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1.  Orbital rhabdomyosarcoma with skin metastasis: a case report 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7(1):670.
Background
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a soft tissue neoplasm that usually arises in the headand neck region and genitourinary tract. Skin metastasis of rhabdomyosarcoma is extremely rare; of thirteen cases reported in the literature, most were children younger than 10 years and only three cases have been reported in adults.
Case presentation
A 20-year-old Moroccan man was admitted with a right orbital tumor. The tumor was excised and histopathology examination confirmed a diagnosis of rhabdomyosarcoma. The patient was treated with chemotherapy, but local recurrence occurred one year later. The patient underwent right orbital exenteration followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. After 6 months, the patient developed a cutaneous mass in the right lumbar region, which was resected. Immunohistochemical examination of the tumor showed this to be a cutaneous metastasis of rhabdomyosarcoma. The patient was treated by chemotherapy and there appeared to be no recurrence after 9 months of follow up.
Conclusions
Skin metastasis from rhabdomyosarcoma is extremely rare, particularly in adults. The purpose of presenting this case report is to raise awareness among clinicians— skin biopsy and immunohistochemistry are needed to distinguish this neoplasm from other cutaneous tumors so that appropriate treatment can be initiated.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-670
PMCID: PMC4181003  PMID: 25253623
Rhabdomyosarcoma; Cutaneous metastasis; Immunohistochemistry; Treatment; Chemotherapy; Radiotherapy
2.  Conjonctival melanoma metastatic to the breast: a case report 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7(1):621.
Background
Breast metastasis is fairly uncommon and prognosis is dismal. Breast metastasis might be the first symptom or may occur during the course of other malignancies dominantly arising from the contralateral breast. Leukemia, lung cancer and conjunctival melanoma may spread to the breast.
Case presentation
A 43-year-old female patient was operated on for conjunctival melanoma. After two years the disease progressed quickly and cutaneous nodes appeared on the back and paraumbilical region. Physical and radiological examination showed a breast mass. No palpable lymph’s nodes were noted. She underwent an open biopsy. Histopathologic examination and immunohistochemistry confirmed breast metastases from melanoma. During post-operative staging multiple nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal lesions were also objective. The patient was given palliative dacarbazine (250 mg/m2 per day for 4 days) for 4 cycles. She died 4 months after the diagnosis of breast metastases.
Conclusion
Histopathological evaluation should be mandatory in patients with medical history of malignancies in order to differentiate new primary tumors, metastases, and benign tumors.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-621
PMCID: PMC4177703  PMID: 25205351
Conjunctival melanoma; Breast metastases; Metastatic melanoma
3.  Neoadjuvant chemotherapy in well-differentiated fetal adenocarcinoma: a case report 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:283.
Background
Fetal adenocarcinoma of the lung is a rare subtype of pulmonary adenocarcinoma with a relative estimated incidence of 0.5% or fewer of all lung cancers. Because of its extreme rarity, there have been no controlled clinical trials investigating treatment regimens for fetal adenocarcinoma and, as a result, there are no guidelines for management.
Case presentation
We report a case of a well-differentiated fetal adenocarcinoma, which is a variant of pulmonary blastoma, that is a low-grade malignancy and associated with a good prognosis. A 29-year-old Moroccan man presented with a well-differentiated fetal adenocarcinoma staged T3N0M0, who received 3 cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery, with no recurrence at 2 years follow-up.
Conclusion
Fetal adenocarcinoma is a rare suptype of adenocarcinoma. Surgical resection is the treatment of choice for resectable disease. The role of chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant setting or adjuvant setting is not well defined.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-283
PMCID: PMC4017811  PMID: 24886749
Well-differentiated fetal adenocarcinoma; Chemotherapy; Prognosis
4.  Translation and validation of European organization for research and treatment of cancer quality of life Questionnaire -C30 into Moroccan version for cancer patients in Morocco 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:228.
