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[en] Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA analysis has been shown to be useful for early detection, prognostication, and monitoring of treatment response of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), and the recent literature provides growing evidence of the clinical utility of EBV DNA testing, particularly to inform treatment decisions for NPC patients. Despite the fact that NPC is a rare disease, the NRG Oncology cooperative group has successfully activated a phase 2/3 randomized clinical trial for NPC with international partners and in that process has discovered that the development of a harmonized EBV DNA test is absolutely critical for integration into clinical trials and for future deployment in clinical and central laboratories. In November 2015, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) convened a workshop of international experts in the treatment of NPC and EBV testing to provide a forum for discussing the state of EBV DNA testing and its clinical utility, and to stimulate consideration of future studies and clinical practice guidelines for EBV DNA. This review provides a summary of that discussion.
[en] Full text: Introduction: Pulmonary embolism is often misdiagnosed by many clinicians because of confusion with pulmonary infarction. According to present literature, the latter seldomly occurs, thus pleuritic pain and hemoptysis are usually absent. The purpose of our study was to re-evaluate the clinical presentation of pulmonary embolism with specific reference to the presence of pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary infarction. Materials and methods: Ethical committee approval was obtained to study fifteen patients with abnormal lung perfusion and high probability for pulmonary embolism retrospectively. Clinical data will be presented in table format. Appropriate symptoms and signs not mentioned was considered absent. Specific investigations not available was considered not done. Results: Will be displayed in table format. The main findings can be summarized as follows: 1. Dyspnea was present in all the patients; 2. Pleuritic pain and hemoptysis was absent in all the patients; 3. None of the patients had clinical signs of pulmonary hypertension or infarction; 4. The available special investigations confirmed the above mentioned findings. Conclusion: The absence of pulmonary infarction and pulmonary hypertension with submassive pulmonary embolism (<60% of pulmonary vascular bed occluded) was reconfirmed and should be emphasized more in clinical practice. (author)
[en] Intrafractional motion can be a substantial uncertainty in precision radiotherapy. Conventionally, the target volume is expanded to account for the motion. Couch-tracking is an alternative, where the patient is moved to compensate for the tumor motion. However, the couch motion may influence the patient’s stress and respiration behavior decreasing the couch-tracking effectiveness. In total, 100 volunteers were positioned supine on a robotic couch, which moved dynamically and respiration synchronized. During the measurement, the skin conductivity, the heartrate, and the gaze location were measured indicating the volunteer’s stress. Volunteers rated the subjective motion sickness using a questionnaire. The measurement alternated between static and tracking segments (three cycles), each 1 min long. The respiration amplitude showed no significant difference between tracking and static segments, but decreased significantly from the first to the last tracking segment (p < 0.0001). The respiration frequency differed significantly between tracking and static segments (p < 0.0001), but not between the first and the last tracking segment. The physiological parameters and the questionnaire showed mild signals of stress and motion sickness. Generally, people tolerated the couch motions. The interaction between couch motion and the patient’s breathing pattern should be considered for a clinical implementation. The study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02820532) and the Swiss national clinical trials portal ( https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02820532?term ) on June 20, 2016. The online version of this article (10.1186/s13014-017-0925-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
[en] Despite mounting evidence for the use of re-irradiation (re-RT) in recurrent high grade glioma, optimal patient selection criteria for re-RT remain unknown. We present a novel scoring system based on radiobiology principles including target independent factors, the likelihood of target control, and the anticipated organ at risk (OAR) toxicity to allow for proper patient selection in the setting of recurrent glioma. Thirty one patients with recurrent glioma who received re-RT (2008–2016) at NCI – NIH were included in the analysis. A novel scoring system for overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS) was designed to include:1) target independent factors (age, KPS (Karnofsky Performance Status), histology, presence of symptoms), 2) target control, and 3) OAR toxicity risk. Normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) calculations were performed using the Lyman model. Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed for overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS) for comparison amongst variables. No patient, including those who received dose to OAR above the published tolerance dose, experienced any treatment related grade 3–5 toxicity with a median PFS and OS from re-RT of 4 months (0.5–103) and 6 months (0.7–103) respectively. Based on cumulative maximum doses the average NTCP was 25% (0–99%) for the chiasm, 21% (0–99%) for the right optic nerve, 6% (0–92%) for the left optic nerve, and 59% (0–100%) for the brainstem. The independent factor and target control scores were each statistically significant for OS and the combination of independent factors plus target control was also significant for both OS (p = 0.02) and PFS (p = 0.006). The anticipated toxicity risk score was not statistically significant. Our scoring system may represent a novel approach to patient selection for re-RT in recurrent high grade glioma. Further validation in larger patient cohorts including compilation of doses to tumor and OAR may help refine this further for inclusion into clinical trials and general practice. The online version of this article (10.1186/s13014-017-0930-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
[en] Purpose: To assess adherence of non-pharmaceutically sponsored trials (non-PSTs) to ICH protocol structure guidelines and to estimate the effect of implementing Institutional Review Boards (IRB) review on this adherence. Methods: This is a retrospective exploratory study where 60 non-PST clinical trial protocols (CTPs) were reviewed and halved to IRB-reviewed CTPs (IRCTPs) and non-lRB-reviewed CTPs (non-lRCTPs). Adherence score (AS) was calculated as the number of fulfilled items or sub-items divided by their total number. Results: Three adherence patterns were encountered: (1) items consistently present in both groups e.g. general and background information, objectives, inclusion criteria and intervention details, (2) items consistently absent in both groups and included contact information of investigators and trial sites, product accountability, randomization codes management, interim analyses and many other statistical aspects, and (3) items variably present in both groups where the effect of IRB was verifiable. Trial site details, potential benefits, discontinuation and exclusion criteria, and follow up for adverse events were more encountered in IRCTPs than non-IRCTPs. Withdrawal criteria monitoring of treatment compliance showed a reverse pattern (p < 0.05 for all). The total AS, administrative AS and ethics AS for IRCTPs was 43%, 22% and 70% compared to 38%, 16% and 33% for non-IRCTPs (p < 0.003, <0.001, 0.004), respectively. The scientific AS was 54% for both groups (p = 0.87). Conclusions: IRB-implementation at NCl-Egypt improved ethical and administrative sections of academic protocols. However, this improvement is modest and needs further actions including adoption of protocol templates. Scientific sections were as good after IRB-implementation as they were before that
[en] The existence of abscopal effects has been suggested already a long time ago, but only recently with the advent of immune checkpoint inhibition in clinical oncology and modern imaging techniques has it become possible to directly observe such effects in patients. They have been well described in patients with malignant melanoma being treated with immune-checkpoint inhibitors and stereotactic radiotherapy, but experience in other malignancies is very limited. Here, we describe a case of a patient with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, who experienced a complete response secondary to an abscopal effect on treatment with anti-PD-1 therapy and stereotactic body radiotherapy to some of the involved sites. Our case reports confirms the existence of abscopal effects in NSCLC and suggests synergism between immune-checkpoint inhibition and local ablative RT. We suggest that this approach is now further studied in prospective clinical trials on oligo-metastatic or oligo-progressing NSCLC.
[en] Oncologic imaging is an important facet of abdominal imaging that radiologists encounter nearly every day. Many oncology clinical trials utilize response evaluation criteria in solid tumors (RECIST) version 1.1 which divides tumor sites into target and non-target lesions. Although RECIST v1.1 provides clear instructions regarding the use of imaging in clinical trials, errors in response assessment still occur using these criteria. This is especially true of response assessment with regards to non-target lesions which involve rules which are less well-defined and somewhat subjective. This pictorial essay will review RECIST v1.1 guidelines and common non-target lesion errors which can occur at baseline and follow-up response assessment.
[en] Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare tumor that is challenging to control. Despite some benefit from using the multimodality-approach (surgery, combination chemotherapy and radiation), survival remains poor. However, current research produced a list of potential therapies. Here, we summarize significant new preclinical and early clinical developments in treatment of MPM, which include mesothelin specific antibody and toxin therapies, interleukin-4 (IL-4) receptor toxins, dendritic cell vaccines, immune checkpoint inhibitors, and gene-based therapies. In addition, several local modalities such as photodynamic therapy, postoperative lavage using betadine, and cryotherapy for local recurrence, have also shown to be effective for local control of disease
[en] We present here two patients that had an aberrant right subclavian artery and an anomalous origin of the right vertebral artery from the right common carotid artery. We review the previous literature and discuss herein the embryologic mechanism and clinical implications of this variation