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עמוד בית
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February 2019
Jonathan Kuten MD MHA, Nicola J. Mabjeesh MD PhD, Hedva Lerman MD, Charles Levine MD, Sophie Barnes MD and Einat Even-Sapir MD PhD

Background: Ga-prostate-specific membrane antigen positron emission tomography/computerized tomography (Ga-PSMA PET/CT) is part of the initial workup of patients with intermediate and high-risk prostate cancer provided by the Israeli national health services.

Objectives: To assess the incidence of metastatic spread in consecutive patients with newly diagnosed cancer, and the potential added value of Ga-PSMA PET/CT to the staging imaging algorithm.

Methods: Patients with newly diagnosed intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancer were referred for initial staging by Ga-PSMA PET/CT between May 2016 and April 2017. Blood prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, clinical history, imaging reports and histopathological reports (including Gleason scores) were obtained. Maximal standardized uptake values (SUVmax) were determined for the primary lesions detected within the prostate.

Results: The study included 137 consecutive patients with intermediate- and high-risk disease who underwent Ga-PSMA PET/CT staging. Of these, 75 had Ga-PSMA uptake in both prostate lobes, 57 had unilateral uptake, and 5 patients had no uptake. SUVmax in the primary tumor correlated significantly with PSA levels. Thirty-five patients had increased uptake compatible with metastatic disease involving lymph nodes, bone, and viscera. Twenty-seven patients had available bone scintigraphy results: 18 (69%) of their 26 bone metastases detected by Ga-PSMA PET/CT were missed on bone scintigraphy.

Conclusions: Ga-PSMA PET/CT shows promise as a sole whole-body imaging modality for assessing the presence of soft tissue and bone metastases in the setting of prostate cancer.

January 2018
Rana Afifi MD, Benjamin Person MD and Riad Haddad MD

Background: Lymph node (LN) retrieval and assessment is essential for accurate staging and treatment planning in colorectal cancer (CRC). According to U.S. National Cancer Institute recommendations, the minimal number of LNs needed for accurately staging of node-negative CRC is 12. Awareness and implementation of the guidelines has been shown to improve after assigning an opinion leader who has a special interest in CRC.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of dialogue between surgeons and pathologists in LN evaluation.

Methods: Consecutively treated CRC patients at the Department of Surgery B at Rambam Medical Center from January 1, 2000 through July 30, 2005 were identified from hospital discharge files. Demographic, surgical, and pathological data were extracted. Patients were divided into two groups. Group I patients underwent surgery before the initiation of a structured surgical oncology service (January 1, 2000 to October 30, 2004). Group II patients underwent surgery after the initiation of the service (November 1, 2004 to July 30, 2005).

Results: The study comprised 212 patients (Group I: n=170; Group II: n=42). The median number of LNs examined was 9 in Group I and 14 in Group II (P = 0.003). Only 35% of patients in Group I received adequate LN evaluation compared to 79% in Group II (P = 0.0001). Patients with left-sided or rectal cancer were less likely to receive adequate LN evaluation than patients with right-sided cancers.

Conclusions: A durable improvement in LN evaluation was realized through a multi-pronged change initiative aimed at both surgeons and pathologists.

April 2017
Eyal Lotan MD MSc, Stephen P. Raskin MD, Michal M. Amitai MD, Yeruham Kleinbaum MD, Ella Veitsman MD, Peretz Weiss MD, Oranit Cohen-Ezra MD, Tania Berdichevski MD and Ziv Ben-Ari MD

Background: Accurate assessment of liver fibrosis is crucial for the management of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

Objectives: To evaluate the performance of liver segment-to-spleen volume ratio in predicting the severity of liver fibrosis.

Methods: Sixty-four consecutive HCV patients were enrolled in this retrospective study. All patients underwent contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) and were divided into three groups based on their hepatic fibrosis stage evaluated by shear-wave elastography (SWE): non-advanced (F0–F1, n=29), advanced (F2, n=19) and severe fibrosis (F3–F4, n=16). Using semi-automated liver segmentation software, we calculated the following liver segments and spleen volumes for each participant: total liver volume (TLV), caudate lobe (CV), left lateral segment (LLV), left medial segment (LMV), right lobe (RV) and spleen (SV), a well as their ratios: CV/SV, RV/SV, LLV/SV, LMV/SV and TLV/SV.

Results: RV/SV was found to discriminate between patients with non-advanced and advanced fibrosis (P = 0.001), whereas SV, CV, RV, TLV/SV, LMV/SV and RV/SV discriminated between patients with advanced and severe fibrosis (P < 0.05). RV/SV ≤ 3.6 and RV ≤ 2.9 were identified as the best cutoff values to differentiate non-advanced from advanced fibrosis and advanced from severe fibrosis with sensitivities of 72.2% and 92.7%, specificities of 72.7% and 77.8%, and with an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.797 and 0.847, respectively (P ≤ 0.002).