Background
Understanding the effects of cancer on the quality of life of affected patients is critical to clinical research as well as to optimal management and care. The aim of this study was to adapt the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-C30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) questionnaire into Moroccan Arabic and to determine its psychometric properties. After translation, back translation and pretesting of the pre-final version, the translated version was submitted to a committee of professionals composed by oncologists and epidemiologists. The psychometric properties were tested in patients with cancer. Internal consistency was tested using Cronbach’s alpha and the test-retest reliability using interclass correlation coefficients. Construct validity was assessed by examining item-convergent and divergent validity. It was also tested using Spearman’s correlation between QLQ-C30 scales and EQ-5D.
Results
The study was conducted in 125 patients. The Moroccan version was internally reliable, Cronbach’s α was 0.87 for the total scale and ranged from 0.34 to 0.97 for the subscales. The intraclass correlation coefficient of the test-retest reliability ranged from 0.64 for “social functioning” to 0.89 for “physical activities” subscales. The instrument demonstrated a good construct and concomitant validity.
Conclusions
We have developed a semantically equivalent translation with cultural adaptation of EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire. The assessment of its measurement properties showed that it is quite reliable and a valid measure of the effect of cancer on the quality of life in Moroccan patients.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-228
PMCID: PMC3984435  PMID: 24721384
Cancer; Quality of life; Reliability; Validity
5.  The european organization for research and treatment of cancer quality of life questionnaire-BR 23 breast cancer-specific quality of life questionnaire: psychometric properties in a Moroccan sample of breast cancer patients 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:53.
Background
Quality of life (QOL) and its measurement in cancer patients is becoming increasingly important. Breast cancer diagnosis and treatment are often associated with psychological distress and reduced QoL. In Arabic-speaking countries, QoL of patients with cancer is inadequately studied.
The aim of this study was to test the reliability and validity of the Moroccan Arabic version of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Breast Cancer-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ-BR23).
Methods
After translation and cross-cultural adaptation, the questionnaire was tested on breast cancer patients. The participants’ number for the test and the retest were 105 and 37 respectively. Internal consistency was tested using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient (α), the test-retest reliability using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). Construct validity was assessed by examining item-convergent and divergent validity.
Results
The questionnaire was administered to 105 patients. The mean age of patients was 48 years (SD: 16), 62.9% were married. 68.6% of all participants lived in urban area.
The average time to complete the QLQ- BR23 was 15 min. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, were all >0.7, with the exception of breast symptoms and arm symptoms. All items exceeded the 0.4 criterion for convergent validity except item 20 and 23 related to pain and skin problems in the affected breast respectively.
Conclusion
In general, the findings of this study indicated that the Moroccan Arabic version of the EORTC QLQ-BR23 is a reliable and valid supplementary measure of the QOL in breast cancer patients and can be used in clinical trials and studies of outcome research in oncology.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-53
PMCID: PMC3906893  PMID: 24447401
Breast cancer; Quality of life; Reliability; Validity
6.  Cardiac safety of the adjuvant Trastuzumab in a Moroccan population: observational monocentric study of about 100 patients 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:339.
Background
Trastuzumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to the extracellular domain of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER 2) and inhibits carcinoma cellular proliferation. Its use as an adjuvant for a period of one year is currently an internationally recognised standard for the treatment of localized breast cancer. Its use is generally well tolerated, with the most salient side effect being a particular cardiotoxicity that is typically manifested by an asymptomatic decrease in the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) requiring careful monitoring before and during treatment. To evaluate the cardiac safety of trastuzumab we conducted a retrospective observational study of patients with HER2-positive localized breast cancer treated with trastuzumab between May 2008 and May 2010 in Morocco.
Findings
The study comprised of 100 patients. The average in LVEF before the start of trastuzumab was 70%, and at the end of treatment 66%, a decrease in absolute terms of 4%; this difference was statistically significant. 38% of the patients exhibited cardiotoxicity. 97% of our patients have completed treatment, of whom 23% with a provisional arrest because of a regressive fall in LVEF. A final arrest has been made in 3% of cases due to a non regressive reduction in LVEF. A symptomatic heart failure was found in three patients. Analysis of risk factors toxicity found a baseline LVEF higher in the patients who met cardiotoxicity than the rest of our sample.
