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1.  Efficacy of minimally invasive therapies on unresectable pancreatic cancer 
Chinese Journal of Cancer  2013;32(6):334-341.
For patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer, current chemotherapies have negligible survival benefits. Thus, developing effective minimally invasive therapies is currently underway. This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of transarterial chemoembolization plus radiofrequency ablation and/or 125I radioactive seed implantation on unresectable pancreatic cancer. We analyzed the outcome of 71 patients with unresectable pancreatic carcinoma who underwent chemoembolization plus radiofrequency ablation and/or radioactive seed implantation. Of the 71 patients, the median survival was 11 months, and the 1-, 2-, and 3-year overall survival rates were 32.4%, 9.9%, and 6.6% respectively. Patients who had no metastasis, who had oligonodular liver metastases (≤3 lesions), and who had multinodular liver metastases (>3 lesions) had median survival of 12, 18, and 8 months, respectively, and 1-year overall survival rates of 50.0%, 68.8%, and 5.7%, respectively. Although the survival of patients without liver metastases was worse than that of patients with oligonodular liver metastasis, the result was not significant (P = 0.239). In contrast, the metastasis-negative patients had significantly better survival than did patients with multinodular liver metastases (P < 0.001). Patients with oligonodular liver lesions had a significanthg longer median survival than did patients with multinodular lesions (P < 0.001). In conclusion, combined minimally invasive therapies had good efficacy on unresectable pancreatic cancer and resulted in a good control of liver metastases. In addition, the number of liver metastases was a significant factor in predicting prognosis and response to treatment.
doi:10.5732/cjc.012.10093
PMCID: PMC3845623  PMID: 22958741
Pancreatic cancer; minimally invasive therapies; transarterial chemoembolization; radiofrequency ablation; median survival
2.  Subdivision of M category for nasopharyngeal carcinoma with synchronous metastasis: time to expand the M categorization system 
Introduction
The current metastatic category (M) of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a “catch-all” classification, covering a heterogeneous group of tumors ranging from potentially curable to incurable. The aim of this study was to design an M categorization system that could be applied in planning the treatment of NPC with synchronous metastasis.
Methods
A total of 505 NPC patients diagnosed with synchronous metastasis at Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center between 2000 and 2009 were involved. The associations of clinical variables, metastatic features, and a proposed M categorization system with overall survival (OS) were determined by using Cox regression model.
Results
Multivariate analysis showed that Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) N category (N1–3/N0), number of metastatic lesions (multiple/single), liver involvement (yes/no), radiotherapy to primary tumor (yes/no), and cycles of chemotherapy (>4/≤4) were independent prognostic factors for OS. We defined the following subcategories based on liver involvement and the number of metastatic lesions: M1a, single lesion confined to an isolated organ or location except the liver; M1b, single lesion in the liver and/or multiple lesions in any organs or locations except the liver; and M1c, multiple lesions in the liver. Of the 505 cases, 74 (14.7%) were classified as M1a, 296 (58.6%) as M1b, 134 (26.5%) as M1c, and 1 was not specified. The three M1 subcategories showed significant difference in OS [M1b vs. M1a, hazard ratio (HR) = 1.69, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.16–2.48, P = 0.007; M1c vs. M1a, HR = 2.64, 95% CI = 1.75–3.98, P < 0.001].
Conclusions
We developed an M categorization system based on the independent factors related to the prognosis of patients with metastatic NPC. This system may be helpful to further optimize individualized care for NPC patients.
doi:10.1186/s40880-015-0031-9
PMCID: PMC4593351  PMID: 26264052
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; TNM staging; Metastasis; Prognosis
3.  Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization combined with CT-guided percutaneous thermal ablation versus hepatectomy in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma 
Introduction
Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) plus thermal ablation has been widely used recently in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this study, we aimed to compare results of the combination of TACE and percutaneous thermal ablation with those of hepatectomy in patients with HCC.
Methods
The clinical data of 137 HCC patients who sequentially received TACE and computed tomography (CT)-guided percutaneous thermal ablation as an initial curative treatment (combination group) and 148 matched HCC patients who received hepatectomy (surgery group) between 2004 and 2011 were collected and analyzed. After TACE, multiphase contrast-enhanced CT was performed to identify the total number of tumors as well as lipiodol deposition in the liver. Survival was calculated by using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared by using the log-rank test. The prognostic factors were assessed with multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis.
Results
Of all 285 patients, 225 (79.0 %) had cancerous lesions ≤ 5 cm in diameter. In preoperative contrast-enhanced CT or magnetic resonance imaging, the number of tumors was 1–4 for each patient. The 1-, 3-, and 5-year overall survival rates were 95, 74 %, and 67 % in the combination group and 88, 66, and 47 % in the surgery group, respectively (P = 0.004); the corresponding recurrence-free survival rates for the two groups were 92, 69, and 61 % and 75, 58, and 44 %, respectively (P = 0.001). In the multivariate analysis, treatment allocation was an independent prognostic factor for survival. Only 60 patients in the combination group had sufficient imaging data, and 135 new lesions with lipiodol deposition were diagnosed as malignancies in 22 of 60 patients, whereas 20 new lesions were found in 11 of 148 patients in the surgery group.
Conclusion
The combination of TACE and CT-guided percutaneous thermal ablation for HCC improves survival of HCC patients compared with hepatectomy.
doi:10.1186/s40880-015-0023-9
PMCID: PMC4593381  PMID: 26063407
Percutaneous thermal ablation; Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization; hepatectomy; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Survival
4.  Challenges in the modification of the M1 stage of the TNM staging system for nasopharyngeal carcinoma: A study of 1027 cases and review of the literature 
A series of modifications have been introduced to the TNM staging system over time for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), mainly focused on the T (primary tumor) and N (local node) components of the system. The M1 stage is a ‘catch all’ classification, covering a group of patients whose outlook ranges from potentially curable to incurable. Since the current M1 stage does not allow clinicians to stratify patients according to prognosis or guide therapeutic decision-making and allow comparison of results of radical and non-radical treatments, we aimed to subdivide the M1 stage according to a retrospective study of 1027 metastatic NPC patients and to review the relevant literature. Between 1995 and 2007, 1027 inpatients with distant metastasis from NPC were retrospectively analyzed. Various possible subdivisions of the M1 stage were considered, looking at different metastatic sites, the number of metastatic organs and the number of metastases. Survival rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using the log-rank test. The most frequently involved metastatic sites were the bone, lung and liver. The incidence rates of solitary metastatic lesions and pulmonary metastasis were 16.2 and 41.3%. Despite the poor survival of these patients with a median survival of 30.8 months, patients in the metachronous metastatic group with metastases to the lung and/or solitary lesions, were defined as M1a, and were significantly associated with favorable median survival of 41.5 and 49.1 months in the univariate and multivariate analysis, respectively. Patients in the metachronous metastatic group with metastasis to the lung and/or solitary lesions (M1a) have a more favorable prognosis compared with those patients with multiple metastases located in other anatomic sites (M1b). These data, in one of the largest reported metastatic NPC cohorts, are the first to show the prognostic impact of metastatic status in NPC. As a powerful predictor, the potential clinical value of a modified M1 of the TNM system for NPC will facilitate patient counseling and individualize management.
doi:10.3892/etm.2012.584
PMCID: PMC3460246  PMID: 23139721
distant metastasis; M1 stage; nasopharyngeal carcinoma; metastatic survival; prognostic factors

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