Conclusions: RV/SV may be used for the assessment and monitoring of liver fibrosis in HCV patients prior to the administration of antiviral therapy, considering SWE as the reference method.

 

February 2017
Eran Glikson MD, Eran Alon MD, Lev Bedrin MD and Yoav P. Talmi MD

Background: More than 90% of all thyroid cancers are differentiated thyroid carcinomas (DTC) with a 10 year survival rate greater than 90%. The commonly used risk stratification systems for DTC include: European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), AGES (Age, histologic Grade, Extent of tumor, Size), AMES (Metastasis) and MACIS (Completeness of resection, local Invasion). Other systems are also utilized. Several new factors that may be involved in DTC risk stratification have emerged in recent studies, with other "traditional" factors being challenged. 

Objectives: To present recent updates in the literature on new potential prognostic factors for DTC.

Methods: We conducted a literature review and analysis of publications regarding DTC prognostic factors or risk stratification published in the last 10 years. 

Results: Several new factors with potential prognostic implications for DTC were noted, including family history, lymph node involvement parameters, positive PET-CT findings, multifocal disease, thyroglobulin level and several molecular markers including BRAF. Increasing age is associated with poorer outcome in DTC; however, recent studies suggest that the cutoff point of 45 years may be contested. Furthermore, several studies have shown contradictory results regarding male gender as a negative prognostic factor, thus questioning its prognostic significance. 

Conclusions: A number of new factors with potential prognostic implications for DTC have emerged and should be addressed. However, their role and possible inclusion in new staging systems has yet to be determined.

 

June 2013
O. Ben-Ishay, E. Brauner, Z. Peled, A. Othman, B. Person and Y. Kluger
 Background: Colon cancer is common, affecting mostly older people. Since age is a risk factor, young patients might not be awarded the same attention as older ones regarding symptoms that could imply the presence of colon cancer.

Objectives: To investigate whether young patients, i.e., under age 50, complain of symptoms for longer than older patients until the diagnosis of colon cancer is established.

Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, patients were divided into two groups: < 50 years old (group 1) and ≥ 50 (group 2). All had undergone surgery for left or right colon cancer during the 1 year period January 2000 through December 2009 at one medical center. Rectal and sigmoid cancers were excluded. Data collected included age, gender, quantity and quality of complaints, duration of complaints, in-hospital versus community diagnosis, pathological staging, the side of colon involved, and overall mortality. The main aim was the quality and duration of complaints. Secondary outcomes were the pathological stage at presentation and the mortality rate.

Results: The study group comprised 236 patients: 31 (13.1%) were < 50 years old and 205 (86.9%) were ≥ 50 years. No significant difference was found in the quantity and quality of complaints between the two groups. Patients in group 1 (< 50 years) complained for a longer period, 5.3 vs. 2.4 months (P = 0.002). More younger patients were diagnosed with stage IV disease (38.7% vs. 21.5%, P = 0.035) and fewer had stage I disease (3.2% vs. 15.6%, P = 0.06); the mortality rates were similar (41.9% vs. 39%). Applying a stepwise logistic regression model, the duration of complaints was found to be an independent predictor of mortality (P = 0.03, OR 1.6, 95% CI 1–3.6), independently of age (P = 0.003) and stage (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Younger patients are more often diagnosed with colon cancer later, at a more advanced stage. Alertness to patients’ complaints, together with evaluation regardless of age but according to symptoms and clinical presentation are crucial. Large-scale population-based studies are needed to confirm this trend. 

December 2010
A. Kapiev, I. Rabin, R. Lavy, B. Chikman, Z. Shapira, H. Kais, N. Poluksht, Y. Amsalam, Z. Halpern, I. Markon, I. Wassermann and A. Halevy

Background: Gastric cancer continues to be a leading cause of cancer death. The treatment approach varies, and preoperative staging is therefore crucial since an exploratory laparotomy for unresectable gastric cancer will be followed by an unacceptably high morbidity and mortality rate.

Objectives: To assess the added value of diagnostic laparoscopy to conventional methods of diagnosis such as computed tomography in avoiding unnecessary laparotomies.

Methods: A retrospective study on 78 patients scheduled for curative gastrectomy based on CT staging was conducted. DL[1] was performed prior to exploratory laparotomy.

Results: In 23 of 78 patients (29.5%), unexpected peritoneal spread not detected on preoperative CT was found. Fifty-five patients underwent radical gastrectomy, 15 patients were referred for downstaging and 8 patients underwent a palliative procedure.

