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עמוד בית
Sun, 25.09.22

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February 2022
Viacheslav Bard MD, Baruch Brenner MD, and Hanoch Kashtan MD

There has been a general reduction over the last 20 years in the incidence within Israel of gastric cancer (GC). This has particularly been noted in the Jewish population with a slight increase in the incidence of cancer of the gastroesophageal junction among Jews of Sephardi origin. Given the diversity of individual ethnic subpopulations, the effects of GC incidence in second-generation immigrant Jews, particularly from high prevalence regions (e.g., the former Soviet Union, Iraq, and Iran), awaits determination. There are currently no national data on GC-specific mortality. The most recent available cross-correlated Israeli National Cancer Registry (INCR) and International Association for Cancer Research (IARC) incidence data for GC of the body and antrum in Israel are presented. Some of the challenges associated with GC monitoring in the changing Israeli population are discussed. We propose the establishment of a national GC management committee designed to collect demographic and oncological data in operable cases with the aim of recording and improving GC-specific outcomes. We believe that there is value in the development of a national surgical planning program, which oversees training and accreditation in a dynamic environment that favors the wider use of neoadjuvant therapies, minimally invasive surgery and routine extended (D2) lymphadenectomy. These changes should be supported by assessable enhanced recovery programs

December 2021
Galit Hirsh-Yechezkel PhD, Angela Chetrit MHA, Sivan Ben Avraham MSc, Abed Agbarya MD, Alexander Yakobson MD, Noam Asna MD, Gil Bar-Sela MD, Irit Ben-Aharon MD PhD, Noa Efrat Ben-Baruch MD, Raanan Berger MD PhD, Ronen Brenner MD, Maya Gottfried MD, Shani Paluch-Shimon MBBS MSc, Raphael Pfeffer MD, Aron Popovtzer MD, Larisa Ryvo MD, Valeriya Semenisty MD, Ayelet Shai MD PhD, Katerina Shulman MD, Jamal Zidan MD, and Ido Wolf MD

Background: The increased susceptibility of cancer patients to coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) infections and complications calls for special precautions while treating cancer patients during COVID-19 pandemics. Thus, oncology departments have had to implement a wide array of prevention measures.

Objectives: To address issues associated with cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic and to assess the implementation of measures aimed at containment of COVID-19 diffusion while allowing continuation of quality cancer care.

Methods: A national survey among oncology departments in Israel was conducted between 12 April 2020 and 14 April 2020. Eighteen heads of hospital-based oncology departments completed a self-report questionnaire regarding their institute's preparedness for treatment of cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results: In this national survey, prevention measures against COVID-19 spread were taken prior to patients' arrival and at arrival or while staying in the departments. Most participants (78–89%) reported using a quick triage of patients and caregivers prior to their entrance to the oncology units, limiting the entrance of caregivers, and reducing unnecessary visits to the clinic. Switching to oral therapies rather than intravenous ones when possible was considered by 82% and shortage in personal protective equipment was reported by five (28%) heads of oncology departments. Some differences between large and small/medium sized medical centers were observed regarding issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and changes in treatment.

Conclusions: Oncology departments in Israel were able to prepare and adapt their services to guidelines and requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic with little harm to their treatment capacity

June 2021
January 2020
Alina Weissmann-Brenner MD, Anna Mitlin MD, Chen Hoffman MD, Reuven Achiron MD, Yishai Salem MD and Eldad Katorza MD

Background: Congenital heart defects (CHD) may be associated with neurodevelopmental abnormalities mainly due to brain hypoperfusion. This defect is attributed to the major cardiac operations these children underwent, but also to hemodynamic instability during fetal life. Advances in imaging techniques have identified changes in brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)in children with CHD.

Objectives: To examine the correlation between CHD and brain injury using fetal brain MRI.

Methods: We evaluated 46 fetuses diagnosed with CHD who underwent brain MRI. CHD was classified according to in situs anomalies, 4 chamber view (4CV), outflow tracts, arches, and veins as well as cyanotic or complex CHD. We compared MRI results of different classes of CHD and CHD fetuses to a control group of 113 healthy brain MRI examinations.