Conclusions
The cardiac safety in our study seems comparable with the literature data but located in the upper range of levels of toxicity. Cardiotoxicity is the major complication of Trastuzumab, of which LV dysfunction is the most common. Most instances are transient, asymptomatic and reversible.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-339
PMCID: PMC3765764  PMID: 23985308
7.  Radiation induced esophageal adenocarcinoma in a woman previously treated for breast cancer and renal cell carcinoma 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:426.
Background
Secondary radiation-induced cancers are rare but well-documented as long-term side effects of radiation in large populations of breast cancer survivors. Multiple neoplasms are rare. We report a case of esophageal adenocarcinoma in a patient treated previously for breast cancer and clear cell carcinoma of the kidney.
Case presentation
A 56 year-old non smoking woman, with no alcohol intake and no familial history of cancer; followed in the National Institute of Oncology of Rabat Morocco since 1999 for breast carcinoma, presented on consultation on January 2011 with dysphagia. Breast cancer was treated with modified radical mastectomy, 6 courses of chemotherapy based on CMF regimen and radiotherapy to breast, inner mammary chain and to pelvis as castration. Less than a year later, a renal right mass was discovered incidentally. Enlarged nephrectomy realized and showed renal cell carcinoma. A local and metastatic breast cancer recurrence occurred in 2007. Patient had 2 lines of chemotherapy and 2 lines of hormonotherapy with Letrozole and Tamoxifen assuring a stable disease. On January 2011, the patient presented dysphagia. Oesogastric endoscopy showed middle esophagus stenosing mass. Biopsy revealed adenocarcinoma. No evidence of metastasis was noticed on computed tomography and breast disease was controlled. Palliative brachytherapy to esophagus was delivered. Patient presented dysphagia due to progressive disease 4 months later. Jejunostomy was proposed but the patient refused any treatment. She died on July 2011.
Conclusion
We present here a multiple neoplasm in a patient with no known family history of cancers. Esophageal carcinoma is most likely induced by radiation. However the presence of a third malignancy suggests the presence of genetic disorders.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-426
PMCID: PMC3480838  PMID: 22873795
Esophageal cancer; Radiation induced; Breast cancer; Renal cell carcinoma; Multiple neoplasm
8.  Bevacizumab based chemotherapy in first line treatment of HER2 negative metastatic breast cancer: results of a Moroccan observational institutional study 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:162.
Background
In metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients, randomised controlled trials evaluated Bevacizumab as first-line treatment showed improvements in tumour response rate and progression-free survival (PFS) when added to chemotherapy. In Morocco, we conducted an observational study to investigate clinical features, treatment and prognosis associated with Bevacizumab based chemotherapy in first line treatment of HER2 negative MBC.
Findings
Nineteen women were included in this study. All these women were diagnosed as having HER2 negative MBC at the National Institute of Oncology in Rabat, Morocco, between January 2009 and December 2010. The median age of patients was 48.1 years. Four patients (21%) had metastatic disease at diagnosis and 15 patients (79%) had received treatment for first metastatic relapse. Bone, liver and lung were the most frequent metastasis sites. Patients were followed up until April 2011. Most patients had objective response; 15.8% of complete response, 47.3% of partial response and 21.1% of stabilisation. Median PFS was estimated at 11.5 months. Sub-groups analysis showed a statistically significant difference (Log-rank test: p = 0.01); PFS for patients receiving Bevacizumab - weekly Paclitaxel was estimated at 18.1 months, and at 9.1 months for patients receiving the combination Bevacizumab - Docetaxel. This benefit in PFS was associated with an acceptable safety profile.
Conclusion
As demonstrated in this study, Bevacizumab based chemotherapy in first line treatment of HER2 negative MBC in Morocco and particularly in combination with Taxanes extends PFS, as confirmed in a recent meta-analysis of 3 randomised controlled phase III studies.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-162
PMCID: PMC3337253  PMID: 22439740
Bevacizumab; Metastatic breast cancer; Taxanes; Meta-analysis; Salvage treatment
9.  Male breast cancer: a report of 127 cases at a Moroccan institution 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:219.
