The prospects for the treatment of metastatic melanoma are improving. Whereas previous scientific meetings dedicated to the treatment of metastatic melanoma patients were overshadowed by our inability to improve overall survival or lengthen the time to progression, the results presented at the most recent meetings are hopeful. The 5th Canadian Melanoma Conference held on 24-27 February in Banff (AB, Canada) was nothing short of optimistic. This year's meeting was divided into three themes: basic science and pathology, dermatology and surgery, and immunology and systemic treatment. In addition, dermoscopy case studies were presented, and Hoffmann la Roche sponsored a symposium on the evaluation of treatment for advanced melanoma. It underscored the importance of early detection and patient stratification, based upon the molecular profile of the tumor, in order to optimize the response to targeted therapy.
Determinations of the urinary excretion of 5-S-cysteinyldopa were performed in 571 patients previously treated by surgery for melanoma or melanoma metastasis. 90% of the 161 patients with metastases showed values exceeding 0.15 mg/24 h, and 9% of the 410 patients without metastases had such values. The increase in 5-S-cysteinyldopa excretion was generally more pronounced in men with metastases than in women, 98% of the men and 77% of the women with metastases showing values exceeding 0.15 mg/24 h. High levels of 5-S-cysteinyldopa are of grave prognostic significan4% died within one month, and only 3% survived for more than a year. In Sweden, determination of 5-S-cysteinyldopa in patients operated on for melanoma gives maximum information in the winter (October--March), when sun exposure does not influence the excretion levels.
(18)F-fluoride positron emission tomography/computed tomography and bone scintigraphy for diagnosis of bone metastases in newly diagnosed, high-risk prostate cancer patients: study protocol for a multicentre, diagnostic test accuracy study.
For decades, planar bone scintigraphy has been the standard practice for detection of bone metastases in prostate cancer and has been endorsed by recent oncology/urology guidelines. It is a sensitive method with modest specificity. (18)F-fluoride positron emission tomography/computed tomography has shown improved sensitivity and specificity over bone scintigraphy, but because of methodological issues such as retrospective design and verification bias, the existing level of evidence with (18)F-fluoride positron emission tomography/computed tomography is limited. The primary objective is to compare the diagnostic properties of (18)F-fluoride positron emission tomography/computed tomography versus bone scintigraphy on an individual patient basis.
One hundred forty consecutive, high-risk prostate cancer patients will be recruited from several hospitals in Denmark. Sample size was calculated using Hayen's method for diagnostic comparative studies. This study will be conducted in accordance with recommendations of standards for reporting diagnostic accuracy studies. Eligibility criteria comprise the following: 1) biopsy-proven prostate cancer, 2) PSA = 50 ng/ml (equals a prevalence of bone metastasis of ˜ 50% in the study population on bone scintigraphy), 3) patients must be eligible for androgen deprivation therapy, 4) no current or prior cancer (within the past 5 years), 5) ability to comply with imaging procedures, and 6) patients must not receive any investigational drugs. Planar bone scintigraphy and (18)F-fluoride positron emission tomography/computed tomography will be performed within a window of 14 days at baseline. All scans will be repeated after 26 weeks of androgen deprivation therapy, and response of individual lesions will be used for diagnostic classification of the lesions on baseline imaging among responding patients. A response is defined as PSA normalisation or = 80% reduction compared with baseline levels, testosterone below castration levels, no skeletal related events, and no clinical signs of progression. Images are read by blinded nuclear medicine physicians. The protocol is currently recruiting.
To the best of our knowledge, this is one of the largest prospective studies comparing (18)F-fluoride positron emission tomography/computed tomography and bone scintigraphy. It is conducted in full accordance with recommendations for diagnostic accuracy trials. It is intended to provide valid documentation for the use of (18)F-fluoride positron emission tomography/computed tomography for examination of bone metastasis in the staging of prostate cancer.
Cardiac neoplasms are rare and the vast majority are metastatic in origin. Symptoms of cardiac neoplasms (primary or metastatic) usually appear late in the course of the disease and are often ignored because of the more severe effects of the primary malignant disorder or its therapy. Consequently, cardiac neoplasms, especially metastatic ones, are often not discovered until autopsy.
To assess the incidence of cardiac neoplasms at autopsy and to determine the sites of origins of metastatic cardiac neoplasms.
The pathology records from consecutive autopsies performed at the University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, from January 1973 to May 2004 were reviewed. They showed 266 cases of neoplasms involving the heart among 11,432 consecutive autopsies. These cases were then categorized based on their system of origin and further subclassified into specific primary site categories. As well, the type of cardiac tissue affected was noted in 193 cases (72.6%).
