlation of bcl-2 rearrangement with clinical characteristics and outcome in indolent follicular lymphoma.

The t(14;18) translocation, which involves the bcl-2 oncogene, occurs in follicular lymphomas (FL) at two common sites: the major breakpoint region (MBR) and the minor cluster region (mcr). The biological and clinical significance of these breakpoints is unknown. The bcl-2 breakpoint site was determined in 247 previously untreated patients (49% men; median age 52 years) with indolent FL (155 grade I, 83 grade II, and 8 grade III) to correlate it with pretreatment characteristics, response, and outcome. The bcl-2 breakpoint site was determined by a polymerase chain reaction method of peripheral blood (all cases), bone marrows (149 cases), and fresh lymph node biopsy specimens (68 cases). The breakpoint site occurred at MBR in 175 cases (71%) and at mcr in 27 (11%). In 45 cases (18%), no breakpoint was detected (germline). No significant relationship was found between the rearrangements and the expression of BLC-2 and BAX proteins. Patients' germline for MBR and mcr tended to present more frequently with stage IV disease and higher beta2-microglobulin (beta2M) levels, whereas mcr-rearranged patients presented more frequently with early stage and normal beta2M. The complete response rate of germline patients was significantly lower than that of MBR and mcr patients. An estimated 3-year failure-free survival (FFS) for mcr, MBR, and germline cases was 95%, 76%, and 57%, respectively (P <.001). The bcl-2 breakpoint site was independent of serum beta2M and lactate dehydrogenase in its correlation with FFS. In conclusion, the bcl-2 rearrangement site is an important prognostic factor in indolent FL, useful to identify patients who may require different treatment.  (+info)