Publications by authors named "Ahmad S Alfaar"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Pediatric ependymoma: A single-center experience from a developing country.

Indian J Cancer 2021 Jul-Sep;58(3):378-386

Department of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology, National Cancer Institute (NCI), Cairo University; Department of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology, Children's Cancer Hospital of Egypt (CCHE/57357), Cairo, Egypt.

Background: Ependymomas are the third most common pediatric central nervous system (CNS) tumors, accounting for 6-12% of brain tumors in children. Management of these tumors remains challenging and recurrence occurs in over 50% of cases, mainly when complete resection is not achieved before radiotherapy. The 5-year overall survival (OS) ranges from 39 to 64%, with a 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) rate of 23-45%. The study aimed to describe the OS and PFS rates of cases of pediatric ependymoma. It also aimed to evaluate the effects of different variables on disease outcomes. Variables examined included patient age, the extent of surgical resection, radiotherapy and chemotherapy delivered, the histopathological subtype of the tumor, primary tumor location, and extent of the disease at presentation. Last, the challenges that potentially compromise treatment outcomes in resource-limited countries were to be highlighted.

Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study, representing a single-center experience that included 47 pediatric patients treated at the National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, between January 2009 and December 2014.

Results: Median follow-up stood at 23.5 months (range: 2-77 months). The average 3-year OS and PFS rates were 43.7 and 43.3%, respectively.

Conclusion: The extent of surgical excision (maximal resection) and the adequacy of postoperative radiotherapy were the only two factors that had significantly affected the outcome. Understandably, treatment outcomes for ependymomas in developing countries still lag behind best reported outcomes, mainly due to inadequate surgical excision and postoperative radiotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/ijc.IJC_373_19DOI Listing
January 2021

Unilateral retinoblastoma; natural history and an age-based protocol in 248 patients.

Eye (Lond) 2021 09 13;35(9):2564-2572. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Experimental Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Berlin, Germany.

Objectives: We aimed to study the clinical state and prognosis of patients with unilateral retinoblastoma who were being treated at a paediatric comprehensive cancer centre in a limited-resource country, to assess the different phases of treatment and the success of different, more complex real-life models.

Subjects: In this retrospective study, we created a snapshot of our retinoblastoma database for the period between 2007 and 2015. Patients whose data were included in the study were followed up until 2016. Out of a total of 744 screened patients, we included data of 248 patients who had been diagnosed with unilateral retinoblastoma.

Results: As classified as per the International Retinoblastoma Classification, 1 patient presented with group A, 21 with group B, 39 with group C, 104 with group D and 83 with group E retinoblastoma. Chemotherapy was the initial line of treatment in 115 patients and enucleation in 133 others. Later, 141 patients (56.9%) required further management. Patients had a mean ocular survival time of 20.8 months. Nine patients developed extraocular disease at a later stage of management: five after upfront enucleation and four after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Mean overall survival time stood at 90.2 months. Four and three deaths were recorded in groups D and E, respectively. A single patient died in the initial chemotherapy arm, while six passed away in the initial enucleation arm.

Conclusion: Our study highlights the importance of initial chemotherapy and close follow-up after enucleation of classes D and E affected eyes even in absence of germline mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41433-020-01275-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8377076PMC
September 2021

The outcome of childhood adrenocortical carcinoma in Egypt: A model from developing countries.

Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2020 Apr 23;37(3):198-210. Epub 2020 Jan 23.

Experimental Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, a Corporate Member of Freie Universität, Humboldt University, the Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany.

Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare, aggressive endocrine neoplasm. Complete surgical resection is the single most important treatment. Most available information has been learned from experience with its more frequent adult counterpart. In this study, we assessed the features and survival outcome of patients with ACC at Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt (CCHE). Patients diagnosed at CCHE between July 2007 and November 2016 were followed up on until November 2018. Patients with stages I and II were operated upon, while stages III and IV had received combinations of doxorubicin, etoposide, platinol, and mitotane (DEPM) beside the attempt to conduct surgery when feasible. Data belonging to 18 patients (7 men and 11 women) were analyzed; median age at diagnosis was 48.5 months. Sixteen patients had presented with secreting tumors. Six patients were diagnosed with stage I disease; four with stage II; three with stage III; and five with stage IV carcinoma. By the end of this study, 10 patients have survived; five-year overall survival of 66.3%. Surviving patients were all of stage I or II diseases and were all in remission. Seven patients who did not survive died due to tumor progression, while one patient died after chemotherapy. The prognosis of ACC is essentially dependent on a successful complete resection of the tumor and thus on the initial tumor stage. The mitotane and DEP protocols may help control tumor growth in the advanced stages for only short periods. Key pointsInitial stage and resectability are the main indicators of outcomes in adrenocortical carcinoma.Chemotherapeutic agents used in developed countries did not achieve the same outcomes.Further molecular-pharmacology differentiation is needed for various ethnic populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08880018.2019.1710309DOI Listing
April 2020