Results: No significant differences were found in brain pathologies among different classifications of CHD. The anteroposterior percentile of the vermis was significantly smaller in fetuses with abnormal 4CV. A significantly higher biparietal diameter was found in fetuses with abnormal arches. A significantly smaller transcerebellar diameter was found in fetuses with abnormal veins. Compared to the control group, significant differences were found in overall brain pathology in cortex abnormalities and in extra axial findings in the study group. Significantly higher rates of overall brain pathologies, ventricle pathologies, cortex pathologies, and biometrical parameters were found in the cyanotic group compared to the complex group and to the control group.

Conclusions: Fetuses with CHD demonstrate findings in brain MRI that suggest an in utero pathogenesis of the neurological and cognitive anomalies found during child development.

November 2018
Haim Shmuely MD, Baruch Brenner MD, David Groshar MD, Nir Hadari MD, Ofer Purim MD, Meital Nidam MD, Merab Eligalashvili MD, Jacob Yahav MD and Hanna Bernstine MD
August 2018
Haim Shmuely MD, Baruch Brenner MD, David Groshar MD, Nir Hadari MD, Ofer Purim MD, Meital Nidam MD, Merab Eligalashvili MD, Jacob Yahav MD and Hanna Bernstine MD

Background: Evidence has been emerging that Helicobacter pylori may also impact colorectal cancer (CRC). Positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging can predict overall survival in CRC patients.

Objectives: To determine a possible association between H. pylori seropositivity and all-cause mortality among CRC patients evaluated by PET/CT scans.

Methods: This prospective cohort study was comprised of 110 consecutive CRC patients who had undergone a PET/CT evaluation in a tertiary academic medical center. Data included demographics, body mass index (BMI), tumor node metastasis stage at diagnosis, treatment, time from diagnosis to PET/CT, and PET/CT findings. All patients were tested for anti-H. pylori immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies and followed for 36 months from the day of the PET/CT scan. Mortality was documented. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression was used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) of H. pylori serological status.

Results: During the follow-up period, of the 110 CRC patients 41 (37.3%) died and 69 (62.7%) survived. Of the 41 patients, 26 (63.4%) were H. pylori seropositive and 15 (36.6%) were seronegative. Multivariate analysis showed that H. pylori seropositivity was associated with increased mortality (HR 3.46, 95% confidence interval 1.63–7.32), stage IV at diagnosis, metastatic disease found on PET/CT, longer time from diagnosis to PET/CT, lower BMI, and older age.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that H. pylori infection may be a risk factor for all-cause mortality among CRC patients who are evaluated by PET/CT. Multicenter studies with larger patient groups are needed to confirm our findings.

September 2016
Rinat Yerushalmi MD, Shulamith Rizel MD, Dalia Zoref MD, Eran Sharon MD, Ram Eitan MD, Gad Sabah MD, Ahuva Grubstein MD, Yael Rafson MD, Maya Cohen MD, Ada Magen MD, Iehudit Birenboim MD, David Margel MD, Rachel Ozlavo BSc MBA, Aaron Sulkes MD, Baruch Brenner MD and Shlomit Perry PhD

Women who carry the BRCA gene mutation have an up to 80% chance of developing cancer, primarily of breast and ovarian origin. Confirmation of carrier status is described by many women as an overwhelming, life-changing event. Healthy individuals harboring a BRCA mutation constitute a high risk population with unique needs, often overlooked by health authorities. As such, we felt the need to create a specialized service dedicated specifically to this high risk population. The clinic staff comprises an experienced multidisciplinary team of health professionals who can support the medical and emotional needs of this population. Since its inception in 2001 the clinic has served 318 women. The mean age of patients is 46 years. With a median follow-up of 46 months, 21 women have developed malignancies, including 17 breast cancers, 1 ovarian cancer and 3 additional cancers. All but one of the patients above the age of 40 underwent bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO). The median and mean ages at BSO were 46.5 and 48 years, respectively (range 33–68). However, only 28.3% underwent bilateral preventive mastectomy. A multidisciplinary clinic for BRCA mutation carriers provides a “home” for this unique population with unmet needs. The high rate of BSO in women before natural menopause indicates that both the medical community and this population are aware of international guidelines supporting this procedure. We believe that a dedicated clinic, with a multidisciplinary team, is likely to contribute to the health, quality of life and survival of BRCA carriers.

