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Open access

Samendra Prasad, Matthew Podgorsak, Robert Plunkett and Dheerendra Prasad

Abstract

Background

Thermoplastic mask immobilization is used to perform hypo-fractionated treatments with the Gamma Knife ICON®.

Materials and methods

We evaluated the curing characteristics of the ICON® Nanor mask using force sensing resistors coupled with a data logging tool designed by us.

Results

For patients being treated with masks made the same day as the treatment, often in the same sitting with no removal and replacement of the patient from the treatment cradle, based on the curves 80% of the force of fixation is reached at 30 minutes.

Conclusions

Allowing for curing over 10-15 minutes and the subsequent localizing and delivery Cone beam CT (CBCT)s as well as the plan evaluation this is a reasonable time to start of therapy. For more exacting targets that are still requiring hypo-fractionation a cure period of 15 hours or greater will ensure that maximum rigidity of fixation is achieved.

Open access

Mirko Omejc and Maja Potisek

Abstract

Background

The majority of rectal cancers are discovered in locally advanced forms (UICC stage II, III). Treatment consists of preoperative radiochemotherapy, followed by surgery 6–8 weeks later and finally by postoperative chemotherapy. The aim of this study was to find out if tumor regression affected long-term survival in patients with localy advanced rectal cancer, treated with neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy.

Patients and methods

Patients with rectal cancer stage II or III, treated between 2006 and 2010, were included in a retrospective study. Clinical and pathohistologic data were acquired from computer databases and information about survival from Cancer Registry. Survival was estimated according to Kaplan-Meier method. Significance of prognostic factors was evaluated in univariate analysis; comparison was carried out with log-rank test. The multivariate analysis was performed according to the Cox regression model; statistically significant variables from univariate analysis were included.

Results

Two hundred and two patients met inclusion criteria. Median follow-up was 53.2 months. Stage ypT0N0 (pathologic complete response, pCR) was observed in 14.8% of patients. Pathohistologic stage had statistically significant impact on survival (p = 0.001). 5-year survival in patients with pCR was>90%. Postoperative T and N status were also found to be statistically significant (p = 0.011 for ypT and p < 0.001 for ypN). According to multivariate analysis, tumor response to neoadjuvant therapy was the only independent prognostic factor (p = 0.003).

Conclusions

Pathologic response of tumor to preoperative radiochemotherapy is an important prognostic factor for prediction of long-term survival of patients with locally advanced rectal cancer.

Open access

Bojan Tepes, Maja Seruga, Miroslav Vujasinovic, Dejan Urlep, Liljana Ljepovic, Jurecic Nataša Brglez, Alenka Forte, Ljubec Anita Kek and Miha Skvarc

Abstract

Background

Gastric cancer is the fifth most common malignancy in the world with almost one million new cases annually. Helicobacter pylori infection causes 89% of all gastric cancers. Premalignant lesions (atrophy and intestinal metaplasia) develop after several decades of inflammation. Secondary prevention with gastroscopy is possible, but it is costly and has a low compliance rate. Alternative procedures like serology testing for pepsinogen I and II and pepsinogen I/II ratio are available to select patients for surveillance gastroscopies.

Patients and methods

In seven outpatient endoscopic units, 288 patients (154 men; 53.5%), average age 60.68 years, tested positive in National colorectal cancer screening programme SVIT, were included in the study. Gastropanel (BioHit, Finland) was used as a serologic biopsy method.

Results

We found 24 patients (12 men, mean age 63.7 years) with pepsinogen (pepsinogen I/II < 3 and/or pepsinogen I < 30 μg/L). Premalignant changes were found on gastric biopsies in 21 patients (7.3% incidence). Operative Link on Gastric Intestinal Metaplasia Assessment (OLGIM) ≥ 1 was found in 20 patients; Operative Link for Gastritis Assessment (OLGA) ≥ 1 was found in 19 patients. Combined accuracy for preneoplastic lesions in Gastropanel positive patients was 87.5%. H. pylori seropositivity was found in 219 patients (76%). Only 24% of our population had normal results.

Conclusions

Gastropanel test has proven to be a reliable non-invasive test for advanced gastric preneoplastic lesions that can select patients for further gastroscopy. We found high H. pylori seropositivity in older age groups in Slovenia.

