Liver resection is the standard curative treatment for liver cancer. Advances in surgical techniques over the last 30 years, including the preoperative assessment of the future liver remnant, have improved the safety of liver resection. In addition, advances in nonsurgical multidisciplinary treatment have increased the opportunities for tumor downstaging. Consequently, the indications for resection of more advanced liver cancer have expanded. Laparoscopic and robot-assisted liver resections have also gradually become more widespread. These techniques should be performed in stages, depending on the difficulty of the procedure. Advances in preoperative simulation and intraoperative navigation technology may have also lowered the threshold for their performance and may have promoted their widespread use. New insights and experiences gained from laparoscopic surgery may be applicable in open surgery. Liver transplantation, which is usually indicated for patients with poor liver function, has also become safer with advances in perioperative management. The indications for liver transplantation in liver cancer are also expanding. Although the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has forced the postponement of liver resection and transplantation procedures, liver surgeons should appropriately tailor the surgical plan to the individual patient as part of multidisciplinary treatment. This review may provide an entry point for future clinical research by identifying currently unresolved issues regarding liver cancer, and particularly hepatocellular carcinoma.
Surgical resection could offer the only chance of a long-term cure for biliary tract carcinoma. However, only a small percentage of these patients can undergo surgery based on the progression of the disease. Most patients with biliary tract carcinoma receive palliative chemotherapy. Until 2010, patients with unresectable biliary tract carcinoma received fluorouracil (5-FU), gemcitabine (GEM), and cisplatin (CDDP)-based chemotherapies. The ABC-02 study established GEM with CDDP as the first-line therapy for patients with unresectable biliary tract carcinoma, and phase III studies indicated that several combinations of anti-cancer drugs such as GEM with S-1 benefited patients. In contrast, clinical studies on targeted therapy dosages for biliary tract carcinoma in the 2010s failed to corroborate the advantages of administering cancer treatment with or without other anticancer drugs. Due to the easy access to cancer panels, precision medicines (such as ivosidenib for IDH1 mutations, pemigatinib for FGFR2 fusions, and entrectinib and larotrectinib for NTRK fusions) were recently found to be effective in the treatment of patients with these genetic alterations. Moreover, many clinical studies on immune checkpoint inhibitors for advanced biliary tract carcinoma are currently underway and could provide more effective treatment options in the near future.
Pancreatic cancer has the poorest prognosis among digestive cancers. During the 1990s, the 5-year survival rate of surgical patients with pancreatic cancer was 14% in Japan. However, survival rates have increased to 40% in the 2020s due to the refinement of surgical procedures and the introduction of perioperative chemotherapy. Several pivotal randomized controlled trials have played an indispensable role to establish each standard treatment strategy. Resectability of pancreatic cancer can be classified into resectable, borderline resectable, and unresectable based on the anatomic configuration, and multidisciplinary treatment strategies for each classification have been revised rapidly. Investigation of superior perioperative adjuvant treatments for resectable and borderline resectable pancreatic cancer and the establishment of optimal conversion surgery for unresectable pancreatic cancer are the progressive subjects.
Liver transplantation is one of the best treatment options for selected patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The Milan criteria (a single tumor with a maximum size of 5 cm or two or three tumors with a maximum size of 3 cm without evidence of vascular or extrahepatic involvement or metastasis) are one of the most common criteria to select patients with HCC for transplantation, though they are considered too restrictive. A moderate expansion of the criteria has been found to yield comparable recurrence-free survival rates. HCC will recur in approximately 10% of patients, and mostly within the first 2 years after transplantation. The preoperative level of alpha-fetoprotein, macrovascular invasion, tumor size, and tumor number are prognostic factors for recurrence. Recurrence of HCC after transplantation results in a poor prognosis.
Over the last three decades, liver transplantation (LT) in China has made breakthroughs from scratch. Now, new techniques are being continuously incorporated. However, LT in China differs from that in other countries due to cultural differences and the disease burden. The advances made in and the current issues with LT in China need to be summarized. Living donor LT (LDLT) has developed dramatically in China over the last 30 years, with the goal of increasing transplant opportunities and dealing with the shortage of donors. Western candidate selection criteria clearly are not appropriate for Chinese patients. Thus, the current authors reviewed the literature, and this review has focused on the topics of technological advancements in LDLT and Chinese candidate selection. The Milan criteria in wide use emphasize tumor morphology rather than pathology or biomarkers. α-fetoprotein (AFP) and pathology were incorporated as predictors for the first time in the Hangzhou criteria. Moreover, Xu et al. divided the Hangzhou criteria into type A (tumor size ≤ 8 cm or tumor size > 8 cm but AFP ≤ 100 ng/mL) and type B (tumor size > 8 cm but AFP between 100 and 400 ng/mL), with type B serving as a relative contraindication in the event of a liver donor shortage. In addition, surgeons in Chengdu and Shanghai have the ability to perform a laparoscopic hepatectomy for right and left lobe donors, respectively. China has established a complete LT system, including recipient criteria suitable for Chinese people, a fair donor allocation center, a transplant quality monitoring platform, and mature deceased donor or living donor LT techniques.