February 2013
T. Steinberg, I. Tamir, S. Zimmerman-Brenner, M. Friling and A. Apter
 Background:  Tic disorders are common causes of morbidity in Israel but their prevalence in this country needs further study.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of mental disorders in Israeli youth including tic disorders, as part of the Israel Survey of Mental Health among Adolescents (ISMEHA).

Methods: The ISMEHA was conducted in a representative sample of 957 adolescents aged 14–17 and their mothers during 2004–2005. We interviewed the adolescents and their mothers in their homes and collected demographic information about the use of services. We also administered a psychiatric interview, the Development and Well-Being Assessment inventory (DAWBA), which included a question on tic disorder. The prevalence of tic disorders was calculated based on the adolescents’ and maternal reports. The relationships among demographic data, comorbidity rates, help-seeking behaviors and tic disorder are presented.

Results: The prevalence of tics was 1.3% according to maternal reports and 4.4% according to adolescents’ reports. The prevalence correlated with externalizing disorders and learning disabilities A higher prevalence of tics was found in the Arab population compared with Jewish adolescents

Conclusions: The prevalence of tic disorders in Israel, as measured by a direct question in this epidemiological study, and associated comorbidities concurs with previous reports. The complexities of prevalence estimations, comorbidities, demographic correlates, and help-seeking behaviors are discussed.

September 2011
O. Robicsek, B. Makhoul, E. Klein, B. Brenner and G. Sarig

Background: Whereas procoagulation abnormalities in acute stress are well established, little is known about the mechanism of hypercoagulation in chronic stress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is crucial, given the fact that chronic coagulation disturbances have been associated with increased morbidity and premature mortality due to thromboembolism and cardiovascular disorders, complications recently described in PTSD patients.

Objectives: To explore the mechanisms of hypercoagulation in chronic PTSD.

Methods: Thirty patients diagnosed with chronic PTSD were enrolled and compared with a control group matched for age, gender and ethnicity. Hypercoagulation state was evaluated by levels of fibrinogen, D-dimer, prothrombin fragment F 1+2, von Willebrand factor (vWF) antigen, factor VIII activity, activated protein C resistance, ProC Global assay, and tissue factor antigen. Psychiatric evaluation was performed using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview and Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS).

Results: vWF antigen levels were significantly higher in patients with chronic PTSD compared with the controls (121.3 ± 42 vs. 99.7 ± 23, respectively, P = 0.034). Higher levels of vWF antigen and factor VIII activity were found in patients with severe chronic PTSD (CAPS > 80), compared to controls and patients with chronic PTSD and less severe symptoms (CAPS ≤ 80). However, no differences were observed in any other studied coagulation parameters between patients and controls.

Conclusions: Increased levels of vWF antigen and factor VIII activity were documented in severe chronic PTSD. These findings suggest that the higher risk of arterial and venous thromboembolic events in PTSD patients could be related to endothelial damage or endothelial activation.
 

June 2008
I. Goldberg, I. Shirazi and S. Brenner

Background Drug-specific CD8+ TH1 lymphocytes have been found in the peripheral blood and involved skin of patients with drug-induced bullous exanthems.


Objectives To determine whether the interferon-gamma release test can identify culprit drugs in pemphigus patients.

Methods Clinical and laboratory workup for pemphigus was performed in 14 pemphigus vulgaris patients who had been exposed to drugs, and the IFNl[1] release test was conducted on their lymphocytes from heparinized venous blood cultured with medium, phytohemagglutinin and one of 32 drugs, or medium and phytohemagglutinin alone.