Inhibition of Ca channel surface expression by mutant bestrophin-1 in RPE cells.

FASEB J 2020 03 12;34(3):4055-4071. Epub 2020 Jan 12.

Experimental Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, a corporate member of Freie Universität, Humboldt-University, the Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany.

The BEST1 gene product bestrophin-1, a Ca -dependent anion channel, interacts with Ca 1.3 Ca channels in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). BEST1 mutations lead to Best vitelliform macular dystrophy. A common functional defect of these mutations is reduced trafficking of bestrophin-1 into the plasma membrane. We hypothesized that this defect affects the interaction partner Ca 1.3 channel affecting Ca signaling and altered RPE function. Thus, we investigated the protein interaction between Ca 1.3 channels and bestrophin-1 by immunoprecipitation, Ca 1.3 activity in the presence of mutant bestrophin-1 and intracellular trafficking of the interaction partners in confluent RPE monolayers. We selected four BEST1 mutations, each representing one mutational hotspot of the disease: T6P, F80L, R218C, and F305S. Heterologously expressed L-type channels and mutant bestrophin-1 showed reduced interaction, reduced Ca 1.3 channel activity, and changes in surface expression. Transfection of polarized RPE (porcine primary cells, iPSC-RPE) that endogenously express Ca 1.3 and wild-type bestrophin-1, with mutant bestrophin-1 confirmed reduction of Ca 1.3 surface expression. For the four selected BEST1 mutations, presence of mutant bestrophin-1 led to reduced Ca 1.3 activity by modulating pore-function or decreasing surface expression. Reduced Ca 1.3 activity might open new ways to understand symptoms of Best vitelliform macular dystrophy such as reduced electro-oculogram, lipofuscin accumulation, and vision impairment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.201901202RRDOI Listing
March 2020

Anoctamin-4 is a bona fide Ca-dependent non-selective cation channel.

Sci Rep 2019 02 19;9(1):2257. Epub 2019 Feb 19.

Experimental Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, a corporate member of Freie Universität, Humboldt-University, the Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany.

Changes in cell function occur by specific patterns of intracellular Ca, activating Ca-sensitive proteins. The anoctamin (TMEM16) protein family has Ca-dependent ion channel activity, which provides transmembrane ion transport, and/or Ca-dependent phosphatidyl-scramblase activity. Using amino acid sequence analysis combined with measurements of ion channel function, we clarified the so far unknown Ano4 function as Ca-dependent, non-selective monovalent cation channel; heterologous Ano4 expression in HEK293 cells elicits Ca activated conductance with weak selectivity of K > Na > Li. Endogenously expressed Ca-dependent cation channels in the retinal pigment epithelium were identified as Ano4 by KO mouse-derived primary RPE cells and siRNA against Ano4. Exchanging a negatively charged amino acid in the putative pore region (AA702-855) into a positive one (E775K) turns Ano4-elicited currents into Cl currents evidencing its importance for ion selectivity. The molecular identification of Ano4 as a Ca-activated cation channel advances the understanding of its role in Ca signaling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-37287-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6381168PMC
February 2019

Survivin is high in retinoblastoma, but what lies beneath?

J AAPOS 2018 12 13;22(6):482. Epub 2018 Apr 13.

Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaapos.2017.02.021DOI Listing
December 2018

Neonates with cancer and causes of death; lessons from 615 cases in the SEER databases.

Cancer Med 2017 Jul 22;6(7):1817-1826. Epub 2017 Jun 22.

Departments of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.