Conclusions: Based on our results, DL should be considered in all gastric cancer patients scheduled for curative gastrectomy.






[1] DL = diagnostic laparoscopy


May 2010
A. Stepansky, A. Halevy and Y. Ziv

Background: An accurate preoperative definition of tumor and lymph node status is needed for reaching the correct decision regarding rectal cancer treatment. Transrectal ultrasonography is the most commonly used diagnostic modality for the local staging of rectal cancer.

Objectives: To determine the accuracy of TRUS[1] in the staging of rectal cancer.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study on 95 patients evaluated by TRUS. The rectum was subdivided into two parts (lower and upper).

Results: Sixty patients underwent radical surgery. Of these, 34 received no preoperative chemo-irradiation owing to µT1, µT2 tumor or the patient’s choice (neo-adjuvant treatment was suggested to patients with adenocarcinoma that proved to be µT3). The overall accuracy rate was 80% for T stage. Overstaging was found in 13.3% and understaging in 6.7%.The N-stage was correctly assessed in 70%. The overall accuracy rate for tumors was 73.9% in the lower part and 90.9% in the upper. A trend towards a lower accuracy rate for low-lying tumors compared to high-located rectal tumors was found (P = 0.532), which did not reach statistical significance.

Conclusions: TRUS gave better results for T1 and T3 stage rectal tumors but was inaccurate for stage T2, indicating the possible need for local excision in order to base the final treatment for T2 tumors on pathologic staging.

[1] TRUS = transrectal ultrasonography
 

March 2009
S. Machlenkin, E. Melzer, E. Idelevich, N. Ziv-Sokolovsky, Y. Klein and H. Kashtan

Background: The role of endoscopic ultrasound in evaluating the response of esophageal cancer to neoadjuvant chemotherapy is controversial.

Objectives: To evaluate the accuracy of EUS[1] in restaging patients who underwent NAC[2].

Methods: The disease stage of patients with esophageal cancer was established by means of the TNM classification system. The initial staging was determined by chest and abdominal computed tomography and EUS. Patients who needed NAC underwent a preoperative regimen consisting of cisplatin and fluouracil. Upon completion of the chemotherapy, patients were restaged and then underwent esophagectomy. The results of the EUS staging were compared with the results of the surgical pathology staging. This comparison was done in two groups of patients: the study group (all patients who received NAC) and the control group (all patients who underwent primary esophagectomy without NAC).

Results: NAC was conducted in 20 patients with initial stage IIB and III carcinoma of the esophagus (study group). Post-chemotherapy EUS accurately predicted the surgical pathology stage in 6 patients (30%). Pathological down-staging was noted in 8 patients (40%). However, the EUS was able to observe it in only 2 patients (25%). The accuracy of EUS in determining the T status alone was 80%. The accuracy for N status alone was 35%. In 65% of examinations the EUS either overestimated (35%) or underestimated (30%) the N status. Thirteen patients with initial stage I-IIA underwent primary esophagectomy after the initial staging (control group). EUS accurately predicted the surgical pathology disease stage in 11 patients (85%).

Conclusions: EUS is an accurate modality for initial staging of esophageal carcinoma. However, it is not a reliable tool for restaging esophageal cancer after NAC and it cannot predict response to chemotherapy.






[1] EUS = endoscopic ultrasound

[2] NAC = neo-adjuvant chemotherapy

 

June 2005
I.L. Nudelman, V. Fuko, A. Geller, E. Fenig and S. Lelchuk
 Background: Abdominoperineal resection entails the need for a permanent colostomy, which significantly reduces patient self-image and quality of life.

Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of preoperative chemoradiation in increasing the resectability rates of rectal cancer and increasing the anal sphincter preservation rate.

Methods: The study group included 66 patients aged 33–84 years with T2–T3 rectal carcinoma who were treated in our institute from 1997 to 2002 with preoperative chemoradiation followed by surgery 6 weeks later. All patients underwent preoperative transrectal endoscopic ultrasound for tumor staging and localization. The duration of follow-up was 25 months.

Results: Chemoradiation led to tumor downstaging in 61 patients (92.4%), all of whom underwent low anterior resection. Only 11.4% of this group needed a temporary (6 weeks) loop colostomy/ileostomy. None of the 16 patients with post-treatment T0 tumors had evidence of malignant cells on pathologic study. Five patients (7.6%) failed to respond to chemoradiation and underwent APR[1]. There were no major complications, such as leakage, and no deaths.

Conclusions: Neoadjuvant chemoradiation is an effective modality to downstage advanced rectal cancer, improving patient quality of life by significantly reducing the need for a terminal permanent colostomy, or even a temporary one.


 





[1] APR = abdominoperineal resection


October 2004
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