Open access

Chih-Yen Tu, Te-Chun Hsia, Hsin-Yuan Fang, Ji-An Liang, Su-Tso Yang, Chia-Chin Li and Chun-Ru Chien

Abstract

Background

Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) is a promising option for non-operated early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) compared to conventional fractionated radiotherapy (CFRT). However, results from conclusive randomized controlled trials are not yet available. The aim of our study was to explore the effectiveness of SABR vs. CFRT for non-operated early-stage NSCLC.

Patients and methods

We used a comprehensive population-based database to identify clinical stage I non-operated NSCLC patients in Taiwan diagnosed from 2007 to 2013 who were treated with either SABR or CFRT. We used inverse probability weighting and the propensity score as the primary form of analysis to address the nonrandomization of treatment. In the supplementary analyses, we constructed subgroups based on propensity score matching to compare survival between patients treated with SABR vs. CFRT.

Results

We identified 238 patients in our primary analysis. A good balance of covariates was achieved using the propensity score weighting. Overall survival (OS) was not significantly different between those treated with SABR vs. CFRT (SABR vs. CFRT: probability weighting adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.586, 95% confidence interval 0.264–1.101, p = 0.102). However, SABR was significantly favored in supplementary analyses.

Conclusions

In this population-based propensity-score adjusted analysis, we found that OS was not significantly different between those treated with SABR vs. CFRT in the primary analysis, although significance was observed in the supplementary analyses. Our results should be interpreted with caution given the database (i.e., nonrandomized) approach used in our study. Overall, further studies are required to explore these issues.

Open access

Anija Orel, Matjaz Homan, Rok Blagus, Evgen Benedik, Rok Orel and Natasa Fidler Mis

Abstract

Background

Commercial enteral formulas are generally recommended for gastrostomy feeding in patients with severe neurologic impairment. However, pureed food diets are still widely used and even gaining popularity among certain groups. We tried to compare the effectiveness of gastrostomy feeding for treatment of severe malnutrition with either enteral formulas or pureed feeds.

Patients and methods

A 6-month nutritional intervention was made with 37 malnourished children, adolescents and young adults (2–26 years old) with severe neurologic impairment (Gross Motor Function Classification system [GMFCS] grade V). The individual needs were calculated. Participants were fed by gastrostomy with either enteral formulas (n = 17) or pureed food (n = 20). Measurements to assess nutritional status were made at the beginning and at the end of intervention.

Results

The Z scores for weight-for-age and for the body-mass index increased more in enteral formula than in pureed food group (2.07 vs. 0.70, p = 0.0012; and 3.75 vs. 0.63, p = 0.0014, respectively). Fat mass index increased more in enteral formula than in pureed food group (1.12 kg/m2 vs. 0.38 kg/m2; p = 0.0012). Patients in the enteral formula group showed increase in lean body mass expressed as fat-free mass index (0.70 kg/m2), while those in pureed food group did not (-0.06 kg/m2) (p = 0.0487).

Conclusions

The results suggest that even professionally planned pureed food diet is less effective than commercial enteral formula for nutritional rehabilitation of malnourished patients with severe neurologic impairment. However, larger and if possible randomised clinical studies should be made to confirm our findings.

Open access

Dejan Majc and Bojan Tepes

Abstract

Background

In the study, we aimed to determine whether regular outpatient controls in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis have an impact on their survival and hospitalisation rates.

Patients and methods

We included patients with liver cirrhosis and regular outpatient controls as a prospective study group and patients with liver cirrhosis who were admitted to hospital only in cases of complications as a retrospective control group. The study was conducted between 2006 and 2011.

Results

We included 98 patients in the study group and 101 patients in the control group. There were more outpatient controls in the study group than in the control group (5.54 examinations vs. 2.27 examinations, p = 0.000). Patients in the study group had 25 fewer hospitalisations (10.2%; p = 0.612). The median survival rate was 4.6 years in the study group and 2.9 years in the control group (p = 0.021). Patients with Child A classification had an average survival of one year longer in the study group (p = 0.035). No significant difference was found for Child B patients. Patients with Child C classification had longer survival by 1.6 years in the study group (p = 0.006). Alcohol consumption was lower in the study group than in the control group (p = 0.018).

Conclusions

We confirmed that patients with regular outpatient controls had lower alcohol consumption, a lower hospitalisation rate and significantly prolonged survival time. We confirmed the necessity for the establishment of regular outpatient controls in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis.