Neonatal tumors are rare with no standard treatment approaches to these diseases, and the patients experience poor outcomes. Our aim was to determine the distribution of cancers affecting neonates and compare survival between these cancers and older children. We analyzed SEER data (1973-2007) from patients who were younger than 2 years at diagnosis of malignancy. Special permission was granted to access the detailed (i.e., age in months) data of those patients. The Chi-square Log-rank test was used to compare survival between neonates (aged <1 month) and older children (>1 month to <2 years). We identified 615 neonatal cancers (454 solid tumors, 93 leukemia/lymphoma, and 68 CNS neoplasms). Neuroblastoma was the most common neonatal tumor followed by Germ cell tumors. The 5-year overall survival (OS) for all neonates was 60.3% (95% CI, 56.2-64.4). Neonates with solid tumors had the highest 5-year OS (71.2%; 95% CI, 66.9-75.5), followed by those with leukemia (39.1%; 95% CI, 28.3-49.9) or CNS tumors (15%; 95% CI, 5.4-24.6). Except for neuroblastoma, all neonatal tumors showed inferior outcomes compared to that in the older group. The proportion of neonates who died from causes other than cancer was significantly higher than that of the older children (37.9% vs. 16.4%; P < 0.0005). In general, the outcome of neonatal cancers has not improved over the last 34 years. The distribution of neonatal cancer is different than other pediatric age groups. Although the progress in neonatal and cancer care over the last 30 years, only death from noncancer causes showed improvement. Studying neonatal tumors as part of national studies is essential to understand their etiology, determine the best treatment approaches, and improve survival and quality of life for those patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.1122DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5504346PMC
July 2017

A multidisciplinary approach to improving the care and outcomes of patients with retinoblastoma at a pediatric cancer hospital in Egypt.

Ophthalmic Genet 2017 Jul-Aug;38(4):345-351. Epub 2017 Jan 13.

d Research Department , Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt , Cairo , Egypt.

Background: Retinoblastoma poses a substantial burden in developing countries. We conducted this study to assess the effect of implementing a multidisciplinary approach and standardized protocols for treating pediatric patients with retinoblastoma at the Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt (CCHE).

Materials And Methods: In January 2011, the CCHE implemented standardized protocols for the diagnosis, treatment, and reporting of retinoblastoma cases. The hospital also introduced a new retinoblastoma management algorithm and data analysis system. In this study, we compared the pathologic features, tumor invasiveness, reporting, and survival of 276 pediatric patients who underwent enucleations of 290 eyes before or after the implementation of the retinoblastoma protocols.

Results: Time to enucleation (indicating time needed for decision taking) decreased significantly within the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group for intraocular disease after January 2011 (68.7 ± 48 weeks vs. 47.3 ± 28.3 weeks; p < 0.05). Mean optic nerve stump length increased from 5.6 mm in the earlier period to 7.2 mm in the later period (p = 0.004). The overall quality of pathology reporting also improved during the later period. The probability of 3-year survival was significantly higher for patients during the later period (94.2% vs. 79.2%; p = 0.018).

Conclusions: The implementation of standardized protocols and a multidisciplinary approach improved reporting; discrepancies in disease classification and the amount of missing data were reduced; and quality measures and prognostic capabilities of the team were substantially improved. Such established data-driven practice supports faster decision making to enucleate diseased eyes and save patients' lives through providing measurable indicators.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13816810.2016.1227995DOI Listing
December 2017

Nonfunctioning Adrenocortical Carcinoma in Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Case Report of a Rare Multiple Primaries Combination.

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2017 03;39(2):150-152

*Research Department ‡Pediatric Oncology Department ∥Pathology Department, Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt §National Cancer Institute, Cairo University ¶Cairo University Hospitals †Armed Forces College of Medicine-Egypt (AFCM), Cairo, Egypt #Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Childhood adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare tumor and its association with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is even rarer. One such case is discussed in this case report. A 3-year-old patient was concomitantly diagnosed with ALL and an initially nonmetastatic ACC. Management started by following the Total XV protocol without a window phase. Left adrenalectomy was conducted after the consolidation phase. Recurrence of a mass at the tumor bed was discovered at week 33 of the continuation phase. Reexcision was conducted, followed by the administration of an ACC protocol including cisplatin, etoposide, and doxirubicin. Mitotane was added when a pulmonary metastasis was discovered and then stopped after the patient suffered from an arachnoid cyst and speech difficulties. The ALL protocol was resumed from week 34 of the continuation phase. Progression of pulmonary nodules was noted after week 45. A pulmonary metastectomy was performed. The ALL protocol was resumed up to week 51 with a good response as proven by assessment of minimal residual disease. A further recurrence was diagnosed at the abdominal tumor bed with a paravertebral mass and a pulmonary nodule. The patient was assigned to palliative treatment and died after a 32-month survival. Such rare associations need more extensive discussions of the best possible management in scientific literature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPH.0000000000000699DOI Listing
March 2017

Incidence of orbital, conjunctival and lacrimal gland malignant tumors in USA from Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results, 1973-2009.

