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עמוד בית
Fri, 01.12.23

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July 2022
April 2022
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA

Extermination via starvation was described in detail as an alternative or precursor to the final solution during the Holocaust in World War II. The main causes of death in the ghettos were exhaustion, environmental conditions (inadequate protection in extreme climates), infectious diseases, or starvation. In previous studies on the Lodz Ghetto, the causes of death via typhus exantematicus, tuberculosis, and heart failure were investigated [1,2]. In this article, we introduce the topic of diabetes in the presence of starvation and assess the incidence of malignancies in the years 1941–1944. The findings from the Lodz Ghetto would retroactively support the Warburg theory

Noa Gal MD, Elena Didkovsky MD, Emmilia Hodak MD, and Batya B Davidovici MD

Background: Solid organ transplant recipients (SOTRs) are at increased risk for both skin and internal malignancies (IM). The risk of IM after the occurrence of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) has been studied in the general population but very little is known about this association in SOTRs.

Objectives: To evaluate the risk of IM following a prior diagnosis of post transplantation NMSC in SOTRs.

Methods: This single center retrospective cohort study included a study population of 329 SOTRs from Rabin Medical Center who had a post-transplant diagnosis of skin malignancy, internal malignancy, or both from 2012 to 2018.

Results: In total, 135 (41.03%) SOTRs were diagnosed with IM without a preceding diagnosis of NMSC while only 42 (12.76%) patients diagnosed with IM had a preceding diagnosis of NMSC. SOTRs with a diagnosis of NMSC showed a significantly decreased risk of developing subsequent IM (hazard ratio [HR] 0.64, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.44–0.94, P = 0.02) compared to those without a prior NMSC diagnosis. Liver and lung transplant patients showed a significantly decreased risk of developing subsequent IM after a diagnosis of NMSC (HR 0.09 and 0.43, respectively). When stratified by type of IM, only patients who were diagnosed with a hematological malignancy had a significantly lower risk of developing this malignancy if they had a prior NMSC (HR 0.26).

Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest a protective effect of NMSC on subsequent IM in the organ transplant population.

Amos Gelbard

Zinc is a trace element, which is abundant in nature. It is also an essential and important micronutrient found in many foods. It has a role in multiple bodily processes including wound healing and boosting of the immune system. This review shows evidence of zinc deficiency in cancer patients of all types, a deficiency that correlates with disease severity and negatively correlates with survival rates. Lower zinc levels led to more severe and advanced disease symptoms and to lower survival rates. Zinc is a nanoparticle and acts as a photosensitizer in photodynamic therapy in various combinations with other substances. It also shows incredible cytotxicity and tumor suppressive ability in studies conducted both in vitro and in vivo as well as in studies conducted in humans. This result is shown in all types of cancer tested. Zinc shows incredible toxicity toward cancer cells without showing any side effects toward healthy cells. It is recommended that zinc be added to cancer treatment regimens to alleviate zinc deficiency in cancer patients and perhaps to treat cancer as a whole

March 2022
Inbar Nardi-Agmon MD MPH, Alona Zer MD, Yuri Peysakhovich MD, Ili Margalit MD, Ran Kornowski MD, Nir Peled MD PhD, and Zaza Iakobishvili MD PhD

Background: No specific clinical or histological factors are recognized to be associated with the development of pericardial effusion in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) other than a metastatic disease.

Objectives: To assess whether specific clinical and histological features are associated with development of pericardial effusion in patients with NSCLC.

Methods: A consecutive cohort of patients with NSCLC who presented with symptomatic pericardial effusion 2014–2017 was compared to a control group of patients with advanced NSCLC without pericardial effusion.

Results: The 27 patients in the effusion group were generally younger, more often female, and with a higher percentage of never-smokers, compared to the 54 patients of the control group. Epidermal growth factor receptor/anaplastic lymphoma kinase (EGFR/ALK) mutation tumors were found in 48% of patients in the effusion group vs. 25% in the control group. In the multivariate analysis, the unadjusted odds ratio (OR) for the development of pericardial effusion in patients with somatic mutations was significantly higher compared to wild type tumors (OR 2.65, 95% confidence interval 1.00–7.00). However, a suspected association between pericardial effusion and mutation status was found to be confounded by age. While a high rate of recurrence was observed when pericardiocentesis was initially performed (9/17, 53%), no recurrence was documented when pericardial window procedure was performed (total of 17 patients).

Conclusions: Patients with EGFR/ALK mutations may be at higher risk for the development of pericardial effusion; therefore, attending physicians need to be aware and have a high index of clinical suspicion

Zahi Abu Ghosh MD, Mony Shuvy MD, Ronen Beeri MD, Israel Gotsman MD, Batla Falah MD, Mahsati Ibrahimli MD, and Dan Gilon MD

Background: Cancer patients with heart failure (HF) and severe mitral regurgitation (MR) are often considered to be at risk for surgical mitral valve repair/replacement. Severe MR inducing symptomatic HF may prevent delivery of potentially cardiotoxic chemotherapy and complicate fluid management with other cancer treatments.

Objectives: To evaluate the outcome of percutaneous mitral valve repair (PMVR) in oncology patients with HF and significant MR.

Methods: Our study comprised 145 patients who underwent PMVR, MitraClip, at Hadassah Medical Center between August 2015 and September 2019, including 28 patients who had active or history of cancer. Data from 28 cancer patients were compared to 117 no-cancer patients from the cohort.

