• Anaesthesia for radiation therapy - Gliwice experience.

      Wojcieszek, E; Rembielak, Agata; Bialas, B; Wojcieszek, A; Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Centre of Oncology - MSC Institute, Gliwice, Poland. (2010)
      General anaesthesia is rarely applied during fractionated radiotherapy with the exception of unco-operative patients. We performed a retrospective study to inform our current practice in anaesthesia procedures for radiotherapy application in children, brachytherapy and intraoperative radiation. The records of anaesthetized radiotherapy patients between January 2000 and September 2005 were analyzed. We analysed demographic data, type and localisation of neoplasm , radiotherapy data, type of anaesthesia and anaesthesia - related complications. In order to provide safe and efficient anaesthesia outside the Department of Anaesthesiology, we designed a mobile anaesthesia workstation. In total we performed 739 anaesthesia procedures: 267 in 16 children, 321 in 284 brachytherapy patients, and 151 as a part of intraoperative radiotherapy. Children age ranged from 2 - 8 years (median 4.6). All were given midazolam and atropine, then thiopental or ketamine. Neither muscle relaxants, nor propofol were used. Brachytherapy patients underwent: spinal block in 190 cases, general anaesthesia in 115, and deep sedation in 16 cases. General anaesthesia was inducted by propofol, followed by etomidate, thiopental and fentanyl. For spinal block the patients were given hyperbaric bupivacaine and fentanyl. Deep sedation was performed with midazolam and fentanyl, and thiopental or propofol when needed. Intraoperative radiotherapy was applied immediately after breast conserving surgery. No serious complications in all 739 anaesthesia procedures occurred. In conclusion we demonstrated the feasibility and safety of anaesthesia applied in our radiotherapy patients. The custom designed mobile anaesthesia workstation allowed us to provide safe and efficient anaesthesia in any place outside the Department of Anaesthesiology.
    • Estimation of renal function -- what is appropriate in cancer patients?

      Barraclough, Lisa H; Field, Catherine; Wieringa, Gilbert E; Swindell, Ric; Livsey, Jacqueline E; Davidson, Susan E; Department of Clinical Oncology, Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK. lisahelenbone@hotmail.com (2008-12)
      AIMS: To compare the accuracy of renal assessment in patients with cancer using radioisotope glomerular filtration rate (GFR), urine collection for creatinine clearance, Cockroft-Gault, Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) and Wright formulae. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Measurements of isotope GFR from 367 patients were compared with estimates from the described methods (Cockroft-Gault, MDRD, Wright). An analysis including a further 252 patients with an isotope GFR < or = 50 ml/min was also carried out. RESULTS: The Wright formula was the most accurate form of estimating renal function for the first study group. The formulae were similar in accuracy in the second study group. CONCLUSIONS: The Wright formula is the most accurate form of estimation of renal function in comparison with the isotope GFR for cancer patients. When there is a large proportion of patients with a low isotope GFR (< or = 50 ml/min), the formulae have similar accuracy.
    • A phase I study of the safety and pharmacokinetics of the combination of pertuzumab (rhuMab 2C4) and capecitabine in patients with advanced solid tumors.

      Albanell, Joan; Montagut, Clara; Jones, Eileen T; Pronk, Linda; Mellado, Begoña; Beech, Janette; Gascon, Pere; Zugmaier, Gerhard; Brewster, Michael; Saunders, Mark P; et al. (2008-05-01)
      PURPOSE: To study the safety, pharmacokinetics, and recommended dose of the combination of pertuzumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody HER2-dimerization inhibitor, and capecitabine in patients with advanced malignancies. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Patients that had progressed to standard treatment were treated with pertuzumab at a fixed dose of 1,050 mg given i.v. on day 1 plus capecitabine at doses of 825-1,000-1,250 mg/m(2), twice daily orally on days 1 to 14 of each 21-day treatment cycle, in three sequential cohorts. The pharmacokinetics of capecitabine and pertuzumab were studied. Patients received a single dose of capecitabine in a pretreatment phase (day -7) followed by serum sampling for capecitabine and its metabolites. RESULTS: Nineteen patients were accrued and 18 were assessable. The combination of capecitabine and pertuzumab was well tolerated at all dose levels and no dose-limiting toxicities were observed. The most frequent adverse event was asthenia, which was grade 3 in two patients. One asymptomatic pulmonary embolism occurred. No other grade 3 or 4 adverse events or cardiac or left ventricular ejection fraction events were reported. There was no apparent change in the pharmacokinetics of capecitabine and its metabolites when combined with pertuzumab. The pharmacokinetics of pertuzumab was apparently not modified when administered with capecitabine. Disease stabilization was observed in 11 patients. CONCLUSIONS: Pertuzumab and capecitabine were well tolerated at all dose levels. Escalation beyond the highest dose level tested was not planned, as this included the recommended doses of monotherapy for both drugs. In conclusion, this combination is ready for phase II testing.
    • Suboptimal use of intravenous contrast during radiotherapy planning in the UK.