Metastasis is the most lethal form of prostate cancer, and finding new therapeutic targets remains a major clinical challenge. TP53 mutation has been identified to be involved in tumor progression and metastasis. Nevertheless, direct evidence of the role of TP53 mutation in prostate cancer metastasis and its underlying mechanism remain obscure. Herein, TP53 was found to be the most mutated gene in prostate cancer, and missense mutations were the primary mutation type based on bioinformatics data analysis. Subsequently, TP53 rs12947788 mutation site was significant in prostate cancer, and correlated with metastasis and tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage. Furthermore, forkhead box A1 (FOXA1), a target of TP53, was highly expressed in prostate cancer tissue, especially in TP53-mutant patients. It was also associated with patients' Gleason scores and nodal metastasis. Knockdown of FOXA1 suppressed the migration in prostate cancer cells in vitro. Our findings indicate that targeting TP53 mutation and FOXA1 might be a promising therapeutic target for prostate cancer metastasis.
The aim of this study was to investigate the medical and healthcare needs of cancer patients during the Shanghai lockdown due to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron pandemic. From April 15 to April 21, 2022, 4,195 cancer patients from every district in Shanghai were surveyed using quota sampling via an online platform. The questionnaire consisted of three main parts: demographic and sociological data, disease diagnosis, and different dimensions of patients' needs. Correlation analysis was used to examine the relationship between participants' need scores in each dimension, and generalized linear regression models were used to analyze the factors influencing patients' need scores. The mean age of participants was 63.23 years (SD: 7.43 years), with more female than male participants (80.38% vs. 19.62%). Among participants, the three leading groups of patients were those with breast cancer (39.02%), colorectal cancer (12.82%), or tracheal and bronchial lung cancer (10.23%). Social support, dietary/nutritional support, and psychological counselling ranked as the top three needs of cancer patients. In addition, vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 may reduce psychological anxiety in cancer patients. Compared to participants who had never received the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, participants who had received one, two, or three doses of the vaccine were respectively 36% (odds ratio (OR): 0.64, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.56-0.73), 38% (OR: 0.62, 95% CI: 0.59-0.54), and 37% (OR: 0.63, 95% CI: 0.60-0.66) less likely to have an increased need for psychological counseling. In light of constraints on offline medical resources for cancer patients during the lockdown, the current authors have begun to re-examine the universal accessibility and spread of telemedicine in the future. In addition, immune barriers can be established for cancer patients and vaccination guidelines for different disease stages, tumor types, and treatment regimens can be explored in detail.
Patients infected with the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 mainly develop mild COVID-19, manifesting as upper respiratory symptoms, fatigue, and fever. Shufeng Jiedu capsule (SFJDC), a traditional Chinese medicine indicated for treatment of upper respiratory infections in China, was tested for its efficacy and safety in treatment of an Omicron infection at a mobile cabin hospital in response to an outbreak of COVID-19 in Shanghai, China in April 2022. In this open-label, randomized controlled trial, patients in the control group received best supportive care, while those in the test group received additional SFJDC therapy for 7 days. SFJDC markedly alleviated patients’ symptoms including a sore throat, coughing, fatigue, and a fever after 7 days of treatment. The virus negative time was significantly shorter in the SFJDC treatment group, but there were no obvious differences in the virus negative rate between the two groups at the end of the 7-day follow-up. These results suggest that patients with the Omicron infection may benefit from SFJDC treatment. Double-blind, randomized controlled trials are warranted to comprehensively evaluate the efficacy and safety of SFJDC in a large cohort study in the future.
As a new variant of COVID-19 with varied mutations, Omicron is more transmissible, more rapidly contagious, and has a greater risk of reinfection. Given those facts, a precise manage strategy needs to be formulated and implemented in designated megacities. Here, the precise COVID-19 prevention and control strategy for a designated hospital in Shenzhen, China is summarized, including implementation of a two-wing "On duty/On standby" approach based on busy and calm periods, an identification, classification, and grading system for the occupational exposure risks of medical staff, classification of patient transmission risks, separate admission, and an innovative treatment (nasal irrigation). The strategy has enabled the efficient and orderly integration of resources, it has resulted in zero infections among medical staff even during the peak hours of the pandemic at the hospital (1,930 patients admitted to both wings in a single day), and it has significantly reduced the initial period of no virus detection when patients infected with Omicron received saline nasal irrigation (P < 0.001). This strategy has provided evidence of precise prevention and control in a hospital, infection control, and efficient patient treatment in an era when Omicron is widespread.