MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cohort of 60 patients with FIGO stage IB2-IVA cervical cancer who were treated with definitive concurrent chemoradiotherapy with cisplatin followed by intracavitary brachytherapy or external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) boost between November 2001 and May 2008 were analysed. Patients were initially treated with weekly intravenous cisplatin (40 mg/m2) concurrent with daily EBRT to pelvis of 45-50 Gy followed by low dose rate brachytherapy or EBRT boost to tumour. Local control rate, progression free survival, overall survival and treatment related toxicities graded by the RTOG criteria were evaluated.
RESULTS: The mean age was 56. At the median follow-up of 72 months, the estimated 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) (median PFS 39 months) and the 5-year overall survival (OS) (median OS 51 months) were 48% and 50% respectively. The 5-year local control rate was 67.3%. Grade 3-4 late gastrointestinal and genitourinary toxicity occurred in 9.3% of patients.
CONCLUSIONS: The 5-year PFS and the 5-year OS in this cohort were lower than in other institutions. More advanced stage at presentation, longer overall treatment time (OTT) of more than fifty-six days and lower total dose to point A were the potential factors contributing to a lower survival.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: An extensive systematic electronic review (PUBMED, CINAHL, PsyINFO and Ovid) and handsearch were carried out to retrieve published articles up to November 2012, using Depression OR Dysthymia AND (Cancer OR Tumor OR Neoplasms as the keywords. Information about the design of the studies, measuring scale, characteristics of the participants, prevalence of depression and its associated factors from the included studies were extracted and summarized.
RESULTS: We identified 32 eligible studies that recruited 10,826 breast cancer survivors. Most were cross-sectional or prospective designed. The most frequent instrument used to screen depression was the Center for Epidemiological Studies for Depression (CES-D, n=11 studies) followed by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI, n=6 studies) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS, n=6 studies). CES-D returned about similar prevalence of depression (median=22%, range=13-56%) with BDI (median=22%, range=17-48%) but higher than HADS (median=10%, range=1-22%). Depression was associated with several socio-demographic variables, cancer-related factors, treatment-related factors, subject psychological factors, lifestyle factors, social support and quality of life.
CONCLUSIONS: Breast cancer survivors are at risk for depression so that detection of associated factors is important in clinical practice.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out among women aged 40 to 74 years attending a primary care clinic in Selangor, Malaysia. An assisted structured questionnaire included questions on socio-demography, source of information and level of knowledge. An adapted version of the revised Champion Health Belief Model Scale plus other associated factors for mammography screening up-take were also included as part of the questionnaire. Predictors for mammography screening uptake were only determined in those who were aware about mammography screening. Significant predictors were determined by logistic regression.
RESULTS: 447 women were recruited for this study; 99.1% of them (n: 411) were aware about breast cancer. Only 50.1% (n: 206) had knowledge about mammography screening. Prevalence of clinical breast-examination (CBE) was 23.3% (n: 104) and mammography screening up-take was 13.2% (n: 59). The predictors for the latter were those who have had clinical breast-examination (aOR=17.58, 95%CI: 7.68-39.82) and those aged between 50 to 59 years (aOR=3.94, 95%CI: 1.61-9.66) as well as those aged 60 years and above (aOR=6.91, 95%CI: 2.28-20.94). Good knowledge and positive beliefs about mammography screening were not associated with mammography screening uptake.
CONCLUSIONS: Half of our Malaysian women were aware about mammography screening. However, the uptake of mammography was low. Previous CBE and older age were significant predictors of mammography screening uptake. Increasing CBE services may increase compliance with guidelines.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed mutational analysis of exons 14-15 and 20 of the FLT3 gene in 54 AML patients using PCR-CSGE (conformational sensitive gel electrophoresis) followed by sequencing analysis to characterise FLT3 mutations in adult patients diagnosed with AML at Hospital USM, Kelantan, Northeast Peninsular Malaysia.
RESULTS: FLT3 exon 14-15 mutations were identified in 7 of 54 patients (13%) whereas no mutation was found in FLT3 exon 20. Six ITDs and one non-ITD mutation were found in exon 14 of the juxtamembrane (JM) domain of FLT3. FLT3-ITD mutations were associated with a significantly higher blast percentage (p-value=0.008) and white blood cell count (p-value=0.023) but there was no significant difference in median overall survival time for FLT3-ITD+/FLT3-ITD- within 2 years (p-value=0.374).
CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of FLT3-ITD in AML patients in this particular region of Malaysia is low compared to the Western world and has a significant association with WBC and blast percentage.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 450 women newly diagnosed with Stage 1 to 3 invasive breast cancer in a single centre from July 2013 to Dec 2014 were included in this study. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression was used to determine the association between Ki-67 (positive defined as 14% and above) and age, ethnicity, grade, mitotic index, ER, PR, HER2, lymph node status and size. All analyses were performed using SPSS Version 22.