      Kim, Su Woon; Russell, Wanda; Price, Patricia M; Saleem, Azeem; Department of Clinical Oncology, Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK. (2008-12)
      We aimed to evaluate the use of intravenous (IV) contrast during acquisition of radiotherapy planning (RTP) scans and to compare current usage with the Royal College of Radiologists' (RCR) recommendations. Questionnaires were circulated via the Academic Clinical Oncology and Radiobiology Research Network (ACORRN) website, email and post to 60 UK radiotherapy centre managers. Questions were asked regarding the (i) tumour sites where IV contrast was used, (ii) person administering the contrast, (iii) availability of dynamic pump, (iv) tumour sites that centres wished to use contrast, (v) reasons for not using contrast and (vi) awareness of RCR recommendations. 50 (83%) centres responded to the questionnaire, of which 27 responded via the ACCORN website and 18 by e-mail. Despite 38 out of 50 responding centres using IV contrast, and accessibility to dynamic pumps existing in 39 centres, IV contrast usage was suboptimal, with more than half of the centres (27/50; 54%) wishing to use it at more tumour sites. IV contrast was most often used during RTP of the brain, with suboptimal usage in lung tumours. None of the 50 centres administered IV contrast during RTP scan acquisition in all of the 8 RCR recommended tumour sites. Radiographers were mainly responsible for contrast administration, and a lack of staff was cited as the main reason for suboptimal contrast usage. Disappointingly, only 35 of the 50 radiotherapy managers (70%) were aware of the RCR recommendations. Redress of the underlying reasons for suboptimal IV contrast administration during RTP, including acquisition of the necessary skill mix by staff and implementation of RCR recommendations, would help standardize UK practice.
    • A systematic review of honey uses and its potential value within oncology care.

      Bardy, Joy; Slevin, Nicholas J; Mais, Kathleen L; Molassiotis, Alexander; School of Nursing, Social Work and Midwifery, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. (2008-10)
      AIM: To synthesise the evidence regarding honey's role in health care and to identify whether this evidence applies more specifically to cancer care. DESIGN: Systematic review. METHODS: The inclusion and exclusion criteria were agreed by two reviewers and a keyword strategy was developed. EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, MEDLINE, COCHRANE and PUBMED databases were screened to identify suitable articles. The citation list from each included study was also screened for potentially suitable papers. The key findings from each study were entered onto a data extraction sheet. RESULTS: In total, 43 studies were included in the systematic review, which included studies in relation to wounds (n = 19), burns (n = 11), skin (n = 3), cancer (n = 5) and others (n = 5). In addition, a systematic review regarding honey use in wound care was also included. While the majority of studies noted the efficacy of honey in clinical use, five studies found honey to be equally as effective as the comparator and three found honey to be less effective than the comparator treatment. Other research did not illustrate any significant difference between standard treatment regimes vs. honey treatment. Studies were generally poor in quality because of small sample sizes, lack of randomisation and absence of blinding. CONCLUSIONS: Honey was found to be a suitable alternative for wound healing, burns and various skin conditions and to potentially have a role within cancer care. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: In the cancer setting, honey may be used for radiation-induced mucositis, radiotherapy-induced skin reactions, hand and foot skin reactions in chemotherapy patients and for oral cavity and external surgical wounds.