Background
Male breast cancer (MBC) is a rare disease representing less than 1% of all malignancies in men and only 1% of all incident breast cancers. Our study details clinico-pathological features, treatments and prognostic factors in a large Moroccan cohort.
Findings
One hundred and twenty-seven patients were collected from 1985 to 2007 at the National Institute of Oncology in Rabat, Morocco.
Median age was 62 years and median time for consultation 28 months. The main clinical complaint was a mass beneath the areola in 93, 5% of the cases. Most patients have an advanced disease. Ninety-one percent of tumors were ductal carcinomas.
Management consisted especially of radical mastectomy; followed by adjuvant radiotherapy and hormonal therapy with or without chemotherapy. The median of follow-up was 30 months. The evolution has been characterized by local recurrence; in twenty two cases (17% of all patients). Metastasis occurred in 41 cases (32% of all patients). The site of metastasis was the bone in twenty cases; lung in twelve cases; liver in seven case; liver and skin in one case and pleura and skin in one case.
Conclusion
Male breast cancer has many similarities to breast cancer in women, but there are distinct features that should be appreciated. Future research for better understanding of this disease at national or international level are needed to improve the management and prognosis of male patients.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-219
PMCID: PMC3143075  PMID: 21714875
10.  Breast cancer in moroccan young women: a retrospective study 
BMC Research Notes  2010;3:286.
Background
Breast cancer is uncommon in young women and induces more aggressive biologic characteristics. Survival in young women has been widely studied in developed countries. Less favorable prognosis and low survival were found.
In Morocco, this study is the first investigation of clinical features, treatment and prognosis associated with breast cancer in young women.
Findings
Four hundred and nine women aged 35 years or less were included in this study. All these women were diagnosed as having breast cancer at the National Institute of Oncology in Rabat, Morocco between 2003 and 2007. The relation between clinical and therapeutic characteristics and event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were assessed by Cox regression analysis.
The median age of the patients was 32 years. Fifty three patients (13%) have metastatic disease at diagnosis and 356 patients (87%) had localised disease. In 57.9% of the cases, the estrogen receptors status was positive. The median follow-up was 32.2 months. After 3 years the survival rate was 80.6%. In the case of localised disease, OS and EFS at 3 years were 83.2% and 62.5%, respectively. OS and EFS at 3 years was higher in patients with stage I than patients with stage II and stage III (p = 0.001). Positive estrogen receptors was significantly associated to OS and EFS at 3 years compared to negative estrogen receptors (p = 0.001). Adjuvant chemotherapy, adjuvant radiotherapy and adjuvant hormone therapy were associated with net benefit in OS and EFS at 3 years. Cox regression analysis showed that negative ER was significantly associated with poorer OS (HR = 2.42, 95% CI = 1.25 - 4.66, p < 0.009) and poorer EFS (HR = 1.73, 95%CI = 1.05 - 2.86, p = 0.03). Stage III disease were associated to poorer EFS (HR = 5.35, 95%CI = 1.60 -17.84, p = 0.006).
Conclusions
In Morocco, young women with breast cancer had less favorable prognosis. Multivariate analysis showed that negative hormone receptor status was associated with lower EFS and OS. Clinical trials should be launched to improve the survival of these young women with breast cancer.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-286
PMCID: PMC2992542  PMID: 21059204
11.  Anthracycline and concurrent radiotherapy as adjuvant treatment of operable breast cancer: a retrospective cohort study in a single institution 
BMC Research Notes  2010;3:247.
Background
Concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) after breast surgery was investigated by few authors and remains controversial, because of concerns of toxicity with taxanes/anthracyclines and radiation. This treatment is not standard and is more commonly used for locally advanced breast cancer. The aim of our study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the concomitant use of anthracycline with radiotherapy (RT).