Int J Ophthalmol 2016 18;9(12):1808-1813. Epub 2016 Dec 18.

Research Department, Children Cancer Hospital Egypt 57357, Cairo 11441, Egypt; Ophthalmology Department, Charité-Universtätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin 10117, Germany.

Aim: To determine the types and incidence of tumors affecting the orbit, conjunctiva and lacrimal glands and to study the trend line of these tumors in the United States from 1973 to 2009.

Methods: We used the publicly available Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database registries to determine the incidence rates. Age was adjusted to the 2000 US Standard Population. Patients were stratified according to age group, gender, race and histological grouping of tumor lesions. Three age groups were defined: 0-19, 20-49 and ≥50y. Annual percentage changes were calculated to examine trends.

Results: The overall age adjusted incidence rate was 3.39 (95%CI: 3.27-3.52) per million person-years. The tumors were more prevalent in age group ≥50 counting 9.51 (95%CI: 9.11-9.92) per million person-years. Most of the soft tissue sarcomas occurred in the young age with incidence rate of 0.35 (95%CI: 0.28-0.42) per million person-years. Lymphomas were the dominant subtype in the adult population with incidence rate of 5.74 (95%CI: 5.43-6.06) per million person-years. Incidence rates were higher in males than females with an overall rate ratio of 1.31 (95%CI: 1.21-1.41) mainly caused by the increase in carcinoma subtypes. White race had a higher tumor incidence with a rate ratio of 1.47(95%CI: 1.25-1.73) driven by the higher incidence of most histological subtypes. Orbital tumors showed a higher incidence rate followed by conjunctival and lacrimal gland tumors with incidence rates of 1.59, 1.37 and 0.43 per million person-years respectively. The trend line of overall incidence of tumors showed a significant increase (APC=3.11, 95%CI: 2.61-3.61) mainly due to increase of lymphomas. This increase was higher than the increase of lymphomas at other sites.

Conclusion: Orbital, conjunctival and lacrimal gland malignant tumors differ among children and adults. Over the years there has been a noticeable increase in incidence rates of orbital and lacrimal gland tumors mainly caused by an increase in lymphomas and an apparent increase due to advances in diagnostic techniques. ICD-O-3 topographical coding should be improved to consider the different orbital bones and ocular structures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18240/ijo.2016.12.18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5154997PMC
December 2016

Childhood Ewing Sarcoma of Orbit: Is it So Fatal?

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2016 08;38(6):493

*Ophthalmology Department, Charite Medical University, Berlin, Germany ‡Cairo University Hospitals †Pediatric Oncology Department §Research Department ∥Pathology Department, Children's Cancer Hospital, Cairo, Egypt.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPH.0000000000000600DOI Listing
August 2016

Clinical Research Recession: Training Needs Perception Among Medical Students.

J Cancer Educ 2017 Dec;32(4):728-733

Department of Research, Children Cancer Hospital Egypt, 1 Seket Al-Emam Street - El-Madbah El-Kadeem Yard - El-Saida Zeinab, 57357, Cairo, Egypt.