Results Ten of the patients and 13 of the 32 drugs exhibited a positive response to the test. Eight of the 10 patients with positive IFNl test results had a less severe course of the disease, with fast reduction in steroid dosage.

Conclusions The findings demonstrate both the ability of the IFNl release test to identify drugs that can induce pemphigus, and its usefulness in the diagnostic workup of pemphigus patients.







[1] IFNl = interferon-gamma


January 2008
S. Fuchs, T. Feferman, R. Meidler, T. Brenner, O. Laub and M.C. Souroujon

Backgraound: Intravenous immunoglobulin administration has been beneficially used for the treatment of a variety of autoimmune diseases including myasthenia gravis, although its mode of action and active components have not yet been fully identified.

Objectives: To isolate from IVIg[1] a disease-specific fraction involved in the therapeutic activity in myasthenia and to identify its properties and function.

Results: IVIg administration in experimental autoimmune MG[2] results in suppression of disease that is accompanied by decreased Th1 cell and B cell proliferation. Chromatography of IVIg on columns of IgG from rats with EAMG[3] or from MG patients resulted in depletion of the suppressive activity that IVIg has on rat EAMG. Moreover, the minute amounts of IgG fractions eluted from the EAMG or MG-specific columns retained the immunosuppressive activity of IVIg.

Conclusions: Our study supports the notion that the therapeutic effect of IVIg is mediated by a minor disease-specific immunoglobulin fraction that is present in IVIg and is essential for its therapeutic activity.





[1] IVIg = inravenous immunoglobulin

[2] MG = myasthenia gravis

[3] EAMG = experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis 


December 2006
A. Kolomansky, R. Hoffman, G. Sarig, B. Brenner and N. Haim
 Background: Little is known about the epidemiology of venous thromboembolism in hospitalized patients in Israel. Also, a direct comparison of the clinical and laboratory features between cancer and non-cancer patients has not yet been reported.

Objectives: To investigate and compare the epidemiologic, clinical and laboratory characteristics of cancer and non-cancer patients hospitalized with venous thromboembolism in a large referral medical center in Israel.

Methods: Between February 2002 and February 2003, patients diagnosed at the Rambam Medical Center as suffering from VTE[1] (deep vein thrombosis and/or pulmonary embolism), based on diagnostic findings on Doppler ultrasonography, spiral computed tomography scan or lung scan showing high probability for pulmonary embolism, were prospectively identified and evaluated. In addition, at the conclusion of the study period, the reports of spiral chest CT scans, performed during the aforementioned period in this hospital, were retrospectively reviewed to minimize the number of unidentified cases. Blood samples were drawn for evaluation of the coagulation profile.

Results: Altogether, 147 patients were identified and 153 VTE events diagnosed, accounting for 0.25% of all hospitalizations during the study period. The cancer group included 63 patients (43%), most of whom had advanced disease (63%). The most common malignancies were cancer of the lung (16%), breast (14%), colon (11%) and pancreas (10%). Of 121 venous thromboembolic events (with or without pulmonary embolism) there were 14 upper extremity thromboses (12%). The most common risk factors for VTE, except malignancy, were immobilization (33%), surgery/trauma (20%) and congestive heart failure (17%). There was no difference in prevalence of various risk factors between cancer and non-cancer patients. During an acute VTE event, D-dimer levels were higher in cancer patients than non-cancer patients (4.04 ± 4.27 vs. 2.58 ± 1.83 mg/L respectively, P = 0.0550). Relatively low values of activated protein C sensitivity ratio and normalized protein C activation time were observed in both cancer and non-cancer groups (2.05 ± 0.23 vs. 2.01 ± 0.33 and 0.75 ± 0.17vs. 0.71 ± 0.22, respectively). These values did not differ significantly between the groups.

Conclusion: The proportion of cancer patients among patients suffering from VTE was high. Their demographic, clinical and laboratory characteristics (during an acute event) were not different from those of non-cancer patients, except for higher D-dimer levels.


 





[1] VTE = venous thromboembolism


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