Findings
Four hundred women having operable breast cancer, treated by adjuvant chemotherapy (CT) and RT in concomitant way between January 2001 and December 2003, were included in this retrospective cohort study. The study compares 2 adjuvant treatments using CCRT, the first with anthracycline (group A) and the second with CMF (group B). The CT treatment was repeated every 21 days for 6 courses and the total delivered dose of RT was 50 Gy, divided as 2 Gy daily fractions. Locoregional recurrence free (LRFS), event free (EFS), and overall survivals (OS) were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. The log-rank test was used to compare survival events. Multivariate Cox-regression was used to evaluate the relationship between patient characteristics, treatment and survival.
In the 2 groups (A+B) (n = 400; 249 in group A and 151 in group B), the median follow-up period was 74.5 months. At 5 years, the isolated LRFS was significantly higher in group A compared to group B (98.7% vs 95.3%; hazard ratio [HR] = 0.258; 95% CI, 0.067 to 0.997; log-rank P = .034). In addition, the use of anthracycline regimens was associated with a higher rate of 5 years EFS (80.4% vs 75.1%; HR = 0.665; 95% CI, 0.455 to 1.016; log-rank P = .057). The 5 years OS was 83.2% and 79.2% in the anthracycline and CMF groups, respectively (HR = 0.708; 95% CI, 0.455 to 1.128; log-rank P = .143). Multivariate analysis confirmed the positive effect of anthracycline regimens on LRFS (HR = 0.347; 95% CI, 0.114 to 1.053; log-rank P = .062), EFS (HR = 0.539; 95% CI, 0.344 to 0.846; P = 0.012), and OS (HR = 0.63; 95% CI, 0.401 to 0.991; P = .046). LRFS, EFS and OS were significantly higher in the anthracycline group where the patients (n = 288) received more than 1 cycle of concurrent CT (P = .038, P = .026 and P = .038, respectively). LRFS and EFS were significantly higher in the anthracycline group within the BCT subgroup (P = .049 and P = .04, respectively). There were more hematologic, and more grade 2/3/4 skin toxicity in the anthracycline group.
Conclusions
After mastectomy or BCT, the adjuvant treatment based on anthracycline and concurrent RT reduced breast cancer relapse rate, and significantly improved LRFS, EFS and OS in the patients receiving more than 1 cycle of concurrent CT. There were more hematologic and non hematologic toxicities in the anthracycline group.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-247
PMCID: PMC2958885  PMID: 20920323
12.  Factors of interrupting chemotherapy in patients with Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer 
BMC Research Notes  2010;3:164.
Background
Little is known about prognosis of metastatic patients after receiving a first-line treatment and failure. Our group already showed in pre-treated patients enrolled in phase I clinical trials that a performance status (PS) > 2 and an LDH > 600 UI/L were independent prognostic factors. In this prospective study, which included 45 patients, we identified clinical and biological variables as outcome predictors in metastatic Non-Small Cell lung cancer after first line chemotherapy were identified.
Findings
Forty-five patients that were previously treated for metastatic disease from 12/2000 to 11/2005 in the comprehensive cancer centre (Centre Léon Bérard). Clinical assessment and blood parameters were recorded and considered. Patient prognostic factors for overall survival (OS) with a 0.05-significance level in univariate analysis were entered in a multivariate Cox model for further analysis.
Patients' median age was 58.5 years (range: 37 - 76). Sixty two percent of the patients were PS = 0 or 1. After inclusion, nine patients received second-line (22.5%), and two received third-line chemotherapy (5%). Univariate analysis showed that the factors associated with reduced OS were: PS > 2, weight loss >10%, more than one line of chemotherapy treatment and abnormal blood parameters (hemoglobin (Hb), platelet and neutrophils counts). Multiple regression analysis confirmed that PS > 2 and abnormal hemoglobin were independent predictors for low overall survival. According to the presence of none (33%), 1 (37%) and 2 (30%) prognostic factors, median OS were 12, 5 and 2 months respectively.
Conclusion
From this prospective study, both PS and anemia were found as independent determinants of survival, we found that both PS and anemia were independent determinants of survival. The combination of poor PS and anemia is an effective strategy to predict survival in the case of patients with metastatic NSCLC receiving further treatment after the first line.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-164
PMCID: PMC2904794  PMID: 20537187

Results 1-12 (12)