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Efficacy of memantine in preventing neurocognitive dysfunction induced by radiation therapy in patients with brain metastases: A systematic review of clinical trials.

About 50%-90% of patients with brain metastases who receive radiation therapy experience cognitive impairment. This systematic review aims to gather credible sources of comprehensive information on the efficacy of memantine in preventing cognitive dysfunction. A comprehensive review conducted in compliance with the PRISMA statement and systematic search was performed across five databases included PubMedⓇ, EmbaseⓇ, ScopusⓇ, Cochrane LibraryⓇ, and ClinicalTrial.gov.in from inception until November 2021. A total of four eligible studies were selected in this review that included 1,444 patients with brain metastases who received radiation therapy (Intervention group [n = 729] and control group [n = 715]). Overall, three of the four studies reported some improvement in neurocognitive function in at least one or more parameters such as recall and recognition (P = .39, P = .10 and P = .05), verbal fluency (P = .03 and P < .0001), complex attention (P = .59) executive function (P = .92) and normal appearing white matter (P = .01) following memantine therapy compared to control group. Further, two of the four studies reported an improvement in the patients' quality of life following memantine therapy compared to the control group, and there was no significant difference in the toxicity profile of the interventional compared to the control group as reported from two studies. This review embraces the comprehensive evidence that the use of memantine therapy in patients with brain metastases to prevent radiation-induced neurocognitive dysfunction has a modest and statistically significant beneficial impact in improving quality of life and preserving some neurocognitive function without any complications. Pending the completion of additional ongoing studies, one can argue that memantine is a reasonable treatment to consider in patients with brain metastases while they receive whole brain radiation therapy.

PARP1 roles in DNA repair and DNA replication: The basi(c)s of PARP inhibitor efficacy and resistance.

Genome integrity is the subject of constant insult from endogenous and exogenous sources. In order to cope, eukaryotic cells have evolved an elaborate network of DNA repair factors that accommodate diverse lesion types and exhibit considerable functional redundancy. PARP1 is a major sensor of DNA breaks with established and putative roles in a number of pathways within the DNA repair network, including single- and double-strand break repair as well as DNA replication fork protection. Importantly, PARP1 is the major target of small-molecule PARP inhibitors (PARPi), which are employed in the treatment of homologous recombination (HR)-deficient tumors, as the latter are particularly susceptible to the accumulation of DNA damage due to an inability to efficiently repair highly toxic double-strand DNA breaks. The clinical success of PARPi has fostered extensive research into PARP biology, which has shed light on the involvement of PARP1 in various genomic transactions. A major goal within the field has been to understand the relationship between catalytic inhibition and PARP1 trapping. The specific consequences of inhibition and trapping on genomic stability as a basis for PARPi cytotoxicity remain a matter of debate. Finally, PARP inhibition is increasingly recognized for its capacity to elicit/modulate antitumor immunity. The clinical potential of PARPi is, however, hindered by the development of resistance. Hence, extensive efforts are invested in identifying factors that promote resistance or sensitize cells to PARPi. The current review provides a summary of advances in our understanding of PARP1 biology, the mechanistic nature and molecular consequences of PARP inhibition, as well as the mechanisms that give rise to PARPi resistance.

Open Access
Acute liver failure secondary to malignant infiltration: A single center experience.

Acute liver failure (ALF) requires early and very precise treatment decisions for a diagnosis that is not often easy and may lead to erroneous decisions. Accordingly, we undertook a review of ALF secondary to malignant infiltration given the rarity of the condition, plus its singularity and therapeutic implications. This review should aid in establishing future frameworks for action. Analyze cases of ALF secondary to malignant infiltration in our center during the last 5 years and review the literature. We undertook a retrospective review of all cases of ALF due to malignant infiltration in our center between January 2015 and December 2019. Data were recorded on demographic characteristics, clinical presentation, type of tumor, diagnostic techniques used, treatment and evolution. We also undertook a literature review on the subject and compared the results. AFL secondary to malignant infiltration was diagnosed in five patients, four women and one man with a median age 58 years. The most common clinical presentation was jaundice. Three cases were due to infiltration by hematological tumors (non-Hodgkin lymphoma and histiocytosis), one a cholangiocarcinoma and one lung cancer. In all cases a liver biopsy was required for diagnosis, this being conclusive in four cases; diagnosis in the non-conclusive case was by analysis of the hepatectomy sample after transplantation. Three patients died due to AFL in a mean of 13.8 days, another died 5 months after diagnosis as a consequence of the tumor while the patient with a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and transplant recipient remains alive after a follow-up of 6 years and after receiving chemotherapy. AFL due to malignant infiltration is a very unusual condition but with a high rate of mortality. It requires a rapid and precise diagnosis given the relevant treatment options.

Bleeding risk with concomitant administration of VEGF-TKIs and anticoagulant agents

Anti-cancer treatment is considered an independent risk factor for emergent bleeding during anticoagulant treatment in patients with cancer-associated thrombosis. This increased bleeding risk is perceived as major concern particularly when tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) targeting the vascular endothelial derived growth factor receptor (VEGFR-TKIs) are co-administered with anticoagulants. We evaluated the effects of the combined administration of a VEGF-TKI and the oral direct anticoagulant (apixaban) or the low-molecular weight-heparin dalteparin in a sub-analysis of the Caravaggio study in patients with a diagnosis of cancer patients with venous thromboembolism. The rate of major bleeding was 4.2% in the 668 patients who received any type of anti-cancer treatment and 3.5% in the 487 patients who did not receive any anti-cancer treatment. The relative risk for patients treated with a VEGF-TKI was 1.58 (95% CI: 0.69–3.68), compared to patients treated with anticancer agents other than a VEGF-TKI and 1.73 (95% CI: 0.73–4.07) compared to patients who did not receive any anticancer treatment. The administration of a VGEF-TKI did not have any impact on the recurrence rate of venous thromboembolism. We observed a numerically not statistically significant increase in major bleeding events in patients on concurrent VEGF-TKI and therapeutic anticoagulation with no excess in those who received apixaban. Further prospective well-designed studies are needed to evaluate whether the concomitant administration of VGEF-TKI and anticoagulant agents may result in an increase of bleeding in patients with a diagnosis of cancer treated for venous thromboembolism.