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Recent Articles

2021-01-28 Research Article

Induction therapy with Erlotinib (E) and Gemcitabine/Platinum (GP) in stage III NSCLC


Background: In 2004 we started a phase II trial in non-small lung cancer (NSCLC), stage III, with erlotinib followed by a combination with a platinum-based doublet in unselected patients to identify molecular subgroups benefitting from an EGFR targeting approach.

Patients and methods: Induction with erlotinib (E, 150 mg, d1-42) was followed by three cycles of gemcitabine (G, 1250 mg/m², d1+d8, q3w) and cisplatin (P, 80 mg/m², d1, q3w). Patients with at least stable disease after E were treated with a GP + E combination. Induction was followed by surgery and radiation. The trial was conducted as a prospective, multi-center, open label, exploratory phase II study to determine pathological response rate (pRR), as well as secondary endpoints disease free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS).

Results: Of 38 prescreened patients 16 were included in the main study. Due to slow recruitment the study had to be terminated early. Combination of E and GP was well tolerated, surgery was feasible after induction therapy in 12 of 16 patients, 7/12 (58%) patients had a major pathological response (MPR). Median overall survival for patients with MPR was 57.7 months (confidence interval (CI), 37.4 to 78.0; n = 7) and for patients without MPR 11.9 months (CI, 6.4 to 17.4; n = 5). 2/16 patients had an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation.

Conclusion: Before discovery of distinct molecular mechanisms in NSCLC our study was an attempt to identify clinical and pathological subgroups that would benefit from E induction. Two patients with an EGFR mutation were identified. MPR was a predictor of long term disease free and overall survival.

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2021-02-15 Research Article

Comparison of clinical, chest CT and laboratory findings of suspected COVID-19 inpatients with positive and negative RT-PCR


Introduction: COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and it was first reported in China. The aim of this study was to compare clinical features, chest CT findings and laboratory examinations of suspected COVID-19 inpatients according to RT-PCR analysis.

Methods: Demographics, comorbidites, symptoms and signs, laboratory results and chest CT findings were compared between positive and negative groups. The study included 292 patients (134 females, 158 males) suspected of COVID-19. All statistical calculations were performed with SPSS 23.0.

Results: 158 (54.1%) of the cases were male and 134 (45.9%) were female. Their ages ranged from 17 to 95 years, with an average of 50.46 ± 20.87. A symptom or sign was detected in 86.3% of all patients. The chest CT images of 278 patients were analyzed. Chest CT was negative in 59.2% of patients with positive RT-PCR and 43.9% of patients with negative RT-PCR results. Chest CT findings were atypical or indeterminate in 22.4% of patients with positive RT-PCR results and 20% of patients with negative RT-PCR analysis. ALP, bilirubine, CRP, eosinophil count, glucose, CK-MB mass and lactate were significantly lower in patients with positive RT-PCR test. LDH, lipase, MCV, monocyte, neutrophil count, NLR, platelet, pO2, pro-BNP, procalcitonin, INR, prothrombin time, sodium, troponin T, urea, WBC were significantly lower in patients with positive RT-PCR test results.

Conclusion: The diagnosis of COVID-19 is based on history of patient, typical symptoms or clinical findings. Chest CT, RT-PCR and laboratory abnormalities make the diagnosis of disease stronger.

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2021-02-26 Review Article

Chronic fatigue syndrome and epigenetics: The case for hyperbaric oxygen therapy in biomarker identification


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a poorly-understood respiratory condition that affects millions of individuals. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a treatment option being considered to address CFS as it is suggested to combat fatigue and increase oxygenation. HBOT provides two opportunities in advancing research of CFS: it may provide data on symptom amelioration and be utilized in the search for a biomarker. By either identifying biomarkers before using HBOT to compare epigenomes of patients before and after treatment or using HBOT to find epigenetic discrepancies between patients with and without treatment, matching epigenetic regulation with symptom amelioration may significantly advance the understanding of the etiology and treatment mechanism for CFS. EPAS1/HIF-2α is a leading candidate for an epigenetic biomarker as it responds differentially to hypoxic and normoxic conditions, which degrades more slowly in hypoxic conditions. Epigenetic regulation of EPAS1/HIF-2α in such differential conditions may be explored in HBOT experiments. In addition to HBOT as a promising treatment option for CFS symptoms, it may aid the identification of biomarkers in CFS. Further research into both outcomes is strongly encouraged.

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2021-03-24 Case Report

A case report on Meigs’ syndrome and elevated serum CA-125: A rare case report


Meigs syndrome is an uncommon presentation, where a benign ovarian neoplasia presents along with ascites and pleural effusion. About 1% of ovarian neoplasia can present as Meigs syndrome. Patients with Meigs’ syndrome and elevated serum CA-125 are not frequently reported. We report a case of a 50-year-old women who presented with shortness of breath, cough, weight loss of one and half month duration. Chest radiograph of the patient with clinical examination of patient confirms pleural effusion as cause of progressive shortness of breath. The presence of a pelvic mass and elevated serum CA-125, which raised the possibility of malignancy. After complete resection of tumor, the pathologic reports confirmed a benign ovarian neoplasia. We highlight the importance of suspicion, careful general examination, radiological assessment and histological tests to confirm the diagnosis of Meigs’ syndrome.

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