RESULTS: In univariable analysis, Ki -67 index was associated with younger age, higher grade, ER and PR negativity, HER2 positivity, high mitotic index and positive lymph nodes. However on multivariable analysis only tumour size, grade, PR and HER2 remained significant. Out of 102 stage 1 patients who had ER positive/PR positive/HER2 negative tumours and non-grade 3, only 5 (4.9%) had a positive Ki-67 index and may have been offered chemotherapy. However, it is interesting to note that none of these patients received chemotherapy.
CONCLUSIONS: Information on Ki67 would have potentially changed management in an insignificant proportion of patients with stage 1 breast cancer.
METHODS: Eighteen pairs of colorectal cancerous tissues in addition to tissues from normal mucosa were analysed. Hydrophobic proteins were extracted from the tissues, separated using 2-D gel electrophoresis and analysed using Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Statistical analysis of the proteins was carried out in order to determine the significance of each protein to colorectal cancer (CRC) and also their relation to CRC stages, grades and patients' gender.
RESULTS: Thirteen differentially expressed proteins which were expressed abundantly in either cancerous or normal tissues were identified. A number of these proteins were found to relate strongly with a particular stage or grade of CRC. In addition, the association of these proteins with patient gender also appeared to be significant.
CONCLUSION: Stomatin-like protein 2 was found to be a promising biomarker for CRC, especially in female patients. The differentially expressed proteins identified were associated with CRC and may act as drug target candidates.
METHODS: Stool DNA was isolated and tumor-associated high molecular weight DNA (1.476 kb fragment including exons 6-9 of the p53 gene) was amplified using PCR and visualized on ethidium bromide-stained agarose gels.
RESULTS: Out of 32 CRC patients, 18 were positive for the presence of high molecular weight DNA as compared to none of the healthy individuals, resulting in an overall sensitivity of 56.3% with 100% specificity. Out of 32 patients, 23 had tumor on the left side and 9 on the right side, 16 and 2 being respectively positive. This showed that high molecular weight DNA was significantly (p=0.022) more detectable in patients with left side tumor (69.6% vs 22.2%). Out of 32 patients, 22 had tumors larger than 1.0 cm, 18 of these (81.8%) being positive for long DNA as compared to not a single patient with tumor size smaller than 1.0 cm (p<0.001).
CONCLUSION: We detected CRC-related high molecular weight p53 DNA in stool samples of CRC patients with an overall sensitivity of 56.3% with 100% specificity, with a strong tumor size dependence.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The clinical characteristics, presenting symptoms and survival of RCC patients (n=151) treated at UMMC from 2003-2012 were analysed. Symptoms evaluated were macrohaematuria, flank pain, palpable abdominal mass, fever, lethargy, loss of weight, anaemia, elevated ALP, hypoalbuminemia and thrombocytosis. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were performed to determine the prognostic significance of these presenting symptoms. Kaplan Meier and log rank tests were employed for survival analysis.
RESULTS: The 2002 TNM staging was a prognostic factor (p<0.001) but Fuhrman grading was not significantly correlated with survival (p=0.088). At presentation, 76.8% of the patients were symptomatic. Generally, symptomatic tumours had a worse survival prognosis compared to asymptomatic cases (p=0.009; HR 4.74). All symptoms significantly affect disease specific survival except frank haematuria and loin pain on univariate Cox regression analysis. On multivariate analysis adjusted for stage, only clinically palpable abdominal mass remained statistically significant (p=0.027). The mean tumour size of palpable abdominal masses, 9.5±4.3cm, was larger than non palpable masses, 5.3±2.7cm (p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report which includes survival information of RCC patients from Malaysia. Here the TNM stage and a palpable abdominal mass were independent predictors for survival. Further investigations using a multicentre cohort to analyse mortality and survival rates may aid in improving management of these patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data were collected using questionnaires (demographic questionnaire, Medical characteristics, Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale (MSAS) and Brief COPE scales and analyzed for demographic, and disease-related variable effects on symptom prevalence, severity, distress and coping strategies.
RESULTS: Symptom prevalence was relatively high and ranged from 14.9% for swelling of arms and legs to 88.1% for lack of energy. This latter was the highest rated symptom in the study. The level of distress was found to be low in three domains. Problem-focused coping strategies were found to be more commonly employed compared to emotion-focused strategies, demonstrating significant associations with sex, age group, educational levels and race. However, there was a positive correlation between emotion-focused strategies and physical and psychological distress, indicating that patients would choose emotion-focused strategies when symptom distress increased.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate that high symptom prevalence rates and coping strategies used render an improvement in current nursing management. Therefore development of symptoms management groups, encouraging the use of self-care diaries and enhancing the quality of psycho- oncology services provided are to be recommended.