Clinical research is an integrated part of medical education. There is a noticeable decrease in the number of physician-scientists in developing countries, which is reflected by a decrease in research output and publications from these countries. We conducted a survey aiming to identify the gaps in clinical research training from the perspective of medical students. The results can be used to customize future clinical research trainings. The survey tool was divided into six modules which represent the cornerstones of clinical research based on similar surveys done for the same purpose. For each module, questions covered the perceived knowledge of its aspects and how much relevant the responder thought it was to clinical research. Five hundred one candidates have filled the survey. Evidence-based medicine (EBM) had the highest knowledge score of 2.20/4, while "clinical trials execution" knowledge got the lowest score of 1.64/4. Responders perceived EBM as the most relevant aspect of clinical research (3.39/4), while research ethics received the lowest score 3.18/4. "Clinical trials execution" had the largest gap of a difference calculated as 1.60, while EBM had the lowest gap of 1.20. More attention must be paid to clinical research training for medical students in developing countries. These trainings have to be customized to focus on clinical trial execution, research methodology, and biostatistics. In parallel, awareness campaigns targeted toward the medical community emphasizing the importance of the ethics as an aspect of clinical research should be established.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13187-016-0995-4DOI Listing
December 2017

Biorepository for Pediatric Cancer with Minimal Resources: Meeting the Challenges.

Biopreserv Biobank 2016 Feb 21;14(1):9-16. Epub 2015 Dec 21.

1 Biorepository and Biospecimen Research, Children's Cancer Hospital , Cairo, Egypt .

Background: Conducting high throughput -omics research requires high quality, data-rich biospecimens to unravel factors underlying childhood cancers; this is an extra burden in a limited resources country. For this purpose, Children's Cancer Hospital (CCHE), the largest pediatric cancer hospital worldwide, established a cutting-edge Biorepository and Biospecimen Research Facility (CCHE-BBR).

Objective: To present a step-by-step guide to establishing a hospital-based biorepository with limited resources, and working in collaboration with different hospital facilities to supply the research community with high quality data-rich biospecimens fit for a wide range of research purposes. This approach will foster research in the era of personalized precision medicine.

Methods: CCHE-IRB approved the collection and storage of biospecimens from patients and parents for future research. We focused on staff training, recruiting qualified scientists, and establishing the infrastructure. The CCHE Biorepository developed strict standardized procedures for sample acquisition, processing, annotation, storage, and distribution based on ISBER Best Practices and CAP-accreditation guidelines. We collect samples at different clinical time points (e.g., at remission and/or relapse) as well as parents' samples for genetic studies. Using CaTissue®, an electronic storage management system, allowed sample annotation and full integration with clinical data and the cancer registry.

Results: In 2 years, we succeeded in establishing a well-designed biorepository within our regulations, bylaws, and SOPs, and with a minimal budget. We store high quality blood derivatives, CSF, and malignant/normal tissue samples.

Conclusion: Building a high quality biorepository with minimal-resources to encourage research is possible. Having the suitable infrastructure with a significant number of clinically annotated samples can play a major role in international research projects, sharing samples and/or data with other groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/bio.2015.0004DOI Listing
February 2016

Clinical presentation of intraocular retinoblastoma; 5-year hospital-based registry in Egypt.

J Egypt Natl Canc Inst 2015 Dec 17;27(4):195-203. Epub 2015 Oct 17.

Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt, 57357 Cairo, Egypt; Cairo University School of Medicine, Cairo, Egypt. Electronic address:

Purpose: To study the presenting signs of Retinoblastoma in Egypt at Egypt's main pediatric oncology referral center.

Methods: This is a prospective descriptive study (hospital-based registry) conducted at Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt between July 2007 and December 2012.

Results: Out of 262 patients diagnosed with retinoblastoma, 244 were suffering from intra-ocular disease at presentation. One hundred thirty-nine (57%) patients presented with unilateral disease, while 105 (43%) suffered bilateral disease. The mean age at presentation was 20.6 ± 17 months, averaging 18.87 ± 11.76 months for bilateral and 25.72 ± 18.78 months for unilateral disease. The most common clinical presentation was leukocoria in 180 (73.8%) patients, strabismus in 32 (13.1%) patients and decreased visual acuity in 12 (4.9%) patients. Group D and E disease represented 62% of all affected eyes. Patients with advanced disease (Group C-E) had longer duration of symptoms.

Conclusion: In Egypt, retinoblastoma patients present more frequently with advanced disease. There is an ever-increasing need to develop a national team dedicated to studying disease significance and formulating a national awareness program.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnci.2015.09.002DOI Listing
December 2015

Childhood Ewing Sarcoma of the Orbit.

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2015 Aug;37(6):433-7

Departments of *Research §Pediatric Oncology ∥Pathology, Children's Cancer Hospital †Cairo University Hospitals, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt ‡Faculty of Medicine, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany.