Results: There was no significant difference in the mean age of cancer patients and no-cancer patients (76 vs. 80 years, P = 0.16); 67% of the patients had secondary (functional) MR. Among cancer patients, 21 had solid tumor and 7 had hematologic malignancies. Nine patients (32%) had active malignancy at the time of PMVR. The mean short-term risk score of the patients was similar in the two groups, as were both 30-day and 1-year mortality rates (7% vs. 4%, P = 0.52) and (29% vs. 16%, P = 0.13), respectively.

Conclusion: PMVR in cancer patients is associated with similar 30-day and 1-year survival rate compared with patients without cancer. PMVR should be considered for cancer patients presenting with HF and severe MR and despite their malignancy. This approach may allow cancer patients to safely receive planned oncological treatment

Avital Angel-Korman MD, Vladimir Rapoport MD, and Adi Leiba MD

Hypertension and cancer are both common due to the aging of the population and the advances in medical treatment which result in increased survival of cancer patients today. More patients with cancer; therefore, present with hypertension, which is attributed to different factors, including genetics and age as well as the type of tumor and cancer-related treatments. Given the increased cardiovascular and mortality risk related to hypertension, it is important to appropriately identify and treat hypertension, particularly in the population of vulnerable cancer patients. In this article we discuss the epidemiology, different etiologies, and approaches to the management of hypertension in cancer patients.

Filipe Cirne MD, Som D. Mukherjee MD, Jehonathan Pinthus MD, Darryl P. Leong MBBS

Increased life expectancy due to improved cancer prognosis, shared determinants (e.g., tobacco use), and cardiovascular toxicities related to cancer therapies, including the adverse cardiometabolic effects of androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer, make cardiovascular disease an frequent and important co-morbidity in patients with a genitourinary malignancy. Complex cardiovascular disease can pose significant challenges in the management of these patients given the uncertainties related to the best approach to reconcile ischemic and bleeding risks, and the role of invasive cardiovascular interventions in individuals with advanced cancer. In this review, we discuss the current evidence that informs decision-making in this clinical context.

Aaron Lubetsky MD MSc

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is very common in cancer patients and is a marker of increased mortality in these patients. Treatment is associated with increased rates of recurrent thrombosis and bleeding and has undergone significant change in the last years with the increasing use of direct oral anticoagulants. Diagnosis of PE and risk stratification is possible with minor changes to existing risk scores. Thrombolytic therapy should be considered in appropriate patients.

Sebastian Szmit MD PhD, Jarosław Kępski MD, and Michał Wilk MD

Atrial fibrillation is becoming an increasingly important problem in cardio-oncology. Specific risk factors for atrial fibrillation occurrence include type of cancer disease and anticancer drugs. Anticoagulation is often abandoned. The CHA2DS2-VASc and CHA2DS2 scores may be important not only in predicting stroke but also in mortality. The role of new direct oral anticoagulants is growing, but they need to be used in a personalized approach depending on the risk of unbeneficial interactions with cancer treatment and the risk of bleeding.

Nicole Prabhu MD and Jeanne M. DeCara MD

Cardiac tumors are rare and the majority are from a primary source outside of the heart. Most are found, incidentally, with echocardiography but often additional cardiac imaging is needed to refine the differential diagnosis. For this purpose, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and to a lesser extent cardiac computed tomography (CT) or 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT) are useful imaging modalities to better characterize a cardiac tumor and determine the likelihood of a neoplastic versus non-neoplastic origin. Cardiac CT may be useful to evaluate the effect of treatment while using 18F-FDG PET/CT to evaluate cardiac masses is under-studied but may be useful in patients who are already having a scan performed for oncologic reasons. It is through understanding the clinical context of a newly discovered cardiac mass, knowledge of the typical locations of various cardiac tumor types, combined with imaging techniques that avoid ionizing radiation that yield the greatest confidence in the noninvasive diagnosis of a cardiac mass

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

January 2022
Yael Feferman MD, Melinda Katz MD, Natalia Egorova PhD MPH, Umut Sarpel MD MSc, and Nina A. Bickell MD MPH

Background: Potentially preventable readmissions of surgical oncology patients offer opportunities to improve quality of care. Identifying and subsequently addressing remediable causes of readmissions may improve patient-centered care.

Objectives: To identify factors associated with potentially preventable readmissions after index cancer operation.

Methods: The New York State hospital discharge database was used to identify patients undergoing common cancer operations via principal diagnosis and procedure codes between the years 2010 and 2014. The 30-day readmissions were identified and risk factors for potentially preventable readmissions were analyzed using competing risk analysis.

Results: A total of 53,740 cancer surgeries performed for the following tumor types were analyzed: colorectal (CRC) (42%), kidney (22%), liver (2%), lung (25%), ovary (4%), pancreas (4%), and uterine (1%). The 30-day readmission rate was 11.97%, 47% of which were identified as potentially preventable. The most common cause of potentially preventable readmissions was sepsis (48%). Pancreatic cancer had the highest overall readmission rate (22%) and CRC had the highest percentage of potentially preventable readmissions (51%, hazard ratio [HR] 1.42, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.28–1.61). Risk factors associated with preventable readmissions included discharge disposition to a skilled nursing facility (HR 2.22, 95%CI 1.99–2.48) and the need for home healthcare (HR 1.61, 95%CI 1.48–1.75).

Conclusions: Almost half of the 30-day readmissions were potentially preventable and attributed to high rates of sepsis, surgical site infections, dehydration, and electrolyte disorders. These results can be further validated for identifying broad targets for improvement

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

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