The 266 autopsy cases involving cardiac neoplasms represented 2.33% of the total number of autopsies. Among the 266 cases, two neoplasms were primaries, while 264 were metastatic in origin. Metastatic cardiac neoplasms most frequently metastasized from the respiratory system, followed (in order of decreasing frequency) by the hematopoietic, gastrointestinal, breast and genitourinary systems. A minority of metastatic cardiac neoplasms were found to have spread from other systems. Cardiac neoplasms most frequently involved the pericardium, followed (in order of decreasing frequency) by the myocardium, epicardium and endocardium.
There were 132 times more metastatic cardiac neoplasms than primary cardiac neoplasms found in the present study. The most common sites of metastatic origin were the lungs, bone marrow (leukemia/multiple myeloma), breasts and lymph nodes (lymphoma). Leukemias were more prevalent in the present study than in previous studies. The pericardium was the tissue that was most frequently affected by metastatic cardiac neoplasms.
Comment In: Can J Cardiol. 2006 Jan;22(1):8016511961
Adenocarcinoma of the prostate is responsible for one of every nine deaths from cancer in Canada. In this review epidemiologic factors are considered and current staging systems are outlined. The American Urological System is recommended for staging because of its ability to reflect changes in the understanding of the biologic behaviour of this neoplasm. The adoption of a quantitative grading scheme is suggested to complement the information obtained from the staging assessment. The routes of spread of this disease, along with the procedures used to assess metastatic involvement, are described. Immunologic methods for the analysis of prostatic acid phosphatase have been shown to be superior to the enzymatic methods previously used, and the role of the new techniques is discussed. Emphasis is placed on radiotherapy and endocrine therapy for the treatment of this neoplasm, and the concept of withholding endocrine therapy until symptoms appear is discussed. Potential future developments in this field are considered.
Cites: J Urol. 1976 Jan;115(1):86-81107604
Cites: Urol Clin North Am. 1975 Feb;2(1):105-241128746
BACKGROUND: Effective screening programs have contributed to a decrease in the incidence of cervical squamous cell carcinomas but have had a limited sensitivity in the detection of adenocarcinoma precursor lesions. The aim of our study was to analyze cervical adenocarcinoma in greater detail: symptoms preceding the detection, the method of detection and the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) with respect to age at diagnosis. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Clinical data were abstracted from the medical records of 82 women with pure invasive cervical adenocarcinomas. As diagnostic tools we used polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) and/or direct DNA sequencing for HPV detection. RESULTS: Age at diagnosis predicting factors were HPV status, positive lymph nodes, histology and stage. HPV-negativity, lymph node metastases, advanced stage and poor differentiation were all associated with a high diagnostic age. In the multivariate analysis only HPV status was shown to have an independent impact on age at diagnosis, while stage showed only borderline significance. Twenty-three percent of the cancers were detected by screening and the remaining were due to different symptoms. Among the women considered, 93% had a normal Papanicolaou (Pap) smear 3 years before diagnosis and 60% within 1 year. There was no significant correlation between smoking, oral contraceptives and HPV-positivity. CONCLUSIONS: The absence of HPV was significantly associated with a high age at diagnosis. Pap screening had a limited effect in detecting adenocarcinoma at an early stage.
National guidelines recommend enrollment of patients in surveillance programmes following curative resection of colorectal carcinoma (CRC) in order to detect recurrence or distant metastasis at an asymptomatic/early stage when secondary curative treatment can be offered. Little is known about surgeons' adherence to such guidelines. In this national survey we analyse adherence and attitudes to postoperative follow up among Norwegian gastrointestinal surgeons involved in the care of patients with CRC.
We performed a nationwide survey of all hospitals performing surgery for colon and/or rectum cancer. The presence of a surveillance programme, the type of programme, adherence to national guidelines or report on any deviation thereof, location of follow up at the hospital or with a general practitioner (GPs) and the estimated annual volume of surgery were queried through mail and telephone.
All hospitals (n=41) performing colorectal surgery responded, of which 25 (61%) conducted postoperative follow up by surgeons in the hospital outpatient clinics, four (10%) carried out follow up with a combination of hospital outpatient visits and visits to GPs, and 12 (29%) referred surveillance to the GP alone. For total reported patient numbers, almost two-thirds (60%) received surveillance according to national recommendations through outpatient visits with the surgeon or GP, while one-third (37%) were subject to other alternative routines. A small number (2%) received informal 'ad hoc' surveillance only. More liberal use of imaging outside guideline recommendations was reported for rectal cancer patients, while colon cancer patients treated in larger hospitals were more likely to be referred for GP surveillance.
All hospitals reported having a strategy for surveillance after surgery for colon and rectal cancer, but there was considerable variance in strategy. A scientific audit of the true level of compliance, effectiveness and cost-benefit is warranted at a national level.