In the span of the last 48 years, only 33 cases of children with orbital Ewing sarcoma have been reported. This study is to present 3 cases that were admitted to Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt 57357, during the period from 2009 to 2013. We have 2 cases treated using the hospital standard Ewing sarcoma treatment protocol, to completion, whereas the third discontinued treatment. All tumors have confirmed CD99 positivity, although translocation (11;22) was positive in 1 patient and negative in the third. With earlier diagnosis and adequate surgical resection and integration of chemotherapy and radiotherapy 1 patient survived for about 4 years, whereas the other 2 cases died due to disease progression or recurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPH.0000000000000346DOI Listing
August 2015

Orbital tumors in USA: difference in survival patterns.

Cancer Epidemiol 2014 Oct 20;38(5):515-22. Epub 2014 Jul 20.

Department of Research, Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt 57357, Cairo, Egypt; National Liver Institute, Menoufiya University, Shebin Elkom, Egypt. Electronic address:

Introduction: There is a wide range of tumors affecting the orbital adnexa. Key such tumors include lymphomas, carcinomas, melanomas and rhabdomyosarcomas. Several studies have proposed that these histological subtypes differ in their survival outcomes. In this study we aim to describe the difference in survival outcomes between such subtypes.

Methods: The SEER database was used to gather patient information. All 18 SEER registries were used. Patients diagnosed from 1996 to 2005 were included in the analysis. Observed five-year survival rate was calculated using the SEER*Stat software version 8.1.2. Data were extracted into IBM SPSS version 20 to generate Kaplan Meier curve for each group.

Results: There were 2180 patients in the SEER databases who met the selection criteria. Lymphomas were the most common histology in adults. The overall five-year observed survival for all lymphoma patients was 75.9% (95% CI: 73.7-78.1). There was statistically significant difference between observed survival rates of lymphoma subtypes. Carcinomas were the second most common tumors. Their five-year observed survival rate in our study was 60.4%. There was no statistically significant difference between carcinoma subtypes' observed survival rates in the 20-49 age group, while, in the older age group, the difference was found to be statistically significant. Rhabdomyosarcomas were the most common tumors in children. The overall five-year observed survival rate for rhabdomyosarcomas patients was 89.8%. There was no statistically significant difference between observed survival rates of rhabdomyosarcomas subtypes. There was no statistically significant difference between relative survival rates according to gender and treatment received except within melanomas.

Conclusion: In adults, lymphomas have better survival rates than carcinomas. Whereas the lymphoma subtype can be used as a determinant prognostic factor in any age, the carcinoma subtype can be used as such a determinant in older age groups only. In children, rhabdomyosarcomas are the predominant tumors affecting the orbital adnexa. Further studies are needed to determine if the difference between embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma and alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma observed survival rates are statistically significant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2014.07.001DOI Listing
October 2014

International telepharmacy education: another venue to improve cancer care in the developing world.

Telemed J E Health 2012 Jul-Aug;18(6):470-4. Epub 2012 Jun 5.

Department of Research, Children's Cancer Hospital, Cairo, Egypt.

Objective: In developed countries, pharmacists play a crucial role in designing and implementing cancer treatments as part of a multidisciplinary oncology team. However, developing countries have a shortage of pharmacists, and their role is generally limited to dispensing and selling drugs. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of providing clinical pharmacy educational activities via international teleconferencing to improve cancer care in developing countries.

Materials And Methods: Meticulous preparation and intense promotion of the workshop were done in Egypt before the telepharmacy conferences began. Multiple connectivity tests were performed to resolve technical problems. Nine telepharmacy conferences were delivered during 3-h sessions that were held on three consecutive days. Talks were subsequently made available via Web streaming. Attendees were requested to complete a survey to measure their satisfaction with the sessions.

Results: The teleconference was attended by a total of 345 persons, and it was subsequently reviewed online via 456 log-in sessions from 10 countries. Technical issues (e.g., poor auditory quality) were resolved on the first day of the event. The rate of attendees' responses on the survey was 30.1%, and satisfaction with the event was generally good.

Conclusions: Telecommunication is a relatively inexpensive approach that may improve pharmacy practices, especially those used to treat patients with cancer in developing countries. Special attention to patient-based telepharmacy education, including the use of cost-effective technology, should be considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2011.0182DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3399109PMC
December 2012
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