Open access

Bojan Tepes, Marko Kastelic, Miroslav Vujasinovic, Polona Lampic, Maja Seruga, Natasa Brglez Jurecic, Olga P. Nyssen, Maria G. Donday, Colm O’Morain, Francis Megraud, Adrian G McNicholl and Javier P. Gisbert

Abstract

Background

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the most common chronic bacterial infection in the world affecting over 50% of the world’s population. H. pylori is a grade I carcinogen, responsible for the development of 89 % of noncardia gastric cancers. In the present study we analyzed the data for H. pylori eradication treatments in Slovenia.

Patients and methods

Slovenia is a part of the European Registry on Helicobacter pylori Management from the beginning. In seven medical institutions data for H. pylori eradication treatments was collected for 1774 patients from April 16th 2013 to May 15th 2016. For further modified intention to treat (mITT) analysis 1519 patients were eligible and for per protocol (PP) analysis 1346 patients.

Results

Patients’ dropout was 11.4%. Eradication rate for 7 day triple therapy with proton pump inhibitor (PPI) + Clarithromycin (C) + Amoxicillin (A) was 88.7% PP and 72.0% mITT; for PPI + C + Metronidazole (M) 85.2% PP and 84.4% mITT. Second line 14 day therapy PPI + A + Levofloxacin had 92.3% eradication rate PP and 87.1% mITT. Ten to fourteen day Bismuth quadruple therapy was the therapy in difficult to treat patients. At the end all patients that adhered to prescribed regimens were cured of their H. pylori infection.

Conclusions

High dropout rate deserves further analysis. Slovenia is still a country with < 15% H. pylori resistance to clarithromycin, triple therapy with PPI plus two antibiotics reaches PP eradication rate > 85%, but mITT eradication rates are suboptimal.

Open access

Jozko Racnik, Tanja Svara, Marko Zadravec, Mitja Gombac, Maja Cemazar, Gregor Sersa and Natasa Tozon

Abstract

Background

Mast cell tumour, sebaceous gland adenoma, and less common squamous papilloma are skin tumours in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo), and early excisional surgery is usually the treatment of choice. The aim of our study was to investigate the effectiveness of electrochemotherapy (ECT), a new, minimally invasive non-surgical method, as first treatment option of different types of ferret skin tumours located on surgically difficult sites.

Materials and methods

A 5-year-old castrated male ferret with two cutaneous masses, presenting 4 months apart and a 7-year-old spayed female ferret with two cutaneous masses, that appeared simultaneously on two locations are presented. In the first patient, both masses were diagnosed as mast cell tumours, and in the second patient, squamous papilloma and sebaceous adenoma were diagnosed. One session of ECT with bleomycin injected intratumourally was applied in all tumours.

Results

Complete response (CR) of all tumours was obtained, without recurrence during observation period of 15 months after ECT for first tumour and 11 months after ECT of the tumour located on the right hock in first patient, and 8 months after treatment for the second patient.

Conclusions

In present study, ECT with bleomycin proved to be safe and effective against different cutaneous tumours in ferrets. Due of good results, low cost and relatively easy procedure, ECT could be the treatment of choice instead of surgery for the selected skin tumours in ferrets.

Open access

Peter Popovic, Ana Leban, Klara Kregar, Manca Garbajs, Rok Dezman and Matjaz Bunc

Abstract

Background

The purpose of this retrospective cohort study was to evaluate the clinical value of computed tomographic perfusion imaging (CTPI) parameters in predicting the response to treatment and overall survival in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treated with drug-eluting beads transarterial chemoembolization (DEBTACE).

Patients and methods

Between December 2010 and January 2013 eighteen patients (17 men, 1 woman; mean age 69 ± 5.8 years) with intermediate stage HCC underwent CTPI of the liver prior to treatment with DEBTACE. Treatment response was evaluated on follow-up imaging according to modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors. Pre-treatment CTPI parameters were compared between patients with complete response and partial response with a Student t-test. We compared survival times with Kaplan-Meier method.

Results

CTPI parameters of patients with complete response and others did not show statistical significant difference. The mean survival time was 25.4 ± 3.2 months (95%; CI: 18.7-32.1). Survival was statistically significantly longer in patients with hepatic blood flow (BF) lower than 50.44 ml/100 ml/min (p = 0.033), hepatic blood volume (BV) lower than 13.32 ml/100 ml (p = 0.028) and time to peak (TTP) longer than 19.035 s (p = 0.015).

Conclusions

CTPI enables prediction of survival in patients with intermediate stage HCC, treated with DEBTACE based on the pre-treatment values of BF, BV and TTP perfusion parameters. CT perfusion imaging can’t be used to predict treatment response to DEBTACE.